When I was in 6th grade my hair started to change from stick-straight to wavy-curly. I had no idea how to deal with it, and as the years went on, my hair got curlier and more unruly. I feel like I’ve tried practically everything to tame my curls. I’ve used various mousses, gels, hairsprays, and pomades. At one point I jumped on the baking soda and apple cider vinegar train, and it was pretty awful. No offense to those who use this method, it just did not work for me.
Sometime last year, my hair started to fall out, and the ends became dry and brittle. I really wanted to get it cut, but I also wanted to keep growing it for my upcoming wedding. I settled for switching up my shampoo and conditioner, but it didn’t help at all. After the wedding, my first priority was to get a professional hair cut. This was the first real hair cut I’d gotten in six years. The stylist showed me how to achieve a blowout at home and how to style my hair myself. The next day, I tried the methods she showed me, but I was unable to achieve anything close. I appreciate what she tried teaching me, but she pretty much ignored the fact that I have curly hair. I know some people are able to put in the time and energy into styling their hair every morning, but I’m very low maintenance and most days I can’t be bothered to do anything more than a side braid. This is when I decided, once and for all, to try to embrace my curly hair.
Whenever I want to learn a lot about something, I turn to Reddit. Sure enough, there’s a subreddit for curly hair! Holy crap, guys, there was SO MUCH to learn! The first step I took was buying sulfate and silicone-free products. Sulfates are detergents that strip your hair of moisture (bad news for curly hair), and silicones build up in your hair if you don’t have sulfates to wash them out. I also completely stopped brushing and combing my hair. I only use my fingers, and I think I even go “too far” with that :P. I can’t believe I used to brush my dry hair until it was a big frizzy triangle, thinking I was helping it! I also bought a couple sulfate and silicone free styling products as well as a silk pillowcase.
Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo | This shampoo claims to “Heal, Grow & Strenghen”. It is formulated with sea kelp, argan oil, and of course, shea butter. I’m almost finished with this bottle, and I think I will repurchase it. It lathers nicely, smells amazing, and it doesn’t dry out my hair and make it feel like straw like past shampoos. My only concern is that it contains coconut oil, and unlike the rest of humanity, I do not like putting coconut oil on my skin. It breaks me out, and I have noticed some break outs on my scalp.
L’Oréal EverSleek Intense Smoothing Conditioner | This conditioner promises “48-hour frizz control.” While I like the product, I don’t think it lives up to the claim, at least for me. The ingredients include argan, sunflower, and olive oils, so it is quite nourishing. I’m going to continue the hunt for an even better conditioner, though.
Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque | Oh boy, this stuff. It’s so nourishing, it smells incredible. I just love it. I use it about once a week on the lengths and ends of my hair, but I’m tempted to use it as my daily conditioner. It’s formulated without sulfates, parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, synthetic color, DEA, and it’s made in the US. What more could you ask for, really? I think my favorite part about it aside from all the lovely ingredients, is that it doesn’t contain synthetic fragrances. It’s something I’m really picky about, and sometimes I can’t stand the sticky sweet scents of so many products out there. Shea Moisture’s products just smell…good. It’s hard to explain. I think their products are sold at most drugstores (I got mine at Rite Aid), so I encourage you to sniff some the next time you’re in the haircare aisle.
L’Oréal EverSleek Frizz Taming Crème Serum | Like the EverSleek Conditioner, the serum claims to control frizz for 48 hours. It promises to leave your hair “sleek and shiny, without feeling weighed down or coated.” I wouldn’t say that it weighs my hair down, but like the conditioner, I don’t think it controls frizz that well. I’m going to try a different leave-in product after this one.
Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse | I really like this mousse so far. I gave up on mousses a few years ago because I hated the crunchy, crispy feeling it gave my hair. I tend to use a lot of this product, about an entire handful, and squish it into my hair. It does leave a little of that crispiness, but I could probably use less than what I do since I have very fine, thin hair. After air drying for about an hour, I gently work out the “crunch” with fingertips, and my hair ends up looking pretty bouncy and light. I might try out a different mousse after I use this one up, just because I’m a product junkie.
Fishers Finery 100% Silk Pillowcase | I was originally planning to buy a $10 satin pillowcase from Amazon, but when I stepped away from the computer, my husband sneakily switched it out for this bad boy. I was pretty mad at first, I mean, $38 for a pillowcase?! But now that I’ve used it for about a week, I’m so, so glad he did. I used to wake up to several hairs stuck to my pillowcase every morning, but now I wake up with all my hairs firmly attached to my head. I’m not exaggerating, in almost a week, I haven’t seen a single hair on my pillowcase. Game changer.
Here’s a before and after of my hair from April to today. The lighting and angles are different, but I hope you can see that now my hair is healthier looking, curlier, and the curls are more defined.
Do you have frustrating curly hair? Any product recommendations?