Sorry for the long absence – current favorite products

Hi Beauties,

As it’s been now three months (I think) since I last posted, I figured it’s time to get back into trying to post at least once a month if I can swing that!!

It’s been an very overwhelming and extremely busy past three months and I’ll explain why. Three months ago this next week, my second decided to make an early entrace into this world at 6 weeks early! He was born a mere 4 hours after my water broke on January 31st, 2017. He’s done nothing but surpass everyone’s expectations for him and he is thriving despite having been 6 weeks early and with his spina bifida.

Alright, anyway, life’s been hectic to say the least, but I’m hoping things are starting to calm down. In the meantime, I thought I’d list some of my current favorite products as I’ve done a lot of shifting in my makeup/hair routine recently including chopping off my waist length hair into an a-line mix of a bob/lob (long bob). I think I want to start up my youtube channel again, but we’ll see if that’s too ambitious for right now!

Okay, let’s start with hair!

With the shorter hair I’m finding I only need to conditioner it mmmaybe once a week. I need to get another bottle of co-wash, but for now I’m liking L’Oreal’s new clay shampoo.

L’Oreal Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo

I’ve been using this for a few weeks now and I feel like it’s actually cleaning my hair. I haven’t noticed any build up yet, but I’ve also been (when I use conditioner) putting conditioner first then shampooing. This seems to help my hair actually get clean without stripping good oils. I find the scent refreshing and while I’m not entirely sure the “clay” is actually doing anything, I like to think that it is.

In trying to figure out my new styling needs with my new haircut, I accidentally stumbled upon what I’m using right now. Ironically it’s a product I’ve NEVER liked before with my longer hair and yet it’s the absolutely best product I’ve found so far with my shorter hair.

MOUSSE

I never liked how mousse would dry in my hair when it was to my waist. I liked cream/gels, but one of the things I specifically asked my hair stylist to do was give me as many layers as she could. I wanted, no CRAVED volume. I also knew that as soon as postpartum hair loss struck, I wanted a hair style I could get the absolute most volume I could. One day I decided to pull out my Garnier Fructis mousse and just give it a whirl. Holy cow, I got INCREDIBLE volume and my hair was SO soft. Check out the picture above, that was freshly washed and volumized hair.

Garnier Fructis Style Curl Construct Creation Mousse

The the last hair product I’ve been using this past week especially is a dry texturizing spray. I had found one by Garnier Fructis called Texture Tease last year at some point but with longer hair it was not a good product for my hair. I must have used enough of it last year because it only lasted a week! When trying to find the spray to replace my now empty bottle, I discovered that it appears to be yet another product that I’ve snatched up that is now discontinued! I then turned to the shelves of Target’s beauty section and stumbled upon a dry texturizing spray that I think is my new favorite product.

Umberto Dry Texture Spray 

I spritzed some of this on my hair after I got home this afternoon, and oh my goodness, instant revival of volume and without any crunchiness! I think I’m going to be reaching for this spray a lot.

Okay! Moving on to face products!

With having two kids now, one being an almost three month old who requires more doctors appointments than my first has had in his 3 years of life, my makeup routine has had to become very minimal. Honestly, all I’m doing right now most days is applying a BB cream after I put toner and moisturizer on my face after showering in the mornings, a little bit of eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, and mascara, and that’s my beauty routine.

Let’s start from the skin out –

Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner 

I’ve started using Witch Hazel two times a day and I’m really pleased with how my skin is starting to look! Especially with my body still full of pregnancy hormones and everything still settling after my little one’s intense arrival, my skin has been a bit unhappy with me. I don’t mind the slightly alcoholic smell of this witch hazel, it goes away as soon as it dries which is about 2 seconds. I just apply it with a cottonball around around my face, neck, and chest.

Olay Fresh Effects Long Live Moisture Satin Finish Lotion

I used to use this lotion several years ago but I didn’t really know how to take care of my face so it didn’t work all that great. However, I started using it again and I really love it. It’s silky but doesn’t dry oily. I don’t break out from it and one bottle lasts for months.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream – Light/Medium 

OMG, this stuff is amazing! I put this on after the lotion above and break one of my makeup rules; I apply it with my hands! I found this works best for this cream because the heat of my hands helps the cream blend into my skin a lot smoother than if I used a sponge or brush. Also, it’s quicker. I apply the witch hazel, moisturizer, and the bb cream in all less than 3 minutes.

But, when I want to do a fuller face of makeup, I found another new favorite –

NYX BB Cream in Natural 

I ran out of my Rimmel bb cream and decided to try something a little different for my minimal makeup routine. I haven’t always liked NYX products, but have been very pleased with this cream. It blends almost matte once it warms up to my skin. And it goes on really smoothly with or without primer under it. Ha, yet another makeup rule of mine I’ve broken recently! I’ll tell you what, having two kids really makes you figure out how quickly you can do something in as little steps as possible!

So those are my current favorite products! Thanks for sticking around during my absence. Life’s been really hard and busy and intense lately, but I haven’t dropped makeup as it’s become a significant self-care thing for me. Hopefully I’ll be able to start posting with a little more regularity soon!

 

Curly Girl Hair Routine – Part 2

Hi Beauties!

Let’s see, I left off with shampoos in my last post, so I’m going to pick up with co-washes, conditioners, and styling products in this post.

As I mentioned the Curly Girl book in my last post, I’m going to be pulling from that as an example of what to do when washing your hair and what products to use. One of the things Lorraine Massey recommends is using strictly co-wash products and only washing your curls once or less a week. While this may work for thicker and much tighter coiled curls, for my hair particularly, I have to get rid of product build up and I wash my hair roughly two times a week. I had gotten this co-wash a year ago, but decided I didn’t like it. I picked it up again a few months ago when I was running out of my other shampoo and found out it was amazing and wish I had used it before.

Devacurl No Poo$13.66 Amazon 

I came to love the refreshing peppermint scent and I really liked how soft it made my hair. But I found I could only use this for 1 out of every three washes or else my hair got limp and slightly greasy. So while for some curly girls, co-washes are the bee’s knees, for others of us, co-washes are not for us to use every time we wash our hair. I do recommend getting a co-wash and using it somewhat frequently, but keep in mind, it takes a bit of time to find the right combination of hair products that work for your specific hair. I have a list of a few other (cheap) co-washes that I’ve heard good things about but haven’t tried yet. Such as this one from Pantene.

Pantene Co-wash$4.99 at Target

I personally don’t like to switch up shampoos/conditioners all that often, however, I do use multiple types of shampoos as I do like to mix that up depending on how my hair feels. Like I said before, I need an actual shampoo to get rid of build up, and a co-wash helps maintain the condition of my hair between shampoos. I consider co-washes and shampoos basically the same especially if they’re all those chemicals free.

Okay, now, moving on to Conditioners.

The thing to keep in mind about conditioners is that the more moisture and less parabans and sulfates (and silicone and phthalates) there are in them, the better they will work. I prefer using this conditioner right now.

Shea Moisture Sea Kelp & Pearl Protein – $8.99 at Target

This conditioner is good for colored hair and I love the scent. This is one of the few conditioners that I’ve used that is curling hair friendly that actually makes my hair feel moisturized. One bottle lasts me about a month and a half. I apply a [literal] palm full of the conditioner to my hair, coating my hair from the ends up to about my ears. Once my hair is all coated, I’ll gently run a wide toothed comb through my hair. This is the ONLY time I actually comb or brush my hair. It helps to coat the ends of your hair before spreading the conditioner further up your locks. I always let my conditioner sit in my hair for up to 5+ minutes. This helps my hair absorb the conditioner as much as it can. Another tip is to squeeze out as much water as you can before applying your conditioner as this also helps the conditioner grip onto your hair.

Now, once my conditioner has soaked in after 5 minutes (during which I will wash my body and/or shave) I will rinse the conditioner out with cool to almost cold water. This closes the cuticles of your hair, and while a hot shower relaxes you, a cold or cool shower wakes you up. I find it’s a nice perk in the mornings I’m not moving very fast. Some curly girl articles and even the Curly Girl Handbook recommends applying a leave in conditioner and as in the name, NOT rinsing it out. I have tried about 5 (?) different leave in conditioners and the only thing those ever did for my hair was make it SUPER yucky greasy. So I always rinse pretty much all of my conditioner out. If there’s a tiny teensy bit left, it doesn’t bother my hair, but I generally get it all. Okay, now comes the super important part of washing your curly hair. Turn off the shower and squeeze the water from your hair…GENTLY! And before getting out of the shower, flip your head upside and run your fingers [AGAIN, GENTLY!] through your hair and shake your curls out. This will carry on to the styling step and will help your curls start to naturally form. I usually take about 30 seconds to do this and then lightly scrunch my hair up before flipping my head upright.

So there are several “Curly Girl Commandments” anyone who has curly hair needs to follow. I never really considered these important and my curls greatly suffered for it. Thus, I am speaking from personal experience when I highly recommend these commandments.

  1. NEVER use a regular towel on your curls. Regular terry cloth towels disturb and roughen the delicate cuticles of your curly hair. Curly hair is some of the most delicate hair types, so please, please be gentle, and take care of your hair! My favorite option for drying my hair is using an old soft t-shirt I have cut open on one of the seams. I NEVER rub my hair dry, but simply continue the scrunching I started in the shower, and squeeze the water out.
  2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Find an oil that works for your hair and make that your best friend. This requires an unfortunately large amount of experimentation, but curly hair is not only the most delicate of hair types, it’s also the driest. So this could mean avoiding products with alcohol in them, or avoiding additives in shampoo and conditioner, or not. You need to take the time to figure out how to respect your own curls and what works the best for them. Curly hair is a lot of work, but when you learn how to take care of it in the way it needs, it is so rewarding to have more good days than bad.
  3. Do NOT BRUSH your curls. If you absolutely must detangle your curls, then use a wide toothed comb. I keep my comb in the shower and only comb my hair when it’s wet and has conditioner in it. Try to avoid disturbing your curls as much as possible. I know the pull of touching your curls when you’re having a good curl day, but really do try to not touch your hair.
  4. Use a satin pillowcase. So this is the one thing I scoffed at for a long time and refused to put money (we’re talking maybe $7?) into a satin pillowcase. I recently purchased this one from Amazon (click on the picture to go to the amazon page), and while it’s not as soft as I’d like, I have noticed a difference with my second and third day curls. I do highly recommend you find or make your own satin or even silk pillowcase. Just be aware that whatever products you put in your hair to sit overnight will show up on the pillowcase so I wash mine just about and sometimes more than once a week.

I’m sure there are other things any other curly girl could add to this list, but these are the 4 “commandments” I would consider to be at the top of the list. Comment and let me know if you’d add anything else!!

Now, on to my favorite topic – styling products. Trust me when I’ve said that I’ve tried many, many kinds of styling products over the years and I feel like I now have a favorite and a reliable product that gives me consistent results. I have two curl cream recommendations and my favorite oil that I also use in combination with my other styling products. I used to think that I had to only use a single styling product and couldn’t mix and match. Ha, nope! Do not hesitate to use a cocktail of products so you can get the right combination of hold and softness for your curls.

To start my styling routine, I always apply this oil first thing after I get out of the shower and when my hair’s still partially dripping wet. I have been experimenting recently and found that I can get more curls and even less frizz if I apply all of my styling products while my hair is still mostly dripping wet.


Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco Treatmentcurrently $12.14 on Amazon. The only two places I have ever found this oil is on Amazon and Walgreens.com. Stores do not sell this and last I checked, this oil wasn’t even on the Marc Anthony website. I blame Ipsy for introducing me to this oil, I absolutely ADORE it. It is the only oil I have EVER tried that doesn’t make my hair greasy. And, big bonus, it smells amazing! I typically apply 4-5 pumps of this oil and run through my hair completely before applying any other styling product.

My all time favorite product is this cream/gel from Tigi Catwalk

Tigi Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier$10 on Amazon. I recommend getting it from Amazon instead of Target or Ulta or your local grocery store. It is almost always $14.99 at that stores. This product consistently ranks close to the top if not the top of most Top 10 Curly Hair products. It is a cream and a gel, so the consistency, while still creamy, has a gel like finish. I always apply 4 pumps (keep in mind I have waist length hair, so I need that much product). If you get this product, figure out how much your hair needs. This almost never gets crunchy in my hair, and I really like that in a curl product.

My second favorite curl cream/gel, is this stuff from Garnier Fructis.

Garnier Fructis Style Curl Sculpting Cream Gel$2.99 on Amazon. This does not have as nice as a hold at the Catwalk Curls stuff above, but is it very comparable with how it holds and forms curls. It has a nice smell and for this price, I’d say it’s a steal!

Like I said, I’ve been experimenting and recently started add in a mousse to my styling routine. I have had bad experiences with mousses in the past and was hesitant to try this, but as I have never tried a mousse and then diffused dried my hair, I figured it couldn’t hurt. This is the only mousse I have on hand right now, and I’ll have to admit I rather like this combo!

John Frieda Frizz Ease Curl Reviver Mousse – This double pack of travel sized containers is currently $3.78 on Amazon. I don’t remember where I picked this up, I think Target, but I do know it’s pretty cheap. I only use one squirt of this mousse and run it through my hair AFTER my other styling products.

And now, the finishing touches. I almost always use my blow dryer and a diffuser when drying my hair. This helps eliminate most of the frizz and helps my curls form and hold. I use this hair dryer,

Conair 1875 Watt Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer$25 on Amazon. I like this diffuser, and have had good luck with it. I usually start on a medium speed and high heat. Any Curly Girl will say not to use high heat, but my hair doesn’t react to the high heat any more than it does to medium heat. Besides, I don’t always have a lot of time and with the high heat, I am not actually using heat on my hair for all that long. I start on the sides of my head, piling handfuls of wet hair into the diffuser and pushing up towards the crown of my head. After I do both sides and they’re starting to hold the curl, I’ll flip my head upside and diffuse up and try to get most of the underside and back of my head hair. Before I flip my head back up, I’ll switch to cold air and use that to start getting volume.

Another alternative to a diffuser is this one from the Curly Co. I have heard very good things about this diffuser and plan on getting it myself in a month or two.

Collapsible Hair Diffuser by The Curly Co. for Hair Dryers. $14.99 on Amazon. I hear that this fits most hair dryers and because it’s flexible, it actually diffuses your curls a lot better than a stiff diffuser.

Alright, so those are my favorite products, and recommended products! My next post will have my second day hair recommendations as well as a bunch of links for articles and references for product lists that are good for curly hair!

 

 

Curly Hair – Humidity vs. No Humidity

Hi Babes!

I finally feel like I have a moment to breathe here. May has been another busy month as we were gearing up for our trip last week. Now the trip is behind me, and I for one am very happy to be back home.

Anyway, while I was in Maryland, I stumbled on an interesting fact about my hair and how it reacts to humidity. I hadn’t really put a whole lot of thought into how my curls react to humidity or no humidity other than noticing I needed to change my shampooing/conditioning products once I had moved to Colorado. However, the first day I washed my hair back in Maryland this past week, I noticed a HUGE thing right away. My hair needs (read: desperately longs for, will die without it, demands) extra moisture when I’m in a humid climate. This doesn’t really make sense to me since humidity is essentially just moisture in the air. But  my hair not only exploded with volume, it got frizzy in the “I need water” kind of way. I thought it was maybe just that I hadn’t put in enough styling product, but by the third time I had washed my hair there, I knew it was more than that. I doubled the amount of argan oil I typically use and that actually made a huge difference! I went from feeling like my hair was super dry to nice and shiny and soft voluminous hair!

Now, if I had tried to put that much oil in my hair back here in Colorado, my hair would have become an oil slick! On the other hand, I realized that I need half if not less than half as much oil or moisture in my hair products while living here in Colorado. One guess that I have as far as why I need less moisture here is because my scalp tries to compensate for the lack of moisture in the air by producing more oil. Then it would be the opposite for curly hair in a humid climate; your scalp doesn’t produce as much oil because there is so much moisture in the air. I don’t know though, I’m just guessing! This is just what would make sense to me.

Okay, so good brands for those living with curly hair in a humid climate

Shea Moisture

Tresemme

**Basically, anything that’s made for curly hair and/or says is super moisturizing (and still try to stay clear of sulfates and extra stuff except for when you need to get rid of product build up in your hair)

Good brands for drier climate

Ogx

Marc Anthony curl line

Hair Food by Clairol

 

Curls Galore – Part 2

Hi babes!

I finally feel like we’re getting back into the swing of things! Right in time for Christmas, of course. Anyway, as a distraction from finishing wrapping and putting together gifts, I wanted to share with you all some of my recent finds of curly hair products. Enjoy and please let me know if any of you have ever tried any of these!

Edit: the Rockaholic Dry Shampoo is actually a lot more at Target than I remembered. I bought it off of Amazon for $13

From Curly to Straight – hair straightening tutorial

Hi Babes!

I’m coming to you all today curled up under a blanket at my desk as I watch the beautiful white fluffy snow outside. Because I have second day hair today, I decided to do a video about a new technique I’ve started using. I don’t normally straighten my hair….heat damage and all that. But I have a new product I’ve been playing around with and I rather like how my hair looks now when I straighten it. Mind you, I still leave and actually will purposefully curl the ends of my hair because I do not like my hair all the way straightened.

Products I used:

It 12 in One amazing leave in treatment – $10

Marc Anthony True Professional Nourish Argan Oil of Morocco -$5.99

So here’s the video! Hopefully you can see my hair. I realized too late I was wearing a dark shirt and with my dark hair, I’m not sure how much definition my hair has! Whoops!

 

Curls Galore!

I am finding it hard to believe we’re already into November! Although, the weather outside is starting to match that awkward transition between fall and wintry weather.

Over the past two months I have been sampling and testing several different curl gels and creams. I have used Ouidad Tress Effects curl gel for the past year, but I am not all that fond of how crunchy my curls get. So I decided to branch out and take the risk of trying new products. Sure enough, my hair has been screaming at me and I have found curl products I can’t stand, products I thought were okay, and ones that are growing on me. I will talk about five different products, starting with the Ouidad curl gel.

Ouidad Tress Effects Styling Gel – 4.8

This gel is one of the only styling gels I’ve used that has a very nice texture. It coats the hair very well and when dried with a diffuser, the curls have a lot of structure and can have a lot of volume. The scent is a crisp clove scent and I actually like the scent for this gel. Creating second day curls and wetting my hair to restyle it is very easy with this hair gel. The only thing I don’t like about it is if I don’t dry my hair with a diffuser, my curls become stiff and crunchy and difficult to do anything with.

Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls – 4.5

I found this brand at Target a few years ago and decided to try the Jelly Soft Curls one. I liked it right away, but found it didn’t always hold very well. The scent is pleasant and not overwhelming. The gel, however, is quite sticky. I never felt like I could put enough in without weighing down my hair and still have good curls. I could recommend this styling gel as a quick fix but don’t expect this to hold well for second day curls.

Marc Anthony True Professional Strictly Curls Curl Envy Cream – 2.8

When wandering through Ulta, I came across a sample bottle of this curl cream for $2.48 and decided it was worth the pennies to at least try it. I believe I have tried creams like this in the past, and while I don’t remember liking them, I certainly do not like this product whatsoever. I couldn’t believe how it just didn’t work at all. This cream did smell like lemons but that was the only thing I liked about it. I don’t recommend this but if anyone has figured out how to make this work for their hair, let me know!

Curls Goddess Curl Gel – 3.5

I found this at Target on sale. This is an organic product, which is appealing to me. I like putting good things on my face, skin, and hair. The downside though of having an organic product is it is water based and does not coat the hair all that well. As I always put curl products on my hair when my hair is quite wet, this product just slipped right off. It didn’t create much of a hold, and certainly did nothing for my frizz. I don’t remember a smell with this product (I only used it once before returning it).

Curls Lavish Curls Moisturizer (2nd curl refresher) – 4.4

This is an almost gel like spray meant for second day hair. I’m not all that pleased with how it sprays on. I have to actually spray it on my hand then run my fingers through my curls to apply it. But, all that to say, this product really does do a good job for refreshing second day curls. I still dampen my hair before applying this spray though.

Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper Gel – 4.5

I ordered a sample bottle of this from Birchbox and the jury is still out. It is another water based gel. It has an almost overwhelming sweet scent to it, but I don’t notice any particular scent once it’s on my hair. I have discovered it is very very easy to OVER apply this gel. I have consistently put too much on and my hair has almost felt sludgy-sticky after it is dry. It is hard to tell how much I actually need because putting on the right amount feels like nothing. I’m going to keep playing with this gel so I’ll report back later when I have a more informed opinion!

Miss Jessie’s Quick Curls – 4.9

Out of all of the products I’ve been testing recently, this one is my favorite. Like the Marc Anthony cream, it has a lemony scent and oddly enough, it is also a cream. However, the difference between this and the Marc Anthony cream is that this stuff actually works. It is also a little difficult to judge how much I need, but I think I’m getting the amount now. It dries nicely and my hair does not get crunchy at all; and that’s dried with a diffuser or air dried. It is a light cream but my curls seem to hold well even to the end of second day hair.

So those are the curl styling products I’ve been testing recently. The number, obviously, are my ratings. The Quick Curls cream and Tress Effect gel are my current top favorites. But, styling products are only half of what it takes to take care of curly hair. I have tried several different curly hair or ultra moisturizing shampoos and conditioners recently and have settled back on my favorites for taking care of my curls.

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo – 4.9

This is one of the best shampoos I’ve ever used for my hair. It’s light, cleanses well, and I never feel like it leaves a residue behind. You definitely need a conditioner to go with it though. It is not terribly moisturizing so you need the conditioner to keep the moisture in.

Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Defining Shampoo/Conditioner – 2

I have never used a shampoo and conditioner that worked so poorly as these two. My hair felt nasty and I actually washed my hair again to get these products out of my hair after using this.

Marc Anthony True Professionals Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Treatment – 5

This is what I got in one of my first Ipsy bags and I finally managed to find a full bottle of it. I will often use just this in my hair after a show and I’ll put my hair up in a bun to let it dry. The oil is light, smells absolutely heavenly, and is very moisturizing and makes my curls look amazing. I HIGHLY recommend it for curly hair, but also for any hair type!

Okay, so that wraps up this round of curly hair products! I hope these reviews help and tell me your thoughts! I’d love to hear what helps for your curly hair.

 

How to Dye Your Own Hair – Riley & Caleigh’s Hair Dyeing Adventure

Hey all,

Just a note before we get started, we do apologize for the limited posting this past week. It turned into a crazy week for both of us so posting got pushed to the back burner. Hopefully this week will be better and we can’t wait to share a whole bunch of product reviews with you!

Okay, so, we decided to be spontaneous this past week and dye our own hair. Caleigh had dyed all of her hair many times before, and so has Riley. We both went for new products this time round. Caleigh tried a new brand called One ‘n Only Argan Oil in 3N and 20 volume developer. Riley did Ion semi permanent hair color in 7W which was supposed to be a dirty blonde. She also used a 10 volume developer.

We highly recommend using gloves as well as having dark towels on hand in case of drips. We also recommend using a tint brush like this one. It helps with separating your hair as well as applying the color.

Enjoy the video and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions! As always, check out our Pick The Topics page and help us pick next week’s topics!

Second Day Hairstyles – Riley & Caleigh’s Favorite Go To Styles

Hey guys! It’s Friday! We’re so happy to be done with this week.

Today we wanted to share with you our go to second day hairstyles. We don’t know about you, but second day hair can become quite a menace. Oddly enough, both of us have second day hair today, so it turned out well in showing you our favorite quick fixes.

Here’s the link to Caleigh’s favorite Sea Salt Spray – Octavio La Playa Sea Salt Spray
 CoolWay Thickening Spray  CoolWay Beachy Salt Spray 

Here’s a link to headbands like Riley’s – Combination Head Wrap

We forgot to mention we now have a Donate button!! By donating, you will be helping us out with getting products to try and review. Now, watch the short video below and enjoy our antics about dealing with second day hair!

 

Curly Hair Techniques

IMG_6176 Hey all,

So because you picked Curly Hair Techniques as one of the topics for this week, here’s my post about it!

I am going to detail out here in writing each step, then I’ll leave you with a video to watch. Pardon the length, I spent a good part of the video showing how I diffuse my hair.

IMG_6175

Step one:

Wash your hair. I am currently using this shampoo and conditioner from Target. I also completely forgot to mention the Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask I use once a week.

Step two:

Dry your hair. I never scrunch or twist my hair when drying it with a towel. I’ll squeeze the water out with a towel, but never touch the top part of my hair. That helps prevent frizziness, which I know us curly haired gals are prone too.

Step three:

Apply product. I use Ouidad Tress Effects. I have tried multiple curl gels over the past decade, and it came down between the Ouidad gel and Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls. Miss Jessie’s curl gel products are nice, but I found I had difficulty keeping my hair curled through the end of the day with that product. The Ouidad gel, in combination with diffusing, kept my curls strong well into the second day. I like to make sure my hair is completely coated with the gel before moving on to the next step. Don’t be afraid to be generous, but it truly is up to your preferences!

Step four:

Scrunch hair. For this step, I use an old, soft t-shirt I never wear anymore. Using this method helps distribute the product more evenly without getting more of the oils from your hands on your hair. With curly hair, it is important to touch your hair as little as possible.

Step five:

Diffuse curls. I use a diffuser attachment on my blow dryer. Using a diffuser helps dry your hair without having direct contact with the heat and air of your blow dryer. I take small sections of my hair and plop them into the diffuser before holding it all up to my head for roughly 30-40 seconds. Do this all around your head until your hair has reached the level of dryness you want.

Step six:

Apply finishing oil or serum. This step is purely optional. I use a SheaMoisture Smooth & Repair High Shine Glosser as a finishing touch for my curls. I probably use this only half the time, and usually only if my hair feels extra frizzy and needs a little something.

Step seven:

Enjoy your new curls! Style as you’d like, and of course, this is my personal way of styling my curls. It is the method I have come up with after years of trying many products and various techniques.

How to Cut Layers

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Congratulations! You get to see my hair in a state that is rarely seen in public! Having curly hair means I need to have layers cut at least every two months, if not less. But, having curly hair also means getting a regular haircut isn’t always affordable. About once a year I will get an Ouidad haircut. Because these haircuts usually range from $80-100 per haircut, I wanted to find something that I could do myself. So I turned to faithful Pinterest. I desperately needed a haircut! I came across several pins that ended up being very helpful.

I found this blog post first, and while it was helpful, I knew I needed more layers than what this showed. My hair is deceptively thick and doing only three sections of layers isn’t enough. Then I found this post. I liked her recommendations as well, so I combined the two slightly different techniques.

*Just a note before we get started; This is more of a trim than dramatically cutting layers, so it’s not going to look much different than the before picture.

Let’s get started!

Tools I Used:

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(I need to get myself a pair of styling shears, so please excuse the old sewing scissors there! The thicker of the two hair bands is for the first two layers. The thinner one for the last two.)

First step:

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let your hair down then brush out all of the knots. For curly hair it might be easiest to use a wide tooth comb first, to work out any big knots you might have.

Second Step:

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Brush your hair up into mid level ponytail. Once you see the other three leveled ponytails, it will be easier to see where this one falls. Try to make sure all of your hair is smoothed into the ponytail. This is to make sure when you cut the hair, it’s even. After you make sure the ponytail holder is tightly in place, bring all of your hair forward like this….

Third Step:

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(Pardon the terrible lighting – I couldn’t get this shot very well, unfortunately!)

okay, make sure the hair is all pulled forward. I wet the ends of my hair to make it easy to hold and cut. Hold your hair between your fingers and cut off however much you want to. I cut roughly between 1/2 an inch to 3/4 of an inch off.

With the next three layers you’re going to cut, you will pull up less and less hair.

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(Second layer) I let down roughly a third of my hair before I pulled the rest back up into another pony tail. Do the exact same thing as before; sweep the hair forward, wet the ends, and cut off however much you want.

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(Third layer – you can see how the second layer looks there just above the bottom of my hair) Repeat all of the above steps. This time it gets a little tricky about how much hair I let down. I usually split the last three layers into about thirds. So whatever feels like a third of the hair left to cut, let that down.

Hint: if you have less hair, doing only three layers would work great! Evenly cutting only three layers will look just as good.

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(Fourth and final layer) As you can see, this final layer is really high. I cut the most off of this layer so there are obviously shorter layers on the top. I typically cut off closer to an inch of hair on this layer.

Once I’m done cutting the layers, I let my hair down completely, and shake it out. I wasn’t able to get pictures of this, but I usually have to trim the pieces of hair closest to my face. Then I wash my hair and condition it. After drying most of the water out, I’ll style my hair, and here’s the finished look!

Comment and let me know what you think! Feel free to ask questions as well!