Last year I did one post of all my favorite products in beauty, but this year I am splitting it up so in this post I will share my favorite curly girl products of the year.
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This year I experimented a bit more and branched out from my 2 favorite curly girl approved brands. So this post will actually have a variety of products compared to my previous curly haircare favorites post.
For reference, my hair is 2c 3a, high porosity, thin, and low density. It is very easily weighed down and over moisturized so I tend to go for really lightweight products and am fairly minimal with my routine. I am not a product junkie and I can’t use that many products on my hair anyway so it works out.
Remember that just because something works great for me doesn’t mean it will for you even if your hair is nearly identical to mine. There are so many factors that affect how a product performs on hair like hair health, climate, and daily care.
Good hair products for me mean they adequately cleanse, don’t build up, provide volume and definition, don’t have a strong or artificial scent, and last a long time.
Many of the products I linked to Amazon but they are often available in stores like Target. Also, you get 15% off of EVOLVh when you shop through my affiliate link or use my code HE15.
Keep reading to see which products made my list of favorite curly girl products of 2019!
This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you. Please read the disclosure policy for more details.
As I Am Coconut Cowash – this is the only cowash that I have been able to use that actually cleans my hair. It is lightweight enough that is doesn’t cause buildup, although I cannot go as long between washing when I use this compared to when I use a low poo. I like to use this in between low poo wash days if my hair feels dry and doesn’t have buildup.
Next year I want to try their tea tree version since I have itchy, flaky scalp. Maybe I will change my choice for next year?
Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo – I love this shampoo because it is a pretty strong cleanser, which I know many in the curly world don’t like, and for how it soothes my scalp. It has that nice minty feeling on the scalp and my scalp is always itchy so I reach for this one all the time. It doesn’t dry out my hair but I know it can do that to others. Many people like to use the conditioner as a cowash but I have not tried that.
EVOLVh SmartCurl shampoo – This is the one I reach for the most. It has the perfect balance of moisture and cleansing. Some say it is stripping like the Giovanni TTT shampoo but again, that is not the case for me. My hair really likes stronger cleansers. This one also smells really nice and I don’t need much.
Raw Curls Wavy Swavy cleanser – This was the first low poo I ever tried and it has remained a favorite for years. I hate how liquidy it is but it does such a good job of gently cleansing. It’s less harsh than the other 2 but really I could get away with just using this one. It also has the cleanest formulation of all and lasts a really long time.
Kinky Curly Come Clean – This is the only clarifying shampoo that doesn’t strip my hair. Remember that clarifying shampoos should contain the ingredient olefin sulhonate so many of the CG approved “clarifying” shampoos are not really clarifying. Check out my post all about clarifying if you’re struggling with buildup or weighed down curls.
Raw Curls original conditioner – Another OG that I still reach for. This conditioner is creamy but not heavy and provides moisture. It has a light scent and a little goes a long way. Usually, I use a nickel sized amount, let it sit, add some water, then proceed to finger detangle.
Giovanni Root 66 Max Volume conditioner – I love volumizing formulas and this one doesn’t disappoint. It has a lotion like consistency, light scent, and is a little more lightweight than the Raw Curls conditioner.
EVOLVh Smart Volume leave in – My absolute favorite lightweight leave in when I want volume. I love that it is a spray and it really helps give me volume. My hair instantly softens when I spray this on and a little goes a long way. I usually do a few sprays then scrunch and rake to distribute. I add more water to help with clumping.
Briogeo Curl Charisma leave in – This is a lotion leave in with protein that really makes my curls spring up and defines really well. It provides just enough moisture to not weigh down my hair and helps with clumps.
Giovanni Direct Leave-in Weightless – This brand has so many great products but their leave-in is my favorite. It is really lightweight, lightly scented, and my curls clump so well with it.
Rawkyn Green Tea Mask – My hair does not do well with deep conditioners so I need protein heavy options. I also use my deep conditioners before I shampoo. This one is nice and thick but doesn’t weigh down my hair. It has a light scent and is full of protein.
Shea Moisture Strengthen & Restore Masque – Another protein heavy deep conditioner. This one is easier to find and although the scent is a little stronger it doesn’t bother me. Normally this brand does not work for me but this product has been a favorite since before I started the curly girl method.
Raw Curls medium hold gel – My absolute favorite gel that gives me a cast. For ultimate definition, this is what I go for. It always gives me a nice cast and scrunches out to soft, shiny curls that last. No buildup or heaviness either! It is pretty thick but since I apply my styling products to soaking wet hair that is not a problem for me. This is my preferred styler for humidity or when I air dry because of the cast. My hair needs a strong cast to air dry well.
Giovanni LA Hold gel – This gel is very similar to the Raw Curls gel but it can be a bit drying so I like to use it when my hair feels too moisturized. It is also thick, has a light scent, and is hard hold. I don’t get as good of a cast as with Raw Curls so I usually diffuse when I use this gel.
EVOLVh Total Control Styling Creme – This is my favorite styling product when I want more volume. It’s more of a lotion and little goes a long way thought it’s hard to feel the product in your hair when you apply it. It always gives me really soft, bouncy curls but I don’t use this if the humidity will be really high. It does better with diffusing since it doesn’t give me a cast.
Devacurl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam – Whenever I reach for a foam, which is pretty rare, this is my favorite one. It gives me great definition and volume, but it doesn’t have much hold. The scent is a little strong but it doesn’t bother me.
EVOLVh WonderBalm – I use this to scrunch out the cast and fluff my hair. It is more like a serum and I only need a tiny pea sized amount. I emulsify it in my hands then smooth it all over for extra shine and softness. It also provides some definition when used on wet hair but can be stringy looking if you use too much.
Briogeo Scalp Revival dry shampoo – I use this on days 3-5 to soak up the oil in my roots and give me some volume. I love that the ingredients help with the health of my scalp.
Curly Hair Accessories
Raw Curls flour sack hair towel – I have tried so many hair towels and this one is by far my favorite. I wish other brands offered flour sack towels or there was an Amazon option. I get so much less frizz with this towel compared to t-shirt or microfiber.
Briogeo Scalp Revival Treatment Serum – This water based serum is my savior for itchy scalp. I rub a few drops on my scalp on wash day and 2 days after to reduce the itching and flaking. The bottle lasts a long time and it’s not oily so it doesn’t build up or make my hair look greasy.
Bizzy B Crafts headbands – These are new to me but I love them for changing up my style and since I don’t refresh they’re great for post wash days. I love that they come in so many cute patterns and styles and don’t give me a headache.
Hair buff – I cannot live without this. Seriously the best investment I have made since starting CG. It makes such a big difference in how my hair looks the next day. So much less frizz and tangling, and it works so well I never refresh. Just take it out of the buff, fluff, and go.
MYK silk pillowcase – This is my insurance in case my buff falls off. Hair glides on silk so it doesn’t cause frizz and tangles as regular pillowcases do. I like the MYK brand because they offer an affordable pillowcase that is only silk on one side.
Reusable shower cap – Super important to make your washes last longer. Steam absolutely ruins my hair. It frizzes and falls flat within minutes. So I pineapple my hair and put it in a shower cap every shower in between washing my hair.
Invisibobble hair ties – These are great for when I put my hair up to shower or if I need it out of my face for a while. They don’t really work well for updos for me since my hair is so thin though.
Tezam scalp massager – This is totally not a necessary product but I love it. It always helps my scalp feel better and it’s a good practice for scalp health to do daily massages. You could just use your fingers though. I like that this one vibrates and I like the shape.
I did not include a hairdryer or diffuser because I have been using the same crappy but long living Revlon for the last 10 years and I am waiting until it breaks to invest in one. However, I will mention that I have used the Xtava Black Orchid diffuser and I really liked it so that is the one I will get. But I have no idea about the actual dryer yet so I cannot recommend one.
If you want to learn more about the curly girl method, you can download my free pdf guide, THE QUICK START GUIDE TO MASTERING YOUR CURLS, full of everything you need to know to get started on the Curly Girl Method and bring back your beautiful waves and curls.
You can also read my other popular posts on curly hair:
- A Basic Guide to the Curly Girl Method for Wavy & Curly Hair
- The Ultimate Curly Girl Glossary
- Curly Girl Method Routine for 2B 2C 3A Hair
- Curly Girl Method On A Budget + Nontoxic
- Curly Girl Night Routine To Protect Your Curls At Night
- How To Clarify Curly Hair
- Protein & Rice Water Rinse
- 14 Hacks For Curly and Wavy Hair
- Curly Girl Method Before and After – 1 Year Progress Update
- Ultimate Guide to Hair Porosity for Curly Hair
- My Favorite Products for Fine Curly Hair
- 11 Surprising Reasons You Have Frizz + Tips to Beat Frizz
- Bounce Curl Review
- EVOLVh Review