Let’s talk about styling curly hair for a minute. Back when I was in high school, I use to wear my hair in its natural state during the summer holidays. Unlike in Austria, we have scorchingly high temperatures during summer in Cape Town and I refused to spend an hour blow-drying my hair! I used to relax my hair and needless to say, the curls were utterly damaged. So, during the summer I would apply a ton of silicone-based conditioner in my hair and then drench it with mouse or gel (specially formulated for “curly hair” – HA!) My hair would NOT MOVE!! Thank goodness I am older and wiser now 😀
Finally, I have found a combination of products to use for styling my curls. The Shea Moisture range of products in combination with pure oils is what holds my curls in place perfectly. After applying a leave-in conditioner, I opt for my Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie with Silk Protein & Neem oil for thick, curly hair. This product defines my curls, reduces frizz and smooths the hair for a soft, silky feel. Coconut and Neem oils restore moisture and create shine. Nutrient-rich butters, such as Shea butter, condition the hair without weigh it down for bouncy, healthy curls. I only use a tiny amount of this smoothie on each section of my hair.
At times, I will use the Curl Enhancing Smoothie together with the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk with Silk Protein & Neem Oil for thick, curly hair. This milk provides the hair with moisture and shine while preventing frizz. It also conditions, detangles and controls curls while restoring body and shine. The milk should be used in tiny quantities too. Both styling products are applied to damp, towel dried hair, very sparingly.
Once I applied my styling products, I add a small amount of either all-natural coconut, almond or jojoba oil to the ends to seal the products. Again, I do not use a lot of oil. These products, again, are on the pricy side. However, I have been using them on a regular basis and they have lasted me for about three months, which in my opinion is a good buy and value for money.
If you do want to opt for a gel instead, it is important to choose one that does not feel sticky on your skin. If it feels sticky on your skin it will feel sticky on your hair. Also stay clear of gels that include alcohol, silicone; parabens or phthalates in their ingredient listings! Alcohol dries the hair, silicone repels moisture, parabens and phthalates are both chemically harmful preservatives.
The combination of these products leaves my hair soft to the touch and moisturized. I just love them!