Thursday, October 13, 2011

how to style curly hair {beauty on a budget}


It took me a while to figure out what would work best for my curly red (stubborn) hair. After much trial and error and many dollars spent on hair products that didn't work, I finally figured out a combination that works well for me and my wallet too!

Here's what I do to "fix" my long, curly hair:
{that's how we say it in Texas- I wonder what everyone else says? :P}

1. Shampoo and condition.
Finding just the right brand/combination of products took forever, and in the process I found several brands that won't work for me. I can't use Suave, Pantene, Tresemme, or V-05 products for shampoo or conditioner. They make my hair greasy and flat. Herbal Essences has been my number one brand for many years. I prefer the older formula {with flowers on the bottle, remember those?}, but their new brightly colored shampoos and conditioners work fairly well with my hair too. Aussie shampoos and conditioners work for me as well. I apply conditioner by the handful, or about twice the amount of shampoo I use.

2. Keep it in a towel.
I keep my hair in a towel until it is ready to do. I don't rub it or shake it in the towel, I just let it dry a little inside the towel while I put my makeup on.

3. Comb it using a very wide-toothed comb/pick.
I have one comb I have used every day since 2000. Seriously, life stops when I lose my comb. It looks close to the one in the picture. I comb my long hair from the bottom up.

4. Apply mousse first.
I use Suave Max Hold Mousse (in a mauve can) and rub it through my hair. It acts like a primer for the gel. Rub it in from root to tip, until your hair feels sort of wet again. This is usually a couple of handfuls of mousse for me.

5. Apply thick gel.
After applying the mousse, I apply gel from root to tip with my fingers, with my hair upside down. I use Garnier Fructis hair gel in Super Stiff and use quite a bit of this as well. If your gel feels watery in your hand/ fingers, it won't hold a curl well. If it kind of stretches between your fingers it's good stuff. Separate the hair by combing your fingers through it (no combs or brushes after gel).


6. Flip your head over to dry your hair.
Dry with a hairdryer, keeping the dryer closer to the hair and scrunching it to add the curl. Your fingers act as the diffuser. Rotate the hair dryer all over the head while scrunching the hair in your fingers. By keeping the hair upside down, it dries with more volume and more evenly without frizzing out at the top.

7. Don't touch it again.
After it dries, don't comb it, not with your fingers or a comb or brush. To hold a tight curl, it must stay in that catatonic-gelled state. If you tend to put it up and take it down a lot, it will get frizzy, so try to stay with whatever style you pick for the day. I often leave mine down during the day and put it up at night.

Here's what my hair looks like when I use this method:


What works for your curly hair? I am always interested to hear about new curl-friendly products!

80 comments:

Cris said...

First of all, I use shampoo and conditioner every day. A lot of people say that is really bad for your hair, and they may be right. All I know is that with hair as curly and thick as mine is, it NEEDS to be cleansed and conditioned every day. I don't use super cheap stuff, but I don't use super expensive stuff, either. I tend to stick with whatever semi-good name brand products are on sale.

However, when it comes to styling, I have stuck with the same two products for many years running. I use mousse-not gel- called "Smooth 'N Shine Polishing". It is a curling mousse (it is not found in the "white girl's" hair product section). It keeps my curls smooth and bouncing all day long! For hair spray, I use Suave "Rave 4x Mega" hairspray. It is relatively cheap, but it is sooo good with my curly hair. It keeps the frizzies away all day!

Michelle Norris Wimp said...

i just wanna know how i can get your hair, LOL! mine is uber uber thick and was super curly until 1/2 way thru my pregnancy, after that and since (6 yrs) its stick straight. and being so thick and coarse i been cutting it short but just not liking it! i'm gonna try that shampoo as i'm growing my hair out. thanks!

NotSoRandomStuff said...

I've been growing mine out and was surprised to find that it's curly/wavy. I use the curly girl method too and love it. Wash once a week and only the roots, but I don't condition it much at all. That might change when winter sets in, I use lots of spray gel and air dry unless I have to get out the door. It works and my daily hair routine is so very easy and quick. I like that part! Thanks for sharing your routine, I've always wondered about your hair care routine. :)

Laura Hojnacke said...

I don't use shampoo very often, and when I do it is a really gentle one. I put some just on my fingertips and work it into my scalp. I don't use it on the ends of my hair. Most of the time I use conditioner as my shampoo (the same way I would use shampoo). Then I fill my hand with conditioner (really, I fill my hand) and put that in my hair (avoiding my scalp). I finger comb my hair when all that conditioner is in there. I rinse it out lightly so that it isn't completely rinsed out. I don't use a regular towel to dry my hair. Instead, I use an old t-shirt to partially dry my hair. I would love a diffuser, but since I don't have one I just let it dry naturally after I put lots of gel in it.
I read the Curly Girl's Handbook. That is where I got my hair routine. I have been straightening my hair for decades ( with an iron at the ironing board in high school and then with a gold curling iron until flat irons came out). I have been wearing my hair curly for about 6 months now. I have the problem of it being flat at the roots, too. I'm hoping to get a diffuser and hopefully that will fix the problem.

Frances said...

I miss the old herbal essences too! I have very thick, wavy/loose curly brown hair that is very stubborn and usually likes to do opposite things depending on the day, just cause it can. Sigh!! I love it though. :)
My routine is pretty similar to yours, I use mostly garnier products. Still experimenting with some things. It seems like the timing of when I put in mousse or gel is important, too. For me it needs to be a little more dry. I never comb or brush my hair- just finger-comb. Sometimes I'll use a big clip to lift the top layer up out of the way so it will air-dry faster, helps with volume then too.

Barbara Francek said...

the best thing my hairdresser told me, was to only shampoo every other day. And, I don't use a comb at all, and I only finger comb it in the shower. I used to have long curly hair until about three weeks ago, and I shortened it big time!I use: a leave in conditioner, Aveda Flax Seed Gel, and then a anti-frizz serum like Aveda or Organics stuff.I don't dry mine at all! No need. :) My hair is one of the only things I spend my money on. :)

mandyBH said...

Oh thank you Carole! That's amazing- no shampoo mostly? wow! I may have to try that!

mandyBH said...

Thanks for sharing Charity! I love it- I think the upside down thing really works for us curly haired people, don't you? I can't wait to hear how it goes!

mandyBH said...

Wow, I didn't know they still sold those! Now I'm going to have to make a trip! lol! Thanks for reading along! :)

mandyBH said...

Thank you! how awesome that we have the same hair! It's pretty unusual isn't it? :D So glad you're here!

Carole Murphy said...

Wow - Your hair is beautiful! And, so are you. :)

I have long curly brown hair. I only use shampoo once or twice a week. I use conditioner everyday and I leave it in my hair (no rinsing). In order to combat the greasy look near the scalp, I simply don't put conditioner there.

On days when I do use shampoo, I only use it at the scalp - not on the ends.

Typically let my hair air-dry. Because the conditioner is not rinsed out, I usually don't need styling products.

CaptivatingElohim said...

Hello, thank you for your post. I will try this with my hair to see how it works out. I also have very curly hair and have used two methods on my hair that both work pretty well however I have not able to just let my hair down because the middle to end of my hair will have pretty curls but the top of my hair will be flat and ugly. Anyway, this is what I do:
I use tresemme shampoo and conditioner for curly hair. I used to use pantene but it left a gross build up in my hair. After I get out of the shower I wrap my hair in a towel and let it dry for 15-20 min while I brush my teeth and put on make-up. Then I brush my hair with a pin brush to get out all the tangles. I don't have thick or thin hair it's just medium. I then bend over and let my hair hang upside down while I fluff it with my fingers and seperate it a little bit. Then I put about four large handfuls of Tresemme mousse for curly hair into my hair. I coat it fairly well but I don't over do it. Then I blow dry my hair while still upside down till it's mostly dry. Then I let it air dry the rest of the way and then put it in a pony tail or messy bun. This gives me light curls.

The way I did my hair in high school was similar but slightly different. I would towel dry for 15-20 min. and then without brushing at all I would flip my hair upside down and shake it a little with my fingers being careful not to pull my hair at all. Then I would put strong gel in my hair and blow dry it with a diffuser. This gave me tight curls kind of like large ringlets. When I did my hair this way I could leave it long.

Thank you for your article. I'm going to give your way a try and see what happens :)
Charity

Iluslifexxo said...

I have very curly unmanageable hair, I use some of the herbal essence products and since I live close to Mexico I stock up on the old products, they still sell them over there. I'm going to try your tips, but the thing is that with me I get so impatient combing my hair with a comb instead a brush. I know that its bad for your hair, but I feel it takes the tangles off way faster, but I lose a lot of hair in the process. =( Thanks for sharing your tricks to fix curly hair

Mary said...

your hair is gorgeous!!! :) i love it. i have red, curly hair, too. have a great day! loving your GW posts. :)
xo
mary

Cynthia said...

Your hair is gorgeous! How often do you get it trimmed? I have very curly hair and would love to grow it long again. When it's wet, it's midback length and dry just past my shoulders. Anyway my favorite products are Aragon oil along with Frizz eeze products. I use their shampoo, conditioner, gel, mouse, and hairspray everyday!

Kelli@morebangforyourbucks said...

I also miss the old Herbal Essences. :( Maybe if we write them they'll bring it back!
I also love Garnier's Anti-Humidity Smoothing Milk. It does a great job of taming the frizz in the Houston humidity! lol

Laura Hojnacke said...

If they want your business why would they be mean to you? How do you find a good place to get your hair cut? I have yet to find anyone who is good with curly hair.

Susancnw said...

I use shampoo maybe once a month, the rest of the time I use conditioner only on it. When it is really piled on with (cheap) conditioner, I'll brush or comb thru it. I use an old t shirt also for drying. I can get away with little shampoo by using water soluble products...Herbal Essences Set Me Up Gel.

From Texas but live in CO now so I have to use more conditioner. I like the Organix Argan (blue bottle) and My Pretty Hair is Parched....the latter company used to own Aussie products and sold them. I still dislike paying $5/bottle for shampoo so I grab it when it is BOGO and stock up. I have a great haircut (although they were really pushy last time as I hadn't had a cut in a year. As much as I love the cut, I won't go back to a place that berates me as I haven't been able to afford a cut...I can't go to cheap salons as they butcher it.

Angela Seydlitz said...

Use the clip set, I believe there should be a guide in your Curly Girl book!

Robin W. said...

Here in southwest Missouri, we say "fix your hair" as well. This is basically the same think I do with my hair. Great advice!!

mandyBH said...

Oh thank you girlie! It is the same still- though I can vary the shampoo and conditioner a bit- I had to use the hotel ones at Allume. :) I think the super stiff gel definitely holds my curls tighter too. :)

Gretchen Louise said...

So how often do you wash your curls? Have you read the book "Curly Girl"? :)

Gretchen Louise said...

Is this the hair care method you still use? Your curls are gorgeous in person as well as on your blog! My sis-in-law uses that conditioner...I might have to try it, tho my curls aren't as curly as hers or yours. :)

Bek said...

The best "gel" for my curly long red hair is one I make myself! It is so super cheap and it works! I take a couple tablespoons of flax seeds and boil them in water until it starts getting thick. Don't over cook it or you won't get the seeds out. Once it starts getting thick, and while it's still hot, pour it through a strainer into a bowl and add whatever essential oils you want for scent. I prefer lavender. :) Keep it in an airtight container, or just re-use an old gel/shampoo/conditioner bottle. You apply it the same way you would regular store bought gel for a fraction of the price. As a former product collector, this has saved me so much money!

Carrie from Colorado Bargains said...

I'm a curly girl, too, and like some of the other commentors, I use shampoo very sparingly - about 2-3 times per year. Shampoo cleanses my hair *too* much, and I've found that, even with using mousse every day, a simple rinse with water gets my hair clean without drying it out.

I've also recently switched to (mostly) drying my hair with a t-shirt, rather than a towel, to cut down on the frizz. It's not a huge difference, but I do notice enough of a difference that I do it when there's a t-shirt handy. :)

I'm totally going to try the flaxseed gel that Bek mentioned!

Marie said...

I am a new curly girl as my hair was straightened chemically with a relaxer and i finally cut off the straight ends to embrace my natural curls. :)

My routine:
Wash my hair with a condtioner 2x a week and detangle thoroughly(dry hair)
Shampoo when needed [it really dries out my hair though :( ]
After i wash my hair i apply my leave-in products(condtioner and oil)
I then braid my hair and air dry overnight(i usually wash my hair in the evening)
In the morning i apply a small amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to my hair to minimize frizz and carefully unravel my braids and style
To refresh my hair i mist it with water in the evening and apply a small amount of oil on the mid ends of my hair and braid .I use a satin bonnet to protect my hair at night.

Stang Ashley said...

AHH! My hair is almost exactly like yours. Same color, curl, everything! I was just wondering what you did to grow yours so long?? I want mine about the same length as yours! I've tried getting regular trims, going a few months without a cut but I can't seem to find the right hairdresser :( Any tips?

Jessica Lynn said...

Thanks for the awesome tips! I have the same kind of hair but I find that towards my hair line the curls are much tighter and frizzier. I'm going to buy the products today and hopefully it works! Whenever my hair is curly it's always in a ponytail because I have no clue how to style it. I'd love to wear it down while it's curly!

Hislovenduresforever said...

Thank you so much! I've wondered how you styled your hair! I have red thick curly hair and my last two hair dressers said not to comb it after I shower, not to put it in a towel and not to use a blow dryer on it! I laughed so hard when I kept reading the exact opposite things that work for you! I definitely haven't perfected my hair care routine, so I'm gonna give yours a try! Oh, and the products you use are sooo much cheaper than the ones I buy at the salon. I'd love to find cheaper products that work for me.

Angel Buck said...

I use a tiny bit of shampoo (sulfate free) and use it only on my scalp. I rinse well and then add handfuls of conditioner to my hair, about from the neck part on down. I try to let the conditioner sit for a while before rinsing. When getting out of the bath I do the same as you... I let my hair sit in a towel (or shirt) while I wash my face, put on makeup, etc. I then brush it with a wide toothed comb ( like yours ). I usually then apply some type of Gel to my hair with my hands, working through with my fingers. (The gel varies different times of the year... I currently use the Wen hair gel, I didn't like the shampoo, but the deep treatment and gel I love!) After that, I style it however I'll wear it for the day and walk around stiff necked until it dries completely as to not upset any curl... it WILL FRIZZ! I see Deb Donner asked what would happen if you just comb through and leave it... my hair would look like a mix between cotton candy and straw with knots between! lol... not pretty.

Deb Donner said...

I love to see a pic of what happens when you just wash, condition, comb through and just leave it!!!

Rebecca B. said...

First, find a hairdresser who has curly hair.
Shampoo and condition 2-3 times a week and use a wide-toothed comb before I rinse the conditioner.
Towel-dry using whatever t-shirt I slept in the night before, as it really does absorb well without breaking up the curls as much.
I use a light leave-in conditioner and then Herbal Essence Curl-Boosting Mousse or John Frieda's Frizz-Eez mousse for curly hair. I like to blow-dry upside down on low speed with a cheap stocking over the end of the dryer (the knee-highs that come in a little plastic bubble work great).


My favorite leave-in product is called Tate's Natural Miracle Conditioner. It's $20 on Amazon for a big bottle, but it's water-based so doesn't make you greasy, and you can use it for literally everything -- face moisturizer, shave gel, hair conditioner in the shower or leave-in, body lotion, etc. A bottle usually lasts me about a year, depending on how often I use it for something other than my hair.

mandyBH said...

Oh, thank you for the tips Rebecca!! I've never tried Tate's- I'll look into that! :D thank you!

Angela Wismer said...

I've tried many products, but my naturally coarse curly hair always looked dry and frizzy until my hair stylist recommended the Natural Formula Go Curly line. I wash with shampoo only a couple of times a week, but condition every day, using Biolage by Matrix, which I buy at the discount hair products stores. I comb the conditioner through and let it work while I shower. I don't use a comb again after this, only my fingers. I add 2 pumps (I have just-to-the-shoulder length hair) of Go Curly Purple (or 1 P Red + 1 Pump Brown Go Create), comb my fingers through to the ends, then, shake the hair to allow the natural curls to shape (Ouidad’s Rake & Shake Technique http://www.ouidad.com/shop_category_curly.asp). I then lightly scrunch while blowdrying with a diffuser or simply air dry. Works pretty well! I love my curls! http://www.israeliproducts.com/p/naturalformula/NFGOCU.html

sue said...

One of the best things I learned recently for my curly hair was to put product in in sections. I always hated that I couldn't get that piecey look but doing it in sections does that and gives it texture. Now it's not poufy. Great article..

mandyBH said...

That's a great idea- I will have to try sectioning off my hair! Thank you Susan!

Anonymous said...

Being the only person in my family with curly hair I spent many years crying because nobody knew how to deal with my curls. My mom always instructed the hairdresser to "chop it off". As I got older I took charge and demanded to grow it long but ended up wearing it in a ponytail everyday because I now didn't know what to do with it. After years of experiments I've found that if I use a shine serum after washing and conditioning, followed by AG's Recoil (its a curl cream) combed through my hair with my fingers and then lightly scrunched with a bit of herbal essence mousse, allow it to air dry but scrunching it gently to get rid of the crunch, I am left with beautiful soft curls that hold their own through the day!

Katie said...

I found you via Pinterest, great advice! I do my hair very similar. I have always done the gel then the mousse, but I am going to try the mousse then the gel and see how my hair looks. Another thing that I do is I use a diffuser. Have you ever used a diffuser? It reduces a lot of frizz for me. It is one of my can't live with out beauty items!

Heather said...

My curls are about the same texture as yours. I come from a long line of curly hair! I saw a tip on pinterest that said to dry curly hair with a T-shirt instead of a towel. And it has worked really well. Also, combing my hair directly after conditioning while still in the shower. That has been a life saver since my hair has gotten so thick after having my kids! ツ

Anonymous said...

I am one of those people that thought no shampoo was gross but I have totally made the plunge. I also use shampoo 2-3 times a year (if that) and co-wash my hair, with conditioner. Sopping wet, I finger comb in the shower, then immediately add a texturizer and shiner,etc. You must get a curl knowing hairdresser, all the rage these days is razoring your ends and that is a no-no for curly girls.

Anonymous said...

I have extremely curly, red hair. It is about the same length as yours, but a much tighter curl. I chemically relax my hair 3-4 times a year using a product called Phytorelaxer. It works well to pull some of the curl and frizz out. It makes it much easier to comb through; more manageable overall. With other relaxers I've had problems with breakage, but this formula seems to be more gentle on my hair.
I shampoo my hair about once a week with Pantene or whatever we happen to have stocked up on.
I use a bit of conditioner in my hair every morning and leave it in.
I comb through my air while it is still wet and use Tigi's Catwalk Curl's Rock Amplifier. It is a bit pricey, at about $15 a bottle, but it lasts me about a month, and I use quite a bit of it each day. It is by far the best product I have found for my curly hair, and I've tried a lot!

Anonymous said...

The only "product" apart from a natural shampoo and conditioner that I use in my hair is coconut oil! It is truly amazing. You rub a very small amount in the palms of your hands and smooth it through your hair and brush, scrunch or whatever you do after it in either wet or dry hair.

commercial products wrecked my hair leaving it dry and frizzy and even leave in conditioners eventually also dried it out and wrecked it. I have been using coconut oil for about 2 years now and have beautiful soft, manageable hair that I can either have as curls, waves or straight depending on if I brush or scrunch it and only air dry it without any fuzz or dryness

Amy said...

In hardly ever use shampoo- this tends to dry out curly hair- I use conditioner like I would shampoo but I leave it in while I finish my shower. Also I never use a towel to dry my hair, always use one of my hubby's tee shirts :) this has worked to majorly tame the frizzies! Your hair is gorgeous by the way !!:)

Anonymous said...

I agree. I switch up the shampoo and cond brands between a few. I put the "Smooth N Shine" mousse in my hair and before it's dry I put in the "Smooth N Shine" hair oil (about a dime size amount) and run through my hair. Then I style and use Aussie hair spray. Gels are good too ... but very heavy.

Anonymous said...

I use wen cleansing conditioner on my hair. I use pantene mouse and nothing else. I only dry it if I am going somewhere special, otherwise I let it air dry.

Jeanette LeMarr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mel said...

I do all of those exact same things and same products minus mousse which I can't stand. I cringe every time my hair dresser gets her mousse out for my hair. I just hate how it makes my hair feel. I use the herbal essences spray gel. It's nice to see someone else uses normal, frugal finds for their naturally curly hair!

CakeGirl said...

I have evn used baking soda to wash, it feels like crap until you wash it out all the way. Then keep in towel to get most of the water out. Use some coconut oil, or cocoa butter mmm, avacodoe oil. one of those combs and do scrunch and dry like you do. My hair has never felt softer after! AMAZING!

Jess @ LifeintheWhiteHouse.com said...

Regardless of anything else. I just love your hair :-)
That's all. I remember seeing you at Allume last year and thinking, Oh my. Her hair is beautiful!

Cassie R said...

You're a beauty! I love your red locks. :)

Anonymous said...

You are right about finding the right combinations of shampoo/conditioner/mousse!!! I used to only use LA Looks gel in Jr. High, before I knew how to properly style my hair, and it was not pretty at all. I think Herbal Essences is best for my curly hair and I have recently started using Loreal's EverStyle curl activating mousse and styling spay, they work so well leaving my hair soft, while keeping its hold, and smelling like honey;) I also use a leave in conditioner, Redken's anti snap, it helps to strengthen my hair, the less it snaps the less frizzy it is likely to become. This combo has worked for awhile, although my hair has been known to rebel a time or two. ~Gaby

Jen Curry said...

I too have long thick curly hair. I use shampoo & conditioner that is for dry hair. Although my hair is not dry because it is long & curly the natural oils from my scalp do not get to the ends easily. When applying conditioner I concentrate on the ends. To control the curl I have been using Tres Semme humidity control extra hold mousse for about 20 yrs now. Every now & then I try something else but nothing else seems to work, not even the expensive stuff like Paul Mitchell. I too only brush it when wet & blow dry it upside down. I wash it every 3 days or so.

TanyaWrites said...

I did pretty much the same thing for many, MANY years, and I used WAAAAAY more product than any bottle ever recommended! I always hated getting my hair done at a salon, because they hardly use any product, and it would leave my hair crazy-frizzy. I've changed things up a bit now: first, I use a leave-in conditioner. Because all of my favorite products have been discontinued, I might have to try coconut oil! Then, I use Tigi's Curls Rock! -- it is not cheap, but it's definitely worth it for me. Sometimes, to freshen my hair on day 2, I will 1) spray with water, then 2) wet my hands, apply a small amount of Curls Rock, and gently scrunch it in. Lately, it seems to smooth the frizz and reduce the "crunch." Now, if only I could eliminate my platinum-blonde roots.... ;)

curlyoperagirl said...

i was wondering what you do when you "fix" your hair. and yes, i have used that term since i finally discovered how to live well as a curly haired girl. a good cut is a must. i am growing my hair out and it is almost time to trim it, about every 10- 12 weeks to maintain a balanced look though out the layers. i used to use similar product regime as you described, because i liked the "crunchy" look in order to last a day or two. last year i found the Diva curl products and they work well for my hair. i use the cleanser once or twice a week and condition almost every morning. their angel gels are amazing softening but with control. its all about applying it when your hair is still dripping wet. then i use an old tshirt to scrunch most of the water out and diffuse it from there. i like how thick your hair looks especially at such a length! I'm gonna try the blow-dry upside down for more volume as i try to keep growing my hair out. thanks for the suggestions!

mksmom08 said...

My hair has a lot tighter curls than what you have, but I have found that using the products made especially for curly hair are super helpful. My favorite is the Loreal Ever Curl line. It is fantastic! It is about $7 each for the shampoo and conditiioner and there is a curl creme gel that goes with it.

Jenna Brown said...

The best thing I ever did for my curly hair was to stop shampooing it. Completely. I only used conditioner and my curls were awesome! I use past tense because I'm now a hairdresser and chopped my hair off. :-)

amy said...

stop trimming.. I promise your hair will grow as long as you condition it well. I have been growing mine over 15 years without trimming and it is now at my knees...

Danielle Franklin said...

I wash my hair every other day and I use either Garnier volumizing or Suave professional in the silver and purple bottle volumizing, I use conditioner every day and it's usually either one of those two brands. I keep my hair in a towel a few minutes, then brush and then use Suave professional on the silver or purple can.

Neecee said...

I have mid-length dark auburn curly hair. I love conditioning shampoos--the ones that don't lather. Then I rub some of that in my hands and put in my hair. Then I use Avon's no-frizz serum (great stuff, I sell it, too!!) I do blow-dry, but can't bend over and blow it dry (I would get frizz terribly--tried it and got that result:/, I must finger mine as I dry or if I want it pulled out and loose curls, I often will use one of those curl-brush wand dryers. I am growing my hair and love that it is now getting longer. Just for reference, I don't wash daily, usually every 2 to 3 days. I tend to have dry hair. Also, I have tried the conditioning cream for curly hair that is made by Nutrisse Garnier (love), and I, too, love the Diva curl products.

Anonymous said...

Super Interesting! I have hair that looks just like you but never have the issue of it going flat. here's what I do:
1 wash SPARINGLY with shampoo (any kind that doesn't make you feel aweful). I've got Organix Morrocan Argon Oil from costco. It's very cheap and comes with a wonderful conditioner and a hair oil which I throw in the garbage because it makes my hair frizzy and dry (go figure, eh?).
I then put in as much conditioner as your hair needs. don't skimp if it's soaking it up! then I comb it out carefuly (don't break your hair) while the conditioner is in. NEVER AGAIN.
DO NOT TOWEL OFF HAIR! I put a towel across my shoulders or wear my thick robe and just let it air dry. you may squeeze your hair with your hands a little in the shower but don't massively wring.
I use some thick creamy Morrocan oil product my friend gave me. and voila!
I trick I have is avoiding triangle hair. fluffy at the bottom and flat (though very curly) on the top. so as the day goes on put your fingers in the hair by your scalp and fluff it up again (don't comb through thow)

Anonymous said...

I haven't read through all the comments here, but so far, I've noticed I do one major thing differently than others with thick, curly hair (I have long, red, spiral curly hair). I don't struggle with frizz unless I'm in a high humidity area, so no worries there. I have used mousse for as long as I can remember, and that's it. My hair is soft, not course. I always use Dove volumizing mousse. Whenever I use mousse that's specifically for curly hair, I find it leaves my hair very crunchy and the curls don't stay as uniform. Does anyone else use volumizing mousse for their curls? Works great for me :)

Trista said...

Well I had to check this out because I have the lengthy nickname of "Red Haired Curly Girl." I can totally relate to the frustration of trying to find products that work for curly hair. I used to love Finesse mousse for curly hair but it has disappeared around here. I was surprised to see that you use the Fructis gel. I tried probably another Fructis product and found it to be too goopy. But thanks for the tips anyway!

Tamara said...

God was very kind and gracious to me (without my knowledge) and He blessed me with curly hair AFTER i had my first child (a son) and then I had two more children (daughters) and my hair it STILL curly. it's a huge blessing b/c it's NO maintenance! I wash & condition my hair once a week (twice in the summer if i'm swimming a lot). I use head & shoulders (or an store brand or H&S) shampoo and Pantene conditioner. been using this combination for well over 11 years. when i get out of the shower, i squeeze/wring all the water out of my hair and then wrap my hair in a towel (or a hair wrap!) while I get dressed and do my make up. Then i remove the towel and lightly rub my hair with the towel to catch some more drips.Earlier this year my MIL introduced me to a new product that i LOVE. it's available at Sally Beauty Supply and is a bit more expensive than other hair stuff BUT my hair is NOT crunchy, so it's worth it to me. It's called Noodle Head Curling Creme by Beyond the Zone and it comes in an orange with purple container. I use more the day I wash/condition my hair and as the week goes by, I use less each morning. I apply some on the top of my head and then flip my head upside-down, and apply it to the ends and "scrunch" it up into my hair. I love that as the week goes by I use LESS and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE that my hair is no longer crunchy or greasy, which is what usually happens with gel and/or mousse. I've been doing this hair routine for 6 years but I've been using this hair product since May of this year.

Tamara said...

(i forgot to say that i NEVER dry my hair. ever. it's always wet when i leave the house in the morning and that doesn't bother me at all.)

Amanda Boggs said...

Love that your hair (or that in your pictures) never looks frizzy! I actually use LA Looks gel - it's super inexpensive. Mousse doesn't seem to work for me but maybe mousse & gel together would. I'll have to try it!

Sparrow said...

Thank you so much for posting this!! I am going through an awkward phase growing out my hair, and I have been desperate to find a way to feel more comfortable with it until its grown a bit. It grows so slow! I have to use at least 6 bobby pins every day just to hide the growing-out-weirdness. I tried your instructions exactly, and today I'm down to 2 bobby pins!! My very stylish and well-coifed coworker stopped mid-sentence when she saw me to compliment my hair. So excited to look like a lady!!! Thank you!!! :D

Dulce Linan said...

I have very long thick curly hair. Its down to the middle of my back. I shampoo and condition my hair everyday. I use the infusium 23 line. Shampoo, conditioner and detangler. I use a wide tooth comb and I use herbal essences set me up gel and got2be volumizing mousse. I mix the two in my hand flip my hair over and run it all thru my hair with my fingers and scrunch as I go. Then I let it air dry.

Anonymous said...

I use a great all natural shampoo and conditioner called say yes to carrots, neem oil crème for my curls and a hair diffuser to protect my ends from the heat. I also don't wash my ends.

Emily Robinson said...

I've been embracing my curly hair for several months now. I invested in a DevaCurl cut and it's so worth it! I know one of the books tells you how to do it yourself...I'm diy, but I'm a little nervous...I love their products too! I tried your styling routine- love it! I have one question though- how do you put it up at night to preserve the curls? I only wash 1x-2x a week. (maybe 3 in the summer...I live in FL)

Lindsay Partlow said...

I know this was an older post, but I just found it. I have thick, curly AND red hair too. Seriously, we could have been sisters. It has taken me a long time to find products that work for me. When I was younger, good product was hard to come by. I don't think my mom knew what to do with me hair. But one thing I've learned about curly hair, is that no curly hair is the same, so different things work for different people. One thing I CAN tell you though, is the thing that made a MAJOR difference for my hair was switching to sulfate free and paraben free shampoo and conditioner. Well, I actually don't shampoo, but I know not every curly girl can do that. I only condition. Apart from studies that show these ingredients are really bad for you and could be cancer causing, the sulfates and parabens really strip your hair of oils and that made my hair even more dry, flat, dull and brittle at times. Sulfate and paraben free shampoo and conditioner have become more common now too, so you can find some that are less expensive. I use Simply U from Walmart. The idea for not shampooing came from the book "Curly Girl" which has a ton of good advice for taking care of curly hair. I wish I could send you a pic of my hair - I think you also might think we could be related ;)

Seriously though, you really should try paraben and sulfate free shampoo and conditioner. Give it a couple weeks and let me know what you think.

Anonymous said...

Most salon hairstylist dont know how to cut curly hair. Find an independent stylist who also has curly hair and they will cut it the correct way! Thats what I ended up doing and shes worth every penny

Chelsey Wethern said...

I have really long hair a bit longer than yours but just as curly. The day I found mouse was like a whole new life in a little bottle! I only shampoo my scalp then condition from root to tip and I comb it in the shower with a wide tooth comb then I twist it in a towel and get dressed and make up all that then I use herbal essence mouse for curly hair then I mix a quarter size of leave in conditioner and a a quarter size fruitis gel and mix it and comb it through with my fingers then flip my hair so im upside down then scrunched it and make sure I get the sides and under side of me hair since those are the frizzy spots then I defuse it by rotating my hair( still hanging my head down ) from all my hair to the right for a little bit then all to the left then all in front and I do that a couple times then flip my hair back and done

supermomof2 said...

I use Amway shampoo for my hair which works really well for my curly hair. And then I use Tossle me Softly mousse by Herbel Essence. Followed by Aussie Sprunch hairspray. I do the same combo of bending my head over and drying my hair that way and scrunching it.

Sherri McGuffey said...

I have curly hair and it takes a formula of steps/products to manage it. I shampoo and condition every other day. Fruticis is great. If my scalp gets a little itchy when season change, a few drops of tea tree oil in my shampoo takes care of that. I love control, but can't stand for my hair to feel crunchy AT ALL so I avoid mousse. The absolute best product I have found is Fructis Creme Gel. It feels slimy in your hand, but is fantastic for keeping curl and letting it feel natural. I also add a tad of Organix Kukui Oil to fight humidity. Great stuff! I finger comb in the shower while adding conditioner, then after I've dried and added product, I scrunch it with a little additional product when it is close to fully dry. Once it is completely dry I don't touch it at all (unless the hubs wants to, and I'm never going to complain about that!) I used to hate curly hair. Now I love it since I don't really ever have to fix or style it. What I really want to know is how to get it to look better on the days in between washing, without wetting it...

Hannah said...

Thanks for this post! I am a curly girl too and am always interested in hearing what works for others. I personally do not shampoo... Well, I do, just not often. I scrub daily with conditioner and leave a bit of regular conditioner in my hair as a styling product. It works well and protects my hair, but it does leave me with a good deal of daily build up. I alternate between mousse and gel, depending on the weather. We have such high humidity here, sometimes mousse just doesn't do it.

Jean Breneman said...

I feel a little awkward since I don't have that super curly hair that everyone else here has, plus I'm a hairdresser (GASP!!). I have a little of both worlds. My hair is curly enough that it acts like curly hair in humidity, (frizzes immediately) but not enough curl that I can let it air dry and look nice. (It's got beautiful curls on one side, kind of swoops in one direction in the back, then the other side is wavy at the roots, and straight on the ends...ugh.) Just a few things that may help a little. I like leave-in conditioners, and I also like the idea of leaving a little conditioner in when you rinse it out, just be careful as it is very easy to leave too much in, causing your hair to get greasy and heavy. Also, if you start applying the product in the ends first, then working your way up, you tend to use less, and still get the same results. For those of you that mentioned that your hair is flat at the roots, try using a clip and "pushing" your hair up into it (to hold the curl) especially at the roots. Since the hair tends to stay in the shape it was dried in, this works great for getting a little lift and bend at the top. Just be sure that when you secure it, the hair at the roots is not pulled tight. (My kids say I have puppy dog ears when I do this to my hair. It's the only way I can get it to stay curly. I section it into 4 sections and clip it up that way.) One last thing, one gal mentioned that razor cuts are a no no. I TOTALLY agree. Naturally curly hair does tend to be drier than straight hair. One benefit of razor cutting is that it bows the hair ends apart and gives volume. This is not a good thing for curls! Because it's a little drier already, it will get frizzy, and you will not be happy. I hope that helps for some of the questions on here. Please don't hate just because I'm a striaghtish haired, hairdresser! Only trying to help. Basically do what works for you, but I just thought some of these tips might be a little helpful too! :)

Joseph Caron said...

Your hair is beautiful! How often do you get it reduce? I have very curly hair and would love to grow it long again. When it's wet, it's midback length and dry just past my shoulders. Anyway my preferred products are Aragon oil along with Frizz eeze products.Thanks


CURLS

Anonymous said...

Super thick and curly hair. About halfway down my back. I use tresseme shampoo and conditioner every day. I have to, or its like dread locks. I put Garnier humidity lotion first, with my head upside down. Then I use the yellow L.A. Looks ges also applied upside down. (My husband hates being around when I do this) Cheap stuff! But its the only thing I've used for more than two months without my hair getting used to it and becoming an afro. Sometimes I dry it with a diffuser upside down. Sometimes I let it air dry.

Jennifer Worthington Lower said...

I am a curly red-head as well. It seems that I stray a bit from the usual after reading the other comments. I wash with shampoo+conditioner every day, root to tip, then squeeze hair out so that it's not dripping and apply conditioner tip to root. I usually sleep on it wet bc showering happens after the kids go to sleep. When I get up, I re-wet it, brush or comb it (depends on what I can find) and run a bunch of gel through it. I also usually wear it up wet until I get to work or wherever I'm going. Then I take it out, flip and scrunch and let air dry. I use head and shoulders (bc that's what the whole family uses, cheap suave shampoo and gel (max hold). I don't own a dryer.

Aubrie McLean said...

I have only recently decided to embrace my curly hair. I used to think of it as a nuisance. It can be very curly but if I pull it back and brush it while it's wet and let it air dry pulled back it stays slightly wavy. I also don't wash everyday. I don't even use shampoo at all. I use apple cider vinegar about 3 times a week. It gets all the build up out better than any shampoo I've ever used. Then I use whatever conditioner I have on hand leave it in for about 5 min and rinse most of it out. Then I use argan oil and hairspray to style it and let it air dry. But I've noticed that by the end of the day my hair seems dry and not as moisturized as it was in the morning. I need to find some leave in conditioners I think.

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