Staple Products for Frizz-Free Curls


Products to control frizz in hot, humid weather
Results from styling with Giovanni and Ouidad products

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!


7 Ways to Grow Out a Pixie with Naturally Curly Hair


Mission: grow out this pixie cut.

Despite my proclamation here that I was done with long hair, I’ve decided to grow out this mane just a bit. Truth is, I miss my curls.

I’d always planned to grow it out again once my son was older and I had a little more time for me; I just didn’t know when that moment would come. Well… it’s here. Not that I have a ton of extra time; more like just enough to focus on my hair again. I’m ready to play in my curls again.

Mind you, this ain’t my first rodeo. This is the third time I’ve cut my hair into a pixie and grown it out. The last time I grew it back to waist-length. I don’t have that much time on my hands, so I’m thinking somewhere between my chin and shoulders, big and curly.

While it’s never easy to get through the “awkward” stage, particularly with naturally curly hair, there are a couple of lessons I’ve learned that will help facilitate the growth process. Here they are:

1) Little to No Heat

If you’ve been rocking a short cut that you have to straighten, this is going to be a hard one. But it’s a critical time to eliminate any potential damage from heat tools. Also, you want to start coaxing out your natural curl pattern again. Now, the reason I said little to no heat is because, depending on the health of your hair, you may be able to get away with straightening it once in a while. If you question whether or not you should… don’t.

2) No Bleach

I’m all for rocking a lighter look (I’ve done it several times), but hold off until your hair can at least swing. By its very nature, bleach damages hair, and damaged hair won’t grow as fast. (If your hair is already bleached, see my post on caring for chemically lightened curls. I’d also suggest dying it close to your natural hair color so your roots aren’t as noticeable.)

3) Maintain a Shape

The dreaded mullet. It doesn’t have to happen, folks! At its shortest, my latest pixie was at most 2-3 inches long (yes, I went all the way Halle). To maintain a shape throughout the grow-out period, I opted to let the front grow long, and maintain a closely cut back and sides for a few months. This is how my hair looked best in its naturally curly state. You could also opt for a more rounded grow-out cut, like IG influencer @aimskyy, which is just as beautiful. It just takes knowing your natural curl pattern and how your hair lays best (remember, you’re not manipulating it with heat anymore, so work with what you’ve got).

4) Definition Over Volume

When my hair is longer, I want it big. Frizz be damned! But that just doesn’t work when my hair is only six inches long. Remember, we’re still maintaining a specific shape. When it’s growing out, I opt for definition and frizz control over volume. Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel remains a favorite product for this reason.  I’m still searching for the perfect leave-in though. Since my hair is shorter, it requires a  much lighter leave-in conditioner. More on that in another post.

5) Stimulate Your Roots

Get that blood circulating and those natural oils flowing with a good scalp massage. Combine that with a hot oil treatment of your choice and you’re golden. While I’ve been slacking in the hot oil department, I give my scalp a good massage every time I wash my hair, which is about twice a week these days.

6) Deep Condition

If you have naturally curly hair and you’ve done any research on healthy hair maintenance, you know you can’t skip this step. It’s no different with short hair. Keep those follicles soft and flexible and prevent breakage with regular deep treatments. Go for conditioners and masques with quality, natural ingredients that your hair can absorb. Ideally, give yourself a treatment every week or two, no less than once a month. I suggest leaving a deep conditioner on for at least 30 minutes under a heat cap like this one, or use a steamer.

7) Protect Your Hair at Night

Prevent frizz and drying of hair at night by sleeping in a satin bonnet or on a satin pillowcase, or wrapping your hair in a satin scarf. When I first starting growing out my hair, I’d wash it, add a leave-in, sculpt it to my head, and put a scarf on it to sleep. I woke up with shiny, big waves that I’d just adjust with my fingers. Now that my hair has grown a bit, this technique flattens my hair too much. Lately I’ve just been using a satin pillowcase. I can’t wait until I can pineapple again!

There’s no silver bullet to hair growth. It’s all about making sure your hair is as healthy as possible. Following the seven steps above will help your hair grow faster, but there is no replacement for patience. Plus, there are so many short curly cuts you can rock while your hair is growing – try to enjoy the journey.