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My Go-To Curly Hair Essentials for Florida Heat

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

Whether you’ve lived in Florida all your life or you’re new to the area, many of us can appreciate the views South Florida gives us. From the palm trees to the beaches to the nightlife there’s a lot to love! Except there is this one thing…the heat.

Yes, the heat, and I’m not referring to the Miami Heat (although we love them too). Florida is infamous not only for the nice beaches but also for the heat and humidity that is felt year-round. As someone with thick, curly hair this is a cause for concern anytime I’m leaving the house. Constantly checking the weather app to see the percentage of humidity, is vital to whether or not my hair will survive the day I have planned. Though I could not change the weather, I was able to find a solution after many trials and errors with different hair products. From drug store products to even some high-end beauty products, I finally found what works for my hair keeping it frizz-free and soft all day long.

Identifying your hair type

I spent a good portion of my hair journey trying many products that others swore as their holy grails and did nothing for me. Following all the social media trends and recommendations, I hit dead ends when products didn’t work the way they worked for other curly-haired girls. If you feel the same way listen up!

The game changer was first identifying my curl pattern. Why is this so important you ask? Not everyone has the same curl pattern, and this is obvious but this also determines your hair porosity and just how much product your hair can handle. If you don’t already know your hair type I highly recommend you take a quiz to better familiarize yourself with your hair’s specific needs as well as see how celebrities with your hair type style their hair!

Wash day

Now that you’ve figured out your hair type, we can start to find our shampoo and conditioner mix. Generally speaking, your shampoo and conditioner do not make much of a difference as your styling products do for the humidity but if you are hoping to enhance your curl pattern this is a great way to start. In my case, because my hair is part wavy I went with Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner for my daily pick. I recommend Carol’s Daughter for a number of reasons. For starters, the castor oil with ginger is great at strengthening and hydrating hair causing for better definition. Alongside this, it uses clean ingredients you can read and is family-owned as well! Other favorites I love are Ouidad’s Frizz Control and Pattern’s Cleansing Shampoo.

Styling Products

Now that we know what to wash with, this part is the most important as it has a lasting effect: on your styling products. This part was the hardest for me but this was mainly due to the fact that I didn’t know what my hair needed. For some of you, these products may not be the right fit but once you try them you can weigh out what your hair needs. If a cream makes your hair oily, you know you need a lightweight formula or if it leaves your hair dry, you know your hair needs more hydration, and so on and so forth. My hair has low porosity which means I’m better off avoiding too much moisture products. In that case, it exed out a lot of respected products such as Shea Moisture, Uncle Funky’s Daughter, and Curlsmith to name a few. These are great brands if you have high-porosity hair, unfortunately, they did not work for my hair type. Instead, I opted for a moisturizing curl cream that left my hair soft and lightweight; two of my favorites have been Carol Daughter’s Goddess Leave-In and Lush’s Curl Power. Both leave my hair super moisturized and give it the definition I’m looking for!

To pair this I use a gel to hold my hair. You have the option of using a mousse and if you have medium to high density I would highly recommend it as your hair can hold a lot of product. For me personally, these two gels do all I need to do without the extra step of using a mousse. Taking first place would be Ouidad’s Frizz Control Gel and right behind it would be Kinky-Curly Curl Custard Gel. Gel was a lifesaver for me and if you apply it correctly, leaves your hair soft and defined! (Tip: rake the gel through your hair and scrunch. When it dries, your hair will have a cast and you can flip your hair around, and scrunch it out leaving your curls bouncy and soft).

Lastly, I finish my routine with an oil to fortify against the humidity for a longer time. Unlike the other products, I haven’t had much luck finding other oils I’ve liked except for this one. The Amika Water Sign Hydrating Oil has changed my life and that’s not an exaggeration. Not only does it feel incredibly lightweight, but it feels so moisturizing through my hair, smoothing down all my flyaways. It may not be the cheapest but it has kept my frizz down even after a huge thunderstorm! I swear by it.

A work in progress

As I previously mentioned, these results didn’t happen overnight it took me months to get to where I am. I don’t mean that as discouraging but rather a comfort to know you are not alone in the frustration: I’ve been there and done that! The truth is we have way more resources to curly hair products than ever before so take this as an exciting adventure. I struggled for a good portion of my life fighting with my hair and rejecting my curls because of my frustration with how to tame it. I would constantly straighten my hair or sleep in braids to loosen the curls just to make it easier to keep down as I went about my day. I desperately wish I had someone at that time in my life to give me guidance on figuring out my hair type which is why I hope this article serves as a reference guide for all of you beginning your curly hair journey. I hope you found purpose with these recommendations and don’t give up, I’m glad I didn’t!

Isabella is a writer at the Her Campus chapter at FIU. Given her experience in journalism, she covers current events and opinion pieces. Aside from that however, she also likes to write on some of her personal interests such as beauty, fashion, music, and art. As a junior at FIU, she really wanted her college career to encapsulate what she wants to do in the future and she knew that it always involved writing. Achieving for a major in communications with a minor in English, she hopes with this to begin launching her career into the world of journalism! Before Her Campus, her experience with writing began at the Borgen Project, an organization based in Seattle, WA with a mission of fighting global poverty. She reports on advancements and news for countries all over the world battling third world poverty for others to become educated on the issue. When she isn't working or cramming for an exam, Isabella loves to unwind with music and takes a lot of pride in her curated playlists. Listening to basically anything and everything, there isn't a playlist she won't find that cannot match her mood. Folk, country, indie, regaetton, jazz, and so much more are just a few to name!