my curly hair essentials

Now that we’re in the hot, summer months, it’s time for an updated list of my essential curly hair products that keep the frizz away! These are products that are essential to my routine for perfect, frizz-free curls almost every time. Since my last post, I’ve added new products and techniques that have been game changers.

For many months, I’ve been keeping things simple and letting my hair do what it wants. I rarely style it after it has dried, which helps keeps the frizz away. When I do style my hair, it’s usually down parted to the side, half up half down or in a top knot at the gym. That’s it. The less you touch curly hair, the less frizz you’ll have.

To find products that work best in your curly hair, I recommend figuring out your curl and hair type. My curls are between 3B and 3C with normal porosity, so gels and creams working best for styling. Naturally Curly is a great place to start if you’re not sure what your hair and curl type is

cleansing & co-washing

Most of the techniques I use on my curly hair are in line with the curly girl method. However, there is one big rule I do not follow and that’s using a sulfate shampoo to cleanse. I started cleansing with sulfate shampoo again with the Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo a few months ago, and it’s made a huge difference in how my curls look and take on product. It was actually my stylist, who also has curly hair, who recommended using a clarifying shampoo after I told her my curls seemed limp. So if you’re a similar boat as I was with your curls, maybe give shampoo another chance. I love the curly girl method, but you also have to do what works for you.

In between shampoos, I co-wash my hair with the Suave Tropical Coconut Conditioner. In addition to a clarifying shampoo and co-washing conditioner, I like to keep a sulfate free option around. Lately I’ve been enjoying the Ren Pure Coconut Water Shampoo which is a local brand from Minnesota!


There’s only one conditioner I recommend, and it’s been my ride or die for many years – the DevaCurl One Condition Decadence Ultra Moisturizing Milk Conditioner. It’s pricey, but well worth. I usually wait until I get 20% coupon from Ulta to buy a liter and then redeem my points on top of that to save a few extra dollars. Regardless, I would buy this conditioner full price if I needed a new bottle tomorrow. I highly recommend checking it out for hydrated curls.


To style my hair, I leave a small amount of my DevaCurl conditioner in when rinsing, but I also add a leave-in conditioner to my hair for added moisture. Right now I’m enjoying the Ren Pure Coconut Whipped Creme Leave-In Conditioner. It’s light weight, smells great, and again it’s a local brand I can easily find in stores near me. After a quick search, I discovered this is not CG friendly so I will be switching back the Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner, which I’ve used in the past and love.

For hold and definition, gel is essential. My ride or die is the Aussie Instant Freeze – it has high hold, keeps the frizz away during the humid months of summer, is affordable and easy to find. After gel, I always follow up with a cream product. My favorites are the DevaCurl SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler and AG Re:Coil, which I recently shared in my spring favorites.

I’ve been using the DevaCurl Styler for years now, and recommend it for those that like soft curls that need a bit of added hold. The AG product on the other hand, gives curls an extra boost for consistent curls all around. It’s also lighter on my curls giving more volume. It’s slowly creeping up there as a ride or die product! I apply my styling products to wet hair, straight from the shower and use the praying-hands technique to distribute the products through my curls.

When it’s time to refresh my curls during the week, I simply wet my hair with water and a little conditioner mixed together in this spray bottle. If I need a bit more definition I’ll use my regular styling products and let me hair air dry again.

accessories & extras

As for hair tools and accessories, I keep things pretty simple. To detangle my hair, I run my finger tips through my hair while it has conditioner in it. It’s pretty rare that I use a comb, but when I do it’s a wide tooth comb which is best for curly hair.

While my hair is air drying, I like to pin up the roots of hair at the crown of my head with metal duckbill clips like these for added volume. When I’m not wearing my hair down, it’s in a top knot held with a scrunchie to reduce frizz. Scrunchies will forever be a curls best friend, so I’m happy they are on trend.

I hope these products are helpful to another curly out there! The summer months can be challenging for curlies with the heat and humidity causing frizz. But I rely on these products to keep my hair frizz free and looking fresh for at least three days. The less I have to worry about my hair, the better!

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