My Curly Hair Routine + All Natural Holy Grail Products

August 2, 2019

Friends, this is such a fun post for me to share with y’all today! Over the last few weeks, so many of y’all have been reaching out to me to learn more about how I style my hair. Which, honestly, as #notabeautyblogger this is content I never thought y’all would be interested in. So it’s fun to start this conversation with you, share how I have finally learned to wrangle my natural hair texture into action, and how you can, too.

My go-to routine for naturally curly hair, plus the all natural, clean products I use to create defined, frizz-free waves in five simple steps! | b is for bonnie design

I have naturally wavy hair (2b/2c for those of y’all who know about these things!) that I’ve spent my entire life trying to tame into submission. Between straighteners, curling irons, and all the heat styling, I was content to spend ages standing in front of the mirror trying to create anything but what my hair naturally wanted to do. If you’ve been around for a few years, then you remember I first started my curly hair journey all the way back in 2017! But even then I wasn’t ready to really break up with my curling iron once and for all.

Don’t get me wrong! I would air dry my hair most of the time and would forgo the heat styling on days when I worked from home and had nowhere to be. But it wasn’t until this year that I was ready to fully commit to the curly girl (or guy!) method.

But that didn’t lead to instant success and dream-worthy curls, friends! Instead, I found myself battling fizzy, undefined waves. After lots of Googling and time spent with good ol’ trial and error, I finally found out what works to produce shiny, defined waves and curls I’m not embarrassed by. ????

What Works For Me

First of all, I invested in a haircut from a curly hair specialist in Dallas to cut out any damaged hair and to create an ideal shape for my curl pattern. Curly haircuts are different from traditional haircuts where you get your hair curl while wet mainly because the stylist looks at your hair in its natural curly state. From there, they will cut each curl individually in a way that complements its natural movement! It’s a labor of love for sure, but being able to glean so much curly girl wisdom from my stylist while she was working her magic was well worth the investment.

In no particular order, here’s a look at the steps and methods that work well for me:

  • Styling my hair when it’s soaking wet. I’ve found that applying my styling products to my hair while I’m still in the shower makes all the difference! I’m able to seal more moisture into my hair when applying styling products while it’s still wet, and I’ve noticed less frizz as a result.
  • Microfiber towels instead of terry cloth towels also help eliminate frizz and offer me better curl definition. I’ve been using this one since 2017 and it’s fantastic!
  • Aside from giving it a quick blast on my hairdryer’s cool setting with my diffuser to help speed up the drying process, I let my hair air dry completely. Personally, that gives me better results and it also means less time in front of the mirror!
  • While my hair is air drying I clip my roots to create more volume.
  • I workout with my hair in a super high pony tail. I also sleep with my hair like this so I don’t disturb my curls too much! These hair ties are awesome for not leaving creases.
  • I also switched to an affordable silk pillowcase as other fabrics can unintentionally lead to more frizz or undefined curls while you toss and turn at night.

My holy grail products

After trying lots of different gels, cremes, and products that promised to give me the curls of my dreams, I’ve finally narrowed down the products that work the best for me. Here’s what each one is, and the order in which I apply it, below:

  • Sulfate free shampoo and conditioner. I just grabbed this duo from my curly hair stylist and they’re awesome!
  • While my hair is still wet, I first spray about 12 pumps of leave in conditioner into my hair and then run it through my hair to distribute.
  • After that, I add about 1-2 drops of this custom hair oil and follow the same application method above to distribute. I have dry hair after so much heat styling over the years, so moisture is a big factor in my hair routine.
  • I then apply this leave in styling creme, raking it through my hair from root to end in order to really get it in there.
  • Lastly, I follow it up by applying a generous amount of this light defining gel. Hear me out! Hair gels are not the gels of the early 2000s, my friends. They’ve come a long way, and they honestly make a big difference for curly hair. The key for me has been to find a light gel that doesn’t have too much hold that will unintentionally weigh my hair down. Since I apply it to my hair when it’s wet, I let it dry completely without touching it in order to disturb the curls that are forming. Once my hair is 100% dry, the gel leaves a “cast” or “crunch” which I then break up by gently scrunching my hair. After this step, you’d never know I used gel on my hair!
  • In order to soak up extra moisture after I apply all these products, I gently scrunch my hair upward to encourage my natural curl pattern with my microfiber towel. From there, I’ll either let it air dry completely or I’ll hit it with my diffuser for a few minutes.

I realize this probably sounds like a lot! But applying the products takes maybe five minutes at the most. The longest part is the drying time, for sure.

One of the unexpected bonuses of this experience is that it’s forced me to switch to totally clean products! I didn’t necessarily think that my old hair care products were bad, per se, but I do see a massive difference using these vs. the old stuff.

For my fellow wavies and curlies out there, here’s a quick overview of what didn’t work for me:

What didn’t work

  • Still heat styling my hair more than 1-2 times per month. Even on low heat settings and with heat protectants, it was damaging my hair more than I thought. If you’re really wanting to get back to your natural hair texture, I’d encourage you to break up with the heat tools for good!
  • Most DevaCurl styling products don’t work all that well for me. Granted, I haven’t tried them all. But I wasn’t thrilled with the results I got from the Wave Maker creme or the Ultra Defining Gel.
  • Diffusing my hair 100% dry. This works for so many people! But it just doesn’t work well for me.
  • Believing that you can still control how your curls will turn out on any given day. This was key for me to embrace, and I’m still learning how to lean into this mindset! When you’re allowing your hair to dry naturally, there are so many things that can impact how it turns out. Which is why you shouldn’t put a lot of pressure on yourself, or your hair, to dry perfectly.

Whew! I know that was a lot, friends. If you’re still with me on this, thanks for bearing with me. I hope this helps as you navigate your own wavy or curly hair journey!

If you have any questions, feel free to pop them in the comments below. I’m always happy to help!

My go-to products

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I'm Bonnie -- a designer, brand designer + strategist, writer, wife, and pet parent to the most rambunctious golden retriever this side of the Mason-Dixon! I'm passionate about building authentic brands, encouraging small business owners to chase their dreams, and spreading joy through design. It's a delight to have you here, lovely! Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a comfy chair and stay a while, won't you?

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