The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
My hair has always been one of my most defining characteristics. It’s huge and curly, and it’s taken me most of my life to learn how to love and take care of it properly. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I figured out what my curl pattern was, and even less time than that that I got a feel for what products would work for it. I was especially nervous about living with the coastal environment, and the Charleston humidity is notorious for a reason. So I thought as someone who has spent a vast majority of my teenage and young adult years solving the puzzle that is curly hair in the South, I could give just a few tips and recommendations.
For some context, my curls are 3B, and I typically wash it once or twice a week depending on how messy it gets throughout. Using the coldest water I can manage (check out my article about cold showers!) I use the Cantu Avocado Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner. As far as long-lasting and affordable products go, these have never done me wrong. It’s sulfate-free, keeps my hair from getting endlessly frizzy, and smells fresh. The biggest plus about this product is that the shea butter and avocado break down the buildup from all the other stuff I put in my hair to avoid getting an irritated scalp.
Once my hair has conditioner in it, I brush it out with a Wet Brush and leave it for a few minutes while I wash the rest of me. Then, I rinse it with cold water and wring it out as much as possible without using a towel. I read a while ago that the towel being coarser and drier than your hair actually causes a lot of breakage and split ends, so I try to just put a towel on the ground and let it drip dry.
I comb out my hair one more time using a Wetbrush Detangler Comb and then start with all my products. When it’s colder outside, I use more curling cream than gel, but as it gets hotter and more humid, it’s vice versa. But I always start with the African Pride Leave-in Cream, spreading it through my hair upside down as evenly as I can. Then I comb through it so I can use the Curling Cream of the same brand, repeating the same process. After those two products, I use the Maui Moisture Ultra Defining Gel. I scrunch this into my hair with my hands all around my head, also upside down. Sometimes I comb through it again, but only if the curls are really stuck together
Once I flip my hair back over, I plop it using whatever t-shirt I can find, preferably a mostly cotton one. Adding this step to my routine is the essential final step in making sure my curls are perfect. It drains all the excess moisture and sets them into place so that it’s way less likely to frizz up or break.
I used to diffuse my hair everyday until it was completely dry, but I found that was doing more harm than good. If my hair is super wet when I’m about to leave, I might partially diffuse it to help speed the process along, but air drying is ultimately what works the best for keeping frizz to a minimum. Even though it takes my hair more than 24 hours sometimes to completely dry, it’s worth the longevity of good hair days.
Throughout the week on non-wash days, I try to keep the amount of additional product usage to a minimum. Sometimes to freshen it up, I use a bit of the Batiste Dark Hair Dry Shampoo and Maui Moisture Lightweight Curls and Flaxseed Refresher Mist just to make it a bit more put together. After that, I really don’t have to worry about my hair much. I use different headbands and ponytails to adjust based on how I slept on it. Which reminds me, sleeping on silk or soft cotton pillowcases really helps reduce bad hair days.
I hope all this detail to my Spring hair care routine is helpful–it can be really difficult to manage curly hair at times, and even though it’s a bit of work, it’s worth it to get all the compliments and long-term healthier hair!
This article is not sponsored by any of the linked products above.