Any curly-wavy girl can tell you in order to get our hair to look its absolute best, there is a lot of trial and error--for me It was mostly error--however, once you practice styling and play around enough, you learn what products, tricks and techniques you hair loves, and what they don’t love as much.
Remember, every head of hair is different so what I love, you might not love, and vice versa. But here are some current products and tools my hair cannot live without!
1. Satin pillowcase
Whenever I sleep on a cotton pillowcase, my waves will often be wonky and resemble a bird’s nest the next morning--not cute! If you don’t want to buy satin pillowcases, a satin bonnet works nice too but recently I read that the edges of the bonnet rubbing against my hairline may have contributed to some breakage--precautionary warning.
2. Original Curly Tee Towel
Any cotton towel or microfiber towel will work- as long as it is isn’t terry. Using this after the shower to soak up extra water has helped my hair air dry faster and with less frizz, more definition. The Original Curly Tee Towel always is awesome and uniquely shaped to make plopping super easy!
3. Tangle Teezer
My hair gets knotty pretty quickly--especially the ends--as my hair grows longer. The Tangle Teezer helps me detangle quickly and effortlessly without pain and breakage. I always use it when there is conditioner in my hair every shower and whenever I do wear my hair straighter or in a softer “2a” type of look, I will also use this through my hair dry.
4. Claw hair clips
Truth be told, I don’t know the actual name of these clips, but I know I can’t be without them. Because the front of my hair is a lot curlier than the rest, I always clip it back in these to help elongate them to match the rest of my hair better. These are also used to keep my hair out my face when I get stressed.
5. Ponytail holders, headbands & bobby pins
I have curly wavy hair. Do I really need to give an explanation why I cannot live without them?
6. Deep treatments
Between genetics and the fact I do color my hair, my locks are super, super dry. Using regular conditioner on my hair is a joke-- I deep treat every time I wash. It makes a huge difference in how my hair feels and looks. The longer I leave the treatment on, the better but I never leave it on less than 10 minutes (I always shut the water off of course!)
Some of my favorites
- Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair
- Living Proof Restore Masque
- Kerastase Resistance Masque Force Architecte
- SheaMoisture Strengthen, Grow & Restore Masque
7. Clairol Shimmer Lights Conditioner
I cannot use this on it’s own because it isn’t moisturizing enough, but being a blonde who is prone to brassiness, this deep purple-pigmented conditioner helps fight the copper tones. I only leave this on for 3 minutes max--if you leave it on too long, your hair can (and mine has) turned shades of purple.
8. Styling Product
Without styling product, my hair would just be super frizzy, uncontrollable and look worse than a lion. Different styling products have different purposed for me, but these are my favorites and how I use them.
Leave In Conditioner
This is always applied after shower. ALWAYS. I sometimes use regular conditioner for this purpose because, as mentioned earlier, my hair loves moisture.
- Favorites: Briogeo Curl Charisma, Jessicurl TooShea!, DevaCare One Condition, Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave In.
You probably do not need to use this and a leave-in, but it works for my hair, so I do it. I have been using the Living Proof Restore Cream for years. It is supposed to help with damaged length and split ends and my hair is so ridiculous split end prone I need the extra protection. This always gets applied on wet hair before other stylers, and then on dry hair for days 2 and 3.
Oh, gel. It defined and holds my curls, makes them look shiny and frizz free. The best technique for applying gel for me is Ouidad Rake & Shake.
- Favorites: Jessicurl Spiralicious, Devacare Arc Angel, Ouidad Curl Quencher, Raw Curls Strong Hold Gel
I like using an oil on wet hair at the end of my styling to seal everything in and give extra shine.
- Favorites: pure argan oil and the SheaMoisture Intense Hydration Oil Serum
An absolute must for days 2 and 3 hair. I spray section by section and watch limp waves return to life!
Second Day Hair Products
Usually on day 2 and 3 I use a lotion or hydrating gel of some sort after the spray just to help add moisture back in.
- Favorites: Living Proof Restore Cream, SheaMoisture Castor Oil Lotion, Raw Gels Medium Hold Gel, Devacurl Styling Cream, Briogeo Curl Charisma Leave In
This is a product I added to my routine recently but my hair has been transforming from it.
- Favorites: The Kerastase Fibre Architecte Dual Action Serum has 2 chambers with 2 different purposes. It is said to help repair and rebuild damaged hair inside and out. My hair has been looking better since incorporating it into my routine. I use it on dry hair.
9. Viviscal Hair Growth Vitamins
I am a big believer on nourishing your hair from the inside out and hair vitamins can help. I've tried many different kinds over the years and always go back to these.
10. Coconut oil
Though it is not moisturizing as I recently learned, pre-pooing with coconut oil makes my hair shinier, and helps to repair my overly damaged hair. I use a little bit on dry hair to help frizz.
11. T3 Lux 2i Blowdryer
Yes, I prefer to air-dry my hair, but in the winter I can't go outside with my hair wet and I don't have hours sitting around waiting so I have to diffuse. This blowdryer has tourmaline and ion technology and dries my hair faster than any other blow drier I ever used!
12. Filtered Showerhead
I kept reading how using a filtered shower head helps frizz, manageability, shine, color retention and the moisture of your hair. About 3 months ago I finally caved and got one (I got the T3 source hand-held shower head) and my hair has been less frizzy and softer. I can't really comment on color retention yet because I am overdo to get my roots done, but I can't wait to see what it does. It also made a huge different in how my skin feels too so I find it to be a worthy investment.
13. Sarah Potempa Wrap Up
Some days my hair just does not look good. This genius invention helps make my hair look work appropriate in less than 5 minutes! It turned what would be a messy bun and bad hair day into something a bit more elegant and work appropriate!
14. Huetiful Hair Steamer
I love deep treating my hair. Usually twice a month I take my deep treatments to the next level by using them under a hair steamer. Especially when my hair is really misbehaving, I know it is craving a dose of steam. My waves are always defined after using a Huetiful Hair Steamer and I believe steaming regularly made a healthy impact on my hair.