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How to Care for Curly Hair: A Guide to Starting your Curly Hair Journey

Want to know how to start caring for your naturally curly hair? You’ve come to the right place.

I get a lot of messages from curly hair newbies asking, “but where do I start?” so I’ve put together a guide that breaks down the entire process.

If you’ve landed on this post, I’m going to assume you’ve either:

  • Just realised you have curly or wavy hair and want to know where to start
  • Been heat styling your curls for years and want to start embracing them
  • Have a curly kid and are struggling to maintain their hair

Or, perhaps you’ve been embracing your curls for a while, but they’re not playing ball recently.

Whatever stage you’re at, this guide will outline the basics of caring for curly hair and will cover:

Identifying your hair type

  • Products you’ll need
  • Tools to consider

Creating a curly hair routine

Getting rid of damage.

  • Finding a curly hair community

Keeping track of your curly hair journey

Feel free to bookmark this page so you can refer back to it in future.

Before you  buy any hair products, I’d recommend figuring out your hair type. This will save you a lot of time and money when choosing products and implementing a styling routine.

When I say hair type, I don’t mean the curl typing system (2a, 3b, 4c etc.). I don’t really follow this system because your curl pattern doesn’t necessarily determine what hair products you should use. Plus, we all have a variety of curl patterns on our heads, so it’s unlikely for someone to have purely 3b curls, for example. My hair has a mix of 2b waves to 3b curls. 

However, knowing your curl type may help you find inspiration online when it comes to getting a hair cut, for example.

What I do mean when I say hair type is :

Hair thickness/texture: Fine, medium, coarse The thickness of your individual hair strands

Hair porosity:  Low, medium, high Your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture

Hair density:  Low, medium, high How much hair you have on your head

Scalp oiliness:  Dry, moderate, oily How naturally oily or dry your scalp is 

Don’t worry too much about your hair porosity at the beginning of your journey. I didn’t know my hair porosity for a long while, and I was still able to figure out what my curls like.

Just knowing your hair texture will massively help when it comes to finding the right products and determining how much product to use .

For example, if your hair is fine, heavy products that contain ingredients like butters (e.g. shea butter) will likely weigh your curls down or make them feel a bit greasy, and you’ll likely need more protein in your routine.

Learn more about figuring out your hair type in my beginner’s guide to curly hair YouTube video:

Curly hair products

Curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair, so products help add moisture and lock it in. They can also help enhance curl definition and add hold (which helps curls last between wash days).

To begin with, I’d suggest keeping it simple and only purchasing a few curly hair products :

  • Cleanser (a product that cleans your hair and scalp, e.g. shampoo, low-poo)
  • Conditioner (helps soften and detangle curls)
  • Leave-in or curl cream* (helps soften curls and keep them hydrated)
  • Gel (helps seal curls to lock moisture in, enhance definition and add hold)

*Curl creams add moisture and can help define curls, while leave-ins just add moisture

You may also choose to purchase:

  • A deep conditioner (if your hair is very dry or damaged)
  • A hairspray (if your hair needs extra hold)

You don’t have to go for high-end hair products. Just buy what you can afford. Curly hair doesn’t have to be expensive.

There are various ‘curly hair methods’, and I’m not going to tell you to follow a specific method. But keep in mind that if you’re using silicones , you need to use a strong enough cleanser to remove them and avoid buildup. And, if you’re strictly co-washing , you’ll need to clarify regularly to keep your scalp healthy and free from buildup.

Tools and accessories to consider

  • Hairdryer/diffuser attachment:  Helps gently dry curls, enhancing definition and volume
  • Silk pillowcase:  Keeps curls protected overnight
  • Detangling brush or wide-tooth comb:  Can make detangling easier
  • Curl towel or cotton t-shirt:  Gentler than a regular terry towel
  • Spray bottle:  Helps with refreshing and styling curls
  • Curly hair journal: To help you keep track of your progress

Our curly hair routines will each look slightly different because we all have different hair types, lifestyles, and personal preferences. And, what works for one person may not work for another. When figuring out your curly hair routine, be sure to focus on your hair and its unique needs.

How often should you wash your hair?

How often you wash your hair will depend on your scalp needs and your lifestyle. If you have a naturally oily scalp or work out several times a week, you’ll need to wash your hair more often than someone who doesn’t. 

I used to wash my hair every 4-7 days, but now that I work out more often, I wash it on average every three days.

There really is no right or wrong, but you must pay attention to your scalp. If your scalp is telling you it needs washing (e.g. itchy or greasy), wash it.

Putting together a routine

  • Condition/detangle
  • Style: Cream or leave in first, then gel for hold.
  • Dry your hair
  • Deep condition  (perhaps once a week if your hair is dry and less often/never if it’s not so dry – for  reference , I never deep condition because my hair doesn’t need it)

If you’ve been heat styling for years or had a chemical treatment on your hair, simply looking after your curls can’t repair heat damage or split ends. Unfortunately, damage will eventually need to be cut off. 

While some people choose to get all the damage cut off at once, you don’t have to. You could get gradual trims.

Using a bond building treatment can also help strengthen and restore the bonds that make up your hair’s structure. If you plan to continue heat styling or colouring your hair, consider using a bond building treatment after you do so. One that I really like is Curlsmith’s Bond Curl Rehab Salve  (use code: HANZ10 for 10% off).

Finding a curl community

One of the greatest things to come out of social media is the little communities that form. I found a fabulous curl community on Instagram when I began embracing my curls, and soon after, I created my own curly hair account to track my wash days. Having some online curlfriends can be especially helpful if you don’t have any curly-haired friends in real life.

Places to look at include:

  • Facebook groups (can be strict but there are some nice ones)
  • Forums (e.g.) Reddit, Naturally Curly

Try not to get caught in the comparison trap, though . It’s easy to lust over other people’s curls online and end up feeling bad about yourself. But the truth is, there are so many variables and reasons why your curls may look different to theirs:

  • They’re at a different stage in their journey
  • They have a different hair type
  • They live in a different climate 
  • Their hair looks different in real life (everyone fluffs their hair up to make it more voluminous on Instagram, and lighting plays a big part in masking frizz in pictures)

Instead, compare your hair to your own and remember that big changes won’t happen overnight. It’s a curly journey . Keep track of your wash days, take pictures and monitor your progress ( more on that below ).

When you first start embracing your curly or wavy hair, the abundance of information can be very overwhelming. As mentioned above, paying attention to your hair’s needs and not comparing it to other people’s is the best way to achieve consistent results. 

Something you can do to help you keep track of your curly hair journey, and all the new techniques and products you try, is keep a journal. I created a curly hair journal to help you do just that!

  • Record your wash days, refresh days and in-between days  
  • Keep track of your favourite products and curly hair progress
  • Add monthly progress pics and track achievements
  • Note down your hair type, problem areas and goals  

hanzcurls-curly-hair-journal-pineapple-pen

I hope you found this beginner’s guide to curly hair helpful, and that it wasn’t too overwhelming! 

Try to keep your routine simple to start with – stick to the same few products and experiment with techniques rather than lots of new products. 

Don’t forget to write things down so you’ve got something to refer back to – and remember, it will take time!

You’ve got this!

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Curly Hair Routine For Beginners: Your Complete Checklist

  • Hair Care & Advice

Caring for your curly hair can be a rewarding journey when you have the right routine in place. This step-by-step guide is designed to help establish a curly hair routine for beginners, ensuring your curls look their best and stay healthy.

Step 1: Determine your hair type

Understanding your hair type is the first crucial step in creating a successful curly hair care routine. Curly hair comes in various textures and patterns, ranging from loose waves to tight coils. Knowing your specific hair type will guide you in selecting the most suitable products and techniques for your unique curls.

curl type chart

If you're unsure about your hair type, there are several systems, such as the Andre Walker Hair Typing System or the LOIS System, that can help you identify where your curls fall on the spectrum. These systems categorize hair into different types based on curl pattern and thickness.

Once you've determined your hair type, you can then tailor your routine to address the specific needs of your curls. For example, individuals with tighter coils may require more moisture and heavier styling products, while those with looser waves might opt for lighter products that enhance their natural texture.

Step 2: Gather your supplies

Once you decide to start on your curly hair care journey, you'll need a few essential products and tools. Here's a list of what you should have on hand:

  • Sulfate-free shampoo - Look for a gentle sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates can be harsh on curly hair and strip away natural oils, leading to dryness.
  • Moisturizing conditioner - Invest in a rich, moisturizing conditioner. Curly hair tends to be drier, so ample hydration is key.
  • Leave-in conditioner - A leave-in conditioner provides extra moisture and helps detangle your curls, making them more manageable.
  • Curl-enhancing cream or gel - These products help define your curls and keep them in place throughout the day.
  • Wide-toothed comb, loop brush , or fingers - You'll need a wide-toothed comb or your fingers for gentle detangling, which is crucial for preventing breakage.
  • Microfiber towel or old cotton T-shirt - These materials are gentler on curls compared to regular towels and help minimize frizz.
  • Hairdryer with a diffuser attachment - A diffuser attachment helps evenly distribute heat and preserves your natural curl pattern when drying.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Perfect Locks™ Hair Extensions (@perfectlocks)

Step 3: Shampoo sparingly, condition generously

One common mistake people make when caring for their curly hair is over-shampooing. Unlike straight hair, curly hair tends to be drier because natural oils have a harder time traveling down the hair shaft due to the twists and turns of the curls. Therefore, it's essential to shampoo your hair sparingly to avoid stripping away these precious oils.

When you do shampoo, use a sulfate-free one , as sulfates can be particularly harsh on curly hair. Instead of shampooing every day, aim for once or twice a week or whenever your hair genuinely needs it. On the days in between, focus on conditioning.

Related Post: The Importance of Following a Proper Hair Care Routine

Step 4: Gentle Detangling

Detangling your curly hair should be a delicate process to prevent damage and breakage. After applying conditioner in the shower, use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to work through knots and tangles. Start at the tips of your hair and gradually work your way up to the roots. This approach minimizes the risk of tearing or snapping your curls.

Step 5: Scrunch, Don't Rub

Once you've completed your cleansing and conditioning routine, it's time to dry your hair. However, you should avoid vigorously rubbing your hair with a regular towel, as this can create friction and lead to unwanted frizz.

Instead, use a microfiber towel or an old cotton t-shirt to gently scrunch your hair. The goal is to remove excess water without disrupting the curl pattern. Gently squeeze and scrunch your curls upwards towards your scalp. This method helps maintain the natural shape of your curls while reducing frizz.

scrunching hair

Step 6: Apply Products on Wet Hair

To enhance and define your curls, it's crucial to apply the right products while your hair is still wet. Start with a leave-in conditioner, which adds an extra layer of moisture and helps with detangling. Follow this up with a curl-enhancing cream or gel to give your curls the structure and definition they need.

When applying these products, be thorough and ensure even distribution from roots to tips. This step is vital for achieving consistent and well-defined curls.

apply on wet hair

Step 7: Try the "plopping" method

Plopping is a popular technique among curly-haired individuals for setting their curls while reducing frizz during the drying process. To plop, follow these steps:

  • Lay a microfiber towel or an old cotton t-shirt flat on a surface.
  • Gently lower your wet hair onto the towel or t-shirt.
  • Wrap the fabric around your head, creating a turban-like shape.
  • This method helps your curls maintain their shape as they dry and prevents them from becoming flattened or frizzy.

Step 8: Invest in a diffuser

A diffuser attachment for your hairdryer is a valuable tool in your curly hair care routine. It serves several important functions:

  • Even heat distribution - A diffuser ensures that heat is evenly distributed, preventing hotspots that could damage your curls.
  • Preservation of curl pattern - By using a diffuser on a low heat setting, you can maintain your hair's natural curl pattern while drying.
  • Minimized frizz - The diffuser's design helps reduce the turbulence of airflow, which in turn minimizes frizz.

hair diffuser

Step 9: Hands off while drying

While your curls are drying, it's essential to resist the urge to touch or tousle them constantly. Excessive handling can disrupt the curl pattern and lead to unwanted frizz. Let your hair dry naturally, or use the diffuser without over-manipulating your curls. Your patience will pay off in the form of well-defined and frizz-free curls.

Step 10: Pineapple your curls at night

To preserve your curls and prevent tangling while you sleep, consider the "pineapple" method. This technique keeps your curls from getting flattened or tangled while you sleep, helping you wake up to more manageable and well-defined curls. Here's how to do it:

  • Gather your hair on top of your head into a loose, high ponytail.
  • Use a soft scrunchie or a hair-friendly elastic band to secure the ponytail.
  • Allow the rest of your hair to drape loosely over the elastic.

Step 11: Revive and Refresh

Between washes, your curls may lose some of their definition and bounce. To rejuvenate them, you can create a simple water and conditioner mixture in a spray bottle. Here's how to refresh your curls:

  • Fill a spray bottle with water.
  • Add a small amount of your favorite conditioner.
  • Shake the bottle well to mix the ingredients.
  • Spray the mixture onto your curls.
  • Gently scrunch your hair to distribute the product.

Step 12: Embrace your unique curls

As you progress on your curly hair care journey, remember that perfection isn't the goal. Embrace the uniqueness of your curls, including a little bit of frizz. Each curl has its own personality and charm, and a few imperfections only add character to your hair.

Establishing a step-by-step curly hair care routine for beginners involves understanding your hair type, selecting the right products, and following a simple yet effective routine. With patience and consistency, you can enhance and maintain your beautiful curls, allowing them to shine naturally. 

Looking to add volume and length to your curly hair? We offer the largest and most diverse collection of curly hair extensions . These extensions are ideal for blending with your natural curls and can be removed and reattached as desired. Shop from our collection today.

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The Ultimate Curly Starter Guide

The Ultimate Curly Starter Guide

  • by Shireen Moloney
  • November 06, 2023

Everything you need to know to start your curly journey!

Have you ever wondered if your frizzy hair could actually be curly? Do you have curls but just don’t know how to care for them? Read on to find all the answers to your curly questions and see how you can embrace your beautiful textured hair.

How do I know if I have curly hair?

There’s some common things to look out for with curly hair. Frizz is often a sign of textured hair, so if your hair frizzes easily or it has a natural kink to it, you may have hidden waves and curls! Does brushing your hair make it bigger and frizzier instead of smoother? It could be a sign of curly hair! 

Are you intrigued? Why not try this simple method to see if you actually have curly hair? Following a curl routine could be what your hair’s been missing!

What products should I use?

There are tons of products to choose from, but how can you know what's right for you? Here at Only Curls we like to keep things simple. Our handy Starter Bundle is the perfect kit to begin your curly journey. It contains our tried and tested 4-step system that is loved by thousands of curlies, along with our award-winning Microfibre Towel . The kit contains our Cleanser, Conditioner, Hydrating Creme and Enhancing Gel, all in 100ml travel size so you can test the products for yourself. Follow our simple Curly Method to enhance and nourish your textured hair.

Your product's name

Is there one product i should avoid using too much off.

With conditioner, there’s a fine balance between too much and too little. Most of us with curly hair assume we need tons of conditioner. While conditioner is important, what you actually need is lots of water. Start with a small amount of conditioner, rake it through your hair and apply more water. Comb it all through and the hair should feel slippery and seaweed like. An easy technique you shouldn’t skip on wash day is known as “ Squish-to-Condish ,” where you scrunch water into your conditioned curls for extra hydration. For extra hydration and enhanced curls, give The Bowl Method a try for soft and defined results.

What is one product I can easily incorporate into my routine when starting my curl journey?

A leave-in styling product. Curly hair is typically dry, and using leave-in styling products will help keep your hair well-moisturised. Our Hydrating Curl Creme is our best selling product for a reason! You pop it in the hair when it’s soaking wet to eliminate frizz and help the curls clump together.

Should I diffuse or air-dry?

It’s really personal preference, but diffusing can be better for certain hair types. Diffusing saves so much time, and it reduces water weight faster. This is especially good for looser curl types that can be easily weighed down by too much water. Diffusing will add bounce and definition to looser waves and curls. If you prefer to air-dry, or even if you diffuse, you should definitely invest in our Microfirbre Towel or Curly Towel Turban . The soft microfibre fabric is so gentle on curls and tames frizz. It’s also a really absorbent material so it cuts down on drying time even more. Gently scrunching with the microfibre towel helps enhance definition before air-drying or diffusing. For the best results with diffusing, see our tutorial here .

Only Curls Microfibre Hair Towel - Grey - Only Curls

Should I brush textured hair when it’s dry?

We would recommend not brushing wavy or curly hair when it’s dry. Brushing textured hair when it’s dry creates frizz and can cause breakage, as well as disrupting the natural curl pattern. So step away from the hair brush and gently finger detangle or use a wide-tooth comb to detangle in between wash days. If you do need to use a brush on very knotty hair, make sure it’s one designed for gentle detangling that will glide easily through the hair, and always detangle from the bottom up to protect your hair.

What if my results aren’t what I hoped for?

Everyone’s hair is different so experimenting with the products will help you find what works best for you and your curls. Those with finer, looser curls won’t need as much moisturising Creme as those with thicker, drier curls. Using a smaller amount of Creme and a bit more Gel will help to add hold and define the curls for looser curl types. Those with tighter curl patterns tend to need a bit more moisture as curly hair is naturally drier. 

Sometimes we need a little patience too! If your hair is damaged, it can take time for hair health to improve, which in turn helps the curls. Continuing to take care of your hair and using nourishing products will improve your results over time. Try to limit the use of high heat, and use a deep conditioning treatment like our Deep Hydration Mask to help restore your hair health.

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Some people can also experience a transition phase if they’ve never used sulfate-free and silicone-free products before. This can definitely impact your first few results, and it can be disappointing if you’re not in the know. It can take a good few washes for the hair to adjust to products without sulfates and silicones. Sulfates can be harsh on curls, and silicones create a coating on the hair that causes build-up, which is why we decided not to include them in our products. The key is don’t give up ! Your hair will adjust and your curls will thank you.

What if I just don’t have the time for curl care?

Did you know that drying your hair with a diffuser will take less time than blow drying and straightening? What is important is getting your hair right on wash day and taking a little time to make sure it’s styled well. This will help your hair in between wash days so you’ll only need a quick refresh. We recommend dampening the hair on non-wash days and scrunching in some Volumising Curl Mousse for gorgeous, bouncy, next-day curls. Our Refresh Bundle has everything you need for the simplest refresh. Check out our Refresh Method starring the Curl Mousse here .

Only Curls Refresh Bundle - Only Curls

Only Curls Refresh Bundle

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Another time saver is to protect your curls overnight so they last longer. Try using a silk or satin pillowcase , or satin turban, to reduce frizz and tangles while you sleep. Using a silk or satin pillowcase will keep all the lovely moisture in the hair and not dry out the curls like regular cotton pillowcases. They’re amazing for your skin too! Following this simple step protects your hair from breakage, as well as maintaining your curls overnight. This means it takes even less time to get ready in the morning.

Where can I look for advice when feeling overwhelmed with my curls?

We have a team of curl experts available to help you with all your curl questions. Simply email or DM our team all your curl questions and we can help with a personalised routine!

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Curly Hair Lounge

6 Things You Must Do As You Start Your Curly Hair Journey

6 Things You Must Do As You Start Your Curly Hair Journey

Hey, there! Glad you made it to the last post in my 3-post series where, for the last three weeks, I have been sharing the steps you need to take before you start your natural hair journey without having to ‘blindly’ find your way through as you go. It’s kinda’ like a theme party we’ve been having here every week and if you’ve been joining in you’re a champ!! If you missed the fun, there’s no need to shed a tear, you can catch up and read the previous posts here:

  • What To Know Before You Start Your Curly Hair Journey
  • Hair Products And Tools To Have Before You Start Your Curly Hair Journey

While in the lasts posts I talked about what you need to Know and Have , in this post I will be talking about what you need to Do . My aim is that by the end of this series, which ends today, you would have a roadmap to confidently take your first steps as curly hair newbie. 😉

So, if you’ve caught up on your reading and you’re ready to go, let’s make a move on it. Oh… don’t forget to download the 9-page workbook that comes with this post series. It will help you draw up an initial plan of your hair journey.

Curly Hair Products and Tools

6 Things To Do As You Start Your

Curly hair journey, #1|   stop any chemical treatments.

This may be an obvious thing to say, but I like to be clear just in case you have any doubts. You should stop relaxing, bleaching, colouring or doing Keratin/straightening treatments now that you made up your mind that you want to let your curly hair grow naturally.

Does, this mean you can’t play with colour on your hair anymore? No, it doesn’t mean that. But, since you’re starting a new journey where, most probably, you don’t even remember or have seen your natural hair in many years. It’s important you get to know it first so that you can recognise its normal/natural condition and when something is not right. So, only think about dyeing or bleaching further down in your journey when you’re more acquainted with your curly hair and more knowledgeable about it, or get a really good stylist.

As for relaxing and keratin treatments, it is my personal experience that they alter the hair structure straightening it and they completely defeat the point of being a curly girl.  If you’re still having some insecurities about going natural here is a myth-busting post  and here’s  another one just so you can be clear.

#2| No Direct Heat

If you thought that flat ironing or using direct heat on your tresses would make going natural easier, you’re not the only one. Many newbies actually do it. However, curly hair is more vulnerable to damage than Caucasian or Asian hair and for that reason straightening your hair frequently leads to heat damage (loss of elasticity, breakage).

This is bad news if you really want your curly tresses back healthy and strong, but it can be even more dramatic if you’re transitioning since your relaxed hair is weaker than your natural hair and severe hair breakage can happen at the  line of demarcation (the place where both hair textures meet).

Can you still use heat? Yes, but I would advise you to stay away from direct heat in the early stages of your journey. Just as with using chemical treatments I recommend you get to know your hair first, let it’s health improve and when you do use heat do it sporadically, with proper protection and correctly (here is are some tips about flat ironing ). For transitioners, the best time is after your big chop, when you cut the relaxed ends for good to avoid breakage, but this is just my opinion .

If you believe that as a newbie straightening your hair makes it easier to manipulate, care and style your natural hair while you get used to a new hair texture than you can read this post . It has a few suggestions on how you straighten your hair without using heat. For now, use heat for your deep treatments.

#3| Get a Trim

I lot of people don’t trim their hair regularly because of a bad experience with a hair stylist or because they believe they don’t need it, they only need it once a year or they can do it whenever they feel they need to. The problem with this is that the ends are the oldest part of our hair, which means they are the weakest and more porous part and they are more vulnerable to hair damage. Not trimming means you can easily start to experience knots, split ends, flyaways, increased porosity and hair breakage.

A good trim or haircut, allows your hair to breathe new life and strengthens it. To start on the right foot and to avoid dealing with massive hair breakage (a common issue for transitioners) give your hair a good cut. After this, trim regularly to maintain your hair’s health and gradually get rid of relaxed hair. How often  you do this will depend on your hair care practices and hair condition, it can be every 6, 8 or even twelve weeks.

For a few tips on how to identify hair breakage and shedding, read this post . It can help you understand if you need a trim or if it’s a normal thing in your hair’s life cycle.

#4| Deep Condition Regularly

If deep conditioning was never a regular practice for you then I urge you to start making it so. Deep conditioning provides intense moisture, repair and nutrition that has long-term effects and protect your hair against hair damage and can improve its health.

I see it as a secret weapon that helps you offset hair damage while you’re taking your first steps and learning to make sense of everything in the curly hair world. Moreover, it can also be the ‘magic dust’ (though there’s no magic here) that finally delivers your dreams of healthy, moisturised curly hair (if you also have the right hair care practices and products).

My belief in this is so strong that I even wrote a whole guide – The Curly Guide to Deep Conditioning – sharing everything I know about it and how you can do it effectively and correctly. You can know more about it here .

The Curly Guide To Deep Conditioning

#5| Do Wash Your Hair

Most people fall into the mistake of thinking that product application prevents the hair from getting dry. However, in reality, the only way to avoid hair dryness if to get water into your hair to hydrate it… not using moisturisers. These are effective in creating a barrier to prevent and delay quick water release from inside the hair.

The best way to keep your hair moisturised is to wash it then you can use your moisturiser. However, a lot of people only wash their hair once or twice a month. If you consider that hair loses moisture anywhere between 3 to 10 days depending on climate, products used and even your hairstyle (if there’s more surface available/free hair will dry faster) then you can understand how so many people are complaining of dry hair or have issues with hair breakage.

So my make sure you don’t go without washing your hair for longer than 10 days, and that goes for people in protective hairstyles too, though you need to adjust your wash routine to keep your protective style from looking unkempt.

#6| Detangle Thoroughly

Does this sound like a weird advice or tip to give?! Yes, it may be, but way too many people are not detangling their hair properly because they only stick to finger detangling . Finger detangling works well in the beginning stages of your transitioning hair journey when most of the hair is relaxed and easy to detangle.

You’ll find out, as I did when I finally cut my relaxed hair, that you need something more to really get in there and not miss a tangle or knot. Curly hair is more wiry, thick and hard to detangle. Though finger detangling allows a better perception and feel of the hair initially,  as your curly hair grows it’s easy to miss tangled sections especially near the scalp. So don’t be afraid to introduce a wide tooth comb or brush alongside your hands and really get in there to avoid major knots and tangles.

Aaand… That’s a wrap!! These are the tips I have to give you if you’re about to start your hair journey. 

Could more be said? Yes, definitely! But I feel these are the main points to retain, the most important ones, those where people make the most mistakes. Yes, I could talk about microfiber towels, nighttime routine, sectioning hair and such… but some of this I already covered in some way or another (directly or through links) in the previous posts in this series so go read it! For more general tips read 12 Tips On How To Transition To Natural Hair the rest you’ll learn with time. 😉

Thank you for coming along with me in this post series. It has been fun thinking and writing about what I’d do differently and what can help you as you start your journey! 🙂 Now, because there is a lot of information to digest in this post series I want you to go read it all over again and complete the free workbook that accompanies it. You can download it from inside my Library of  Resources which you can have access  here . It will help you plan things and set your initial route. 😉

If you enjoyed this post series, don’t forget to share and to tag Curly Hair Lounge (@curlyhairlounge). I’d love to say, “Hi!”.   Click below to tweet a pre-written tweet, but feel free to change it.

curly hair journey beginning

Now it’s your turn! Have any questions about starting a starting a curly hair journey? Let me know in the comments.

Featured image: photo by everygirlboss.com on unsplash, related posts:.

What To Know Before You Start Your Curly Hair Journey

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Curls Made Easy

Curly Hair Routine For Beginners – Your Complete Quick Start Checklist

Need a great curly hair routine for beginners.

A curly hair routine for beginners can seem like a big task. There are new products, techniques and recommendations so there can be a lot to consider when starting a transition to enhance your natural curls.

What you could really do with is a checklist, right? ‘ Just tell me what I need !’ I hear you cry.

Here it is. A checklist of the basic kit and essentials you will need.

For a deeper look at essential products and techniques for your curls, check out my Curly Hair Masterclass.

(There’s also a helpful freebie at the end so that you can track your progress 😉)

curly hair routine checklist for beginners

1. The Right Shampoo

‘Right’ means that it will be gentle and help to enhance your curls .

There is a lot of information regarding the different shampoos. I have a whole post on ‘ Co Wash vs Low Poo vs Shampoo ‘ but for now a sulphate free shampoo is the best thing you can invest in.

You might even be using one already. Lots of companies have brought out sulphate-free ranges recently!

Brands tend to label their products if they are sulphate-free because it is such a big plus point. If you are in any doubt, however, is is easy to find out..just google the ingredients of a shampoo and copy and paste them into CURLSBOT . I have this saved on my phone – it will ALWAYS be useful. No matter how far you are into your curl journey.

10 Curly Girl Approved Sulphate-Free Shampoos

2. The Right Conditioner

‘Right’ here means silicone-free . Having happily used silicones for years, it is a big step to go silicone-free for your new routine.

Most commercial conditioners will contain silicones so it really is worth doing a little bit of research here.

They don’t have to be expensive, just silicone-free. Silicones coat the strands and can build up, causing greasiness and limp hair, weighing curls down.

10 Curly Girl Approved Conditioners

3. A T-shirt

t-shirt for drying curly hair, your new routine

Yep, that’s it. For drying your tresses.

A t-shirt is much softer than a towel and won’t roughen the cuticle.

You can use a t-shirt to dry as you would with a towel or you can ‘plop’. Plopping means lowering your hair forwards into the t-shirt and then tying it up around your head.

Next, you leave the t-shirt on for anywhere between 10-40 minutes and then remove it.

The idea is that the t-shirt absorbs water whilst helping to keep curl clumps together.

Another example of this is ‘micro-plopping’. Micro-plopping means holding the t-shirt in one hand and then scrunching each curl clump individually to remove water. Whichever way you do it, a t-shirt will always win over a towel.

As an alternative, you can use a microfiber towel, which is softer than a regular towel.

4. A Styling Product – A Gel, Mousse or Cream

gel mousse and cream for a curly hair routine

It is common to use a cream, a gel, or a mousse . Some people use all 3!

Start with one – you can try them on their own or layer as your collection grows.

A great curly hair routine for beginners starts with one styling product and builds them up as time goes on. Experiment!

Once again it is worth popping the ingredients into a checker.

This takes extra time but it is worth the effort. Making sure your products don’t contain any nasties is probably the most important factor when making your transition.

As well as silicones, styling products often contain alcohols which can be drying. ‘Alcohol Denat’ is a really common one.

Read my full post on alcohols for curly hair

Apply styling products onto wet strands. Preferably soaking wet! This will help to tame frizz. Scrunch them in, right up to the root.

The key is getting your hair to look good when it is wet and then preserving that look as it dries, encouraging that curl.

A gel will work wonders . The idea is to catch and preserve the curl as it dries in a gel cast.

This cast can then be removed by scrunching it out once your hair is 100% dry. and the curl will be intact underneath.

This is hands-down my favourite gel Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly .

A cream will help to reduce frizz but it will likely not define the curl as much as a gel. Cream is good for softer curls and volume

A mousse for curly hair should define and add volume too, and particularly when applied at the roots. Crucially it shouldn’t be sticky. It should be light so that you can’t feel it once everything has dried

5. A Diffuser

buy a diffuser for your curly hair routine for beginners

Whilst air-drying is great, most people will come to use a diffuser when styling their curls.

Air drying can take a LONG time. Particularly as the hair is drying in clumps, and you will be using products that are designed to keep moisture in!

As well as speeding up drying-time, diffusing also helps to encourage curls by moving the curl clumps up towards the scalp as they dry.

curly hair journey beginning

Go gently and try to use a low heat to minimise any heat damage.

A dryer without a diffuser is likely to disturb curl clumps. Better to air-dry than use a dryer without a diffuser.

No heated tools, though!

I used to use my curling wand all the time. My hair did not thank me for it.

As you move into your new curl routine for beginners it’s time to move away from heated tools like these.

6. A Deep Conditioner

It is recommended that you deep condition at least once every 2 weeks , if not once a week.

A good deep conditioner will hydrate your curls, which can be naturally dry. They also soften and help to detangle.

Deep conditioning treatments typically contain oils and butters. Apply after shampoo and leave the treatment on for about 30 minutes.

An alternative is to do a ‘pre-poo’ treatment. This means pre-shampoo.

It can be an oil that you apply to dry strands and then wash out the following morning or a treatment such as Olaplex which you apply before you wash.

Keep track of what you have done on your washday . I would recommend making notes of the following

  • Which cleansing and conditioning products you used including any deep conditioners
  • Did you plop or micro-plop?
  • Which styling products you used, in which order
  • Did you apply them with your hair hanging forwards or back?
  • Did you scrunch them in?
  • Did you diffuse to 100% dry or 80%?
  • Take pictures too! These will be invaluable when it comes to figuring out what has worked best

I still write down subtle changes that I make on my wash days.

Sometimes small changes can make a big difference!

That’s why I like to keep track with my Wash Day Planner .

I made this for myself so that I could track which wash days were working out and I’m going to share it because I find it invaluable!

wash day planner and tracker

Lastly, it sounds cheesy, but I’m going to say it anyway…You will need a little time, and dare I say, love.

It is possible to have amazing results from one wash when you are using the right products and techniques but you will find that it just keeps getting better.

Product Recommendations To Get Started

– As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I receive a commission if you buy any of the products below through the links provided. It doesn’t affect the price you pay and helps to run this website. Thank you x

Shampoo and Conditioner

As far as I’m concerned you can’t go wrong with Noughty as a starting point. Their Wave Hello range is affordable and they are as careful (if not more careful) with their ingredients as high end brands that cost 2 or 3 times as much

  • sulphate free
  • paraben free
  • silicone free
  • petrochemical free
  • cruelty free and vegan
  • Curly Girl Method approved
  • 97% natural ingredients

Noughty Wave Hello Curl Defining Shampoo

Noughty Wave Hello Curl Defining Shampoo, Conditioner and Styling Cream Bundle

Styling Products

Umberto Giannini styling products are among the best I’ve come across. Their Curl Jelly (gel) provides great hold and curl definition. It disappears without a trace when you scrunch it out and smells amazing.

  • no drying alcohols
  • pthtalate free

Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly

Mousse for curly hair is also fantastic. Umberto Gianini’s mousse is lightweight and provides great definition for bouncy curls. Great for finer curl textures.

Umberto Giannini Curl Whip Curl Activating Mousse

There are many to choose from! Most diffusers will work well but larger diffuser heads tend to work better as they distribute the heat well (and speed up drying time).

If you haven’t got a diffuser head for your dryer you can either buy a single diffuser attachment or a new dryer which comes with one. If you are buying a separate diffuser attachment to fit an existing one it is worth doing some research first. Not all ‘universal’ diffusers fit all dryers . I found this out the hard way!

Babyliss Curl Dry Hair Dryer With Diffuser Attachment

  • Ionic frizz control
  • Curl-boosting
  • Large diffuser head

Deep Conditioner

Garnier’s Ultimate Blends Hair Food Masks can be used as masks, leave-in conditioners or as conditioner. They are an affordable way to moisturise hair once a week and smell incredible too!

  • 98% natural ingredients
  • no silicones

Enjoy the start of your curly journey!

Like This? Pin the Post!

curly hair journey beginning

2 Comments on Curly Hair Routine For Beginners – Your Complete Quick Start Checklist

Hi Lauren, can you please help me I have now embraced my natural curls as I used to hate it and straighten my hair. The next day after washing my hair at night my curls are still in tact, however the following day I have lost most of my curls and it looks a mess. Can you please help how I can maintain my curls for two or more days?

Hi Jade, thanks for your message – great to hear that you are enjoying embracing your natural curls! There are a few things you can do. I found that wearing my hair up in a high (but fairly loose) ponytail or ‘pineapple’ overnight helps maintain the curls for another day. It can also depend which products you put in on day 1. A gel applied to wet hair will generaly give a longer hold than other product types. If you find that this still isn’t working it might be a case of doing a quick refresh on days 2 or 3. (Most curly girls who get to day 4 or 5 will being doing refreshes in between!). This can be as simple as mixing a small blob of conditioner with water and spraying it on the areas that need a bit of encouragement.. I hope that these help! Lauren xx

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HOW TO START YOUR CURLY HAIR JOURNEY: THE SECRETS TO SUCCESS

https://www.repairyourhairchallenge.com

So you’ve decided it’s time to start your curly hair journey. We LOVE to hear that!

Transitioning to natural curls is the perfect way to let your beauty shine through. 

That’s why a lot of sisters find that this is an emotional, even spiritual journey, not just a physical or stylistic journey. It’s all about becoming the gorgeous version of you that you were born to be! 

curly hair journey beginning

Taking this journey is less dramatic than The Big Chop... but the decision still probably wasn’t easy. You may have experienced the full roller coaster of emotions: from excitement to fear, to joy to anxiety. You may have even worried about what other people will say. 

But now that you’re here, you can be confident that remorse is a feeling you won’t have to deal with. 

Now, this article is going to be a basic walkthrough of how to kick off your curly hair journey the right way. You’ll learn everything you need to know, plus you’ll get links to resources where you can dive even deeper.

Taking care of your crown-in-transition isn’t as difficult as you may think!

CREATE A ROUTINE

The first thing you need to do is to create a routine. 

Consistency is critical for keeping your hair healthy. And as you’re transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, you really want to give your new growth the attention it needs to thrive. 

Just remember, nobody’s perfect. Don’t beat yourself up if you mess up here and there. Dust yourself off and try again. 

Another reason it’s important to stick to routine so you can establish new habits. The routine that worked for you in the past isn’t the routine you want to carry into your new life as a budding naturalista. 

It’s a good idea to keep your routine simple. Here’s what we recommend:

curly hair journey beginning

  • Use Heavenly Hydration Grapeseed Hair Mist daily to keep your hair moisturized and to stimulate growth.
  • Every 7-10 days, it’s wash day.
  • Make sure you’re doing your deep conditioning every wash day for best results. You may be tempted, but don’t skip this!
  • We recommend doing a hot oil treatment at least once a month. Really, it makes sense to do this every wash day, too, for best results.
  • Once a month, you’ll want to do an apple cider vinegar rinse (keep reading for more info on that).
  • Once a month, you should also do a protein treatment. Most people don’t do this often enough. You’re not going to be one of them!

curly hair journey beginning

Naturalicious provides a simple system that takes care of everything you need to do in 3 steps – actually 4 steps if you start by throwing out your old hair products:

You’ll need Moroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay Treatment (Step 1)  which is a:

  • Detoxifying cleanser 
  • Smoothing conditioner
  • Calming detangler
  • Deep conditioner to fortify & strengthen every strand of hair
  • Lasting conditioning treatment

Moroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay Treatment’s patented formula is the first (and at this point, the only) natural hair product with a patent held by an African American.

Rhassoul clay removes toxins and bacteria while clarifying hair and scalp. It also infuses moisture to nourish your hair… without the sulfates and other harmful products most store-bought products have.

Step 1 has been called “the GOAT” that makes ladies love wash days. Because this is a 5-in-1 product, your wash days are already faster and less stressful than ever. In fact, you may start calling your wash day your “wash minutes.”  

Once you’re done washing your hair, you’ll need Moisture Infusion Styling Creme (Step 2). Loaded with sunflower oil, shea butter, and vitamin E, Step 2 naturally moisturizes and protects your hair from split ends, shedding, heat damage, and more. 

You get curls that are naturally defined & healthy – and styles that last a whole lot longer.

Divine Shine Moisture Lock & Frizz Fighter (Step 3)comes next. You can use Divine Shine as a super light hot oil treatment that nourishes your hair and scalp. It can even help you grow new natural curls faster by stimulating blood flow to the scalp.

#Claymate Danielle S. had this to say about Step 3:

curly hair journey beginning

“I have never had this smooth of a curl after my wash day. I'm pretty sure they use some of the oil the three wise men brought Jesus cause this stuff is heaven sent!!! 🗣 I'm addicted”

And Jamie B. said...

curly hair journey beginning

This stuff is like magic in a bottle. The shine, moisture and defining of my curls is OFF THE CHAIN. Everytime I ran my fingers though my strands, my curls were popping like craaaaazy! I absolutely love this stuff.

curly hair journey beginning

You can use Steps 1 and 3 together for a BOMB deep conditioning treatment.

Do it every week for best results.

On your first wash day of your curly journey, it’s a great idea to rinse your hair with diluted apple cider vinegar (ACV). The best ratio is 1 part ACV to 6 parts water. 

Over time, everyone’s hair accumulates buildup – from product, from the environment, etc. – and that makes it hard for these phenomenal products to penetrate your hair and deliver the good stuff it needs. You may not be able to see the buildup, but it’s there. 

ACV breaks down that buildup and rinses it away so your hair and scalp can get truly clean… and they can get the full benefits of your hair care routine.

Again, you’re going to want to do this on your first wash day as a naturally curly boss babe, then do it again once a month. No more, no less.

This article has been long, but believe me, your wash days are going to be so short you won’t be able to believe it. 

curly hair journey beginning

The other once-a-month part of your routine is your protein treatment. You probably already know that protein is an essential part of hair care… because hair is made of protein. Having enough protein is important to ensure your hair is healthy, strong and beautiful. 

You already get protein internally through your diet, but it’s helpful to supplement that with protein treatments. There are countless protein products on the market, but we recommend keeping it simple (and cheap): you can use a plain ol’ egg instead!

We want to support you on this journey! Get into the community and come get your life!  Gwen and the Naturalicious sisterhood help you go from wack to looking like a snack in just 15 days!

Want proof? Peep these before and after pics!

curly hair journey beginning

Honestly, this is probably the perfect time for you  to take the challenge – so you can get all the knowledge, tools and products you need at the very beginning of your natural hair journey. You’ll also meet a community of queens making the same kinds of moves. You’ll meet amazing women who will inspire and empower you to press ahead to the curl-poppin promised land.

And if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join the Naturalicious Nation Facebook group, regardless of whether or not you’re ready to jump into the Repair Your Hair Challenge.

curly hair journey beginning

And don’t forget to use Heavenly Hydration Grapeseed Mist instead of other products for your daily moisturizing.  

As you’re growing your new natural curls, your hair may need a little extra help, especially close to where the treated hair ends and new growth begins. Heavenly Hydration contains grapeseed oil, which conditions hair, seals in moisture and assists with hair growth… and avocado oil which contains antioxidants to protect each strand from the damage. It’s perfect to keep your hair shiny and fresh between wash days.

Don’t forget to stock up on staples like a bonnet, a silk pillowcase and scarf, and our g to prevent breakage and frizz along the way. They’ll help make sure friction doesn’t undo all the work you’re putting in. 

If you’d like more personalized, one-on-one guidance, the absolute best thing you can do is register for the Repair Your Hair Challenge .

curly hair journey beginning

15 Women Spill Their Curly Hair Routine Secrets

curly-hair-routine-293046-1620333363166-main

At some point, any person who’s been on their natural hair journey for quite some time will reach a nexus of gratification, where they realize that they’ve not only built a curly hair routine that works for them, but they’ve also learned to love their texture. Getting to that place takes time, of course; it takes time to find the best styling products for your hair, and you have to build an arsenal of easy curly hairstyles to wear on the days your curls aren’t poppin‘. Even when you feel like you have achieved a solid curly hair routine, there’s always something you can do to update it, such as testing new products or making slight tweaks to maximize your routine’s benefits. With that in mind, we spoke with a mix of influencers, founders, and hairstylists to learn about their routines and get tips for building a curly hair routine that works for you. Whether you’ve been all-natural for years or are just learning about the different types of curl patterns , keep reading for expert-approved methods that will make your beautiful hair even better.

curly-hair-routine-293046-1620333779808-main

WHO: Ashley , Content Creator

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

3A curls, medium porosity, and high-density. 

What curly hairstyle do you swear by?

Wash-and-go! I love wearing my hair down.

Sky Organics + Curl Care Bio-Based Wash Day Shampoo

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine?  Experiment! There's so much information and new products for curls right now, which is exciting because there was not much when I was growing up, but it can be completely overwhelming if you're just starting. What works for someone's hair might not work for you. The biggest thing that helped me was watching as many routines as I could and reading as much as I could find on the internet, and then experimenting with products and application techniques. I have a little journal of product combinations and techniques that worked and didn't work.

Odele + Leave-In Conditioner

Can you break down your curly hair routine? Step 1: For my signature wash-and-go routine, I follow four steps every time. The first step being I wash my curls two to three per week. I start with a shampoo and deep conditioner. Then I’ll detangle my curls in the shower with lots of conditioner.  Step 2: After thoroughly washing my hair, I’ll style my hair upside down, soaking wet. I recommend applying products using the raking and "praying hands" method.

Not Your Mother's + Curl Talk Frizz Control Sculpting Gel

Step 3: Then, I’ll style my curls with a leave-in conditioner or defining cream, protein-free gel, and protein-rich gel. My favorite products are the Odele Leave-In Conditioner, Bounce Curl Avocado and Rose Oil Curl Defining Cream , Jessicurl Sprialicious Gel, and the Not Your Mother's Curl Talk Gel.    Step 4: Finally, I finish off my hair with a diffuser on low heat, low fan, or air dry.

Curls Dynasty + Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Deep Conditioning Masque

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? A solid deep conditioner or hair mask. Moisture and hydration is so vital for curl definition and overall curl health. Most curls crave tons of moisture, and if your hair is dry and dehydrated, then no matter what products or techniques you're using, they might not ever get that bounce, shine, or definition.

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WHO: Julian Addo , Founder and CEO of Adwoa Beauty

I have a mixture of 3c (at the nape), 4a (on the left and right side), and 4b (in the middle) medium-density, low-porosity hair texture. 

I wear my hair down and out 98% of the time. I used to swear by twist-outs when I started my natural-hair journey back in 2012, but with a busier lifestyle and my natural hair pattern, it’s more work and manipulation than I care to do weekly. 

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine?

Deep conditioning weekly or biweekly with a quality treatment or mask. This is an absolute must for moisturized hair all week long with textured hair. The more texture hair has, the more it needs intensive treatment weekly.

Adwoa Beauty + Baomint Moisturizing Shampoo

Can you break down your curly hair routine? Step 1 & 2: For my wash-and-go routine, I wash my curls weekly with the Baomint moisturizing shampoo. Then I follow up with the Baomint deep-conditioning treatment and sit under a dryer or steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

Adwoa Beauty + Baomint Moisturizing Curl Defining Gel

Step 3: Next, I rinse that out and apply the Baomint leave-in conditioning styler on four sections along with our moisturizing curl-defining gel.  Step 4: After that, I sit under my hooded dryer for about 40 minutes and allow my hair to air-dry for the rest of the day.

Adwoa Beauty + Baomint Protect + Shine Oil Blend

Step 5: And I don't sleep with a bonnet anymore. I just sleep as is and use the Baomint protect and shine oil blend every morning to fluff out my hair and massage my scalp. I wash again on the seventh day and repeat the same steps.

Adwoa Beauty + Baomint Deep Conditioning Treatment

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? Not to be biased, but definitely our Baomint deep-conditioning treatment. Deep-conditioning weekly or biweekly with a quality treatment or mask is essential for curly hair. I can always see the difference between hair that regularly uses deep conditioners and hair that does not. 

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WHO: Ashly Rodriguez , Content Creator

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have?

I would say I’m a 3c but do have different textures throughout my hair. And I have a mix of high and low porosity.  

What curly hairstyle do you swear by? 

My go-to is a wash-and-go. But I love me a good three-strand twist out. The definition it gives my hair is out of this world!

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! + Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine? It is realizing that you need to embrace the curls that grow out of your head and stop comparing your hair to anyone else and figure out what works for you. The product, the technique of how you apply products, etc. Something that may work for someone may not work for you, and that’s okay. 

Living Proof + Mini Curly Hair Trial Kit

Can you break down your curly hair routine?  Step 1: My wash-and-go routine includes a deep condition (a must-take once a week). Step 2: After washing, I always apply my styling products on soaking-wet hair. I use either Living Proof Curl Elongator and Curl Defining Gel or Adwoa Beauty Defining Gel .

DevaCurl + Dryer & Diffuser Combo For All Curl Kind

Step 3: I always diffuse my hair after applying products. Step 4: And finally, I fluff roots for extra volume, and I’m good to go!

Bumble and Bumble + Hairdresser's Invisible Oil 72 Hour Hydrating Hair Mask

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?  You need to have a deep conditioner; it’s essential! It’s the perfect way to give your curls the TLC they need and is a must for giving them a boost of moisture or strength. My favorite deep conditioner is Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil 72 Hour Hydrating Hair Mask .

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WHO: Abena Boamah , Founder and CEO of Hanahana Beauty  

I have 4c hair, very tight curls. 

I love protective styles; they’re simple, easy, and cute. I love getting braids and different types of crochet styles. I've had the same hairdresser (shout-out to Joy) for years, so we always try new styles and love perfecting different hairstyles.  

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine? 

Hydration is key. However you’re choosing to style your hair, make sure you invest in hydrating products to keep your curls healthy. 

Vernon Francois + 4-Piece Overnight Repair Treatment Oil Set

Can you break down your curly hair routine?  Step 1: Currently have a twist style in, so when I wake up, I just oil my scalp. I recommend applying less than you normally would when you’re wearing your curls to avoid too much buildup.

Christophe Robin + Instant Volume Hair Mist with Rose Water

Step 2: I also spray my twists with a rose-water mist to keep them moisturized. Keeping your hair hydrated while wearing a protective style is essential to ensure your hair benefits from the hairstyle.

Goody + Ouchless Xtra Long Extra Thick Elastic Hair Ties

Step 3: As far as styling, the great thing about protective styles is that the work is already done. I typically style my hair in a ponytail or wear it down. 

Carol's Daughter + Goddess Strength Scalp Oil and Hair Oil

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? I love using Crowe Stimulating Scalp Oil by Shani Crowe . I t’s the perfect oil for protective styles and will maximize the benefits.

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WHO: Janibell Rosanne , Content Creator

I have 3c hair with some 3b and 4a. My hair is low porosity.  

Test new product cocktails you haven’t tried before on the back of your hand before applying them to your hair. Some product formulas just don't mix well and will clump up. By testing it out on your hand first, you can avoid a bad hair day.

I alternate between wash-and-gos and slick buns. I did my first-ever protective style (twists) last year, though, and I loved it!

Pattern + Leave-In Conditioner

Can you break down your curly hair routine?  Step 1: I try to switch it up with my wash-and-go routine to test out new products, but I always end up going back to my same curly hair routine. On deep-condition days, I've been using the Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Hair Mask .  Step 2: After I dry my hair with a microfiber towel, I start my styling routine with the Pattern Beauty Leave-In.

Mielle Organics + Moisture Rx Hawaiian Ginger Moisturizing Styling Gel

Step 3: Sometimes, I skip the gel, but I like using the Mielle Organics Hawaiian Ginger Gel for a soft hold if I want a little extra definition. 

Bread Beauty Supply + Hair Oil Everyday Gloss

Step 4: To finish, I've been loving the Hair Oil Everyday Gloss from Bread Beauty Supply.

tgin + Define + Style Detangling Brush

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? A good detangling brush is a must, it doesn't rip all of my hair out, and detangling is less of a hassle when I use it.

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WHO: Angela Stevens , Emmy Award–winning hairstylist and Cantu partner

My hair type or curl pattern is between 4a and 4c. When it comes to porosity, it is high and absorbs moisture easily, but it tends to dry. Elasticity is minimal due to coloring, so it doesn't stretch. 

Not to have expectations as to what your hair will look day by day. Ride the wave because hair can have different personalities. Also: Moisture, lots of it. Adding more: water, leave-in, creams, or oils to get to the ends.

A cute high puff with sideburns/baby hairs or a two-strand twist-out.

Cantu + Avocado Coconut Curling Cream

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine?  Step 1: Typically, I have a designated wash day, where I start my weekly routine with washed hair, using cream-based products. I’ll then keep it in Bantu knotting overnight to lock in the moisture. Step 2: To create the Bantu knotting, I’ll part my hair with eight twists total (four on each side), being sure to add cream while doing so to help my hair retain moisture.

Cantu + Sturdy Double Lift Pick

Step 3: Then, in the morning, I take down the twists using a wide-tooth comb or pick, lifts at the roots to give hair more volume.

Cantu + Jamaican Black Castor Oil Moisture & Shine Hydrating Finishing Mist

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?  Setting foam. Since it is water-based and the closest thing to using water, it can control and define curls without weighing them down. It's a versatile product, great for setting the hair or wash-and-gos.

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WHO: Lynn Kate , Beauty-and-Lifestyle Influencer

I have normal- to high-porosity hair and a 3A/3B curl pattern.   

There are many essential tips to building a healthy curly hair routine, but the number one I swear by is deep-conditioning one to two times a week! It helps provide that intense deep moisture that your curls need whether your hair is healthy or still transitioning. If you are consistent with it, you will see a difference in your curls so much faster. 

I swear by wash-and-gos and my signature hairstyle, which is clipping the top front of your hair with a small clip so your hair looks more voluminous on top and curls are away from your face. This one is great for the summer!

Hair Food + Smooth Conditioner, Avocado Argan Oil

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine?  Step 1: When I’m embracing my curls, I like to abide by the wash-and-go routine. I want to cleanse and detangle with Hair Food's Avocado & Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner.

Aveda + Botanical Repair Intensive Strengthening Masque Rich

Step 2: Then, I deep-condition for five to 10 minutes with Aveda's Repair Intensive Strengthening Hair Masque.

Dove + Amplified Textures Shine & Moisture Finishing Gel

Step 3: And then style my hair with a leave-in conditioner, cream, and gel. My favorites are Aussie's Miracle Curls Leave-In Detangling Milk & Creme Pudding, Prose's Custom Curl Cream , and Dove's Amplified Textures Finishing Gel.

Aussie + Leave in Detangling Milk Miracle Curls

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? Applying a leave-in conditioner when you are styling your hair is essential to help keep your curls moisturized underneath the cream and gel styler. Think about it as the foundation for your hair or like a primer. Without a leave-in, your style won't last as long and will get dry faster.

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WHO: Merian Odesho, Founder and Cosmetic Formulator of Bounce Curl

My curl pattern is 3B, and I have medium-porosity hair. 

For curly hair or any hair for that matter, using clean beauty products like Bounce Curl is vital for good hair health. Making sure to use a curly hairstyling routine such as the flipped, upside-down clump method is also crucial.

I swear by a wash-and-go routine because it’s the easiest for me.

Bounce Curl + Gentle Clarifying Shampoo

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine?  Step 1: I first cleanse my hair with Bounce Curl’s Clarifying Shampoo and Cream Conditioner.

Bounce Curl + Avocado & Rose Oil Clump & Define Cream

Step 2: Then, I style it with a little bit of the Avocado & Rose Oil Clump. 

Bounce Curl + Light Creme Hair Gel Lotion

Step 3: And I add in our Define Cream and Light Hold Creme Gel to help my curls stay in place.

Bounce Curl + Moisturizing Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner With Weightless Baobab Oil

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?  Using a conditioner is essential to any routine because it lays the foundation for moisturized curls. I also love using a good deep conditioner to hydrate, strengthen, and support my hair’s overall health.

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WHO: Lulu Cordero , CEO and Founder of Bomba Curls 

I have 3B and 3C curls with low porosity and normal elasticity. 

Deep-conditioning makes a huge difference in curl health and hydration! I make it a point to deep-condition every wash day, which results in softer, less frizzy, more manageable curls.  

For every day, I swear by wash-and-go styling and braids for protective styling.

Bomba Curls + Dominican Forbidden Hair Mask

Step 1: After washing my hair, I like to seal in hydration and smooth my curls and massage my scalp with oil.

Bomba Curls + Silky Satin Scrunchies

Step 2: And then, to protect my curls, I put them up in a pineapple and tie them in our high-density satin scrunchies. (I literally pineapple my curls and start my workday.)

Bomba Curls + Beauty Bites

Step 3: Finally, I highly recommend taking supplements every day to help nourish your curls’ health from the inside out. I use our Bomba Beauty Bites every day.

Bomba Curls + Dominican Forbidden Oil

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?  Our Dominican Forbidden Oil is an essential part of my haircare routine. It's an all-in-one solution. I can protect my curls with a pre-poo treatment before washing, seal in moisture after washing, and keep them smooth and frizz-free for days after. I couldn’t imagine life without the Forbidden Oil.

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WHO: Nikki Nelms , Celebrity Hairstylist and Goody Brand Ambassador 

I have 4a/4b curls, but I’m used to working with all textures.

I don’t have any general go-to style for my clients because I consider face shape and personal style. For me, it’s all about doing what works best for each client individually. 

Goody + Total Texture Intellwave Detangler Hair Brush

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine? Invest in quality tools; it will make styling your hair all the easier.

Briogeo + Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Shampoo

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine?  Step 1: I would say for anyone, keeping hair and scalp clean and hydrated is a must. Test out different wash routines and product lines until you find one that works for your texture.

Goody + Total Texture Rotating Detangling Comb

Step 2: Don’t underestimate the need to properly detangling your hair once you have created a wash routine. Nailing down your wash routine and the detangling process is an excellent start to building a curly hair routine. These are two steps that are a must for me (both personally and for clients); after that, I leave the rest up to creativity.

Maui Moisture + Frizz Free + Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Mist

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? Maui Moisture frizz-free leave-in conditioning mist! Great for keeping hair hydrated and 100% aloe; it’s the first ingredient.

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WHO: Irinel de León , Celebrity Hairstylist and Ouidad Brand Ambassador

I have a couple of different types of patterns ranging from type 3B to 3C. You can easily have different curl patterns throughout, and it can all depend on any kind of heat, chemical, or mechanical damage like pulling your hair back when it’s wet. 

Identify your curl type and buy products that are meant for it. And don’t be afraid to play around with different application techniques.

I love a wash-and-go. It’s easy and gets me out the door quickly! 

Ouidad + Advanced Climate Control Detangling Heat Spray

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine?  Step 1: Prime hair with the Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Detangling Spray. This will protect curls from heat when diffusing and also give them an added layer of hydration.

Ouidad + Mongongo Oil

Step 2: Cocktail the Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Styling Cream with the Mongongo oil. Mixing these two together gives your curls a serious boost of hydration.

Kareco + Tangle Buster Brush

Step 3: Using a Kareco brush, go through sections and scrunch. This method helps clump curls together for more definition.  Step 4: Scrunch in a quarter size of the Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel for extra hold and definition on the ends.

Ouidad + Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?  Everyone needs a styling cream in their arsenal. I love the Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Styling Cream because it’s excellent for frizz and meant for every curl type.

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WHO: Robyn Atwater, Founder of CurlDaze

I have many different curl patterns ranging from curly to wavy. I have low-porosity hair with high elasticity in the back and low elasticity in the front. 

Keep the heat off of your hair as much as you can. Excessive heat will kill your curls. When I first started my hair journey, I used to go without heat for three months, and my hair flourished.

I swear by a slick bun. If I have anywhere to go at the last minute and I didn’t have time to do my hair, my slick bun never lets me down.

Curldaze + Ultra Moisture Creme With Kukui Oil

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine?  Step 1: If I’m not wearing a slicked-back bun, then I’m washing my hair and going.

Briogeo + Wide Tooth Detangling Comb

Step 2: After washing my hair, I focus on styling and moisturizing my hair. I use my Ultra Moisture Creme or Creamy Curl Styler and apply it in sections and shingle my hair.

CurlDaze + Creamy Curl Styler with Kukui Oil

Step 2: If I want more of a hold, I add my Glossy Shine Gel on top. It goes great with both creams! Then I air-dry my hair overnight.

CurlDaze + Glossy Shine Gel With Kukui Oil

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?  Having a non-drying, alcohol-free styling gel is essential to any curly hair routine. It can be used to define curls, set curly styles, smooth edges, and tame flyaways. It’s the most versatile styling product, in my opinion.

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WHO: Amira Rasool , Founder and CEO of The Folklore 

I typically define my hair as having a 3c to 4a curl pattern.

Moisture is the key. Make sure you refresh your hair with water every day with a spray bottle. You don’t want to drown your hair, but you want to make sure it has enough water to avoid breaking or tangling. 

I love a good wash-and-go. I usually do that once a week as a part of my self-care Sunday and then refresh my curls every day with a spray bottle that consists of water and a leave-in conditioner. Toward the end of the week, when my curls are not as defined and moist, I will do a slick-back bun or ponytail with a center part. During the summer or while I’m on vacation, I love to have knotless box braids. I will usually wear those for six weeks at a time.

Camille Rose + Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine?  Step 1 : On Sundays, I’ll wash my hair with Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse.  Step 2: Then I’ll deep-condition my curls. I’ll massage in Shea Moisture Strengthen and Restore Treatment Masque and put a shower cap on for 30 minutes to let it sink in.

Kinky-Curly + Knot Today Leave in Detangler

Step 3: I’ll condition my hair with Camille Rose Moroccan Pear Conditioning Custard.   Step 4: Then, I’ll wash out the conditioner and apply the  Kinky-Curly Knot Today conditioner to detangle.

Tropic Isle Living + Jamaican Black Castor Hair Growth Oil

Step 5: Apply Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls and Jamaican Black Castor Oil from Tropic Isle to seal in the moisture.

Camille Rose + Moroccan Pear Conditioning Custard

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? And explain why? My leave-in conditioner is essential. I have been using it for years. I wouldn’t be able to properly detangle without a leave-in that provided moisture and enough slip to loosen up any knots.

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WHO: Tonya Thompson and Sharie Wilson, Co-Founders of DreamGirls  

SW:  I have 4a/b hair, medium porosity, and high elasticity. 

TT:  I have 3b/3c curl type, medium porosity, and high elasticity.

SW + TT: The key to achieving any hair routine starts with a healthy scalp. When your scalp is clean and free of any buildup, including dandruff, natural oils, and excessive amounts of product, for example, it leaves a fresh canvas to style your hair as desired. To create the perfect routine for curly hair, it is vital to make sure your hair is moisturized so that your curls are hydrated, minimizing breakage and damage. 

SW: My go-to protective style is braids, but I love embracing my natural curls with a quick wash-and-go when I’m taking a break from my protective styles.

TT: My go-to is a nice, neat ponytail, but I’ve been playing with my natural curl pattern and wearing it freely a lot more lately.

DreamGirls + Signature Healthy Hair Care System Kit

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine?  SW: Certain hair colors come with their own challenges. My hair is sandy brown, and what most people may not know is that it’s tough to retain moisture with this hair color. As a result, I’ve had some struggles with it throughout the years. To take care of it, aside from using our Healthy Hair Care System, I often keep a gloss over my hair to give it extra shine and protection! Cellophanes help lock in the moisture for me.

Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair + Hair Growth Vegan Gummies with Biotin and Folic Acid

SW: For protective styling, to protect and shield my hair from daily manipulation, I’ll wear weaves, wigs, and occasionally braids. I’m also taking DHT (blocker) pills, iron, zinc, vitamin D, and MSM. All of these components have been a part of my overall healthy haircare journey, but it’s important to remember to take care of your health first because it can reflect on your hair. Be mindful that it starts from the inside out!

DreamGirls + Curl System Ultimate Leave-In Conditioner

TT: What I do for my clients, I do for my hair as well! I use our Healthy Hair Care System products, protective styling, and maintaining my hair’s health with regular trims.

DreamGirls + Tlc Comb-Out Treatment

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?  SW: I love the TLC Comb-Out Treatment! This is our secret to detangling hair and retaining your hair’s length, especially when wearing it curly.

DreamGirls + Revival Deep Treatment

TT: I would say mine would be the Revival Deep Treatment! First, I love the way it feels on my scalp. Not only does it feel good, but it helps your hair retain moisture, which is so important when wearing your hair curly.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Next: 11 Black-Owned Fragrance Brands to Put on Your Radar

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication  303 Magazine , where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL. 

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Curly Haircare for Beginners

Curly Haircare for Beginners

If you are just starting your curly hair journey, you may be overwhelmed by all the information out there and the various products for naturally curly hair. You may also be experiencing common curly hair struggles such as dryness, frizz, and inconsistent results. Many often resort to straightening their curls which leaves their hair damaged and unmanageable when it’s in its natural state. With special care, practices, and a consistent routine, you can have natural curls that flourish. 

Table of Contents: 

  • Why Curls Need Special Care
  • Common Curl Problems  

Healthy Curl Care Start at the Scalp

How to create the perfect curly hair care routine, best products for curly hair care.

  • Ingredients and Practices to Avoid

Best Curly Hair Tips

Why curls need special care.

Curly hair often requires more care and attention than straight hair types because it can be naturally drier, more prone to frizz and breakage, and more reactive to changing weather conditions.

Curly hair strands bend and turn, making it difficult for the scalp’s natural oil, sebum, to travel down the hair shaft. Sebum naturally protects the hair from drying out. Sebum production can vary depending on internal factors, and the tighter your curl pattern, the less likely it can travel down the hair shaft. It’s important to keep curls from drying out so they can remain healthy. Dry curls often appear dull, frizzy, and can break more easily.

There are many different unique curl shapes, patterns, and textures. It’s common for people to have multiple hair types as well. While it’s not critical to identify your exact curl pattern, it can be helpful to know to determine how oily or dry your hair may be, how often your wash your hair, and styling techniques to enhance your pattern if desired. Many often refer to hair types on a numbered scale (1-4) with multiple levels (A-C) in between. The numbers group the various curl patterns from straight to coily. The letters signify the diametre of waves, curls, or coils with each category.

  • Type 1 Hair: Straight hair
  • Type 2 Hair : Wavy hair
  • Type 3 Hair : Curly hair
  • Type 4 Hair : Coily hair

curly hair journey beginning

For easy reference, we will refer to the curl types as wavy, curly, and coily. Each curl type has its own unique challenges and characteristics.

  • Wavy -  Sebum can more easily travel down wavy hair naturally. This hair texture may find that they need to wash more frequently and may notice more oily, weighed-down roots. Hair care for this type may require less moisture and more  lightweight wavy hair products .
  • Curly -  Curly hair often has more spirals making it difficult for sebum to reach the lengths of the hair. This curl pattern may experience some oiliness at the root but overall be dry. Dryness can lead to frizz, breakage, and brittle-feeling hair. 
  • Coily - This curl pattern has a very tight coil or zig-zag shape. The tighter the curl pattern becomes, the drier and more fragile the lengths of the hair become. Those with coily type of hair may find that they can go much longer in between washes and need heavier ingredients in their coily hair products such as hair oils and butters.

Washing your hair too frequently if you have naturally dry hair and not properly taking care of your hair can lead to damage. Creating the proper curly hair routine to care for your unique curl type will keep your curls healthy and thriving.

Common Curl Problems

Curly hair is unfortunately prone to a myriad of problems if not properly cared for, including those that impact the health of your hair and its appearance.

Some of the most common hair care concerns include:

  • Dryness: Curly hair is most prone to dryness on the lengths of the hair. Using products which moisturize curly hair are essential. 
  • Breakage: The bends and turns of naturally curly hair strands make them more fragile, damage-prone which leads to breakage .
  • Damage & split ends: Hair cuticles can easily be damaged by heat, chemicals, and rough detangling.
  • Tangles: Due to the texture of curly hair, it tangles easily if not properly protected.
  • Frizz: The natural shape of curly hair strands can create frizz because it does not lay flat and smooth like straight hair. Frizzy curls are normal, although sometimes excessive frizz can indicate issues such as dryness and breakage.
  • Build-up: Rich curly hair products, minerals in water, and pollution easily can pile up on curly hair and cause scalp build up .
  • Weighed-down curls: While curls are often dry, they can also become over-moisturized , limp, and not spring up. This can also be from buildup from products, sebum, and hard water minerals.  

Curly Hair Care That is Right for You

Maintaining a healthy scalp is the key to healthy hair growth , shine, and overall hair health. Keeping an eye on your scalp is important to ensure it’s not accumulating too much oil and product residue. Not washing enough or washing too much can lead to  healthy scalp conditions. 

Healthy Scalp Care

Maintain a healthy scalp by keeping it free of product build-up , which accumulates over time and can cause curls to appear limp, dull, and feel sticky. Routinely using a clarifying shampoo to remove build-up from products, dead skin cells, and oils will keep the scalp healthy and balanced. 

Those with an overly oily scalp or severely dry scalp can benefit from the Curlsmith Detox Kit , which balances the scalp’s microbiome and will help you maintain scalp health. It also contains a natural, fine-textured scrub to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and build-up on the scalp.

Wash Frequency

Due to the dryness of curly hair , it’s typically advised to not over-wash and strip too much of the natural oils. Sulfate shampoos are especially drying on fragile curly hair. Your natural rate of sebum production will determine h ow often you should wash your hair , but typically you want to avoid washing it daily. Just like the skin on our face, our scalp oiliness varies from person to person. If you notice oil on your scalp and your roots after just one day, then you have a naturally oily scalp . If your hair is not oily after several days and your scalp feels dry and tight, then you have a dry scalp. Those with wavy hair types may wash as often as every other day, while curly and coily hair types may go longer, up to a week. 

Washing too frequently, such as daily or multiple times per day can dry out the scalp and cause it to feel tight or uncomfortable and flake. Dry weather can also cause your scalp to become dry. Using more moisturizing shampoos  and  sulfate-free shampoo is ideal to prevent stripping curly hair.  

Sticking to a consistent curly hair routine will keep your curls healthy and looking the way you desire. As you get more familiar with your curls, you will find a routine that works for your unique curl type and your lifestyle. In time, your routine will become second-nature. Curly hair can be fairly low maintenance on a day-to-day basis, but need more care on wash days or when having specific issues. However, it does not need to be complicated if you follow these specific steps.

Basic Wash Day Routine

This routine is ideal for a regular wash day when you simply need to cleanse, condition, and restyle your hair. Some like to wash as often as every other day, while others would do this routine once per week.

  • Cleanse: Use a shampoo to cleanse the scalp and hair.
  • Condition: Use a conditioner to restore moisture , detangle, and rinse.
  • Moisturize: Use a leave-in conditioner to add moisture, smooth the cuticle, and further detangle if needed.
  • Style: Apply stylers of your choice to add additional moisture, define the curls, and prevent frizz.
  • Dry: Diffuse or air dry .
  • Finish: This is optional, but use an oil to add shine , soften your gel cast, and lock in moisture.

Treatment Wash Day Routine

From time to time, your curls will likely need extra love, especially if you’re experiencing any issues such as build-up, very dry hair, lackluster curls, or extra frizz. This would replace your basic wash day routine and is something that can be done up to once a week, depending on your hair’s needs. You may also pick and choose which of these steps you want to incorporate instead of doing all.

  • Pre-poo: Optional, but using a pre-shampoo treatment like a primer or an oil will help detangle and protect the hair.
  • Clarify: Use a clarifying shampoo to deeply cleanse the scalp and hair, removing buildup.
  • Deep condition: Use a deep conditioner or a regular conditioner for extra moisture.
  • Dry: Diffuse or air dry.
  • Finish: This is optional, but use an oil to add shine, soften your gel cast , and lock in moisture.

Refresh Routine

Ideally, you won’t have to do much to your curls in between washes, especially if you’re using a strong hold gel to set your curls in place. Some days you may be able to wake up and go, however it is common to have to touch up as frizz and tangles can develop after wash day. You do not need to soak your hair and completely restyle, and instead just add a little water and/or extra product for an effective curl refresh .

  • Dampen: Spritz hair lightly with water or wet your hands and smooth over frizz.
  • Touchup: If your curls are feeling dry or if you have some tangles, add a little leave-in conditioner or curl cream, such as the same one you used on wash day, and mix it with some water.
  • Dry: Diffuse for a few minutes on warm or cool, or air dry
  • Some gels can be reactivated by just adding water so you don’t need to add extra gel . However if you feel your curls are very frizzy, you can smooth a little gel mixed with water over your curls and scrunch.
  • Diffuse or air dry

Determining the best products for your curl type can be challenging at first, but once you learn your curls you will get the hang of identifying what you like. Fortunately, Curlsmith makes it simple and easy with the Curl Quiz and the various collections that are labeled based on certain needs. 

  • Moisture Recipe : Great for all curl types, but especially moisturizing for very dry curls and coarse curls. This recipe is protein-free and packed with ingredients that provide curls with the moisture they need.
  • Strength Recipe : Designed to strengthen, repair, and protect fragile curls. Rich in protein yet balanced with moisture, and especially beneficial for damaged hair.
  • Shine Recipe : Great for all curl types, especially those who need extra shine. This recipe is also fragrance-free, so is ideal for those who have allergies or are sensitive to strong scents in hair products.
  • Scalp Recipe : Designed for the scalp’s specific needs, this recipe is like skincare for the scalp. It’s very hydrating and lightweight, making it a great line for those with fine hair that gets weighed down easily.
  • Color Recipe : If you have color-treated curly hair, this recipe will boost your hair’s vibrancy and shine whether it’s artificially colored or natural. It also contains wash-out hair makeup for damage-free color enhancing.

Most of Curlsmith’s products work for all curl types , with the exception of a few products that may be too heavy for very fine hair, or too lightweight for coarse hair’s needs. Products within various recipes can be mixed and matched to address your hair’s specific needs.

Ingredients and Practices to Avoid 

Curly hair can be especially sensitive to certain ingredients that are common in cosmetics such as sulfates and silicones. Heat styling and chemical treatments are best avoided to maintain healthy curls.

Sulfates are surfactants used to cleanse the hair, but harsh sulfates such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. These can be very drying when used regularly. Curlsmith shampoos are sulfate-free and use gentle, yet effective, surfactants.

When using very gentle cleansers and avoiding sulfates, you may want to consider avoiding silicones as well, especially if your hair is very fine and prone to build-up. Silicones are often found in conditioners and curl creams and create a protective barrier on the hair and add slip, but this can accumulate if not removed with strong shampoos. Curlsmith conditioners and styling products are silicone-free, and contain other natural ingredients that provide similar benefits.

With curly hair being so fragile, it can be easily damaged by heat tools such as blow dryers, straighteners and curling irons. Damaged curls become looser, won’t spring up as often, and be dry and brittle. Those looking to recover their curls will transition away from frequent heat styling and chemical relaxers and grow out their natural curls. Using heat tools during this process can be a set back and delay your journey to healthy curls.

Chemical Services

Chemical services in the salon such as relaxers, keratin treatments, and bleaching should be avoided if you want to have healthy, natural curls. These permanently change the structure of the hair and the only way to restore your natural curls is to grow them out and cut off the damage. These services also cause damage to the hair’s cuticle, making it more susceptible to dryness and breakage.

Learning to take care of your natural curls comes with lots of trial and error. There are many tips and techniques that can help along the way and simplify your routine.

  • Clarify at least every 4-5 washes to remove any product buildup and always follow up with a deep conditioner.
  • Use bond building treatments to help recover damaged hair from heat or chemical damage.
  • Get a curly haircut by a curl specialist to create a shape that is best for your curls and desired look. Maintain healthy ends with regular trims.
  • Protect curls overnight with silk accessories such as a vegan silk pillowcase , scarf, bonnet, or silk scrunchie .
  • Use a smooth, flat-textured, microfiber towel after washing your hair to prevent frizz and breakage.
  • Use a hair dryer and diffuser attachment designed for naturally curly hair with low to medium heat settings to minimize damage.
  • Protective hairstyles are a great way to take a break from maintaining your curls and allow them to grow.
  • Maintain a healthy diet rich in vitamins that nourish the scalp and hair such as protein, Iron, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Zinc, and Biotin.

Healthy Curls Take Time & Dedication

Nourishing your hair from within is key to curl health. If you’re currently looking to start taking care of your natural curls and want to restore them to their natural state, it’s going to take time and dedication. Understanding curls' unique needs, following a routine, and using products designed to feed healthy curls is key. Curlsmith’s vegan, cruelty-free products are designed to address curls’ unique needs and are rich in natural ingredients.

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US-based content creator with expertise in naturally curly hair. Through her blog, YouTube channel and social media, she shares educational content, step-by-step tutorials, and simplified instruction to help everyone achieve healthy hair. She is passionate about hair science, helping others master their curls, social media, and digital marketing.

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My Curly Hair Journey + Hair Care Routine

It had been nearly a year since my last haircut and my mane was overdue for some TLC, so I got it cut for a fresh start! I loved my old length, but my hair was so dry and I lost all the layers that used to give my curls volume and bounce. We took off 4 inches and my hair feels so much lighter and healthier! I’m still getting used to my shorter do, but so far I’m loving it! After my cut, I did a Curly Hair Q&A in my Instagram stories and answered all of my reader’s questions about curly hair care. Keep reading to learn about my curly hair journey,  what my hair care routine is, and my go-to products!

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TOP TIPS FOR CURLY HAIR:

💖 AVOID sulfates + silicone in products as well as heat styling

💖 CONDITION WITH INTENTION distribute conditioner evenly over your entire hands + work product through your hair with LOTS of water 

💖 EXPERIMENT with different styling techniques + products (plopping, twirling, diffusing, wet brush, curl setting with clips etc)

💖 USE a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel to scrunch extra water out of your curls

💖 PROTECT YOUR CURLS with a satin bonnet or silk pillowcase at night

💖 BE PATIENT hair won't become curly overnight but it's worth it - I promise

Every hair texture is unique so it may take some experimenting with several different products/methods before you figure out what works for you. The only time I use a brush is when I’m washing my hair and it’s fully wet (the Behairful brush or a wet brush is perfect for detangling, product distribution, making sure every strand is saturated with conditioner , and creating more consistent curl patterns.) You could try using a curl cream followed by a gel for a tighter hold.

How often do you wash your hair?

I usually wash my hair once or twice a week (depends on the week.) I use Innersense Organic Beauty Color Awakening Hairbath (a gentle cleansing shampoo for medium texture hair) and Color Radiance Daily Conditioner (also for medium texture.)

What products are you using?

For styling, I use Innersense Inner Peace Whipped Curl Cream and then add some Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic Curl Stimulator (it’s like a lightweight gel) for a little extra definition and hold.

What product do you use that won’t leave your hair greasy?

This is a tricky one for me to answer because my hair rarely gets greasy and there could be many factors. Advice from a pro: Make sure hair is fully wet when applying product. Don’t put your product on dry or damp hair. The greasiness might be product build-up. Best advice is to talk to a pro to find out what would work best for your specific hair type!

Curly hair products/brands from people I trust:

Innersense Organic Beauty, Pattern Beauty, Under Luna, Zotos Professional, Uncle Funkys Daughter , Fekkai, Bounce Curl, Inahsi Naturals 

How do you get volume up to the roots? I feel like mine’s always flat on the top!

For more volume at the roots, try “plopping” your hair after washing. (Plopping is a technique used on wet hair after you’ve applied your styling product and before you start to dry your hair. It will accordion your curls, helping them keep a defined, spiralled shape, even after they dry.) You can also place some double prong hair clips at the crown of your head while your hair dries. This should give you more volume at the top!

Curly hair care tips for kids

Like adults, every kid is different and product/routine recommendations will vary from person to person. I’ll share what I do with my kids (who both have curly hair) but it’s always a good idea to talk to a professional about specific questions you have about your child. In general, don’t use any products on my daughters’ hair, but every child is different. I wash and condition their hair with the same products I use on myself. 

My kids have a bath every night but we only wash their hair every 2-3 days. First I wash their hair with the same cleanser I use. Then I fully rinse out the shampoo and apply conditioner . I usually detangle with a wet brush or my fingers (using lots of water and conditioner) and let it air dry. Sometimes I will do a refresh the next morning if their curls are looking crazy. I use a spray bottle with water and add some product (like a little bit of curl cream or gel) and spray hair and use my hands to restyle the curls.

My hair is naturally curly/wavy but when I curl it with an iron so it will be neater, the curls always fall out. What should I do?

The Curly Girl Method (CGM for short) is an approach to hair care designed for naturally curly hair. CGM has a few overall guidelines regarding the types of products you should use (sulfate free shampoos, silicone free conditioners etc.) Additionally, NO heat styling tools (such as a straightener or curling iron), or blowouts of any type. No chemical relaxers/straighteners. I don’t follow CGM 100% and I do use a curling wand to touch up my curls sometimes. But I’m sharing this in case you’d like to learn more about CGM and try using this approach to your curly/wavy hair care.

What is your hair routine?

Make sure hair is fully wet (not damp) before applying cleanser . Use a silicone scalp scrubber to get in with the cleanser (remove any build up) 

Condition with intention: Rake your fingers through and feel the “slip.” Add water to get the conditioner to work through the hair. 

Optional: Use a wet crush to create more consistency with curl 

Fully rinse it out and scrunch some of the excess water out, don’t squeeze/ring it all out 

Style in the shower + emulsify products in your hand before applying

Put all products into saturated hair

Working water back into your hair after you’ve put the product back in

Squeeze 2 nickel’s worth of Inner Peace Curl Cream and add through all your hair. I have a lot of hair so I do it in 2 sections (top and bottom) 

Add some water to the cream to keep the curls intact so they don’t become stringy 

Apply Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curl Magic (for more definition, shine, and hold)

Flip hair upside down and scrunch some pieces with hands to remove some of the water

Plop at home with a T-shirt and create a turban 

Add clips for volume and let dry 

I haven't worn my hair curly in years. Where do I start?

It is never too late to start your curly hair journey! I straightened my hair for YEARS and got my hair relaxed, regular appointments at the blow dry bar, and had keratin treatments to try and conceal/fight my natural curls. When I finally started to embrace my hair and wear it naturally, it was a struggle to find what products/routine worked for me at first. My hair had gone through so many years of heat damage and using products that weren’t meant for curly hair so it took a lot of time and patience to start seeing results. But it was so worth it! I’ve been getting curly haircuts for 12 years now and have never looked back!

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By no means am I an expert, but I'm happy to share my experience so that it might help someone. I'm not going to lie and pretend that I love having curly hair 24/7. Wearing my hair naturally is like riding a roller coaster! The pictures above are NOT what my hair looks like every way (I wish it was!) Most days it feels easier to throw my hair up in a bun with a headband. My hair has also changed a lot with pregnancies, postpartum hormones, and aging, so I'm constantly trying to learn what works best for me now. But it’s definitely more of a LOVE because it's the way I was born and part of what makes me -ME! I want to embrace my natural hair and show my kids that curls are gorgeous! Both of them have curly hair + I never want them to feel like they have to change who they are to be beautiful.

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Starting Your Curly Journey? Follow These 10 Tips

February is the month of LOVE 💜 and YOU are the most important person to fall in love with! Loving yourself is part of your personal self-care journey and the transformation to stepping into your best hair and self. Here are some of the tips that helped us start our journey to love and embrace our curly hair. Ready to start rocking your curly hair? We’re excited for you! 🤩

Just so you don't get confused during your natural hair journey, we've created a 10-step guide on how to transition and maintain healthy curls. This is also a great guide if you’re looking to reset your current routine.

1- Cut off damage

If your ends are split and extremely damaged, cut them off sis! We promise your hair will grow back stronger and healthier. Just make sure to stay on top of your trims by getting one every 8-10 weeks. We started our journey by gradually cutting our hair, instead of the big chop. However, either way you choose is completely up to you.

2- Keep your hair clean, fresh, and moisturized

Wash your hair 3 to 7 days to keep your hair and scalp clean. Please know that dirt will not make your hair grow. Your scalp and hair need a clean surface to flourish. It's important that you keep your hair moisturized by using a leave-in conditioner every time you wash your hair and deep conditioning once a month. We created the Ultra-defined leave-in to help solve this problem. Though moisture is extremely important, you do not want to go overboard because you can get moisture overload. Keep that in mind. 

3- Avoid using too much heat

If you're trying to transition to going fully curly, you want to dish the flat-irons for a while. Just wear your hair curly and dry your curls with a diffuser or hooded dryer. When drying your curls, use low to medium heat and keep the speed low to avoid frizz while drying

4- Opt for low-manipulation styles 

When you start your journey, you might notice your hair texture might look different. Getting your hair healthy is not an overnight process, so opt for flexi rod sets, twist outs, and braid outs to start styling. These are examples of low-manipulation styles that will define your curls and give you more definition in the beginning.

5- Try protective styles

Protective styles are great and we highly recommend them for those who have a damaged curl pattern because your hair will not have to be out. Doing protective styles will allow you to retain length and regain your curl pattern. 

6- Learn about your hair

What is your curl type, density, and porosity? All of these things are important to know because they'll help you determine a hair care regimen that works effectively for you. Stay tuned as we share more about this topic in upcoming blog posts.

7- Avoid coloring your hair

Coloring your hair can loosen your curl pattern and cause chemical damage, if not done properly.  If you're just starting off as a natural, avoid coloring your hair until your curls are completely intact and healthy. 

8- Drink water & eat a balanced diet

What you put inside your body matters. Don't expect to grow long, healthy hair without giving your body the nutrients it needs. Keep up with your water intake as this does wonders for your hair. Hair growth truly starts on the inside! 

9- Don't compare your hair to anyone else's

The whole point of becoming a natural is to embrace your natural curls! Never compare your hair to anyone else's hair. Your natural curls are beautiful just the way they are. 

10- Be patient

Maintaining curly hair is far from easy. However, your hard work and patience will pay off. Stay consistent with your hair care regimen, take care of your insides, and just be patient, love! Your curls will flourish, we promise. 

Are you looking for hydrating and moisturizing products to help you get started on your curly hair journey? Order your free Ocoa samples.  * If you are a new customer use code FREE. 

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50 Things Every Beginner Should Know about their Wavy or Curly Hair Journey

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Hi guys! I’m Pallavi, the blogger behind The Curious Jalebi. If you’re new here, welcome to my corner of the internet where I discuss and motivate young women in India to love their natural hair.

In this post I’m going to talk to you about the most common problems, questions and issues that arises when you start your natural hair journey.

Get yourself a big cup of tea and take your time with this – don’t freak out at the length. Feel free to bookmark this and read in parts because each point is important and you will face them at some point in your journey.

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Wavy or curly hair is naturally dry

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Pallavi Juneja (@thecuriousjalebi)

The oil from our scalp does not reach the ends of our hair because of it’s shape. Hence, additional products are needed to ensure they get hydrated, moisturised and defined! Expecting great curly hair with just  a shampoo is a mistake!

Read these 10 things you should Learn about Natural Hair

It will seem overwhelming, at FIRST

You will have to read, watch and do your researching my sweetlings. No one can spoon feed you what’s the best for your hair. During your research, try to start with the basics and try them out first before reading more to not feel confused and overwhelmed! Start with baby steps! I’m always an email, comment or DM away if you want more clarification!

Read: Curly Hair Tips For Beginners

Find out your hair type

This is essential in avoiding confusion and finding a similar hair routine to start with! Many of you will think your hair is curly when in fact it is wavy (from my experience). So find out- is your hair light wavy, very wavy, curly or kinky ? Click the below link!

Why Your Hair Won’t Look Like Mine – Natural Hair Types

One size does not fit all

You may have 2-3 different hair types on your head. The weather or water where you live could be different from someone else. What results you like might not be loved by someone else! Key is to experiment and learn what your hair loves because one routine will not suit everyone.

Difference in wavy and curly hair routines

If you have wavy hair but try curly hair routines you are bound to get disappointed with the results! Instead, choose from the two to begin your natural hair journey.

How to Start CG Method on Wavy Hair How to Start CG Method on Curly Hair

(CGM or Curly Girl Method is a philosophy followed by curly girls across the world)

Conditioners or CG Method doesn’t CAUSE hair fall

This is SO important for you to learn! One of the most common complaints is I started CG but I have hair fall .

This is what usually happens- we shed 50-100 hair strands normally everyday that come out when you comb everyday. But in CGM or curly techniques, you only comb twice or thrice a week after applying a conditioner inside the shower and after a leave in conditioner or curl cream outside it. The un-shed hair that is trapped suddenly comes out while combing in the shower and suddenly you feel like that’s a LOT when it’s not true.

Want to test this theory out? Start washing and combing your hair every 3 days, then 2 days then everyday to see how the amount that falls reduces!

You should also be using your fingers to detangle your hair gently with some oil before your shampoo and ensure your conditioner is slippery enough to ensure less breakage.

See a dermatologist for hair fall

If you’re still having excessive hair fall, instead of panicking, go to the doctor. Rule out stress, water quality, iron deficiency, hormonal imbalances (pcod, thyroid) and vitamin deficiency (B12, D).

Desi nuske (DIY Hacks) won’t help solve medical issues, remember that!

You don’t need expensive products to get healthy natural hair

So many of my readers have found affordable products and achieved beautiful healthy hair so don’t stress if you can’t afford many international products. You can also learn to multipurpose a conditioner by using it as a leave in conditioner as well . I’ve included some links for pocket-friendly routines.

Pocket-Friendly Routine With Vilvah Shampoo, Reequil Conditioners & Ashba Botanics Affordable Conditioners in India DIY Flaxseed Gel List of Curly Hair Products in India for Different Budgets

There is no BEST shampoo, conditioner only your FAVOURITE (and in your budget)

I love different products for different reasons – some give more length, some for shrinkage, some for it’s price and effectiveness, some for it’s scent. Then there is the matter of your hair type. As a result, I don’t answer to this common question- ‘Suggest best products for curly hair’

Time, patience and consistency

It took me a few years of trying different products in different amounts to learn what works and what is best for my hair. Even after realizing and practicing, being consistent and patient in my routine got me to where I am now! Remember to not give up too easily!

Heat damaged or chemically damaged hair will HAVE to be chopped off

Keratin, smoothening, brazillian blowouts all chemically alter the structure of your hair. They won’t go back to how they are even after following these techniques.

How to Get Your Curls Back After Chemical Straightening

Be patient while transitioning

Don’t give up. Look back at how far YOU have come instead of looking at other curly peeps and keep trying, even after you fail!

Deep conditioning is your best friend

An easy way to fasten your transitioning process is to be regular with deep conditioning your hair. You do this once a week to begin with a moisturising hair mask. This is one of my top tips for beginners!

Learn about Deep Conditioning Here

Techniques over products

I can’t stress this enough. Learn techniques like combing after conditioner/leave in conditioner, Raking , Praying Hands , Squish to Condish and practice them with the products you already HAVE before getting more!

You don’t NEED only CG Friendly products

Silicones is not always the bad guy. For many years, I applied the techniques with Non-CG products and still achieved bouncy, healthy curls. So do many women across the world. Granted, CGM has its advantages but don’t feel discouraged if you can’t find cg products near you in the beginning.

Simply use a mild sulphate shampoo and a creamy silicone conditioner that is very moisturising- even with them you will see a difference!

#MadeinIndia #CGFriendly products

Thankfully there are many companies in India now that have products for us! Try Arata Zero Chemicals (Discount code- CURIOUSARATA ), Ashba Botanics , Fix my Curls (Discount code- THECURIOUSJALEBI), True Frog (Discount code- CURIOUSJALEBI10)

You don’t NEED the Denman Brush or Flexi brush

Learn about the difference between those two brushes in this IGTV video but no, you don’t HAVE to get them. You can also detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb and style with a narrow comb !

Don’t have to GIVE UP on straightening your hair once in a while

Don’t and don’t listen to anyone who shames you for switching things once in a while. As long as its rare and you use a heat protectant cream and also understand the damage heat has, your hair is your own. No policing on my page!

High, long duration of heat is BAD for you

If you overdo straightening or blow outs with heat or use an iron or use high heat while diffusing your hair, you will see more split ends and get hair that doesn’t curl as much anymore.

Treat dandruff with Curly Girl Friendly routine.

You can absolutely manage your dandruff even after following CG method!

Learn more in this post

Frizz is normal

Even after following a routine, there will be some frizz, it is natural, especially in a tropical and humid environment like ours. The key is to reduce it as much as possible (if you want to, that is) but understand little will always be there.

Natural hair will get increasingly drier

The longer you go without washing your hair, it will get drier and frizzier. That’s just how it is. You can however protect your curls at night like this and Refresh them in the morning with this method to decrease frizz.

Parabens is not written in Curly Girl Method

Avoiding parabens is a personal preference – Lorraine Massey, the founder of CGM has not written about this ingredient in her book.

Air dry Versus Diffusing

I love to use a diffuser ( learn more here ) because it speeds up my drying time and it gives me tighter curls as compared to when I air dry. I encourage you to try both and see what you like better.

Don’t compare your natural hair journey to someone else’s

Another tip I can’t stress enough. This is also something I have to remind myself too, from time to time. I can also get envious of other women’s length or much curlier texture.

It is human to compare but essential that you pull yourself back as well and shut the door on that thinking. Try to compare your journey only to yourself and follow more people with similar hair type like yours.

Keep a record/diary

To avoid the confusion, keep a virtual diary with a picture of the results , how you feel it’s texture is and what products you use. It will help you navigate and learn what results you want again.

Change one thing in your routine at a time

If you have many different new products, for eg, a new shampoo, a new conditioner and new stylers, don’t try all of them in the same routine. Change one thing at a time so you can tell the difference, be it good or bad.

Your parents or peers might not understand or appreciate your hair

Indians are not used to a different method of taking care of curly hair. Oil and plait has always been what we have grown up listening and keeping our hair open counts as unruly or ‘jungli’ for many older people.

They also won’t get that we don’t need to comb our curls everyday. I understand that it is not possible in many families to practice this routine or while attending school so I encourage you to show this testimonial section to the people who doubt you to win them over.

Only some DIY hair masks work as well as a store bought deep conditioner/ hair mask

Pinterest may be full of magical grow-your-hair-twice-as-long-overnight masks but please, don’t believe such claims. Yes there are a few great, natural DIY masks but store bought masks have rich oils and conditioning ingredients in them and I firmly believe you should invest in one. It doesn’t need to be expensive!

Another alternative is to take your favourite conditioner, add a spoon of oil and a spoon of honey and apply to post-shampoo hair for 30-40 mins! You can read more about deep conditioning here .

Pocket-Friendly Deep Conditioners in India

Understand Protein-Moisture Balance Without Getting Obsessed

The natural hair community can get really confusing and sometimes in my personal opinion, a tad bit obsessed over certain trends (looking at you, rice water rinses!). Here’s what protein-moisture balance means – if you use a shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner and gel in your routine, keep two products without proteins as an ingredient and two with protein.

You balance out the protein in one product with pure moisturising ingredients in another. This, many people believe helps in achieving more defined curls without extra frizz or weighed down curls.

It can happen that by using only moisturising products, your hair can get over-moisturised, leading to weighed down curls that have lost their bounce. Alternatively, too much protein can make hair prone to breakage and frizz. Balancing your products ensures this does not happen.

I personally have not seen any difference with all the products I have tried out, protein or not protein, plus I honestly can’t be bothered to this level of mathematics!

You don’t have to be so scared of protein

Many of you are scared of protein, sorry let me correct that, many of you are terrified of using products with protein in them without even trying. Don’t forget hair is made up of proteins and needs some of it (at least one product in your routine with protein is a good bet) to get extra definition.

Also, if you have over moisturised your hair (also called as hydral fatigue), doing a protein treatment is a great way to get back the bounce in your curls. I think doing a protein treatment once a month is also a great way to incorporate this result in your hair and no you don’t need a fancy product to do this. Try the DIY Gelatin mask to see the difference!

Wet hair is weak and needs to be handled gently

While the Curly Girl Method states that you should comb after applying conditioner or leave in conditioner when your hair is still wet, don’t forget it is the weakest when it’s wet.

Hence, take care to gently detangle once with oil before you shampoo and then use a very slippery conditioner inside the shower to ease the detangling process. Put your hair up in a bun if you’re in a hurry instead of washing it too quicky and yanking it while combing.

Basics first, product junkie later

There is no shame in becoming a product junkie but avoid it in the beginning. When you first start out, you tend to buy too many products and forget to learn about techniques!

I’d rather you follow the techniques with the products you have currently and learn your basics first!

Once you have learned the techniques and found what works, buy as many as your heart desires!

Learn to read ingredient labels

Sending me ingredient labels on DM does get annoying, if I’m being honest. I don’t like spoon feeding.

I would recommend for your own benefit that you learn the basic ingredients of what to avoid in the CG Method from this post.

This also helps you to learn what your hair reacts well to or doesn’t and will inform all your future buying decisions. Be an informed consumer.

Sheabutter is not the enemy but be careful

Sheabutter or other raw butters have a love-hate reputation in the CG community. Some find that since this oils are heavy and rich, they can sit on top your hair (especially low porosity hair types ) and leave them weighed down. Since hair swings in front of the face while styling and drying, they can also cause acne.

Here’s my take on it – don’t mirror someone else’s experience as your own, especially the negative ones without trying. Is your skin prone to acne with face oils and face creams? Then I suggest you be cautious with any curl cream or curl butter that has such oils.

You can do that by simply keeping your hair out of your face’s way by a head band while it dries. Also, wash your face with your cleanser AFTER you’re done styling.

A famous victim is the Cantu curl activator cream . I know too many people who have loved using the cream but those who haven’t are scared of other people complaining about the acne it caused. Then there are some for whom it didn’t even after being prone to it. I don’t think the verdict is out on this so please try and experiment.

I would however recommend you choose lighter products without these butters if your hair is loose wavy or loose curly since butters do weigh down fine hair!

Neither is oiling

Same with oils. Some people in the CG community are against oiling, stating they block moisture, just like silicones. Being an Indian, I cannot discount the advantages of oiling.

I would suggest though that while styling, use an oil last, to ‘seal’ your curls. This step also leaves your curls shiny!

To oil your hair before shampoo, do it lightly (pre-poo) so that you don’t need a lot of shampoo to wash the oil out. Oiling your hair before washing also prevents protein loss!

Low porosity/High porosity

Finding out whether your hair is low or high porosity is not easy. You can’t fully trust the tests that are simple enough to carry at home.

Also as long you genuinely experiment with products and find out what suits you, you don’t need to get stressed about it. I have low porosity hair but my hair loves butters. It loves layered products . That’s not what a low po curl type is supposed to benefit from!

Post pregnancy hair loss is natural

To all of you new moms, congratulations and good luck! In between navigating mommyhood, many of you will find yourself worried about the accelerated hair loss. This is normal and expected.

Your hair will grow back so allow yourself to be swept away by your many other responsibilities and recheck in a few months with your dermatologist if you find it has not reduced.

Don’t blindly follow any influencer or blogger (yes, even me)

This is something I have specifically noticed with the Indian CG community on Instagram. They’re very easily influenced. By chance a brand is being bashed by someone, there will be hysteria and an absolute refusal to try something themselves.

I ask you dear reader to not fall in the same trap. Take every blogger/influencers review with a grain of salt, even mine. What did not suit me, could be the product that gives you stunning hair.

Don’t shame

Have someone looking or posting for affordable products? Don’t shame them.

Are they always buying new products to try and experiment with? Don’t shame them!

Everyone’s hair is their own priority – simply concern yourself with finding yours and encouraging those around you to do so within their means!

Glycerine products

Using products with glycerine in either hot or humid areas can be tricky since it’s something that draws moisture into itself from the environment (it is a humectant) leading to more frizz (when it doesn’t find any water in the environment) but the key again is to experiment.

Usually using a hard hold gel or an oil to seal in the product helps in spades! If it doesn’t try to find glycerine free products (post on this coming soon) instead!

Eggs and mayyonaise are NOT protein treatments

The protein molecules in eggs or mayo are too big to penetrate the hair strand so it CANNOT act as a protein treatment. The results you see from both are actually due to the fat content in both!

If you want to do a protein treatment, use a hair mask that has a protein in the first 5-10 ingredients or try the Gelatin mask!

Ingredients potency decreases as you go down the label

This is the principle of formulation – the first 5 ingredients are in the highest concentration of the product and make up to 97-98% of the whole. The remaining ingredients compound the last 2% so for some ingredient to be highly effective, look for it in the first 5 ingredients in the label!

Same with a bad ingredient like IPA (drying alcohol and not allowed in cg method), they are there in some products in the last few ingredients to speed up the drying. I don’t think you need to get scared with such products.

DIY Flaxseed gel is amazing

Can’t afford a gel or you want a no fuss routine- try the natural DIY Flaxseed gel. Great for wavy, curly and kinky, this moisturises hair and gives it a light hold! If you’re scared of trying out stylers, this is also a great option!

It is normal to get crunchy curls after using a gel

After using a gel and even a good curl cream, it is natural that your waves and curls form a hard cast. In fact, this is recommended.

To remove it and get softer, bouncier hair, simply SOTC or Scrunch Out The Crunch by scrunching upwards with your fingers and shaking the hair at your crown loose with the tips of your fingers!

Spread the love – share your tips with people around you

If you find these tips and techniques helping you, don’t forget to share it with more people you think will benefit! You never know who’s struggling with their hair!

Your hair type won’t drastically change

If your hair is not straightened chemically or heat damaged, don’t expect your wavy hair to change to really curly even with time. The key is to not let your expectation lead your to disappointment- remember that this journey is to get to see the healthiest version of your natural hair. Aim for that and be realistic about it as well!

Resist combing daily (Especially in the beginning)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVl68j3FqVf/

The habit of combing or brushing your hair everyday will be difficult to resist, but it’s essential in the beginning. When you comb your curls dry daily, the clumps WILL break and you will be left with frizzier hair. In case you need to comb it into a hairstyle for work or school, then simply style your curls with your leave in or curl cream and/or gel and comb. Plait it right after before it dries up. That way your hair will still retain moisture.

It won’t look perfect all the time

There will be many times where you won’t get perfect curls – yes, even after using products that gave great results before. Curly hair is often full of surprises and sometimes these methods of taming fail!

It’s important that on such days you don’t feel disheartened and realise next wash day could be better!

Protective Styles While Transitioning

If like me, you also got Keratin or smoothening done and want to cut off your damaged hair slowly, your hair will be a mix of new curly hair (from the crown) and straightened (at the end). Yes it does look strange sometimes so if that bothers you too much and you can’t cut the straight part yet, tie it into a bun or a plait!

I know these are a LOT (I can come up with more lol) but these are things I find myself gettig queries about readers often. In your journey, your will find yourself thinking about them so bookmark this post and simply come back when you find yourself getting confused or demotivated!

Don’t forget to watch my video tutorials on my Youtube Channel and Instagram to learn more. You can also join my Facebook Group Ask Jalebi where I answer your doubts and queries.

Jalebi out!

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Hi! This blog is beautiful. I’ve finally decided to try and do right by my hair. I have naturally wavy, dry, frizzy hair. I love it on the days I’ve washed it, but I hate it on all the rest. I’ve yet to give these methods a shot, but I have one major question: So I’m a student and most days I need my hair to just be out of my face so that I can focus; so thus far I’ve been plaiting into one or two plaits. What is the safest way to keep my hair out of my face but still healthy and with the texture retained? Also, how often should I be washing it? I was thinking I can wash with shampoo and conditioner once a week and then another time with only conditioner. Also, if I was to cut my hair, are steps or layers a good idea. It’s currently in steps and reaches about 5 cm past my shoulder.

Pallavi Juneja

Hey Divya! I think don’t skip a leave in. Get one or make a DIY one with conditioner. But basically, after you rinse out conditioner, apply leave on on wet hair and comb. Then you can plait it if you’d like or bun it up. You won’t get defined curls if you don’t keep hair open but at least they’ll b hydrated. If you want to keep them open, just use a big clutch to pin it back/

OMG LEAVE IN IS MAGIC. I got conditioner and leave in from this brand called POSA because my imported cosmetics guy had it on sale and it is soooo good. My curls are so defined I want to cry ugh. TYSM 🙂

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Hi Pallavi, I am a 40yr old mom of a very active toddler who has finally decided to go the CG way. I have a couple of doubts which addressed will be of great help to me. 1. When using the clarifying shampoo, can we use the conditioner and leave in or not? 2. I am a migraine patient and combing daily give my scalp some stimulation which helps me with maintaining my migraine in control; This is what I have noticed. So, can I: a) use Livon hair serum for curly hair (purple one) on a daily baisis for detangling, before combing through or b) use a watered down version of the conditioner sprayed on my hair before combing through it. 3. You have mentioned in your blog post that curly hair must be left open. But I hate my hair falling on my face and it’s a super distraction when I am working. So can I tie my hair at the back using a regular hair tie. Will it harm my hair?

1. Yes absolutely, follow the shampoo with conditioner and leave in, each time you wash your hair. Other times, the shampoo changes to a CG Friendly one followed with conditioner and leave in. 2. No livon wont help for detangling, instead get a water based spray leave in, that helps to detangle. Ive linked some here- https://www.amazon.in/shop/thecuriousjalebi?listId=1OXNE1IT2CBT0 3. It doesn’t absolutely need to be left open- Ive edited that in the post. I meant to say that by plating it, the curls will go so in he beginning its helpful to leave hair be, curl naturally and get used to it. But for people with jobs where you can’t keep it open, I tell them that they style as normal and then plait it. At least hair will keep hydrated. I also don’t like keeping it open so I usually tie it into a loose bun!

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Hi Pallavi, thank you for this post. This was very helpfull especially the point on getting influenced by bloggers.

Thanks Mini 🙂

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Such a teriffic write up this is.kudos to your for putting everything together. This is holy grail for beginners and those with a longer learning curve like me

Thank you kruthika! So glad you liked it!

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IMAGES

  1. HOW TO START YOUR CURLY HAIR JOURNEY!!

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  2. My Curly Hair Journey (with pictures!)

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  3. HOW TO START YOU CURLY HAIR JOURNEY

    curly hair journey beginning

  4. HOW TO START CURLY HAIR JOURNEY

    curly hair journey beginning

  5. How To Start Your Curly Hair Journey!

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  6. CURLY HAIR FOR BEGINNERS: HOW TO START YOUR CURLY HAIR JOURNEY

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VIDEO

  1. Your Curly Hair Journey Starts Today 🫶🏼🤍

  2. Straight to curly: How we started our Natural hair journey

  3. New to Curly Hair? Watch This!!

  4. My curly hair journey/ How I finally embraced my natural curly hair

COMMENTS

  1. How to Care for Curly Hair: A Guide to Starting your Curly Hair Journey

    They can also help enhance curl definition and add hold (which helps curls last between wash days). To begin with, I'd suggest keeping it simple and only purchasing a few curly hair products: Cleanser (a product that cleans your hair and scalp, e.g. shampoo, low-poo) Conditioner (helps soften and detangle curls)

  2. Curly Hair Beginners' Routine

    Caring for your curly hair can be a rewarding journey when you have the right routine in place. This step-by-step guide is designed to help establish a curly hair routine for beginners, ensuring your curls look their best and stay healthy. Step 1: Determine your hair type Understanding your hair type is the first crucial step in creating a ...

  3. Curly Hair for Beginners: How to Start Your Curly Hair Journey

    New to caring for your curls? Not sure where to start with your curly hair? This video is for YOU! Here's some tips on how to begin your curly hair journey! ...

  4. The Ultimate Curly Starter Guide- Only Curls

    It's also a really absorbent material so it cuts down on drying time even more. Gently scrunching with the microfibre towel helps enhance definition before air-drying or diffusing. For the best results with diffusing, see our tutorial here. Only Curls Microfibre Hair Towel - Grey £17.00 GBP. (1,276)

  5. 6 Things You Must Do As You Start Your Curly Hair Journey

    A good trim or haircut, allows your hair to breathe new life and strengthens it. To start on the right foot and to avoid dealing with massive hair breakage (a common issue for transitioners) give your hair a good cut. After this, trim regularly to maintain your hair's health and gradually get rid of relaxed hair.

  6. Curly Hair Routine For Beginners

    Plopping means lowering your hair forwards into the t-shirt and then tying it up around your head. Next, you leave the t-shirt on for anywhere between 10-40 minutes and then remove it. The idea is that the t-shirt absorbs water whilst helping to keep curl clumps together. Another example of this is 'micro-plopping'.

  7. How to Start Your Curly Hair Journey: the Secrets to Success

    In fact, you may start calling your wash day your "wash minutes.". Once you're done washing your hair, you'll need Moisture Infusion Styling Creme (Step 2). Loaded with sunflower oil, shea butter, and vitamin E, Step 2 naturally moisturizes and protects your hair from split ends, shedding, heat damage, and more.

  8. The Beginner's Guide to Building a Curly Hair Routine

    Step 3: Next, I rinse that out and apply theBaomint leave-in conditioning styleron four sections along with our moisturizing curl-defining gel.Step 4: After that, I sit under my hooded dryer for about 40 minutes and allow my hair to air-dry for the rest of the day. Adwoa Beauty. Baomint Protect + Shine Oil Blend.

  9. Beginner's Guide to Curly Hair Care

    Curly - Curly hair often has more spirals making it difficult for sebum to reach the lengths of the hair. This curl pattern may experience some oiliness at the root but overall be dry. Dryness can lead to frizz, breakage, and brittle-feeling hair. Coily - This curl pattern has a very tight coil or zig-zag shape.

  10. Start Here

    These are the 7 steps in the Curly Hair Routine for Beginners : Washing - Shampoo + Conditioning. Applying products and scrunching. Drying - Tee drying + Plopping. Sleeping with curly hair. Never brush or comb curly hair once it is dry. Refreshing 2nd and 3rd day curly hair.

  11. My Curly Hair Journey + Hair Care Routine

    Add water to get the conditioner to work through the hair. Optional: Use a wet crush to create more consistency with curl. Fully rinse it out and scrunch some of the excess water out, don't squeeze/ring it all out. Style in the shower + emulsify products in your hand before applying.

  12. Starting Your Curly Journey? Follow These 10 Tips

    9- Don't compare your hair to anyone else's. The whole point of becoming a natural is to embrace your natural curls! Never compare your hair to anyone else's hair. Your natural curls are beautiful just the way they are. 10- Be patient. Maintaining curly hair is far from easy. However, your hard work and patience will pay off.

  13. 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Curly Hair Journey

    If you're at the beginning of your curly hair journey or thinking of embracing your natural curls, this video is for you. From scrunching out the crunch to d...

  14. Curly Hair Tips For Beginners

    Which means, stop using a blow dryer on heat mode, without a diffuser. Keep aside your straightening iron, curling wand, yes, even for the bangs. I'm not saying never temporarily straighten your hair again - that's your call. But it's essential to avoid it in the beginning of your curly hair journey. 7. Deep condition your hair once a week

  15. 50 Things Newbies Should Understand about Wavy/Curly Hair Journey

    Treat dandruff with Curly Girl Friendly routine. Frizz is normal. Natural hair will get increasingly drier. Parabens is not written in Curly Girl Method. Air dry Versus Diffusing. Don't compare your natural hair journey to someone else's. Keep a record/diary. Change one thing in your routine at a time.

  16. 11 Steps To Beginning Your Healthy Hair Journey

    Remember, truly knowing your hair goes beyond just recognizing your curl pattern—it's about understanding its overall needs and how to best meet them. 2. Discover Your Hair's Porosity. Understanding your hair's porosity is a key element in optimizing its health and moisture balance.

  17. Beginning my curly hair journey and asking for advice ...

    My hairdresser's recommended routine was scrunch with damp microfiber towel post-shower, apply the L'Oréal Professional curl spray, then apply curl cream (I've been using Not Your Mother's). Finally the L'Oréal mousse. She then suggested twisting small parts of my hair at a time and diffusing. (I honestly can't remember if I'm ...

  18. Beginning hair journey help : r/curlyhair

    Beginning hair journey help help Basically the title! First 4 photos are after my usual routine and last 3 are before routine after a couple days As a kid my hair was pretty straight but I also never used conditioner and used a clarifying shampoo everytime I washed it. I cut my hair really short for the first time at 13 and since then it's ...

  19. The beginning of my curly girl journey : r/curlyhair

    I think that's mainly for 3's or maybe even tight 2c's, where the hair is only lengthened by the weight of itself. I think just the devacut itself, plus a few gentle layers, will improve the curl pattern, but you already have beautiful hair. If you don't already pray to the god of LA Looks Blue Sport Gel and Plopping, you need to start that.

  20. Now VS. The beginning of my curly journey! : r/curlyhair

    (2nd picture, beginning,2019) I struggled with volume and definition! Got my hair cut at inexperienced hairdressers that straightened my hair beforehand. My routine then: Shower, use some shampoo and conditioner ur dad bought from the supermarket. Then brush your hair while its wet and apply Moroccanoil Curl cream, and let it air dry, soaking wet!

  21. Thinking of giving up the curly hair journey : r/curlyhair

    ADMIN MOD. Thinking of giving up the curly hair journey. vent. Been doing the CGM for since I was 11. Im 19 now and I feel so guilty because I have never been able to properly love my hair. Ive tried to embrace my "beautiful curls" but it just makes me so upset its so much more difficult to deal with. I think everyone but me looks good with ...

  22. Here's to the beginning of another growing journey!

    Gentle reminder: hair care routines are required for all photo posts within 1 hour of posting. The bot is having hard time locating your routine! Please make sure you have a comment containing the word "routine" (and your actual routine, of course!) so your post can stay up.

  23. Mousse/Curl Cream Recs? : r/curlyhair

    I've been on my wavy/curly hair journey since 2010. Up until a couple years ago, I primarily used gel (KCCC was my fav). However, I got tired of the crunchy look and my hair being weighed down. My hairstylist recommended I try light products, after which I found JVN air dry cream to get a softer hold and smaller curl clumps.