Beauty, Hair & Make-Up, Fashion

Naturally Curly Hair Styling Tricks & Tips

December 7, 2017

I have been naturally curly my whole life.  I was born with curly hair and have worn it this way for the majority of my 40 years on planet Earth.  For that reason, I am emotionally torn about entering this online “hair” space filled with tips, tricks, videos and more products than most of us know what to do with at this point.  However, you keep asking for my curly tips so imma give you what you ask for!

How-so-eva, don’t think for minute that I am going to talk “hair” all the time. I’m not. I don’t think that hair is the most important thing about me or you. Yes, of course, I want my hair to look good.  I feel better when my hair is healthy and bouncy and the curls are tight and right.  But I truly understand that “hair” does not define us.  It does not make us pretty or ugly.  It’s but one part of our style statement that we present to the world.

I always say that I am not your typical natural hair curly girl.  I was born in 1977 with a head full of dark curly hair (yes I get bling highlights 4x per year..surprise surprise).  As I grew up, I begged, prayed and cried for straight hair.  When you are 13, a little overweight, gawky and not necessarily athletic, the last thing you want is a head of curly hair that makes you stick out.  Just the opposite, I wanted to fit in.  Fast forward almost 30 years and I love my curls.  Like absolutely love them.

My late mother and I visiting NYC when I was a little curly haired tot.

One of the reasons for not loving my hair back in the 80s and 90s is that, until recent years, there were few products designed to care for my curly cues.   The only products available were John Freida’s Frizz Eaze which did nothing to tame my ringlets.   Similarly, recent research now shows that us natural gals should wash our hair with non-sudsing, sulfite-free shampoo and conditioner becuase they dry out the hair and strip natural oils.   Well that’s just great!  Growing up I most definitely washed my hair with sulfites as my momma swore by inexpensive shampoo and conditioner.  The more suds the better!  Don’t judge.  How were we to know?

The other reason that I am apprehensive about writing about my hair is that much of what I read on the internet is very emotional.   Don’t get me wrong, I love my hair but, as I mentioned, I have been naturally “curly” since birth so I don’t have the revelations that many have had as they come to terms with their natural hair.  For example, I have never had a “big chop” to rid myself of a “perm.”  I did cut off all my hair after graduation from Spelman in 1999.  However, that had nothing to do with damaged hair and everything to do with trying to figure myself out and learn who I was.  All I actually learned was that I like myself better with hair longer than an inch.  Go figure. ??‍♀️??‍♀️  I am also not coming to terms with wearing my hair natural verses my desire to wear my hair straight.  I did go through a phase where I got roller sets and straightened my hair when I practiced law here in New York City.  But again, I never put much emotional energy into those decisions. I wanted smoother hair in the professional environment so I wore it that way.

Circa 2005 and about 28 years old. This is the first professional headshot I took when I worked in New York City as an attorney. As you can see, I went through a phase where straight hair was my am. At 40 years old, I can’t remember the last time I straightened my hair.

I just don’t get super worked up about my hair.  It’s just one piece of a big puzzle.  The other pieces matter just as much, if not more: what I eat, daily excercise, whether the clothes I wear fit my body, personality and lifestyle.  I say all this because I don’t want you falling into this trap of “hair.”  You can have the best damn hair in the world but if your skin is dull and your blood pressure is high, who cares?  Ya feel me?

That being said, I promised you Jackie’s HAIR TALK so let’s get into it.

Moisterize. Moisterize.  Moisterize.  One more time.  Moisterize.

Dry hair does not look good straight or curly.  The “internets” like to say that curly hair needs more moisture.  I don’t know if that is true or not as I operate under the rule that everything— skin, hair and body need moisture.  This is why I drink 1 gallon of water a day and use facial products that inject moisture into my skin.  For the hair, I apply SASHAPURE Masque Restorative (Sulfate-Free) at least once per week.  The directions tell you to leave it on for a few minutes but I typically apply the masque, pin my hair up in a bun and then leave it overnight or even all day if it’s a Sunday or a home work day.
In addition to the weekly hair masque, I also add moisture to my hair daily by spraying my hair every morning and night with water mixed with a few drops of SASHAPURE Deeply Therapeutic Hair Scalp & Skin Elixir.  By the way, whether your hair is nearly bald, bone straight or perfectly kinky, every woman needs a spray bottle or three!  Thank me later.

Shampoo & Conditioner

A few years back, I switched to no-suds Hair Rules’ Cleansing Cream Shampoo & Hair Rules Quench Conditioner which is sulfite free, gentle on my curls and injects tons of much needed moisture in my hair.  It is important to note that I use a couple tablespoons of both shampoo and conditioner.  I found that when I switched to a non-sudsing shampoo that I needed more product to get my hair clean and avoid product buildup.

Conditioner Tip:  I use a wide tooth comb while in the shower to comb the conditioner through my hair.  The ONLY time a comb touches my hair is when it’s soaking wet in the shower OR when it’s completely dry and I want more of a curly Afro look.


As I gently rinse out the conditioner, I use my fingers to begin styling the hair.  For example, if I want a right side part then I use my fingers to create the part in the shower.  Or, if I want my hair forward in my face then I use the fingers to rake it forward.   Styling my hair while in the shower with conditioner on it decreases the frizz.   Other than adding styling products to my hair, I don’t fuss with my hair much once I get out of the shower.

Immediately after I step out of the shower, I spray R+Co One Prep Spray on my dripping wet hair.  My hair falls 3 – 5 inches below my shoulders so about 5-7 spritzes around the head is plenty. I gently use my fingertips to scrunch the Prep product throughout the hair.  

After applying the Prep spray, I dispense a quarter size amount of R+Co Motorcycle Flexible Gel in the palm of my hands and then emulsify the gel by rubbing my hands together.  Starting at the back of my head (important to start at the back), I lightly scrunch the gel into my hair all over reaching the front of my hair last.  I use more gel depending on how much dry my hair is at the moment (every day is different).  I instinctively know I need more gel because my palms will be empty of product when I reach the front around my face.  It’s as if my hair talks to me and soaks up the product that it needs (don’t laugh, it’s true).  It’s always better to use less product because you can always add more.  Too much product will weigh hair down and make it lifeless.

Now lets add definition…

I put a little bit more of R+Co Motorcycle Flexible Gel on just my fingertips.  Using my fingertips only, I gently apply the gel to the ends of my  hair all around my head.  This gives my ringlets definition.  It also gives texture because it makes my hair more “piecy.”  I add extra gel sparily so some ringlets have a different look than others.  This contrast makes my hair more interesting and defined.


I use a towel during the first step of my drying process.  This is controversial with “curly girls” because I know many folks just let their hair air-dry without any heat and have a thing about even touching their hair when it’s wet.  I do not share that sentiment.  I think that drying is all about technique.  Take a towel in your hands, flip your head upside down and use that towel to gently scrunch your hair.  This towel drying step removes excess styling products (hate having too much product in the hair) and some moisture which will reduce drying time overall.  DO NOT, and I mean this, DO NOT take a towel and roughly run it all over your head.  This will create frizz no matter how you wear your hair, curly, straight, short or long.  Don’t do that EVER AGAIN!  I mean it.  Don’t!

This Video shows how NOT TO Dry your hair ever! 

This Video Shows you the proper technique for using a towel to remove excess product and moisture.  


I use the DevaCurl Hair Dryer with DevaFuser hand attachment.  I am not sure I need to say this but DO NOT dry your natural hair without a diffuser attached to your hair dryer  You will end up looking like a bad version of Diana Ross, i.e. “not cute.”  I like this particular hair dryer because I am able to cradle the hair and scrunch as I dry.  I always start drying my hair with my head flipped over upside down.  This adds volume and helps create ringlets.  I set the dryer to medium air flow and medium heat and gently scrunch/dry the hair all over moving from one section to the next.  I hold the dryer in place for 15-30 seconds and then move the dryer over doing this until my hair is about 3/4 dry.  I then flip my head over and finish drying the scalp gently creating volume at the roots with my fingertips.

Drying hair upside down creates more volume.

Finishing the Hair

Once my hair is dried 100%, I spray a couple sprays of R+Co Dallas Thickening Spray at the roots focusing primarily on the crown of my head.  I then use my dryer again with my head flipped over to dry the Thickening Spray and add even more volume.

If my hair is looking dry or frizzy in some parts at that this point, I will spray a little water from my Spray Bottle (Water + Couple Drops Sashapure Hair Elixir), add a touch more Motorcycle gel and use my Diffuser again. A little frizz or undefined curl just means I missed a spot.  No big deal.

If it’s very humid outside or if I need my hair to hold for a fancier affair, I finish the hair with healthy does of Hair Rules Volumizing Hair Spray for hold and shine.

Throughout the Day…

Every few hours during the day, I will turn my hair upside down and fluff my roots as well as scrunch the ends.  It usually take a few hours for the style to set in and my hair to look really good.

Good ‘Ol Fashioned Luck

The final step is just good old fashioned luck.  On some days, my hair will just not act right either because it’s feeling dry, the air is too humid or whatever.  On those days, I don’t really mind much because that is when I just throw on a fierce hat, some earrings and a lip.  Remember, we end where we started.  It’s just hair!


As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered.  We wish you tons of good hair days, but most importantly, we wish you lives that are filled with love, adventure and abundance.


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