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Curly Nikki

Tried and True… and Not For You?

By January 27th, 202150 Comments

Tried and True... and Not For You?

From oil rinsing to pre-pooing, naturals all over the world swear by routines that their hair loves…but we all know what works for one head of curls may not work for all– so I wanted to put it out there…

What tried and true routines have you had to throw by the wayside?
Jamila says: I have tried and tried to section/ detangle/twist my hair in the shower, but it takes too long and doesn’t yield results that are worth the extra time. I find that if I’m gentle, do a bit of finger detangling before I use my wide-tooth comb, and run my hair under the shower stream as I’m combing, it takes me half the time and leaves me with detangled, easy-to-manage hair.

CN Says:
It’s ‘mat city’ if I dare shampoo in twists, overnight baggying is of the devil, and silicones… my hair loves them!


  • Geegee Black says:

    my hair hatesssss coconut oils. i notice you don't like EVOO. i only use it to dilute my expensive oils like cedar-wood, sage, peppermint, jojoba and argan

  • Geegee Black says:

    i think you and i have similar hair and i love your comment. lol.. do you have any youtube turorials?

  • Qiana Silver says:

    EVOO does nothing for my hair, however grapeseed, castor, glycerin, and flaxseed oils are all staples. I have tried to WnG twice and both times my hair ended up looking like a meatball. The twist out is my go to style. I just started DC'ing under a hooded dryer for 30 minutes with awesome results. ACV rinses make my curls pop like popcorn!! Eco Styler olive oil gel mixed with Naptural85's flaxseed gel and oil make for awesome hold with softness and NO build-up. Co-washing with Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, or Tresseme Luxurious make finger detangling loose hair and co-washing micro two-strand twists a pleasure! Herbal Essences conditioners make good bases for DC's when I don't have yogurt, but are not good for co-washing. My hair loves hibiscus petal powder, yogurt, honey, henna, eggs, aloe vera juice, basil, rosemary and ylang ylang oils!

  • Unknown says:

    Wash and go's are a big NOOOOOO. My hair will cut you if you do a W n G on her…

    My scalp will always be sensitive and itchy so it's best to concentrate on the actual hair.

    I do NOT like henna. I did it for years and it made my scalp/ skin break out.

    I cannot do the twists and curl formers – the result is nothing short of scary.

    My hair likes protective styles, but it LIVES for the 2 week breather I take from the protective styles. My hair/ scalp get lots of oils and my scalp gets extra TLC massages.

    Argan Oil is the preferred brand of crack for my curl pattern.

    Olive Oil is a waste of time and good food unless I am deep conditioning.

    Every detangling item is my enemy except my Denman (once a month) and my large comb (once a week). All other detangling sessions are currently scheduled with my own bare hands.

    My hair loves cones.

    I HATE curl definition. I know all are looking for the best definition, but all methods suggested only cause tangling issues for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    washing my hair in sections is a no-go for me!!

    my hair gets all tangled up and messy.

    i find it easy to apply products or deep conditioners and other treatments to my hair in sections. I also detangle in sections, but when it comes to washing my hair, i just can't – i need to feel the water running through my hair

  • cygnet says:

    Plain water only goes onto my hair for two reasons: 1. It's wash day. 2. It's accidental.

    Hair detangled and sectioned into Buckwheat twists for cleansing: Grand Success. Hair cleansed while styled in twists: Epic Fail. It's the loosening: It enables me to cleanse my scalp, and it keeps detangled hair from going all over the place, but the twists are a mess afterward.

    Any product intended for hold better do double duty as a moisturizer, because my hair doesn't much respect hold. Gels are a waste of time and money. I don't like how they tack up my hair, and Eco Styler actually dried out my hair the one time I tried it.

    I think I'm about ready to conclude that my hair does not like the ingredients in the Kimmaytube conditioner or any of my tweaked versions thereof. I never have been able to get it together with aloe vera, especially in the winter. Giovanni Direct Leave-In, which makes an excellent substitute for KCKT in my opinion, is a bit too light for me; maybe it's the time of year, but I find I like my current Shea Moisture products better. My hair seems to have fallen out with jojoba and coconut oils, or maybe it's that they need the right amount of moisture for which to act as a seal. All I know is that this week, I used all these ingredients, minus the aloe vera, on my hair after cleansing, which pretty much gives you the leave-in once they combine on the hair. My hair and scalp complained bitterly until I slicked on some QP Olive oil and Mango butter last night, and I didn't need much, either. My twists shrank a little bit, but they feel SO much better! And I'm not rubbing at my scalp nearly as much.

    Big ups to Naptural85 for her Greek yogurt treatment. I use it a little differently than she does: She uses essential oils to cover the smell, and I use olive oil because I don't have any essential oils, and I like olive oil in anything I'm putting on my hair as a DC to protect it against excessive drying. She avoids her scalp, again because of the smell, but I find that the yogurt helps control seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp, so I target my scalp. And I leave mine in for at least an hour, whereas I think she only does it for about 30 minutes or so. But I love, Love, LOVE the results I'm getting! Between that and learning how to finger detangle, shedding and breakage have been significantly reduced, and with the application of the moisturizers to which my hair responds best, I don't have to use product every day. Fantabulously beautimous :-)!

  • Anonymous says:

    My hair hates oils. They just sit on my hair. Shea butter, or any other butters, do nothing for me. They, too, sit on my hair. Argan oil gel makes my hair feel tacky, and it paired with anything turns it white and leaves flakes. Hair loves conditioner and water. Doesn't like shampoo. I never miss a DC session. The 'refresher' sprays do nothing. Hair loves gels. Protective styles–no way!!!

  • Natural Beauti says:

    My hair abosolutely hates vegetable glycerin, I tried it by its self with water and also rose water o___O… I also tried Shea moisture curling souflee and had to go out of the house, I looked like something off Coming to America it was all sticky and dripping smh…. My hair hates cantu Shea butter with a passion, it turns my hair hates all of kinky curl products….

    It loves was coconut oil.castor oil,Shea butter and protective styles oh yea and it loves water and to be washed

  • Courtney says:

    Deep conditioning does nothing for my hair. When I was relaxed, it did a little something but on my natural tresses…nada!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I love oils oils and more oils. Finger detangling is okay but doesn't get all the shedded hair which has left me with breakage. I wash with SHAMPOO every week and I don't EVER miss a deep conditioning treatment. My hair hates cones is okay with protein prefers heavy water based moisturizers. I pre-poo before washing to reduce time and hair loss. And wash and gos are out.

  • Ayomide says:

    my hair doesn't respond to finger detangling, hates thick oils, acv rinses in the winter make my scalp itch, water as an moisturizer dries my hair out , washing in twist is a nightmare, and wash and go's are a no no for me!

  • Auset Abena says:

    Loving this post. Just recently BC'd again after wanting a fresh start. And this time, I know that…
    — too much moisture and no strengthening treatments is a no-no
    — wet detangling is a no-no
    — going too long without washing or co-washing my hair is a no-no
    — shea butter is a bit overrated (yes, I said it!)
    — Co-washing only always leads to an itchy scalp
    — Herbal Essences is overrated and gives me an itchy scalp
    — Only the absolute gentlest detergents should be used to cleanse my hair, and a shampoo bar is preferably to shampoo anyway
    — Most drugstore products are horrible, but that is because I have a sensitive scalp that gets itchy easily. Others might not have this problem.
    — Expensive deep conditioners are unnecessary. Coconut milk has worked best for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    Buying all these oils that I found out I didn't NEED. My hair is thick and survives well on hair grease. Oils just make my hair oily and not moisturized…there's a difference.

  • mangomadness says:

    @Anonymous February 22, 2012 12:52 AM

    "Medium-to-small twists. They'll look pretty right after I do them, but within a few days, they start to look ragged. They are also horrible to detangle."

    I thought I was the only one! Twists are so preety but are a pain to detangle. I'll stick to braid-out buns and updos for my protective styles.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wash and goes are a no-no! My coily 3c/4a/4b thick hair would be a tangled mess. I keep my hair stretched in twist/braid outs and I have very few single strand knots. I am NOT a fan of cowashing b/c I don't like scalp buildup, and I work out a couple of times a week so I like my scalp to be clean. Putting castor oil on my strands prior to washing keeps my hair from feeling stripped. Also oil rinsing with coconut oil after washing and before deep conditioning works wonders! I retwist every night with a little bit of water and seal each twist with a drop of grapeseed oil. This has kept my hair soft, moisturized, and healthy. Also after I retwist my hair at night I get in the shower with it uncovered (the twist are pinned up), this way my hair gets a little steam treatment in the shower.

  • Ordered Steps Productions says:

    Protective styling HATES me!!!! I lose more hair to twisting than when I WNG. I keep it simple with little manipulation: set it on Thursdays & pineapple until the next Thursday with my strands almost looking the same with just bit of added frizz. My curls love me for it!

  • Anonymous says:

    No poo- Too much build up and my hair loves to be cleaned as in squicky cleaned, sulphates are fine with my hair as long as I deep condition it well afterwards
    Co-washing- Shrinkage is a major culprit in this case
    evcoo- Let me not go into this one in case I end up writing a whole essay on how much I hate it

  • janubie says:

    Washing in twists makes it hard for me to keep my scalp clean

  • Anonymous says:

    No curly girl method for me and definitely no wet combing!

  • Anonymous says:

    No finger detangling for me!

  • Annabel says:

    No poo method = buildup city! My hair needs shampoo (sulfate free), cones in poos or conditioner (in products they work fine), sealing. As a newly natural,it's so reassuring to see that many popular methods or products don't work for others. Great post!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hair gel. It doesn't matter if it's a generic store brand or all natural KCCC, or if I use a tiny bit or half a jar…my hair always looks like a hot mess the second the gel touches my hair. I'm literally better off styling my hair with just plain old water than I am with any hair gel.

    Shampooing in twists is also a no go for me.

    Medium-to-small twists. They'll look pretty right after I do them, but within a few days, they start to look ragged. They are also horrible to detangle.

    Silicones make my hair look fantastic in pretty much any weather, but they also make my scalp itch, so they're a no go.

  • mangomadness says:

    Co-washing, pineapple-ing, wet twist-outs, EVOO and oils/butters sealants (with the exception of the ends) are not friends of my Afro.

    P.S. My hair loves being washing in twisted sections.

  • CessCurls says:

    Pre pooing is over kill for my strands since I moisturize and seal my hair well every day one could day that I Pre poo all week lol. Leaving in rinse out conditioners are a no no for my hair and scalp. It gives me a mean case of "itchies". My hair doesn't mind cones either, as long as I clairify once a month I am good.

  • CessCurls says:

    Pre pooing is over kill for my strands since I moisturize and seal my hair well every day one could day that I Pre poo all week lol. Leaving in rinse out conditioners are a no no for my hair and scalp. It gives me a mean case of "itchies". My hair doesn't mind cones either, as long as I clairify once a month I am good.

  • SwirlieCurlies says:

    my hair can't stand henna. I've done 2 full treatments and 1 gloss. My hair was already thick to begin with, now it's SUPER thick. And henna didn't give me that shine I was looking for and it loosened my curl pattern. Plus, it dried out my hair bad.

    miss jessie's curl pudding didn't work for me..for $38 you'd think it would do magic tricks.

    my hair loves low maintenance everything & that works for me : )) . Protective styles are what I use to get it tamed.

    my hair adores vegetable glycerin. I use it as a sealant. it loves the Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat Shampoo. As a matter a fact, it loves Giovanni everything. it likes Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Conditioner too.

    I don't think my hair really clicks with oils as sealants. Jojoba, castor, almond, olive…nooo.

    Overall, I feel like most of the "natural" products that a lot of naturals rave about don't really work for me. It seems as though my hair was a lot better off when my mom was slapping in some blue magic and water.

  • Deliliah Nonar says:

    I must wash weekly, I have to DC with a moisture based conditioner. I can't wash and go anywhere, unless I'm going to twist. I must sleep with my hair restrained in some form of plait,braid, or twist I can only eat pineapples,not put them in my hair. I have to have on a bonnet, no baggying or green house effect. Coconut oil alone is a no,no. Olive oil only in an oil mix, or butter mix. My hair hates cones, and loves grease. I am not a shea moisture fan. Hello Hydration is hell fire. i detangle while deep conditioning and Henna is like putting burs in my hair.I HATE HENNA WITH A PASSION!!

  • Anonymous says:

    extrea virgin olive oil!! my hair hates it heck I hate it for anything other than cooking!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Deep conditioning does absolutely NOTHING for my hair. Leaving it on for 5 minutes or 50 yields me the same results. Baggying, this actually works for somebody. HATED IT (in my best In Living color voice). I threw away my grease and brown gel when I first went natural now I can't live without them.

  • Kasey says:

    My hair hates Eco styler,hello hydration,pineappling and cowashing. It loves silicones,shampoo,protein,curly pudding and deep condishing with heat. Mmmm actually my hair hates to airdry…makes my wash n go's a shrunken,balled up shim sham…I dry under a hooded dryer with low heat

  • Anonymous says:

    Wash n Gos! I did them in my early days after a year long transition and I looked like I had a jheri curl!

    Oh and co-washing. It leaves my hair somewhat soft (if I use the right conditioner AND a pre-poo treatment) but when I scratch my scalp theres always build-up afterwards. As long as I pre-poo, shampooing works just fine for me.

  • Spokenheart says:

    My hair does not respond to "oil treatments", i've tried so many different ones but they always end up drying. But a cholesterol treatment will leave it so soft and mangeable.

  • Pecancurls says:

    Pineappling does not work for me. I end up with a smushed mess. I just re-twist after sprtizing with a little water and Taliah Waajid protective mist bodifier and Cara B moisturizing hair mist.

    I tried and tried and tried but Shea Moisture prodcuts just do not work form either. @ M — I thought it was just me.

  • Anonymous says:

    my hair hates evoo, but loves coconut, safflower, and grapeseed oil.

  • Anonymous says:

    For MY 4c coils I had to throw these products by the wayside

    HEHH = "HEllaciously Hard Hair" when it dries

    Castor oil on my scalp: WTFashizzle?! Had me itching, scratching and patting like a bad weave!

    TangleTeezer: Rougher than a Curry comb. I'll probably give it to one of my horse owning friends. No, I couldn't do that to some poor critter…

    Dry twist outs: On the second day it looks like "Hi, I'm Buh-weet, amembuh me? Ay-O-Tay!"

    Carol's Daughter: Just keep your money in your pocket or buy a new dress. You'll look pretty when you wear it to work tomorrow. Unlike the Carol's daughter.

    Any clear gel: once my springs go sproing, it flakes off

    Miss Jessie's curly pudding: Q:What's worse than shrinkage?
    A: Hard and dry shrinkage!

  • monniej says:

    for me it's anything that involves lots of oils. no pre pooing, gheing, and definitely no castor oil! just give me some evoo to seal my ends and i'm good, thanks!

  • Anonymous says:

    Refreshing my do with water is an absolute no no. My hair will instantly revert to it's coily state. For the same reason, I can't shampoo my hair in twists. I think it tangles up even more because my hair is so coily.

    I don't do pineappling. I'm better off just rebraiding. My hair hates shea butter with a passion.

    And my hair loves grease.

  • M says:

    -Dry De-tangling is of the devil.
    -Shea Moisture and Eco Styler gel hate me.
    -Dry Twist Outs = my hair breaking and popping. No bueno!

    These 3 tried and true for other naturals don't work for me!

  • Anonymous says:

    I would have to agree with Nikki on over night baggying! My hair hated it and so did I.

  • Anonymous says:

    I brought some organic vinegar with the intent of doing ACV rinses bi-weekly, but I just CANNOT stand the smell! So the vinegar has stayed in my pantry, and I'll use it for meals or to drink with water. lol! I love, LOVE, did I say love oil rinses with coconut oil after washing and before deep conditioning, it makes detangling my hair a breeze and keeps it moisturized with slip.

  • Marcia says:

    I am with Nikki with washing in twist…super matted hair city for me too 🙁

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow! CurlyBlasian I feel the same way!

  • Anonymous says:

    1. When taking down twists for a twist-out I do it at about 90% dry. Waiting until its completely dry = piecy, frizzy looking curls.
    2. My hair does not like coconut oil, though I wish it did.
    3. Pineappling just doesn't work for me. It smooshes my curls and I just can't wear my hair out a second day. Just tucking it all under a satin bonnet works best for me.


  • Kenya V says:

    I made the Kimmaytube leave-in condish and it felt like I had a flim on my hair, it was sticky after it dried. I had to co-wash the next day and re-twist my hair.

  • ChicagoCurly says:

    When I initially chopped I could detangle my sectioned hair in the shower with no issues; however, 13 months later, this was turning into 45 mins of standing in the shower turning into a wrinkled prune. No bueno. I now section into 4 big chunks, apply an olive/coconut oil mixture to the hair, add copious amounts of conditioner, slap a plastic bag on then wrap with a towel for an hour or so. Detangling is a breeze at this point; plus I get the benefits of "steaming". 🙂

  • Editor says:

    I MUST detangle in the shower! I slap on as much conditiner as I can tolerate and finger comb until I can actually run my fingers through from root to tip before using my wide tooth comb to detangle. My routine sounds a lot like Jamilla's.

  • African Violet says:

    I don't even bother to detangle in the shower. I did at the beginning of my transition, and it was just frustrating. So, now I detangle out of the shower and with the aid of my leave-in conditioner.

  • Anonymous says:

    I wash my hair in sections and get good results…i am able to twist it easier and i will put it in 4 0r eight plaits..i luv it.. its not tangled up.

  • Hairscapades says:

    Refreshing my WnG with water is a big no no for me. Makes detangling on wash day difficult. When I swapped out water solo for a leave-in spray conditioner w/water as the first ingredient, but some cones for slip, detangling on wash day became a breeze!


  • Anonymous says:

    Steaming: My hair prefers a dry heat!
    Over-night baggying: My head of 4a curls, kinks and coils hates to be wet for too long!
    Henna: While it thickend my fine strands, henna SERIOUSLY loosened my curl pattern and had me looking like I had under-processed relaxer! I let it grow out and now get my strengthening/thickening properties from bi-weekly Keratin treatments. Which leads me to…
    Not adding protein to my regimen: For years, I followed the "moisture, moisture, MOISTURE!" mantra and while my hair was moisturized as all heck, it was super-stretchy and I wasn't retaining significant growth. But once I added some protein to the mix, my hair became stronger, thicker and longer! Now I ensure my hair has and keeps a proper balance of moisture and protein to feel satisfied!

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