View Full Version : Curly Hair and Styling

March 20th, 2011, 11:23 PM
So I have been reading a lot of different threads on LHC and naturallycurly.com, and I'm a little curious about styling curly hair. If you have been on nc.com, you have probably been overwhelmed by the dizzying array of leave ins, creams, gells,and techniques to protect and style luscious curls to friz-free perfection. Now I'm around a 3a, and nc.com has taught me how to style my hair down, but as I have spent more time on LHC I have started to wonder:Can curlies go (sor of) product-free?

Since I have started to care for my hair, a lot of frizz has gone down. A few days ago when we ran out of kinky curly curling custard, my sister did not use anything (maybe leave in?), and it didn't look that different. Also, some people report that they lose some frizz after henna. Since a lot of longhairs oil, would it be possible to use very little oil when wet to manage frizz and weigh down the hair a little?

When I have time, I will take a picture of my hair when it is styled and down, air dried with nothing, with leave in, and with oil (and something else if I remember). I am also considering henna to reduce frizz. I will also try to attack my sister with the camera :D.

Actually, on the note of henna, would amla/cassia/indigo also reduce frizz. I am actually pretty happy with my color, but I think it would be pretty cool to have a minimal styling routine.

(Note: it is late here, and I am sorry if there is anything incoherent in my post. I am strictly speaking about your natural curl pattern, but I will also post on getting curl by hair manipulation)

March 20th, 2011, 11:30 PM
I think oiling would be something to try. I oil my hair dry, and it really perks up my curl (which is more of a whirly wave than a tight curl) and lays down frizz beautifully. Coconut oil is pretty light, and lots of people here (me included) really like it.

March 21st, 2011, 12:40 AM
Well, I'm pretty much product free (other than shampoo and conditioner), so yes it's possible. :)

I don't like using product and I don't really like to style my hair. I feel that it styles itself, so my routine is more of a detangling/maintenance routine.

Basically for me, the quality of the curl depends on the night before (I'm a daily washer). I shampoo as usual, but I condition and detangle my hair in two sections. Then I squeeze the water out each section and plop them in a towel turban and leave it until I go to bed. When I wake up, I generally have two large clumps of curls that I seperate and detangle if necessary. If parts end up drying straight, I just re-wet that section and curl it around my finger.

Keep in mind I have big curls, and my hair isn't super thick, so this works for me.

I hope this posts helps. :)

March 21st, 2011, 12:48 AM
I don't notice a huge difference either BUT I think the weather plays a BIG part as to whether my hair looks good or not. I'm not sure exactly what it is (humidity or lack of) but there are just some days when it's really hot or wet when my hair will not behave.

March 21st, 2011, 12:57 AM
For me, I have very thin very blonde hair. Gels are no go because they instantly darken my hair ever so slightly when in so I have a permanent greasy look. I use a cheap coney shampoo and conditioner to control the frizz. Then I either add some straight conditioner as a leave in or use an actual leave in spray. For me I see no reason to use a tonne of product, $7 pantene hydrating curls works fine for me... But it really depends on your hair, everyone's is individual...

March 21st, 2011, 03:41 AM
I'm a 3a and have used minimal prodicts for the last 6 months or so.

A tiny bit of oil or aloe gel has been enough, with air drying to get a decent curl and minimal l frizz, and YEs I think the Henna has helped a lot here too :D

March 21st, 2011, 09:20 AM
I've been using only oils and shea butter for years now and my hair looks fine if I don't mess with it much out of the shower. After applying a little oil while wet, the curls/coils/kinks keep their shape.
I don't have the patience for conditioner/ leave-ins. I did try Teri LaFlesh's tightly curly method, but I hated the plastic feel and smell of the Aussie Moist conditioner.

March 21st, 2011, 09:53 AM
I, for one, have never been able to get my curly hair to look good without some sort of leave-in. I don't like using gels because they make my curls crunchy, but creams or conditioners are always friendly and my hair loves the extra moisture. My curl pattern ranges from 2c to 3b, however, and the longer it gets the more the ends need a little extra. I don't shampoo at all, and yet it still wants the leave-in!

March 21st, 2011, 11:05 PM
I only use leave ins if I feel like being like everyone else, and it always makes my hair feel gross.

Product free is the way to be! (unless you count conditioner and oil, which I do use :p)

March 22nd, 2011, 11:59 AM
I would just like to say... yes! yes! YES! It's completely possible.

I've been cone/gel/mousse/leave-in free for over a year now, and my curls and hair have never been prettier/healthier. The transition period was a bit wonky, but worth it.
Now I just use a little bit of coconut oil in my hair when I get out of the shower (and not everyday, either).

My normal routine consists of hopping in the shower, applying a tiny bit of conditioner (cone-free) into my hair to help detangle it. I comb in the shower, then rinse out the conditioner. I don't comb (or brush, but I never brush my hair) once I get out of the shower, because I feel that the water helps smooth the hair into a natural curl pattern.
Out of the shower I'll gently rub a little coconut oil down the length of my hair (not near the scalp) and that's it. I let it air dry, shake it out a little with my fingers and I'm done.

Edit: after rubbing in the coconut oil, I'll 'scrunch' the curls gently in my hand a little.

Of course, you have to figure out what is going to work best with your particular hair, but I'm a big advocate of not using a myriad of product. If you're looking to try going relatively product-free I say go for it!

Here's a picture of what my hair looks like on a usual day. I'm about a 3c curl. There are some more photos in my album, too.


March 22nd, 2011, 12:21 PM
I really don't do much with my hair. I leave in about a teaspoon of regular conditioner and about a teaspoon of LA Looks Sport Gel or clear Eco Styler. I can get away without using the gel, but I've found that leaving in conditioner is pretty vital for me, but it can be just my regular CO conditioner, it doesn't really matter as long as I leave in some conditioner.

March 25th, 2011, 04:38 PM
I will wash my hair in the morning and let it dry completely free of leave in, oil, or product

March 25th, 2011, 07:54 PM
I braid two braids (if I were 3c I'd probably do at least five), then put the braids up with Flexis in any of various styles. I do develop frizz after a few days; it's caused by shed hairs wandering around. I just washed my hair and combed out a lot of them; my hair is now in two bundles, held with the Flexis, and I'll braid it later.

I use henna, amla, and jojoba. I've tried Blood of the Dragon gel and didn't like it. I like my hair best when there's a little jojoba on it, and henna in it, and nothing else.

March 27th, 2011, 12:45 AM
So I cowashed with whole foods brand conditioner and let my hair air dry. I didn't add any oil, leave in, or product, I didn't scrunch. The only thing I did to it while it was drying was brush it back away from my face, wring it out, and I did bun it for a bit since my hair was bothering me (I don't know how long, but not through the whole drying since these are too tight to be bun curls). A few pics:



I'll add more to my album later (basically more of the same)

March 27th, 2011, 04:53 PM
Interesting! I too have looked at naturallycurly and wondered if you could get similar results with fewer products. I haven't gone without leave-in conditioner in twenty years, but then I've never tried CO. :o

March 27th, 2011, 05:50 PM
I'm not curly, but my 5 year-old DD is and her hair definitely puzzles me and drives me nuts! She's probably a 3a but has baby fine and thin hair, and she often gets frizzy. Most places I've looked give advice only for coarse and thick curly hair. I want to keep her beautiful curls, and I've tried a few things. I started doing conditioner-only (although not cone-free, I haven't found any!--so we use an Herbal Essence curly one) and it looks pretty good when it dries from that--but only if I leave it alone and don't try to comb it. Of course that leaves it tangled a bit, or sometimes alot. Even with a wide-tooth comb and some scrunching alot of curl falls out and gets more wavy ( and frizzy later). What do I do?

March 27th, 2011, 05:55 PM
Your hair is gorgeous. It looks all soft and fluffy. It doesn't look like you need to add or do anything to it, it's pretty on its own. I mean, add oil etc for moisture if needed but it looks super pretty without anything in it.

I find my hair does better when all I put in it is some cocoa butter. (I mean I shampoo and condition but I rinse all that out and then put on cocoa butter)

March 28th, 2011, 12:46 PM
Your hair is gorgeous. It looks all soft and fluffy. It doesn't look like you need to add or do anything to it, it's pretty on its own. I mean, add oil etc for moisture if needed but it looks super pretty without anything in it.

I find my hair does better when all I put in it is some cocoa butter. (I mean I shampoo and condition but I rinse all that out and then put on cocoa butter)

I'm thinking that I might just add a little oil or aloe gel, just to make it last longer. When I first started caring for myhair it was a lot dryer, and it wouldn't dry like it did in those pictures. I'm very happy that I can cut down to almost nothing now.

Plus, my hair feels so much nicer than when it was styled, because it would end up stringy and flat, andyou couldn't play with it as much when it had gel in.

Thanks for all the replies :cheese:

March 28th, 2011, 01:10 PM
Lollipop, your hair looks really good without product! You really have amazing curl definition, and very little frizz. I can't believe you have such tight curls even after bunning!

Personally I can't do without something in my hair, but it's so thin that layering products kind of kills the curl and shine. And if I bunned it, it'd pull out most of the curl and just leave me with a wave.

March 29th, 2011, 09:32 AM
Your hair is so shiny and healthy looking Lollipop! What an inspiration :) I'm almost able to go completely product free, but not yet. My hair LOVES a leave in conditioner and oil. I haven't found any other gel/mousse/cream that my hair loves yet. So for now, it's just a leave in with a small amount of oil.