Curly Girl Hair

Buckle up, this is a really long and detailed post. It’s no secret that this summer has been hot and humid and rainy. The perfect storm (haha – I’m so punny) for us curly hair girls to be at our witts end. Having curly hair has its own special kind of challenge. And only other curly hair girls understand the love/hate relationship we have with our tresses.

What’s universally most frustrating, I think, is the inconsistency. One day your curls will literally be swoon-worthy, and the next, even if you use the same exact technique and formula, it can be a frizzy, flat mess. Ugh. This is a total IYKYK (if you know, you know) kind of situation. It’s our own personal curly hair purgatory. I won’t call it hell, because it is not all bad, it’s just also not all good all the time.

Curly Girl Hair Frustrations

I typically wear my curly hair straight. I’m a grandma and get a weekly blowdry or use the Dyson Airwrap (read my full review here – it’s amazeballs!) But with the current rain and humidity, my curls are breaking thru. I was publically airing my curly hair dirty laundry on my Instagram Story and sooooo many people responded. Sharing their favorite products or techniques to achieve curly, bouncy, soft, non-frizzy curls. Curly hair girls are the best! And not only that, many of you have reached out wanting to know what I learned and if I’d share. The answer to that is ALWAYS a yes! I am a sharer, possibly an oversharer. But it did take me a while to collect all of the good info – but here is it, finally!

So consider this a round-up, from real-life curly girls

The first thing to keep in mind is this universal truth: What works for curly girl hair is more of a kitchen table science experiment than a true scientific formula. And that is precisely what makes having curly hair so dang frustrating (sometimes). There are so many factors that play into curl perfection, the first of which is your own personal hair texture. Then add in heat, humidity, air temp, hard or soft water, silk or cotton pillowcase, type of towel, and then there are the products… oh the products.

There were MANY Curly Girl products recommended – here’s the list with direct links.

Hallie’s Step by Step, albeit, UNPERFECTED Formula

This is my current personal curly routine. As I said above – there are days and times it works perfectly. And others where it is a big old fail. But I’m sharing it nonetheless.

  1. Shampoo with Orbie
  2. Condition with Orbie + comb thru with a wide-tooth comb ( I let it sit while I shave)
  3. Rinse out 95% – leave a bit of conditioner in, don’t rinse to squeaky clean
  4. Squeeze out water but DO NOT wrap it in a towel. I put a towel over my shoulders and let my hair drip dry – it’s annoying in the winter, but really makes a difference.
  5. Generously apply hair serum (DryBar or Frizz Ease). I start at the end and work my way up to the root (so the roots don’t get greasy)
  6. This is (IMHO) a key step. Take 1-2 claw clips and secure them at the top of my head. I leave these in as long as possible. This lets my roots dry with some lift. I keep them in while I do my makeup. And longer if possible.
  7. Once my hair is 25% dry, I spritz with salt spray
  8. Before I leave I add an oil/shine spray like Orbie or Ogx.
  9. And then just a quick spritz of hairspray – but not too much or it becomes crunchy.
  10. The final, most important step is to sleep on it (at least for me). This helps take out some of the poof. And as an aside, I sleep on a silk pillowcase to prevent frizz.
  11. The next morning ( or any morning – I believe my hair is best on day 3) I spritz it with water, then salt spray and then shine spray.

Some days this works magnificently – others I need to do a little more or less – it is definitely more art than science.

Allyson – my Curly Girl Hair Queen

My friend Allyson has gorgeous curls. She’s turned the perfection of curls into a hobby and she was generously willing to share her intel. Here is her deep dive…

How much time ya got? So other than eating my feelings, my other quarantine hobby was following curly hair influencers and watching countless hours of videos. And I mean countless. One thing I learned was different types of curls need different products. And on also depending on weather and time of year. Some need moisture, some need protein usually it’s a balance of protein and moisture that works best for me. The other complete life changer for me was sleeping in a satin bonnet. I also sleep on a satin pillowcase. My husband makes fun of me and hates it but I don’t care. I can now go 4 days without washing my curls where before I couldn’t even get a day 2! It’s totally upped my quality of life 🤣 here are a few of my favorite product lines:


I like the curly line and the ghost line. Particularly the shampoo and conditioner. And they’re Israeli so there’s that.Verb - Ghost Trio


I use a lot of different lines from this company depending on the weather and what’s going on with my hair. The curl transition kit helps your curls get used to living their best curly lives. And the weightless airdry cream is pretty great too.Curlsmith Curl Transitioning Kit | Ulta Beauty


I love this line too. I like their styling products more than their shampoos
Products – Bounce Curl


Another amazing line. I’ve had my haircut at an Ouidad salon. They’re the OG of curly hair products.  They’ve been doing it forever.
Ouidad top products for curly hair, best... #HairProducts Ouidad top products for curly hair, best Ouidad curly hair products.

Curly Girl Hair Influencers:

@manesbymell (she’s probably my favorite and I’ve learned the most from her. She releases a new YouTube video every Tuesday)

My Favorite Sleep Bonnet

This is the sleep bonnet my husband makes fun of (understandably) but it’s been a game-changer. It’s like a satin shower cap to sleep in and it saves my curls from getting crushed.
Probably more than you asked for but you can probably tell by now that it’s become a “hobby” of mine 🤣
Happy to answer any questions
Oh my gosh – how much do you LOVE Allyson?!? She is a curly hair savant, lol!
Anyway, I hope this real-life round-up helped some of you – it sure helped me. And I’ll keep on experimenting with my concoctions and try to embrace my curls.
xoxo to my curly hair peeps!


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Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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