As a girl who has a soft spot for a 90’s blowdry and had GHD’s on hand since age 13, in 2020 when lockdown hit, like many of us I decided to start taking better care of my hair. I decided I was going to try and nurse my natural curls back to health after many years of heat damage. They’re not quite there yet and a good hair day is still a little hit and miss – but needless to say they’ve come a long way!

Photography / @rebeccaspencer_photography

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If you have curly hair of your own you will likely know the struggles of finding a perfect routine, or maybe you have nailed it! It’s certainly not a one size fits all when it comes to curly hair. The spectrum is a big one, for reference I’d say my hair is blend of type 2c and 3a curls. Whilst I am no hair expert, I am on a long journey to embracing my natural curls and wanted to share with you some tips I have learned along the way and share some of my favourite products to use.

Cut Is Everything

I would leave it far too long between hair cuts. It is recommended to have your hair cut once every couple of months. I’ve never really loved going to the hair dressers – maybe one too many bad hair cuts growing up – so I was going once a year at a push. The thought of chopping off what I’d worked so hard to grow scared me but to my surprise the more often I got it trimmed, the healthier it became and faster it grew!

Let’s face it I’m not putting the hot tools down completely… as I like to wear mine often styled blowdried, beach waves as well as my natural curls – I ask for the ends trimmed, soft layers and face framing. This allows me to style it however I like and it still fall how I want it to.

Photography / @byholliem

Choosing The Right Products

Choosing the right products for your hair type will make the world of difference to how your curls look and last. My hair, whilst I have a lot of it, is on the finer side so I find products that are too thick can weigh down my hair or leave unwanted residue. I find myself alternating between gels, creams and mousses that offer volume, definition and hold without the weigh down – but it totally depends what your hair can take and what you want out of your products – layering can be a good option too!

When it comes down to washing, you want to avoid products that contain sulphates – often found in clarifying shampoos – as they can cause your hair strands to become dry and brittle. That’s not to say don’t shampoo at all, you still need to remove product build up but watch out for those when shopping. Conditioners are your best friends as they replenish the hair and provide it with hydration. I like to allow mine time to soak into the hair before washing out and detangle whilst it’s coated in it.


KERASTASE | Curl Manifesto Gel Cream

LIVING PROOF | Curl Conditioner

Finding A Routine That Works For You

Whilst I can happily spend hours applying makeup, I have very little patience when it comes to hair. I have watched endless tutorials and tried countless routines and techniques from scrunching, clumping, twisting, coiling. For me, I’m willing to put the time in… but not every day. Although due to the nature of my job, I tend to wash my hair more often than I’d like to depending on my schedule. When I can, I like something I can style once a week then touch up minimally until my next hair wash day. You can see my current routine below, I’ll often switch up the products but keep the routine fairly the same. I find the key is to style when curls are dripping wet, and minimal touching!

When it comes to drying, every curl specialist will advise against using a towel to wrap your hair in when you get out of the shower. Instead opt for a T-shirt or microfibre towel as a non-abrasive alternative that will prevent frizz and damage. Whilst air drying is the best option, time is a luxury that not all of us have on the daily, to speed up my drying process I like to use a diffuser (I’d advise investing in a good one!).

Watch on TikTok below.


How did we do?! I tried 🫣 Hair was done at @hershesons by Conor (@conor_hair on IG) using @Kérastase *gifted service

♬ original sound – elliseferguson

GHD | Diffuser

Maintaining In Between Washes

Getting my curls to behave on the first day isn’t the issue, it’s then maintaining them on day 2 and until it is due a wash that I struggle with the most! I’ve found that on day 2-3 if they need a refresh I will spritz with water or a refresh spray to allow my curl pattern to re-form and apply any extra styling products depending on what I feel it needs. If it’s looking a little on the frizzy side but my curls still look in good shape, I’ll often just embrace it and smooth over with a little hair oil. If it’s past the point of no return I like to have a plan B ‘lazy hairstyle’ that I can do if it’s not quite ready for wash day. I’ve also found that the GHD wand is great for mimicking my natural curls when I don’t have the time to wet and wait for them to dry.

Protecting Your Curls

There are other things you can do outside of your routine to help protect your curls too! Sleeping on a silk pillowcase being one of them, this produces less friction between your hair and is therefore less likely to snag at your curls – reducing tangles, frizz and breakage. Another option is to loosely tie up your curls with a silk scrunchie, or protect with a silk bonnet. If you want your hair off your face during the day, instead of using a tight bobble, try a silk version or loosely clipping back with a claw clip.




KERASTASE | Curl Manifesto Gel Cream

KERASTASE | Curl Manifesto Refresh Spray

KERASTASE | Curl Manifesto Oil

KERASTASE | Elixir Oil

OUAI | Curl Cream

GARNIER | Banana Hair Food Leave-In

LIVING PROOF | Curl Conditioner

DENMAN | Styling Brush

GHD | Diffuser

GHD | Thin Curl Wand

SLIP SILK | Hair Scrunchies

SLIP SILK | Silk Pillowcase

AMAZON | Spray Bottle

AMAZON | Microfibre Towel

AMAZON | Claw Clips


What I’ve Learned When Styling My Natural Curls

July 14, 2023

Wellness & Personal