What was going to be a 3 month update turned into a 4 month update which is now almost a 4.5 month update, because that’s just how she rolls lately. A lot has changed and I’ve learned so much since my 1 month update, I’m excited to share!
I think I overwhelmed some people with my product reviews, but don’t feel pressured to try everything I do or become a product junkie like me. I love trying new things, I love buying new things — it’s just part of who I am, but you can keep this journey extremely easy.
The Things I’ve Learned
Invest in good shampoo & conditioner. I’ve seen it described that your shampoo and conditioner are like the “nutrition” for your hair and the stylers are like the “wardrobe”. My jaw used to drop at the prices on high-end products like DevaCurl, but now I understand it and I see the difference. I am only using salon-quality shampoos & conditioners now and I have seen a difference. You can 100% have a good curly hair journey with drug store shampoo & conditioner, this is just a choice I’ve made.
Don’t give up on a product after 1 use. Oh, I’m guilty of this one, but I’m learning my lesson! I hated DevaCurl products when I first tried them in my first month. They are very protein-rich and it really dried out my hair like straw; now that my hair is much more healthy, I used only DevaCurl products (Low Poo Delight, One Condition Delight, Wavemaker & Ultra Defining Gel) for almost 3 weeks leading up to my first ever curly cut a month ago. I liked them MUCH better this go around. Keep products around for different seasons, dew points, and as your hair gets healthier (unless you’re on a timely return policy like I was when I bought my first DevaCurl products).
Try different styling techniques. There’s a dozen or more out there, trust me. See what works best for you: damp styling, wet styling, the bowl method, “rake, wet, scrunch”, different ways to plop/dry your hair, pixie diffusing, hover diffusing, and on and on. If you’re confused, don’t worry, just hop on Instagram or YouTube and do a hashtag search and you’ll soon understand!
Use 1 new product (or line) at a time. I have been guilty at the beginning of my journey of changing a bunch of things at once…so how do you tell what’s working and what’s not? Now I only change ONE thing at a time, unless I’m trying a whole line like DevaCurl & JessiCurl. Even then, I always give at least 3 washes with just the line as is, then I add in more like flaxseed gel and a stronger hold gel to see if it enhances the line or makes it worse.
The Products I’ve Tried
Don’t judge me, I’m a self-professed product junkie and I know how to buy things on sale, so I’ve tried a LOT of things in the last 3 months, and some I have shared and borrowed from my SIL Laura who is also doing the curly girl method. Feel free to breeze past if this is going to overwhelm you!
- Giovanni Triple Tea Tree Treat (clarifying/cleansing) — I consider this a mild clarifying shampoo, it’s gentle enough and not too drying I could use it every other wash day. I got a huge pump bottle from Winners for $15 and I really love it
- DevaCurl Buildup Buster (clarifying) — I got it on sale as it was a really hyped up product, but I won’t buy it again as I like my others way more. I blend it with my low poo to make my low poo last longer.
- Ion Hard Water Shampoo (clarifying) — this will be my #1 going forward and the only one I purchase. I got it from Sally’s and it leaves my hair squeaky clean and I love that it is specially formulated to remove minerals and build up from hard well water
- Kinky Curly Come Clean (clarifying/chelating) — my MIL brought some back from Target for me and I needed to see what the big deal was. It was good, nothing wrong with it, but I won’t re-purchase, it’s not convenient for me to get
- JessiCurl Cleansing Cream (low poo) — I really wanted to try the JessiCurl line and this low poo was just “okay” for me. It was really thin and I prefer the DevaCurl for a low poo, won’t repurchase. Full JessiCurl review here:
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- Giovanni Triple Tea Tree Treat — This is a really nice, light conditioner. I consider Giovanni a mid-high end line that’s more affordable if you can find it in Winners
- DevaCurl One Condition Delight — I really like this one, but it is VERY perfume-y and I’m not even sensitive to scents. I would like to try their One Condition Original next
- Biolage Ultra Source Hydrating Balm — one of my fave curly girls to follow uses this and it’s her fave conditioner. It was easy to get at Chatters and I got the big litre bottle and it will last me a LONG time. I really like this one, it’s very moisturizing
- JessiCurl Aloeba Daily — eww, eww, EWW!!! The first impression I had of it, I posted on Instagram that it looked like “grey wound exudate”. Conditioner should NOT be grey, looks matter (to me!). There was nothing special about this one and I won’t be repurchasing
- Curls Blueberry Bliss — my favourite and I’ll keep buying it, it smells divine and has a nice hit of protein in it
- Kinky Curly Knot Today — it’s very, very moisturizing and has no glycerin or protein, I’d like to play with it some more to see if it’s worth repurchasing
Deep Conditioners & Treatments
- Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Mask — this is one of my favourite ones. It smells divine, you can leave it in up to 25 minutes (as recommended) and it has some great protein in it
- Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair — I’ve heard nothing but great things about this mask, I got $10 off of it and it’s the priciest mask I own…I will keep using it, but I don’t get the big deal, I didn’t find it to be worth the price tag, won’t repurchase
- Texture ID Deep Treatment Masque — I had a $5 off coupon for Sally’s so I figured I’d try this out for the low price of $6. It has some protein in it, but not a lot. It works really nice for an affordable mask; won’t repurchase as I like the Curls mask way more than this
- Curl Junkie Repair Me — this is a protein and moisture treatment, it’s very expensive, but per oz it’s not too bad. It’s really good, it works well and I like it, but I won’t repurchase because other things work just as good or better
- DevaCurl Melt Into Moisture — this is my favourite mask I’ve tried yet. It smells heavenly and gives such great moisture and has some protein in it to balance things out
- Alikay Naturals Avocado — I borrowed from my SIL and I did like it…but the texture really threw me off and I won’t buy for myself. It’s really really thick like a jelly/almost Jello consistency but it was quite nice!
- Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yoghurt Protein Treatment — this is a really affordable product at $13 from bigger Walmart centres and it was very nice when I used it! Probably the only SM product I’ll buy.
- Rice Water Rinse — this DIY treatment was a pain to do and my hair did NOT like it at all. There’s better ways (for me) to get protein into my hair that are much more convenient and easier to deal with!
Stylers & More
- Kinky Curly Curling Custard — I was looking so forward to trying this and it hasn’t disappointed me! It doesn’t have enough hold for me to use as a gel, but I use it as a curl enhancer and it’s awesome and very moisturizing!
- Uncle Funky’s Daughter Magic Curl Stimulator — This is just “okay” for me and I won’t repurchase. I got it on a good sale, but otherwise it’s quite expensive and it’s marketed as a curl elongator, which is the exact opposite of what I’m looking for
- Biotera Alcohol-free Gel — this is Curly Susie’s favourite gel so I wanted to see what the hype was and it’s not strong enough hold for me. It gives a good cast, but for my needs right now I like a stronger hold
- got2be Glam Force Gel — by far the strongest gel I’ve ever tried. It is like cement and impossible to scrunch out of your hair, especially the ends, if you use too much! Use spaaaaaringly! I do like it though, but I haven’t seen it in the stores since I’ve bought it
- Flaxseed gel — DIY and I absolutely love it. I even went to a soap-making store and bought preservative and some protein to add into it! Adds great moisture and curl enhancement
- DevaCurl Volumizing Foam — I’d like to play with foams more, I have heard they are really good for volume at the roots. Borrowed from my SIL and liked when I used!
- Righteous Roots Rx Oil — oils are controversial in the curly hair world, but so many of my faves use this oil I knew I wanted to try it. I don’t use it regularly and I use it for pre-poo scalp massages as it’s supposed to enhance hair growth; rarely I use it to seal frayed ends after I scrunch out the crunch, oil makes my fine hair too oily…go figure!
- Witch I Love Your Hair — another very popular product in the curly girl world that I really wanted to try. All it is, essentially, is a blend of essential (and other) oils and lots of curlies use it to refresh their hair. It smells amazing but I don’t get the “magic” of it, so I won’t bother to repurchase
No More Drama
As with anything involving a female-dominant community (per my experiences) there’s some drama in the curly hair community — shocker! I have absolutely no time for hair drama in my life, so I’ve left the curly hair Facebook group I was in when accusations of racism started flying with other members, and I find the biggest source of drama on Instagram to be the curly hair professional stylists passively attacking curly haired influencers. I have learned a ton about my hair from the professionals, BUT I know my hair better than anyone and have gotten my best styling techniques and tips from the influencers, not the professionals. No one can style my hair as good as me, and that’s okay.
It’s just hair — that’s my opinion. I just want to have fun with my curls and leave the drama out of it.