Raise your hand if you used to perm your hair and have spent years and years and an unknown amount of dollars on products to bring your curls back to life? Yeah, I have both of mine up. My mom started perming my hair at a very young age — which at the time, I thought was routine for any girl who looked like me. What I didn’t realize was that for a single, working mom who didn’t have the time to constantly detangle and style my thick, curly locks, adding this oh-so harsh chemical to my scalp made my hair a bit more “manageable.”
I was 16 when I decided to stop permanently straightening my hair. I didn’t know what I was up against at the beginning of my hair journey, but I knew I wanted my curls back. The road to healthy curls has been winding, to say the least, but I’ve grown to love and embrace my hair texture and pattern (3c–4a to be exact). Once you find the products that work for you, your curls will thank you. Here are some that I have become obsessed with over the years:
For defining: Deva Curl SuperCream Curl Definer
I am always blown away when using this product. Every time I run out, I think, “Hmm, maybe it’s time to test out something new.” I do, and it never works out. I then come crawling back to this curl definer, and it brings my curls back to life. My curls are defined and, most importantly, deeply hydrated. I don’t know why I take a break from using this cream — I’m sorry for straying, SuperCream.
For twist-outs: Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls
This curl cream lives up to its name. Might I add: my twist-outs are the best after using this product.
For wash day: As I Am Coconut Co-Wash
If you’ve never used (or heard of co-wash), it’s like a conditioner that cleans gently rather than stripping like most shampoos. Bonus: this makes detangling a breeze!
For a deep condition: Miss Jessies Sweetback Treatment
I’m a sucker for deep conditioners and hair treatments. It’s an excellent (necessary) reset for your scalp and tresses after styling and adding different products during the week. One of my current faves is this one by Miss Jessie’s. I’ve been using this deep conditioner every week for two months, and I have noticed a sizable improvement in my hair’s thickness.
For weightless hydration: Briogeo Curl Charisma Leave-In Curl Creme
If you’re looking for a curl creme that defines your curls and leaves your hair incredibly hydrated without weighing it down, you found it.
For some scalp TLC: Briogeo Scalp Revival
My husband was experiencing some issues with his scalp and wanted to try some new shampoos. He didn’t have luck with the few scalp treatments he tried, but once I read more about this product, I had a feeling this was a winner, and sure enough- it was. He noticed a difference right away and was super pleased with the results. I thought I’d test this pepperminty (is that a word?) shampoo out myself, and damn. Not only do the gentle exfoliating beads help with dandruff and dryness, but it’s also great for clarifying your scalp and getting rid of any product build-up. I like to add this step the week following my co-wash.
For frizz-fighting: Briogeo Rosarco Milk Leave-In Spray
Okay, it may seem like I’m obsessed with Briogeo, but that's because I am obsessed with Briogeo. My curls LOVE this leave-in spray. It smells divine (like roses, Argan, and coconut oil, to be exact) and helps tame my frizz on days when the humidity refuses to let me live.
That winding road I mentioned earlier — let me tell you, it doesn’t come to an end. No stop signs, no rest stops. It’s just one long street that loops and curves (almost like a strand of curly hair). It has been over ten years since I’ve taken the natural route, and I’ve finally accepted that every wash day doesn’t end in a voluminous ‘fro, or achieving my best curl pattern doesn't happen after every twist-out. I love my hair — tangles and all — and I am up for any new challenges it may face on this journey. After all, it's not about the destination, right?
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