Are you CURLIOUS? Do you have curls and you are embracing them along with your silver hair? Did you try The Curly Girl Method and promptly get overwhelmed and confused.  Simply put…I don’t follow all the hard rules for the Curly Girl Method, but it was a nice starting point in my understanding of how to care for my hair. That’s my main shortcut. I do what I have found works for me and sometimes I start all over, products get “improved” or discontinued, or my hair just says, “enough of that now!” I’ve found through the years it has changed for me several times, and I will bet, you have experienced this too.


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I have tried a mountain of products and returned most of them. I have an ongoing spreadsheet of all the brands I have tried and why I loved them or hated them. It includes things like smell, texture, price, ingredients, and if it made me itch or not. I figured out some things on this 20-year long journey to my ultimate healthy curls that I tell any Curly Girl (CG) when she asks me what to do for her curls.

Curly Girl Method Shortcuts

First things first, your hair is like a fingerprint no two heads are the same. Texture, density, porosity, moisture retention, coil, wave, dyed, undyed, humidity, even pregnancy and menopause, it all matters it all changes the equation. Speaking of equation that is exactly how you need to treat it…your own personal equation.


Cleanse + Condition + Detangle + Leave-in + Application Method + Hold + Drying Method = YOUR Best Curl Life


These are my top Curly Hair Shortcuts. The rest depends on what works for you.

    1. Find your shampoo and conditioner that work for you 80% of the time. Why do I say 90%, because 10% of the time you need clarifying products.
    2. Wash Less. I wash three times a week, if that. If you need a refresh, rinse your hair thoroughly and go from the condition point of your equation.
    3. Brush Mindfully. Detangle with a wide-tooth comb or wet brush in the shower with conditioner in your hair. Or dry brush on your loose waves pre-shampoo. Never yank a brush through your dry curls.
    4. Ditch the terrycloth towel, you want a towel that has no loops and is smooth and soft. Try The Perfect Haircare microfiber towel (get the pink one, the black transfers dye).
    5. Never rough up or scrub your hair with a towel. Pat or scrunch dry. Air-dry when possible after sopping up most of the water. If you air-dry from sopping wet hair it stretches the curl and causes breakage, so always air-dry once your hair is slightly damp.
    6. Or learn to plop.
    7. If you must blow dry, blow dry on low to medium heat with a diffuser. You want to avoid heat damage on your curls and your silvers.
    8. Sulfate and silicone free products are usually the best for curls. Sulfates are always a NO, unless you need extra clarifying! Not all silicones are created equal some are water-soluble which means they don’t bind to the hair and wash out each shampoo. (PEG prefaced Dimethicones are the safest –cones.) (Dimethicone by itself is one of the worst so remember the difference because it is the most popular in most brands.) If you already have silicone buildup you can remove it with an equal part baking soda and clarifying shampoo mix treatment…just make sure you deep condition after.
    9. Watch for alcohol content, alcohol dries your hair. Not alcohol is created the same though, some are drying alcohols and some are fatty acids that provide moisture.
    10. Read up on what your hair is lacking moisture or protein, and vice versa, read up on what you have too much of. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
      a.)  You need to know what curl pattern you have. This is a visual indicator more than anything, but helps you understand what products are meant for you.
      b.)  Porosity is more important in the type of products you use. You can learn about porosity in The Ultimate Guide to Hair Porosity: Does it really matter?
      c.) Many products are now catered to wavy, curly or coily hair, low and high porosity, and fine or coarse hair.
    12. Applying product is as important as the product itself. I like smoothing and raking in my leave-in and styler, usually in the shower with wet hair. Praying hands method works great as well.
    13. Sleep is important, if you have long hair get Silk Scrunchies and learn to pineapple your hair. Get a silk or satin pillowcase. I have been through my share of these and so far my all-time favorite 100% Silk Pillowcase, it has a zipper and stays in place.
    14. Finally, if you need to wear ponytails, ditch the elastics, rubber bands and any hair tie with metal on it. I have used these seamless ponytail holders for decades and love them. If you cannot find them, you can make them out of baby tights, which I have done when stores go through weird phases of not selling them.

Tried and true things you need to know for curls:

  • Ditching the terrycloth towel and ditching dry brushing were the biggest helpers for my hair…Stopped the frizz.
  • About the towel, get the kind that doesn’t have loops and isn’t the turban style that sucker will drive you nuts.
  • Think of each curl clump as a family. That family needs to stick together, that is why you need a wide-tooth comb, you never rough up your hair with a towel, or blow-dry without a diffuser. And let your hair dry without touching it, the more you touch the more you break up the curl families and cause frizz and separation.
  • If you need to print this list of ingredients take it with you when you go product shopping. You might need a magnifying glass too (I use the one on my iPhone); these labels are getting smaller and smaller print every time. I won’t get started on that though.

Is Oil Curly Hair Safe?

Every culture across the entire globe, with all hair types, has used oil for nourishing their hair for centuries. While oils that are solid at room temperature like coconut oil may end up drying your hair out because they can create a moisture blocking coating, not all oils are created equally. Depending on their molecular structure, oils can protect the hair and seal in moisture just like a gel would, or they can penetrate the hair and provide slip and conditioning.

Oils are blended into formulas to create slip, shine, conditioning, protection, and nourishment by replicating the lipid layer on the hair.

You can use oil for fly-aways, frizz, and there are naturally curly methods of product application that include oil in their method, like LOC, which stands for Liquid (or Leave-In), Oil, Cream, and LCO which switches the order of application on the oil and the cream, you can learn more on that in this great post at


A few of my favorite Curly Must Haves:

My Every Wash Day S&C

Image of SEEN Shampoo and Conditioner Liter BottlesYou can read my honest review of all the SEEN products here > SEEN: Fragrance-Free Hair Products for Sensitive Skin and Noses

Bass Multi-tooth Comb

My favorite wide-tooth comb is great for travel too. I like the fine-tooth side for getting fairy-knots out. I have one in my shower, one on my vanity, and one in my travel bag. It’s that perfect.

Silk Pillowcase

I now have four of these Mulberry Silk Pillowcases, they are the softest silk and they have a zipper so your pillow stays in the case. I wash them and dry them with my normal sheets and they have held up completely fine for several years.

Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner

For clarifying, Acure Curiously Clarifying Lemongrass Shampoo & Conditioner.  I really should own stock in Acure for as often as I recommend this product. I absolutely love this for clarifying. I use it about every 10 days and once a month with the QuickSilverHair Clay.


Denman Brush

If you like a wet brush you might like trying the Denman brush.

AquaBliss High Output Revitalizing Shower Filter

A shower filter can work wonders for curls and silver hair by helping remove some of the minerals and chemicals out of the tap water. This is the one I use because it has a multi-stage filter and a longer lifespan than most shower filters.

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer

The Perfect Haircare Towel

Paddle Brush

100% Mulberry Silk Large Scrunchies

These silk scrunchies are amazing for pineapples and protecting your hair from breaking and losing curl overnight.

GIOVANNI Mousse Air-Turbo Charged Hair Styling Foam

GIOVANNI 2chic Ultra Volume Foam

Laifen Swift

Laifen Swift and Attachments

Get $10 off a Laifen Swift with code JOLILF

Final Thoughts:

I have had to find what worked for me, and you will have to find what works for you. Things to keep in mind:

  • Some of these methods that become law aren’t for everyone. So go easy on yourself too.
  • There are a ton of products being marketed to curly girls now so take your time and experiment.
  • There are many manufactures that make a product and label it for curls but it may not be healthy or nourishing to curls so read your labels.
  • YouTube Influencers are great and some of them have really fabulous curls, but don’t compare your curls to theirs. Don’t expect the products that work for them to work for you, the closer their hair type is to yours will mean all the difference.
  • There is also some extreme information out there that is far more about that individual than it is about the general curly girl.
  • KNOW YOUR HAIR TYPE and go for what works for YOU!


This post is updated regularly. Last update 6.14.2021

Author Joli Campbell with long silver wavy-curly hair.


I hope you found this post educational and helpful.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share.

As always it is about so much more than the hair.

signature: Shine On, Joli Campbell





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