Curly hair, don’t care
Disclaimer: I am not being paid or receiving any compensation from any entity in regards to the reviews/recommendations of the following products and/or methods. These opinions are solely my own and do no represent the opinions or reviews of others.
From 2000-2004, I worked as a Receptionist/Shift Manager at a Supercuts in Boise, ID. I LOVED that job! My co-workers were the amazing (we would hang out fairly regularly outside of work and considered ourselves a little family away from our families), the customers, for the most part, were a lot of fun, the industry was a blast to work in and the best perk of the job? Beauty products at cost with no shipping! I paid less for professional hair care products than I would have paid if I bought drugstore products at full price. Awesome, right?!
Due to a shift in management and a lot of changes that no longer worked for me, I chose to find work elsewhere. This meant I had to start paying full price for professional products again. Prior to leaving, I stocked up and was good for about six months. After those six months, I found myself in a different lifestyle and financial change that basically halted my professional hair care product purchases. I was a tad upset at this, but was it life altering? No. There are FAR worse things that can happen to a person than not being able to buy great product for their hair.
Over the course of the next decade, I continued my search for products that were almost comparable to the “good stuff”. Unfortunately, all of these products were drugstore brands. They were alright, but my curly hair just did not like any of it.
And then we got a Sally’s Beauty Supply in my area…
Around this time, WEN became insanely popular, what with it’s barrage of incessant infomercials. My stepmother (whom I don’t actually think of as step, by the way. She’s been in my life since I was very little and I love her as much as I love my biological mother) was using it at the time and swore by it. I looked into it, but couldn’t justify spending that much on just cleanser and conditioner. Also, I didn’t trust myself to remember when the charge was going to be taken out of my account.
At this point, I decided to do some research on the “no-poo” vs. “low-poo” methods. Essentially, these methods boil down to the following:
For myself, I knew I couldn’t do “no-poo”. The “low-poo” though; I could tackle that. With both methods, I kept reading about the “transition”. The change your hair and scalp will go through for about 2-3 weeks when you go from shampooing every day with sulfate-laden products to only cleansing a limited amount of times per week and using sulfate-free. Before I get into what products I use and when, let me say this: STICK WITH IT! Those 2-3 weeks are HORRID! I cannot tell you how many times I thought to myself, “You can’t do this. Your hair is DISGUSTING!” And it was…..it was wretched! Oily, stuck to my scalp, limp locks; just a hot mess! After those three weeks, however, I could tell a noticeable difference and so could other people. The curls were a lot tighter and softer and the frizz was minimal. Also, during the transition period, I tried to use as little heat as possible, which I think helped. I only used a hair dryer about once or twice a week and never used a flat iron. Air dry was the way to go.
After deciding on “low-poo”, I started looking for sulfate-free cleansers at Sally’s and found their “Hair One” line. Reviews claimed it was almost, if not better, than WEN. I trekked myself down to the shop and started shopping!
You’ve already seen the brush I use, but another trick in my hair arsenal is they type of comb I use. I NEVER brush my hair wet. That is soooooo bad for your hair and if you do that, on behalf of your beautiful tresses, I am BEGGING you to stop! A wide tooth comb is the best way to go. The reason for this is because it doesn’t pull on your hair and allows your natural curls to spring back to life. It also eliminates most tangles (provided you get regular haircuts). This is the one I use; it’s awesome and only a few bucks!
The cleanser that I use is Hair One’s Cleanser and Conditioner for Curly Hair. This is also available for dry hair and color-treated hair. Since I use a weekly masque and daily leave-in conditioner (those are coming up) and don’t color my hair, the curly formula is what I like. To use this, I make sure my hair is thoroughly soaked and put five pumps of shampoo in my palm. I apply this to the top of my scalp and scrub. Three more pumps of cleanser in my hand and this gets scrubbed into the middle scalp and scrub. Lastly, four MORE pumps of cleanser are applied to the nape of my neck and again, scrub. I use my fingers, but you can use the comb as well (this is where the hook comes in handy, because you can hang it off your shower cubby) to comb this through the rest of your hair from scalp to end. After doing the rest of my shower routine, the very last thing I do is rinse. I recommend allowing the cleanser to sit for at least 10-15 minutes. I only cleanse my hair 2-3 times a week, by the way. This gives your scalp and hair a chance to keep your natural oils, without stripping them from constant washing. Note: It may seem like I use a lot, but I only have to buy cleanser about once a month. This bottle goes a VERY long way. You can also get this in a liter.
When it comes to drying my hair, (depending on how lazy I am that day), I will either, lightly squeeze my hair with my towel or wrap it in a 100% cotton t-shirt. The t-shirt wrap is the best as it allows the cotton to soak up the excess moisture but doesn’t wreak havoc on your curls.
Although the cleanser also has conditioning properties in it, it’s just not enough. Instead of using a rinse out conditioner, I use a leave-in. The one I’ve found works best for me, is Noodle Head Condition Your Curls. A quarter-size amount is plenty.
With the leave-in conditioner still in my hand, I add a nickle-sized amount of One n’ Only Argan Oil. I rub both in my palms and apply the combination to my ends only. For those who like morrocan oil but it’s out of your budget, this is a fantastic substitute!
If I am going to be applying heat to my hair, at this point I will spray Beyond the Zone Smooth Criminal Hair Primer. This acts as a heat protectant and keeps my curls from completing drying out.
If I’m going to style using my natural curls, my favorite product is Beyond the Zone Noodle Head Tame Your Curls Mousse. Some people use a gel for their curls, but I’ve found gel makes my curls crunchy and I like mine soft. This is lightweight and a little is all you need! I can usually go two months on one bottle.
Now, if I decide that I want to straighten or curl my hair instead of wearing my natural curls, I skip the mousse and use a dime-size amount of Beyond the Zone Smooth Criminal Blow Out Balm. Seriously, do NOT go overboard with this! Between the Argan Oil and the balm, your hair will be very soft, but if you use too much, your hair will be weighed down by too much product. Again, to save myself time, when I am putting the leave-in conditioner and the oil in my hair, I add the balm to the mixture and apply it to my hair. Since I don’t straighten it every day, this little bottle lasts me at least six months. Maybe longer.
Blow out balm
When it comes to styling tools, I use a hair dryer with a wide diffuser for my natural curls. I also try to not touch the hair while it’s drying as the oil from your hands can cause your hair to frizz. I like my hair a little on the wild side, so I just let it lie where it chooses. Let’s be honest; curly hair has a mind of its own and trying to train it too much just makes it angry.
If I straighten it, I use a very wide round, ventilated brush to create volume and smooth the cuticle even more. Again, this is the one I use. http://www.sallybeauty.com/round-brush-collection/JLBERE23,default,pd.html#start=11
Round, ventilated brush
When it comes to curling with a wand or curling iron, prior to curling, I use a very light spray of Beyond the Zone Smooth Criminal Thermo-Protect Spray. This helps protect from the intense heat even more and also helps set the curl. If you curl your hair using heat, don’t comb or brush out the curl immediately. Instead, let the curl cool completely.
To set my style, I like to use a small amount of hairspray using Beyond the Zone Final Take Super Sexy Shine and Hold. Not only does this smell AMAZING, it also has a medium hold and adds shine.
Between the naturals oils of my scalp and the Argan Oil I also use, my scalp can create some build-up. To keep my hair growing and healthy, I use Ion Healthy Scalp Solutions Healthy Scalp Shampoo, twice a month. It is Sulfate-Free and keeps my scalp squeaky clean! Typically, this bottle will last me about four months.
My hair is on the drier side and needs some extra moisture added about once a week. If it’s extra humid, then I only need to use this twice a month, but the winter months require a weekly dose. The product that I’ve found works best for me is Hair One Hair Masque with Olive Oil for Dry Hair. A quarter-size is perfect and again, applied to my ends first and then combed through. This also needs to sit for some time. I purchase this about every three months.
Phew! We made it! I know that was a lot to take in, but I’ve had great success with this for about two years now and I wanted to share it with others who might be frustrated with their natural curls or are considering switching to the “low-poo” technique. If you’re on the fence about trying the Sulfate-Free cleanser and masque, Sally’s offers the Hair One products in trial sizes, which is great before you invest a good chunk of money into products you might hate.
All of the products you see here can be purchased at participating Sally Beauty Supply. Below are the links to each product. If you are not a beauty club member, I really recommend you sign up to receive the BC savings AND the monthly coupons each month if you spend $25 or more. Those savings add up fast!
Thank you for reading and I hope if you do try any or all of these products, you will be so kind as to leave a comment below as to what worked for you and what didn’t. Please know all of the above is based from my own experiences and may not work for every one. If you have any tips or suggestions of your own, please add them to the comments! I look forward to hearing feedback from you! As always, be sure to follow this blog, like the post and share with your friends!
Until next time….
Leave-In Conditioner: http://www.sallybeauty.com/Leave-in-conditioner/SBS-140736,default,pd.html#q=noodle+head&start=1
Argan Oil: http://www.sallybeauty.com/argan-oil/ONEONL16,default,pd.html#q=Argan+Oil&start=3
Hair Primer: http://www.sallybeauty.com/hair-primer/SBS-140204,default,pd.html#q=smooth+criminal&start=5
Blow out Balm: http://www.sallybeauty.com/blow-out-balm/SBS-140201,default,pd.html#q=smooth+criminal&start=6
Thermo Spray: http://www.sallybeauty.com/thermal-protection-spray/SBS-140202,default,pd.html#q=smooth+criminal&start=3
Hair Spray: http://www.sallybeauty.com/hair-spray/SBS-140017,default,pd.html#q=final+take&start=1
Clairfying Shampoo: http://www.sallybeauty.com/healthy-scalp-shampooo/SBS-302770,default,pd.html#q=healthy+scalp+shampoo&start=2
Hair Masque: http://www.sallybeauty.com/olive-oil-masque/SBS-737126,default,pd.html#prefn1=subBrand&prefv1=HARONE&brandLandingPage=true&start=8