You know what they say: Behind every great head of hair is a great styling product. (OK, maybe they don’t say that, but it’s true.) When it comes to natural hair (aka corkscrews, or as we call it, super curly hair), it often takes a village of products—including cleansers and conditioners—to create the kind of soft, hydrated curls that make total strangers stop and ask, “Girl, what do you use on your hair?” No matter what’s in your stash, super curly hair should be handled with care. “Tight curls are delicate, like cashmere. They should be treated with a gentle approach,” says Shari Harbinger, Co-Founder of the DevaCurl Academy. “Moisture, strength, nourishment, and protection are what super curly hair needs the most.” Here are the curly hair products that’ll give you all of the above.
1. BUILDUP BUSTER Micellar Water Cleansing Serum
“The roadmap to get you to soft, shiny, frizz-free curls, begins in the shower with a great cleanse and condition routine,” says Shari. She recommends that super curly girls avoid cleansers and conditioners made with dehydrating detergents and silicones that create buildup—a common concern among her clients with super curly hair. Even if you’re using a gentle, silicone-free cleanser like No-Poo Decadence, pesky buildup can pop up from hard water or environmental stressors. To de-gunk your scalp and hair, Shari recommends swapping your regular cleanser with Buildup Buster once a week. The moisturizing micellar water technology draws out impurities without stripping the hair. It also amps up shine and extra softness with abyssinian seed and jojoba oils. One more reason to love it: It’s super-easy to use. Simply use the needle-nose tip to apply the serum to your scalp and hair while wet, massage thoroughly, and rinse. Follow with One Condition Decadence to lock in maximum moisture.
2. ONE CONDITION DECADENCE Ultra Moisturizing Milk Conditioner
Whether you’re washing your curls with Buildup Buster or No-Poo, your hair needs a dose of moisture after you cleanse. One Condition Decadence is your go-to because it delivers the intense hydration that all super curly hair craves. The nourishing formula gives hair TLC with chufa milk and quinoa protein. After you rinse out your cleanser, apply One Condition Decadence to your hair while it’s wet and use your fingers to detangle as you go. Rinse and follow with your favorite Deva styler. Hello, soft, pampered curls.
3. SUPERCREAM Coconut Curl Styler
Whether you love a good two-strand twist, or wash-and-gos are more your thing, this rich, coconut oil infused cream does it all. Finger comb SuperCream through very wet hair after cleansing and conditioning, or use it to control frizz and define your natural curls in between wash-days on dry hair. Shari’s technique for 2nd-day hair: Working in small sections, apply the cream onto your curls (no need to wet them), gliding downward across the surface of curls. Next, gently squeeze the lengths of the hair all over to help the styler absorb into your curls. SuperCream is great for slick styles, too. Use it for smoothing when you’re rocking a tight bun or when you’re pinning the sides of your hair back.
4. B’LEAVE-IN Miracle Curl Plumper
Contrary to what you might believe, Shari says super curly hair tends to be finer in texture. To plump it up, B’Leave-In—a lightweight gelée—does the trick. First, apply a creamy, hydrating styler like SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler to wet curls. Then flip your head upside down, and coat your hair with the gel, layering it over the SuperCream, distributing from the roots to your ends. Stand upright and gently scrunch all over. Let your curls air-dry or use a dryer focusing on the crown area for maximum lift at the scalp. When you’re done, it’ll be Volume City.
5. SET IT FREE Moisture Lock Finishing Spray
Just like drinking a glass of water when you’re thirsty perks you right up, this nourishing spray instantly refreshes curls, controls frizz and adds softness—even when humidity is at its worst. Keep Set it Free handy for mid-week frizz-taming and shine-boosting (it’s the perfect product to leave at your significant other’s place or in your gym bag). Just mist it all over your curls when styling then go!