I recently had the opportunity to try a new product made especially for curly hair. Tee-Owels are hair towels made of soft, organic t-shirt material that reduce frizz and breakage during the drying process. If… More
A quick and dirty update… I’m about six months into my hair grow-out journey from a pixie. In that time I’ve had two professional haircuts and four DIY bang trims (and I have an appointment next week!). I don’t mind the grow-out process – I actually love all the “in between” looks because it’s like a different haircut each month. Suits my hair ADD very well. 🙂
I’m at the point now where my hair is curling more, so even though it is growing, it has looked the same length for a while. I’m also at that point where I’m wondering if I really want long hair again. My favorite looks above are May/June and September.
What do you think? Should I stay short and curly or keep going?
Since I’ve been letting my hair grow out from a pixie, I’ve had to relearn my curls. They behave completely differently than they did when I had long hair. I’ve learned I cannot use all the same products I did back then. May hair used to LOVE curl creams – thick, butter-based creams that provide moisture and hold. Now, these types of products are too heavy for my shorter hair.
Lately I’ve been relying on water-based leave-ins and lightweight gels that don’t weigh my hair down. I’ve also had the compound challenge of finding products that control frizz in hot, humid conditions. Here are the two styling products that have gotten me through six months of hair growth and a sweltering summer in New Orleans:
Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen me mention Giovanni’s Direct Leave-In several times. I used this conditioner when I had long hair for braid-outs, or when I didn’t care much about definition, but it has been a lifesaver for my short curls. My hair requires some type of moisture under a gel, but I can’t use anything too heavy. I’ve also noticed that in very humid conditions, products with a high glycerin content give me lots of frizz. Giovanni’s Direct Leave-in is glycerin-free, silicone-free, and extremely lightweight. I cannot use it alone as a styling product, but it’s exactly the dose of moisture I need before styling. I apply it to soaking wet hair while still in the shower, then blot excess product with a cotton t-shirt.
Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel
I recommend this gel to everyone I know looking to control frizz in a hot, humid climate. It works! Ouidad’s Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel has a thin, watery consistency and is extremely emollient – it literally glides over my hair as I’m applying it. I like my hair big and bouncy, and this gel gives it to me without frizz. As expected with any gel, my hair does dry in a cast, but it scrunches out easily and leaves my hair with lots of movement and body. This gel is a Curl on a Mission award-winner, for sure.
Here’s a video of my hair after I styled with these two products. I get consistent results each time I use them together!
These were my go-to products this summer to maintain volume and fight frizz. Now that my hair is growing and the air is cooling ahead of winter, maintaining volume is becoming even more difficult. I’ve started looking into products especially for this purpose, so stay tuned for what works.
Do your products change with the seasons? Let me know below!
Review of DevaCurl’s Kit for All Curl Kind
I had been eyeing DevaCurl for years. Before I cut my hair, I simply ran through too much product to justify the cost ($22 for a 12-oz bottle of conditioner). Back then, I could have gone through that bottle in three washes. But now that my hair is short, I use less product and have the budget to experiment with higher-end brands.
My hair is temperamental, though. Since I’ve been growing it out from a pixie, it is literally in a different phase each month. Because of that, I go for trial sized products when I can, which is how I came to purchase DevaCurl’s Kit for All Curl Kind.
The kit is “designed to give healthy, beautiful curls to every texture in the curly universe.” It consists of DevaCurl’s No-Poo Original, One Condition Original, Styling Cream, and Light Defining Gel.
Let me tell you – I was HYPE to try these products. Too many of my favorite curly-haired beauties swear by them. The bar was set high. Here’s what I thought:
I absolutely love this cleanser. Of the four products in this kit, this is perhaps my favorite. I gave up sulfate shampoo years ago, but I’ve always thought I still needed a shampoo that lathered, since my roots get oily. I tried another co-wash product a few years ago, but it was too heavy for my hair. No-Poo Original is definitely in the top two shampoos/cleansers I’ve ever tried. It leaves my scalp completely residue-free, soothes my itchy areas with peppermint and rosemary oil, and leaves my hair very soft, even before I apply conditioner. This cleanser does not leave my hair with that “squeaky clean” feeling, which I prefer. The only negative is that I have to use a lot of product in order for my hair to feel really clean.
This conditioner works the way curly hair conditioners should. It is moisturizing, has lots of slip, can be used as a leave-in, does not weigh my hair down, and smells wonderful (like lemongrass). I must say, with my hair at this length, I don’t have an issue with detangling, but with the slip this conditioner has, it seems like detangling wouldn’t be a problem. My best results with the entire product line happen when I leave just a little bit of One Condition on my ends.
I wanted to love this duo. I really, really did. I am still trying to find ways to love this duo. In fact, I don’t think the issue is even the products. I think the issue is that I live in an extremely humid climate, and these can’t quite control the frizz (it’s not easy).
I’ve done several wash-and-gos with these two products. The first time, the humidity was around 90 percent. I started with just the Styling Cream, thinking I’d try each product independently. A few minutes into diffusing, my hair was already frizzing. So I added the gel on top. Day 1 hair was beautiful – extremely soft to the touch, shiny, lots of volume, not too much frizz, and my curls seemed tighter (which I like). Then I stepped outside, and days 2-4 were a frizzy disaster.
I thought perhaps it might have been the glycerin in the products, which I’ve noticed can create frizz on very humid days, so next I tried the duo on a day with about 70 percent humidity. My wash-and-go lasted beautifully until day 3, then it fell apart, even with refreshing. I like my WNGs to last about five days, and I just can’t seem to get there with these DevaCurl stylers.
I live in New Orleans, which is notorious for ruining a good hairstyle. But I am not giving up on you, DevaCurl. I’m going to wait until winter, when the humidity is at its lowest, and give you another shot. I think – I hope – I’m going to love you.
This question has been on my mind a lot lately, particularly as I scroll through my social feeds of perfectly coiffed, curly-haired women. Some naturally curly heads are so overworked with styling techniques and products that I find myself wondering if their hair might be more beautiful if they simply let it be.
My own product preference for a wash-and-go is two. A leave-in and a gel. Each product serves a distinctive purpose. Leave-in = moisture. Gel = style and hold. Maybe I will try a volumizer in there one day, but for now it’s not needed. Simplicity and speed of routine are two of the main reasons I embraced my natural curls.
Then I look at the latest curly hair routine video and it goes sometime like this: leave-in, soft hold styling cream, strong hold styling cream, soft hold gel, hard hold gel, finishing oil, and hair spray to set it all. I totally get product experimentation, but if you have to use that many products in your hair, I’m pretty sure you’re not using the right ones. No product will give you hair that you do not have.
I suppose we, the curly hair community, deserve some of the blame. We’ve been so adamant and vocal about wearing our hair in its natural state that companies are lining up to cater to us. The product choices today are astounding – a good problem to have!
But let’s get back to the basics and remember why we wear our hair naturally curly in the first place. For me, it is simplicity, acceptance and freedom. Your reasons may be different, but for all of us, the beauty of our hair is in its uniqueness and imperfection. There is grace in the untamed lion. The same is true of our curls.
I wish the answer was a straightforward yes or no. The truth is, it depends primarily on the environmental conditions where you live. Through trial and error, I have learned that styling products with high amounts of glycerin definitely do NOT work on my hair in extremely humid conditions. (I’m sad about that, because a LOT of great hair products contain glycerin.)
I live in New Orleans, and like many curly girls here, I had completely written off curl definition and hold in the extremely hot, humid summer months. When I first moved here from Atlanta, I had very long hair, but I never wore my curls out. I had too much hair and it was too hot, so I always wore buns or braids. Then life happened and I cut my hair into a pixie. This past summer was the first time I’ve had to deal with making my curls look presentable in extreme humidity, so I began paying attention to ingredients.
I noticed that whenever I used a styling product with a large concentration of glycerin (in the top five ingredients), my hair went wild. Day 1 hair was always ok, but after that the frizz was out of control, even with deep conditioning. I’d always heard that glycerin was a good humectant for curly hair, that it balanced the moisture levels in the hair and kept the cuticle smooth. Turns out that’s true, except in extremely humid or dry climates. I found this info from NaturallyCurly.com:
While glycerin has an immense ability to attract moisture to the hair it also has the reverse effect. Everything is about balance. On extremely humid days too much moisture can be attracted to your hair causing the hair to swell and frizz. However, on low humidity days (cold, dry days) where the surrounding air is more dry than your hair, the opposite occurs.
This explains why, when I lived in Atlanta, which has lower humidity than New Orleans, products containing glycerin made my hair very smooth and defined. Here in New Orleans, those same products don’t work.
Glycerin is a humectant, which means it attracts moisture from the environment to your hair to keep it moisturized. However, if the air is very moist, the humectant can attract too much water to the hair, causing the hair shaft to swell and the cuticle to lift. Raised cuticles = frizz.
When I turned to glycerin-free products, or those that listed glycerin far down in the ingredient list, my hair behaved completely differently. I had noticeably less frizz and more defined ringlets.
This, my friends, is why I’m so thankful there are so many curly hair products on the market now. One product definitely does not serve all needs. It really is about trial and error, paying attention to your hair, and knowing what’s in your products.
What’s your relationship with glycerin? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments below!