Curl Wisdom and Embracing the Hairbrush with Josie of Curandera Remedies

I met Josie at this year’s Spirit Weavers Gathering, where we bonded over her gorgeous curls and her love of brushing them. As you all know, I really love to meet a woman who fully embraces her curly hair, and her silver sparkles. To me, embracing the hair is just a small part of a bigger shift in consciousness that leads to healing and change on a much larger level.

I’m always curious about what has led a woman to love her own hair, especially in our culture that traditionally encourages all women to try to make their hair look like Pantene Hair. I also love to see a curly woman who is not afraid of a hairbrush. ( If you are curly or kinky textured you know what I am saying.)

Josie was born into a family rooted in the healing arts of curan-dería, shape shifting and clairvoyance. She is a healer and a maker of remedies which I highly suggest checking out. With her beautiful dark ringlets laced with sparkling silver that blings in the sun, she was kind enough to offer us some insight into her own hair journey, including her brushing routine and some wisdom from her Mexican-Cuban roots.

HTHG JC5What is your full name and where are you from?

My full name is Iosellev Castaneda and I was born in Mexico City, MX

Tell me a bit about what you are up to these days, where you live,
Curandera Remedies and how you got into it.

I live in Miami, Florida. I relocated about 16 months ago from NYC where I lived for 19+ years. While living & working in NYC, as a Fashion Designer, I found my path as a healer. The hustle and bustle of the Fashion industry burned me out. It was then I began to seek a healthier, more conscious lifestyle. Through Meditatoin, Yoga, and herbalism I found a new way of seeing the world. It is what inspired me want to share these teachings with Curandera Remedies.

Curandera Remedies began as a way to share the many tools I learned for a conscious, happy lifestyle. It blossomed along with my students and clients when I began to make personalized apothecary products. Today the mission is to promote alternative healing and raise conscious harmony in everyone. The brand is inspired by folk medicine, homesteading, and global connection.

What is your heritage on both sides? Where do you think you got that
beautiful hair from?


I am a Mexican-Cuban by heritage. My mom has Toltec Indian ‘cabello quebrado’ aka wavy hair and my dad has afro-textured hair. My hair definitely a mix of both, it is super limp and loose when wet but it dries in curls and depending on the weather it is either loose curls or tight curls.

What were you raised with as far as haircare/ hair beliefs/ Hair remedies/
Hair styling

My dad has been an advocate for my curly hair, as photos prove with the afro. But my mom was the one who ultimately took care of it. Because she had no idea how to care for it, and none did either, most of my childhood I had short hair. As I grew up and was introduced to more mixed raced friends in the US, I learned various ways to style my hair.

Did you have anyone in your life that did your hair for you as a kid?

Yes, my dad. He knew how to style and comb out my hair when it was dry.

Any hair wisdom from the cultures you were raised in?


Well my maternal grandmother kept her hair jet black with an ash mask made of Mamey pit. I’ve yet to try this, specially with my premature graying hair, lol!! But it’s on my list.

What is your hair routine / MO these days?

Wash and moisturize with alcohol free shampoo & conditiner. Natural hair mask atleast once a week, sometimes it’s a mix of hot oils other times natural avocado, mayo, or egg. Very few times I’ve use a store bought hair mask. I style it with alcohol free mousse or hair pomade. If i really want a sure hold I’ll dab some gel.

As a curly haired woman, what inspired you to start brushing your hair?

A few times in my life I’ve had my hair chemically altered, and these times i always love brushing my hair!! It made my hair very shiny. Today I brush my hair after washing it, to style it. And depending on the day and how I’m feeling, I also brush it before bed.

What do you like about brushing your hair?

Brushing my hair wet to style makes the curls pop and I love that!! When dry, it feels delicious on my scalp though the combed out hair isn’t something I’ve yet fallen in love with.

Have you always loved and embraced your curls, or did you have a hair
rebellion at any point?

I didn’t really love my hair until I moved to NYC. It was then I discovered, at age 17, how fall and winter weather affected my hair. I also learned then the use of alcohol free products. A few times I did relax my hair, mostly because I wanted to experience something different. But the more I did the more I loved my natural hair when I decided to ‘go back’.

Do you have a hair mantra?

No but I friend once told me ‘when a gal embraces her curls, she has fully embraced herself’, lovely isn’t it.

Any hair stories from your youth that stick out?HTHG JC1

When I was 15, I had my hair set in rollers and blown out for the first time. It was also the first time someone gave me a hair compliment. Isn’t that wacky? It’s no wonder curly hair gals opt for chemical changes instead of embracing their gorgeous curls!!!

Thanks Josie for sharing your words and wisdom! Please take some time to check out Josie’s offerings here, and follow her on Instagram.

Thanks for reading!
xo, HTHG

Curly Hair Wisdom from your Best Curl Friends

IMG_2511Hi babes it’s me, your curly haired curl friend.

! As part 2 of our Curly Hair Series, I wanted to share the wonderful Curly Hair Wisdom that was passed to me when I posted the Question “What are your favorite Curly Hair tips, tricks, oils, remedies, theories, and routines?”

Today, I am thanking all who contributed from the bottom of my heart as I share your answers anonymously so that we can all hopefully learn a few new Curly Hair tricks worth trying.

To begin with, my friend Josie shared this quote, which I love.

When A Curly gal embraces her curls, she has fully embraced herself.

So for all my curly haired sisters, this post is for you, to help inspire you on your hair journey.

Curly Hair Wisdom from your Curl Friends


“I think all curly heads learn that shampoo is a rarity and conditioner is a daily, be it coconut oil, argan oil, castor oil, or a leave-in conditioning cream. I have them all in rotation and decide in the moment what is needed. Brushes feel amazing on my scalp, but make my curls wild ) Well, wilder) for a few days, so combing with fingers or something as lovely as a wooden comb are essential.”


“Always go alcohol-free on all that touches your curls, and moisturize with a hair mask at least every other week.

I’ve taken to Fractionated coconut oil along with shea butter after a wash with Suave shampoo and some Nubian conditioner.”

“Argan oil over naturally dried hair!

“My trick for smooth curls on my daughters hair is using Lush’s Hair Honey and Plant Makeup’s Herbal Mist.”

“Love my curly locks! I don’t brush my curls, except when my hair is wet. Also, I like to condition with coconut oil masque twice a week. I use Argan oil to smooth it out, and a coconut based gel to tame it.”

“When it comes down to the brass tax of 33 years of curls, (and a hairstylist mother trying every last trick and product in the book ) twist those towel-blotted locks with coconut oil while fresh out of the shower, pick it out during a heavy conditioning and they will last a week!”

“I bring out my curls by drying them with a cotton t-shirt instead of a towel.”

“I have a lot of dark brown curls. I have been searching for organic, natural hair care for years. I wash my hair once a week.. I brush my scalp before I wash my hair with Shea Moisture shampoo, and use a comb when I condition it. I use Yarok Feed your Curls and Yarok Feed Your Ends as styling products, and scrunch it while it dries.”

“No shampoo except once or twice a month! Condition the whole time i’m in the shower, then comb with a wide toothed comb. Add yummy moisture product. Curl with my fingers, and keep scrunching!”

“No washing, lot’s of sweat and brushing. I use 2 kinds of brushes, wooden to get the tangles out, then synthetic bristle to smooth. Then a lot of times I smooth argan oil over the baby hairs and ends, for a little bit of a wetted down wavy look. But unlike most, I love a humid, misty rainy day for my hair so if it’s doing that outside, that is all I need!”

“Hairstory New Wash once a week, Hairstory Hair Balm every time I rinse. Scrunch it in wet, shake it out as it dries!”

“Not only do I have curls, but I have lots and lots of gray curls! Coconut oil is my favorite, brushed though the root using my Free Your Hair Brush and putting it in braids before going to bed ( my mother always said ‘Never brush curly hair…….’ Oh how wrong she was! ) This routine helps to soften the kinks and keep the frizz down.”

“Conditioner. I can do without shampoo. I would still love to not rely on commercial conditoner. One product I love is homemade hair gel. 1/4 cup flax seeds, 2 cups water, boil until the consistancy of egg whites, strain and add your favorite essential oil. I scrunch this into my hair in the shower when it is sopping wet. Love!”

“I’ve been rinsing my hair with one cup of strong chamomile tea mixed with one drop chamomile essential oil, then sitting in the sun.”

“A drop or two of rosemary essential oil is the absolute best for adding shine to your hair. Better than any shine drops/serum/spray I have ever used!”

“Someone told me to mix up salt in warm water and spray it in my hair to add a little extra curl.”

“I use a little Dr. Bronner’s on my scalp every few days. Rinse with rosemary and chamomile for natural highlights. Then scrunch in some conditioner and use Deva Curl styling cream. I make sure my hair is super wet and air dry it slowly for the best curl.”

“Condition, condition, condition! I only use a soft t-shirt to scrunch my hair dry after a shower and really integrate in when my hair is still very wet. Lately I’ve been sectioning my hair before twisting to help define my curl more. It takes a little while but I love having time for self care. I only brush my hair before wash day.”

“I have really thick curly to kinky hair and I use Beautiful Curls curly to kinky activation cream mixed with a tiny bit of Giovanni hair gel, but when really hot and humid, I just do braids.”

“Baking soda, Apple cider vinegar. Boom.”

“Camellia oil, coconut oil to deep condition overnight, Keracolor Clenditioner to wash.”

“I mix coconut oil and rosemary essential oil in my spray bottle and I mist/scrunch my curls to keep the frizz down. I twist and then air dry my hair after a shower, never blow dry and never brush it when it is wet.”

“I use Griffin Remedy shampoo and conditioner (mostly just condition, but occasionally shampoo scalp only) Griffin Remedy is vegan and doesn’t have detergent or fragrance. It’s lovely to use. I have a boar bristle brush that I use to stimulate the scalp and move oil down the hair. I braid my hair to sleep, so it won’t tangle at night.”

“Deva Curl Everything for this coarse and frizzy mop.”

“Deva Curl is way to heavy for my fine hair. I love Hairstory New Wash. It has pretty much solved my hair woes and I don’t use any products any more.”

“My fine curls come and go depending on the length, mood, weather. When I see them starting to form, I encourage them with the plop dry method using a t-shirt.”

“I use pure castor oil. Feels kind of like hair gel and works as well as any product i’ve ever used. Although when I wear my hair fully curly, I use Deva Curl products as a safety net fro frizz and overall craziness. The thing with castor oil is that you can only use the teeniest. I have crazy thick hair and anything more than a pea sized amount makes my hair look greasy.”

“Bumble+Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil is my absolute favorite, but I am also partial Davines Beautifying Oil.”

“I almost never use shampoo but condition every time I shower. It’s dry where I live, so sometimes before bed I put some coconut oil directly into my hair. I also use Acure leave-in conditioner and Living Libations hair mask sometimes (mostly cause I love the smell!) I use various curl styling balms but have never found one that I absolutely swear by. Ocean times are the best times……….”

“I have very fine hair that is also very curly (4a) It hates coconut oil and adores a quarter sized dallop of castor oil, along with a leave in conditioner that’s all it needs. Too little product and it becomes dry and brittle which leads to breakage. Too much product and it becomes oily and frizzy. Castor oil must be applied OVER the leave-in while soaking wet, and wrapped in a microfiber towel before air drying. My hair is not porous and needs warm to hot water rinses to help the oil penetrate. No shampoo, as it literally strips it till it breaks off so I use diluted Vinegar rinses, bentonite clay masks and scalp massages to remove excess buildup. Too much de-tangling will completely separate all the tiny curls creating frizz, I must use caution if I want curls and not frizz, making sure to de-tangle it while water is rushing over my head. Welcome to my world!”

“Shea Moisture shampoos and conditioners have been amazing for helping my dry curls. Deva Curl products have not held up in the humidity for me.”

“My curls are especially tricky because they are fine/thin. Giving up shampoo a few years ago worked wonders for me. I’ve also had good luck with Deva Curl styling products.

The Deva Curl line and their philosophy gives me amazing curls. But I would still love to give up ALL commercial hair products. No shampoo or conditioner…….”

“Less is more is definitely my MO for my hair. I love the Hairstory line because they really embrace this philosophy. Keep it simple. New Wash is great for my curls.”

“I literally don’t touch my curls in between rinsing them with warm water occasionally. I spritz them with rose water when they are dry.”

“Swimming in lakes gives me the best possible curls in the Summer!”

“Never rinse out your conditioner.”

“I use Mermaid Hair by Beth Kaya….Sea salt and coconut oil blend plus some other ingredients that make my hair soft, bouncy and smelling nice. Great for fine hair like me because it won’t weight it down. Also, my hair dries quickly so I comb through it in the shower with conditioner and a pic.”

“I wash it once a week with conditioner and let it sit while I do everything else, and use shampoo every other week. I also like to brush it out before my shower-It’s very Gilda Radner- Or use a wide toothed comb while conditioner is in. I style it by twisting it with coconut oil while it’s damo and then go to bed with it draped over my pillow. My ringlets will last up to 10 days with this method. Oh, and a solid scalp massage with conditioner is key for overall well-being!

I wash mine twice a week and condition it every day. I add some leave-in after I brush it out-while it’s still wet, and sort of scrunch it with my head upside down. I have extremely curly hair so this really keeps it tame.”

“I wash it twice a week before bedtime. Part it where I want it parted while it’s still wet. Air dry 75% (slightly damp) Spread it out on my pillow so I’m not lying on it. Sleep. Done. It’s finer than baby fine, there isn’t much of it and it frizzes easily, so I try not to touch it too much. Jaw clips seem to keep the frizz minimal after use if I need to get it out of my face during the day. I just recently started embracing my texture after years of regular half-assed straightening. Only took 25 years or so to finally figure it out! Someone asked me today if I had extensions and I almost died of happiness!”

“I wash it once or twice a week MAX, Morrocan oil, brush out the knots, up in a bun for a bi, let it out, air dry. I think not over-washing it is the key, at least for me.”

“Salt water is magical medicine for this wavy-haired mermaid!”

“My curly hair is so dry- I try not to wash it too much. After a wash I tend to put rose hip oil in it. Or if I don’t have that, I use good olive oil. It is very long at the moment so it goes into a bun or plait during the day. My hair is always easiest to style and manage after I have been in salt water. Not sure what it does but it looks so much better. If I could get that look all the time I would be happy!”

“Braids, Oils and a wooden wide-toothed comb.”

“I swear by washing it only once a week or longer. I love conditioner and soaking it in Apple cider vinegar. Combing it while it’s wet and air-drying are key. I like to brush it BEFORE I wash it.”

Owners of these quotes can all be found by searching the hashtag #HTHGCurlwisdom on Instagram and scrolling through comments. Again, thank you all so much for contributing!

I didn’t put links in for products because I’m simply not in the mood to try and sell anything to anyone. Just want to share your wisdom.

Do you have curly hair wisdom to share? We would sure love to hear it…..Drop it into the comment section if you feel like passing it on to us.

with much curly haired love to all, and major gratitude to all of you who shared.

Here for a list of my favorite oils, remedies and tricks for curly haired babes.










My Favorite Oils and Remedies for Curly Hair

Hello my dears! How are you all, and how is your hair today? is it accurately helping you express your mood, while acting as barometer for atmospheric pressure changes? My curly hair is very big and fuzzy today, ain’t no taming it. There must be rain coming.

Today I want to shine a little extra love on my curly haired babes. Because let’s celebrate the fact that your hair expresses itself in a bigger way than non-curly hair. It’s not that curly is better, it is that curly is more dynamic. There are more factors which determine it to be exactly what it is, which is completely unlike any other head of hair.

It is true that no two heads of hair are the same, on the entire planet. This fact just amuses me to no end. I just absolutely love that each person possess their own head of hair that is  not identical to any other head of hair. With this fact in mind though, It means we need to be thoughtful and curious and experimental when it comes to figuring out the best way to care for our own unique hair.

Today, I am sharing what I have found while thoughtfully experimenting with natural oils and remedies and methods of care in the hundreds of different heads of curly hair that I have worked on in the course of my career.

Brushing your Curly Hair

To begin with, I have to state a fact. I have rarely come across any curly haired person who is a friend of the hairbrush. This is partly why I continue on my brush crusade……..I feel like so many of us have taken to heart the advice of someone who didn’t appreciate they dynamic beauty of curls. Sometimes, you have to let the beast roar. ( The roaring beast is your insanely big brushed out curls) Your hair and scalp will thank you forever, and many of the unsavory hair and scalp issues that have plagued you will disappear.

Flaky, itchy scalp? Needs more stimulation and circulation to it. Remedy? brush your hair.

Oily, flat roots and dry ends? Keep that oil moving through. Brush your hair.

Slow growing hair? Increase blood flow and cell division. Brush your hair for faster, healthier growth.

Frizzy hair? Brush your hair and help train some of the frizz down.

Heavy hair? For goddess sakes brush the fallen hairs out of your head once in a while to lighten your physical and spiritual load, not to mention helping your curls spring back to life.

Let’s be real. Most of us have ducked away from every hair brush and head massage that has come our way for fear of messing up our curls.

My advice, no matter your curl type, is to embrace the beast, love the frizz, and open up your scalp and hair to the mechanical and medicinal magic of a good hair brushing.

IMG_2006Here is the trick: Brush your dry hair, before you shower. That’s right, spend 10 minutes letting the beast roar. Brush it like you are making up for the last lifetime of not brushing it. From all angles. Feel the feelings in your scalp. Flip your head upside down and keep brushing it. Now, hop in the shower. Wet your hair thoroughly and go about your routine with washing or not washing. Even better, apply your favorite oil to it as a treatment once your hair has been brushed, rinsed, and is towel dried, then sleep on it. Wash out the next morning.

Do it again next week. Need a brush? This one is burly and designed for all curl types.


Oiling your Curly Hair

Because of the way curly hair is made and the way that it grows, it is more susceptible to environmental strain and damage. Think of it like your tenderhearted friend who just keeps falling in love with the wrong dude, over and over again because she just loves to love so much. She may need your help finding ways to protect her heart better.

Your curly hair needs your help protecting itself so that it can be strong and do the right thing and make good choices. The best protection it has is the oil that your scalp makes so generously for it to bath in. (another reason to brush your hair, to help it spread it’s natural born protective armor.)4313E6A5-495B-434B-99D1-8680146C6E75

For those of us with longer hair, we especially need this armor of oil in our ends, where the hair is older and more damaged and farther from our oil-producing scalp. Sometimes, even our own natural oils aren’t enough to quench the thirst of our hair. And we can tell if that is the case, because it starts to feel like straw and our ends get brittle and break. That is how we know that it is time to find the right oil to nourish our hair in just the right way.

Before we launch in to oils, I need to say a quick word about the nastiness of silicone on curly hair.

Silicone, the anti-moisture.

It is oh so easy to fall into the silicone trap, especially if you are curly. The instant smoothing, softening action of refined liquid plastic can be so tempting, so very enticing. We all crave that frizz-ease silkiness that we felt the first time we ran it through our strands and exclaimed ‘what is this magic???’

I know. It can be hard to say no. But just say no. It is the devil for your hair. It fills in the cracks of your uneven hair cuticle (all us curls have uneven hair cuticles), making each strand feel very smooth. Then it dries  in their and creates a coating that sticks. Over time it builds up into gunk that is very hard to remove. At this point, you have very effectively sealed OUT all moisture, making your hair dull and brittle and sad:( My heart feels sad just thinking about the trickery that led us to think we needed this stuff in the first place. But that is another topic for another day.

A quick little note too, if you are a MORROCAN OIL addict I have to say this: I get it. It smells amazing and it makes your hair feel great. My experience in the salon with the Moroccan Oil line is that it is a phenomenon of biggest advertising hoax of consumer trickery I have ever witnessed. No it isn’t Argan Oil. It is a base of artificial fragrance, silicone and other petroleum-based synthetic goo’s and a *tiny* bit of Argan Oil to make it sound good and drive the price tag way up our unsuspecting asses. Rant? yes. Truth? Yes. Don’t buy it.

But trust me, curly babes. There are so many better options to experiment with than a Silicone laden smoothing serum that cost more than your water bill.

How to use Oils in Your Curly Hair

There are many ways to use oils in your hair. Here are a few, I recommend you try them all out and see what works for you.

You can apply oil to your dry hair, as needed, to add moisture, shine, protection and softness. Start with a few drops of oil, in the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together and smooth them over the surface of your hair. Do the same thing but this time, flip you head and hang your hair forwards, and scrunch the oil gently into your ends. Do this any time your hair feels really dry and crunchy, or any time you plan to be in harsh elements such as wind, sun, salt water etc.7U6A5237

You can do this same thing, on wet hair. Your hair will drink the oil in a bit deeper, and dry with the benefit of the oil in it which will help the curl pattern stay in tact. Some folks swear by applying their oil to absolutely dripping wet hair, because it disperses throughout the hair more easily and keeps the curls very well defined. If you like thicker oils lake castor oil, vitamin E oil or Lanolin, wet hair application is definitely the way to go.

In India, women oil their hair before they wash it. I love this method, as it really seems to have a deeper and more repairative effect on the hair. For this method, you will use more oil than just a few drops. Think about a teaspoon to a tablespoon, depending on your hair length and density. Wet and towel dry your hair. Apply the oil to your ends first, gently massaging it up your strands towards your scalp. Give yourself a scalp massage. Cover head with a towel of a hat and sleep on it. Wash out in the morning ( I wash twice with African Black Soap to remove excess oil.) I personally do this twice a month with my favorite hair oil which is Jojoba.

If you are using a very fine oil like fractionated coconut oil, you can put it in a spray bottle and spritz it in when you need it.

Play around. The point is, feed your hair oil when it is dry and needs quenching.

How to know if an oil is right for your hair? It is as simple as this: You like the results of using it. So try them all and see what works best for YOU.

My Favorite Natural Oils and Remedies for Different Curly Hairtypes

7U6A5951I know, I know, I just went through this whole thing about how no two hair types are the same and should each be treated uniquely. I stand by that. But for the sake of simplifying and streamlining your process of creating the best hair care routine for your unique hair type, these suggestions are for you to take and run with in your own experimental way. I am sharing what I have learned and my biggest hope is that it helps you understand and love your hair better.

Here are my favorite remedies and oils for different curl types. Keep in mind that the key here is to experiment and find what works best for you. All of these oils and remedies can be  bought in small amounts, very affordably. Also, don’t be afraid to cocktail ingredients. All of these remedies can be used interchangeably in your hair! Have fun and summon your inner alchemist.

For Thick Hair:

If you have fine textured curls I recommend:

    • Vitamin E oil– It is nice and thick and a little bit sticky, great for curls that need a little weight and taming to keep them in tact. Adds shine too.
    •  Olive oil Thick as well, with a bit of weight too it but without the stick. A favorite of Mediterranean blooded folks with thick curls. Nice shine to it.
  • Coconut OilGreat all purpose hair oil, not much stick at all and little shine but lot’s of protective qualities.
  • Castor oil The thickest and stickiest of them all. Tame flyaway and add lots of shine and luster.


If you have coarse textured curls I recommend:

  • Avocado oil Very moisturizing, nice shine, super protection and super softening.
  • Shea butter a great hair tamer and moisture barrier protector for coarse and dry hair. I love to melt it down with my jojoba oil. A tiny bit of stick to it, nice matte finish.
  • Beeswax Even more taming, protection, and stickiness than Shea Butter. Best if melted down in oil or with Shea Butter, makes a great pomade for coarse curls.
  • LanolinThick, protective, and strengthening for brittle coarse hair.
  • Emu oil Fine, viscous, incredibly softening and strengthening for coarse dry hair. Deeply penetrating and reparative.

For Medium Hair:

If you have fine textured curls I recommend:

  • Sweet Almond oil Not to heavy, not too light. Great shine, easily absorbed moisture.
  • Argan oil Reparative, softening and super protective for dry and color treated hair.

If you have coarse textured curls I recommend:

  • Fractionated Coconut oil Lot’s of shine, lots of protection and softness. A little goes a LONG way. Great for use before heat styling or a lot of sun exposure.
  • Argan oil- Again, very softening and reparative.
  • Emu oil- Strengthening and softening, not too heavy.

For Thin Hair:

If you have fine textured curls I recommend:

  • Jojoba oil Lightweight, lovely. Easy for your hair to absorb. Nice shine, super soft.
  • Rosewater Light as air, but incredibly softening and shine enhancing. Helps tame curls and add lustrous bounce. Spray in as needed!
  • Rosehip oil Light, easily absorbed and very hydrating for fine and fragile curls.
  • Sea salt Mix with warm water and spray in for added texture and volume in oily hair that falls flat. Spray in at the roots….Or, mix with warm water in a cup and pour over the hair as a finishing rinse. Do not rinse out. Best ever? Jump in the ocean every chance you get.
  • Aloe Vera Great for parched fine curls with straw-like ends. Lightweight and hydrating, softening. Scrunch into your ends, or spray in liquid with a mister.

If you have coarse textured curls I recommend:

  • Seseme oil Lightweight but with a tiny bit of stick for taming and softening coarser curls. Nice shine.
  • Neem oil Reparative and easily absorbed moisture for hair and scalp.
  • Grapeseed oil Lightweight and very softening.
  • Emu oil- Great for brittle thin hair because it helps boost elasticity, making coarse thin curls more bouncy and buoyant.

For Frizz-

  • Coconut milk Use it like conditioner for softening and taming your hair, smoothing down frizz and moisturizing.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Mix with water and use as a conditioning hair rinse. ( 1 tablespoon ACV to 8 oz water is a good starting mixture) Adds lots of shine, detangles and smooths down the surface of your hair strands, helping with frizz and adding reflection.
  • Honey Incredibly softening and hydrating, melt it down in hot water (1 teaspoon honey to 8 oz water) and spray in your hair on dry days to help attract moisture from the air into your hair. Turn fuzz back into bouncy curls, adds lots of shine.
  • Hibiscus flowers Very softening, smoothing and shine enhancing. Steep a tea with dried hibiscus and use it as a conditioning rinse. Even better, put a handful of dried hibiscus in a jar of Apple Cider Vinegar and set it in the sun for a week. Use this as a conditioning rinse. For added moisture, melt a tablespoon of honey in it and soak your hair with it, letting it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it out. 

Strengthening Fragile Hair-

  • Horsetail GrassSteep the dried grass in hot water, drink the tea daily. Rinse your hair and scalp once a week with this biotin and silica-rich brew. Helps build protein strength.
  • Emu oil- So deeply penetrating that it can really help build inner hair strength in fragile hair.
  •  Argan oil- Also deeply penetrating and easily absorbed, but the hydrating and protective abilities really help prevent further damage in already very fragile hair hair.

Washing your Curly Hair- As far as washing hair, I know many curly haired people who love the ShamPHree routine. I know many who just brush and rinse with warm water once a week ( after years of me pleading with them to try it. ) Several of my fine-haired clients swear by washing with African Black Soap by Alaffia, followed by a Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. 

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 8.13.31 PMMany of my medium to thick, coarse curly clients have fallen madly in love with New Wash from Hairstory Studio. ( Try it and let me know what you think. Then you order it, be sure to tell them that How-to Hair Girl referred you, I’d sure appreciate it because I get a small percentage of each sale when I help someone discover the line, which truly has  revolutionized less is more haircare.



Weaning your Curls off of Shampoo/ Hair Products: I get asked this question a lot….How do I wean my curly hair off of hair products? Getting off the hair junk can be a real jump for curly haired people who have become dependent on one product or another. My short answer is this: Start to trust your natural oils to take care of your hair for you. This basically means that less is more when it comes to hair…..Take less away, add less back in. Homeostasis is the curly hair word of the day. If you shampoo a few times a week, cut down to one less time a week for a while. Instead of washing it, give it a thorough brushing when it is dry to redistribute oils from the scalp and move them towards your ends. Rinse your hair with warm water.

Slowly work your way down to no-shampoo, letting your hair adjust to the new routine and letting your scalp re-calibrate oil production. Over time, this switch from chemical cleansing to mechanical cleansing will condition your hair and create a much more manageable environment for your curls to behave and thrive naturally.

The same is true for getting off conventional hair products, curl creams, butters, etc. Find the oil that works for your hair, and start brushing it regularly. You heard that right, curly babe.

My Personal Curl Routine

Me and my medium density, coarse but fine (is that even possible?) sometimes-curly-sometimes-not but always at-the-mercy-of-the-weather-hair loves a combination of all of the above oils, remedies, and routines at different times depending on the weather, the seasons, my mood, and the way I decide to wear my hair. So you can imagine the look of my haircare cupboard. #hairhoarders no no don’t get rid of that! My hair needs that!

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 6.55.27 AMMy most often-used oils are Jojoba and Castor, Jojoba ( I love La Tierra Sagrada Jojoba Oil ) for moisture and softness and conditioning, and Castor to tame it. I brush my hair all the damn time, sometimes wearing my hair in big wild brushed out curls, but sometimes just to work the oils through before I rinse it. I love New Wash, especially in the Summer and Winter months when my hair is dry. I also love the Hairstory Hair Balm. I ALWAYS do an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse, and when my hair is limp, I swear by Salt Spray by La Tierra Sagrada. Nothing is better than my hair after a jump in a river.

I hope this post helps you find your curly hair sweet spot.

Here are my favorite herbs for hair, to take you natural hair remedies to the next level.

Here is my favorite DIY tricks for Naturally Curly Hair.

And here are my favorite DIY Recipes to Rock your Haircare at Home.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for caring for your curls? Would love to hear your feedback in the comment section.

xo, HTHG














Foil Setting Texture Trick!

IMG_0702Hey babes. I have a challenge for you. Grab a friend, some aluminum foil and a flat iron and play around with wadding up foil in different ways, wrapping hair around it, clamping it with a flatiron, allowing it to cool, and taking the foil out. It is super fun!

IMG_0704IMG_0718IMG_0693IMG_0696For this experiment, I made long, thin foil rods with my hands and basically doing a rag curl set with foil rods and heat. The results were just wonderful.

Have fun, and post your photos and tag me!

xo, HTHG

When Curly Friends do Each Others Wedding Hair

IMG_7021Hi dears! Today I am sharing a little fun and heartwarming project that I did last month in Arkansas with some dear lady friends at the river. Here is the story-

Christina was getting married in the Ozarks, to an Ozark man who she loves dearly and I was leaving town 3 days before the wedding (Cry!) so I wouldn’t be able to make it to do her hair and celebrate in the union of their sweet family.

So, we decided it would be a good move to teach her best friend Audrey how to do her hair for her. We met at the West Fork of the White River, near a lone goose who was clearly offended that we were around.

We set up our picnic blanket, and stripped down to our swim suits and set up shop. The goose hopped into the river to find a new place to hang.

Both Christina and Audrey are naturally curly women, with wild golden curls. We chatted a bit about what kind of hairstyle Christina wanted, and I gave her my bride hair shpeal which goes like this

For your wedding the most important thing is that you feel like yourself but at your very best and most elegant. So, let’s take your ‘usual’ hairstyle (a low loose bun on one side.) and fancy it up a bit. Can’t go wrong that way.

She was down with that. We decided which side to put her hairstyle on, knowing that we wanted it low and slightly off center. I

Now, for curly haired babes who are getting married, I generally like to leave the hair in it’s most natural texture without disturbing the curl pattern as I style it. Christina had a deep side part, and her heavy side falls naturally into a really lovely sort of fingerwave pattern when left to it’s own devises, so I planned the hairstyle to work around that, preserving that gorgeous natural feature of her hair that she loves.

I began by sectioning (gently) her sides, from the top of her head to behind both ears, pushing all the side hair forward of her shoulders and out of the way so I could build from the center of the back.

With all the hair in the back, I began a braid down the back, pulling the braid slightly to the side as I braided.

Halfway through the braid, I started at the top on one side of the braid, pulling the edges out to widen that side and create petal-like shapes on one side of the braid.  These ‘petals’ will run along the outer edge of the bun, creating a floral design.

I didn’t braid too tight, but also not too loose. I continued braiding to the end, then pulled the rest of the petals out all the way to the ends of the braid. I secured the end.

IMG_6915Then, holding the braid flat against her head, I wound the braid into a bun, pinning as I went, securing the braid to the head discreetely, with the ends tucked out of the way.

Next step, I created another braid on the light side of her part, pulling the petals out on the outer edge of the braid as I worked my way to the ends.IMG_6919

I secured the ends, and then wound that braid below and then up and around the bun, pinning it into place as I went. This made the bun bigger and more intricate.IMG_6925

Then, I created a third braid on the other (heavy) side of her hair in the same way, pulling the petals out of the outter edge as I braided. I secured the ends, then wound that braid into another small bun (flower) pinning it discreetly nestled up against the first bun. (Braided Rosebud:)IMG_6927IMG_6929

Then, I did my favorite little trick that adds volume to the back of the head…….Holding the buns tightly to her head with one hand, I used a bobby pin in the other hand to lift up the hair at her crown, threading it in underneath the hair at her crown and then lifting it towards me to create a bit of space, but without pulling too hard. I did this a few times around the back of her head to add a bit of oomf.IMG_6930

Then, she got flowered. Peony flowers and leaves and Queen Anne’s lace.

The whole while, Audry watched and asked questions to clarify……..Making sure she understood the directions so that she would be ready when the big day came.IMG_6960IMG_6958

Then, Audrey got a haircut in the wind (my favorite sort of challenge). All the while, the goose watched us from the river.

Hair Friends for Life.

The End.

xo, HTHG


IMG_7815Here is a photo from Audrey of the finished hairstyle the day of the wedding, complete with succulents. SO beautiful. Nice job ladies.



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