Transitioning to Curly for Beginners

Transitioning is a struggle. We’ve been there!
When you start it can be confusing with so many products and techniques. Where do you start and what is right for you?

We’ve made this simple and as basic as you can get, to make the beginning stage easy for you.
Here is what you need to know when starting out on your road back to curly.

Stop using products with SULFATES and SILICONES
So many products for curly haired girls and guys to choose from, but not all of them are good for your curly hair.

Here’s what you want to avoid in your styling and washing products:

Sulfates to AVOID:
– Sodium lauryl sulfate
– Ammonium laureth sulfate

Silicones that are NOT SO BAD:
Water soluble silicones don’t cause build-up so they aren’t so bad.
– Stearoxy Dimethicone
– Behenoxy Dimethicone

Silicones that are BAD:
Deposit repelling silicones are bad because they cause build-up over an extended period of time.
– Trimethylsilylamodimethicone
– Amodimethicone
– Cyclopentasiloxane
– Cyclomethicone

Silicones that are THE WORST:
The worst silicones are the ones that cause build-up quickly and are difficult to remove. Avoid these if possible:
– Dimethicone
– Cetyl Dimethicone
– Cetearyl Methicone
– Dimethiconol
– Stearyl Dimethicone

And it goes without saying that if you are transitioning back to curly, you should stop using any and all heat styling tools (except for a blowdryer to diffuse with, if you choose).

Confused about diffusers?
Here are our favorite diffusers that you can attach to any blow dryer:
“Collapsible Hair Diffuser” by The Curly Co.
xtava “Black Orchid Hair Diffuser”

Now let’s prep your hair for the curly girl / natural hair journey

1. Cleanse/Clarify your hair of old build up using a clarifying shampoo.
This will cleanse your hair of any silicones and other ingredients that are not water-soluble. Clarifying shampoos are also great for cleansing out chlorine.

2. Wash your hair & scalp with conditioner (co-washing).
Co-washing is short for “conditioner-only washing.” It means skipping shampoo and relying solely on conditioner, on a daily or weekly basis, depending on how dry your scalp is. You can use a silicone free conditioner or a product specifically made to be a “co-wash”.

3. Deep condition every week!!!
Naturally curly hair textures are more likely to deal with dryness because the hair texture makes it harder for natural oils to travel all the way down to the ends.

Take note that overloading your curls with too much moisture can take away the bounce. Instead, create the right balance between moisture and protein. If you hair feels mushy in the shower or flat and stringy, use a protein treatment or a deep conditioner with protein.

4. Use a cotton t-shirt or mico-fiber towel to gently dry your hair.
A generic terry cloth towel will make your hair frizzy. But don’t dry too much because you want your hair WET when applying styling products for smooth application and easy product distribution. Use a paddle or denman brush to distribute product evenly.

5. Apply cream & gel stylers of your choice.
Cream vs gel or both is your personal choice. You have to experiment to see what your curls like best.

Always apply creams first. Creams, in general, are all moisturizing, smoothing and defining. They allow your hair to be moisturized and won’t leave you with flakes or frizz. Creams generally don’t provide quite as much hold as gels. Apply creams to soaking wet hair for maximum curl definition.

Gels have the main function of holding and setting the hair.

Even the most moisturizing gels probably won’t provide as much moisture as a hair curling cream will. Most gels are clear or translucent, and creams are whitish and creamy.

If you have a cast (hardened curls) from your gel, simply scrunch your hair to release the crunch. This is referred to as SOTC (scrunch out the crunch). Make sure your hair is 100% dry to avoid creating frizz.

6. And finally our favorite bonus step to add to your transitioning curls: Olaplex 3 Hair Perfector.
Olaplex 3 is a bond-building technology, which relinks the broken bonds caused by chemical, thermal, and mechanical damage to the hair.
No. 3 Hair Perfector is not a conditioner so you should apply your deep conditioner after you’ve washed out the Olaplex out of your hair with a sulfate free shampoo.

Buy at or

There are lots of products that we love but we want to keep it simple for our beginners. We recommend these particular products because they work well for MOST curlies regardless of curl type. We want your journey to be fun and exciting not overwhelming.

Rizo Curls Trio System

Deep conditioner

Hydrating shampoo

Curl defining cream.

Bounce Curl “Lightweight Moisture Curly Shampoo Kit”

Clarifying shampoo

Cream conditioner

Light gel

Jessicurl also has a few great collections based on your hair type and needs.

DevaCurl’s “Build-Up Buster” is also great for clarifying.

Tag us if you use these steps in your transitioning journey and let us know how you’re doing! #curlchecktips