Styling tips/product recommendations?

So, I just joined this site yesterday and I was hoping some of you could help me out.

In middle school, my hair wasn't really curly or wavy, it was just...poofy. I only shampoo'd (with cheap drugstore shampoos that likely contained harsh sulfates, my bad), I never used conditioner, so my hair was a dry, frizzy, straw-like mess. It basically looked like a tumbleweed. I didn't know how to style my hair, so I would just brush it and walk out the door.
Once I started high school, I began to use conditioner and my hair showed signs of waving, but I straightened them out with a flat-iron everyday instead of trying to work with them.

Fast forward to today (I'm 20 now), my hair alternates between waving and curling. One day it was so curly and voluminous that someone told me I had "80s hair" but I also have days where it's kind of flat with a bunch of waves instead of actual curls. I still have NO idea how to style it. Just like in middle school, I brush it and walk out the door (although most of the time I will at least add an anti-frizz serum to it, my hair gets soooo frizzy). A lot of products say to apply to wet hair, but I shower at night and I don't really want to lay my product-filled hair onto my pillow. Should I re-wet it in the morning and apply the products then? And what's the difference between mousses, gels, creams, etc? There are so many different kinds of hair products, I don't know which one is right for me.

To add a little more information, I think my hair type is either 2c or 3a and length-wise it's about 6 inches past my shoulders when wet. Also I've switched to a low-poo and silicone free conditioner. Co-washing doesn't work very well for me due to my oily scalp.

Please give me any curl advice or product recommendations that you have, I really want to be able to work with hair instead of against it!

P.S. I've heard some people say it's bad to brush curly hair, is that only if you're applying product to it?
Welcome and I'm glad you're looking to take better care for your hair! I promise with a bit of time, some tlc, knowledge, and a bit of experimenting, you will start to see the beautiful hair that can be, and was hiding due sulfates, brushing, rough handling etc.

First things first, you need to figure out your properties: porosity, width, elasticity, density. Curly Hair Basics | Live Curly Live Free You can also order a hair analysis from them if you're not sure. Once you know your properties, that will help you better understand what products you should be using. You can look around the boards for other members with similar properties, and see what they are using. That's a good place to start.

If you're interested in the CG method I would highly recommend getting the Handbook. Curly Girl: The Handbook: Michele Bender, Lorraine Massey, Deborah Chiel: 9780761156789: Amazon.com: Books

There's tons of good information on this site to supplement the above book. Before you go out and spend tons of money on different products, I would recommend reading a lot on this site and getting the hang of hair care. It can be overwhelming at first but it becomes easy once you get it.

Oh and never brush curly/wavy hair dry!
2BC/f/II. fine - low/normal porosity - medium density - normal elasticity.

Currently using:
Low-poo: Jason Mango bodywash
Cowash: Cure Care diluted with water 1:1
RO: Cure Care, V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: IAgirl's gelatine

light moisture, hydrolized protein, jelly stylers
guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, sulfates, jojoba oil
Neutral on cones.

iherb discount code: CFN646
Do visit here: Newbies info/introductions - CurlTalk

and read the stickies on top! Very useful info for newbies.
2BC/f/II. fine - low/normal porosity - medium density - normal elasticity.

Currently using:
Low-poo: Jason Mango bodywash
Cowash: Cure Care diluted with water 1:1
RO: Cure Care, V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: IAgirl's gelatine

light moisture, hydrolized protein, jelly stylers
guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, sulfates, jojoba oil
Neutral on cones.

iherb discount code: CFN646

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