Let’s talk about hair. I was looking at an old photo from 2012 and realized my natural curls have come a long way since then. My curl pattern was very loose in those early years because not only did I used to dye my hair, but I would also straighten it without a heat protectant nearly every single day. Just typing that out makes me cringe now.
I still like to switch it up and straighten my hair from time to time, but it’s so much easier now that my default style is what naturally grows out of my head. It’s funny to say that because in reality, natural hair is pretty high maintenance in terms of creating a routine. What makes it easy is the fact that once you have your key products down, you can spend 5 minutes on a wash and go style as opposed to an hour-long process for straight hair. Today, I’m giving you a peek into my must-haves…a curly girl starter pack, if you will. Below are the 5 must-have products for all my natural curly-haired girls.
1. Deep Conditioner
When it comes to natural hair, moisture is high priority. I don’t know a single girl who has naturally curly hair and doesn’t own at least two deep conditioners. A deep conditioner is so important because natural curls tend to feel dry very easily, which is why we’re able to stretch the amount of time in between washes.
I always recommend Shea Moisture deep conditioners, but this post is focused more on the type of product rather than the brand. When shopping around, look for ingredients and descriptions that match your needs.
2. Leave-In Conditioner
Way back in high school when I first started to wear my natural curls, this was the step I skipped. Back then, those crunchy ramen noodle curls were the trendy thing so of course I just applied mousse directly to my wet hair and felt like I was ready.
Big mistake, ladies.
Incorporate a leave-in product into your budding hair routine and watch your hair flourish. The consistency will depend entirely on the thickness of your hair. Since I don’t have thick hair, I like to find a leave-in with a liquid consistency or that indicates it’s lightweight. Kinky Curly’s Knot Today is my personal favorite, but of course you should look for something that fits your needs. A leave-in will keep your hair moisturized and soft throughout the day, so don’t skip this step.
Oil is super trendy right now, but natural hair girls have known the power of oil long before beauty brands took notice and started marking up the price of pure oil and slapping their label on it. There are a lot of oils to choose from–coconut, olive, grapeseed, jojoba, macadamia, castor–and they all serve different purposes. Following the theme of this post, you’ll want to do your research and purchase the oils that focus on what your needs are.
I regularly use coconut oil on my hair, but I also have olive, castor, and macadamia oil in my beauty arsenal for sporadic use. Oil, just like a leave-in, will keep your hair moisturized throughout the day. The underlying secret to flawless natural hair is moisture, and oil is a major key.
4. Styling Product
A styling product is the last and final hair product you’ll need to incorporate into your natural hair routine. All of the products above were focused on health and moisture, while a styling product is geared towards providing your curls a little definition without compromising their curl pattern.
If you haven’t already, you’ll learn to embrace and love a bit of frizz, but the key is keeping the frizz manageable. A good styling product will keep frizz to a manageable amount, give curls definition, and still leave your hair touchable.
Remember: Nobody wants ramen noodle hair. Not in 2016.
For reference, I like to use Kinky Curly’s Curling Custard. It’s a gel that feels crunchy upon initial application, but you’re able to soften the curls by scrunching up your hair once it’s fully dry.
5. Bobby Pins
In terms of hair supplies, bobby pins are a necessity. Personally, I use bobby pins at least 3-4 times a week. When my hair is down, I like the look of pinning the front portion of my hair back because it adds a little volume on top and keeps hair out of my face.
That’s just one way to use bobby pins, but they will ultimately help you stretch out your style until it’s time to wash your hair. Use bobby pins to hide the pieces that refuse to work with you. Use bobby pins to keep hair down. Use bobby pins to twist your hair up. The key takeaway here is to just use the bobby pins.
Trust me on this one.
Deciding to put down the straightener and wear your natural hair texture can be a little intimidating since you have to find products that are geared towards your hair type rather than the style you’re going for, so I hope you found this post helpful. My biggest piece of advice is to start slow and try one product at a time. Pay attention to how your hair responds to each new item, and adjust to your liking.