Curly Hair Styling Tips

Curly Hair Styling Tips

I’m so excited to share be continuing this series where we cover curly hair styling tips.  I think this series is really going to help you party curly hair!

Last time, I covered the challenges of naturally curly hair as well as products to use.

Today, I’m sharing my curly hair styling tips.

But first, there are 2 important guidelines to follow when dealing with curly hair.

1.  Don’t brush your curly hair.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  First of all, the dryness of curly hair makes it more prone to breakage. Also, there is a propensity to frizz up.  We don’t like frizzies.  You can use a wide-tooth comb in the shower when your hair is full of conditioner.  Never brush your hair when it is drying.

2.  Don’t blow dry your hair.  Of course, you can blow dry your curly hair if you intend to straighten it, but if want it to have your natural curl shine through, you need to unplug the hairdryer.  I for one do not like looking like a wet dog but a blow dryer will just cause your hair to frizz and poof up.  (it can also damage it)  When you see how I recommend styling, you’ll realize why a blow dryer is your enemy.  One thing though, *if you really need to speed up your hair drying* use a defuser and try not to blow your hair around.

There are 2 basic routines I follow for my hair.

1st Up *Wash* Days

Wash Hair With Conditioner.  I talked a little about how to wash your curly hair WITHOUT shampoo here. Remember this is the time to comb your hair (when it is full of conditioner).  Most of the time I just use my fingers but, again, you can use a wide-tooth comb. When rinsing your hair, you want to leave a little bit of conditioner in it.  This helps with frizzies and dryness.

Remove Excess Water.  After you have rinsed, you are going to squeeze the excess water out by scrunching your hair. I grab a large section of hair at the end and scrunch it up towards my scalp. All the while, you want to squeeze the excess water out.  This helps to relieve weight off of the curls and aid in them going to their natural curly bounce. Next, I wrap my hair in a towel for a few minutes.  The Curly Girl Handbook recommends a microfiber turban.  I used that for a while but didn’t notice much difference from my regular terry cloth towel.

The main thing to keep in mind is you don’t want to work with overly dry hair and the right amount of moisture is important.  I try to get my hair out of the towel and fixed while it is still wet by NOT dripping.  If it is too dry, it is frizzy and less cooperative for styling.

Apply Oil to Hair.  Next, apply Shea Moisture Argon oil onto the hair. This product comes in a squirt bottle, but I find it’s better to just pour small amounts and smooth it directly on the hair.  Pay special attention to the dryer areas of your hair (mine happen to be around my face, the hair ends, and the crown of my head).

Apply Styling Gel.  After the oil, use an appropriate amount of styling gel (I like Tresemme).  Personally, I have very thick, long hair so I need to apply about half of a palmful but adjust as needed.  Avoid placing gel near your scalp and instead focus on your hair lengths and ends.

Part Hair.
 Once all the product has been applied you’re going to section your hair in half.  Below is a picture of my hair at this stage.  Everyone’s curls are unique this is just to give you an idea of what my hair looks like at this stage.


Twist Ringlets. After parting, grab chunks of hair about 2-3 fingers diameter and start twisting the sections to form ringlets.  Alternate the direction of the twisting to get a more random look. At this point, you will be able to tell if there is either too much or not enough gel.  Generally, if there is not enough gel, the curls will not hold their shape from your twisting and will un-twist.  Apply more gel as needed.

This is how my hair looks after I’ve twisted all the ringlets on the one side.

curly-hair-ringletsLet Hair Air Dry.  Do NOT touch your hair until it is dry.  The more it is touched and messed with, the more frizzy and out of control it will become.

Separate Curls.  The look you have going now is similar to Shirley Temple.  You may like that, if so, leave it but it doesn’t fit me.  So you’ll separate the curls. Here is my hair dry before separating…


And here is my hair dry AFTER separating…


It is a subtle difference, but matters in my opinion.

So that’s it for how to style Day 1 Curly hair.

Now for the Day 2 or Day 3 Hair


If you have long curly hair, and plan on not *washing* your hair the next day, it’s important that you sleep with your curls protected.

You don’t have to get all crazy about it but if your hair is long enough, you want to do a very high loose ponytail so your curls sit safely at the top of your head.


This way the curls are relatively intact the next morning and you can restyle it without having to *wash* hair again.

The next morning, take your hair down…


It’s not terrible…but definitely bedhead.

For Day 2 and Day 3 Hair, I use this product…


Shea Moisture CES (Curl Enhancing Smoothie)

(I PROMISE I don’t own stock in Shea Moisture, I just love all their products that I have tried).

Take a small glob of the CES  and smooth it over hair to get tame down any dry or frizzy sections.  Some sections of hair will likely need to be re-twisted.  Add a little gel and water to those sections and if the CES doesn’t help form those stubborn curls.



After I’m done smoothing out my hair it looks something like this…


At this point, it’s still a little wet and I try to leave it alone while it dries.  The end product is this…


On Day 2 Hair or Day 3 Hair, I often use a claw clip to loosely hold my hair back. Some days my curls last and I’m able to wear my hair down just as I do with Day 1 Hair.

For my hair, I *wash* it every 2 to 3 days.

So that is it for my curly hair styling tips.  It was a quick run down through years of trial and error.

Part 3 of the 3-part series is next, where I cover haircuts for naturally curly hair.


110 thoughts on “Curly Hair Styling Tips”

  1. Pingback: How to Care for Naturally Curly Hair – Part 3 | The New Lighter Life

  2. Very helpful! Especially appreciate product tips. My hair’s very similar to yours, thick and quite curly, but I’ve been wearing it short and fighting it to not look like a dandelion gone to seed — or wear it in the perpetual pony tail when it grows a bit. With these ideas, I might have the courage to grow it out again….

    1. Perfect picture – dandelion gone to seed! I had shorter hair before and yes, our type of hair can get crazy! 🙂 Hopefully you find the perfect length for you and have more options.

  3. WOW. I may have just found the way to tame my curls… It’s been a looonnngg 21 years trying to find something that made me feel comfortable when wearing my hair curly(which is something I fought for years and years) This is awesome. Thanks again! 🙂

  4. Alaina farewell

    I have a question- how long does it take for your hair to dry? Mine takes like half a day, do you go out with your hair in the pre seperated ringlet sections?

    1. Unfortunately Alaina, mine takes several hours at least. I wish it would dry faster but it doesn’t without a defuser. I do my best to not mess with it when it’s in the drying stage and I leave the ringlets together and not separated. I do go out with my hair in ringlets and pull them apart when they’re dry.

      In a pinch, you can use a defuser to avoid the Curly Sue look. Good thing is, if you only “wash” your hair a couple times a week you don’t have to deal with defusing every day.

  5. Love your hair! I just received my Curly Girl book a few days ago! Would you give a little more detail in how you separate your curls without making your hair frizzy? Do you shake your head with fingers at the scalp or separate each one with your fingers? Thank you so much for posting this and giving product info.

    1. Hi Becky, to separate the ringlets I just pull them apart gently with my fingers. I split them up just enough to get a more natural look. I’m pretty selective with how I separate them and I don’t run my fingers through my hair. Hope this helps explain it a little better and thank you for your kind comments!

  6. Thank the Lord my mother has curly hair. However, hers is quite thin and she has gorgeous, perfect curls. I got my (now bald) father’s afro. Even my mom didn’t know what to do with it until I was almost 16. We’ve also done no shampoo and while that doesn’t work for my mom, my hair looks so much better. I’ve still really struggled with how to style it, so these tips are great, thank you! Now if only I could find someone who can give me a decent hair cut…

    1. You’re so welcome Kayla! It’s funny how it all works out. 4 kids for me and only my older son has my curls. So the ones who learn how to manage curls don’t end up with curly-haired kids (and vice versa).

      Amen on the stylist issue!! It is really hard but once you find the one who works with your curl and listens to you, they’re worth their weight in gold!

  7. I just read your articles and can’t wait to try them. I also have very curly thick hair. It stays put up probably 98% of the time because I just don’t really know what to do with it. Thanks so much for the tips!!!

  8. Isabella Schaelling

    Hey I am 15 and wished I had heard of this sooner! What are your thoughts on products with sulfate or alcohol in them? I have the same long and thick curly hair as you do but need something for school days

  9. Pingback: Haircuts for Naturally Curly Hair - Part 3 of 3

  10. Pingback: Shampoo for Curly Hair - ACV Conditioning Rinse

    1. Yes…I agree..I use a teeshirt to wrap my hair in after washing…definitely cuts down on frizz you can get from towel…really makes all the difference in the world!!

  11. Incredibly helpful guide to low fuss styling. I have use the curly girl method for almost 10 years now. And wow did things get easier once I stopped stripping my hair with shampoo. I hate the smell of vinegar so I use a drop of rosemary oil in a light conditioner as my cleanser.

    I love Shea products too, but in high humidity I find coconut oil gives me more softness & frizz reduction. And most of all, you’ve inspired me to start twisting my hair again. =) I style at night, since going out with wet hair on a dark Alaska morning is not fun, then pile the semi-damp twists atop my head & pin. By morning they’re 90% dry. Before I separate them, I mist my hands with that same Argan oil, or a little olive oil. This adds shine, & prevents frizz. Can you see a theme with my nemesis, there? Also, boy are you -right- about the short layers. I’ve spent years asking for long layers, before realizing that those were recommended when we all used hair dryers and mouse, & were an attempt to weigh the hair down for control. With twisting & air drying, & cream & gel, shorter layers let your curls feel lighter & more springy. Yay for curly girls!

    1. Thank you Alicia! There is definitely a technique to dealing with dry curls and I’m so grateful to be out of the troubleshooting phase! 🙂

  12. Thanks so much for so many great tips for natural curly hair. I went out and bought the Shea Moisture variety pak and tried your suggestions and it really does work. Thank you. I wanted to know what you would suggest for an all over spray for after your hair is dried and you just want to give it an extra hold. thank you.

    1. You bet Debbie! And I so love Shea Moisture. I tried another brand and it was not near the quality that Shea Moisture has been. I don’t use a spray when my hair is dry…but that would be a great addition to keep my hair a little more contained. 🙂

  13. Can I just say THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I definitely have to try this out because everytime I find a blog or “advice” in how to style curly hair , the person has THIN wavy hair which does not help me at all lol but again I definitely have to try this because in the last year my hair has lost some of its curl so it’s just thick, frizzy fluff on my head so I hope this twist method works!

  14. Thank you so much for all the great tips and information on how take care of curly hair!
    I just have a small question – I apologize if you already have answered this – does the gel create a hard coat/layer on the hair or does the hair absorb it?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. I feel like the #4 TreSemme Gel isn’t crunchy or hard at all. (#5 is) It is the perfect amount of control without coating the hair. Hope this helps!

  15. Love this guide! A lifesaver to be sure! One question though: for day 2 do you brush your hair in any way or do something to get the tangles out? Are there any?

    1. Hi Hanah, I don’t worry about brushing my hair and I only get tangles out when I “wash” my hair and it’s wet. I usually “wash” my hair 2 or 3 times a week. If I was to brush through my hair, it would be very frizzy and puffy. Hope this helps!

  16. Love this post!! You have beautiful curls 😉 similar curl pattern to mine so it’s nice to see what you do. Question: Do you ever color your hair? If so, what do you use? I just color to cover grays but I’m worried that it relaxes my curls a bit??

    1. Thank you so much Rebekah! I have not started coloring my hair yet. The other day I noticed a few gray hairs so I think my days of not coloring are numbered. I think I’ll do Henna when the time comes. From what I hear from friends, Henna is great for hair and doesn’t damage hair a bit.

  17. I stumbled across your blog on pinterest. You have beautiful hair. My hair curls very similarly to yours. After 23 years, I am FINALLY embracing my curls! Until recently, I made the mistake of brushing my hair after I get out of the shower…. It seriously ruins all curls.

    Also, you should try coconut oil. I’ve used a small amount after a shower or used it as a hot oil treatment. It has truly changed the way my hair looks… (Although my hair is on the mend from 5+ years of everyday straightening.)

    Anyways, thank you so much for the advice!

    Cara 😀

      1. Hello Julie,

        I was not aware of your website therefore I viewed your it after I had washed my hair. I tried the overnight step(Since I do have long hair) The next day my hair was part straight and part wavy. I followed your instructions as you mentioned. I lightly wet my hair and applied a very small amount of my sulfate free gel, leave in conditioning product. I created the ringlets and allowed them to dry. Later I separated them and my hair was a bit wavy and flat. I am not quite sure if it is because I had a *keratin treatment 3 days prior, because I washed my hair differently or because I have one length fine hair. Your professional advice will be welcomed. Thank You for your patience, time and attention. Yeni *My hair was extremely frizzy. I visited a high class stylist and I mentioned to her my issue. I highly emphasized that I would like to keep my curly hair. She recommended a salon keratin treatment followed by professional products such as shampoo and conditioner.

        1. I believe the main problem for you is the Keratin treatment. I used a Keratin type conditioner (testing out a new conditioner) and my hair was more wavy than it’s been in a LONG time. 🙁 Sorry, I know that is sort of “bad” news but I would think that your treatment would eventually wear off and your curls return. Just my thoughts. I’m not a professional but I know what that simple conditioner did for me.

  18. thanks for the tips on 2nd day hair. My hair is super long, so I have trouble keeping it un-crumpled throughout the night. I’ve found that my best hair days are if I sleep flat on my back with my hair flopped up behind me over my pillow, so I’m putting pressure on the smallest portion possible. But then that bottom layer is flat and frizzy. Ponytails or loose buns usually leave me with a flat top of head, and then a kink near the ends… not cute.

    1. Thank you so much for your tip Jo! I may just give that a try as my hair is getting so much longer and it’s more difficult to not flatten it out.

  19. thank you for doing this, i have the same thick curly hair that i have staightned for 25 years and i’m so over it. i have read all your blogs and i have the answers to get the hair i wont , thanks again

  20. I swear by my spray bottle!

    On the days between washes nothing brings bounce back to my flattened or frizzy curls like a good spritz with straight H2O! Then I put in a little product and let it air dry. 2nd day hair looks just as good as freshly showered (or even better) 🙂

  21. I know the picture of your hair up in the bun is just your sleep updo but I love the way it looks. It’s the perfect curly bun that I can never seem to get right despite having similar curls to yours. Could you possibly describe how you put your hair into your updo for me? I’d really appreciate it!
    By the way, I have almost the exact same routine as yours accept the oil. I’ll have to experiment with adding oil to mine. Would any argon oil work or would you only recommend the shea moisture spray one?

    1. Oh Melissa….I don’t know what I do. Ha! I try to do a loose top bun without crimping the ends because I want them to lay nice the next day. My hair is quite a bit longer now than in the picture though.

      On the Argon oil. I tried a cheaper Garnier knock off with terrible results. I also bought some expensive pure Argon oil and I have to tell you I didn’t that one either. For some reason, the Shea Moisture oil just works perfectly.

  22. Thanks for this! I have curly hair and also had my mom chop it into a boy’s haircut until I was 13 and protested! I’ve spent my entire life trying to figure out what to do with my curls. I love the Curly Girl Handbook and have been “CG” for about 2 years now. Since I still am figuring out how to get good definition and tame some remaining frizz, I will try some of your techniques and products. Thanks for sharing – way to encourage other curlies!

  23. Do you have problems with the products in your wet hair fading and ruining your shirts while you wait for it to dry? I’ve ruined a few shirts as I’ve waited for my wet hair to dry. I now just wear my bath robe until it’s dry, and you can see the discoloration on it from the products. Also, something I’ve found that is helpful in cutting down the wait time for my hair to dry is to sit under the ceiling fan in our bedroom. It’s not at all like a blow dryer, but gives enough of a gentle fan of air to dry it in about 45 mins – an hour.

    1. I do!!! It’s pretty annoying isn’t?! I usually wear a wrap over my light colored shirts until my hair is dry.

      Thank you for the tips Shaie! Another option to speed up the dry time is to go outside on hot days with a cup of joe.

  24. Love your posts! I have one question though. My hair is really thick and doesn’t dry quickly. I can’t really get up at 4:30 am every morning in order for it to air dry. Is there any way I can style it the night before so that it is dry in the morning? I keep running into this problem and I don’t know how to solve it.

    1. I’m sorry…I’ve been thinking about your problem and I really don’t know what to suggest. But it sounds like a defuser would be the perfect option for you in the morning.

  25. Hi, I tried today the washing with conditioner and sugar. I wasn’t brave enough to just use conditioner. I was very skeptical specially because my scalp gets very stinky and very itchy and I smell everything so I am smelling my scalp all the time if it doesnt smell like fruity shampoo. It was a strange feeling but so far so good. My scalp smells good Julie! and my hair is so soft. I don’t have curls, and my hair is shoulder lenght, i have latino thick and frizzy hair. I just want to tame it a little. After the shower my only concern was that I think I didn’t rinse the sugar that well because the tips of my hair and my neck were sticky. I was wondering if salt would work as well. Next time I’ll do half salt half sugar. I hope it doesn’t have a tragic end. Anyway I think your hair and your website is lovely, I also think that you look gorgeous with the triangle head hair. If I looked like you I wouldn’t be here trying to do something about my hair to start with. Have a wonderful day and thank you thank you for your great blog! I’m very happy I found you.

    1. Thank you so much Alba! You may also want to try the conditioner vinegar rinse. It’s all a learning process isn’t and I’m sure exactly what your hair needs is near. Blessings to you!

  26. I just started using shea moisture shampoo and conditioner and styling products and absolutely LOVE them! I have loose curly hair (half ringlets, half wave) that is relatively thin and all other “curly” products weigh my hair down too much.

  27. My curls are exactly like yours, but my hair is thin and tends to be oily on the scalp. So I’m trapped between trying to moisturize my horribly damaged ends, and keep body at the top (which usually involves some type of root pump and blow drying…which makes my curls frizz). I really want to try the no poo thing, but I’m afraid my hair will be greasy and plastered to my scalp with an inch and a half wide part. Do you have any tips for giving thin curls body without making them frizzy?

    1. I’d highly recommend you ditch you blow dryer and let you hair air dry (or at the very least – use a diffuser) With product in your hair to control frizz, you should be good with that one change. For more body at your scalp, you can fluff you hair at your scalp when it’s completely dry. I do think product and touching hair while wet are the 2 biggest culprits for frizzy hair. Hope this helps!

  28. Hey! Thanks for the tips. We have the exact same hair, lol. I haven’t found a good hair salon in all my years of looking. (i’m only 18, but I care deeply for my hair, because its so high maintenance.) If you know any salons or someone who KNOWS how to deal with curly hair like ours in Fort Smith Arkansas, or close to it, could you please let me know?? UGH! Tired of getting my hair messed up from horrible stylists. =_=. TY!
    Also, I never brush my hair unless combing through it with my fingers in the shower, but every hair salon I go to, they always brush my hair while its dry and it makes me so mad! My mom says they have to do that, but do they really??? Btw one last thing, I couldn’t get the website thing to work but if you visit my twitter you can see just how my hair looks in my default pic!

  29. Hey I was wondering how you keep your hair dry during your shower on non wash days…I have really curly hair and usually condition every day and shampoo 2x a week…do you wear a shower cap?

    1. I do not wear a shower cap, Nellana. On those days I keep my hair up in a high bun and avoid getting getting my hair wet as much as possible. It’s sometimes nice, if I have crazy morning hair, to have more moisture to work with so I don’t mind if overspray hits my hair. A shower cap would work beautifully though. 🙂

  30. I have hair that is a lot like yours and I’ve found that flaxseed gel is the best Product ever. I put it in and scrunch a bit and then I clean up my bathroom for 5min. Then I schrunch again and let it airdry (about 3 hours). It locks in the curl until it dries then you schrunch it again and it is like you didn’t use any product at all. Try it out you would love it 🙂

  31. Hello! Just found your blog and I’m curious if it is still current. I saw your stylist in FWB; I live very close by, so I plan to call her. My fear is the shrinkage I have when’s layers are cut short. If mine aren’t long, they contract and I end up looking like a basketball head. Is that ever an issue with your hair? Is the cut curl 5 inches or is it pulled straight, cut five inches in length and then allowed to spring back up to less? And, does she randomly pull curls to cut or does she cut and entire row at the same time (like bleachers)? Also, my hair is curlier in the underneath layers (like tiny, tight ringlets) and looser corkscrew ringlets on too. I have an issue with my top layers in back looking thin or like my hair has been cut really short underneath because the hair underneath is so tight and curly. Is this an issue for you and if so, what do you do? Was that the only stylist you tried in FWB?

    1. Hi Brook! We have very different hair so I can’t tell you much. I will say, Danna is extremely professional and knows curly hair. I don’t think you’ll regret going to her one bit and I know she’d be able to answer your questions.

  32. Hi! I have the Curly Girl book and that has helped me greatly with my curly hair. The biggest thing I have a problem with is split ends!! They’re really bad 😛 Do you have any suggestions for how to take care of/get rid of split ends? I would rather not cut my hair because I’m trying to grow it out nice and long. About once a week I do a deep conditioning hair mask with coconut oil, sugar, water, egg yolk and mustard powder, and that definitely is amazing! I wash my hair about 3x a week (including the hair mask) and about every other week I use ACV and baking soda with my non-toxic shampoo. (I tried going no-poo and I wasn’t getting good results 😛 ) Does my hair just need more moisture?

    1. I also deal with split ends Maria. They are frustrating. I’ve been talking to a stylist and she recommends more frequent trims, this is something difficult for me to do though because I prefer my hair long. Her reasoning is that if you let a split end continue to spread your entire length will be ruined. I’m going to pick my gals brain the next appointment I have and I’ll share if I get another answer from her. 🙂

  33. Thank you so much for your post. My hair is similar to your but a little poofier. I’ve struggling with it for a very long time. I have 3 problems with my hair. 1. tangles like a maniac, and I honestly hate it. I love seeing my hair curly, but I can’t handle the tangles. It hurts to take them out. 2. My hair is starting to weigh on my neck. I just noticed that I have to constantly massage my neck when I have my hair down. 3. Hair doesn’t curl too much at the roots. I’ve reached the point where I’m tired of my hair, want to change it but don’t know what to do b/c its curly and I don’t know how it’ll look if it’s short and curly. If I extend my arm, Hair is about an inch away from my elbow. Please suggest something, anything.

    1. Oh Christina…I’m sorry you’re not loving your hair. Have you tried any of my tips? Or did you try getting short layers as I outlined in this post?

      1. Christina,
        I just read your post and I have a simple solution! I had to do it as well because my hair was sort of doing the same thing! It also helped the rest of my hair curl better as well! You should ask your hair stylist to thin out your hair! I know it is scary at first, but it will make your hair lighter and reduce the stress on your head and neck. I know I need to get mine done every other time I get my hair done (colored…teaching gave me gray hair in my 20’s).
        It was just a thought! I hope you find relief soon!

  34. Hi Julie! Thank you for the tips! Such a life saver!:) I’m currently having bad hair days for the past few wks..i’ll follow your advice and see the result!

  35. Hello!
    I have your exact same hair. Have you tried wearing it short? ANd how did it look? I have had it long since I’ve been in about 7th grade and now I’m looking for a change but I don’t want to hate having short hair as soon as I cut it. What do you suggest?

    1. I am currently wearing it shoulder length. I can’t say it’s my favorite. 🙁 But I’d love to have a short cut that fit my personality.

  36. Wow!! I so needed this info, my 4 yr old has horrible dry, frizzy, curly hair. I have tried all kinds of things on it, I never thought of no shampoo. I am going to try it. She loves long hair and it is so hard to manage, but I am going to try this method. Thank You for sharing.

  37. Have you ever used a leave-in conditioner? What are your thoughts on it? I can’t go without it and my hair fairly similar to yours. I wonder if not washing out the conditioner in the showering serves that purpose? I will be trying your technique! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. I have used a leave-in before and you’re exactly right…not washing the conditioner out completely serves the same purpose. So you were intuitively doing what you needed to for your hair. 🙂

  38. Hi Julie. Thanks a million thanks for this post! I found you on pinterest and I’m so glad I did. :)) I see above that a poster asked you how you made your bun in the above photos, and you said you don’t know how. Would you be willing to try again? I agree, that bun is stunning and I would love to be able to recreate that look for myself, so if you haven’t already created a how-to for your gorgeous bun, I hope you’ll consider it for the future. <3 It looks chic and effortless, classy and feminine, (and it would be perfect for an upcoming wedding weekend!) I look forward to exploring more of your blog, thanks again! xoxo Rachel

  39. I love these tips!!! Defiantly worth trying! Just a few questions though….how long does this process usually take for you(including the drying part)? How do you do the hair style for sleeping and putting your hair up?

    1. Takes me maybe 10 minutes to do twist everything. For my up-do. I pretty much do a very high loose ponytail and I do not pull the hair all the way through at the end so it loops.

  40. Great curly tips! I am a curly girl too…with curly daughters 🙂 I just started using coconut oil in my hair after a wash, and then putting my product in, I use a keratin balm…but I love getting recommendations, because sadly you never know when a product is going to stop being sold! I pretty much do all the things you do. I only wash my hair about twice a week, but instead of piling it up, I re-wet it, re-comb it and start from the beginning each day, with less product. My girls have very different kinds of curls…on them we use a tangle teezer brush : – they are awesome! Only when their hair is wet of course!

  41. Your post was very enlightening! I have naturally curly hair and I LOVE it! I feel weird at work because everyone else has straight hair and I waltz around with curls!
    Anyway, I was talking to my hair dresser and asked about only washing with conditioner and she said it actually bad for your scalp. It can cause ingrown hairs since the scalp isn’t as clean as when using a shampoo. Would it be okay to use a moisturizing shampoo once a week?! I have a VERY dry scalp and I don’t want a greasy scalp, but the dryness is driving me nuts!
    Also, do you have any suggestions for hair that is straightening out at the base of my scalp? It is the weirdest thing. As my hair is growing, there is a section of hair at the base of my head that is stick straight except for one inch at the end. It drives me nuts because it is longer than the rest and it looks AWFUL! I don’t know what to do!

    1. Yes! Embrace those curls!!! I suppose everyone is different but I’ve not had a problem with ingrown hairs at all. I did find a moisturizing shampoo from my hair dresser, Design Essentials Gentle Balance Shampoo. It is sulfate free and I have it on hand if I ever just need wash my hair. 🙂

      As far as you hair straightening…that is really strange!! Have you considered hormones?

  42. My hair and I get along on the weekends when I have the time to let it dry. But it’s a whole different story on weekdays. Do you have any suggestions for washing at night? Drying my hair during the day isn’t the same as overnight (even though I use a satin headscarf).

  43. Hi!
    My 3 year old daugther has curly hair and I really don’t… really I have no idea how to work her beautiful curls. Are the products you talk about good for the kids? I don’t really like the idea of putting a lot of stuff in her hair so do any of you curly ladies would have tips for me? Rigth now I wash her hair every two days with the head and body no tears soap from Johnson’s baby products. Thanks in advance for your help!

    1. Hi Claudy! Yes, I would comfortably put all those products on my girl’s hair. You may want to go skip the gel on her hair but definitely up the moisture on her hair. I recently switched to Kirkland’s (costco brand) conditioner and it is sulfate-free.

  44. I have long curly hair. I used to straighten it and even undergone rebonding. I didnt like my curly hair before and i never took care of it but i realized that i should embrace my curls. Now I love my hair, but it is still dry and frizzy. And i dont have a good relationship with haircutters.haha. also there is no special product for curly girls like me here in the Philippines. How I love to try Shea Moisture products but not available here. ??

  45. I’m 50 years old and have tried short, long, layers…… you name it. I agree with everything you say! Here’s my problem. I have to wear a barette in the top of my head to hold my top layer of hair. I would love to wear it down, but, it’s so heavy it stands straight out. My hair is about 4 inches past my shoulders and the top isn’t is as curly as the rest of my hair. I hate always having to wear a barette. It’s extremely thick and curly. It looks great wet, but, after it dries, it triples in size!! I can’t side part it because it’s just too much on top. Anyone else with the same issues??

    1. That sounds a lot like my issues before too Julie. I wonder if the top is not as curly because of the weight of your length. Have you tried cutting your hair according to my stylists instructions? You really do need to get short layers in there and that would help it to not expand so much and lay correctly.

    1. I think most often the frizzy is due to hair being very dry. I’d moisturize and avoid any conditioners with silicone in them! You could even try to style your hair with just leave-in conditioner (gel is drying to the hair because of the alcohol)

  46. My curly hair has always been dry and never grows long long. I started using coconut oil on my ends almost a year ago and my hair is almost to my butt. I have never had such long, healthy hair and I know its because of the coconut oil. I use just a bit on my ends and dry areas like at the sides.
    I also use a tshirt and scrunch my hair dry to get the moisture out without adding frizz from a towel.
    For the ladies asking about Julies bun….make a ponytail and twist elastic around it twice (or just once depending on thickness of hair), on the last loop through (so for me, my third) I pull the pony tail through kind of upside down (?? hard to explain) so the ends of the pony are facing up on my crown not down. And I dont pull through all the way, the loop gives my CH a nice bun look and the ends that I didnt pull all the way through make a nice ring of curls all around the bun. You can also try separating the front of you hair (crown to forehead) and leave that out of the bun, do your bun, they use the front piece for framing and pinning around the bun. Helps you to place curls all over.

    1. Thank you for sharing Shannon! Really appreciate your tips and you being able to verbalize how I do my high bun! Blessings!

  47. Julie,

    When getting a hair cut how do I get the hairdresser not to cut my length to get the shorter layers; while still maintaining my length. They say they can’t layer up top short because it is so long in the back and will get puffy/frizzy?


  48. Hi Julie-found you on Pinterest and love your information. My daughter and I both have curly hair and for the last year I have finally started to embrace my curls (at 40) . I read the Curly Girl book and it changed my life!! My hair is best I let it air dry, I was at night bc it takes so long to dry. Have you tried plopping or any other forms of sleeping with wet hair? My daughters hair looks great by doing two braids but it doesn’t work as well for me bc my hair is more fine.

  49. Hi there! Great tips – just wondering if you put pomade or any kind of sculpting was as a finisher or any other product. I wore my hair curly today and haven’t done so in a year because I have been so disenchanted with my haircuts and to be honest, blowdrying and straightening it are hideous for the health of my hair but it is easier than trying to fight my curls. I have a lot of shrinkage – 3B curls and just recently had a pretty substantial cut to give it life! I have a shorter layer – but one that is not as obvious when it is curly – but definitely when it is straight – so feel I have the layer part right – but feel like an old lady with a perm with my shrinkage…but waiting for my hair to get some weight. Sorry – got sidetracked there – but would love to know if you put anything on it after the steps you already described. Thank you so much!

  50. Hi Julie! The triangle hair/head ‘do: I have been calling The BEN FRANKLIN. I have beautiful, thick hair that I have been trying to tame for 35 years! 10 years before that my mom cut my hair short too. I was always the new boy at school. (Military family, moved alot). Wanted desperately for Marsha Brady’s hair. No more!!!! I am taking this article to my terrific, young stylist and ask her to just do it. I’m so ready! I have been blow-dryer-less for years, and twisting, and washing ever other day…coconut oil etc. I am going to try the Shea Moisture products for sure and SHORT LAYERS!!!! Thanks! I hope you are still outer reading this! Heathre.

  51. I just found your posts. My hair has become curly as I’ve been going through menopause. Since it used to be stick straight, I have no idea how to care for it. Your 3 posts are a blessing! I am going to try your recommendations. Thank you!

  52. I really enjoyed your info on curly hair—especially the part about proper cutting. Triangle head is an epidemic that needs to be wiped out! Now that I am older (52) the long hair is out. I now sport an asymmetrical bob that really works well for thick curly hair. Also, Cantu is a great product for curly girls (my mom & daughter use it as well). Amazon has it, & in stores it’s in the ethnic hair section.

  53. Pingback: How To Style Curly Hair In The Morning Without Washing - Kandangin Ideas

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