3 Hair Cocktails For Curly-Haired Girls

Illustrated bt Elliot Salazar.
We’re all on the same mission of finding that one unicorn product. You know, the one that gives us endless moisture, shine, frizz-less texture, at least five days of straight hair, and a texture that’s soft to the touch. We’re searching for that go-to product with an ingredient list that’s all-natural, organic — and chemical and preservative-free. Oh, and on top of that, it lasts forever and only costs $5. Does it exist? Probably not.

If you have found your Holy Grail hair product, congratulations. But for those who are still looking, there is a way to get exactly what you want and when you want it— we call that process cocktailing.

What Is Cocktailing?
Like finding your signature drink, cocktailing basically combines store-bought products with raw ingredients to create your own personalized product. You know how cooking at home is way better for you than going out to eat because you can control what’s going in your food? The same thing applies for cocktailing your own hair products.

Let’s say you love your gel, but it leaves your hair feeling dry. You don't have to abandon it; you just have to consider your options. Try mixing some gel into your favorite leave-in conditioner, or curl cream.

With just a few minor alterations, you can breathe new life into that graveyard of products that are sitting underneath your bathroom sink. Ahead, a few easy cocktails to get you started on becoming a brilliant hair mixologist.
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Illustrated bt Elliot Salazar.
Second-Day Hair Refresher
The biggest trend in hair care right now is going “poo-less,” or shampoo-less. This doesn’t work for everyone, though. If your hair is prone to dryness, or product buildup is weighing your hair down by day three, you’re going to need a light, moisturizing refresher, which will reactivate any product you previously applied and help to re-shape creases that happened while you were sleeping.

Ingredients
Distilled water
1-2 tbsp leave-in conditioner

Instructions
1. Fill an empty spray bottle halfway with distilled water. Distilled water actually contains no impurities, minerals, contaminants, or gases, and has a pH level of 7, which is ideal for what you’re looking for.

2. Add your go-to leave-in conditioner (favorites of ours include Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In Conditioner, or Kinky Curly Knot Today). Shake it all up until all products are fully mixed.

3. In the morning, spritz your hair (most likely your second-day, fourth-day, or even fifth-day hair) lightly. Flip your head forward and spritz your hair upside down, gently scrunching it with your fingers. If you have curls, coils, or waves, don’t brush or rake your fingers through your hair. Then, spot treat any out-of-shape frizzy spots using your fingers, or, if you prefer, a heat styling tool.
Illustrated bt Elliot Salazar.
The Easiest Cocktail. Ever.
If you’re in need of a serious transformational treatment but don’t quite have the budget for a fancy deep conditioner, you can actually upgrade your daily conditioner!

Ingredients
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Conditioner

Instructions
1. Add the extra virgin olive oil to your conditioner, and shake until it’s fully mixed in.

2. Condition your hair as you normally would. For a deeper treatment, saturate your hair with the conditioner mix and leave a shower cap on for 15-30 minutes, then rinse.

Super simple, right? As with all hair types, everyone’s hair is different, so you may find that one tablespoon of oil is plenty for you, or you may need to add more moisture. Additionally, you may find that grapeseed oil or honey (yes, honey!) might work better for your hair than olive oil.

To test the waters, when you’re starting out, mix a small cocktail in a bowl, rather than mixing your entire bottle of conditioner. This way, you can find what exactly works for you.
Illustrated bt Elliot Salazar.
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Moisturizing Curl Definer
Styling products are notorious for containing drying ingredients like alcohol, mineral oil or petrolatum, all of which can be especially damaging to curly, coily, and wavy hair. In our pursuit of fighting frizz, we’re actually drying out our hair. Which, you guessed it, leads to even more frizz. Talk about a catch-22. Instead, try cocktailing your own styler with the ultimate do-it-all ingredient: aloe vera.

Where can you get this coveted product? Well, you can actually use aloe vera gel straight from the leaves of the plant itself, or you can buy it at your local store. Some of our favorites include Fruit of the Earth, Lily of the Desert, and Trader Joe’s.

Aloe vera is like Windex in the curly hair community — it does everything. We use it for moisturizing, detangling, scalp healing, hair growth, dandruff fighting, pH balancing, and more. It can give your curls a soft, touchable hold when used as a gel.

Ingredients
1 tbsp aloe vera gel
1 tbsp shea butter
1 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions
1. For women with wavy hair, or if you prefer a fluffy wash-and-go, pure aloe vera gel may be all you need to give you light hold and definition. You can actually stop here. But for tighter curls, move on to the next step.

2. Melt the shea butter in a bowl over a cup of hot water (kind of like a mini double-boiler). Add the aloe vera gel and coconut oil into your softened shea butter.

3. Mix it all together using a spoon or hand mixer, and apply this mixture to your hair for moisture and soft, touchable hold.

With so many different hair types out there, no hair product can be one size fits all, so save yourself the time and money and create your own dream product. This is a new type of cocktail that we can all be excited for, and won’t leave us with a raging hangover.

More easy beauty DIYs, right this way...

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