I am so incredibly lucky that I have naturally curly hair! I get those ringlets that I see so many people try for! However, I am lazy, not girly, and unmotivated to do the whole big hair routine. So what does that mean? It means for years I had a poof on my head instead of glorious curls. I finally learned better, and I want to share that knowledge with you! I’ll be honest here y’all, My showers typically last 15-20 minutes start to finish….MAX. I have been known for a sub-10-minute shower too. This includes everything from when I strip down and turn the water on to when I leave the room fully dressed (including my ENTIRE hair routine).
The following is what works for me. I could probably do more and get better results, but I am perfectly content with my average hair day, which is a pretty awesome feeling. So let’s jump in, shall we?
Stop towel drying
That little thing we do when we take the towel and rub our hair back and forth? Yeah, stop doing that. I invested in a cheap microfiber hair wrap that I put on my head after my shower (I squeeze out the excess water beforehand, but very gently, no twisting!). I let the wrap absorb most of the water while I dry my body and get dressed. Then I gently press on it before removing it to reveal just regular old damp, hair. You can find these wraps anywhere really, and they aren’t expensive.
In the curly world, brushing is the devil. It took me until after my 33rd birthday to learn this. I no longer brush my hair, ever, when it’s dry. More hardcore people out there don’t brush EVER. Finger combing, wide tooth combs, etc. seem to be the most acceptable, but I still use my brush. I only brush after I get out of the shower. Then I comb it. Then it is not brushed or combed again until it gets wet again. This is probably the most impactful change I have made to maintain the ringlets. I like to brush and comb my hair straight when its wet vs. finger combing because it tends to form better curls that way, it’s like giving it a fresh start.
Limit how often you wash
I used to HATE when people said this. And to be honest, I still don’t fully get it. You mean keep my hair dry? Get it wet but don’t wash? What if I’m sweaty? WHAT DOES IT MEAN!? I’ll save you my personal anguish. When I take a shower and my hair is not dirty, I get it wet, apply some leave-in conditioner and proceed as normal. I’ve tried shower caps, and it’s not my jam. This takes some experimenting. My ideal time is 2-3 days between washes depending on how active I’ve been. Any longer than 3 days does not work for me and I’m not much of a hat person. Because I have a tiny head and they make me look even more oddly shaped.
The hair tie matters
My hair always air dries. And it’s down during that time. Otherwise, it’s a crapshoot between a ponytail and leaving it down. There is nothing I loathe more hair-wise than the hair tie bump. LOATHE IT! Especially with curly hair. It makes my hair look like an unfortunate mullet shaped hat. I used to accept that if I put my hair up at all, it was just going to have to stay that way until it got wet again. Not so anymore! These hair ties are my new best friend! They don’t leave a bump AND they don’t pull out strands of my hair! Check them out!
Experiment with different washing methods
I went deep down the rabbit hole on this one. There are SO. MANY. OPTIONS. And of course, they are all the right way and everyone else’s is wrong. Before I decided I wanted to look less like a puff ball I would use a shampoo/conditioner all in one. Enter the rabbit hole. I have spent HOURS in Facebook groups studying this guys. HOURS. So let me spare you. Here are the two big ones, and the ones I can give feedback on.
- Co-washing- Using ONLY conditioner and no shampoo. My hair is too fine for this and I don’t have the patience. There’s a transition period? And you have to read the ingredients on the shampoo bottle? Nope. I get enough of that with Celiac Disease. Pass.
- No-poo/ Low-poo- This is a method using shampoo alternatives or like a ‘shampoo lite’ and a conditioner. This is what works best for me on a routine basis. It’s not hard, doesn’t take 37 minutes per wash, and it’s easy to understand. I Love my Deva Curl! Bonus that I can use the conditioner as a leave in too and it works WONDERS. Meaning I just don’t rinse it all out. (See sub 10-minute showers above) The link is what I personally buy and it’s lasted me almost a year.
- Hair ‘systems’- Things like Monat. I have and use Monat on a fairly regular basis. But it’s not an everyday thing for me. It takes too long, and it’ costs a lot. But on the days I do use it…..HELLO FABULOUS!
There’s a whole world of other terminology here (plopping, casting, unicorn cuts…) That I don’t care to get in to. Simply because I don’t do any of it. I don’t have that kind of time y’all! That and I’m just terrible at being a girl.
Every once in a while, I apply a product after I wash my hair. This is RARE. The suggestion I have here is ‘prayer hands’. Literally put your lightly-product-coated palms together as if in prayer, with your hair in between, and gently run them down to the ends. Repeat until all done. I typically comb after this to give my curls the ‘reset’ they seem to like.
Also, when applying oils (Like Monat, or argan oil) I use a SINGLE drop on the last ¾” of my hair ONLY. Otherwise, I look like a teenager in a bad movie. Again, my hair is super fine, so a little product goes a looooong way for me.
Consider your sleep
Once I stopped brushing my hair every morning, I started to realize I MIGHT be able to wear my hair down the day after a shower. Color me shocked! Then I learned about the ‘hair buff’ and pineappling. In essence, you are raising your hair above your head while you sleep to try and maintain those precious curls through whatever weird- ass dreams you have at night. And it WORKS y’all! I also use myhair buff for work outs and as a headband when i wash my face. Versatility is my favorite!
There’s a whole other rabbit hole we can go down here about defining your hair type and whatnot, but again, I have no patience for that. A truth that matters for EVERYONE is proper nutrition. And this applies to hair too. Once I started working on nutrition and taking Juice Plus every day, my hair started growing faster, breaking less, and looking nicer in general. Omegas are huge for hair/skin/nails too, so definitely get on those ASAP if glorious hair is on your agenda, but the ridiculous time commitments of some regimens are not. BUT, don’t forget the fruits and veggies. These are the basic building blocks that every cell in our bodies require.
There you have it! I may only wear leggings/ jorts/ jeans and t-shirts, but at least my hair looks great!
Below are all the products I personally purchased for my hair routine and care. These 4 things will last you forever, and take all the guesswork out of curly hair care!