Products and Tricks for Wavy Hair

In the past few months, I’ve talked both about what it’s like to be a redhead and my constant debate over letting my hair grow v. cutting it off. However, I haven’t talked much about products or styling. Let it be known that I’m not a hair and beauty guru. I’m pretty brand loyal and tend to stick to specific products that I know will work. My hair is naturally wavy with some loose curls. While I straighten it once or twice a week, it’s much easier to wash, scrunch with product, and diffuse to dry. I know there are entire websites and forums dedicated to styling curly hair. If I had tighter curls, I would follow the recommendations from those curly girls more closely, but I’ve developed my own method of bringing out my waves.

  • Wash - I’ve been using Dove Daily Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner since college and have converted a few of my friends to it along the way. It’s inexpensive, smells great, and keeps my hair really soft. I’ll admit that I wash my hair every morning, which I know isn’t recommended by professionals. After conditioning, I comb through my hair while still in the shower and part it on the side.
  • Scrunch - For a long time, I used John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Curl-Perfecting Spray to enhance my natural texture. The milky liquid, which comes in a spray bottle, worked better when my hair was longer. It gave me more of a beachy wave. After getting my hair cut, I switched to Not Your Mother’s Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream (crazy name, right?). This product is much thicker and brings out my loose curls. To apply either, I clip up most of my hair, scrunch in a small amount, and repeat on the next layer.
  • Diffuse - When it’s warm outside or a lazy day spent indoors, I let my hair dry naturally. However, heading to work on a winter morning in New York City calls for drying first. Before using heat, I scrunch some of the moisture out with a cotton tshirt to avoid frizzies. Next, I flip my head over and use the diffuser attachment on my hair dryer. It only takes a few minutes to get my hair completely dry.

hair products

Likely because I wash and style my hair every day, I recently noticed a lot of product buildup when I straightened my hair. I’ve never had this problem and was confused as to why my locks were coated in sticky residue. Well, you guessed it. The curl cream I use is tough to wash out. Being the impatient girl that I am, I immediately Googled DIY solutions for stripping the product buildup. Aside from washing with a clarifying shampoo, people recommended using white vinegar, baking soda, or dishwashing soap to get a thorough clean. I hesitantly tried the third option. After scrubbing with Dawn and conditioning, my hair felt better than it had in about a month. If your hair is starting to feel heavy and lifeless, I recommend trying to strip any product that might be coating it. While it’s probably not the most professional way to get the job done, Dawn is now my tried and true fix for product-saturated hair.

What products and hair tricks can you recommend?


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  • Reply March 7, 2013


    Same thing happens to me! I use a variety of leave in heat protection products and after a couple weeks my hair feels sticky after I wash and dry (then do a fast once over with the straightener) toward the roots.

    The white vinegar works wonders for me. The baking soda is my favorite (for skin too) but it does strip color away (for the rare occasions that I color my hair).

    Beware though, the vinegar smell does stay a bit. Use in a cold rinse after your hot shower, close your pores a bit before you use it. And I usually like to take two showers past the vinegar rinse before going to the gym (otherwise I swear I can smell a tiny bit of vinegar, probably not as much as I think…but still!).

    I’ll have to try the Dawn. I’m pretty sure I always have orange or green apple scented Dawn at home though – does the scent stay?

  • Reply March 8, 2013


    I’ll have to try both vinegar and baking soda. My hair didn’t smell odd at all after using Dawn…just very clean! Let me know how it works for you.