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10 Best Hair Products to Give Your Wavy and Curly Hair Extra Volume
10 Best Hair Products to Give Your Wavy and Curly Hair Extra Volume
Image Source: @hanzcurls

Flat hair is just the best, right? Don’t you spend hours trying to get your curls to be as limp and lifeless as possible?

Nahhh, probably not. When you have curly hair, volume is the name of the game. When your hair is full of volume, it flatters your face and adds more personality. The bigger the hair, the better, I say!

However, creating volume can be tricky if you have type 2 or 3 hair. Often, when you manage to get your type 2 or 3 curls super defined, it also becomes flatter and more limp.

There are lots of ways to add more volume to your hair, and using the right products is key. Here are 10 of the best products for boosting volume, including sprays, mousses, and tools.

1. As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo

10 Best Hair Products to Give Your Wavy and Curly Hair Extra Volume

Excess products and build-up are an enemy of volume — they weigh down and flatten your hair. Start your big hair day by using a clarifying shampoo first, like this one from As I Am. It’s gentle and sulfate-free, yet thoroughly cleanses your hair and scalp of all that residue.

2. Elucence Volume Clarifying Shampoo

10 Best Hair Products to Give Your Wavy and Curly Hair Extra Volume

Another excellent clarifying shampoo, this one from Elucence, clarifies your hair and begins to work on lifting it to create more volume. It features white willow bark, and reviewers say it removes product build-up without stripping your hair.

3. EVOLVh SmartVolume Leave-In Conditioner

10 Best Hair Products to Give Your Wavy and Curly Hair Extra Volume

For some extra oomph, you can also use a leave-in conditioner that’s specifically formulated to create volume. This EVOLVh SmartVolume Leave-In Conditioner is a bit pricey. Still, it features rice bran, bergamot fruit oil, and red raspberry seed oil to soften, moisturize, and protect your hair while also adding fullness and volume.

4. DevaCurl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam

10 Best Hair Products to Give Your Wavy and Curly Hair Extra Volume

For maximum volume, you need a light styling product that also creates a long-lasting hold. The DevaCurl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam is a consistent favorite at NaturallyCurly. It conditions, adds shine, and promotes volume simultaneously, with its blend of herbs like rosemary and lemon balm.

5. Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Spray

10 Best Hair Products to Give Your Wavy and Curly Hair Extra Volume

This is a “dual-action” spray: it volumizes your hair right away, but it also promotes thicker, fuller curls in the longer term. Maltodextrin coats each strand of hair to thicken it, while ginseng and biotin promote hair growth.

6. Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Volumizing Foam

10 Best Hair Products to Give Your Wavy and Curly Hair Extra Volume

This gel-like spray from Ouidad is excellent for use on wet hair to add volume. It’s lightweight, moisturizing, and doesn’t feel crunchy at all. You can also use this to refresh and add volume to second-day hair.

7. Diffon DF1 5000 Ceramic – Lightweight Diffuser & Curly Hair Dryer with Argan Oil

10 Best Hair Products to Give Your Wavy and Curly Hair Extra Volume

Creating volume isn’t just about which products you use. It’s also about how you style and maintain your hair. Diffusers are an attachment for blow dryers that diffuse the hot air over a larger area. They’re useful for many reasons, including being more gentle on your hair, but creating volume is one very useful side effect!

8. Nume Root Werk Root Lifter

10 Best Hair Products to Give Your Wavy and Curly Hair Extra Volume

Another way to add volume is to create more height at the roots with a root lifter, like Nume Root Werk Root Lifter. This product features hydrolyzed soy, wheat, and corn proteins to add long-lasting height and volume to your roots. You can use it on your roots when they’re wet or dry.

9. Cake Beauty Whipped Curl Defining & Volumizing Mousse

10 Best Hair Products to Give Your Wavy and Curly Hair Extra Volume

If your curls are starting to feel limp and greasy, reach for this mousse from Cake to add volume, lift your curls, and absorb any excess oil. This product is ideal for second- or third-day hair, especially for type 2s.

10. Afro Pick

10 Best Hair Products to Give Your Wavy and Curly Hair Extra Volume

Afro picks aren’t just for afros! For type 3 curls and above, an afro pick is essential for fluffing up your curls and creating the biggest hair possible. Focus on picking your roots and crown area. Your curls will soon be lifted to the skies!

What are your favorite tricks and products for adding volume to your hair?!

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair

Halloween is almost here, and you might be scrambling for a clever costume right now. While there’s no reason that your hair type has to dictate the type of costume you wear, it can be much easier to dress up as someone with your own curly hair type. Moreover, it can feel empowering to rock your curls on the most special night of the year (Halloween is the most special night of the year, right?)

You might think that, as a curly-haired girl, you’re limited to certain classic curly costumes. Nothing wrong with the old lioness or Diana Ross idea, but if you’re looking for something a bit more original, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s a list of 18 curly Halloween costume ideas, from 90s classics to 2023 blockbusters.

1. Dionne from Clueless

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair
Image source: @tracydimarco

2. Penny Proud from The Proud Family

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair
Image source: @followtheyellowbrickgirl

3. Winnie The Pooh

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair
Image source: @curlelia

4. East Compton Clovers from Bring It On

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair
Image source: @gelialaaah

5. Aaliyah

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair
Image source: @aziyah_zaliyah

6. Solange

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair

7. The Queen of Curls

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair
Image source: @mzbiancarenee

8. Medusa

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair
Image source: @curlelia

9.Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair
Image source: @curly.glorii

10. Scary Spice

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair
Image source: @heydonae

11. The Simpsons

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair
Image source: @kruellvdevil

12. Lola Bunny from Space Jam

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair

Image source: @avazura

13. Chucky Finster from Rugrats

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair

Image source: @kieraplease

14. President Barbie

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair

Image source: @ezinee.jpg

15. The Mask

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair

Image source: @itsveronicaaustin

16. Scarecrow

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair
Image source: @jamiefrombklyn

17. The “Fineapple”

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair
Image source: @brandirell

18. Dia de Los Muertos

18 Halloween Costume Ideas for Natural Hair

Image source: @imashleyhall

What’s your favorite Halloween costume that incorporated your curls? If you’re looking for more spooky inspiration for your little one, check out our kid-friendly Halloween roundup.

How to Make Braids Last Longer in Your Type 3b Hair

From neon box braids to “Lemonade” braids, braids are in right now. But really, when are they not? There are so many different versions of this low-maintenance protective style, and it’s a great way to experiment with color and length. But if you have loose, 3b curls, you may find your braids starting to unravel after just a few days. Not to worry – you’re not alone!

If your braids don’t last as long as you’d like, there are a few ways to make them last much longer. Skeptical? Just look at fellow 3b curlies who rock braids regularly, like Zoë Kravitz, Vashtie, and YouTuber Kersti Pitre for some living proof. Here are some tips for making your braids last:

1. Sweat the technique

A long-lasting braid style starts with neat, secure braids. Your braids need to be tight at the roots to prevent slippage, but not so tight that they cause tension on your scalp. Do plenty of practice on yourself, go to an affordable pro, or ask a skilled friend to help you.

If you have fine hair, try leaving out your edges to reduce tension on the scalp. Avoid braids that will be super heavy, like jumbo braids or extra-long braids.

2. Use products with a strong hold

When you’re braiding 3b hair, the right products are everything.

“Tres Flores Pomade is the only product that keeps my hair from frizzing up when I install my protective styles. It doesn’t flake either,” says Kersti Pitre, a YouTube braid guru with 3b hair. For long-lasting braids, regular ol’ gel simply won’t do: “You want to use a gel that is thick.”

Kersti also recommends Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey Shine Pomade to keep your hair moisturized underneath the braids. Use pomade throughout your braids to help your natural hair blend in with the braiding hair.

3. Choose your style wisely

If your curls tend to frizz up and start popping out of braids within a week or two, try a style like yarn braids or faux locs, which easily mask stray hairs. Alternatively, you can go for a less-sleek micro-braid style, like Zoë Kravitz’s signature look.

“I usually redo them once a month and [sometimes] in between,” Zoë told Refinery29. She totally embraces the frizz along the way – and it looks magical.

Jumbo box braids are another great option for 3b hair. They take less time than small braids or scalp braids, and they’re cheap and easy to do on yourself. Celebrity hair braider Guin Gui shows how simple the style is on Vashtie’s hair.

With proper maintenance, you can make any braid style last for a few weeks if you follow the next 4 steps.

4. Wrap it up!

Once your braids develop frizz, it’ll be difficult to make them look completely neat again without re-doing them. To avoid frizz as much as possible, wrap your hair with a secure silk or satin scarf at night. A silk pillowcase is a helpful back-up, but nothing will keep your edges maintained like a scarf will. No excuses!

5. Cut down your wash routine

Yes, you need to keep your scalp clean while your braids are installed. But your regular wash routine will absolutely cause frizz at the scalp – not to mention how long it’ll take to dry all of that hair! Instead, use a root rinse or treatment, like Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey Clarifying Scalp Treatment, to cleanse your scalp.

6. Regular touch-ups

To touch up your edges and any loose sections of the hair, you can use the same product that you or your braider used initially – a heavy pomade.

If you notice some frizz and want to reduce it, YouTuber Jade recommends a defining mousse to lay hairs back down, and a strong-hold hair spray like will further keep those hairs in place. Don’t forget to use a hair scarf to set the style!

To really lengthen your style, you can re-braid the most important, visible braids – the front edges. Re-braiding takes a bit of time, but it’s nowhere near the length of time that it takes to braid your entire head of hair, and it’ll make your braids look practically brand new again. This can add another week or two to your braids.

Avoid other maintenance shortcuts, like re-twisting your roots, which are ultimately damaging to the hair.

7. Keep braids moisturized

Use your favorite moisturizing oils and sprays to keep your hair soft and shiny.

“To maintain [my braids], I’ll use some coconut oil,” Zoë said. Other women prefer Jamaican black castor oil. There are also an array of braid sprays available; look for one without mineral oil, which can cause build-up.

Fellow 3b curlies, how long do you keep your braids in? How do you do it? Let us know below in the comments! If you’re looking for braided hairstyle ideas, check out this article.

10 Best Heat Protectants to Save Your Curls From Heat Damage

We all know that heat isn’t the best for your hair, but there are plenty of good reasons to reach for the blow-dryer or flat iron. Sometimes, you just need to try out a new hairstyle — part of the fun of curly hair is how versatile it is! Also, using a blow dryer can help add volume and definition, not to mention majorly speeding up the drying process.

When you do decide to reach for the heat, you should always apply a heat protectant first. These products are specifically formulated to serve as a barrier between your hair and the heat. This layer of protection can make the difference between fried hair and healthy, happy curls.

Here are 10 of the best heat protectant sprays, serums and creams for protecting your hair from heat damage!

1. Mizani Style Shifter Society Heat Screen Heat Protectant Spray 

10 Best Heat Protectants to Save Your Curls From Heat Damage

This lightweight heat protectant spray contains rose water extract to soften hair and give it shine, without leaving behind a sticky residue. It will shield your hair from heat damage up to 450°F whether you’re using a curling wand, flat iron, or even just diffusing. 

2. Curl Keeper Thermal Heat Defence 

10 Best Heat Protectants to Save Your Curls From Heat Damage

This new heat protectant from Curly Hair Solutions has a creamy consistency that gets through thick curls and creates a protective barrier for hair and keeps it smooth even in humidity. It also has a water-based formula that won’t dull or build up on hair – ideal for curlies who are sulfate-free. 

3. Cantu Thermal Shield Heat Protectant

10 Best Heat Protectants to Save Your Curls From Heat Damage

This product provides moisture, frizz control and heat protection all in one bottle. It’s formulated with shea butter and silk, and it protects hair from heat up to 425 degrees. Spray it onto your hair while it’s damp and then blow dry or flat iron.

4. Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray

10 Best Heat Protectants to Save Your Curls From Heat Damage

This Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray repairs damage and eliminates frizz while also protecting your hair from heat. It’s silky, not drying, and it won’t weigh your curls down. Just apply it to clean, wet hair from roots to tips.

5. Creme of Nature Argan Oil Heat Defense Smooth & Shine Polisher

10 Best Heat Protectants to Save Your Curls From Heat Damage

You can use this spray on either damp or dry hair. Featuring argan oil and honey, it protects your hair from heat styling, but it also does much more — it seals in moisture, promotes shine, and eliminates frizz. You can even re-apply it to your hair to refresh it and add more shine.

6. Design Essentials Agave & Lavender Weightless Thermal Protectant Serum

10 Best Heat Protectants to Save Your Curls From Heat Damage

This serum is designed for “fine to normal” hair. A few drops of this serum will protect each strand from heat damage without weighing down the hair. The serum also seals moisture into the hair cuticle, making your hair look healthy and shiny.

7. Eden BodyWorks Hibiscus Honey Hydration Blow Dry Cream

10 Best Heat Protectants to Save Your Curls From Heat Damage

Looking for a styling cream and a heat protectant in one product? Look no further. This cream is moisturizing, and it helps to define each strand and keep your hair in place. This product is best for those who aren’t heavy-handed with the heat tools, because it’s only designed for blow-drying, and Eden BodyWorks recommends waiting until your hair is 60 percent dry before blow-drying.

8. Mixed Chicks Straightening Serum

10 Best Heat Protectants to Save Your Curls From Heat Damage

Before you reach for the flat iron, reach for this straightening serum. It results in super shiny and smooth hair, and it’s humidity resistant, so your straight hair won’t revert to curls even in the summer heat. No more dry frizzy hair after the flat iron!

9. Sashapure Smoothing & Shine Hair Treatment

10 Best Heat Protectants to Save Your Curls From Heat Damage

Who knew one product could do so much? This multipurpose hair treatment is rich in omegas, vitamins, and amino acids, so it delivers a powerful dose of nutrients to your hair. It protects your hair from heat as well as tangles, humidity and damage; but you can also use it for styling and detangling, as it softens, smoothes and moisturizes the hair.

10. Miracle 9 Touch of Nature Silk and Smoothing Honey & Avocado Heat Serum

10 Best Heat Protectants to Save Your Curls From Heat Damage

This heat protectant is great for Type 2 Wavy, Type 3 Curly, and Type 4 Coily categories. The spritz provides defense against heat-styling tool and leaves hair with a silky finish.

Do you use a heat protectant? If you’re looking to maintain your beautiful tresses, read How to Keep Your Straightened Hair from “Shrinking Back Up“.

Why You Should Use Jamaican Black Castor Oil for Hair Growth

Jamaican black castor oil has soared in popularity in recent years. Nowadays, companies like SheaMoisture and Eco Style Gel have entire product lines devoted to Jamaican black castor oil (JBCO). But nothing is quite as potent as the original pure oil itself – brown, syrupy, and magical. There’s a reason why natural-haired women sing JBCO’s praises like they’re at church.

What are the benefits of Jamaican Black Castor Oil for hair?

Jamaican black castor oil has a range of different benefits – it treats dandruff, moisturizes hair, promotes hair growth, treats acne, and even relieves muscle pain. These properties set it apart from other nourishing oils, like coconut or argan.

This special oil may be a new discovery for some of us, but in fact, it’s been used traditionally in Jamaica for many years. Unlike plain castor oil, JBCO involves a roasting process, which gives it its characteristic dark color and burnt smell.

To learn more about the miracle of JBCO, we caught up with Delroy Reid, the founder of Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

Reid was inspired to start Sunny Isle by his Jamaican relatives. During a visit to the island, Reid noticed his aunt using black castor oil. He had a sudden flashback to growing up in Jamaica, where he often watched his mother and grandmother apply JBCO to their hair and acne. It made their hair grow thick and long, and it kept their skin clear.

Right then, Reid had a lightbulb moment. He decided to start exporting the oil from Jamaica to the United States. Since then, Sunny Isle has become the go-to brand for many JBCO die-hards.

We got the scoop from Reid on how to use JBCO, what’s really in it, and how it stands out from other oils.

What can JBCO do for wavy, curly and kinky hair types?

Jamaican Black Castor Oil works for all hair types. It will moisturize, thicken, strengthen and rapidly increase hair growth. It increases blood flow to the scalp, supplying valuable nutrients to hair follicles. Jamaican Black Castor Oil will also prevent hair breakage, dandruff, eczema and dry, itchy scalp. Jamaican Black Castor Oil has crossed over into other ethnic groups, and is now being used widely for some of the same purposes, as well as new found uses including eyelash and eyebrow hair growth and as massage oil. This versatile oil carries many varied uses.

Is there a specific hair type that will benefit the most?

Jamaican Black Castor Oil works for all hair types and textures. A healthy scalp means healthy hair. It works for all hair types because the oil works on the hair roots/follicles and not the hair itself.

OK, so what is different about JBCO versus other castor oils?

Over the last ten years, it is an established precedent that Jamaican Black Castor oil is more effective than the clear pharmacy castor oil because of the ash content due to roasting of the beans. Therefore, it stands to reason that the more ash content, the more effective the oil. This is not a myth, it is evidence based on scientific facts. 

Other than hair growth, are there any issues JBCO can solve for women with textured hair?

JBCO will solve the following: Dry brittle hair, hair breakages, dandruff, dry itchy scalp, eczema, thinning hair, alopecia, bald spots, and will rapidly increase hair growth including eyebrows and eyelashes.

So what’s in it? Is it organic? Sulfate-free? Anything we should know?

The scientific name for the castor bean is Ricinus Communis. It is organic and sulfate-free. There is nothing in it that will harm your hair. Although JBCO can be used as a laxative, we do not encourage that because we are not doctors. Therefore, it should only be used externally.

Got it. And where did this product come from originally? What is its story?

Castor oil has been used medicinally for over 4,000 years for all kinds of ailments. The castor bean is native to Eastern Africa and made its way to Jamaica via the slave trade. Today, the castor oil is manufactured the old fashioned way in Jamaica. Authentic Jamaican Black Castor Oil is dark brown in color and accompanied with the traditional burnt smell.

If the words “burnt smell” make you wrinkle your nose, don’t fret – JBCO comes in many different scents, most of which are pretty yummy. Once you get your hands on some, here’s how to use it properly.

How to Use Jamaican Black Castor Oil On Curly Hair

 JBCO helps promote hair growth; it also keeps your hair soft, moisturized, and strong. JBCO is also a natural antibacterial and antifungal, so it’s great for those who have flaky or itchy scalp conditions.

But, as you’ll notice, JBCO is a heavy, sticky oil – it’s not an oil that you apply all over your hair every day.

Instead, apply a small amount to your roots and scalp at night before bed. Massage it in, then head to sleep. Don’t worry about your scarf or pillow – the oil absorbs easily into the scalp, so it won’t make a mess. You can repeat this anywhere from 3 times a week to daily.

How to Use Jamaican Black Castor Oil for Hot Oil Treatments

 Once a week, use JBCO as a hot oil treatment. Apply a generous amount of oil from your roots to your tips. Massage it into your scalp and hair. Then cover your hair with a plastic cap, and sit under the dryer for 15 to 30 minutes. Then rinse with cool water. You can also use our full tutorial on JBCO hot oil treatments.

How to Use Jamaican Black Castor Oil For Eyelash, Eyebrow, or Beard Growth

JBCO is not just for the hair on your scalp! It works on facial hair, too. It can help fill in bare patches on your eyebrows as well as grow your lashes longer than ever. For those with beards, JBCO can help your beard grow thicker and fuller.

Apply JBCO to a clean, freshly-washed face.

For eyelashes or eyebrows, dip a mascara wand or cotton swab into JBCO, then use a clean tissue or towel to wipe away the excess. Apply a thin layer across your lashes and/or eyebrows. Repeat daily.

It’s best to apply JBCO at night before you go to sleep. That way, it has plenty of time to work its magic before you rinse it off in the morning. Use lukewarm water to remove all traces of the oil from your skin.

For beards, simply apply 6-8 drops of JBCO into your facial hair daily and massage well.

What’s your favorite brand of JBCO? What do you use it for?

This article has been updated for grammar and clarity.

6 Tricks to Try Before You Go for the Big Chop

Sometimes heat damage sneaks up on you, and by the time you realize the extent of the issue, it’s so extreme that a haircut seems like your only solution. Heat damage is not technically reversible, so getting rid of the damaged hair is sometimes a painful-but-necessary step in restoring your hair’s health.

6 Tricks to Try Before You Go for the Big Chop
Image Source:@mahoganycurls

But you don’t need to leap straight to grabbing the scissors and chopping your damaged hair off. You may still be able to save those curls or tide yourself over until the damage grows out!

Here are a few tricks to try before cutting off your heat damage.

Lower the heat

If your hair is already heat damaged, then adding more heat is only going to make the situation worse. If your blow dryer or flat iron is your BFF, it may be hard to take a complete break, but that’s really the best route for the sake of your hair.

If you absolutely can’t take a break from the heat, then lower it. Stick to 350 degrees or less, and drastically reduce the frequency with which you use heat tools. Always use a heat protectant before you apply heat to your hair.

Protein treatments

Your hair is made of protein, and heat can alter the structure of the proteins in the hair, resulting in a different texture (i.e. those long, stringy bits”>. Protein treatments, such as the ApHogee 2 Step Protein Treatment, help reconstruct the hair cuticle and encourage your old curl pattern to come back. Some curlies can be sensitive to protein treatments, so make sure to follow the directions carefully. Always follow with a great conditioner.

Deep conditioner

Deep conditioning is always important for curly hair, but you should step up the intensity when your hair is damaged. Opt for a rich, nourishing deep conditioner, like the tgin Honey Miracle Hair Mask or the Soultanicals Afrotastic Curl Elastic Deep Conditioning Treat. Increase the conditioner’s level of penetration by warming the mask before you apply it to your hair, using a steamer, or using a hair dryer attachment. Deep condition 2-3 times weekly until you see results.

Olaplex treatments

Hair stylist April Kayganich of Austin, Texas swears by a stand-alone Olaplex treatment for her clients with heat damage.

“Olaplex is a bond building treatment that helps to add disulfide bonds to the hair and crosslink any damaged bonds to make the hair healthier again,” she explained to NaturallyCurly.

“It won’t be remedied in just one treatment however. It depends on the degree of damage.”

You have to go to a salon professional to get an Olaplex treatment done.

“Olaplex #1 is mixed with water and applied to the hair. After 5 minutes, you will add the Olaplex #2 to the hair as well, comb through and let sit for 20 minutes,” April said.

“You will also have to do Olaplex #3 treatments weekly at home and you can purchase through Sephora’s website or Olaplex’s website.”

Dusting vs. cutting

Another trick is to dust the ends of your hair rather than cutting them. “Dusting” means removing only the split ends of the hair. It’s much less drastic than cutting your hair or even trimming it; it’s subtle enough that you can’t tell any hair has been cut at all.

The ends of your hair are typically the most damaged, and that’s also where the heat damage is most visible. If you leave the split ends, the damage will also travel up the hair shaft, so it’s better to get rid of the ends if possible. By dusting rather than cutting the hair, you don’t have to lose any length. As your hair grows out, you can continue trimming it bit by bit until all of the damage is gone.


If you don’t want to cut off the damage and need something to tide you over while you grow it out, protective styles are your friend. This is a great time to experiment with braids, locs, weaves, and wigs. Just make sure that you also continue to nourish and rebuild your hair underneath!

If you’ve had heat damage, did you cut it off or not? How did it work out?

Your Valentine’s Day Hairstyle is Here

It’s that time of the year again! Time to get dolled up, eat a lot of chocolate, and go out to dinner with your boo or your BFFs. Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day. Theoretically, this is the date night of the year, so you want to look your best, yes?

Whether you have waves or coils, short or long hair, serious braiding skills or absolutely zero braiding skills whatsoever, there’s a Valentine’s Day hairstyle with your name on it, right here.

1. Flat Twist Up-Do

Braided up-dos are a classic curly hairstyle for special occasions. But what if you can’t braid? This up-do uses flat twists instead of braids, so pretty much anyone can do it. It also uses a Flexi Rod set to achieve perfectly uniform spirals. This hairstyle is great for type 3c or 4 coils.

2. Undone Curly Bun

This bun style makes the most of your curls by leaving spirals out of the updo. This is the perfect look for anyone who prefers an imperfect style. Even if your hair is above shoulder-length you can grab your bobby pins and get pinning. This look is great for type 3 curls.

3. Issa Rae-Inspired Up-Do

If you’ve ever seen Insecure, you’ve definitely seen Issa Rae rocking this look. She makes it look so casual, but it’s actually a cute, fancy up-do that’d be perfect for a romantic date! This look is best for short type 4 hair.

4. Sleek High Bun

Never underestimate the power of a high bun! This look is versatile enough for a variety of hair types – as long as your hair is long and curly, you can recreate this look. It’s all about two things – laying those edges down, and getting volume in the bun.

5. Front Twist Up-Do

This up-do features a Flexi Rod set on the entire back section of the hair. The front is twisted to one side, which frames the face with a cool crown effect. It’s a fun and flirty look. This hairstyle will work well for type 3 or 4 hair.

6. Crown Braid

Speaking of crown braids – yes, you can make a crown braid on curly hair! This hairstyle works great for type 2 or 3 curls – any waves or loose curls will work well. It’s versatile, too – you can braid all of your hair into the crown, or you can stop halfway and create a bun or ponytail. It’s up to you!

7. Elegant Twist-Out

Some naturalistas feel their absolute best when their hair is down, not up. If that’s you and you have type 4 hair, try this amazing twist-out technique. It’s simple, yet so gorgeous.

8. Twisted Up-Do

This up-do looks really complicated and fancy. But it’s actually not that complicated at all. You simply separate your (stretched”> hair into three sections, twist each one, and then pin those twists into place to create an up-do. This is perfect for long, stretched type 4 coils.

9. Low Wispy Bun

If you have waves or very loose curls, a carefully sculpted low bun is one great option for a low-maintenance Valentine’s Day look. The key to this look is those face-framing bits of hair, which make the hairstyle understated and magical. The tutorial includes the use of a curling iron, but you can definitely skip that step and define your curls without heat if you prefer!

10. Braided Up-Do

If you’re confident in your braiding skills and don’t mind spending a bit of extra time on your hair for Valentine’s Day, this braided up-do is an amazing option. It requires you to braid the back of your hair upward, and it also requires curlers and some time under the dryer… But the end result though! So cute. This is ideal for stretched type 4 hair.

11. Half-Up-Half-Down

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re short on time or having a lazy day, this half-up-half-down look manages to be stylish as hell without requiring much work. The secret is in the pin curls, which quickly define those frizzy bits of your hair. This hairstyle is great for type 3 hair.

12. Flat Twist with Bun

Whether you’re hair curly or blown-out, try this flat twist style to add volume and texture to your hair for a soft, sleek and romantic look.

13. Date Night Pineapple

You might already be familiar with the pineapple, which is a cornerstone of many curly girls’ hair routines. It’s often used at night or after washing the hair, but a pineapple is also a hairstyle in itself! When the front is smoothed down, it looks 100% date-night-ready. This style will work best for type 3 or 4 hair.

14. Sleek And Fluffy Ponytail

This hairstyle is business in the front, party in the back. The front is effortlessly sleek, with perfectly laid edges, while the ponytail in the back is full of volume and defined curls. This hairstyle will work well for anyone with type 3 curls. Skip to 8:40 in the video for the hair tutorial!

15. Curlformers Up-Do

This braided up-do hairstyle is perfect for loose curls. It first uses Curl Formers to create soft, defined curls all over. Then one side of the hair is French-braided, while the other is loosely pinned into place. The result is understated yet elegant enough for dinner and drinks.

How are you planning to style your hair for Valentine’s Day, and what are your V-Day plans? Share with us in the comments!

How My Fine Curly Hair Routine Changed After Going Blonde

I recently underwent one of the biggest changes that a curly girl can go through: I went blonde. The urge to dye my hair hit me so suddenly that I really didn’t put too much thought into the potential negative effects of bleach on my hair, and when people warned me, I did my best to ignore them. Luckily, the bleach didn’t harm my hair too much! I’ve been able to maintain the integrity of my curls while enjoying the brand new blond look by making some careful changes to my hair care routine and go-to products.

How My Fine Curly Hair Routine Changed After Going Blonde
Image Source: @taurantula

Here’s how I adapted my 3b curly hair routine after bleach, plus a list of my new favorite products.

My hair stylist, Selma Alamin in New Orleans, gave me blond balayage with dark unbleached roots. The entire process took about four hours, and because my hair is waist length, she had to use a lot of product. Many stylists use Olaplex after bleaching to repair the hair’s bonds, but my stylist didn’t use any on my hair this time.

Before this, my hair was “virgin” with no dye in it. Thankfully, I found that my curl pattern didn’t change after bleach, nor did I notice any increase in breakage. If anything, my curls are curlier and springier now, because I’m more careful about styling them.

My curls have changed in two other big ways, though: they’re drier, and they’re more frizz-prone. This has forced me to tweak my hair routine.

How my routine has changed

Before bleach, I was frankly a little lax about moisturizing my hair. I used light leave-in products, I slacked off on deep-conditioning, and I didn’t bother refreshing my hair every day. I only moisturized it on wash day or if it got incredibly dry.

After bleach, my hair needs much more moisture. If I don’t refresh it every single day, it becomes very visibly dry. So, I make sure to hydrate and condition my curls every morning. I spritz with water, then add some leave-in conditioner or hair milk.

Along with dryness comes frizz, so my hair is more frizz-prone. The lighter color also means that the frizz is more visible to the eye. When I had dark hair, I learned to embrace my frizz and the greater volume it came with. But with blonde hair, that amount of frizz just doesn’t look or feel right — it feels unhealthy. To keep my curls defined, I now use stronger hold products and refresh daily.

Deep conditioner has also become an indispensable part of my hair routine. Honestly, it should have been all along! But now, it’s no longer an option. I deep condition twice a week or so. I also pre-poo before I wash and use a protein masque regularly.

Lastly, I’ll soon start incorporating a purple toning conditioner into my routine to keep the blonde nice and bright, rather than brassy.

My new favorite products

My new hair routine has required me to buy new products. My old faves, such as Mielle Organics Moisturizing Avocado Hair Milk and Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat and Humidity Hair Gel, don’t quite give me the results I’m looking for with my blonde hair.

My blonde hair requires extra moisture and stronger hold products. I also have a lot of hair, so it’s important to me to not spend too much money on hair products because they disappear quickly. My new fave products achieve a combination of effectiveness and affordability.

  • Lottabody Moisturize Me Curl & Style Milk — I still love using hair milks, but I wanted to switch to one that I could use in abundance since I now re-moisturize my hair every single day. Lottabody Moisturize Me Curl & Style Milk comes in a pump bottle, making it easy to use a lot at once, and it’s CHEAP so I can use plenty of it for my hair without spending a ton of money. It’s super moisturizing but not too heavy.
  • DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel — I’ve resisted buying DevaCurl products until now because I didn’t want to commit to such pricey products. But after finally trying out the Ultra Defining Gel, I can confirm that it’s totally worth the initial sticker shock. One 12 oz bottle goes a long way, even with all my hair, and the hold is exactly what I needed — a firmer, stronger hold than my other gels that still doesn’t get crunchy or flaky.
  • It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask — I also splurged on the It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask for my bi-weekly deep conditioning treatments. It ain’t cheap at over $30, but one jar lasts me for a few weeks. It seriously helps repair dryness, split ends, and damage, making it perfect for those with dyed blonde hair.

Other product recommendations for bleached 3b curly hair include:

My takeaways

My new hair care routine takes about 10 extra minutes daily, plus an extra 40 minutes per week or so to deep condition. Plus, the cost of a few new hair products. To me, that’s totally worth it for the trade-off of rocking a completely new look. With a little extra TLC, it turns out that I can have blonde hair and healthy hair—hooray!

What are your winning tips for blonde curls? Share them with us in the comments!

8 Hairstyles To Rock While You’re Growing Out Your Short 3B Hair BACKUP don’t publish

At some point in every curly-haired person’s life, there comes the urge to chop it all off. And sometimes, you actually go through with it. It’s a solid decision – lots of women look amazing with short haircuts or no hair at all, and the haircare is a breeze. But when it comes time to grow your hair back out? That’s when the regret seeps in.

Time never passes more slowly than when you’re waiting for your short hair to grow out. It seems like it takes a million years just to see another inch. And when you have 3b hair, you experience some unique growing pains.

3b curls are too loose to form a standard afro shape. Then there’s that awkward in-between stage, when it’s too long to be an afro but too short to pull back into a ponytail. And when your hair (finally”> gets past your ears, you may end up with the dreaded triangle shape.

But all is not lost! There are plenty of easy 3b haircuts and hairstyles to wear while you’re growing out your cute haircut. Here’s some inspiration to give you hope.

1. The “TWA”

If you’ve been rocking a baldie, the next step is the “teeny weeny afro” or TWA. 3b curls can be a little tricky at this stage – whereas afros rely on a reliable, consistent shape, 3b curls tend to look different every single morning. But they simply need some definition to make it work. Gel or mousse is your friend!

8 Hairstyles To Rock While Youre Growing Out Your Short 3B Hair BACKUP dont publish

And don’t forget to lay those edges!

2. Good Ol’ Tapered Sides

Once your hair begins to grow past the afro stage, you’ve entered the No Man’s Land of the in-between length. Your hair isn’t an afro, but it’s not not an afro either. One easy way to make it work is to keep the top long while trimming the sides.

8 Hairstyles To Rock While Youre Growing Out Your Short 3B Hair BACKUP dont publish

I know, it hurts to cut your hair when you desperately want it to be longer, not shorter. But if you want to look cute, it’s a surefire, reliable style.

3. The Happy Halo

An alternative to tapering your sides – one that doesn’t involve cutting your precious, precious length – is to grow out your hair evenly and just bask in your halo of curls. Trust me, it works.

8 Hairstyles To Rock While Youre Growing Out Your Short 3B Hair BACKUP dont publish

4. Side-Swept Baby Bob

Once your hair grows out a bit more, it may still be too short for a ponytail. That’s OK! I like to call this a “baby bob,” because it’s so cute and little. Part your hair on the side, and again, define your curls as much as possible.

8 Hairstyles To Rock While Youre Growing Out Your Short 3B Hair BACKUP dont publish

5. Space Buns

Remember when you were a kid and your mom would simply part your hair in the middle, pull your hair into two ponytail holders, and call it a day? You, too, can harness the power of the afro puff, or its modern older sister, the space bun. You can put the top of your hair into two puffs and leave the bottom out if it’s not long enough.

8 Hairstyles To Rock While Youre Growing Out Your Short 3B Hair BACKUP dont publish

If your hair is long enough, you can make two actual buns and leave some bangs out.

6. Finger Coils

If you want your hair to be extra-defined while retaining some length and shape, try finger-coiling your hair. You can do the front sections, or do your entire head of hair. It’ll look great either way! For a more natural look, just separate and fluff the finger coils. Not sure how to finger coil? Here’s a tutorial.

8 Hairstyles To Rock While Youre Growing Out Your Short 3B Hair BACKUP dont publish

7. For-Real Bob

Finally, you’ve made it into the land of bobs! You can basically do anything with your hair at this point. Congratulations!

8 Hairstyles To Rock While Youre Growing Out Your Short 3B Hair BACKUP dont publish

If you don’t still have quite enough hair for the ponytail or bun of your dreams, just use some extensions to add length, like in this tutorial. Voila!

8. The “I Give Up” Braids

When you really need a break from styling your growing 3b hair every morning, go ahead and install some braids or faux locs. They can give both you and your hair some much-needed rest. Choose a fun color to really mix it up. If you like, you can also go extra-long to remind yourself what it’s like to have long hair (and remind yourself that having shorter hair definitely has its pros”>.

8 Hairstyles To Rock While Youre Growing Out Your Short 3B Hair BACKUP dont publish

Using these 8 hairstyles, you’ll be back to long hair in no time!

What are your favorite tricks for styling your hair while growing it out? Share them with us in the comments below

9 Reasons You Might Be Experiencing Hair Loss
9 Reasons You Might Be Experiencing Hair Loss

Image: Unsplash

When you first begin experiencing hair loss, panic often sets in. Many of us identify so deeply with our curly hair that the idea of losing it feels like a nightmare, and it’s even worse when it seems to be completely out of our control. 

The first step to taking control of the situation is figuring out the exact cause of your hair loss. This can be tricky, because there are actually a bunch of reasons that hair loss can occur, including stress, hormonal changes, nutritional deficits, and certain medications. These causes often work in tandem with one another. But once you pinpoint the reason(s”>, you can figure out possible solutions


Here are 9 possible reasons that you might be experiencing hair loss.


Sometimes the reason for hair loss isn’t physical but instead is mental and emotional. If you recently went through a particularly stressful or traumatic time, your hair may be feeling the effects of your mental health. Stress and anxiety can both cause large clumps of hair to weaken and fall out, which can eventually lead to bald spots.



Hair loss is an unfortunate side effect of some medications. These include medications that are used for mental health, such as antidepressants, beta-blockers, and mood stabilizers. However, a wide range of other medications is also associated with hair loss, including some acne medications, antibiotics, blood pressure medications, immunosuppressants, antifungals, and cholesterol-lowering drugs. If you’re on any prescriptions, it’s worth checking into whether hair loss is one of the side effects. 


Pregnancy or Postpartum

Hormones are a common culprit for hair loss. After giving birth, many women experience “postpartum hair loss.” This doesn’t mean that anything is wrong, however. Because of the way that pregnancy affects the hair growth cycle, your hair often stops shedding completely during pregnancy, and all of that un-shed hair starts coming out at once a few months after birth.

While it appears like a dramatic loss of hair, it’s usually not a cause for alarm. Just continue eating healthily and being gentle with your hair, and your hair should return to a balanced state.



Menopause is a time of major hormonal changes, namely a drop in estrogen. Among the other symptoms of menopause like hot flashes and mood swings, hair loss can also occur. Some women are genetically predisposed to hair loss; it’s called “androgenetic alopecia,” and while it usually co-occurs with menopause, it may even occur earlier in life. Hormone therapy, topical treatments or herbal remedies can help counteract it.



Nutritional deficiencies can also cause hair loss. Anemia, or iron deficiency, sends your body into survival mode, so your body channels energy away from keeping your hair intact. Iron deficiency is incredibly common among young women. You can go to your doctor to have your iron levels checked if you’re in doubt.


Low Vitamin Levels of Protein

Iron isn’t the only nutrient that’s essential for hair growth. Zinc, biotin, and B-vitamins are also important, and if you’re deficient in any of them, you may experience hair thinning. Hair loss is also associated with an overall lack of nutrition, i.e. if you’re not getting enough calories or you suddenly lose a lot of weight, you may also lose hair.

Protein is also crucial for hair growth — your hair is made of protein! If you’re not getting enough, your hair’s growth will slow down and hair loss can eventually happen. 


Too Many Carbs

On the other hand, it’s also possible to get too much of certain nutrients. High glycemic foods and foods that are high in sugar, such as bread and pasta and sugary desserts, cause hormonal changes in the body that shrink the hair follicle and lead to hair loss. Sugar and refined grains also increase inflammation. 


Hair Care

Certain hair care practices can encourage hair loss. Dye, bleach or perms, for example, weaken and damage the hair, causing it to break and fall out. Flat-ironing or blowing out the hair too often causes a similar effect. Even the excess use of certain products, such as harsh gels or edge control products, can cause hair thinning. Hairstyles like tight ponytails also exacerbate the issue. 


Medical Conditions

When other reasons don’t account for sudden hair loss, there may be an underlying medical condition at fault. Possibilities include thyroid disease, autoimmune diseases, PCOS, skin conditions (such as psoriasis”>, lupus or diabetes. If you’re losing hair on your face or body in addition to your scalp, it may be due to alopecia areata, an autoimmune skin disease. See your doctor or a dermatologist for advice.


How to fix the issue:

The good news is that most hair loss is temporary. The hair eventually grows back, or treatments help reverse the hair loss. The exact remedy will depend on the cause, but here are a few solutions to try.


Improve your diet. Try to be more mindful about eating a well-rounded diet full of essential nutrients, especially protein, iron, zinc, and biotin. You can always add supplements if necessary.

Hair and scalp care. Be gentle with your hair — avoid tight hairstyles and heavy drying products, and don’t over-do it with heat or dye. Hair growth is dependent on a healthy scalp, so make sure to also clarify and moisturize your scalp on a regular basis, and treat any scalp conditions like psoriasis.

Care for your mental health. If stress is the culprit, then it’s time to recharge. Activities that reduce stress include exercise, rest, meditation, journaling and spending time with loved ones.


See a doctor. A doctor can help you determine if your hair loss is due to a medical condition or medication. They can also help you figure out a safe and effective way to get your hair back.

5 Hair Essentials Every College Curly Girl Needs

It’s starting to get cooler outside, and you know what that means: College move-in day. Whether you’re starting off the year with freshman jitters or senioritis, packing up your life to go back to college again is a whole thing. There are some important tools that should be at the very top of your packing list. For your hair, duh! Because trying to have a good hair day while living out of a dorm is, like, an Olympic sport, and these tools make it 1000 times easier. If you don’t already own them, definitely express-ship them to your college mailbox ASAP.

1. Water Bottle

5 Hair Essentials Every College Curly Girl Needs

No, not for drinking. You need a water bottle that sprays your curls with a sustained mist of water, such as this one from Curly Hair Solutions. If you don’t quite understand why this would be any better than using a regular spray bottle, you will immediately understand the first time that you try one of these out for yourself. They make it super easy to evenly wet your hair, and everyone knows that water is a curly girl’s best friend. This thing will make it completely unnecessary for you to go all the way to the bathroom that you share with 15 other people just to do your hair.

2. Steamer

5 Hair Essentials Every College Curly Girl Needs

College is stressful, and stress takes a toll on your hair in so many different ways. Pamper your curls by adding an extra boost of moisture with a hand-held steamer from Q-Redew. It’s a splurge, but look, your hair will never be dry again with this — it will take your deep conditioning routine to the next level. If you’re on a serious college girl budget (we get it!”>, another option is a portable hooded dryer which can also be used in conjunction with a deep conditioner.

3. CurlFormers

5 Hair Essentials Every College Curly Girl Needs

For those wash days when you Just Cannot Deal with a twist-out or wash-and-go, curl formers are an easy, low-effort and reliable way to shape your curls without using any heat. Just buy the right number and length for your hair type and use them to create perfectly smooth spiral or corkscrew curls. Fluff them up with an Afro Pick, and boom — an easy hairstyle for the entire school week.

4.Silk Pillowcase

5 Hair Essentials Every College Curly Girl Needs

Because even the best hair day isn’t worth much if it disappears overnight. Regular pillowcases absorb all the moisture in your hair and create excess frizz. Silk or satin pillowcases, on the other hand, allow your hair to stay moisturized and shiny and frizz-free. Sure, you could wrap your hair with a scarf or headwrap, but after an exhausting all-nighter of partying or studying, it’s a big relief to be able to just pineapple your hair and call it at night. Look for one that can be laundered regularly with the rest of your bedding, because who wants to find the extra quarters to do a load of delicates?

5. Slap Cap

5 Hair Essentials Every College Curly Girl Needs

Lastly, if you’re going to college in a place where it gets cold, you will need to have some cute hats on deck. Hats CAN be a curly girl’s worst enemy. Like pillowcases, they are drying and frizz-inducing and they often flatten/ruin your hairstyle. That’s where satin-lined hats come in. Grace Eleyae makes satin-lined beanies, plus baseball hats, fedoras and berets.

Curly girls in college, what are your must-have hair tools?

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under $10

A great hair gel is SO important to have in your curly hair care arsenal. By defining your hair curl by curl, hair gel can single-handedly turn a disastrous hair day into a perfect one. If you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on hair gel and aren’t crafty enough to make your own, turn to one of these hair gels under $10. Whether you need a liquid gel, a thick edge gel, a jelly or some other variety of gel, there’s something in your price range. They may be cheap, but they’re surprisingly great quality.

1. Ecoco Eco Styler

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

Eco Styler is a favorite product of many curlies because it only costs a few dollars and yet is so reliable. It creates a smooth hold without flaking or itching. It does create a cast, so you have to break the cast to prevent a crunchy hair-do. This product is alcohol-free, so it’s not too drying, but it should be used on conditioned wet hair for best results. This hair gel is best for type 3 and 4 curls.

2. Moco de Gorila Gorilla Snot Gel

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

This hair gel was originally marketed towards punk rockers in Mexico to hold their gravity-defying hairdos into place, so it creates an incredibly strong hold. Now curlies have adopted it as another favorite hair gel. This gel is perfect for creating ultra-smooth edges; if you want to create a sleek updo, this will do the job. The hold is long-lasting and weather-resistant, and it doesn’t leave flakes or residue. It can be very drying, however, so make sure to moisturize before applying.

3. Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil Edge Hair Gel

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

This hair gel features Jamaican Black Castor Oil, an ingredient that moisturizes and promotes hair growth. JBCO can be quite sticky and oily, but this hair gel isn’t. It’s clear and has a light consistency. This hair gel is ideal for gently laying your edges; it results in a shiny and smooth hold. It’s great for type 3 and 4 hair, especially for transitioning hair.

4. ORS Olive Oil Edge Control Hair Gel

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

ORS Olive Oil Edge Control Hair Gel is a go-to inexpensive drug store product. Featuring olive oil and sweet almond oil, it protects your hairline and adds shine and moisture while also creating a strong hold. It’s long-lasting and doesn’t leave a residue or flakes. Types 3 and 4 can use this alcohol-free gel to lay their edges or baby hairs into place. It’s alcohol-free and non-drying.

5. Creme of Nature Argan Oil Flexible Styling Snot

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

Many curlies love Gorilla Snot Gel but can’t deal with its drying qualities. Well, Creme of Nature stepped up with their own version: the Argan Oil Flexible Styling Snot. It’s just a few more bucks than Gorilla Snot, and it also creates an extremely strong hold, perfect for edge control, twist-outs, and updos. This version of the snot is less drying because it’s alcohol-free and infused with argan oil. The consistency is a bit more snot-like and takes some practice to figure out how to use.

6. Long Aid Naturals Manuka Honey & Coconut Curling Jelly

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

Curlies with looser curl patterns will appreciate this lightweight, moisturizing curling jelly from Long Aid Naturals. With coconut oil, aloe vera and manuka honey, it hydrates your curls while it defines them. This jelly is buildable, so you can achieve a light or strong hold depending on your hair type. It leaves no residue and doesn’t dry out the hair.

7. Dippidy Do Girls With Curls Curl Shaping Gelee

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

This gelee is both alcohol-free and glycerin-free. It works well for curlies of all hair types, creating soft, defined, frizz-free curls that will last throughout a humid day. The gelee results in a strong hold, but there’s no crunchiness or residue. Curlies say it gives similar results as much more expensive gels — as a much lower price.

8. As I Am Smoothing Gel

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

This affordable gel from As I Am features aloe vera, sugar beet root, glycerin and wheat protein to nourish and strengthen your hair. Best for type 3 and 4 hair, it results in shiny, soft yet super-defined curls, and the hold is strong enough to last all day long. It can also be used to refresh second-day hair.

9. Giovanni Cosmetics L.A. Hold Styling Gel

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

L.A. Hold Styling Gel is odorless and colorless, so if you’re sensitive to scents, this is the gel for you! It works well for all hair types, and it results in a strong, crunch-free, flake-free hold. A little goes a long way with this gel. It’s full of plant-based ingredients like rosemary, thyme, lavender and horsetail.

10. Jane Carter Solution Condition and Sculpt

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

As the name suggests, this gel both conditions and defines your hair. It’s quite liquidy, yet it results in a surprisingly strong hold for such a watery product. It works for all hair types, but is best for type 2 and 3 hair. It’s most effective when applied liberally to dripping wet hair. It leaves hair shiny, frizz-free and well-defined.

11. Mixed Chicks Styling Gel

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

This styling gel from Mixed Chicks is just under $10 and totally worth the price. It features a long list of nourishing herbal ingredients, including dandelion, lavender, and sage. All hair types will find this gel useful, as it defines the hair without weighing it down. It also adds texture, shine and volume. Plus, no flakes!

Which gel is your favorite? Share with us in the comments below!

How Swimming at the Beach Can Improve Your Scalp Health
How Swimming at the Beach Can Improve Your Scalp Health
Image Source: Getty Images

Reason #1398 to love going to the beach: a quick dip into the salty sea water can do wonders for your scalp.

Salt water has a controversial reputation among curlies. For looser waves and curls, sea salt makes for a great styling agent; it’s the key to creating those lovely “beach waves.” But salt water can also dry out the hair, making it less ideal for more fragile hair types, such as colored hair.

There is one lesser-known benefit of salt water, though, and that’s its ability to alleviate certain scalp conditions. If used properly, salt water can improve your scalp health without damaging your curls — yet another excuse to plan as many beach trips as possible!

Salt water is good for the scal

Yes, salt water is drying. But for the millions of people who suffer from scalp conditions like psoriasis and eczema, the effects of sea water can be truly healing. It’s also helpful for the countless other curlies who struggle with an itchy, oily scalp.

“[Sea water is] rich in vitamins and minerals, [and can have] an antibiotic effect on the skin,” Terrence Michael Renk, Prorituals Creation Director, told Bustle.

“Seawater can be used to treat eczema and psoriasis, both of which can impact the scalp and cause hair loss. So if you have an itchy scalp or overly oily hair, a quick dip into the ocean might be a simple cure.”

…But it must be used carefully

Salt water may be good for the scalp, but it’s not necessarily good for the rest of your hair. Some curlies do experience great results after a dip into the ocean, but many others find that swimming in the sea dries out their curls way too much. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, it’s important not to overdo it. Overexposure to salt water can dehydrate the hair and worsen tangles.

Enjoying sea water’s benefits while avoiding damage to your curls requires a delicate balance, but it’s totally doable.

  1. First things first: protect your hair before you swim, especially if it’s prone to dryness, as curly hair often is. Renk recommends putting a coating of oil on the hair before you go into the water to reduce the effects of the salt on the hair. Jojoba oil, argan oil, or almond oil will work well for this purpose. Also, you should also thoroughly comb your hair before your beach trip, because the salt water will exacerbate any tangles.
  2. Once you get out of the water, rinse your hair with regular water to remove any excessive salt, then re-moisturize your curls to restore what you lost. A quick spray of leave-in conditioner will work if you’re in a rush; if not, indulge in a nourishing hair mask. (You can also wait to do this step, if you want to relish in the beach hair look for the rest of the day!”>
  3. Avoid manipulating your curls too much until it’s time to moisturize. Again, tangles galore. It’s not a good idea to try to detangle your hair while it’s dried out from the beach.

How does salt water affect your curls? Let us know in the comments!

The Coolest Yarn Braids to Inspire Your Next Protective Style

What starts with a Y and is the most affordable and versatile protective style out there? YARN BRAIDS.

Yarn braids are a type of protective style that uses yarn instead of braiding hair. Yarn braids offer many of the same benefits as other protective styles — they help protect your hair from the elements, allow you to grow your hair longer, and give you the freedom to experiment with a wide variety of styles.

But unlike other protective styles, you can create a yarn braid look with one very simple product: yarn from the craft store. It may seem weird to use yarn in your hair, but it’s a common and beloved practice among natural hair stylists around the world. Yarn braids are elegant yet carefree-looking.

Yarn braids are the perfect hairstyle for summer, and there are so many different styles to try!

Why try yarn braids

First, yarn braids are versatile. Unlike regular braiding hair, yarn comes in every color under the sun. If you want to try an unusual color for the summer, like neon green or bright pink, yarn is one of your best bets. It’s easier to find than brightly colored braiding hair, and it’s way cheaper and better for your hair than dying your natural hair. If you want to stick with natural browns and blacks, you can do that with yarn too.

In comparison to regular braids, yarn braids are also remarkably lightweight. (They do absorb a LOT of water, though, so if they get wet, prepare for them to get very heavy and stay wet for a long time.”>

How to care for yarn braids

Yarn braids are also great for summer because they’re easy to care for. They lend themselves to a more Bohemian look, which means they don’t require much maintenance. You can enjoy your summer without worrying about touching up your hair every few days. Also, they allow your hair to retain more moisture, keeping it healthier and stronger while in the protective style.

Yarn braids can be kept in the hair for 5 to 8 weeks. If your hair and scalp starts to feel dirty, you can wash your hair to remove build-up. The braids become very heavy when wet, so lay your braids in the bathroom sink to wash them and wring them out thoroughly when you’re done. Alternatively, you can wash the roots and scalp only. If your hair starts to feels dry, hydrate it with a light conditioner or rose water in the mornings.

What type of yarn?

Most people recommend using acrylic yarn for braids. Wool is also in use, but it’s too hot for the summer and it may lock up the hair. (If you want to use an all-natural yarn, a professional braid stylist can help you find a natural blend and style that works for your hair type.”>

The amount of hair you’ll need depends on the style, but you can easily do a cute yarn braid look for under $10. Because yarn comes in different thicknesses and can easily be teased apart, it’s easier to customize the size of your braids than it is with braiding hair.

Yarn braid styles for summer

Here are some beautiful yarn braid styles to inspire you this summer.

Yarn Twists

The Coolest Yarn Braids to Inspire Your Next Protective Style
Photo by @aamoeji

Yarn can be used for a variety of protective styles, not just braids! These chunky yarn twists are simple yet fashionable. Match them to your natural hair and add a pop of color.

Blonde Yarn Braids:

The Coolest Yarn Braids to Inspire Your Next Protective Style
Photo by @jordncole

Experiment with color without going too far outside of the box by finding a yarn that resembles honey-blonde hair.

Dreamy Yarn Braids:

The Coolest Yarn Braids to Inspire Your Next Protective Style
Photo by @perusuxx

These colorful DIY yarn braids would be at home at any summer festival, garden party, or beach adventure.

Yarn Locs

The Coolest Yarn Braids to Inspire Your Next Protective Style
Photo by @tayojr, Model @henribstyles

Faux locs have been all the rage lately, and you can absolutely create the look with yarn, as DMV hair stylists Afriq Hair did here!

Scalp Yarn Braids

The Coolest Yarn Braids to Inspire Your Next Protective Style
Photo by @iamnaymarie

You can also use yarn for scalp braids and cornrows, like this funky blue and purple hair style.

Electric Yarn Braids

The Coolest Yarn Braids to Inspire Your Next Protective Style
Photo by @iammuthonigitau

Whew, can you imagine achieving this vibrant yellow hair color on your natural hair?! It’d take several sessions and a boat load of money. Or you could just go with yarn braids!

Two-Tone Yarn Braids

The Coolest Yarn Braids to Inspire Your Next Protective Style
Photo by @odessa_v2

These magical yarn braids are the work of Southern California hair stylist @odessa_v2. The contrast between the vibrant color and the natural black is everything.

Blue-Gray Yarn Twists

The Coolest Yarn Braids to Inspire Your Next Protective Style
Photo by @ay__mumbae

Experiment with color while also keeping subtle by going for these muted blue-gray twists. People are sure to look twice, and the makeup possibilities are endless.

Multi-Colored Yarn Braids

The Coolest Yarn Braids to Inspire Your Next Protective Style
Photo by @laurenkellybenson

Hair stylist @hairbymelinda at Heritage Hair NYC created this look, which features long, chunky and multicolored yarn braids with total Black Girl Magic vibes.

Yarn French Braids

The Coolest Yarn Braids to Inspire Your Next Protective Style
Photo by @hairstylespizz

If you have non-textured hair (type 2″>, you can still get in on the yarn braid action! Yarn braids won’t last for long in looser hair textures, but they’re a fun way to add a pop of color to French braids and other braid styles.

What’s your favorite yarn braid look here? Let us know in the comments!

I Tried the Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture Coconut Milk Line on My Curly Hair

Confession: Until recently, I’d never tried a single Maui Moisture product. I don’t know why, because their products are always right there beside the SheaMoisture products in the store, and they’re always so affordable. A bottle of Maui Moisture shampoo or conditioner regularly runs under $6 at drug stores, which is a heck of a lot less than a lot of other curly-hair-focused brands. Their products are also versatile enough to work for many different hair types, which is useful if you want to buy one product for your mixed-texture household.

To see what this brand is all about, I tested out the Maui Moisture Coconut Milk collection, including the shampoo, conditioner, and oil mist.

The star ingredient in these products is – surprise! – coconut. Not just one type of coconut, but coconut water (instead of plain ionized water”>, coconut oil, and coconut extract. Each product is formulated specifically for dry hair, so they’re ultra-hydrating, with ingredients like aloe vera juice, guava seed oil, and mango seed butter.

I tried out these products for a week to see how well they worked for my 3b curls. Here are my thoughts!


I Tried the Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture Coconut Milk Line on My Curly Hair

First, let’s talk about the scent. Each one of these products smells soooo coconutty, so if you love coconut, you’ll be in heaven. It’s not overly artificial-smelling, but the scent definitely does stick around all day.

I only wash my hair once a week, so I only got the opportunity to use this shampoo once. The consistency is white and milky, and the shampoo is sulfate-free, but it does foam up. With aloe vera juice, coconut water, guava seed oil, and mango butter, the shampoo seems like it should be ultra-moisturizing, but it didn’t quite do the trick for my 3b curls. It left my roots feeling ever-so-slightly dry, though nothing that a little conditioner didn’t fix. On the plus side, my scalp felt squeaky clean.


I Tried the Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture Coconut Milk Line on My Curly Hair

The word that pops into my head when I think of this conditioner is “luscious.” There’s that same super-coconutty smell, and the consistency is rich and creamy. I often wet and condition my hair in the shower without washing it, just to add some moisture and shape back into my curls, and this product was perfect for that. It’s silky enough that it’s really easy to work through my curls, plus cheap enough that I didn’t feel guilty about using a ton of it. A few palmfuls of this + my handy Wet brush = detangling sessions are a breeze!

This conditioner also leaves my hair so smooth that I almost felt suspicious that there were silicones in it, but I don’t see any on the ingredients list. It must be the magic of coconut!

Oil Mist

I Tried the Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture Coconut Milk Line on My Curly Hair

This is basically an oil blend in a spray bottle, which I didn’t quite realize until I’d sprayed it all over my damp curls in an attempt to “revive” them. I would not recommend that technique unless you want your hair to be soaking in oil — which you might very well want, depending on your hair type and texture! Otherwise, use this product like you would use any oil on your hair: sparingly and with a focus on extra-dry spots, like your ends. I wouldn’t call this Oil Mist either “weightless” nor “light” despite the label!

Honestly, I don’t often use oil on my hair these days, and if I did, I’m not sure why I would reach for this spray rather than plain coconut oil or jojoba oil.

If you often use heat on your hair, though, you may find this spray useful. The directions mention blow-drying your hair to help the product “infuse into your hair shafts,” and I could see how it’d help keep protect your hair and keep it soft and shiny despite the heat! Also, there’s that coconutty smell.

Here’s my hair after conditioning and detangling with the Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture Coconut Milk Conditioner. It’s not the most defined (because no styling products”>… but trust me, it feels soft and healthy.

I Tried the Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture Coconut Milk Line on My Curly Hair

Have you tried the Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture Coconut Milk collection? What did you think?

The Camille Rose Naturals Lavender Collection Review on My 3b Curls

Camille Rose Naturals is one of the most trusted names in the natural hair care world, and they’re beloved for a reason. Their product formulas are lovingly formulated with a holistic approach, and they feature a range of herbs and other plant-based ingredients.

With their focus on plant ingredients, it only makes sense that this beloved brand would come up with a lavender-inspired collection: Camille Rose Naturals Lavender. Lavender is a popular herb for the hair — it’s moisturizing, and it promotes hair growth and shine. It also has ultra-relaxing aromatherapeutic properties.

I tried out the Camille Rose Naturals Lavender collection for a full week, including the cleanser, deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and gel. Here’s how it worked on my 3b curls.

Fresh Cleanse

The Camille Rose Naturals Lavender Collection Review on My 3b Curls

While a lot of foaming shampoos can be drying to the scalp, this one somehow made my scalp feel softer instead of drier. I used it primarily on my scalp, and it effectively removed the gunk without stripping my hair. I’m definitely a fan, and I appreciate that the ingredients list includes apple cider, a natural antimicrobial that’s great for flaky or itchy scalps. The other featured ingredient is arnica flower, which strengthens the hair and rejuvenates the scalp.

If you’re looking for a gentle, moisturizing cleanser that still gets the job done, this one will do the trick!

Quench Deep Conditioner

The Camille Rose Naturals Lavender Collection Review on My 3b Curls

Quench Deep Conditioner features argan mint oil to moisturize and stimulate healthy hair growth, along with aloe leaf extract to aid with moisture retention. It smells herbal, clean, and slightly fruity.

Per the directions on the package, I applied this deep conditioner in my hair in the shower and left it on for 10 minutes before rinsing. I also detangled my hair with it (which worked really well — plenty of slip!”>! I found that my scalp was super tingly after using this deep conditioner, and my curls couldn’t have been softer.

This product would make an excellent go-to weekly hair treat.

Whipped Cream Leave-In

The Camille Rose Naturals Lavender Collection Review on My 3b Curls

This leave-in conditioner features droplets of olive fruit and rosemary extract. It smells more herbal and lavender-y than the cleanser or the deep conditioner, so applying it was an unexpectedly relaxing experience.

This leave-in did a great job of softening and moisturizing my hair, and it had enough slip to easily work through my detangled curls. It has a medium texture — not too heavy, not too light. I think it would work really well for pretty much any hair texture. I did find myself using a LOT of it at a time, and the bottle started to disappear quickly… But to be fair, I have quite long hair!

Crush Defining Gel

The Camille Rose Naturals Lavender Collection Review on My 3b Curls

The Whipped Cream Leave-In with the Crush Defining Gel on top? (*chef’s kiss*”> Perfection. This gel is really great, and I’ve tried a lot of hair gels. It has a medium-strong hold — it clumps my curls into place perfectly, but it doesn’t leave them stiff or crunchy. It’s not drying whatsoever, and it doesn’t flake, so I was able to apply it liberally.

Honestly, there’s nothing not to love about the Crush Defining Gel! The hold wasn’t strong enough to withstand the humid New Orleans summer for long, but honestly, almost no hair gels are. I think this would be an awesome gel for most naturalistas’ wash-and-gos.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is a solid and versatile collection that I could easily see working for a variety of hair types. These products are simple, balanced, and effective, plus they smell divine. They made my hair soft and touchable yet still defined. I’m a fan!

Why I Finally Learned to Embrace My Frizzy Curly Hair

I’ve been fighting the frizz in my 3b curls for as long as I can remember. As a child, my mom would sit me down and yank a brush through my dry frizzy hair, desperate to make it “behave”. Later, when I learned to love and properly care for my curly hair, minimizing frizz remained one of my main goals. It wasn’t until very recently that I decided to stop fighting my frizz altogether, and the shift in perspective has changed my relationship with my hair for the better.

“Frizz” was the main word that I associated with my natural curls when I was young. My curls were a fuzzy, often tangled mass; I only saw my defined curls when my hair was soaking wet. I hated that my hair couldn’t be smooth and neat, like other little girls. I hated my curly hair, and the frizziness was a big component of that.

When I was a teenager, I learned that my curls actually could look really beautiful if I took care of them properly. Thanks to the internet and the early days of NaturallyCurly, I learned to comb my hair in the shower, never use a brush, always use leave-in conditioner, and other curly hair 101 skills.

Why I Finally Learned to Embrace My Frizzy Curly Hair

But still, frizz remained a constant concern. Looking back, it seems like so many of my curly hair tricks and tools were really just ways of keeping frizz at bay. Every product, tool, and technique was designed to make my curls soft and defined and frizz-free.

And then I moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. I’d previously been an East Coast girl all my life, and never had I experienced heat and humidity quite like this. (Okay, I did once, in West Africa on the equator.”>

If you’ve never been to Louisiana in the summer, let me paint a picture for you. A few minutes ago, I took my dog outside on a walk, and by the time I got around the block, I was completely bathed in sweat. Even when it’s not that hot, the air is just always wet. On the worst days, it feels like every surface in my house is slightly damp.

My curls don’t stand a chance in this weather. I’ve become basically an expert on frizz control, because frizz is inevitable here. I know the best gel for the job. I can recommend the best pomade, the best detangler, how to protect your hair when you sleep, and so on.

But still, the frizz always comes back, usually within a day or two. It’s physically impossible to keep it at bay for long; it’s simply a part of life down here. Moreover, I didn’t want to spend hours of my life trying to perfect my curls. I grew tired of fighting something that seemed so natural to my hair, and it made me start to think — what’s so bad about frizz, anyway?

The word “frizz” often has a negative connotation. It makes sense — smooth, neat curls are nice and orderly, whereas frizz can seem messy. Moreover, frizz is often associated with unhealthy hair.

But frizz and unhealthy hair don’t necessarily go hand in hand, according to curly hair expert Lorraine Massey and curl specialist Saulo O’Deorain. Frizz can be an indicator of unhealthy hair when it’s caused by lack of moisture, over-manipulation, excessive heat or dye, or product build-up. But even hydrated, strong, healthy hair will develop frizz at times for other reasons (like humidity!”>, and that’s totally normal.

“Normalizing frizz really is very important because hair strands are constantly being renewed,” Saulo told NaturallyCurly in February. “As a natural pattern from nature, curls need to be perceived as a product of nature that doesn’t need to be controlled but enhanced.”

In fact, a bit of frizz can really improve how lovely your curls look — they can look more natural, voluminous, and dynamic. This is often referred to as “functional frizz.”

So, instead of trying to change my hair, I decided to change my perspective. I experimented with focusing on my hair’s volume, shape, and movement rather than the frizz or lack thereof. I tried switching up my personal style to match the growing wildness of my hair. I took plenty of selfies with frizzy hair to prove to myself that it still looked cute.

Over time, I learned to embrace my big ol’ hair regardless of whether it was frizzy or not. My life is MUCH less stressful after the change. I no longer feel like I have to have perfectly defined curls if I want to wear my hair down in public. I no longer feel like I’ve failed when my hair gets frizzy by the end of the night. I no longer feel the pressure to style my hair every couple of days to get to that frizz-free state again.

These days, I continue to follow a go-to routine to make my curls healthy and defined. But the initially crisp wash-and-go never lasts, and that’s okay. As long as my hair feels healthy and soft, and as long as I feel beautiful, that’s all that matters. It feels like my hair and I are finally on the same side again.

Check out these articles on frizz as well!

This is How You Hair Care Routine Affects Your Skin
This is How You Hair Care Routine Affects Your Skin


Skin care and natural hair care are both all the rage these days, and the two are much more linked than you might think. While your skin products and your hair products probably live on separate shelves in your house, the two come into contact with each other on your actual body over and over throughout the day. Your hair care products can absolutely affect your skin, sometimes for the worse.

I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately, because my skin is not doing well. Most people don’t notice it because I rarely get acne on my face, but it does pop up all over my shoulders, back, and chest. My hair products definitely contribute to this problem.

“What touches hair touches skin,” dermatologist Dr. Iris Rubin told The Zoe Report. “And we are not just talking about your scalp — try putting something on your hair without it getting on your skin, it’s literally impossible.”

Your hair products may rinse off onto your skin in the shower, rub off onto your shoulders later, or reach your skin by way of your pillowcase. Certain hair care ingredients and techniques are especially prone to causing breakouts. But there are steps that you can take to alleviate the issue.

Hair products clog your pores

I never realized that my hair routine had anything to do with my skin until I watched a wash-and-go tutorial from the beloved Jackie Aina. As a bacne sufferer, Jackie Aina knows all too well that hair products can definitely affect your skin. Many hair products clog your pores, leading to breakouts.

To address this issue, Jackie doesn’t just wash and condition her hair in the shower — she applies ALL of her styling products while she’s in there, clips her hair out of the way, and then washes her body. That way, none of the hair “gunk” sits on her skin.

“You want to do your hair first — all the shampoo, conditioner, gunk and all that — and then wash it off of your body so you don’t get chest acne or bacne,” Jackie explains in the video.

Ingredients to watch out for

Some ingredients are more prone to clogging your pores than others. Oils are one common culprit. Coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, hemp oil, argan oil… Pretty much all of the oils! Similarly, products that are designed to leave a heavy residue on your hair will be more likely to clog pores.

For curly-haired women, this means that a lot of our favorite products can also cause breakouts, because they often contain oils of some kind. Womp womp.

However, oils aren’t the only ingredient that can cause breakouts. Other ingredients that have been observed to cause acne include carrageenan, lauric acid, cetyl acetate, cetearyl alcohol + ceteareth-20, and a long list of other unpronounceable ingredients. On that note, products that contain a longgg list of different ingredients are also more likely to cause breakouts, since they’re more likely to contain one or more trigger ingredients.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to figure out which exact ingredients to avoid.

“Many ingredients have no data on whether they can clog pores, and to make things more complex, some ingredients may be ‘safe’ on their own but clog pores when they combine with other ingredients,” Dr. Rubin said.

For that reason, it’s important to pay attention to your own skin to see whether you may be having an adverse reaction to a particular product.

Changes to your routine can help

If you’re experiencing breakouts, some simple changes to your hair routine can alleviate the problem. (It’s smart to target the source of the issue, aka your hair, rather than target the skin itself with acne products.”>

Your first option is to switch up your products. You can try to avoid the culprit ingredients as much as possible; you may want to look for products labeled “non-comedogenic” or just look for products with very few ingredients.

Your second option is to try cutting down on how often you style your hair and/or cut down on the number of products that you use.

But if you LOVE what your current favorite products do for your hair, you don’t necessarily have to give them up. Your third option is to follow a few precautions to minimize how much your hair products come into contact with your skin.

For example, you can do what Jackie does — style your hair in the shower and then wash your body afterward, leaving as little residue as possible on your actual skin. Always rinse your hands after styling your hair before you touch your skin. Finish doing your hair before you apply makeup or moisturize your skin. When you sleep, sleep with a hair scarf to avoid transferring product all over your pillow.

Naturalistas with skin problems, what are your favorite hair products that don’t cause breakouts? Share with us in the comments!