Sunday, July 28, 2013

Top 10 Super Coily Hair Products: The Curly Hair Edition

I often get inquiries like "What products do you use?" I don't like to give product names for a few reasons. The primary reason is because what works for me may not work for you. Simple things like different thicknesses, porosity, hair health, coil pattern, and other varying factors can cause my hair to "like" a product that another head of coily hair may react unfavorably towards. I think it's different when referring to specific INGREDIENTS VS PRODUCTS. Why? Because the products typically have dozens of ingredients, making it difficult to narrow it down to which ingredients may be causing a problem. On the other hand, using simple ingredients help to make it pretty simple to identify if any problems present.

  In this post, I want to be candid, clear, and leave no stone unturned in regards to exactly what I use in my hair. My current product "stash" listed below is exactly what I reach for when stepping into the shower to do my hair. These ingredients are the foundation for what I consider to be "healthy, happy coils". They work well for my coils, and receive great feedback via reviews from other curly heads. These are what I refer to as the "TOP 10 SUPER COILY HAIR PRODUCTS". Never mind that some of them are basic ingredients. I've been using them for over 1 year with great success.


Primary (Exfoliates): Amla Powder. Great for getting butters and other thick products that sit on the hair shaft. They can eventually cause product build-up. This indian gooseberry comes in powder form, and can be mixed with water to form a paste for cleansing hair. If you're interested to hear more, check out this review that I did after using this cleanser for over a year!

Clarifying: Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Mix. Great for getting synthetics off of my hair strands (silicones, etc). In a spray bottle, I mix approximately 3 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 ounce of water. I spray my hair with this and leave it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing. Trust me, ACV works! I sprayed some that I had left over into my sink (which had dried toothpaste and probably soap scum)---long story short--it broke up the dirt and grime. Pretty amazing.

Conditioner Wash: Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner . I love to do this when my hair has recently been cleansed with any of the above, and I just need to rinse off sweat or other natural products that I may have used. This helps me to keep moisture, and ensures easy styling (wash n go, braidouts, etc). Minimized frizzing thanks to conditioner washing! Minimized split ends, single strand knots, matting, and other curly hair nightmares thanks to conditioner washing. PLEASE NOTE: Conditioner washing is not effective in cleansing off butters, silicones, or other clingy ingredients/products.


Primary: Giovanni Tea Tree Conditioner or Giovanni Smooth As Silk Conditioner. I use these conditioners to enable me to finger detangle, and then eventually properly detangle with my paddle brush. I use these conditioners for "slip", to slide all of the knots out. Sometimes I add an oil for added slip. Maybe an avocado oil or olive oil.

Treseme Naturals Conditioner. I know it's not all natural, but it doesn't cause me any problems (that I note). I love this for the detangling properties. The price is right too!

*From time to time, I will experiment with a conditioner (all natural) that I find at Ross or Marshalls. Nothing has compared to those products that I've mentioned above (so far).


Primary: Olive Oil. What can I say about the wonders of olive oil? I use it on my skin, on my hair, to cook with. I Love Me Some Olive Oil. Makes me wonder about the creators of Popeye the Sailor Man (those of you too young to know about this..please bear with me). I mean, they spoke about spinach being the power food for Popeye's muscles and vitality, and the name of his girlfriend was Olive oil. They knew SOMETHING!

Avocado Oil. Great for the face and hair. Fatty. I love to add it to my hair after washing and conditioning. You can't really go wrong with having it in your stash of oils. I use it in my favorite deep conditioning mix.

*I play around with Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil and Hemp Seed Oil. They are a bit lighter than the two mentioned above. They work well, I just haven't used them as consistently as I use the amla and olive oils. 



Primary: Mayonnaise, Olive Oil, Honey, Avocado Slice. That is a home-made mix of moisture/protein/oil infusion. I like to leave it on for about 1 hour underneath a plastic cap to secure the heat from my head. If I only have 15 minutes to leave it on--it still works! This takes me through my week. Minimizes tangles, dry hair, single strand knotting, need for lots of other products. Mostly, I can re-activate this moisturizer by simply adding water. LOVE THIS! Check out my review on this concoction! PLEASE NOTE: This is not a de-tangling concoction. You will need to de-tangle either before or after using this deep conditioner. I usually use my old trusty conditioners listed above (under "Conditioner").

Based on how well the mixture listed above works---If I use something else, it's only because I'm being lazy. Truthfully, I haven't found a commercial product that works as well as the mayonnaise mix. If you haven't already, check it out!


PLEASE NOTE: Because of all of the ingredients/products mentioned in this post, I have no real reason to use a leave in conditioner. And you will find that once coily hair has avoided drying situations (like shampoos that strip, and other drying products), then the moisture level will be high. How do I know when moisture levels are high? I can part my hair (down to the ends), without ripping and tearing. My hair does not look or feel dry. My hair is styled easily (braidouts/twistouts/roller sets/flat irons) hold definition. Frizz is minimized. The perfect storm is created for that perfect coil.

Primary: Aloe Vera Gel & Castor oil. Great coil definition without the crunch that a normal gel will give. Great moisture infusion and seal. If I want to use a lighter oil, I will use olive oil with my aloe vera gel.
Aloe Vera Gel & Castor Oil Braidout: Shine/Sheen, Definition & Moisture

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to using an all natural product like Carol's Daughter or many of those other products on the shelves. I'm just a 4 years natural, and I've identified exactly what has worked for my hair. I love Jane Carter Solutions products (specifically the Nourish & Shine), but the cost is pretty "up there". My husband bought it for me the other day, and I even forgot to use it for this most recent braidout! I love the smell. But guess what, I don't NEED an "off the shelf" product. It's a luxury. It's pretty fun to play with purchased products. It's also fun to know that when you've run out of them, that you can go into your fridge--or to the supermarket, and pick up ingredients that will help (not hurt) your hair.

What's on your Top 10 Super Coily Hair Products List?


  1. Cleansers: Amla and BeeMine Botanical Sulfate-Free Shampoo
    Conditioner: Tresemme Naturals (co-wash/rinsing conditioner) and BeeMine BeeLovely (I think it's been discontinued, though)
    Deep Conditioner: Mayonnaise, coconut oil, rosemary oil, eggs yolks, a drop of ACV and honey. (Amazing!) I have NEVER deep conditioned my natural hair with a commercial product.
    Refresher/Leave-in: Water, ACV, Coconut oil, Rosemary oil (100:1:2:2) in a spray bottle.
    Styling product: About to revisit my homemde Aloe Vera gel (going to mix it up with coconut oil).

  2. Wow!What an awesome blog post Tia! I need to do one of these. You know people will forever ask that question" what do you use on your hair" for the sake of not sounding like I am holding out, I always tell them right away..but always let them know is more so the ingredients in the products that I focus on. So I have a line or 2 that I use faitfully because of the ingredients not because of who they are and I know that if another prod has these particulars I can use them as well. I love that you use a lot of things from your kitchen and it actually works.

    Now I use Amla in my henna all the time and didn't realize I could cleanse with it. Also so are you saying that aloe vera gel and castor oil is your styler? If so wow! That's impressive.

  3. Tia how do I contact you privately?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Thanks for sharing. Your hair always looks great. I'd love to hear more about how you style with the aloe vera gel and castor oil. Castor oil is high on my list. For my hair and skin.

    1. Thanks Camille. I will be sure to do a post. Seems lots of curly girls on here are inquiring about the aloe vera gel & castor oil mix. I never thought I could use the castor oil on my skin b/c it's so thick. Hmmm, I might have to try it. I love sweet almond oil on my face.

    2. Yes, it is thick, but you can try mixing it with lighter oils. I like including coconut oil in my mix to help mask the smell. : )

  5. Hi Tia! I'm so happy I came across you on youtube and found your blog! Your hair is VERY SIMILAR to my own and perfecting my coils is one of my goals yet I had not found someone who shared this same interest as apart of their natural hair goals as well! I am 15 months into my journey from transitioning from a relaxed hair cut and I have finally gotten my hair to a state that is beginning to truly show my coils. I have been experiencing my first wash and go hair style this week and I am trying to figure out how to care for the roots of my hair as they tend to frizz and puff out as my hair dries. I don't mind the puff but I would like to know how to clump my hair at the root for my wave/coil like it does from the middle of the shaft of my strands to the tip. What techniques would you suggest for uniformity and clumping along my entire hand strand?

    1. Hey Steph! Congratulations on your transitioning. Have you figured out your favorite deep conditioner yet? What are you using to cleanse? The gel will do all of the clumping, that's for sure. I love eco styler gel for my wash n go's. It's heavy and thick enough to hold down frizz and puff. I think we have a wash n go video (I used Dimples as my subject LOL). Youtube link on the side of this post somewhere. Thanks for the love :o)

  6. Yes! I've been doing many attempts over the past week Cleansed with a Bentonite clay mix or Co wash with As I am deep conditioned with Shea Moisture Masque and Honey, and I did use Giovanni as a leave in and Eco Styler as a gel with a little Talia Wajiid curl creme. It did seem to do the trick! I used A LOT more gel to make my hair heavy. But I did notice that by doing that my hair won't get as big as I like it to get. lol So i guess It's either one or the other.

    Now learning how to preserve it is the trick. Ive learned how to stretch the curl but Im afraid to put water in it for a refresh because of that. I have a swimming class twice a week, so Now Im not sure how to go about rinsing and keeping the heaviness in my hair. I do wear a swim cap and two strand twist my hair under, but should I cleanse my hair of the chlorine and restart the process over after I exit the pool if I want to continue wearing a wash and go? I'm not sure what the easiest or healthiest thing is. I would like to continue with the wash and go after swim but not so sure how to make it easy and time efficient, but would you suggest just protective styling?