How Many Styling Products Do I Need for a Great Hair Day? Part 1 - Primers

How Many Styling Products Do I Need for a Great Hair Day? Part 1 - Primers

Posted by Lisa C. on

Your Question: How Many Styling Products Do I Need to Use for Great Results?
My Answer: Two. 

You’ve been trying the Curly Girl / Hair Method for a while and you're struggling, or perhaps you are new to the Method.  Either way, we all face making the choice of the right stylers to get hold, definition, and as many “good hair” days as possible. Shampoos and conditioners are important, but the rest of the world sees the results of your stylers!

woman with beautiful curls

Ultimately most of us would love to find that one styler that does it all but, with few exceptions, they don't really exist. Therefore, how many stylers do you - and I include myself in this too - usually need to use on your wash day for reliable results? I’ve tried using just one thing and had a few successes here and there, but time after time the best “good hair days" are when I use two products.

More products means more weight. This often results in fewer days between washes, possible loss of wave or curl, product build up and just a general feeling of gunky hair.  Try to stick with two, alternating items in for variety and practicing your techniques (brushing, wet/damp application, scrunching, drying, etc.).

Do I sometimes use more than two products?  Yes. However, in those cases, I try to limit the amount that I use of each one.

How to Choose Your Best Primer

The first product you put on your hair will be what I call your primer.  This is a really important part of your routine as it sets the stage for your styling results. Priming products will coat the hair, giving it some moisture, maybe some protein too depending on the product you choose.  This product works similarly to a makeup primer: you put it on as base and it helps you get the most out of whatever you put on top.

Which primer will work best for you is based mostly on hair texture.  Texture is more important than the type of waves/curls/coils you have.    Remember there are always going to be various levels within each of these textures, and without having your hair inspected under a microscope, you may find yourself having to experiment with different types of primers to find the best one for you.

You'll also want to pick a primer that will help you achieve your styling goals, whether that's definition, volume, conditioning, frizz reduction, shine, etc. Hold shouldn't be the primary goal of your primer but some will have a bit of hold as well.

Below I have provided a list of potential primers for all textures.  But remember this is not a set-in-stone list!   For example, your fine hair might prefer something else if you have a lot of density (hairs per square inch) or you may need something lighter/heavier depending on the season or your climate. You might also change primers based on what look you're going for that day (volume vs. definition, for example).

On top of your primer you have a multitude of choices of gels and foams here at Curl Warehouse.  I will post about those in another blog.   Gels will generally give the longest lasting hold and definition as they surround each clump.  Foams are lighter/drier so they tend to give hold and volume, plus they let your hair dry much faster than when it is coated with gel.

Primer Recommendations for Fine Hair

Fine hair does not need heavy primers, so you need to lean towards liquid-y serums or very light leave in conditioners.

Primer Recommendations for Medium Hair

Medium textures can take a little bit more weight, but can also be okay with lighter primers depending on factors like your climate or the season. This means you usually have more products to pick from.

Primer Recommendations for Coarse Hair

With coarser hair you can usually manage with creams/oil/butters higher up in the ingredients list for your products.  This gives you lots of options from within the curly brands we carry.


Check out part 2 of this blog series, where I discuss the products you will pair with your primer for optimum results.

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