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Curly Hair Care 101: Essential Curly Hair Products I Cannot Live Without (Both Affordable and High Quality!)

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at OSU chapter.

In the captivating world of curls where each coil is unique, discovering the ideal curly hair products can be a challenging journey. As someone with a mix of 3b/3c curls, and like many people in the curly/natural hair community, it took me a while to learn what products did and didn’t work for my hair.

When I first started taking good care of my hair, I made sure to do my research and then experimented with a lot of different products. Even when picking new products now, I make sure they are “Curly Girl Friendly,” meaning they are all natural/organic products free of sulfates, silicones, harsh dyes and chemicals. After making this switch, I noticed a huge difference in the health of my hair—it looked better and was more manageable. My curly hairstylist even jokingly said my hair was so healthy it was almost “too healthy,” and that’s when I knew I was doing something right. 

I truly believe having the right products for my hair type made me more appreciative of my curls—discovering the right products for your hair makes all the difference. I’ve bought these products listed below so many times already because I just love them that much. Not to mention, they are all affordable and easy to find either in-store or online!

1. PATTERN Beauty by Tracee Ellis Ross Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner

Starting with a bang, this is one of my favorite shampoo and conditioner combos. Tracee, the curly-haired queen herself, truly worked her magic with PATTERN Beauty, a brand that offers a line of products that has something for every curl type. The quality of these products is amazing and they are super affordable. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my hair after using the shampoo and conditioner—my curls are super soft, hydrated and moisturized. This product duo will have your curls poppin’ all week!

2. Authentic Beauty Concept Replenish Mask

After my hair stylist used this hair mask on my hair, I knew I immediately had to buy it. This intense nourishing treatment made my curls feel so soft and clean, and my hair-detangling process is also so much easier—I don’t even have to use a comb, I just finger detangle! I also love that it strengthens the hair fiber and seals the cuticle while also being free from microplastics, mineral oil, parabens and silicones. A little goes a long way with this product, which is great because it lasts a while and you get your money’s worth.

3. TGIN: Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer

This is my holy grail curly hair product. After adding this product to my curly hair routine lineup about a year ago, it has become a staple in my routine. Not to mention, it’s also great on wash days and for refreshing your curls throughout the week! It also smells amazing—like all TGIN products do—and has a citrus scent. The texture is not too thick but also not too light, and you can use it on its own or pair it with a gel!

4. DevaCurl Microfiber Hair Towel

If you a curly hair girl, you need a microfiber towel in your hair routine. This one from DevaCurl is big and super long, which is nice because it covers my entire head. My hair is always frizz-free after using this, and I love that the fabric helps dry your curls without roughing them up; this hair towel is a must-have!

5. PATTERN Beauty by Tracee Ellis Ross Wide Tooth Comb

Yes, another PATTERN Beauty product because I love this brand that much. Curly hair in general is not easy to detangle, but this comb has made my detangling process so much easier. The comb can pass through stubborn knots with ease thanks to the comfy handle and extra-strong teeth that allow me to work quickly and efficiently. If you find yourself similarly struggling with getting through impossible knots and kinks, consider the PATTERN Beauty by Tracee Ellis Ross wide tooth comb for yourself—then thank me later. 

6. Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Hair Oil

I know we’ve all seen this viral hair oil on TikTok, but I’ve actually been using this for a couple of years now—before the hype—and I can honestly say it works! I’ve noticed a huge change in the strength of my hair, and I love the tingly feeling on my scalp after putting it on. I always use this oil one or two days before wash day, and I’ll usually massage it into my scalp using my fingers or with a scalp massager; this product works wonders!

Mercedes Lewandowski is currently a sophomore at the Ohio State University majoring in Communication Technology. She's an avid traveler, a fitness enthusiast, a skilled baker, a creative writer, and enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones.