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T's Hair Journey

T's Hair Journey
Loving her hair for the first time!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New to CG methods? My 10 top picks for products to buy!

So you are new to the Curly Girl method? Confused by acronym's and wondering what on earth you should buy to begin the journey?

First I believe in KISS --especially in the beginning with CG where you are struggling with the transition to the CG method. Both you and your hair are likely frustrated. We can relate--we started there too!

It goes without saying that you need to read heavily--go visit the naturallycurly.com website or any of the blogs I link below as all have various amounts of information. The Live Curly Live Free website is a goldmine of information as is the blog by Jillipoo.

So here is what I recommend for you to purchase in the first weeks of going CG. Most will be on ground but I've thrown in a couple of recommendations for online purchases if you want to give that a try:

1. Suave Naturals or V05 Moisture Milks or similar for a co-wash. These are widely available and cheap. If you have medium to coarse hair stay with things that don't have a lot of protein in them (V05 or Suave is fine except the coconut)Cost: $1.25

2. LA Looks Sport Gel (LALSG): again cheap and widely available. If you can't find the Sports one then try LaBella or a generic (e.g. CVS) version of hard hold gel. Cost $2.00

3. Lustrasilk Cholesterol Conditioners--choose one of the three without cones (Olive Oil, Shea and Mango, or Organic with Argan Oil). At a price of $2.50 you can afford to pick up a couple. I vote for Olive Oil for Leave-in and either Shea Mango or the Organic for your DT's. Cost $2.50

4. A good conditioner. Giovanni and/or Trader Joe's conditioners: Depending on your hair type and scalp issues and if you have a TJ's around you. Choose the Tea Tree is you get itchy scalp or your preCG hair was oily/greasy. If your hair was pretty dry but not ultra frizzy and dry then I recommend the TJ Nourish or Refresh or the Giovanni 50/50. If you have really dry hair or want to do a couple of very moisturizing DT's then try Smooth as Silk by Giovanni. Your other option is the ones we use on my daughter--Garnier Fructis. The Triple Nutrition and the Sleek and Shine (fortifying Conditioners) are excellent choices for really dry hair or just normal to dry, cheap, and work great. They are reviewed on my blog so you can see what they look like. Cost $3-8

5. Any or all of the following hair accessories if you do not already own them: mini clips, bobby pins, ponytail holders, headbands, clips, barrette's, Flexi-8's, etc. You are likely going to put your hair up or back at some point. Inevitable. Make sure you have some products you can live with to do that. Trust me. You may also want to clip your hair to give it volume on top so clips can be a lifesaver. Hit up the Goody or Scunchi isle's in your local CVS, Target, Walmart, or Walgreen's.

6. A diffuser or hard hat dryer. Whichever floats your boat. Peeps with very thick and potential-poof hair might want a hard hat dryer (I use and love Ion Conditioning Hard Hat dryer from Sally's). I use a diffuser more often on my hair--check out the Conair attachments for regular dryer's available at Sally's as those work well and are cheap $5-8.

7. A towel or something that functions as one. Either a curl towel OR use old Hanes type undershirts or other tshirts or flour sack towels. You won't be using regular terry cloth towel's on your hair and you need something to get some water out.

8. Ingredients to either make your own Flax Seed Gel OR to do DT's and soothe your scalp: Honey, Coconut Oil, Flax Seeds, strainer, Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil, Tea Tree Oil, eggs, mayonaisse, avocado and more. No you don't have to be a Mixtress to do this-it's easy and you'll like using what you have on hand to have beautiful hair! Recipes are all over the net and on naturallycurly.com on the Recipes board.

9. If you have coarser hair you may want to invest in some butters or cream's that are moisturizing. This is where you start to go online. I recommend something like Karen's Body Beautiful or Shescentit for your butters and creams. We've also used Ohm Avocado Custard and Oyin's whipped pudding to good effect. Just google them. If you are a finer haired wavy or curly I recommend investing in a good protein treatment. There are numerous options like Nexxus Emergencee, Apoghee (may have cones) or one of the online like Hairveda's Methi set or Curl Junkie's Curl Fix. In addition if you are a wavy you may want to invest in a low-poo because many wavies need to low poo--there are many to chose from including the Giovannie or Trader Joe's shampoo's, EO shampoo's, and others you can get from a health food store or drug/grocery store.

10. If you want a curl creme or gel (and trust me you will) then check out any of the following (mostly online but Whole Foods in states other than CA have some Kinky Curly products and you might find the AG and Mop products in a local BSS or salon):

Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Donna Marie Mira Curl Curling Jelly, Amourai Organique Duchess of Curls, AG Re:Coil, Jessicurl Rockin' Ringlet's and Confident Coils, Curl Junkie Curls in a Bottle, Coffee-Coco Curl Creme or Smoothing Gellee, or Mop C Curl Creme and Darcy's Botanical's Natural Coils Curling Jelly.

I've listed in order of importance IMHO. You can always use #1 as a rinse out conditioner as well until you figure out what your hair likes.


  1. Hi there, what a list of fantastic sounding products. I am just starting my CG adventures and would like to kick it off with the best products out there even if I need to order them. From your blogs, it sounds like I have very similar hair to yours. Definitely a 2. It is very fine and prone to weighing down if you look at it wrong.

    What would you recommend as a 'starter' pack of best products?


  2. Welcome!

    I would say determine what you are looking for from CG first and then tailor the products to that.

    So if your hair is damaged now or really dry then go for getting your hair in better condition first--I would pick up something that works great as a Deep Treatment, Rinse Out, or Leave-In. My top pick would be Curl Junkie Rehab--it is fabulous in any of those capacities. You may also like the Hibiscus and Banana Deep Fix. For a rinse out or leave in and deep treatment with two products I recommend the Jasmine's Shea Conditioner and the Babassu Conditioner.

    Both of these will have quicker ship times than something like Hairveda--although you really should try the Moist Condition Pro--it works really well on fine hair that likes protein. It doesn't weigh me down at all.

    If your hair is in pretty good condition already then I'd probably recommend picking up some curl enhancers like Kinky Curly Curling Custard or Donna Marie Mira Curl Curling Jelly. A lot of us also like Amourai Organique Duchess of Curls. These are probably my top picks for new folks.

    There are lots of good conditioners onground and some of them you can get like EO (Whole Foods, Marhsall's) or Garnier Fructis. I'd go with the Sleek and Shine since it has less oils than the Triple Nutrition.

    One of my new favorite leave'ins is the Darcy's Botanicals Natural Coils Daily leave in Spray--it's very light.

    There are so many choices! If I might I would recommend you check out kathymack on naturallycurly.com as she sells sample sizes of many of these. If you head over there and put her name in the search box you'll come to her profile page..the link to her fotki with the products is in it. I'm not associated or anything..just found that a great way to try a bunch of products.

    When you order online it's not only more costly (usually is) but you pay shipping (usually more than tax) AND it takes a while so sampling is cost effective if you are new to CG:)

    If you want to take it slow just pick up some of the products I mention above...and then see how your hair does. I recommend reading about porosity as well--that makes a huge difference for my daughter and I!

  3. Oh you asked for a Starter Pack:

    Curl Junkie Curl Rehab (Curl Junkie website or aveyou.com)

    Donna Marie Mira Curl Curling Jelly (DM Website..it is SO worth it!)or Amourai Organique Duches of Curls (website's here in the blog)

    Jasmine's Shea Conditioner and Babbasu Conditioner (Jasmine's Web Site)

    Abba Pure Finish Gel or Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee (BSS or on ground)

    And either some V05 or Suave for co-wash or a low poo--I am partial to Hariveda's Amala Cream Rinse or Amala Shampoo or Sweet Nature by Eddie Inspiration Shampoo. But the Curl Junkie Shampoo works great as well (you could pick that up via Curl Junkie or through aveyou.com if you got the rehab)

  4. Alex,

    Thanks so much for the suggestions. I'm excited to get going on this journey. Also, thanks for the tip of getting samples from Kathymack, I'll be trying that too. I'll report in after I try out a few of your suggestions

  5. Thanks for the info. I'll definitely give these a try and report back. I'm very excited to get started.

  6. I just figured out that I have type 3b hair that is fine and porous ... I'm new at this and want to switch to products that would work for my hair type. Where can I find a list? And do you think it's best I go poo-free, or a poo with more protein?

    I was also using biosilk silk therapy and morrocoan oil products. Any good for my hair type?

  7. Not sure what happened to my post - but I just determined that I have 3b hair that is fine and porous... how can I figure out what products are good for me and if I need no-poo or high-protein poo...

    Also, I use biosilk silk therapy, morrocon oil and creme on my hair. Is this bad?

  8. Anon--I would go to the naturallycurly.com website. There is a wealth of information on Curly Girl.

    Biosilk and Moroccan oil products contain sulfates and silicones which are not good for curly hair.

    You can use sulfate free shampoo's--there are many to choose from right now or you can just co-wash which is conditioner wash. It will depend on your hair type (like fine, thick, porous, elastic, etc).

    There is a newbie board that explains everything or check out Live Curly Live Free. The link is in my blog links righ across from this comment! She has a wonderful site!