*When I was a little girl I hated my hair. It was always a mess and it never did anything but be frizzy and hideous. I would dream about having straight hair because I thought I was ugly with curly hair. If you’ve ever been in the same boat as me, read on. I’m about to drop some hope bombs in your lap.
I used to flat iron my hair every day when I was in high school.
Mostly because I had no idea how to make my curly hair look beautiful. I had been given tons of terrible advice on taking care of it and it was just a frizzy mess. So, for around 4 1/2 years I straightened it almost every day and I liked the way it looked. I mean, it’s bad enough to be a red-head. But to be a curly red-head is even worse. Especially if it’s a bona fide disaster 98% of the time.
Somewhere along the line, I got sick of flat ironing my hair. I have really thick hair so it would take me an hour or more every morning to straighten it. Not my cup of tea, or coffee for that matter.
It was just way easier to wash it and let it be its wild unruly self. But it would just be great if it could be a beautiful wild and unruly. You know? Couldn’t it look like Beyonce’s or Taylor Swift’s hair (you know, back before she started looking like a drowned poodle)? Instead, my hair continued to look like a giant frizz ball no matter what I did to it.
When I finally got sick of it not being beautiful I turned to Google and I researched a ton on how to take care of curly hair.
Below I’m going to give you my top resources, products I use and the one thing that made me quit using drug store shampoo for good.
For a long time, my go-to resource was the book “Curly Girl” by Lorraine Massey. I read that thing about a dozen times. It really opened my eyes to what is in the products I use. I learned why curly hair tends to be frizzy and I learned that there are many different types of curly hair. If you want the low down on all things curly I can’t recommend Lorrain’s book enough.
The one thing I learned from that book that changed my hair’s life forever is that regular shampoo is full of chemicals that are killing your curly hair. They are part of the reason that your hair looks limp, lifeless, and frizzy when you let it be natural. The main culprit is Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Sodium Laureth anything should never be near anyone’s hair, whether it’s curly or not. The reason this stuff is so bad for your hair is that its literally the same ingredient used in dish soap, hand soap, and laundry detergent.
Not all shampoos have these chemicals in them and it’s way easier to find a healthier shampoo and conditioner for your hair than it was back in 2010. Curly girls have to be so careful about what we put on our hair. Lorraine Massey’s book covers this in more depth than I can here, so if this bit of knowledge has piqued your interest you really can’t hurt to pick up a copy of the book.
I also learned that the main reason curly hair is frizzy is that it craves moisture.
When our hair gets dried out, by using harsh chemicals and flat ironing it, it gets super frizzy. If you think back to your science class you’ll remember that the air has moisture in it. So when we let our hair be curly for one day, it’s damaged and dried out and it’s literally trying to suck the moisture out of the air. When it does this it gets frizzy. Mind blown.
In order to keep my hair healthy on a budget, I shop at T.J. Maxx a lot.
By a lot I mean if I run out of hair products I make a beeline right for that store. I only buy hair products at other stores if I can’t find anything at T.J. Maxx. They have a good selection of natural hair products and they are usually at or below half price. They don’t always have the same products or brands all the time but that just means I get to try a lot of new things. My hair typically gets worn out if I use the same product for more than a couple months so this works out well for me.
The most important thing to remember is to always check the label before you buy!
Just because a brand claims to be natural does not mean that it uses ingredients that will nourish your hair. Once again, “The Curly Girl” book covers what ingredients to look for and which ones to never, ever put on your hair again. That book taught me how to love my curls.
It’s officially been almost 9 years since I went curly and I have never straightened my hair since. Nor have I been tempted to. I finally love my hair and my only regret is not learning to love it sooner.
Here’s my list of curly hair products/brands that I’m absolutely loving right now.
*disclaimer: None of these links are affiliate links. I just love these products and I want you to know about them.
- Urban Hydration (I find a lot of their products at my local T.J. Maxx)
- RenPure (I always find items from their professional line at T.J. Maxx)
- Shea Moisture (I love their products and their company’s mission!)
- This conditioner blows my mind! I wish it came in larger quantities.
Another product that I really love to use is an in-shower hair mask.
I have two littles so I don’t have the time to put a mask on my hair for 30 minutes and then go take a shower to rinse it out. You leave the in-shower masks on for basically as long as you want but not less than five minutes and then you rinse it out and condition your hair. Easy peasy, and for busy moms essential. My favorite one to use is Maui Moisture! I haven’t seen much of this brand at T.J. Maxx but I’ll pay full price for it, it’s so good! My favorite product they offer is their Heal and Hydrate Shea Butter Hair mask! I loved it so much I buy it every time I see it. I can’t be 100% positive because I didn’t document or measure anything, but this product, in particular, may have caused some hair growth. Which is awesome for someone whose hair might grow 1-2 inches a year. Anyway, I can’t recommend Maui Moisture enough! Be sure to check out their website and see if your local drug store carries this brand.
I know there are many more different kinds of products out there that work well with curly hair. If you have any more to add to the list please leave them below in the comments.
All the curly love,
I want to know:
Have you gone curly or does the prospect of taking such extra care of your hair stop you from being fully committed? Drop your answer in the comments! We can all encourage each other in our journey to beautiful curls!
As always, here are my book recommendations for your reading life.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I loved this book! It’s been on my TBR for a while, but what pushed me to read it was the fact that it took him 10 years to write it. If he spent that much time writing it then it has to be excellent. And it was. I adored the characters and I love historical fiction. This book is such high caliber that it isn’t full of romance. Historical fiction is my favorite genre, but if the book is too full of romance count me out. I know I will be reading this one again.
Black by Ted DeKker
This book is what I would consider a thriller. I’ve heard many people say that DeKker is his own genre and I think the same. If thrillers with alternate realities aren’t your thing then you can safely skip this one. I had the pleasure of reading his latest novel, The 49th Mystic, which is set in the same world as Black and the rest of the Circle series books. The reason I turned back to this older book is that The 49th Mystic is part one of a two-part story. The sequel, Rise of the Mystics, doesn’t come out until October 2018. So, I figured I would reacquaint myself with the Circle series and reread all the old novels. Even though I’ve read Black before it was still a page-turner and I was really surprised at all the things I did forget.
disclaimer: Book cover photos are from Amazon.com or Goodreads.com