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Most curly girls can attest to the long road to embrace their curls and coils. Growing up curly can be characterized by lots of frizz and frustration. The name-brand products used by straight-haired friends just don’t work or, worse, kill your curls. This was my experience as a young, curly Latina with no idea how to manage. I rocked a low, bushy ponytail for years. I only used mousse and gel in middle school. I wished every day for straight hair and sometimes even cursed by bad luck. Thankfully, my dramatic stint quickly ended as I began learning some curly girl tips and tricks. If you’re just starting your journey to embrace your curls or a long-time curl queen, stay tuned for some of the products and methods I love to love my 3B curls.

 

Products

The more I learned on my curly journey, the more I realized that many products not made by curly girls are not meant for curly girls. Moreover, there are TONS of amazing products created by people of color specifically for curl care. I am now a convert to buying only BIPOC hair care products to support our entrepreneurs and ensure my products were designed for me. 

My Pick: RizosCurls.

Founder and CEO of the Rizos Curls, Julissa Prado had a similar experience of trial and error in her curly journey. She looked to create a brand and formula for the sole purpose of beautiful, healthy curls and coils. 

I was first introduced to Rizos products when my sisters bought me the VIP Curl Box for my birthday. It included full-sized shampoo, conditioner, defining cream, refresh & detangle spray, a detangling flexi brush, comb, and “Rizos Reina” barretts. I was in love from first use. It was one of the first formulas that cleaned my scalp while not drying out my curls. I also loved how little I needed of the styling products I needed. By far my favorite product is the refresh & detangle spray which is great for day 2 hair, intricate styling, and other hair refresh needs.

I encourage all curly queens to buy Latina-owned or Black-owned products. 

Tips & Tricks

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

I am an honest sufferer of intense dandruff. Some of it is caused by stress and some by product build-up. Nonetheless, the more aggressive I scrubbed with the most bubbly shampoo the worse my hair got. Shampoo makes my hair brittle, dry, and does NOT effectively clean my scalp. I came across apple cider vinegar in my curly research as a shampoo replacement and scalp cleanser. With the high price tag of build-up buster, I decided to take the plunge. Safe to say, it’s my holy grail. I use it on wet hair with my dollar store squeeze bottle. I focus on my scalp but also soak the rest of my hair. I make sure to rinse well (key to not smelling like a salad) and follow with a conditioner. For the skeptics, ACV is proven to have antimicrobial properties and key vitamins to fight dandruff and promote growth and silkiness. 

2. Aztec Clay Mask

The Aztec Clay Mask craze began years ago and still continues today. While many loved the tingly, tight feeling on their face to fight breakouts, my favorite usage is as a hair mask. The calcium bentonite clay tackles product build-up and can re-vitalize curl patterns. I noticed my curls seemed less defined and frizzy and turned to my handy Aztec Clay to help fix them. Mix the clay powder with apple cider vinegar and a little coconut oil. My measurements are never precise, but I am for a paste consistency with enough to coat my scalp and strands. Apply the paste to clean, damp hair and rinse thoroughly after followed by a conditioner. The results were AMAZING. My curl pattern came back to life with better texture and resiliency to styling. 

3. Plop Drying Method

No matter how beautiful curls may look when styled and wet, the fight against frizz is right around the corner. For nighttime styling and lounging around, I use the plop method to dry and maintain my curl pattern while I sleep. This only requires an old cotton t-shirt and some quick tie maneuvering. Check out this guide, to see the twist and ties to secure beautiful curls with half the frizz.

Christina is a Political Science and Women's & Gender Studies major at Florida International University. She is a passionate reproductive justice advocate who seeks to highlight the need for equitable access and protection of reproductive care. When she's not talking politics, she enjoys foodie adventures and Netflix bingeing.
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