To start, it should be noted that not every product works the same for everyone. Curl experts explained that there are 3 main curl patterns (see http://www.naturallycurly.com/hair-types). Within those curl patterns are three subtypes. Check out the link above to find a curl similar to yours. Once you know your curl type it will be much easier to find the products right for you. In general if you have fine hair, the moisturizer should be lighter. If you have thick/kinky hair, you will need a heavier moisturizer and it might be beneficial to twist it at night to get a more defined curl. My curl is a 3c. After years of trying different products (and I’ll still try new things just for the heck of it), I have found what works for me. As it is now, I only wet/wash my hair twice a week and can hold a curl for about 4 days, which includes wearing it in a pony tail by the last day.
Here’s my routine:
· Wash hair with a moisturizing/sulfate free shampoo once a week (the second time I just wet it and “wash” it with a conditioner)
· Condition with a moisturizing conditioner. Preferably a leave in conditioner or just rinse out some of the conditioner but leave a little on. I use a shea butter leave in conditioner.
· While wet I put a generous amount of Kinky Curly custard all over my hair (I also like Miss Jessies Curly Pudding). You can get this online but you’ll also find it in many beauty supply stores, Rite Aid, Targets, CVS, Whole Food, etc.
· I’ll let it air dry for as long as possible and then will go over it with a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment, pulling at my curls as I dry for maximum length.
· At night, I loosely pin my hair up to prevent breakage and keep curls stretched. Also, if you can, sleep on a silk or satin pillow to keep moisture and prevent breakage.
· In the morning, I use any of the following to revitalize my curls, they all work well: Miss Jessies Curly Buttercreme (pricey but is the best to prevent shrinkage due to humidity), Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz or Taliah Waajid Curly Cream (the cheapest)
· The third day I will add some natural coconut oil to the ends to again prevent breakage. This may seem like a lot of moisturizer/product but the enemy of curly hair is dryness. Just because you don’t use heat or chemicals doesn’t mean it won’t break off. In fact, if you can, try doing a hot oil treatment or deep conditioner with coconut oil once a week.
Here are few of my favorite sites regarding curls:
www.curlynikki.com – all around awesome blog on curly hairwww.missjessies.com- they have a new line out called pillow soft curls that I want to try. I want big soft curls!
www.kinky-curly.com – I'm big on their products
www.curlmart.com – great guidance on top products for curly hairwww.carolsdaughter.com – special shout out to her for making a line for people transitioning from relaxed to natural!
If you have products that work for you, please share!