Help a newbie out with products!

sal-tsal-t Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 2 Curl Neophyte
A little rant about me: I am a mama of two little boys and primping my hair is just not as fun as it used to be (and it never really was much fun). I completely stumbled upon the naturally curly girl "lifestyle" after researching the best brush to cut down my blow drying time and frizz. For some reason I came across the denman brush and this opened a whole pandora box of curly hair information. Now I feel likes I joined some sort of a cult and am obsessively watching women that have gorgeous hair but use like a million different products and dry their hair for something like 4 hours upside down (seriously?).

I went from 0 information to way way too much information and I really don't want to spend $$$ on hair products that will collect dust for five years then end up in the dump polluting our beautiful earth. So can somebody please please give me the coles notes version of what kind of products I should get and what to stay away from.

This is what type of hair I think I have (read everything with a question mark):
some mixture of 2B, 2C with some 3A thrown in on a good hair day. Very dry (mostly due to hair colouring) and fine texture, medium density on front, thick density in back, most likely low porosity.


  • Guide 65Guide 65 Registered Users, Moderators Posts: 1,984 Curl Virtuoso
    Welcome!  The problem with products is that everyone's hair responds differently to them.  There is no cut-and-dried "best" list when it comes to products, even when taking your hair properties into account.  The best thing to do is to buy from a store that takes returns.  Target and Ulta have good return policies.  You can also look for travel size bottles, so you don't have a full size bottle to use up if it doesn't work well.

    You'll need 3 products to get started.  Something to cleanse your hair, something to condition, and a gel for styling.  Optionally, you may want a curl enhancer - something that will cut down on frizz, or encourage curl, or help with clumping.  All products should be free of silicones and sulfates.

    For cleansing, most following the CG method use a cowash or conditioner.  If you choose a conditioner, try to get one that's not expensive and relatively thin.  You'll use a lot, so cheap is good.  You're concentrating this on your scalp rather than your hair so a thin formula tends to work better.  Alternatively, you could try a low-poo - this is a sulfate-free shampoo.  A cowash/conditioner will be the least drying.  The low poo will be more drying, but will cleanse better.

    You'll need to choose a good conditioner.  If you're going to splurge on one thing, this is what you should invest in.  For this step, you'll concentrate on your hair and not your scalp, so choose one that makes your hair feel good.  You can use the same conditioner as a leave-in, just by partially rinsing it.  It takes some practice to figure out how to do this, but it cuts down on products you need to buy.

    The gel will give your hair "hold", and keep your curls going all day.  Hard hold gels tend to be best for weak curls/waves - hair that tends to relax through the day needs more hold.  Light hold gels will work better for hair that curls easily and never stretches out.  Based on your avatar, I'd suggest a hard hold gel.

    For now, skip the optional curl enhancer.  Once you get the hang of this method, you can see if your hair needs something more.
    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
  • tinksaysbootinksaysboo Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 543 Curl Virtuoso
    edited December 2018
    @Guide 65  covered all the bases! 

    Question: Are you following the CG Method?  Co-washing only works if you aren't using products with silicons and waxes.

    Product Recommendation: I think the Not Your Mother's Natural line is a good "starter" line for everything but the gel.  There are 8 collections that have different set of ingredients. The conditioner's range from light to heavy (purple, dark blue, light blue, green, yellow, pink), so in my opinion, it's a good line to figure out how light/heavy you need  for co-wash, leave in, and condition.  I recommend start with the lightest and work your way up if you feel your hair can handle more moisture.   They also have gentle shampoos if you decide co-washing isn't your jam.   All products are $8.99 at Ulta and they frequently have buy 2 get 1 free sales on the brand. 

    Food for thought to add: Even if you aren't concerned with staying on the cheap, I think it's good to start on drug store brands as it helps you figure out what type of products  work for your hair before you start doping bigger bucks.   For example, you might figure out co-washing simply doesn't work for you or that you need mouse instead of a strong hold gel. 
    2c/3a | low porosity | fine/medium | low/medium density| protein,coconut, and green tea sensitive | Modified CGM

    Low-Poo:  Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream
    Sulfate Wash: Aveda Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo
    Rinse Out Conditioner: DevalCurl One Condition
    Leave-In Conditioner: Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion
    Deep Conditioner: DevaCurl Heaven In Hair
    Curl Enhancer: Curl Junkie Spiral Lotion
    Gel: Jessicurl Spiralicious Gel
  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Registered Users Posts: 1,218 Curl Virtuoso
    Agree with the ladies above. And definitely join our cult, I mean community. Really, you can complicate this as much as you want or simplify it. I started being the person using five products, now just two, a leave in and a Styler either cream or gel. Real life curly girl on YouTube searches for simplicity, but I personally find her videos to be too long to sit down and watch completely. Just get a set of products from one brand. Either deva curl or Not your mother’s or some other brand. Stick with this episode products for a month. Your most trial and error will probably be styling techniques not products.
  • SlopezSlopez Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 13 Curl Novice
    Everyone has done a great job at giving you a good overview and starting point. Just to add to one of the post about shopping at stores that accept returns for hair products that you have used. I used target as well as Ulta to try out a bunch of products to try to figure out what worked for me. Also Sally's Beauty has a wonderful return policy and the workers are always so gracious about returns. Additionally I noticed that some brands weren't available in store but they were online, so I would order online, try and then return in store the products that did not work for me. This was the best way to figure out what worked for me without spending tons of money on products and then see them go to waste.
    Shampoo: Mane Choice pink lemonade & coconut 
    Conditioner: Oyin honey hemp
    Deep Conditioner: CJ curl rehab
    Leave In: CJ curl assurance smoothing lotion
    Curl Enhancer: Moptop custard
  • sal-tsal-t Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 2 Curl Neophyte
    Thank you so much for your feedback and taking the time to explain what to concentrate on. I will keep it simple for now.

    That said I have changed the gel I use and it has made an amazing difference. I am also experimenting with the techniques and attempting to pay more attention to what works and what does not.
  • StillunsureonmycurltypeStillunsureonmycurltype Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 92 Curl Connoisseur
    I can recommend a cheaper end, quality-ingredients filled CG Shampoo and Conditioner (if you don’t cowash, I don’t as my scalp itches after a day). The Acure shampoo (or the Not your mother’s Curl Defining Shampoo) and Acure Conditioner set peppermint version has worked wonders for my moms hair who is 2b-3A (when she’s not lazy :P) I used the Mega Moisture set and it’s really Moisturizing and protein free! A gel or a Leave in+ Gel combo that worked fine for my mom by not for me is the Bounce Curl Gel and the Blueberry Bliss reparative Leave in as it gives the protein you may need if the cleansing and conditioning portion is too Moisturizing. I would recommend a mask to do from time to time, but we have very different textures and my mom doesnt use a mask and the ones I use are apparently very heavy. I don’t think wavies need masks on a weekly basis, right? Since theirs hair isn’t crazy dry and it risks weighing them down and appear greasy, so I don’t think you need a mask per se, but it wouldn’t hurt to try one. Maybe the method of using the mask prior to washing, shampooing then using a conditioner to still get the benefits of the mask but the lightness of the conditioner would work.

    These are just what worked for my mom and some of my personal thoughts in it too! She’s had naturally, what appeared to be 2A-b waves for years, never did anything with it until I nudged her to try to care for it for once and she had curls hidden under her wavy fine hair. She’s still trying to get the diffusing portion down (I don’t know it, probably never will) but she’s getting the hang of it. I’d put a picture if she wasn’t so camera shy.

    Also, keep note, I’m a drastically different texture, as my mom has very similar hair to your own, except a medium porosity. 

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