One common question I get asked on my Instagram page and blog posts is “what products should I get started with?”. Today I am sharing The Best Affordable Products To Start The Curly Girl Method to help guide you in making the best decision for your specific hair type.
There are so many products on the market that have all different price tags and there is nothing more annoying than spending money on a product that doesn’t end up working.
Since I started my curly girl journey, I have used a plethora of different products ranging from high end to the cheapest drugstore products. Today I want to share what I believe are the best products to get started with to help you make an informed decision.
Choosing products when you are just getting started with the curly girl method can be, well, a little stressful. You work freaking hard for your money and if you are like me, you have a laundry list of wants and needs.
Curly hair products just add to that list which makes buying them kind of a drag.
After experimenting with many different products and unfortunately having to toss or donate a few, I am certain I found the best products for the curly girl beginner that won’t empty your life’s saving. Hurray!
If you are new to the curly girl method and feel a little overwhelmed by the information overload, I have something special for you.
The curly girl method can be a little overwhelming so I created “The Ultimate Curly Girl Method Cheat Sheet” (including a guide to my favorite affordable drug store products) to help simplify the process.
A Word On High-End Versus Drugstore Products
The good news is that you can get started with the curly girl method without having to drop a ton of money on fancy products. That being said, you get what you pay for.
I believe that there is a place for high-end products.
But I don’t recommend getting them until you are a little more familiar with the curly girl method, your specific hair type, and what your curls NEED.
The Best Affordable Products To Start The Curly Girl Method
This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning that If you purchase through clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
The first thing you are going to want to start with is a clarifying shampoo. This will strip your hair of any build-up that accumulated from using products that contain sulfates, silicones, and parabens which you probably have been using the majority of your life.
This is the best affordable clarifying shampoo and is super inexpensive.
I recommend doing a clarifying wash at the beginning of each month to start with a clean slate. Always always always follow a clarifying wash with a deep conditioning treatment.
You can purchase Kinky Curly Come Clean here.
Shampoo, Conditioner, & Deep Conditioner
When it comes to cleansing and conditioning, your hair type definitely plays a big role.
You can get all sorts of specific when it comes to hair type but what you basically need to determine is whether you have wavy, curly, or kinky hair.
- Wavy: You have waves throughout your hair but no noticeable curls or coils.
- Curly: You have a mixture of waves and curls (sometimes even coils) throughout your hair
- Coils: Your hair has coils throughout
Now that we’ve determined your hair type, we can talk about products.
If your hair is on the low end of wavy, I recommend getting started with Not Your Mother’s curly hair brand. I used this line and It is the perfect amount of moisture without weighing your hair down. And it’s super affordable!
Get the shampoo, conditioner, and deep conditioner to get started. If you shop at whole foods they carry this line and occasionally have sales so you can keep your eye out.
If you have curly or coiled hair you I recommend shea moisture.
It’s family-owned, fair trade, full of ingredients your hair will love and is sulfate, paraben, and silicone-free.
You just can’t beat the price and quality of this product.
You can purchase it through this link Shea moisture bundle: for curly or coiled hair . Most drugstore carry this line as well.
White Rice To Make Fermented Rice Water
I attribute a big part of my success with the curly girl method to doing rice water treatments. It has made a HUGE difference in bringing curl back and establishing a good protein moisture balance. You can see my recipe here.
The downside to doing a rice water rinse is that you do need to experiment because everybody’s hair is different.
I do a fermented rice water rinse once per week. I apply it after I shampoo and let it sit for 15-30 minutes then follow up with a deep conditioning treatment. Yes, it is a time investment but i try to do it on my day off when I am getting stuff done around the house.
The benefits to a rice water rinse far outweigh the time commitment, it is super affordable and does wonders for your hair.
You can purchase rice here White rice for rice water rinse.
Resist the urge to get super fancy here. All you NEED is a few basic stylers.
These are by far the most budget-friendly stylers that work well.
You can purchase a bundle on amazon to always have them on hand. You can add them to your cart through the link below.
Righteous Roots Oil
There are definitely more cost-friendly oils on the market, but righteous roots is by far my favorite and is still a decent price.
I use mine for scalp treatments, to break my cast, and to pre-poo my hair.
You can certainly get started with the curly girl method by purchasing the few basic items listed above. But it is also nice to have some curly hair accessories on hand to make life easier.
Note: Do not let the items listed below overwhelm you. These are not must-have items. I just wanted to give you a list of a few tools that I use and love to help take care of my curls.
The Orchid Diffuser
Because heat is a total curl killer, it’s super important to air dry or use a diffuser. Air drying is lovely but can take a long time.
I recommend starting with this basic but super-useful diffuser. It fits most hair dryers and distributes the airflow evenly.
Classic Denman Brush
Trust me when I say that the Denman brush is a game-changer. It gently detangles and promotes curl pattern. I use mine to train my curls as well.
You can get a Classic Denman Brush here.
Because normal pay bottles can be a little too heavy, I use a mist bottle. It helps distribute water lightly and evenly.
Silk Cap and/or Pillowcase
Night protection is a game-changer for curls. When you spend time and money on products for your hair, it’s important to protect it and get as much wear as possible. Read about how to sleep with curly hair here.
Night protection will allow you to wear your curls multiple days. I use and love the scrunch it silk cap. You can read my full review here.
I use my scrunch it night-cap on day one and two while I sleep, then sleep on a silk pillowcase until the next time I wash my hair. Mainly because I don’t love to always sleep in a cap.
Non Damaging Hair Tie
Another way to protect your curls is by using a non-damaging hair tie. This will allows you to pull your hair back without cause damage.
Micro Fiber Towel
A normal towel will dry your hair out and cause frizz because they are too rough.
Opt for a high-end microfiber towel or an old t-shirt to squish moisture out of your curls.
- Tee Owl Towel – Use code CURLYCOLLEEN10 for 10% off.
Beautiful curls begin with your scalp. Make a daily practice of messaging your scalp before bed.
This will awaken your hair follicles and encourage regrowth.
Scalp Messager: These are the bomb. I use them every single day.
Root clips are amazing for creating volume while your hair dries.
In conclusion: The curly girl method can be overwhelming for beginners. The products above are the best cost-friendly products I have tried and love. I highly recommend starting out with a few simple products then slowly adding to your collection.
I hope this post helps you feel better informed when purchasing curly hair products.
P.S. Don’t forget to pick up your curly girl method cheat sheet.