Every Curly Girl knows, getting your spirals to last the week (without a re-wash or emergency bun) is no easy feat. It can take trial and error, a few Britney melts, and some faithful products to get you to the end of the line. Beauty writer, Bianca Bartolo, is no stranger to wrangling her luscious Type 3A curls. She spills the tea on her favourite Curly Girl hacks and products for definition and moisture - all week long.

Words: Bianca Bartolo

Curly hair. If I could name the defining theme of my life, my hair would be it. From parents cooing over my baby ringlets to strangers asking me if I wake up early to manufacture my waves (seriously), the hair on my head has never been far from my mind. When I was younger, I thought my curls were a curse. I dreamt of waking up looking like Baby Spice. Years of straightening, thousands of dollars spent on products and countless hours watching YouTube tutorials later, my energy is now dedicated to helping my natural hair live its best life. So I’m confident when I say, this is the best routine (I know) to keep my curls looking fresh all week.

Tip 1: Shampoo Without Sulphates.

In my career as a beauty writer, I’ve been fortunate enough to test lots of products. What I’ve found is that quality is important—RIP my wallet. Unfortunately, supermarket shampoos often include cheap ingredients like silicone (a lubricating agent) and sulphates (a cleaning agent) which suffocate and strip, resulting in my already dry curls feeling extra thirsty and looking distinctly un-cute. So I avoid both like the plague. 

Instead, I wash my hair once a week using a shampoo that is specifically made for my hair type. At the moment I’m into Virtue’s Curl Shampoo for its satisfying lather and the gentle definition it gives. 

$56.00 - Adore Beauty

Tip 2: Swap Conditioner For A Mask.

Did you know that there is no such thing as the ‘Hair Police’? I only just figured this out. Which is why after many years of dutifully following the regular programming, I ditched the conditioner and now use a hair mask every time I wash. 

After double shampooing, I squeeze out excess water from my hair before applying a big dollop of JVN’s Nurture Deep Moisture Mask. I turn the water off, comb the mask through, then let it soak into my strands for 10 minutes before rinsing. My secret trick is using cold water to wash it off which smooths the hair shaft and makes it look shinier. 

I find this extra dose of hydration makes my hair feel super soft, and creates a clean yet hydrated base for me to continue to add styling products throughout the week. 


$37.00 - Sephora

Tip 3: Sleep On Something Silky.

Not only is sleep important for your body (skin and hair included) to repair itself, it’s also a chance for your mind to rest. Both lead to a happier, healthier me which is why I take my bedtime (and bedding) very seriously.

I switched to silk pillowcases years ago after reading about their beauty benefits and haven’t looked back since. Unlike traditional cotton pillowcases that can cause damage from friction between your head and the fabric, silk allows for slip. This means more shine and definition, less breakage and frizz for my curls. Silk is also less absorbent than other materials, which helps my hair to retain moisture and keeps the shape intact—even on day five. My go-to is the Lilac FLIPKIP Silk Linen Pillowslip for guaranteed good hair days.


$79.95 - FLIPKIP

Tip 4: Moisture Matters

My curls crave moisture like my mouth craves a chilled red on a Friday night (read: intensely). I ward off thirst throughout the week by topping curls up with a daily spritz of whichever hydration liquid or cream takes my fancy. 

Sometimes it’s leave-in-conditioner, sometimes it’s Bread Beauty oil but more often than not it’s Delilah’s Sea Salt Curl Cream (my hairdresser’s own formula). Wet hair with water first then warm up a small amount of cream between your hands and scrunch. 



$39.00 - Bread Beauty Supply

Tip 5: Scalp-care Is Skincare

The skin on your scalp is skin too, duh. Sounds obvious but it’s often overlooked. Just like I know you religiously apply skincare to your face morning and evening, your scalp deserves the same attention. A healthy scalp is hydrated, feels neither too dry nor too oily to the touch and is basically the perfect environment for strong, happy hair to grow. 

I like to tend to my scalp when I’m in the shower, hair mask in, using a wide tooth comb like this one from Tangle Teezer. This will also help remove product build-up from the week and acts as a gentle exfoliant. If you’re feeling bougie, you can follow that up with a scalp serum like this heavenly-smelling Kerastase Scalp Concentrate to promote healthy hair straight from the source.


$70.00 - Adore Beauty

Bianca is a professional copywriter, anti-anchovy activist and girl with curly hair. When she’s not writing words for beauty, fashion and lifestyle brands she’s probably at pilates or watching RuPaul. You can follow her work here.  

February 03, 2023
Tags: How To