Need recommendations for styling products

sandycurlygirlsandycurlygirl Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 5 Curl Neophyte
So I decided to try the curly girl method again... I straightened my hair or blow dried it somewhat straight most of my life and then a few years ago got a Devacut. But sadly I gave up on the curly girl method quickly. This time I'd like to stick to it. 

I forget what my hair type is but from looking at charts I'm guessing somewhere between a 2c and 3A. It's more wavy if I don't do anything to it, but if I scrunch with a gel it gets really curly.  It is very frizz prone and tangles easily, and it's somewhat thick. The curl pattern is pretty messed up right now too from what I was doing to it. I just started using the shea moisture coconut and hibiscus shampoo and conditioner. I like the shampoo but I think I will swap the conditioner for the shea butter one. But, I don't have any styling products. At the salon, they used the Devacurl light defining gel on me, which really helped define my hair and hold the curls, and I bought it but I remember not liking it so much because I didn't like my hair being so crunchy and wet looking and I found it hard to wash out and it left my hair more tangled than ever when used with the one condition and the no poo. (Perhaps I used too much or used it wrong, idk.) 

Can anyone recommend some styling products for me to try, either a gel or a cream? I'd like something that won't leave it super hard and crunchy, but will still give definition and hold the curl. I live in Canada so I don't have access to a lot of recommended brands such as Curls, LA Looks gel, or the Loreal alcohol free curl defining gel etc. I'd prefer not to buy them online either. It would be nice to find something cheaper than Devacurl products but I will still try them if I can't find something cheaper. If you highly highly recommend something that I can't find in Canada, I might be able to take a trip across the border sometime for a shopping trip since I live somewhat close. 


  • beantreesbeantrees Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 116 Curl Connoisseur
    I live in Canada too and really like Carina Organics gel.  Where I live (west coast) it's available in most natural/health food stores.  Not sure about its availability in other parts of Canada - it is available online at but I know you said you'd prefer to avoid online shopping.  For a cream/curl enhancer I use AG Re:Coil, SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie, or SM Curl & Style Milk.  Those are all pretty heavy products so it will depend on your porosity - if your hair is high porosity you might like them.  Otherwise just sticking with a leave-in conditioner and gel might be a good start.  For a leave in you could try Giovanni Direct Leave-In, it's usually easy to find it natural/health food stores.
    2C/3A, med/coarse, thick density, high porosity - CG since 5/17/2018
    Earlobe length on one side and pixie short in back and other side.  Growing out to chin/jaw length.
    Cleanse: Inecto Coconut Conditioner, SM JBCO shampoo
    RO Condition: SM Curl & Shine
    DT: SM JBCO masque
    LI: SM JBCO leave in, Giovanni Direct Leave-in
    Stylers: AG Recoil or SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie or SM Curl & Style Milk, Carina Organics gel

  • cnic216cnic216 Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 157 Curl Connoisseur
    Shea Moisture would be a great line to check out. They have a ton of different lines that will suit pretty much any curly's needs and they're not ridiculously expensive. 
  • Guide 65Guide 65 Registered Users, Moderators Posts: 1,984 Curl Virtuoso
    Welcome!  I'm also in Canada, so I know how hard it is to find products here.  Personally, I use Deva Ultra Defining gel.  I can get it at Chatters, so at least there's no shipping cost. 

    The natural/health stores have quite a few good products.  Carina Organics gel is really good, and made in Canada too.  Nice to support our own businesses!  Oneka is another Canadian brand.  I haven't tried it yet, but I want to try their shampoo and conditioner.  You can also find Giovanni at these stores.  A lot of people love this brand.

    If you want cheap and available on the ground - Dippity Do Sports Gel is CG and found all over - London Drugs, Shoppers, Walmart, etc.  It's a hard hold gel though, so be prepared for crunchiness.  There's also Dippity Do Girls With Curls gellee (in a pink tub).  It's a lighter hold - you might like this better than the sports gel.  I've heard that Aussie Instant Freeze and Herbal Essences Set Me Up gel can be found at Walmart. 

    Curl creams that are CG and found on the ground are harder to find.  Cantu has one (found at some Shoppers) but it's really heavy.  Much too much for my hair.  Deva has 3 styling creams - Wave Maker is the lightest, but I hate it.  It makes my hair feel sticky and producty.  The middle is just called Styling Cream - that's the one I have.  And then there's Super cream, which is supposed to be really heavy.
    Formerly known as Janiegirl
    2B/2C, fine hair, low density, mixed porosity, protein loving hair
    Current products:
    Changing up my shampoos because I can't find one I like
    Deva Curl One Condition (original formula)
    Innersense I Create Volume
    Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel
  • Therese1Therese1 Registered Users Posts: 2,563 Curl Virtuoso
    If you like the shea butter products, I know that Shea Moisture makes some gels called "gel creams," which are lighter hold. You could give one of those a try.

    I've tried the Carina Organics gel and find it works well. I, however, get build-up from it (my hair is very prone to build-up). I have to wash my hair with a sulfate after using it. So I usually use it when I am about ready to clarify anyway.
    Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
    RO: IN Harmonic
    LI: CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
    DC: JC Deep Conditioning Treatment; Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Oil
    Stylers: JC Confident Coils; IN Volumizing Spray; IN Perfect Hold Hairspray; John Masters Sea Mist; Bumble Bb. Gel; Kenra Firm-Hold Gel; Sevi Blue Yarrow Sea Salt Spray
    Low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair
  • sandycurlygirlsandycurlygirl Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 5 Curl Neophyte
    I will try to find the Carina Organics gel. I've never seen it. Lately I've been using Shea Moisture shampoo and conditioner and they are giving me some of the worst hair days of my life. My hair feels nasty, gross, dry, has horrible frizz and feels stringy. I was using the Shea Moisture coconut & hibiscus shampoo, and then I tried the matching conditioner, then the raw shea butter conditioner, and my hair does not like them at all so I will have to find something else to use 

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