Pouring over YouTube videos trying to find the best curly haircare brands that will look after your coils and kinks, without bringing you out in a rash or hives, can be a demoralising use of your time, in my experience.
It’s exhausting (not to mention, expensive) trying out dozens of brands only to find that your hair loves the product but your skin has other ideas, or vice versa.
Throughout my endless search, I have been compiling a list of my favourite haircare products that work wonders for my 3c curls and don’t give me those dreaded skin reactions.
I’m going to share my list with you, to hopefully save you from spending as much time as I have on the hunt for perfect products.
As someone with notoriously sensitive skin and seborrheic dermatitis for eight years, I can say with confidence that all these products have been a dream come true for me.
But, a word of caution: if you have sensitive skin this list is not necessarily going to be perfect for you.
As anyone with sensitive skin knows, you can have a reaction to the most random products when you least expect it. So always try a very small amount of the product on a small area that normally has a reaction, then wait 24 hours to be sure there’s no problem before slathering it all over your head.
First thing’s first: Make sure you know your curl type, as this will effect the products you use, the quantities you use and the way you apply them to your hair.
A free quiz to determine your curl type can be found on Naturallycurly.com.
I have 3c curls and now you know your curl pattern and porosity type too, here are my top tried and tested recommendations.
1. R&B Hair Moisturiser | £14.99 from Lush
First up is the Lush R&B Hair Moisturiser. This moisturiser is a must-have for anyone with dry hair or hair prone to breakage, as it’s full of thirst-quenching ingredients to hydrate all hair types and prevent dryness.
It boasts oat milk, avocado butter, orange flower, olive oil and coconut oil in its ingredients list, and the smell? Out of this world.
This product is super useful for targeting the dry ends of your hair, especially if –like me – you have different hair textures on different parts of your scalp. My curliest hair is in the middle of my scalp and the least curly is around my ears.
2. Curls Reparative Leave-In Conditioner | £17.95 from Amazon
Next up is Curls’ Blueberry Bliss range. This entire range is to die for, but my favourites are the Reparative Leave-In Conditioner and the Curl Control Jelly.
A leave-in conditioner is a staple for many curly girls because it adds an extra moisture boost to your hair, preventing split ends and breakage. It also helps to maintain your curl pattern for longer so that your curls stay nice and quenched.
The jelly is also surprisingly impressive as it has a firm hold without that crunch or the dreaded product build-up that leaves you looking like you have dandruff flakes.
3. Curl Crush Flaxseed & Marshmallow Gel | £11 from Bourn Beautiful
A British brand you may not have heard of yet, but which gives me consistent results and saved me at a time when it seemed like everything I tried was bringing me out in rashes is Bourn Beautiful Naturals.
The Curl Crush Flaxseed & Marshmallow Gel is one of the most versatile products I have tried. It works for so many different hair types and curl patterns, and it can be used by itself or combined with another product depending on what your hair likes.
This gel is silicone, paraben and sulphate free, and also vegan. Its gooey consistency lets you know it’s the real deal when it comes to the flaxseed component.
Despite it being a gel, it has a light hold, so my hair is still free to take on its natural shape and isn’t weighed down, unlike some heavier products which leave me looking like I just got out the shower 12 hours later.
4. Camille Rose Curl Maker Curling Jelly | £16.99 from Boots
If you have tighter kinks or coils and you need a firmer hold, then try the Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker Curling Jelly.
This gel contains marshmallow and agave extract, and has an impressive hold for those who prefer a crunch in their curls.
Although this gel is a little too heavy for my hair type for a wash-and-go style, it is brilliant at slicking back my hair when I want space buns, bantu knots or other styles that require that sleek look.
5. Twisted Sista Intensive Leave In Conditioner | £5.89 from Superdrug
Next, a product I have found works as a sort of ‘two-in-one’ if you’re in a hurry: Twisted Sista’s Intensive Leave In Conditioner.
Although it’s a leave-in, it has a substantial hold so it can be used by itself when you don’t have time for the long, drawn out process of four different products that morning.
It can be used as a moisture boost and a styler, so there can be some product build-up as you need to use a decent amount of it to get enough hold to last you until the next wash day.
6. Palmers Deep Conditioning Protein Packs | £2.09 from Boots
Finally, something all curly girls should be doing regularly, but which all too often gets left at the bottom of the to-do list: the dreaded deep condition.
Deep conditioning can make all the difference when it comes growth, curl definition and for maintaining healthy moisturised hair.
But there’s no getting away from the fact that deep conditioning is time consuming. So, I use this cheap and cheerful product that I can put in my hair while I wash my body in the shower. It can be left in your hair for just 10-20 mins, but there’s also the option to leave it in as an overnight treatment if you fancy a bit of a pamper.
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