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The 4 Essential Products You Need in Your Curly Hair Care Routine

Right this way to healthier curls (or waves)!
The 4 Essential Products You Need in Your Curly Hair Care Routine
IMAGE Instagram/ysmnaaaa, Brands
ILLUSTRATOR Igi Talao
Right this way to healthier curls (or waves)!

If you’re anything like me and you’ve struggled with big, frizzy hair for almost all of your life, wondering why you weren’t just born with natural straight, silky, smooth hair like all those girls in the shampoo commercials, well I’ve got some news for you. Surprise! You might actually have curly (or wavy) hair. And I’m here to help you find out exactly how you can manage it. 

Creating a hair routine that works best for you will take a lot of time, patience, and trials and errors. These are just the basic building blocks you can use to get started on your curly girl journey, so don’t be afraid to try out different combinations! Experiment with what kind of stylers holds your curls best, which CGM-approved brands work best for your hair, what moisture-protein balance it needs, and more. Every girl’s hair is different, and what’s most important in your journey is ultimately learning to listen to your hair!

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Think you might be part of the curly girl crew? Here are the four basic products you need to get started on your curly—or wavy!—hair routine: 

1. Cleanser

The first step to a healthy curly girl hair routine is to cleanse your scalp with sulfate-free shampoo! Fun fact: most commercial shampoos include this chemical called sulfate that actually works to strip your hair off its natural oils. While this may prove to be useful for individuals with straight hair, as oil travels through their hair faster than it does for those who are curly or wavy, this may only cause hair like ours to be dry, de-moisturized, and frizzy. Bottomline is: our hair should be able to manage its own oils. And repeatedly washing curly and wavy hair with a sulfate-based shampoo will ultimately rid it off all the natural oils it needs to look, feel, and be healthy!

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Those with less curls than others, however, may find that they still need a little of that sulfate power to keep their hair clean of any extra oils or hair products that build up over time. I recommend using a healthy, clarifying shampoo that contains sulfate, such as the Human Nature Clarifying Shampoo, once a month in order to refresh and thoroughly cleanse your scalp!

curly hair products
PHOTO BY Brand
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Avocado & Tea-Tree Sulfate-Free Shampoo, P249, CURLS BY ZENUTRIENTSShopee/Lazada

2. Conditioner

A silicone-free conditioner is every wavy and curly girl’s best friend. This is because it’s what ultimately gives our hair moisture and thus life! Silicone is the chemical usually used in commercial conditioners and other hair products in order to make hair shinier. It does this by coating hair strands with a silicone film (like a plastic) that ultimately prevents moisture from coming in, leaving hair dry and frizzy.

It’s also important to note that too much moisture is not ideal for curly and wavy hair. This is because an overload of moisture might result in a loss of your hair’s natural structure and curl pattern. Pro tip: Make sure your hair gets the right moisture-protein balance it needs to stay healthy! Protein is ultimately what your hair needs to retain its structure and hold its curl, so a hair treatment such as a deep conditioner with Human Nature's Natural Daily Hair Treatment once or twice a week will do just the trick in making your hair’s curls become even more prominent!

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curly hair products
PHOTO BY Brand

Avocado & Tea Tree Protein-Free Conditioner, P260, CURLS BY ZENUTRIENTS, Shopee/Lazada

3. Styler

Stylers are hair products solely meant to hold and define your curls! Products like the Bench Fix Hair Gel work to seal moisture in and prevent moisture from going out in order to keep our mortal enemy, frizz, at bay. The gel comes in different levels of "holds" depending on how curly your hair is. (I personally use the Normal Hold (Green) since my hair is only wavy!)

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Other curly girls also like to use moose, custards, or leave-in conditioners as stylers because products like these are not only "holding" like gel but also very moisturizing. So if you feel like your hair needs a little more of a moisturizing kick, you might want to consider these different options.

curly hair products
PHOTO BY Brand
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Hair Gel, P69, BENCH FIX, Shopee/Lazada

4. Plopper

Perhaps the biggest, most significant, and most effective change I’ve made to my hair care routine among many is this. If you’ve got curly or wavy hair, consider this my ultimate advice: never use a normal towel on your hair. No matter how fun twisting your hair up into a towel after a long shower is, I tell you, you’ve got to resist! Normal towels put a whole lot of friction on the hair and thus contribute a lot to frizz. Instead, purchase a microfiber towel or simply use any old cotton t-shirt you might already have at home to plop your hair.

This may sound like a whole new concept to you, but plopping your hair is pretty simple. In essence, it really is just blotting out the water from your hair by gently squeezing and scrunching it up towards your scalp to encourage curl formation. Wrapping your hair up afterwards in either the microfiber towel or your old t-shirt will be far gentler to your hair than a regular towel and will be just enough to dry it, believe me! It might look funny at first but all the soft curls or waves that come afterwards make it all worth it!

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If you’d like to know more about the Curly Girl Method, join the community of 66.5K curly girls in the Facebook Group, Curly Girls Philippines.

* This story originally appeared on Candymag.com. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.

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