Best way to manage naturally curly hair?

(47 Posts)
TigerseyeMum Sun 12-May-13 20:28:26

I have naturally curly hair - in my youth I looked like a poor mans Julia Sawalha and now if I cut it short more like Alex Polizzi.

Because my hormones are up shit creek right now my mid-length brown hair has got super dry and hard to style - more Saffy from Ab Fab sadly. I am having a dilemma - do I cut it back to Polizzi levels and hope it grows back a bit healthier, or keep it and try to manage it with products?

At the moment my saviour is Moroccan Oil curl creme and cokkasta shikakai oil from Curly Girls. The CG method does not work for my scalp so I use SLS free shampoo and a DG Organics or Moroccan Oil conditioner.

Anyone know any good curl booster, moisturising products? Or should I go all Polizzi on its ass???

MrsLettuce Sun 12-May-13 21:10:08

I adore Alex Polizzi's hair when it's short.
HAve you tried coconut oil overnight?

TigerseyeMum Sun 12-May-13 21:15:12

I haven't - my skin and scalp are also suffering, would it clog my pores do you think?

MrsLettuce Sun 12-May-13 21:21:36

Ideally you need an unrefined, virgin oil a cheaper one would be fine for hair TBH. Using once, twice or even three times a week should be fine considering how much washing out it takes.

MrsLettuce Sun 12-May-13 21:22:34

but a cheaper one would be fine for hair TBH. What are you using on your skin?

TigerseyeMum Sun 12-May-13 21:28:47

The coccasta shikakai oil is a pure oil that you can leave in overnight so similar to the coconut oil. It smells like marzipan too.

Face, usually NYR for moisturiser and Ren for washing, depends on where I am in my cycle. Recently using dermalogica pre leaner has helped a lot and my Sonicleanse has been brilliant. So it's under control. Just the dry crazy hair now until things get a bit more sorted.

MrsLettuce Sun 12-May-13 21:30:44

If you're doing that then I wouldn't bother with the coconut oil TBH.

Would you like it shorter?

MrsLettuce Sun 12-May-13 21:33:26

(disclaimer: my hair is straight as a lat but does get dry. Was just bumping really)

TigerseyeMum Sun 12-May-13 21:34:43

I'm very undecided. I love my Polizzi look and it's certainly easier but longer hair is more versatile.

I went back over old photos today and the short hair is ok, the long hair is ok but the growing it out pix are dire!!!!

I'm not the most attractive woman in the world so I'm hesitant to go short again. But I am also lazy and long curly hair is high maintenance!!!!


MummyOfLittleBigGirl Sun 12-May-13 21:36:37

Curly Girl method didn't work for me either but if you use a silicone, SLS or SLES shampoo or conditioner you should try to do an ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) rinse to restore the pH balance of your scalp and curly hair and rid your scalp of the build up, that silicones, SLES & SLS can cause. Just Google ACV rinse, you'll find a lot of info.

Apple Cider Vinegar only costs about £1 at Tesco.

As for sealing in moisture you could also try applying natural oils to your wet curls. Use either Camellia Kissi or Sapote Seed Oil - again just Google it.

I got a bottle of each for Mother's day back in March and it has worked wonders for my scalp & kept my tightly coiled hair well defined.

TigerseyeMum Sun 12-May-13 21:39:03

Hmm, I've tried acv before but it didn't seem to do much for me. I avoid all silicone and parabens etc, my skin reacts really badly to them.

I was born an awkward bugger and have remained so for 40 years smile

CatAndFiddle Sun 12-May-13 21:39:37

If the oil treatments don't work, I'd go for the cut. Having similar issues with mine at the moment..corkscrew curls have been replaced by a bad 80's perm. I'm having it all lopped off to teach it a lesson.

TigerseyeMum Sun 12-May-13 21:42:54

That's interesting, do you think bad curly hair is linked to the seasonal change? We've had extremes of weather lately <clutches at straws>

I'm seriously considering the chop. I call everyone darling a lot anyway so it'll just help me get more into character.

CatAndFiddle Mon 13-May-13 09:03:13

To be honest, I think mine is hormone induced too. Currently 35 weeks pregnant and don't think I've shed a single hair for 7 months. So the curls are drowning under their own weight. Cutting them off seems the kinder thing to do at the moment.

I quite like Polizzi curls anyway, unfortunately I will be more Shirley temple after the chop...but something has to be done.

CoteDAzur Mon 13-May-13 09:10:10

I use Umberto Giannini Curl Friends smoothing balm.

Comb your hair under the shower with conditioner, then squeeze with towel to "dry" (don't toss), and apply this product. Apply it down the length of your hair, then define curls by twisting them into shape and/or crunching. It leaves hair soft but with well-defined curls. I love it.

TigerseyeMum Mon 13-May-13 19:16:04

Oh I haven't tried Umberto Gianni. I shall have a look.

Hair has had a temporary reprieve as I rang the hairdressers but no one answered the phone. Still undecided. Sigh.

GlassesDontSuitMe Mon 13-May-13 20:32:21

My hair is naturally curly and hormonally challenged too! Although I do the curly girl method it never looked or felt right. I've tried loads of stuff over the last couple of years but my hair seemed to get used to stuff and then it stopped working.

I was completely fed up with it and came really close to having it all chopped off very,very short. One last attempt to find a magic potion came up with this Curl Keeper from the british curlies on line shop. It is indeed a magic potion for my hair. It's not cheap but it does go a long way. There are videos by the chap who created it ( Curly Hair Solutions) on how to use it properly.
I apply it to very/soaking wet hair, scrunch some Umberto Gianni gel in then leave it for 10 mins to work (v.important) then diffuse it dry. If I overdo the gel and it's crunchy I just scrunch some jojoba oil through it.

It's the only product my hair hasn't got used to. It kills almost all of the frizz and I get proper curls. Most days I like my hair although there are some days I could still happily shave it off grin

TigerseyeMum Mon 13-May-13 20:40:38

Thank you, I shall check that out too smile

I heard that curly hair is caused by hormones anyway, mine was poker straight until i hit puberty.

I fully expect it to revert back to glossy straightness once I reach the menopause.

In the meantime I am in a hideous hormonal maelstrom and my hair is letting me know all about it!

GlassesDontSuitMe Mon 13-May-13 21:05:23

Tigers erm, I don't know how to tell you this, but the menopause has made my hair worse, much worse confused

TigerseyeMum Mon 13-May-13 21:35:40


My curls have been very dry of late, I've been putting it down to the weather.

I use my own mix of water, some serum (Frizz ease, the purple one) some conditioner and some pink curl creme from Boots. I spray it on dry hair and then gently dry it. It seems to work, my hair has looks fab today, beautiful curls and no frizz.

CoteDAzur Mon 13-May-13 22:09:37

Re dry curls - Have you tried just a drop of argan oil?

treaclesoda Mon 13-May-13 23:30:19

I don't have curly hair myself, but a friend with super curly hair swears by Lush Curly Wurly shampoo, she says it transforms her hair. Quite expensive though, and she says its very difficult to rinse out, but worth the effort.

TigerseyeMum Wed 15-May-13 08:49:27

Lots of ideas, thanks :-D

Argan oil - I was using this a lot but recently it's done nothing for my hair. In fact any oil seems to just 'sit' on my dry hair managing to make it look both greasy and frizzy at the same time, which is quite a feat.

Boots pink curl creme was good for a whole then started doing the same. I just don't know what's going on with it. It's very brittle and frizzy but a recent 2 day oil treatment plus natural drying has slightly improved it.

EffieTheDuck Wed 15-May-13 09:02:11

I have used pure coconut oil for fried hair and a once a week treatment of the cheapest mayonaisse. slather it on and leave it on overnight with a shower cap on then wash it out in the morning.

Old fashioned vitapointe leave in conditioner is good for day use. This wet weather makes the curls go tighter.

GlassesDontSuitMe Wed 15-May-13 10:27:07

I forgot to mention earlier, this is what I use when my hair is like sticks. It's a bit ££ but a pot lasts ages.

Pendulum Wed 15-May-13 10:56:42

Reading with interest- my poor DD's hair, usually wonderful ringletty curls, has recently gone all dry and straw like. I've tried all kinds of products on it but without much success. She is so fed up she wants it all cut off, but I'm worried she will look like a boot brush!

Her haridresser recommended Argan oil, but most of the products I've found are full of silicones, which I try to avoid on her hair, and the pure stuff is v expensive. I was thinking of trying some of my pure sweet almond oil (for my skin) on it, but am intrigued by the mayonnaise idea!

mistlethrush Wed 15-May-13 11:00:52

I love the Naked range of products for my dry, thick, curly hair - the intensive conditioner is just wonderful. It wasn't in too bad a condition before I started using it, but it has definitely improved and it generally feels softer and there are fewer straw-like bits.

VillaVillekulla Wed 15-May-13 11:12:42

Reading with interest. I tried curly girl method for first time last night. I was pleasantly surprised by what nice defined curls I got (I usually blow dry my hair straightish) but I'm also a bit intimidated by what a big mane of hair I've got now. I don't really know what to do with it.

Do any of you fellow curly MNers have any tips on how to wear long curly hair? I've tried pinning bits up but I don't really know what I'm doing. I've got so used to styling it straight I just don't know what I'm doing when it's curly.

I'm fighting the urge to just brush it all out and tie it in a tight pony tail until I next wash/blow dry it straight(ish) again.

mistlethrush Wed 15-May-13 11:34:09

My 'pony' tail results in a ball as large as my head...

Although I think that my hair may be slightly shorter than that at the moment - its still pretty impressive.

I have my hair layered, and simply clip back the front (so that I can see). Its sort of bob-ish in shape and the layering stops it from going quite so crystal tips on me. As long as I manage to condition it every weekend (and then put some styling stuff in it that refreshes when I run damp hands through it - Paul Mitchell Super Sculpt) it is very manageable and looks fairly defined into curls - these get less defined as the week goes on until it is reconditioned. I never brush it anymore, and don't ever use a hairdryer on it.

VillaVillekulla Wed 15-May-13 12:04:40

Ooh, thanks Mistlethrush. Mine is longer than yours. Ideally I'd like it to be long flowing Greek goddess hair but I fear it may be more giant frizz ball.

Off to google crystal tips....

mistlethrush Wed 15-May-13 12:10:39

Crystal Tips (I think mine can be even more sideways blush

VillaVillekulla Wed 15-May-13 12:16:59

Ah OK, mine can definitely look like that but longer (and looser curl).

mistlethrush Wed 15-May-13 12:24:47

Mine's got a tighter curl when its looking good (well, the ringlety things that it goes in are tighter and it only does a crystal tips look if I brush it.... )

So... to avoid the triangular effect, I've got good layering (this I find also keeps the hair more easily in good condition) and no brushing - relying on air drying from wet to get a good degree of curl that stays in until the next conditioning treatment (I rarely wash mine now, just condition it). And as I wouldn't be able to see with just a parting, my 'fringe' area (same length layers as the rest around there) gets scooped back gently and clipped - more curls on top. [[ not quite this effect] but not far off grin

mistlethrush Wed 15-May-13 12:25:12
mintymellons Wed 15-May-13 13:09:41

I have very thick wavy/curly hair which is currently cut into a short graduated bob (v short at back graduating to jaw length at front). It's the easiest style I've ever had.

I do a half hearted version of the Curly Girl method using silicone free (currently Tresemme Naturals) shampoo and conditioner. I only ever comb my hair when it has conditioner in. After rinsing, I wrap it in a towel turban for ten mins or so, then apply some Bumble & Bumble Curl Defining Creme and then Mousse. This is expensive stuff but lasts well and works.

Finally I partially diffuser dry it, then smooth a little Naked Curl Serum over it, et voila.

I love these threads!

VillaVillekulla Wed 15-May-13 17:01:10

Thanks mintymelons and mistlethrush. I've clipped fringe back too because it looks awful curly. I like the sound of Naked curl serum. I'll seek that out in Boots.

TigerseyeMum Wed 15-May-13 17:34:54

I also clip
My fringe back, I have a proper heavy fringe for when i straighten my hair which helps otherwise if I clip back long length hair I get a huge wedge of hair on top my head.

Thinking about it, it may be that I don't have enough layers through mh hair - the last hairdresser I had was not that good do maybe more layers will improve the condition and create a better shape.

I am tempted by Bumble and Bumble because I've heard good things. But blimey it's expensive!

The Naked range made my hair dry sad I might try Vitapointe as a few people seem to use that.

TigerseyeMum Wed 15-May-13 17:37:02

Oh and Mistletoethrush I get nicknamed spaniel too!!!

mistlethrush Thu 16-May-13 11:49:26

In the naked range I really mainly use the rescue one which is very heavy. I've given up with the ones 'for curls' as they don't give me sufficient conditioning and - lets be honest - my curls don't actually need any help, they're quite dominant enough as they are provided they're in good condition....

I find you do really need a good hair dresser that can cut curls well...

TigerseyeMum Thu 16-May-13 16:32:49

Right. Booked an appointment with my old hairdresser who is good with curly hair. Think I might take his advice. Shorter, layers, all off, polizzi style or pixie cut...I've had them all so who knows what I will go for this time!!!

BeCool Thu 16-May-13 16:50:54

the Moroccan Hair Oil has silicones added - so not great for curly hair.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 17:51:34

What seems to be the problem with silicone?

I have been using leave-in silicone-based hair conditioning products for years and my hair is thick, long, shiny, and beautiful and I'm very modest smile

TigerseyeMum Thu 16-May-13 18:23:04

I was avoiding silicones but tbh Moroccan Oil deep conditioner is just about the only thing to make my hair look reasonable. I tried a lot of 'approved' products but they're not necessarily better. The only thing I religiously avoid is SLS because it is so bad for my hair and skin.

The theory is that cones build up on your hair and dry it further or weigh it down and create a cycle of product then stripping which keeps you reliant on hair products but I avoided them for about a year and my hair was no better for it. In fact I'm now struggling to maybe all that artificial crap really is good for you? <dunno>

CoteDAzur Thu 16-May-13 19:02:52

"The theory is that cones build up on your hair..."

There are different types but most come off whenever hair is washed. Mine definitely come off at every wash, since it is as frizzy as ever when it dries if I don't put the silicone product back on.

"... and dry it further..."

How? It coats the hair and prevents moisture from escaping, apparently. Although the "coat" isn't 100% so no need to worry about depraving the hair from oxygen etc.

" or weigh it down"

The idea is indeed that the flyaway frizzy hair is "weighed down" into defined curls & locks smile If you put too much on it, yes, your hair would look a bit heavy I suppose.

"...and create a cycle of product then stripping which keeps you reliant on hair products"

Nothing wrong with that, as long as said product works. I am equally reliant on soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, face cream, and deodorant.

dexter73 Thu 16-May-13 19:26:09

I have very curly shoulder length hair. Layers are a big no-no for me as they make my hair pouf up too much. I tried the curly method for a few months but it just made my hair very greasy and horrible. Now I wash my hair every day using any old shampoo and conditioner, then put a couple of drops of a serum through and then finish off with a blob of Boots curly creme.

TigerseyeMum Thu 16-May-13 20:27:01

I didn't say cones were bad, I was explaining the theory. As there's very little evidence base for most beauty products it remains just a theory.

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