As with most things in my life, I try to keep my hair care routine as simple as possible. I’ll try and keep this list pretty simple, too, and list alternative products when I can.
SHAMPOO: Ouidad’s Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil
I shampoo my hair twice a week. I’ve found that my hair only starts to get noticeably greasy after about three or four days, but it might be different for you. (For those of you cringing, don’t worry—I still take showers in between).
I love the Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil because it leaves my hair super soft and with just enough oil to keep it from feeling dry, but any shampoo with moisturizing ingredients (check back to Part 2 for more details on good ingredients) should also do the job.
Alternatives: OGX’s Quenching Coconut Curls shampoo and Marc Anthony’s Kinky Girls with Wild Curls (interesting name, I know) shampoo.
CONDITIONER: Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle Moist
I condition my hair about every other day. Conditioning your hair without shampooing first is a little weird, but it works for me. On those days when I’m not using shampoo, I just run a little bit through the ends of my hair to keep them moisturized and then rinse it out. I really love the 3 Minute Miracle Moist because it’s a deep conditioner, so it’s super moisturizing. Plus, it’s like $3. I do leave it in for longer than three minutes, though.
Alternatives: the matching OGX and Marc Anthony conditioners mentioned above.
LEAVE-IN: Ouidad’s Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner
After I’ve squeezed some of the water out of my hair, I run about a quarter-sized amount of leave-in conditioner through it. I start at the ends of my hair and then work my way up, making sure that it gets dispersed evenly. I like the Moisture Lock leave-in because it has a lot of slip and leaves my hair soft.
Alternatives: Kinky-Curly’s Knot Today, and Renpure’s Coconut Whipped Crème Leave-in Conditioner.
STYLING GEL: Ouidad’s Curl Quencher Moisturizing Styling Gel
I separate my hair into sections and then rake the gel through each section, using about a dollar-sized amount for my entire head. When I’m done, I flip my head upside-down and shake it, scrunching my hair gently as I go. This gel is my holy grail, because it honest-to-God doesn’t feel or look like a gel. It’s just super moisturizing, has great hold, and gives me beautiful curls.
Alternatives: none, unfortunately; the Curl Quencher gel is the only product I’ve ever really used for this, so I can’t recommend any alternatives.
CURL REFRESHER: Oliology’s Monoi Curl Refresher with Coconut Water
I usually take showers at night, so I use a curl refresher in the morning to get rid of any overnight frizz and messiness. I haven’t had much success with DIY refresher sprays, so right now I’m using the Oliology one, and it works pretty nicely. Though it works without looking super oily, I’ve noticed that it leaves my hair a little dry by the end of the day. This could be just because I don’t use enough of it, or because of the product itself. But it’s just something to keep in mind.
WHERE I BUY MY PRODUCTS
There aren’t as many options for people with curly hair in Canada. I’ve never seen SheaMoisture here, and I’ve only seen Kinky Curly products in pricy Toronto salons. So unless you’re willing to go to the States for products, your options are pretty limited.
The reason most of the products on this list are from Ouidad is because I can find them for pretty cheap at Winners (a sister store of Marshalls in Canada), and their products are good. I buy a lot of beauty products from stores like Winners because they have a good mix of niche products and products that are more common, and they’re all marked down. In total, I paid around $40 CAD for everything I mentioned above, but if I’d bought them full-price, it would probably be closer to $100 CAD.
What products do you guys use? I’m always up for more product suggestions!