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

Having curly hair is a blessing and a curse. It only looks good right after washing, and I wake up looking like I got electrocuted, but it’s also one of my favorite parts of myself. For any of you going through a similar struggle, I hope sharing my experience learning my curls over the last few years will help you on your curly journey.  

First things first… texture, porosity, and curl type 

If any of those things sound completely foreign to you, don’t worry. There are a ton of charts, online quizzes, and weird tricks to help you figure this out, but not everyone’s hair fits perfectly into one category, like mine. My advice for this? Play around a bit. Take a strand (or several) between two of your fingers and rub, does it feel soft? Wiry? Is your hair so fine that you don’t even feel the strands there? Does your hair immediately get soaked when it touches the water, or do you have to put a lot of effort into getting it wet? Finer, thinner hair generally needs lighter, protein-filled products, while coarser, more textured hair often requires additional moisture. Again, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all claim, so you might have to test out a few products before you find one you like. For most of this article, I’ll be speaking about my experience as someone with fine, 2C/3A hair. If you’re dying to know what category you fit in, Curly Twirly Girl has a helpful page to explore.  

Your routine might not matter as much as a good haircut. 

I always thought I looked so much better with super long hair, so I’d only go to the salon a couple of times a year and have my stylist cut it straight across every time. Within the last two years, I started getting layers and now my hair barely passes my collarbones, but I genuinely think it’s the best it’s ever looked. Of course, you don’t have to have super short hair to enhance your curls, but adding layers will definitely help if your curls get weighed down like mine do. Regular trims are also SO important for curls because you don’t want your split ends to start causing frizz and worsening damage. 

You should change it up often. 

If you’ve been using the same products since forever, you might notice your hair starting to get greasier, lose volume, or look duller. Using the same products over an extended period of time can cause buildup on your strands, which you don’t want. Changing products at least once a year helps me keep things looking fresh, and I love browsing the aisles at Target for my next products to try. I’ve also gotten a lot of amazing product recommendations from TikTok curly girls @hannahhnotmontanaa and @court.willis, so you better get onto CurlyTok for the best tips! 

Less is more! 

You don’t need a routine with 50 different products to have full, defined curls. I’d recommend starting with shampoo and conditioner and then picking between a mousse or a cream (the one you choose will depend on your hair’s needs) and a gel. A good heat protectant is also essential, especially if you like to diffuse your hair like I do. Similarly, expensive products aren’t always the best. I’ve been really liking Not Your Mother’s “Curl Talk” line, which runs about $10 per bottle and lasts me for most of the year.  

As for my final piece of advice? You’ll never have the same curls twice. It’s okay to have those days where you throw it up in a claw clip or straighten it because you just can’t deal- but remember that learning and understanding your curls is a process, and change is a good thing!

Shea Murphy

Villanova '24

Shea is a student at Villanova University studying Environmental Science and Spanish. She loves the beach and anything with cheese.