Hey guys! Today I figured that since I’ve already covered my basic skincare and beauty regimens, I’d talk about how I style my curly hair. (I even made a video! And it’s not about my Birchbox!)

It took me years to learn the optimum way of styling my curly hair. Part of that was finally finding a stylist who knew how to cut curly hair. I CANNOT STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF THAT PART. Find someone you like who knows how to cut curly hair. I can’t tell you the number of times I came home from getting a hair cut in tears. My mother started to dread my haircuts!

There are so many more resources out there for people with curly hair than there were when I first permed my hair and went crying to my aunt who had years of perm experience. (As this would suggest, I always wanted curly hair. I think I had my first perm at 13. And then 1 or 2 more perms, and puberty hit, and voila! Forevermore curly!) But there are entire web sites to curly hair tips and products, such as CurlMart and NaturallyCurly.

I know I’m opening myself up to criticism, but I do NOT follow the Curly Girl Method, which prescribes no shampoo/sulfate-free shampoo only, no silicone products, and no heat drying. Among some other rules. They’re all set down in the book, Curly Girl: The NEW Handbook by Lorraine Massey (founder of Devachan Salon and the DevaCurl line) and Michelle Bender. It works for many people, but I’ve chosen another route.

Mostly because my stylist showed me the way that I use now to style my hair, finger curling, and it just works for my hair. But you decide what works best for you!

DSC_1216My current shampoo and conditioner loves: The Love line by Davines.

I did actually try the sulfate-free shampoo route for a while, mostly because my scalp gets dry and flakes. (It’s different from dandruff. I’ve been wondering about Aesop’s Sage & Cedar Scalp Treatment or Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturizing Masque—has anyone tried them?) But I did have the same problem, even with sulfate-free shampoo.

I kept hopping around because I couldn’t find one that smelled good AND made my hair look good (some made it look downright awful). For a nice long while, I was using Lush’s Curly Wurly shampoo, and I ADORED it, but one day my hair just stopped looking good with it. It’s a shame, because I really did love it and it smells HEAVENLY.

Then Davines walked into my life. I have only bought the travel-sized bottles, just in case they stop working too, but so far so good. I started off using the Love Curl Enhancing Shampoo and Conditioner. Then I got a sample of the Love Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner in my Birchbox, and I just adored the way it smelled and my hair came out even better. But I still throw the Curl Enhancing in there sometimes. (I do only shampoo once, because they are not sulfate free. And somewhere in my head, I still equate it with bad. 🙂 ) I comb the conditioner through my hair in the shower with a wide-tooth comb.

DSC_1218My aresenal! From left to right: Infusium 23 Leave-In Treatment, AG Re:Coil Curl Activator, Kiehl’s “Weightless” Curl-Defining Spray

As soon as I get out of the shower, Infusium 23 Leave-In Treatment goes straight onto my hair. (This was the miracle product my aunt introduced my then 13-year-old self to, and I’ve been using it ever since.) Then I immeditately use a little bit of AG Re:Coil Curl Activator on my Infusium-wet hair, and comb both of them through with my wide-tooth comb (top one). I do sometimes sub out the Re:Coil for other styling/curl creams, to experiment, and I do like some others, but this is the one I’ve been using for about 2 years.

DSC_0971As mentioned, my Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray

Then I spray some Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray onto my roots. This is what I’m currently using. Basically, my hair is fine and always lacks volume, so I’m always experimenting with volumizing products. Especially ones that don’t make my scalp oily after a day.

Next, I spray in my beloved Kiehl’s “Weightless” Curl-Defining Spray. You know how you find your holy grail product, AND THEN THEY GO AND DISCONTINUE IT?! Yes, well, this is discontinued. I have one bottle and one extra that I bought off of eBay. I have a search for any time it comes up. This stuff is magic, and I’m sorry that I am taunting you with its wonderfulness when you can’t try it yourself. I promise to share what I find to replace it once I run out. I dread the day. (If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears!)

I don’t spray too much of this on, since I don’t want to get crunchy (not that this makes your hair crunchy, anyway). Then I use my other comb (front) to party my hair and smooth it down.

Now comes the complicated part: the styling. Which is why I made a video. I figured a demonstration is best! To sum it up, I section it off and finger curl all my hair before blow drying it with a diffuser (both standing up and with my hair flipped over for volume).

(You know I like you guys when I let you see me like this. Don’t tell anyone how bad I look! But I figured out how to do some editing, aren’t you proud?!)

And that’s how I style my hair curly. There is really only one rule that you should follow, no matter what route you choose for styling your curly hair: NEVER, AND I MEAN NEVER RUN A BRUSH THROUGH IT. Seriously. Brushes and curls are pretty much nemeses.

I am basically incapable of blowing out my own hair, though I do infrequently use a straight iron. So it’s good I’ve got it down pat this way. 🙂

I hope this was helpful to some of you. Any questions? Do you have any curly product recommendations? How do you style your hair? I’d love to hear!


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11 comments on “The girl with a curl – How I style my curly hair”

  1. I'm still coming to terms with my wavy/sort of curly hair after all these years. I'm still learning about what to do with it, and sometimes I really like it all wavy, and other times I wish I had just straightened it instead. It's also a bit complicated because I have bangs, and curly bangs are how you say? Not so flattering on my wide face. I usually wind up bringing out the curls the most when I'm overdue for a hair cut and I'm trying to disguise the out of shape and ragged ends, and it usually works (although I'm still driven crazy by my bangs, and I'm too scared to try to cut them myself.) My hair is still mostly straight on top (even with the curly bangs – they're so baby fine and it's so hard to style them when they need a trim!) When my hair has been more recently trimmed and long-layered, the curls at the bottom come out on their own and don't really even need product.

    My favorite curl product so far is John Frieda Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Curl Perfecting Spray. I'm nearing the end of yet another bottle because when I use it, I use it liberally.

    I'm not ready to shell out for a Davines product yet, but I would like to try out a sea salt spray for more volume. Thinking of trying Bumble & Bumble, but it's also quite expensive. What I've been doing for volume in the mornings is pulling my hair up into a high pony tail on top of my head and then using hair spray on my bangs to hold them up and back (rather than use pins or clips, which make dents, and the hair spray gives me the extra texture I need) and then going about my morning routine, taking my hair down and fluffing it out/spritzing with the Frizz-Ease/restyling my bangs after I've finished my makeup and before I'm about to leave for the day.

    • I've been toying with the idea of getting bangs, kind of like Zooey Deschanel, but I am not sure I like the idea of straight bangs with curly hair (and also my hair is not as thick as hers, so my bangs would look different). And I would definitely need to straighten them. I couldn't do curly bangs, because the shorter my hair is, the more it curls. Actually, that's pretty much the rule of curls, so it explains why your bangs are curly. Length weighs curls down, so hair that's longer isn't as tightly curled.

      Ooh, thanks for the rec! Maybe I'll try this once I run out of my Kiehl's (though I hate to think that day will ever come!).

      If I pulled my hair up into a pony like that, it would ruin my curls, so it's not an option. My best chance is to do something when it's wet, and then sometimes add something when it's dry. I've heard good things about the Oribe products, but of course they're pretty expensive, and I can't shell that out right now.

      • Don't get bangs! You don't need them! Your face is perfect for your non-bangs hairstyle and vice versa! And then if you do get Zooey style bangs, you will get so frustrated with them so quickly that you will just want to grow them out anyway. Sometimes I wish I could just grow out my bangs and be done with them forever, but I went that route already, and my face just really needs bangs.

        I realize my volumizing trick is a little weird and probably not good for many curly styles, but the reason it works for me is that I like my hair to be straight on top and curly/wavy on the bottom (and when I've tried to get it curly on top, it either doesn't work at all, or it just looks icky.)

        So do you think a sea salt spray on the roots is really better than one of those other volumizing root sprays? I've tried a couple of those and was not impressed, including Wen, which is expensive, and not worth it.

        • I guess I just love them on everyone else, so I start to wonder…

          I don't actually know which of them is better. That's why I want to try! I've heard only good things about the Oribe Maximista spray, so I'm really curious.

  2. I've been hearing SUCH great things about Davines lately. Annie of xoVain just raved about it and now you're saying it's the HG of curly hair products? I've got to slap some of that stuff on my mane of unruly curls!

    Really well written and thorough article, thanks for sharing!

    ♥ Carrie

    The Penny Rose

    • Ooh, I'll have to go and see which products she used! I won't claim holy grail status, but my hair responds SO well to their shampoo and conditioner. I haven't tried the curl cream or any other styling products besides for the salt spray, which I received from Birchbox. But I'm totally interested in trying more, especially their OI All In One Milk.

      Thank you so much for the kind words, I really appreciate it! I'm still mortified over the video, but thought it might be helpful! <3

    • Oh, wow, thank you so much! I really appreciate it!

      I realize not many people are as lucky as I was, to wish for curly hair and then get it. (Though, between you and me, there are many times lately I wish it was just straight!)

      Have you ever tried curling with a straightening iron? It gives a nice, loose curl. I've seen people on YouTube doing it that way. Let me know if that helps! xx

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