15 Women Spill Their Curly Hair Routine Secrets

At some point, any person who’s been on their natural hair journey for quite some time will reach a nexus of gratification, where they realize that they’ve not only built a curly hair routine that works for them, but they’ve also learned to love their texture. Getting to that place takes time, of course; it takes time to find the best styling products for your hair, and you have to build an arsenal of easy curly hairstyles to wear on the days your curls aren’t poppin‘. Even when you feel like you have achieved a solid curly hair routine, there’s always something you can do to update it, such as testing new products or making slight tweaks to maximize your routine’s benefits. With that in mind, we spoke with a mix of influencers, founders, and hairstylists to learn about their routines and get tips for building a curly hair routine that works for you. Whether you’ve been all-natural for years or are just learning about the different types of curl patterns, keep reading for expert-approved methods that will make your beautiful hair even better.

Hair influencer, Ashley shares her curly hair routine

Photo:

@fris.ee

WHO: Ashley, Content Creator

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

3A curls, medium porosity, and high-density. 

What curly hairstyle do you swear by?

Wash-and-go! I love wearing my hair down.

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine? 

Experiment! There's so much information and new products for curls right now, which is exciting because there was not much when I was growing up, but it can be completely overwhelming if you're just starting. What works for someone's hair might not work for you. The biggest thing that helped me was watching as many routines as I could and reading as much as I could find on the internet, and then experimenting with products and application techniques. I have a little journal of product combinations and techniques that worked and didn't work.

Can you break down your curly hair routine?

Step 1: For my signature wash-and-go routine, I follow four steps every time. The first step being I wash my curls two to three per week. I start with a shampoo and deep conditioner. Then I’ll detangle my curls in the shower with lots of conditioner. 

Step 2: After thoroughly washing my hair, I’ll style my hair upside down, soaking wet. I recommend applying products using the raking and "praying hands" method.

Step 3: Then, I’ll style my curls with a leave-in conditioner or defining cream, protein-free gel, and protein-rich gel. My favorite products are the Odele Leave-In Conditioner, Bounce Curl Avocado and Rose Oil Curl Defining Cream, Jessicurl Sprialicious Gel, and the Not Your Mother's Curl Talk Gel.  

Step 4: Finally, I finish off my hair with a diffuser on low heat, low fan, or air dry.

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?

A solid deep conditioner or hair mask. Moisture and hydration is so vital for curl definition and overall curl health. Most curls crave tons of moisture, and if your hair is dry and dehydrated, then no matter what products or techniques you're using, they might not ever get that bounce, shine, or definition.

Adwoa beauty founder, Julian Addo shares her curly hair routine

Photo:

@julianraddo
 

WHO: Julian Addo, Founder and CEO of Adwoa Beauty

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

I have a mixture of 3c (at the nape), 4a (on the left and right side), and 4b (in the middle) medium-density, low-porosity hair texture. 

What curly hairstyle do you swear by?

I wear my hair down and out 98% of the time. I used to swear by twist-outs when I started my natural-hair journey back in 2012, but with a busier lifestyle and my natural hair pattern, it’s more work and manipulation than I care to do weekly. 

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine?

Deep conditioning weekly or biweekly with a quality treatment or mask. This is an absolute must for moisturized hair all week long with textured hair. The more texture hair has, the more it needs intensive treatment weekly.

Can you break down your curly hair routine?

Step 1 & 2: For my wash-and-go routine, I wash my curls weekly with the Baomint moisturizing shampoo. Then I follow up with the Baomint deep-conditioning treatment and sit under a dryer or steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 3: Next, I rinse that out and apply the Baomint leave-in conditioning styler on four sections along with our moisturizing curl-defining gel. 

Step 4: After that, I sit under my hooded dryer for about 40 minutes and allow my hair to air-dry for the rest of the day.

Step 5: And I don't sleep with a bonnet anymore. I just sleep as is and use the Baomint protect and shine oil blend every morning to fluff out my hair and massage my scalp. I wash again on the seventh day and repeat the same steps.

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?

Not to be biased, but definitely our Baomint deep-conditioning treatment. Deep-conditioning weekly or biweekly with a quality treatment or mask is essential for curly hair. I can always see the difference between hair that regularly uses deep conditioners and hair that does not. 

WHO: Ashly Rodriguez, Content Creator

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have?

I would say I’m a 3c but do have different textures throughout my hair. And I have a mix of high and low porosity. 

What curly hairstyle do you swear by? 

My go-to is a wash-and-go. But I love me a good three-strand twist out. The definition it gives my hair is out of this world!

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine?

It is realizing that you need to embrace the curls that grow out of your head and stop comparing your hair to anyone else and figure out what works for you. The product, the technique of how you apply products, etc. Something that may work for someone may not work for you, and that’s okay. 

Can you break down your curly hair routine? 

Step 1: My wash-and-go routine includes a deep condition (a must-take once a week).

Step 2: After washing, I always apply my styling products on soaking-wet hair. I use either Living Proof Curl Elongator and Curl Defining Gel or Adwoa Beauty Defining Gel.

Step 3: I always diffuse my hair after applying products.

Step 4: And finally, I fluff roots for extra volume, and I’m good to go!

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? 

You need to have a deep conditioner; it’s essential! It’s the perfect way to give your curls the TLC they need and is a must for giving them a boost of moisture or strength. My favorite deep conditioner is Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil 72 Hour Hydrating Hair Mask.

Hanahana Beauty founder, Abena Boamah, shares her curly hair routine

Photo:

@beanieboamah

WHO: Abena Boamah, Founder and CEO of Hanahana Beauty 

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

I have 4c hair, very tight curls. 

What curly hairstyle do you swear by?

I love protective styles; they’re simple, easy, and cute. I love getting braids and different types of crochet styles. I've had the same hairdresser (shout-out to Joy) for years, so we always try new styles and love perfecting different hairstyles. 

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine? 

Hydration is key. However you’re choosing to style your hair, make sure you invest in hydrating products to keep your curls healthy. 

Can you break down your curly hair routine? 

Step 1: Currently have a twist style in, so when I wake up, I just oil my scalp. I recommend applying less than you normally would when you’re wearing your curls to avoid too much buildup.

Step 2: I also spray my twists with a rose-water mist to keep them moisturized. Keeping your hair hydrated while wearing a protective style is essential to ensure your hair benefits from the hairstyle.

Step 3: As far as styling, the great thing about protective styles is that the work is already done. I typically style my hair in a ponytail or wear it down. 

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?

I love using Crowe Stimulating Scalp Oil by Shani Crowe. It’s the perfect oil for protective styles and will maximize the benefits.  

WHO: Janibell Rosanne, Content Creator

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

I have 3c hair with some 3b and 4a. My hair is low porosity. 

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine? 

Test new product cocktails you haven’t tried before on the back of your hand before applying them to your hair. Some product formulas just don't mix well and will clump up. By testing it out on your hand first, you can avoid a bad hair day.

What curly hairstyle do you swear by?

I alternate between wash-and-gos and slick buns. I did my first-ever protective style (twists) last year, though, and I loved it!

Can you break down your curly hair routine? 

Step 1: I try to switch it up with my wash-and-go routine to test out new products, but I always end up going back to my same curly hair routine. On deep-condition days, I've been using the Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Hair Mask

Step 2: After I dry my hair with a microfiber towel, I start my styling routine with the Pattern Beauty Leave-In.

Step 3: Sometimes, I skip the gel, but I like using the Mielle Organics Hawaiian Ginger Gel for a soft hold if I want a little extra definition. 

Step 4: To finish, I've been loving the Hair Oil Everyday Gloss from Bread Beauty Supply.

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?

A good detangling brush is a must. I love the Felicia Leatherwood brush because it doesn't rip all of my hair out, and detangling is less of a hassle when I use it.

WHO: Angela Stevens, Emmy Award–winning hairstylist and Cantu partner

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

My hair type or curl pattern is between 4a and 4c. When it comes to porosity, it is high and absorbs moisture easily, but it tends to dry. Elasticity is minimal due to coloring, so it doesn't stretch. 

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine?

Not to have expectations as to what your hair will look day by day. Ride the wave because hair can have different personalities. Also: Moisture, lots of it. Adding more: water, leave-in, creams, or oils to get to the ends.  

What curly hairstyle do you swear by?

A cute high puff with sideburns/baby hairs or a two-strand twist-out.

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine? 

Step 1: Typically, I have a designated wash day, where I start my weekly routine with washed hair, using cream-based products. I’ll then keep it in Bantu knotting overnight to lock in the moisture.

Step 2: To create the Bantu knotting, I’ll part my hair with eight twists total (four on each side), being sure to add cream while doing so to help my hair retain moisture.

Step 3: Then, in the morning, I take down the twists using a wide-tooth comb or pick, lifts at the roots to give hair more volume.

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? 

Setting foam. Since it is water-based and the closest thing to using water, it can control and define curls without weighing them down. It's a versatile product, great for setting the hair or wash-and-gos.

Hair influencer, Lynn Kate shares her curly hair routine

Photo:

@lynnkatee

WHO: Lynn Kate, Beauty-and-Lifestyle Influencer

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

I have normal- to high-porosity hair and a 3A/3B curl pattern.  

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine? 

There are many essential tips to building a healthy curly hair routine, but the number one I swear by is deep-conditioning one to two times a week! It helps provide that intense deep moisture that your curls need whether your hair is healthy or still transitioning. If you are consistent with it, you will see a difference in your curls so much faster. 

What curly hairstyle do you swear by? 

I swear by wash-and-gos and my signature hairstyle, which is clipping the top front of your hair with a small clip so your hair looks more voluminous on top and curls are away from your face. This one is great for the summer!

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine? 

Step 1: When I’m embracing my curls, I like to abide by the wash-and-go routine. I want to cleanse and detangle with Hair Food's Avocado & Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner.

Step 2: Then, I deep-condition for five to 10 minutes with Aveda's Repair Intensive Strengthening Hair Masque.

Step 3: And then style my hair with a leave-in conditioner, cream, and gel. My favorites are Aussie's Miracle Curls Leave-In Detangling Milk & Creme Pudding, Prose's Custom Curl Cream, and Dove's Amplified Textures Finishing Gel.

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?

Applying a leave-in conditioner when you are styling your hair is essential to help keep your curls moisturized underneath the cream and gel styler. Think about it as the foundation for your hair or like a primer. Without a leave-in, your style won't last as long and will get dry faster.

Bounce Curl Beauty Founder, Merian Odesho shares her curly hair routine

Photo:

Courtesy of Merian Odesho

WHO: Merian Odesho, Founder and Cosmetic Formulator of Bounce Curl      

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

My curl pattern is 3B, and I have medium-porosity hair. 

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine?

For curly hair or any hair for that matter, using clean beauty products like Bounce Curl is vital for good hair health. Making sure to use a curly hairstyling routine such as the flipped, upside-down clump method is also crucial.     

What curly hairstyle do you swear by?

I swear by a wash-and-go routine because it’s the easiest for me.

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine? 

Step 1: I first cleanse my hair with Bounce Curl’s Clarifying Shampoo and Cream Conditioner.

Step 2: Then, I style it with a little bit of the Avocado & Rose Oil Clump. 

Step 3: And I add in our Define Cream and Light Hold Creme Gel to help my curls stay in place.

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? 

Using a conditioner is essential to any routine because it lays the foundation for moisturized curls. I also love using a good deep conditioner to hydrate, strengthen, and support my hair’s overall health.

WHO: Lulu Cordero, CEO and Founder of Bomba Curls 

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

I have 3B and 3C curls with low porosity and normal elasticity. 

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine? 

Deep-conditioning makes a huge difference in curl health and hydration!  I make it a point to deep-condition every wash day, which results in softer, less frizzy, more manageable curls. 

What curly hairstyle do you swear by?

For every day, I swear by wash-and-go styling and braids for protective styling.

Step 1: After washing my hair, I like to seal in hydration and smooth my curls and massage my scalp with oil.

Step 2: And then, to protect my curls, I put them up in a pineapple and tie them in our high-density satin scrunchies. (I literally pineapple my curls and start my workday.)

Step 3: Finally, I highly recommend taking supplements every day to help nourish your curls’ health from the inside out. I use our Bomba Beauty Bites every day.

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? 

Our Dominican Forbidden Oil is an essential part of my haircare routine. It's an all-in-one solution. I can protect my curls with a pre-poo treatment before washing, seal in moisture after washing, and keep them smooth and frizz-free for days after. I couldn’t imagine life without the Forbidden Oil.

Celebrity Hairstylist, Nikki Nelms shares her curly hair routine

Photo:

@nikkinelms

WHO: Nikki Nelms, Celebrity Hairstylist and Goody Brand Ambassador 

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

I have 4a/4b curls, but I’m used to working with all textures.

What curly hairstyle do you swear by? 

I don’t have any general go-to style for my clients because I consider face shape and personal style. For me, it’s all about doing what works best for each client individually. 

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine?

Invest in quality tools; it will make styling your hair all the easier.

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine? 

Step 1: I would say for anyone, keeping hair and scalp clean and hydrated is a must. Test out different wash routines and product lines until you find one that works for your texture.

Step 2: Don’t underestimate the need to properly detangling your hair once you have created a wash routine. Nailing down your wash routine and the detangling process is an excellent start to building a curly hair routine. These are two steps that are a must for me (both personally and for clients); after that, I leave the rest up to creativity.

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine?

Maui Moisture frizz-free leave-in conditioning mist! Great for keeping hair hydrated and 100% aloe; it’s the first ingredient.

Celebrity Hairstylist,  Irinel de Leoìn shares her curly hair routine

Photo:

@hairinel

WHO: Irinel de León, Celebrity Hairstylist and Ouidad Brand Ambassador

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

I have a couple of different types of patterns ranging from type 3B to 3C. You can easily have different curl patterns throughout, and it can all depend on any kind of heat, chemical, or mechanical damage like pulling your hair back when it’s wet. 

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine?

Identify your curl type and buy products that are meant for it. And don’t be afraid to play around with different application techniques.

What curly hairstyle do you swear by? 

I love a wash-and-go. It’s easy and gets me out the door quickly! 

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine? 

Step 1: Prime hair with the Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Detangling Spray. This will protect curls from heat when diffusing and also give them an added layer of hydration.

Step 2: Cocktail the Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Styling Cream with the Mongongo oil. Mixing these two together gives your curls a serious boost of hydration.

Step 3: Using a Kareco brush, go through sections and scrunch. This method helps clump curls together for more definition. 

Step 4: Scrunch in a quarter size of the Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel for extra hold and definition on the ends.

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? 

Everyone needs a styling cream in their arsenal. I love the Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Styling Cream because it’s excellent for frizz and meant for every curl type.

CurlDaze Beauty Founder, Robyn Atwater shares her curly hair routine

Photo:

@curldaze

WHO: Robyn Atwater, Founder of CurlDaze

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

I have many different curl patterns ranging from curly to wavy. I have low-porosity hair with high elasticity in the back and low elasticity in the front. 

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine? 

Keep the heat off of your hair as much as you can. Excessive heat will kill your curls. When I first started my hair journey, I used to go without heat for three months, and my hair flourished.

What curly hairstyle do you swear by?

I swear by a slick bun. If I have anywhere to go at the last minute and I didn’t have time to do my hair, my slick bun never lets me down.

 

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine? 

Step 1: If I’m not wearing a slicked-back bun, then I’m washing my hair and going.

Step 2: After washing my hair, I focus on styling and moisturizing my hair. I use my Ultra Moisture Creme or Creamy Curl Styler and apply it in sections and shingle my hair.

Step 2: If I want more of a hold, I add my Glossy Shine Gel on top. It goes great with both creams! Then I air-dry my hair overnight.

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? 

Having a non-drying, alcohol-free styling gel is essential to any curly hair routine. It can be used to define curls, set curly styles, smooth edges, and tame flyaways. It’s the most versatile styling product, in my opinion.

Folklore Fashion Founder, Amira Rasool shares her curly hair routine

Photo:

@amirarasool

WHO: Amira Rasool, Founder and CEO of The Folklore 

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

I typically define my hair as having a 3c to 4a curl pattern.

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine? 

Moisture is the key. Make sure you refresh your hair with water every day with a spray bottle. You don’t want to drown your hair, but you want to make sure it has enough water to avoid breaking or tangling. 

What curly hairstyle do you swear by? 

I love a good wash-and-go. I usually do that once a week as a part of my self-care Sunday and then refresh my curls every day with a spray bottle that consists of water and a leave-in conditioner. Toward the end of the week, when my curls are not as defined and moist, I will do a slick-back bun or ponytail with a center part. During the summer or while I’m on vacation, I love to have knotless box braids. I will usually wear those for six weeks at a time.

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine? 

Step 1: On Sundays, I’ll wash my hair with Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse. 

Step 2: Then I’ll deep-condition my curls. I’ll massage in Shea Moisture Strengthen and Restore Treatment Masque and put a shower cap on for 30 minutes to let it sink in.

Step 3: I’ll condition my hair with Camille Rose Moroccan Pear Conditioning Custard. 

Step 4: Then, I’ll wash out the conditioner and apply the Kinky-Curly Knot Today conditioner to detangle.

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? And explain why?

My leave-in conditioner is essential. I have been using it for years. I wouldn’t be able to properly detangle without a leave-in that provided moisture and enough slip to loosen up any knots.

WHO: Tonya Thompson and Sharie Wilson, Co-Founders of DreamGirls 

What curl pattern, porosity, and elasticity do you have? 

SW: I have 4a/b hair, medium porosity, and high elasticity. 

TT: I have 3b/3c curl type, medium porosity, and high elasticity.

What tip do you swear by for building a curly hair routine? 

SW + TT: The key to achieving any hair routine starts with a healthy scalp. When your scalp is clean and free of any buildup, including dandruff, natural oils, and excessive amounts of product, for example, it leaves a fresh canvas to style your hair as desired. To create the perfect routine for curly hair, it is vital to make sure your hair is moisturized so that your curls are hydrated, minimizing breakage and damage. 

What curly hairstyle do you swear by? 

SW: My go-to protective style is braids, but I love embracing my natural curls with a quick wash-and-go when I’m taking a break from my protective styles.

TT: My go-to is a nice, neat ponytail, but I’ve been playing with my natural curl pattern and wearing it freely a lot more lately.

Can you break down your daily curly hair routine? 

SW: Certain hair colors come with their own challenges. My hair is sandy brown, and what most people may not know is that it’s tough to retain moisture with this hair color. As a result, I’ve had some struggles with it throughout the years. To take care of it, aside from using our Healthy Hair Care System, I often keep a gloss over my hair to give it extra shine and protection! Cellophanes help lock in the moisture for me.

SW: For protective styling, to protect and shield my hair from daily manipulation, I’ll wear weaves, wigs, and occasionally braids. I’m also taking DHT (blocker) pills, iron, zinc, vitamin D, and MSM. All of these components have been a part of my overall healthy haircare journey, but it’s important to remember to take care of your health first because it can reflect on your hair. Be mindful that it starts from the inside out!

TT: What I do for my clients, I do for my hair as well! I use our Healthy Hair Care System products, protective styling, and maintaining my hair’s health with regular trims.

Can you share one product you feel is an essential part of any curly hair routine? 

SW: I love the TLC Comb-Out Treatment! This is our secret to detangling hair and retaining your hair’s length, especially when wearing it curly.

TT: I would say mine would be the Revival Deep Treatment! First, I love the way it feels on my scalp. Not only does it feel good, but it helps your hair retain moisture, which is so important when wearing your hair curly.

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