My Curly Hair Routine – How to Get Mermaid Hair


I was born with curly hair, but, like you I’m sure, hated it growing up. Growing up as a 90’s kid, stick-straight was the trend, and that is just something that was never going to happen for my hair. My hair is very thick. Every time I go to a new salon they say “You have the most hair I’ve ever seen.” Seriously, without fail, they always say it.

About 5 years ago, someone introduced me to the curly girl method. This friend had awesome curls. I tried it for a while and it was a lot of trial and error. Along the way, my curl shape really started to improve. With that being said, the strict curly girl method was really just too much for me. So, as I do with all things, I took the parts that worked for me and did away with the rest. I make lots of changes and I change up my products pretty often. I’m a sucker for advertisements and new products. But, here is my current curly routine.

Step 1: No Shampoo

I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out. Shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils and really is not good for curly hair. Even the shampoos marketed for curly hair. It’s all just too drying. What I do instead is use water as my “wash”. I get my whole head wet, turn it upside down and scrub the crap out of my scalp. This gets all the build-up off of my scalp and all the product out of my hair.

picture shows a bottle of Garnier Whole Blends conditioner and a teal wide tooth comb on a white towel

Step 2: Condition

A good quality conditioner is so important. Look for one that is really hydrating and doesn’t have a lot of drying alcohol in it. Right now I am using Whole Blends in a coconut scent. But like I said earlier, I change conditioners often. Really get it in there – nice and good, don’t skimp on how much you use.

Step 3: Detangle

Do this in the shower with your hair full of conditioner. Turn your head upside down and work tip to root to detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb. You can even use your fingers, but get all of the tangles out. If you get stuck, add a little more conditioner and a splash of water. Next, rinse and scrunch your curls. Most of the time, I don’t rinse all of the conditioner out, but I make sure it’s fully rinsed out near my scalp.

Step 4: Products

Okay, you notice I skipped drying my hair. Intentional! My hair turns out the best when I put my products in when it is sopping wet. THE BEST PRODUCT I use is the LA Looks hair gel in blue. I know y’all. LA Looks from the 90s? Yes… okay, but stay with me. Get that hair gel in. Use a lot. scrunch it in over the sink so the water in your hair scrunches out too. But use a lot of gel.

Step 5: Drying

I use a diffuser and a blow dryer. Move your hair around a lot. Dry your hair to about 80%. I always make sure my roots are the driest because if that’s dry when you leave the house, you won’t look like you have a wet head.

Final Step: Scrunch out the Crunch

I know you clutched your pearls when I said to use LA Looks gel, but that’s because when we used that stuff back in the 90s we all were walking around with crunchy ramen noodle hair. Just gently go around your hair in sections and scrunch it until that crunchy feeling goes away. After you do this, don’t touch your hair anymore.

woman in her 30s with curl blonde hair wearing a black v neck shirt

I hope this method works for you. If you have curly hair and you’ve been straightening it for a while, you’ll probably go through some strange-looking waves, but keep with it and your curls will become more and more defined. I can usually get 3-4 days out of this routine before I have to wash again, as long as I don’t brush my hair. Please, don’t brush your hair – you’ll ruin all that hard work you just did. If it gets too tangled, just start over. Go on now sis and rock that mermaid hair!