Easy Organic Curly Hair Routine: An Update
Well it's been about seven months since I truly started my curly journey. If you're new to this blog, I have fine, 2c/3a curly hair that can be frizzy, greasy, and lose its curl literally overnight if I don't use any products. And recently I've developed dandruff, woohoo! But, I've got some products that have nearly solved all of my problems, and a new routine that has given me lovely curls for days. As an added bonus, these products are all clean, some are even mostly organic, but most of all good for you!
For you wavy gals: If you have wavy hair and haven't tried using a gel, you might be surprised to know you might actually have curly hair! Before I started this routine my hair would be really wavy most days, with a few curls thrown in if I was lucky. And that still happens without product! Scroll to the bottom to see how different my hair can look after I use gel, and after a few days when the gel has worn out!
*Also, though this article contains links to products, but I DO NOT get any sort of commission from sales. I honestly just really love these products and want to share them with you!
1. On wash day, shampoo with SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleansing Shampoo, and condition with Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Conditioner.
2. In this order, use Innersense Hair Love Prep Spray, LOMA Calming Creme, and Kinky Curly Curling Custard after getting out of the shower.
3. Diffuse your hair on high heat first with your head flipped forward, then to the sides, then right side up.
4. Scrunch out the gel, and say hello to beautiful curls!
The Detailed Routine
Day 1 is my wash day where I can start from scratch. Recently, I've been using SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleansing Shampoo (a mouth-full, I know!) with an added bit of apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil to combat this dandruff situation I developed (which I've figured out is from co-washing!). I added the extra ~2 teaspoons of ACV and ~1/2 teaspoon of tea tree oil to help further mitigate my dandruff. It didn't change the smell or consistency of the shampoo at all, and the shampoo concoction has been WORKING! I was over the moon when 90% of the itch was gone from my head after one use, and most of my dandruff is cleared up now (about three weeks later!).
I did not want to even get near Head & Shoulders shampoo, so I'm super stoked this stuff actually worked so well and so quickly. It also smells great and moisturizes really well, especially with the added ACV. I highly recommend this stuff if you have dandruff or have oily hair. I've noticed my hair can go longer without washing or dry shampoo after using this concoction!
So, once I shampoo, I condition with Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Conditioner and use about a 3/4 of a golf ball sized amount. Even with 10 inches off my hair, I still use a lot of conditioner. Remember, this product will be on your head for 3-5 days until you wash again, so you want to use enough to get you through the week! Plus, my curls just suck up all the moisture they can, so I'm not sure if I could ever use too much conditioner, haha :)
I really like the Desert Essence conditioner because it's pretty natural, and it's easy on my wallet. I try to stay as affordable as possible, especially with conditioner since I go through a bottle about every month and a half to two months. The particular variant I got is also great for combatting dandruff and oily scalp since it has tea tree oil in it, and it smells great!
Now for the styling. I have been on the market for a natural, non-toxic heat protectant since the last post I made. In January, my organic wishes came true and Innersense Hair Care released their Hair Love Prep Spray! This prep spray works as a thermal protectant and volumizer. They claim it "plumps" your hair, but I'm not sure if that's true as I haven't seen a different in volume or anything of the like. I will say my curls seem shinier and more put together though, so at least there's that! This stuff is a little pricey, but it has lasted me a while and I use it twice a week. I probably can get a total of 5-6 months out of it, so it's worth it to me! A lot of thermal protectants on the market have all sorts of nasties in them in an effort to protect for hair, but think of all the stuff you're essentially baking into your head when you use heat. Gross!
So to use the Hair Love Prep Spray, I spray it all over my hair first then comb my finger through to get it evenly dispersed. Easy peasy!
Next comes LOMA Calming Creme as a lightweight moisturizer and to tame some frizz. Since my hair is so fine and can get greasy and weighed down with too many products, I opt for a lightweight cream instead of a full-on leave in conditioner. I especially like this one since it really has helped my frizz situation and my hair is so shiny afterwards! I just put maybe two pumps max into my palms and run it through my hair.
I finish off with a curly girl favorite, Kinky Curly Curling Custard to keep everything in place for days on end. The gel, in my experience, is the most important part of the routine! If I don't use a gel I don't get the max amount of curls, and they surely don't stick around! I love Kinky Curly because it's the most natural affordable gel I've seen and it doesn't leave my hair sticky or weighed down. The amount you will have to use depends on your hair so play around with it. I use in total probably about a tablespoon and a half, and make sure to get it really evenly dispersed. Your hair should feel kind of slimy. After that is achieved I flip my head over and scrunch my hair to get ready to diffuse.
A lot of curly girls will tell you to never use heat on your hair, which is fine, but if it takes forever for your hair to dry (like mine!), girl, you go for that heat. My hair is way curlier when I diffuse, especially with heat. I've tried to cold diffuse and it just took forever and I saw no benefits honestly. Just make sure to use a thermal protectant on your hair first if you use heat.
I diffuse on high heat, first with my head flipped over front (this helps create volume for your roots!), then to the sides, then upright. Once I'm 95% dry, I scrunch out the gel and I'm left with bouncy, shiny, frizz-free curls for days! If your hair is still crunchy, you need to scrunch more. Usually, honestly, my hair isn't crunch free until day 2 when I've had my hair in a bun and slept on it a night.
At night I just throw my hair up in a loose bun on the top of my head and sleep on it. Once morning comes, I make myself a cup of coffee (caffeine helps your hair get going with the extra blood stimulation), finish it, and take my hair out of the bun. With a little adjusting, I'm ready to walk out the door! It's that easy!
Typically my hair will last a good 3-4 days. When I feel the need to wash, I do the whole process over again. I used to co-wash (conditioner wash) my hair the second time I washed during the week, but this caused me to get dandruff over time. I'm still not completely sure why but I think my scalp needs to be cleaned twice a week. My hair has honestly been shinier and more voluminous since shampooing twice week, so I've been happy with the results!
As a curly girl, a lot of this is trial and error and particular to your hair. This routine may not work for you but that's ok! Maybe one part does and the rest doesn't, I'm just hoping my experiences can help you find your way to taming your curls and waves. Also, it is OK to not have perfect curls everyday. I feel like sometimes the curly girl community can make it seem like if you don't have day 1 curls every day you're doing something wrong. But, that's simply not the case. Your curls change everyday and if on the next wash day your hair is practically straight, that's ok! It's just how things roll (see below pictures for how dramatically different my hair can look in just three days!).
Once a week I put organic castor oil on my scalp to moisturize and promote hair growth. I do this right before I go to bed an usually by morning my hair isn't oily anymore. Make sure you use cold pressed oil, or if you have to use expeller pressed make sure it is hexane free! Hexane is a chemical they use in oil extraction to get the max amount of oil out of the nut/fruit/whatever, but it is toxic to us!
Once a month I use a clarifying shampoo to get all the potential product build-up out of my hair. This is especially important for us curly girls! Using gel and other leave in's can build up on your hair over time and cause a looser curl pattern and less shine.
Also, once a month I go a couple days without any product in my hair just to give it a rest. Yes you're hair will be flat, straighter, and maybe even a little greasy, but I feel like my hair does better over time when it has some time to breathe!
Day 2 Curls
Day 5 Wave