From the Archives: Curly Hair Care Tips for Curly Haired People

I was born bald.


Little wisps of barely there hair was all I came out with on my head.

Every single other inch of my body was covered with fur, probably to make up for the lack of it on my head.

I know, I’m not painting a pleasant picture of myself as an infant, but believe me when I say, bald worked for me.

Eventually this happened…

bossy baby

And, I hated it (not then, but later).  Curl fro was my look from then un

I wanted it to be different every single day of life right up through middle school.


Feathered bangs, gold chain, crazy shirt, hello 1991!

Some time during high school, boys started liking my hair (among other things) and I realized that it was kind of a good thing.  Like braces and gel.

I’ve gone through periods of hating it since then, but have now settled into a comfortable sort of love affair with my curly mane.

Mostly it’s because I’ve learned to care for it.  I’ve tamed it enough to make it do as I say.  I may not have broken its spirit entirely (it still gets sassy when the climate changes), but I’ve trained it up enough that it knows to mind me when it matters.

Want to get your locks (or those of your curly baby) to act similarly?  Here are my best curly girl (or boy) tips!

Curly Hair Care Tips for Curly Haired People

curly tips


1.  Invest tons of cash and time you don’t have.  I know, money and time, two things you don’t have, but you have to get to ground zero, and to do that you sorta just have to make the investment. If you are experiencing a perpetual bad hair day, I suggest you get yourself into a curly hair experienced stylist and let them work some magic on your rat’s nest head.  Need help finding one?  Try the Deva Curl directory, they have a pretty long list of expert curly hair stylists who use their method.

2.  Get rid of the icky stuff.  I’m not a naturalist by any stretch of the imagination. But, when it comes to hair care, even I have to admit that natural truly is better.  Since I started using paraben/silicone/sulfate/icky free products, my hair has been so happy (aside from when Ted was running his fingers through it), and bouncy and shiny and healthy and fabulous.  You don’t have to break the bank for the stuff though.  Ouidad is my secret weapon (meaning I use it once a month or so to keep my hair super healthy).  For daily styling and care I use Pantene Pro-V Truly Natural, and I get it at Target.  It’s affordable and it works.

3.  Leave.  In.  Conditioner.

4.  Leave out the comb.  I finger comb my hair pretty much every day.  It doesn’t break off so easily that way, and once you get in the habit of using better products and leaving your conditioner in it’s actually both faster and easier.  I do this on #3 as well and it reduces the tears dramatically.

5.  Work it.  If you want your hair to love you, you have to start by loving it.  Don’t pull it back into a bun, don’t put icky, damaging chemicals on it, don’t fry it off your scalp everyday trying to get it to do something it wasn’t made for.  Just embrace it already so you can rock the world with it.

caring for curly hair

This is my daily curl routine…

Daily: Use small amount conditioner in shower and finger comb it through hair while wet; do not rinse.  Following shower apply leave-in conditioner and quarter sized amount (you really don’t need a lot, even if you have a bunch of hair) of styling products.  Products: Ouidad’s Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner*,  Pantene’s Defining Curls Custard, and Pantene’s Shine Serum with Argan Oil.

Weekly: Wash with Pantene’s Truly Natural Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner.  Condition with Pantene’s Truly Natural Deep Conditioner.  Style as usual.

Monthly: Wash with Ouidad’s Curl Co-Wash, condition with Ouidad’s Curl Quencher Moisturizing Conditioner.  Style as usual.

And, for my curly Kid…

Daily: Wash at night with a curl-cowash, use a leave-in conditioner to comb it out (we use Ouidad’s Krly Kids No More Knots and one bottle lasts us about 6-8 months).  Comb out and braid if long.  In the morning, we spray on a leave-in conditioner and finger style the hair.

Monthly: Wash with a curl co-wash and deep condition. We use Ouidad, but there are tons of other options on the market. Consider sending an email asking for a sample before you buy!

*More affordable option: I’ve also had great results with Herbal Essence’s leave-in conditioner.


  1. says

    Oh how I wished that I had your hair. Mine is so thin and flat…surprisingly it also takes time to get it looking like I just got out of bed and looked effing fabulous.
    I can’t curl mine for shit.
    Ps. All the ladies had crazy brows back in the 90’s. Watch Pretty Woman and check out Julia Robert’s brows. Now that is all that you will stare at for the entire movie

  2. jessica t says

    Thanks for the tips! My little has curly hair and I needed advice lol. But geez she better appreciate me when shes older for all this work! ;-)

  3. says

    My hairdresser introduced me to Paul Mitchell’s Curls Twirl Around. ( I really love it because it keeps the volume in my hair, which most of the other products do not.

    Even though I have curly hair, my hair is pretty normal, versus dry. So many of the products made for curly hair add too much moisture and weigh my hair down or make it greasy. Blech. I have to use light conditioner and I don’t think leave-in would work well for me.

  4. says

    I love this! Even though I don’t have curly hair, I actually really want it! I think curly hair is beautiful and more women with it should embrace it! Great tips too :)

  5. says

    Amanda, this is brilliant. I am a mama to a child with the most gorgeous, curly Indian hair and I feel so sorry for her because for so long I had no idea how to manage it. NO clue. I tried product after product, wide=toothed combs, Moroccan oil, you name it. Her hair still looked like roadkill. Then in a Las Vegas elevator, I saw a woman with gorgeous hair just like my daughter’s and it was rockin! So I obnoxiously said, “Ohmigawd! How do you get your hair like that blahblahblah?” She was very nice and told me that she only washes her hair twice a month. She actually “washes” it with conditioner and then puts in the same Pantene treatment you do! She also does a coconut oil mask once a month. I want to kiss that lady. And you, for addressing the issue.