Curly hair series: Tips, tricks and advice from hundreds of curlies!

Looking for inspiration for curly hair care? Want to know about different methods that work for other wavy and curly heads? Look no further. Suit Your Look asked over 1000 curlies if there was anything in particular that worked well for their hair, and here’s what they said…

What works for you?


Really working conditioner in my hair with water. Making sure all of my hair is clumped and no separated strands. Conditioner helps some with frizz. Sopping wet when applying product. Making certain product is evenly distributed. Not plopping. Diffusing at least a little bit to set the waves on the ends. (Long hair). Not applying too much product.

Clipping for volume.

Silk pillowcase, shampoo brush when I clarify.

First the CG Method had no impact on my hair at all because I was using Low Poo with Polyquaternium in it, which basically does the same as silicones to the hair but is not classified as one. Companys take it as silicone replacement, because it’s cheaper and they can classify the product as “no silicones” product. Almost every Cantu product has Polyquaternium in it, so do some research on that.

Diffuse or bonnet diffuser 1st – then hair dryer diffuser. Gotta have heat to give volume.

Praying hands and scrunching.

Diffuse on medium heat upside down, sotc with righteous roots, STC.

Lube cuts down on frizz, I also use a bit of oil to SOTC.

Leaving most of my conditioner in (winter). Not disrupting the curl pattern after plopping.

Detangling with oil or another product before washing.

Am just realising that plopping is a mixed blessing so I do about 10 minutes. The water is heavy for my fine hair but plopping helps with the condition a lot. My best curls have been after using a micro fibre towel to squeeze out as much water as possible then getting product on and scrunching, my hair air dries pretty quickly this way.

Finger cooling after washing.

Super soaker method.

Extava diffuser makes a huge difference!

Paper towels for towel drying.

Squish to condish.

The biggest difference was when I stopped using a towel and used and old t shirt. That made more of a difference than any single product!

Lots and lots of scrunching!

Having a good cut.

Keep it simple. Co wash, leave in conditioner, cheap gel, part diffuse, air dry. Spray water/gel mix on hair several tones while diffusing. Gently scrunch and continue.

Lots of lightweight conditioner before a hardhold gel on wash day. Maui conditioner and Giovanni leave—in with the blue sport LA looks gel.

Sleeping in the crunch.

Roping method, ACV rinse.

Air dry only – hair hates diffusing.

Maps method is a game changer.

Sleep with a satin head cover.

Hood dryer.

Rake n shake.

My hair needs heat. I think it’s because I have low porosity hair so heat just helps to open the cuticle. If I use my diffuser on cool I just get a frizzy mess. If I use heat it ends up smooth and lovely.

Oiling based on conditioner.

Generic value products, conditioning balm.

Use warm water to wash and apply (using the squish method to apply everything except shampoo), rinse with cool to cold water. Using 100% organic argan oil from Trader Joe’s to seal ends and as a smoothie serum.

Pixie diffusing method!

When adding gel I add it while in the shower I feel it helps my hair get a really good cast.

Squish to condish, pulse scrunching, scrunch out the crunch with bare hands… every other night black Jamaican oil and lavender scalp massages.

Oil before wash.

For starting out… start with what you used to use and just replace with cg products. (Aka I was a mousse person before so i started with mousses when I made the switch vs copying someone’s routine).

Wearing up at night helps a lot.

Smasters method, and RELAXING my expectations. I just let my hair do what it’s going to do!!

Diffusing low heat.

Rinsing and applying products upside down to get more volume.

Products used on soaking wet hair. Scrunch in. Scrunch with microfiber towel. Air dry for 30 minutes then dry scalp with “hand” defuser. Continue air drying.

Inversion method, Indian hair growth recipe.

Squish to condish & diffusing soon after cleansing to lock my wavy curlies in before product & water weighs them down.

Rake and shake, upside down diffusing, root clips, plopping after products, sleeping in a cap/plop, STC, and SOTC.

SOTC with aloe vera gel, tea tree oil for scalp itchiness, jojoba oil for pre-poo once a week.

Squish to condish, rake and shake, root clipping, diffusing, hooded dryer, t-shirt/floursack/microfiber towels, pineappling, buff.

The beach air.

Oodles of protein. Neutral Protein Filler is garbage. My hair likes Eco Olive Oil gel. Most mousses seem to leech protein out of my hair, making me need to do a gelatin treatment 2x a week. squish to condish is pretty crucial to my hair turning out well. REcently tried rake and shake, found that after my third time doing it, my hair lost a lot of curl.

Oui cream brings out my curls but often makes them too tight!

Less conditioner.

Scrunch and air dry, refresh with flairosol water spray mixed with conditioner then gel.

Brushing products in and smasters method.

Conditioning side to side and not upside down.

I have better results when I use more product than I would think I need.

The boots curl cream, although not strictly CG. My hair prefers it to cantu curl activator, which seems to turn my loose spiral twists into something more like rat tails.

Wet, wet hair and don’t touch it when it has dried.

PixieCurl Method of diffusing, applying product to soaking wet hair, parting hair before wetting again and applying products, applying heat (via HotHead) to deep conditioner.

Finger curling, sometimes diffuse focused at roots. My hair will be totally defined and curly sometimes but the canopy curls would be frizzy and wild after a few days so will just refresh the section along my parting and at the front and it looks good as new.

Pineapple and invisibobbles 🙂

I ring my hair out instead of plopping.

I have tried to be strict CG, but nothing gives me curls like curls rock. So I decided to use it even though it has water soluble silicone.

Microfiber towels.

If I want amazing hair (dates, nights out, weddings etc) I shower at the gym, and spend as long as possible in the sauna afterwards scrunching my hair with gel upside down. The dry air and heat gives me far more control than I would at home. The other trick is the gel spray, I put it on to keep my hair in that malleable just damp point for as long as possible, while I scrunch and fuss. Anything before that malleable point is pointless, and any fussing after it’s dry does more harm than good.

Diffusing after I plop creates bouncier and more defined curls.

Pineappling at night.

Scrunching (applying almost anything), shaking my roots, diffusing. Jamacian Black Castor Oil! (For growth & health) tea tree oil (for scalp health).


After I wash and brush my hair I put a really really big blob of my conditioner through my hair and scrunch and leave it in.

Warm water/products Do everything with head upside down Diffuse warm Finger coil.

Finding a good salon that understands curls.

I use Deva curl products that need lots of water. I diffuse my hair right away to set the products which has been new to me.

No heat if i can help it.

Diffuser for volume, clipping wet hair to keep out of face, twisting my straighter sections when wet.

The twisted silicone rubber band type things to hold up my pineapple.

Glycerine free lubricant.

Praying hands, Denman brush, soaking wet product application.

Praying hands when applying gel.

Diffusing changed my life. I had sworn off my blow dryer and diffuser ages ago, but when I got my Deva Cut they diffused and they were perfectly still over each section as they diffused. I never knew to be still!! I would blow my hair around everywhere. So I went to Walmart and got a $20 blow dryer and diffuser combo and haven’t looked back. My hair holds so much water that air drying pulls out all of my curls. I need my hair dry as quickly as possible. I will probably invest in a larger diffuser or a better blow dryer in the future, but for now my Conair one works wonders for me (just takes about half an hour to get dry and crunchy enough to move around).

Xtava diffuser!

Finger twirling and pinning uncooperative curls.

Wearing a buff over my hair at night to sleep. Using the Flairosol spray bottle to refresh my curls.

Silk scarf to wrap/knot around my head over night.

SOTC with a heavy smoothie product then diffuse for an extra 30 secs to melt it in. The only way I can refresh with water is using a wet flannel/wash cloth to scrunch my hair with, spraying water makes my hair stringy.


I Medusa clip at night and then wear a slap cap or buff over my hair. I get great second day hair without refreshing this way. It also makes third day, etc. hair easier to refresh. I also use Deva Curl clips to root clip on wash day. I air dry for one to two hours with the clips in, then I take them out and pixie diffuse upside down for 15 minutes.

Squish to consish and pulsing have been the biggest game changers for me and I use them no matter what products I’m putting in. Pixie diffusing is a must for me as well.

SM African water mint and ginger detox &refresh scalp elixir SM dragons blood and cofee Cheryl volume +texturizing clay

I find a low poo works really well on my hair. Sometimes diffusing works well, other times not. My hair loves both protein and moisture and looks best when it’s super moisturized but not too much on the roots.

Flour sack towel.

My routine: I put some conditioner into the lengths as leave in last thing before I get out of the shower, then when I get out I scrunch with a tshirt to remove excess water (enough so it’s not completely dripping everywhere but leave it as wet as possible) I then use a tiny bit of cantu (maybe half a little fingernail), rub between palms til it’s white all over the palms of my hands, then run some hot water into my hands so it goes all milky. I then tilt my head to the side and apply with praying hands to one side and squish in, repeat for other side, then flip head over and do for the back section. Lastly I’ll apply mousse and scrunch that in. I’m not sure if this is the officially recognised way to apply but it works for me! When I refresh I spray hair til damp with a water/condish mix until damp then add a little cantu back in (method as above) then mousse. When dry SOTC and smooth over with the Maca balm.

Acv rinse and lemon rinse – rye flour 2 clean the muck out once a month . Tea rinse. No green tea 2 drying.

Quite a bit of leave in then gel plop for about 1/2 hour then root clip and air dry loose pineapple at night to stop dragged through hedge look lol.

Applying my products with praying hands helps a lot on product coverage. Defusing about 50% and then letting it air dry also is great. I like to use root clips to add volume.

Depends on the weather.

Scalp massage.

Praying to the curl Gods 😂😂😂

Also coconut on wet hair works well (e.g conditioner) but not when hair is dry (e.g oil to sotc).

Apply linseed/flaxseed oil or olive oil every other day to dry hair using praying hands method.

Homemade flaxseed gel.

I still wash with low poo. I can’t seem to get away from it or feel like cowashing is removing build up. Squish to condish (condition) help with definition. Microfiber towels or cotton T-shirt’s work great to dry. Diffusing doesn’t seem to work well for my hair.

I like mousse if I just need good hair for something that day- I get big nice soft curls. But with gel I get a better cast and can sometimes get day 2 curls.

Diffuse with gama diffuser.

Applying product with a rag.

Pulsing method.

Pre poo oil treatments.

Lube or Home made fsg first, bit of Wilko gel on top. My hair is best without a lot of cast but I have very curly hair anyway.

Refresh is a full wet refresh. Squish to condition and using same squishing technique to distribute products.

Only using scrunchies to put my hair up stops it getting dents, and I buff at night. If I wash my hair too often it gets angry, so I’d rather have to put it up for one extra day than wash all the time, my scalp likes the natural oils for an extra day.

My hair has never looked better since I went cg but it looked pretty good before as well. But I do have more defined curls however it’s also very unfussy- it always curls consistently, I don’t lose curl during the day, etc. I love gel for my hair.

Deep conditioning once a week with eden bodyworks jojoba helped me ALOOOOT with frizziness.

Because my hair is fine I find that at the moment if I defuse after refreshing my wave curl stays in.

Application for me had to be rake and shake. Tried many other ways that people swore by, none looked good.

Scott Musgrave’s The MAP Method Cultivate Your Curls Course. Thermal Care HotHead.

My Hooded Dryer.

Coating each curl with product using smoothing or circling fingers, avoiding scrunching or raking. Applying products to soaking wet hair. Diffusing upside down with ear to the ground for volume.

Plopping for hours when I have the time.

Pixie diffusing, silk hair scarf for sleep, finger curling certain areas.

Finger coils, ribboning, washing and conditioning upside down.

Balancing moisture and protein weekly so week one will be moisture products and week two will be protein products and brushing hair in a J motion enhances the natural curl and adds ringlets.

I use a few drops jojoba oil after my leave in but before gel when I co-wash. Also smasters (adding more gel halfway through diffusing).

I get quite a dry scalp so I periodically soak it in a olive/tea tree oil mix. Leave it for a few hours then Co wash as normal. It has really helped.

Sleeping with a buff, but with my hair sort of pineappled out the top (the buff protects the hair underneath hair from getting frizzy and the pineapple stops the bulk of the curls getting squashed). Using a wide toothed comb in the shower with REALLY wet hair, while hanging my head upside down and then gently squishing in a little extra conditioner helps my hair to form some really good clumps.

Diffuser, scrunching dry with t-shirt rather than plopping. SOTC with almond oil.

Plopping for shorter time and allowing to air dry. Adding more gel at the half dry stage otherwise I struggle to get a cast. When deep conditioning the longer the better I think but I’m still experimenting.

I always squish to condish and I (sometimes) like the smasters method when I don’t have time to plop. 🙂

No brushing.

It’s better when I have more time to leave it to dry naturally.

My hair is very fine and very coarse. I find leaving it to air dry as much as possible works for me.

Occasional salt spray. Scalp massages. Protecting overnight with a silk scarf. Plopping after refresh whilst getting ready. Leaving it alone! If I can.

Aloe vera gel.

Distribution of products using denman brush, working section by section sat up right, followed by gently scrunching each section this reduces my frizz dramatically and defines my curls.

Organic shop avocado and honey mask Gelatine, Acv and honey protein treatment.

Almond oil the night before wash day.

Grapeseed oil.

NB: Duplicate advice has been removed.

Do you have any advice for other curlies? What works well for you? Comment below to share your curly hair care tips and tricks!

Evie Garnett

Evie is the Head of Beauty for Suit Your Look, specialising in hair and skin products. She loves nothing better than natural haircare and learning all about the science behind beauty ingredients!

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