The Best Product for 3B Curly Hair is… « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowThe Best Product for 3B Curly Hair is…

The Best Product for 3B Curly Hair is…
Published on Monday, June 23, 2014 by


At least if you are me. Because my hair is STUPID.  Course. Curly. Thick. Dry.

For curly haired girls like me, it is ALL ABOUT THE PRODUCT.

Over the last few months I have been on a crusade to find the ultimate product for “3B” hair. Nothing will tame it. Nothing will defrizz it. Nothing will hold the curls in place without being so crunchy you could snap a curl in half.

frizzy curly hair

Even some of my co-workers are in on the deal. “You have two different hair styles going on and they just don’t work. You have smooth bangs and a curly head. You HAVE to stop straightening. You HAVE to stop shampooing every day.  You have to grow your hair out… NO MORE BANGS!  You should part it a bit to the side and just go natural!” I have even sent updates via pictures to one of my co-workers. “Today I used this and this is what happened…!”

crunchy curls

I have even spent big bucks on Aveda’s Be Curly line. The be all and end all of taming curly hair. Sadly, this is what the 2,000 review 5 star products did for MY hair:

Aveda be curly review

You know who else has “3B” curls?

bernadette peters curls

Yup, my girl crush Bernadette Peters. I have gotten so desperate in finding a hair product that works for my brillopad curls that I even googled, “what hair products does Bernadette Peters use?” Believe it or not, that has been googled a LOT by others in the same boat.

After a little research, however, I struck gold. During an interview, Bernadette was documented as saying, “Graham Webb Silk Protein and Making Waves.” I IMMEDIATELY went to Amazon, found the products and <ACK!> discovered the line has been discontinued. Sure, I can get a leftover bottle for $92… but I think I’ll pass.

I will even admit to you that I tweeted to @OfficialBPeters “from a desperate woman who has your type hair (but my curls are a mess) What products do you use?” And no, I have not heard back. I am quite certain Bernadette Peters does not waste her day tweeting, to say the least. But I bet she would gladly share her secrets if someone asked. She just seems like that kind of lady.

In the meantime, I think it is time to go to Curly Hair Products Anonymous. All the research before buying. All the time waiting for sales. And yet none of these 4 to 5 star products will work for me.

curly hair products

I am TRYING to go all naturally curly. I really really am. But this head of curls just won’t be tamed.

mom blog

  • Why do all you curly haired people feel your curls need taming? I think it looks great natural. Bernadette Peters’ hair looks great for a special occasion, but I MUCH PREFER your natural look! You would save yourself a fortune if you just conditioned it and left it natural, in my humble opinion 🙂

    • That is such a different spin on the way I have been thinking about my hair.. thanks for giving me that different view. Maybe the bit of frizz is not so bad… as long as I keep using moisturizer and not shampooing every day… maybe it will all come together in the end… thank you!!!

      • You know, this frequent washing of hair does it no good either. I have always washed mine once a week. My hair is totally unmanageable for the first day, at least. By the second or third day it is at it’s best. Surely that says something for the natural oils in our hair? Maybe you could give that a try. I’m sure the shampoo doesn’t help it 🙂

  • Ron

    Katherine, as you know I used to be a hair stylist so I understand the challenges of curly hair. However, I’m one of those people who loves the look of curly hair so I enjoyed working on it (cutting and styling). The thing I found with curly hair is to just let it be curly and not try to straighten it. With curly hair it’s all about getting a good hair cut and using products FOR curly hair (and yes, I know not all of them live up to their claims). Have you ever tried Quidad products? They are made for curly by a woman who has curly hair and they’re awesome. Here’s their online website :

    They sell a starter kit for $25.00 (deluxe sizes) so you can try it out before investing in the full-size products. They also sell these products at Sephora.

    “Yup, my girl crush Bernadette Peters. I have gotten so desperate in finding a hair product that works for my brillopad curls that I even googled, “what hair products does Bernadette Peters use?”

    I ADORE Bernadette Peters as well! I think she’s not only beautiful, but sooooooooo talented!


    P.S. “But my hair is crunchier than a potato chip in the devil’s kitchen cabinet”

    OMG…I laughed so hard when I read that. Hilarious!

    • Ron, you would laugh at me RIGHT NOW. I’m like a dog and you threw me a bone… I read your comment and then was about to reply back when I thought, “Hmmmm I need to look at the Ouidad site first so I can let him know I did. Ummmm FORTY MINUTES LATER. Now I want to try Ouidad BAD BAD BAD. And reading some of the comments… some people said this one problem gave them crunchy curls. But then someone responded that the gel is supposed to hold your curls in a “case” while it dries. Then you are supposed to “uncrunch” it once it is dry to take away that hard case. That is so interesting. And then of COURSE I had to look up the “rake and shake” method. I am so there this week when I am on vacation. The big thing I need is a haircut though… that is going to have to wait until I get back. 🙂 Thanks for the tip. And Bernadette? I was able to see her in concert… OH MY GOSH!

      • Ron

        OMG Katherine…you are so funny! But I’m glad to hear you checked out the website to look over the products.

        Yes, many times people don’t follow the directions on a product so that’s why they might say on a review that it didn’t work. But I’m glad someone else responded to correct them.

        Great, I’m glad to hear you found Quidad interesting and may look into it further. Let me know what you think.

        OMG…you saw Bernadette in concert?!!? I am sooooooo jealous! I have a video copy of her performance in the musical, “Sunday In The Park With George.” She’s faaaaabulous!

        I bet she’s a very cool and down-to-earth lady. She just seems that way.

    • Ron… I just came to this page to look at more comments and saw my google ads say, “Haircuts for older women.” WTF!

  • I think I’d just let it be what it’s going to be too. I like your hair.

    Have a fabulous day. 🙂

    • The problem with letting it do what it wants to do is if I have nothing in it, the curls aren’t “curls”… it is an afro ha ha! And i mean literally… when I was young the mean kids called me “Bozo.” Big red poof. And clowns? They are SCARY!

  • I would love to have curls, but unfortunately I was born with stick straight hair so I mousse it, dry it and use a curling iron to give it some body and a little curl. I used to get perms but they rarely turned out like I wanted…something only those with natural curl seemed to have.

    I think Babs idea makes sense. Find yourself a good leave-in conditioner that will control the frizzies without weighing your hair down and making it feel dirty. Frequent washing will dry it out. I usually wash mine every other day or every second day depending on what I’ll be doing.

    You had mentioned needing a haircut. Do you generally wear it all one length or have layers?

    • Linda… I actually have been researching since Ron mentioned Ouidad. I don’t have a Ouidad salon near me but I am bringing the info about their special haircut for curly hair to my “person” this Thursday. It says NEVER layer and never use those thinning shears…. they give you a “pyramid effect.” And guess who has that? (Me!)

      I haven’t been shampooing now every day… I have been using a leave in moisturizer and it is “better.” But I still can’t find that perfect product. Maybe after the haircut Thursday when all the split ends are cut out. We’ll see!

  • Hey Katherine! I sympathise on the frizz, but think about it this way – you’re curly AND red. Yowza! <3 Indigo x

    • I am getting a HAIR CUT this Thursday… a “curly hair person” type haircut… to get rid of all the split ends and hopefully help the curls to settle more. I hated red as a child… but now? “I know” ha ha !!!!

  • Lucy2011

    Omg! I totally understand your dilemma! I’m on thesame boat! And I had Bozo as a nick name in middle school as well :/
    I once bought Oidads product on those promotionals tv adds but didn’t work for me. Well, nothing really does, so I just straightening my hair now. Hopefully you have better luck than me!

    • I have actually found a wonderful mix since I wrote this post. Of course I am still looking for the perfect product… but for now I am using some hair oil I found at a local Indian market that I put on before getting out of the shower. And then I add something completely new that has really tamed my frizz, lengthened my curls and held them together. It is called Design Essentials Natural Honey Curl Forming Custard. It is the BOMB on my hair. It DOES leave a bit of a coating on it… but it has NO crunch and keeps my hair soft too.

  • Taryn J

    Im going through the same testing phase. Right now im giving Carol’s Daughter a try.

    • I found a GREAT GREAT GREAT mix for my hair…. I got a hair oil from a local Indian Market… I add it to wet hair before I get out of the shower. Then I use an amazing product I just found… Design Essentials Natural Honey Curl Forming Custard. It elongates my curls, holds them together, makes them soft and NO CRUNCH. It DOES put a bit of a coating on my hair so I think if you have super thin hair it might not work… but for my mixed 3B curly frizzy hair it works wonders!

  • Sara

    hmm… i think you should try a silicone free conditioner and use that as a leave in, while add a gel that suits your hair. This youtuber with 3b curls did a routine where she used only 2 products, because.. according to sources online, creams and gels tend to work the best for our hair. I’ll list the link to the youtuber I was referring to. im just gonna use any cheap silicone free conditioner as a leave in and then go in with a gel. Since ive tried oils, but they dont provide enough moisture for like more than 5 hours lol. so yeah, you could try to do that, just buy a really good moisturizing cream whether its cantu shea butter leave in, giovanni direct leave in, or any silicone free conditioner. and then follow up with a gel or some type of custard, idk -.- Ive tried the LOC method, but its alright… but i dont like it, its too much work lol. i might just end up buying a really good leave in cream, and then follow up with a good quality cheap gel. but yeah, best of luck and lemme know how it turns out. ive done so much research and what matters the most is what hair type you are. it all comes down to hair type, cause 3b type hair tends to be naturally dry and frizz more easily. also i wasnt aure if it was the oil or cream (shea moisture style milk) that i was using, but my hair just felt kind of dry towards the middle of the day, so it might also have something to do with humectants like aloe vera, glycerin, mineral oil…. my hair doesnt seem to like humectants lol. idk anymore. but yeah, good luck… and lemme know how it turns out katherine. :p

    • Sara

      The link, my bad… lol.

      enjoy 😉

    • I hadn’t thought of using a conditioner as a leave in. It doesn’t poof your hair too much? Just this weekend I got coconut oil, hoping that would tame it a bit. Instead it made it frizzier. Sigh! It seems the softer my hair gets, the frizzier it gets. That is why I am trying to find something that not only softens it but holds the curl. I will definitely try a leave in!

  • LisaGO

    Im late to the party but we have the same hair! I switch b/w Bumble and bumble curl cream and Moroccanoil curl cream and I just air dry. I form a few key curls by twirling them around a finger. My hair isn’t crunchy and is fairly frizz free. Took me almost 40 yrs to find these products so they better not discontinue them!

    • I need to try some more bumble and bumble!!!! I’m not sure if I have used Moroccan oil curl cream but I am going to look… thank you!!!!!!

  • kbmomhope

    How are you doing now with your hair quest? How did the Oidad curly cut work out? I think I’ve tried ALL the products in your picture also. I’ve now also got the problem of as I’m now getting white/gray hairs, they are yet another texture to my 3B/3C hair and I have not found anything to control it. I get the same thing. If a product is heavy enough to tame the bottom and side poof, it totally flattens the top and looks greasy. Tons of gel works good for Day One (but takes about six hours to air dry), and still frizzy by mid-Day Two!

    • I actually have things KIND of under control… if you go to my main page and look at the “Dover Comic Con” post I have recent pictures. The cut I got was Deva Curl and I HIGHLY recommend it for the cut. The products didn’t work for me except I use the “no poo” “shampoo” and the conditioner they have. Definitely find a local Deva Curl salon – the cut was the healthiest thing I have ever done. Sadly they just cut it too short and the product didn’t hold on me. But the CUT was the best curly hair cut I have ever gotten. I don’t use shampoo – just the “no poo.” And even then only about once a week. Instead I scrub with the conditioner and rinse every morning. Then never towel the hair. While it is dripping wet I put on Design Essentials Natural Honey Curl Forming Custard. Then I put on Joico Joi Whip. I put my towel over my back and my hair falls over that. I never dry my hair with a towel. THEN… you know those hair clips that your mother used for pin curls? The double prong ones? The Deva Curl people can teach you but you put them in your hair on top, gently lifting a curl and clipping it up so the clips look like they are sticking out of your head – not laying flat. Let your hair air dry but I never have enough time so I dry the top with the clips in. After carefully taking the clips out I will turn upside down and blow the top part for a minute just to separate the “pin” marks but you don’t have to do this. It sounds like a lot but it is actually pretty quick and easy. Let me know if any of this works for you! Oh and I dye my hair with Sally Beauty Supply stuff – not boxes from the drug store. One part developer to one part dye – it is much healthier and my hair is glossy and not dry after.

  • Nicole Antonia Carson

    I used L’oreal 6 in 1 Cleansing Balm Ever Curl with Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Curl Nourish Leave In Conditioner for about 8 months and had much better hair. Still not ideal, but better than it was, and it wasn’t even a little crunchy. Then due to new rules at work I had to strip my bright blue semi-permanent color (I have salt and pepper hair and I dye it straight so the color darkens the dark hair to black and blues the grey hair). So I’m back to the frizz for now, but the hair’s faded to an icy light mint so I’m going back on my sulfate-free regime.

    • Nicole Antonia Carson

      The 6 in 1 is not shampoo, you use it like a shampoo but let it sit in your hair while you shower like you would with a conditioner. I was using Head & Shoulders before that and with the 6 in 1 I have no more dandruff issues. Awesome stuff! Both products are very inexpensive (about $15 combined and they last a long time.)

  • R

    I like my curls… I never tried to straighten them out. I just want a shampoo that makes them look their best.

  • Taylor Omari

    honestly the only things that work for me are deva curl coconut styler and kinky moved leave in conditioner by nym

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