The curly girl hair routine: college edition

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The “curly girl” hair routine has made an impact on the natural hair community and more importantly, their pockets. The usual routines tend to include high-priced products, “natural” ingredients and several steps to achieve the “ultimate” wash and go styles. 

As college students, it makes the curly hair routine seem expensive and time consuming. After many trials and tribulations, and more importantly money spent, this curly girl has found the ultimate hair products proven to work for the 3C and above club. Yes, that means 4C-friendly.

“My biggest struggle is consistency,” said Symone Randell, who has type four curly hair. “With my hair type, I can never just wake up and go. I have to brush it, comb it out and put lots of hair products in it even if I’m just putting it in a simple ponytail.”

When looking for a shampoo, it is best to factor in the climate you live in to help determine the right kind of shampoo for you. Living in Las Vegas, the weather is on the drier side. Therefore, it tends to dry out curly hair, which already needs extra hydration compared to non-curly hair. One of the most affordable hydrating shampoos to use is Shea Moisture’s Intensive Hydration Shampoo. 

Shea Moisture is a popular brand within the natural hair community and for good reason. It has provided curly hair friendly products for years and at low cost. The Intensive Hydration shampoo can easily be found at any Sally Beauty Supply store across the Valley. Priced at $10.99 for a 13oz bottle, this shampoo will be easy on your pockets. 

Next up on our routine is what is quite possibly the most important part, deep conditioning. Deep conditioning your hair is very crucial in maintaining healthy and radiant curly hair. The market for deep conditioners has become oversaturated with several brands which makes it harder to choose the right one for you.

After years of searching, I have found a couple of deep conditioners to help keep the hydration in my curls. One of the most affordable and popular deep conditioners amongst curly girls is the Shea Moisture Intensive Hydration Masque, from the same line of the shampoo mentioned earlier. This deep conditioner is priced at $11.99 for 12 ounces and, like the shampoo, can be found at any Sally Beauty Supply store near you.

Now, if you’ve skipped using a co-wash and stuck to the low-priced Shea Moisture shampoo, spending a couple more dollars on a deep conditioner can be a possibility. If you are willing to splurge a little on a deep conditioner, the most popular among the 3C-and-up club is the Algae Renew Deep Conditioner by Camille Rose. 

The slip on the Camille Rose deep conditioner is pure perfection and detangles like a dream. Added bonus is it smells like a cupcake and is a Black and woman-owned brand. The deep conditioner is priced at $20 if purchased directly on the Camille Rose website. However, it can also be found at Sally Beauty Supply stores for $22. 

For the last step in a successful curly hair routine, the community tends to pile on at least three different kinds of products. College students do not have the time nor the budget to do so. However, options have emerged.

A leave-in conditioner can make or break a wash and go as curly girls have come to know. The ultimate and proper leave-in conditioner will help keep those curly tresses frizz-free, hydrated and manageable. 

The leave-in conditioner that has proven to have all three of these qualities is the Frizz Whiz Curl defining Leave-In by Soultanicals, which is another Black-owned brand and trusted in the natural hair community. This leave-in can be purchased directly on the Soultanicals website for $16.

If used correctly by dispersing evenly throughout your hair, the Frizz Whiz will make your wash last for days. It also does a great job alone without a gel, for a refresher in between washes or even on wash day.

Another step that can be left out of this routine are the style setters, creams and butters. All three of those are not necessary for a curly hair routine to be successful. What should be included, however, is the final step in any curl girl routine: the gel.
A popular and budget friendly gel is the Moroccan Argan Oil Styling Gel from the Ecoco brand, also found at Sally Beauty Supply stores. At $5.99 for a 32-ounce tub, this gel will last you quite possibly an entire semester. The argan oil aides in keeping your hair smooth, hydrated and flake free while still having a strong hold on your curls.

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