FAQ: Curly Hair Care

curly hair pin

This post contains affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure policy here.

Cheapskate Cook is all about empowering you to save money and eat healthy.

However, the most frequently asked question I receive is, “How do you take care of your curly hair?”

Curly hair care – this is the third question every curly girl asks after meeting a fellow curly girl.

Frequently, we skip the introduction completely and just walk up to a stranger whose head we’ve been admiring.

We ask questions like, “What product do you use?” 

“How do you take care of it?”

“Teach me all your secrets!”

I’m going to share my 5 main tricks, and if you want more details, let me know, and I will share more another time.

Also, if you prefer watching videos to reading, scroll down for the video version of this post.

Keep in mind, every curly head is different. Some people have thicker hair, some have thinner, some is drier than others, some have looser curls, some have corkscrew curls. 

Keep trying ideas until you find something that works for you.

For me, I have very thick hair, and it tends to be dry. Here is how I embrace my curls instead of fighting them:

1. Cut it in Layers

Lots and lots of layers.

This keeps the curls bouncy, all over the place, and prevents triangle head (which is a real struggle for curly girls).

Steph Jenkins - Cheapskate Cook

2. Wash it No More Than Once a Week

Because my hair tends to be dry, I don’t shampoo it more than once a week. Every other shower in the week, I simply rinse it and add conditioner. 

3. Leave in the Conditioner

Again, to combat the dryness, I do not rinse the conditioner out of my hair. I’m not brand loyal when it comes to conditioner, and I don’t even buy leave-in conditioner.

I just leave in my conditioner.

I’m sure someone will tell me this is a terrible idea, but it has worked so far for over 15 years.

kinky curly

Update 11/2020: I found a leave-in conditioner I really like! Kinky curly is considered a really clean brand that’s also very effective for all kinds of textures of curly hair. Their Knot Today leave-in conditioner is great!

aloe vera gel

4. Aloe Vera Gel

Here’s my weirdest secret. I learned this from a fellow curly girl, and it changed my hair forever. Instead of buying an expensive hair care product, or mousse that lasts 3 days and then it’s empty, I use Aloe Vera Gel.

Specifically, I use Fruit of the Earth 100% Aloe Vera Gel (affiliate link).

I use it just like you would any other hair gel after I get out of the shower and towel off my hair.

Update 11/2020: I’ve found several more products I really like! If Aloe Vera didn’t work for you, try these:

kinky curly

Kinky Curly Curling Custard is considered a really clean hair gel that works for all kinds of curly hair textures. It’s more expensive, but it lasts a long time! Try it here.

I also really like Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Styling gel. I can’t attest to how “pure” and “clean” the ingredients are, but I’ve been really happy with it.

Curly Girl: The Handbook Cover

5. Curly Girl: The Handbook

In high school, I found this book, and it changed everything.

Curly Girl: The Handbook (affiliate link) details the differences between caring for curls versus straight hair and other tips that might work for you (like never using heat to dry your hair).

If you have never read it, or you did a long time ago but you are still frustrated with your curly hair, I highly recommend checking it out again.