Curly hair routine: updated 2021

Having curly hair can be a struggle because products can be expensive, we need multiple products for different things and honestly, there are not many options for curly hair. Over the years, ingredients have changed in some of my favorite curl products, they’ve become more expensive than before or a better/newer brand has come out.


I update and add things to my hair routine yearly, especially since I grew up not knowing how to care for my curls, so now I have to make up for those lost years. I started my true curly hair journey in 2017 when I started hair school. I wanted to learn how to cut my hair to bounce my curls, healthily color my hair and care for it and what is actually good for our hair in general.


When in high school, I was using Pantene shampoo and conditioner with a little bit of Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl Cream. Definitely not great for curly hair overall. Your stylers are only as good as your washers and tools, and I learned that quickly once switching my shampoo and conditioner.


Instagram has been a great place for me to see what other curlies are using and what is best for our hair. Oils, scalp cleansers, shampooing once in a while, deep conditioning once a week: all of these are things I learned from the curl community, and they’ve worked for my hair.


Here is my current curly hair routine for 2021:


Shampoo: Verb Curl Shampoo OR Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl and Shine Shampoo

When it comes to shampoo, I don’t notice a huge difference between curl shampoos (unless they’re filled with nasty stuff). These two have been my favorites due to pricing, scent and ingredients. Depending on what’s in stock is what I buy, but honestly, (and my curlies will understand this), I barely buy shampoo. I really only have to restock on shampoo once every two months.


Scalp cleanser: Curlsmith Wash & Scrub Detox Pro-Biotic

I use this about once a week or once every other week. It's great for getting all the grime of products out of the hair and off the scalp. I use this after a normal shampoo because a normal shampoo helps loosen all of the dead skin on the scalp, then this will help push the rest of it off. It smells great and you can feel the exfoliators in it.


Conditioner: Pattern Intensive Conditioner for Tight Textures

When I found this conditioner, I fell in love. It's super thick, which is great for tight curls. I've noticed detangling time has gone down significantly and it's honestly just overall made my curls so much happier.


Deep conditioner: Shea Moisture Jamaican Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Masque OR Coconut Hibiscus Hair Masque

My go-to is the Jamaican Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Masque, but it's out of stock, a lot. So, I settle for the next best, which is the Curl and Shine Coconut and Hibiscus masque. These both smell great, but the castor oil one is super thick and holds onto the hair way better than other deep conditioners. I love using a deep conditioner once a week (preferably Sundays) and I leave them in overnight and wash them out in the morning. Since I love coloring my hair, deep conditioning once or even twice a week is essential for the strength and integrity of my curls.


Detangling brush: Pattern Shower Brush

This brush not only detangles, but it's been enhancing my curls. It's amazing watching this brush slide through my hair and having the curls bounce back up, even curlier than before. I detangle with conditioner (normal or deep) in my hair, rinse, then apply the next product slowly rake this brush through sections of my hair, making sure the product is evenly dispersed and the curls aren't clumping together too much.


Curl definition: Curlsmith Curl Conditioning Oil-in-Cream

This product I raved about on Influenster and so many people agreed how wonderful it is. I put this on while still in the shower and while my hair is still very wet and then brush this through sections of my hair. It keeps the frizz away and keeps my curls super defined. I ran out of this for a while, and my hair was so mad. My curls were super frizzy (which I found ways to embrace), but once getting this back into my hands, I definitely did a happy dance.


Leave-in-conditioner: Pattern Leave-in Conditioner

Back before quarantine (and before I was coloring my hair) when I was working, a lot of the time I would shower, throw a bit of this and oil in my hair and run out the door. My hair was super happy with just this in it and wouldn't frizz too bad. During the lockdown, I would give myself product breaks, where I'd shampoo my hair and then just put a bit of this and oil in and go about my week. My hair has been very happy with product breaks, but our hair needs to breathe every once in a while.


Gel: Curlsmith Curl Defining Styling Souffle

I use this only when I really feel like I need a gel. When it's humid or rainy outside, this really helps keep my curls together without totally becoming a frizz-ball. Most gels I've come across in the past keep my hair sticky or clump my curls together in an odd way, so this is definitely the best one I've come across.


Oil: TGIN Miracle Repairx Anti-Breakage Serum

I love this oil as a finisher after applying all my other products. I concentrate on applying this only on my ends since it is a bit heavier but definitely amazing for processed hair.

Refreshing the curls


Curl refresher: Curlsmith Moisture Memory Reactivator

Second or third-day curls are always smashed and look like they need to be washed again, but was day is always hard for us curlies. Spraying my hair down with water has always seemed to frizz my hair out, so I have to reapply all my wash day products, which is super annoying. This is great because all I have to do is spray my hair down with this, fluff my hair a bit and then I'm good to go! Total game changer for old curls.


Oil: Verb Ghost Oil

Refresher oil throughout the week is definitely needed for my hair, but having something a bit lighter than the TGIN was a need. This is super lightweight and I've found is great on most hair types. I use this when refreshing my curls or if I straighten my hair (which is rare), I'll use this daily on the ends as protection. I've also noticed it's been great for my hands, which is a definite win! I suffer from eczema on my hands, and since using this and rubbing the excess from my hair onto my hands, my hands have been super happy.


Hair pick: Pattern Hair Pick

And once my hair is dry and throughout the week, I pick and fluff my hair out. Tight curlies need a hair pick! I'm not sure how I grew up without one, but I'm totally using this daily and happily.

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