10 Gift Ideas for Curly Girls

If you have a curly girl in your life, skip the scented candles or predictable perfume this holiday season and give her something that will really excite her – curly hair products! 

There are countless curly hair products to choose from these days, and several dozen of them could be considered must-haves. I’ve done my best to whittle them down to 10 items that just about anyone with curly hair would love to own – from essential to the extravagant.

I’ve even created categories so that you can give the perfect gift no matter where she is on her curly hair journey. If YOU are a curly girl, be sure and add these items to your wish list!

She’s Just Getting Started

If she’s just getting started on her curly hair journey, or if she’s even considering it, here are four gift ideas that will put her on the right track:

Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey

1) Curly Girl: The Handbook

This is the first resource many women read when they decide to embrace their natural curls. Author Lorraine Massey explains the ever-popular curly girl method and gives practical tips, advice and tutorials to transition to and maintain naturally curly and wavy hair.

$14.06, Amazon.com 

DevaCurl How to Quit Shampoo Kit

2) DevaCurl How to Quit Shampoo Kit

There are two things most curlistas will say you must give up in order to have healthy, beautiful hair: sulphates and silicones. The trouble is, these ingredients appear in many commercial hair products. Though there are (thankfully) now many curl-friendly products on the market, many consider DevaCurl the gold standard. This gift set features the award-winning No-Poo Original and One Condition Original, along with a microfiber towel for removing access water.

$35.00, DevaCurl.com 

Alaska Bear Natural Silk Pillowcase

3) Silk Pillowcase and/or Satin Bonnet

Heck, just get her both! Seriously, she will need one or the other to keep her curls protected at night. Hair glides over these materials easily, creating less friction, which means less frizz when she wakes up in the morning. 

Alaska Bear Silk Pillowcase, $25.99, Amazon.com

Revlon Diffuser for Curly Hair

4) Diffuser

There are soooo many options to choose from, so I suggest starting with something basic like this Revlon dryer and diffuser. For curly girls who have neither the time nor desire to air dry (which can take hours), diffusing is the only other option to safely dry curly hair. Diffusers help create volume and enhance the hair’s natural curl pattern.  

Revlon Hair Dryer 1875W Turbo Styler, $17.54, WalMart.com

She’s Getting the Hang of It

Once she has gotten through the tough first phase of changing everything she’s ever known about her hair, she should be seeing more consistent curl results. Now is the stage where she’s having fun experimenting with products and styling methods, and is probably binge-watching hair tutorials on YouTube. Here are three gift ideas she’ll love.

5) NaturallyCurly.com eGift Card

NaturallyCurly.com is the premier online destination for all things curly hair. Their shopping section features just about every brand of curly hair care product, and they offer gift certificates! You choose the amount you want to give, and the eGift card will be emailed directly to the recipient. Plus, they give free samples with every order. Talk about hair product heaven!


Curl Magazine

6) Subscription to Curl Magazine

This all-new magazine is for and about curly haired women. From expert tips and must-have product reviews to interviews with trailblazing and prominent women, Curl is an informative, gorgeous magazine that comes in both print and digital formats.  It’s full of quality content that she’ll want to take her time to read. (And hey, I am a contributing writer!)

Price varies with subscription package, ReadCurl.com

Satin lined cap for curly hair

7) Slap (Satin-Lined Cap)

Winter weather can wreak damage on delicate curls, and so can hats. All the warmest materials – wool, fleece, cotton – can zap moisture from hair and cause severe frizz. Don’t let her hard work go to waste; get her a gift that keep her curls intact and keep her head warm this season. Satin-lined winter hats, like this one from Grace Eleyae, follow the same concept of the satin bonnet or pillowcase. Hair simply glides over the material, so curls retain moisture and shape.

Warm Slap, $44.95, GraceEleyae.com

She’s a Pro

These days, her good hair days are more consistent than not, she knows which products her hair does and doesn’t like, and she can even swing a few curly up-dos. She’s ready for the pro tools.

Denman D3 Brush for Curly Hair

8) Denman D3 Brush

This styling brush has become a bit of an icon in the curly world. Some swear by its ability to separate and clump curls while wet, helping them form into near-perfect ringlets when dry. If she’s looking to elevate to the next level of curly styling, this brush is a perfect gift. 

$17.70, DenmanBrushUS.com

Hot Head Deep Conditioning Cap

9) Hot Head™ Microwavable Deep Conditioning Heat Cap

Heat makes any deep conditioning treatment more effective. Warm temperatures cause the hair cuticle to swell and lift, allowing nutrients into the shaft where they strengthen and restore the hair. Traditionally, the most effective way to do a heated deep treatment was to sit under a hair steamer. With the Hot Heat™ Deep Conditioning Cap by Thermal Hair Care, all you need is a microwave. The flaxseed-filled cap retains heat for 20-45 minutes, giving your curly girl the freedom to get things done while she deep conditions. 

$29.95, ThermalHairCare.com

10) Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer with Diffuser

Chances are you know the Dyson name as it relates to home cleaning machines. But did you also know they also make hair dryers? And not just any hair dryer – the Bugatti of hair dryers. I have yet to try this tool myself, but its reviews from curly haired women are  stellar. Apparently it cuts down drying time significantly, all the while protecting against extreme heat damage and delivering precision air for controlled styling and smooth curls. If anyone wants to buy me one, I’m game. 🙂

$399.99, Dyson.com 

There you have it – 10 gifts that any curly girl would love to receive this holiday season. Curly hair is a journey that can be simultaneously frustrating and fulfilling. These tools and products will have your curly girl feeling and looking great daily. 

Which gift ideas would you add to this list? Please share in the comments below!



Growing Out a Pixie: 6 Month Update

Growing Out a Pixie: 6 Month Update

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?


Are We Over-Styling Our Curly Hair?

Image credit: hypehair.com

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.


Does Glycerin Work for Curly Hair?

glycerin in curly hair products

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!

Hair Growth Update: Short and Curly

short natural curls

It’s been about three months since I decided to grow my hair out and get back to my natural curls, and I’m so glad I did. Although I LOVE a fly short haircut, I was ready for something more carefree. When a pixie blows in the wind it doesn’t quite give the same effect as flowing curls. 🙂

Since I started growing my hair out I’ve cut it about three times: twice I trimmed my own bangs and once I got a professional shape-up. I had been letting the front grow longer than the back and sides, but it got to a point where my hair was in my eyes and it was annoying. So I went and got a round, symmetrical cut that could grow out for a few months. I’m sure I’ll still need to trim my own bangs as they grow and cover my eyes.

pixie with bangs
April 2018, when I decided to let my hair grow and get back to my curls.

short curly pixie with bangs
Mid June 2018, after a bang trim.

growing out a pixie haircut
Late June 2018, after another bang trim.

short curly hair
Early July 2018, after getting a professional shape-up. This is my new “grow out” cut.

I’m actually really enjoying this short curly cut. I may play with a few more short styles before I let it grow past my shoulders. This length is so fast and easy, not to mention cool in this New Orleans heat! I’m looking forward to the next phase, when the sides and back grow just a bit longer.