“My mood depends on how good my curls look.”
– Author Unknown
My Favorite Drug Store 2C Curl Products
“Your hair looks different every time I see you.” This is a common comment I get with my type 2c-3A curls/waves. With curly hair this is part of the territory.
You see there is curl type, hair porosity, and does your hair need moisture or protein? And let’s not forget about hard water, humidity, sulfates, too much product, pillow cases, wind, the cut, towels, water temperature, and maybe even if someone blinks an eye…who knows.
Type 2c hair is thicker, coarser wavy hair that is composed of a few more actual curls rather than just waves. Type 2c hair tends to be more resistant to styling and will frizz easily. Wavy whirlies tend to use a lot of gel to style and manage frizz.” -Naturallycurly.com
And guess what? Just like combination skin, your hair can have a couple of different types of curls. I have some corkscrew curls and some parts of my hair that are more 2b. Mostly I find my hair to be in the 2c to 3a category so I go with that. My hair has thinner strands, but I have a lot of it. I believe it is low to medium porosity. And, just when I thought it couldn’t get any more interesting, I stopped coloring and the gray has moved in with its own texture and needs.
START WITH THIS FIRST….
If you have wavy or curly hair, and want product recommendations, you have to start by getting to know your hair. I have, and know so many others, who hoard curl recommendations and end up with a MILLION products in their cabinet that didn’t work.
At the beginning of this post, there are links to discover your hair curl, porosity, and if it needs moisture or protein. You can’t go to the store without having an idea of what size clothes you wear. Sure, you still have to try on a few brands, and a size up or down, but for the most part you know if you have shorter legs and if you wear a size 2 or 14. Your friend can tell you all about a wonderful pair of jeans, but if they are meant for super long legs, it probably wont work if you are short, right?
Low porosity hair requires moisturizers rich in emollients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil and mineral oil. It also benefits from humectant products, which attract and hold moisture to your hair. Choose lighter, liquid-based products such as hair milks that won’t sit on your hair and leave it oily or greasy.-NaturallyCurly.com
In the curl world there are two types:
Those who use “shampoo” and those who do not, low poo or no poo. You can read more about that here to choose what you want and what might be best for you and your hair.
If you choose to “shampoo”, the recommendation is to find a product that is sulfate and silicone free. Oh, you will also need to properly scrub hair and rinse it.
Silicone is really bad for curly hair because most curly hair is on the dry side. Silicone’s can slide off straight hair more than they can on curly hair. The silicone buildup will get stuck on the curls, weighing the hair down and causing more damage in the long run. —Shai Amiel
This is truly a whole post(s) in itself. Technique matters as much, if not more, than the products used.
Here are some great videos to get you started:
NOW HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITE DRUG STORE 2C CURL PRODUCTS…….
*We use affiliate links to share the products used. You can read our full disclosure policy here.
*Here are more details on waves and clarifying shampoo.
“SHAMPOO”/COWASH – LOW POO & NO POO
- Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle, not a drug store purchase BUT great price and good product
- As I Am Coconut Cowash
- Yes to Tea Tree and Sage, This product is offered at Grove Collaborative which is great at getting lots of products for your home too.
- V05 Strawberries and Cream
- Suave Essentials Ocean Breeze, Aloe and Waterlily, Daily Clarifying
- Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Purple Conditioner, if you are gray this helps so they don’t appear yellow
- TRESeme Botanique Nourish and Replenish Conditioner
- Sally’s Generic Value Products (GVP) Conditioning Balm, again not a drug store but great price
*Most people use a combination of products and at different stages in the process.
- Herbal Essances Totally Twisted Mousse
- PANTENE PRO-V curl Defining Mousse
- Sally’s GVP Root Lifter
- Cantu Curl Activator, Very little Needed and emulsified in hands with water.
- LA LOOKS Extreme Sport
- Aussie Instant Freeze Hair Gel
- Vital Care Purple Gel
- Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel
- Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, also can be used to revitalize
DEEP TREATMENTS AND MASKS
- Garnier 1 minute mask, Avocado, Papaya, Coconut, and Banana
- SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner for intense moisture and a divine smell
- You can also use a curly friendly oil (i.e. olive) and your regular conditioner. Here are some homemade recipes to try.
- As I Am
- Giovanni Weightless Moisture Direct Leave-In
- And lots of curlies use their regular conditioner as a leave in.
*Some of these items you can find in a drug store and some online, but are so helpful for curl management.
- Xtava Black Orchid Large Hair Diffuser, for 2c it seems diffusing really can help build up volume and a large diffuser is a MUST!
- 360 mist sprayer or curly hair h20 spray bottle, this helps with evenly applying a homemade product, water, etc to your hair in a fine mist. Be sure to read the directions first.
- Non-Slip Hair Clips, to help give roots a lift.
- To put hair up use these instead of your normal hair ties, and no it’s not for your keys..lol! OR, dig out that old scrunchie cause it’s way less damaging!
- LOVE THIS Scalp Massager Shampoo Brush. So here’s the deal….you need to gently scrub your hair when washing and this helps so much. I truly love it. I bought mine off of Amazon, but I think they are becoming more common in stores.
- Wide Tooth Comb is a must! I like this one because it can hang up and its very inexpensive.
- Buff or Silk Pillowcase
TIPS & TRICKS
- You will want to properly emulsify your product(s) before application.
- If you want to use Apple Cider Vinegar, here is some info on a Vinegar Rinse
- Here are 5 Scalp Scrub Recipes
I feel like I just touched the surface of this subject, but the post was about my favorite drug store products. At some point, I may add some additional posts on my specific routine if the need is there. If you have curly hair, I would love to know your favorite drug store 2c curl products and routine.
HERE ARE SOME MORE POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
Michelle Leslie says
Okay, I just learnt a whole bunch. First, I never knew that you get different curl types and I have curly hair 😀 I’m definitely going to have to read up a little about that. Geez, and then the bit about not using shampoo with silicone. I didn’t know that either. I’m a no poo kinda girl and swear by rose water. It seems to make my hair more manageable and it adds a beautiful shine too. I think I need to get some of that purple conditioner though. These grey hairs of mine need some TLC
Salvage Sister & Mister says
So glad this was helpful. I know, I felt the same way when I was doing the research for my own hair.
This is such a fantastic post! Your curls are beautiful! I actually have the same curl type as you…low porosity 2c/3a. I also use Tresemme Botanique Nourish & Replenish Conditioner on a regular basis and I love the As I Am Cowash as well! I recently picked up the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus shampoo and conditioner at Walmart, and, two washes in, I love it! I’m planning to review it for my blog soon.
Thanks for this helpful post!
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Salvage Sister & Mister says
I’ll have to look at your faves too. Thank you for sharing
I’ve tried just about everything! Now I look for gentle, sulfate-free shampoos, shampoos for color-treated hair (my hair is undyed) and light conditioners. I switch brands often, alternating with every shampoo. There are at least three brands in rotation at any given time. I’ve used Burt’s Bees shampoo, and the Shea Moisture line, among others. I use two different brands if I’m sudsing up twice.
The enemies of my thick, coarse, highly porous hair are hard water and chlorine. Taking a trick from synchro swimmers, I use Head and Shoulders or a store brand once a week, letting it sit for five minutes on my scalp before rinsing. They swear it helps with the hard water and chlorine, and I do, too. No need to buy expensive clarifying shampoos.
It’s very dry where I live, but that’s just as big an issue as humidity. Let’s just say that shiny hair is not a thing with this hair type. It’s complicated, and I have sensitive skin to complicate things further.
Is all this effort worth it? My hairstylist says my hair is very healthy, so yes!
Yes, I often will switch things up as well. Thank you so much for your tips as well.