Saturday, January 25, 2014

Natural Curly Hair Styling Tips for Super Fine, Thin Hair

curly hair tips Seaweed, dog shampoo and mud?

Finally after um...about 40+ years I figured out what to do with my naturally curly hair! I know all you straight hairs think we just wake up and have the fabulous locks with little work! My hair is even more challenging because it is so fine, thin and now thinning in spots! With the dark hair and white roots I can look very "scalpy" and even scary! Some of you may think my hair is only wavy but when it grows out, I get medium sized cork screws; it just is straighter when short which is typical of 3A type curly hair.

The Curl Talk forum on  has a ton of info and a great place for curly girl information.  I like to use all natural products with no silicones or sulfates. I  even make some of my own "shampoos".  Here is my routine and tips; hopefully it can help some of you fine curlies:

terressentials hair cleanser
My absolute favorite clay cleanser is Terressentials Lavender

Poo or no poo?  I'm sure you all have heard or even tried the no shampoo conditioner washing method.  It works great for a lot but for some of us,  it can make our fine hair feel finer and LIMP!  If this is your hair, you can try a non-sulfate "no-poo" "shampoo".  I stumbled across my favorite by mistake....don't laugh but it is my dog's shampoo!  I love Earthbath Pet Shampoo for my hair! The conditioner is perfect too, the ingredients are all pure and natural;  more natural than the "natural" ones from the health store!  I also like mud... well clay,  as in Rhassoul clay for cleansing. It adds a lot of body to my hair. I just mix a teaspoon in a little water, gently scrub the curls, rinse well and condition!  I get my clay from Garden of Wisdom.  They have lots of cool ingredients for making your own products and also some great finished products! I find alternating products helps the look and texture also.   I use Terressentials lavender hair cleanser for a real treat! I also love the ancient Shikakai powder for body and lots of shine; I just mix it like the clay or add it to the clay.

For conditioning,  I find staying away from oils especially shea butter will help prevent frizz. A good read by Jonathan Torch:  The Truth Behind Oils.  I like a little almond oil or coconut oil at times. No need to waste your money on the argon oil craze; the real stuff stinks and doesn't do anything more special!  For styling I love a seaweed based gel product called Seamollient (also from Garden of Wisdom) and Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste, I get at Target. I make my own curl refreshing spray with rosewater and a teaspoon of glycerin  from the drugstore mixed in.

natural hair styling products

I first scrunch in 1/2 tsp  Curls Paste with a lot of water so it is really drippy ( Rudeechick's super soaker method) and then blot  upside down with a Curls Like Us Towel ( or old t-shirt will work!) . Then I take just a 1/2 tsp Seamollient and scrunch that in, arranging the curls and even clipping into place. I let air dry for a half hour then finish off drying with a diffuser.  Sounds like a lot of work but really it isn't, I know of curly heads that will spend 20 minutes a day on just straightening...yikes! Finally I want to mention color.  I know the chemical dyes make me lose hair; I try to use pure henna and indigo as much as possible. The henna will add a ton of body also.

Vintage Inspired Passionista

The Vintage Inspired Passionista has a  different routine for her gorgeous golden curly locks be  sure to check it out!  Here she is with the hair sticks I make; the perfect gift for the thicker haired curlies:

handmade hair sticks

Find my colorful hair sticks and jewelry in my Etsy shop, BluKatDesign. Follow my Pinterest board for more hair styling ideas

If you have curly hair and want to share a tip please feel free to comment!



  1. Hi Heather! Thanks for all the hair tips! I recall that a number of years ago, the usage of "Mane and Tail" shampoo for horses had people "buying out the stables!" Women testified that they developed manes of luxurious hair when they tried it on themselves.
    It was supposed to work wonders so I bought some. Perhaps it worked for the horses but for me it was "neigh"nuthin.
    But I may give this doggie shampoo a try since I am almost out of the Johnson's baby shampoo that I have been using for a long time.... on my dogs.


    1. Elizabeth, I remember that, us curlies will try anything! Never tried that one but the doggie stuff is super gentle, doesn't weigh my hair down or make it frizz like most. Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Very interesting and informative article. Like it very much.
    Hair Styling Tips

  3. Interesting article you got here. Thanks for sharing this post. Thanks for the tips. More power.

  4. thanks for the info - I'm a 3a too though I do tend to co-wash but may try a no-poo to see if I can get some 'oomph'. I'm using the Body Shop wheatgrass gel which I find is quite good.

  5. Michalene, thanks for the tip :)

  6. Finally some advice for us girls with baby fine curlies. I had a pixie cut all my life, short and spikey. Now in the age of 56 I decided to let my hair grow ... and surprise, CURLS. So, I have to deal with a totally new hair situation. Looking at your picture, Heather, I have the same curls and length. I am eager to try your cleansing regime with the dog shampoo and the clays. A also ordered the Seamollient. One question remains: you mentioned to stay away from butters and oils. I read the ingredient list for the passion fruit curl paste, and it lists shea butter and several oils. Does it kinda dilute while applying with the soaking method? I also read the article by J. Torch "The Truth behind Oils", and he recommends "The Curl Keeper". Do you know this specific product? Thanks again for your post. BTW, my name is Sabine. I extra created a Google account in order to comment, but I am still listed as "unknown".

    1. Sabine, you are right, the curl control pastes do have shea butter but the product is clear ( the main ingredient is water) so I don't think there really is very much in there, just stay away from the paste type products... but some curlies really like it! Curl Keeper is the best but either the PVA (plastics) or the propylene glycol in the product can make my scalp itch so I sometimes take a teaspoon and use it after scrunching the water out, avoiding the scalp. My hair is getting spikier, the more white I get LOL!

  7. Heather, one more question: Did you follow the whole detox regime with the Terressential mud cleanser? They say on their website not to order it unless you're willing to go through the detox process. Can I just alternate once in a while with the dog shampoo?

    1. Sabine, I have always used natural silicone free products so when I started using Terressentials I noticed an immediate improvement. I did the detox but didn't have any of the "side effects". If you are using a shampoo & conditioner with silicones and styling products with PVAs in them now I would recommend adding a tsp of baking soda to a no-silicone shampoo (like the dog shampoo LOL!) & this should get rid of any silicone coating/residue & then next time you wash your hair try the Terressentials, you should be okay but everyone's hair is so different. I alternate all of my "shampoos". I would not use Curl Keeper ( because of the PVAs) until you get a better handle on how your hair reacts to a purely natural program. I use the curl keeper in the summer to stop frizz but when the rain comes on the fall my curls get healthy and springy! Good luck & let me know how it goes!

    2. Thanks Heather for your great tips! You rock.