My relationship with my hair has always been complicated. I first got my hair relaxed when I was 9-years-old and decided to go natural during my junior year of college. Throughout school, I spent an insane number of hours before a mirror, with a YouTube video playing on my laptop, as I tried to learn how to style my curls. Not to mention the fact that all of the cash I earned from my part-time sales gig was spent stockpiling Kinky Curly gel and trying new Shea Moisture products from Target.

But that changed when I entered “the real world.” Work, relationships, and my personal life prevented me from dedicating time to my hair as I did before. Flat twisting my entire head after 10-hour work days felt like a second job and — frankly — I couldn’t be bothered. Slowly but surely, straight hair came creeping back into my life like a bad ex, and I began straightening my hair with hot tools once a month. That turned into once a week and now wearing my natural hair straight has become a regular, more convenient part of my lifestyle — but it’s a risky game to play.

I love wearing my hair straight because of how simple it makes my life, but I also love having the option to rock curls whenever I want. However, heat and natural curls aren’t always a match made in heaven. Excessive heat is damaging to curly hair and improper use of it can cause dryness, frizz, breakage and — worst case scenario — permanent damage to your curl pattern.

But through plenty of trial and error I’ve found a routine that allows me to wear my hair straight without frying my curls to death, so I can switch from blowout one day to twist out the next. If you’re like me, and enjoy being “naturally straight,” but haven’t found a reliable set of products and tools to add to your rotation, I broke down every single product I use to keep my curls alive, ahead.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF BENJAMIN STONE.

BioSilk Hydrating Therapy Shampoo

I never realized the importance of a good shampoo until I became a beauty editor. Every single industry pro I’ve ever interviewed preaches about how crucial an effective shampoo is to healthy hair and, turns out, they’re absolutely right. Because curly hair is naturally drier than other textures, I always shampoo with hydrating formulas. I like this one from BioSilk, which is super gentle and sulfate-free, so it doesn’t make hair drier than it already is. I usually give my scalp one thorough shampoo once and my curls are never left feeling like wire, but this is different.

BioSilk Hydrating Therapy Conditioner

I always follow up with BioSilk’s hydrating conditioner, which I pass through my hair using a wide-tooth comb. This formula gives my curls a nice slip (which makes detangling less of a pain). It also doesn’t coat my hair or make it feel heavy when it’s time to style.

Credit: refinery29.com

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