After using curl creams during the dry winter months, my hair can get weighed down and lose shape. So, a few weeks ago, I started switching it up with lightweight base layer products that still hold hydration and allow my wavy curly hair to bring up the root volume, form lighter curls, and add more movement. Here’s to a summer of bouncy curls!
What are base layer products?
As much as I love a one-and-done styling product, that’s a big ask for any product to fulfill. Especially as we all have various hair types, hair conditions, and local climates. One option to customize your curly hair styling is with a base layer product. Options include serums, leave-in conditioners, creams, and even light-hold gels. These are the products that you apply to freshly washed and conditioned hair before your favorite stylers. They add the benefits of drawing more hydration to the hair, enhancing the curls, and adding curl definition.
The fastest way to apply your base layer product is right in the shower. After rinsing out your conditioner, section your hair in half (or more sections for higher-density hair). Then add a small amount of product to wet hands and emulsify the product to apply more evenly throughout your hair. Apply with the praying hands method first, then rake it in further with your fingers.
How much product should I use?
The amount of product you use depends on the product itself and your hair density.
Always start with a small amount first, then add a little more as needed
until you feel your hair is lightly and evenly coated.
Lightweight base layer products
Here are the base layer favorites. Choose just one to apply before your styling gel or mousse and enjoy the extra hydration, definition, and curl-enhancing benefits!
These are all silicone free to support your healthy curls journey too.
01. Innersense Leave-in conditioner spray – so lightweight that it’s a spray! With aloe and essential oils, it’s great for adding that extra bit of hydration without weighing down your hair. Recommended for all hair types, fine to coarse hair. Light lavender scent. Clean ingredients and free of silicones, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances.
02. Giovanni lightweight leave-in conditioner – has a traditional leave-in conditioner consistency that is super easy to apply. Try adding just a pea or dime-sized amount for all of your hair. Just emulsify the product in your hands before applying for a light and even application. You can find this online at Amazon, Walmart, or in-store at natural grocery stores.
03. Jessicurl Rockin Ringlets – is a curl-enhancing product with flaxseed extract. I love this one to add more spring to my wavy curls. Shake the bottle before applying it to soaking wet hair. Note that the consistency is a thin, liquid product, so apply a small amount at a time to avoid it dripping off your hands!
04. Treluxe ReFlex Serum – is an unscented serum that pairs well with other styling products. It holds hydration and gives a light hold to the curls. Recommended for fine to coarse hair types. Non-sticky nor tacky and results in hair that’s soft to the touch. Note that it does contain polyquats, a cousin of silicones, so it’s not recommended for those strictly following the curly girl method.
05. UFD Curly Magic – Surprise! This one is a light gel to enhance the curls and hold hydration with marshmallow extract and aloe vera. It works well as a base layer under other strong-hold gels. I love that this one comes with a pump for easy application too.
Setting the Curls
After applying your base layer, add your favorite styling product to hold and set the curls. I love using a strong hold gel to keep my curls in tact for days, but I’ll always have a mousse on hand for those quick and light styling days too!
See any of your favorites here too? Share your lightweight product recommendations in the comments below!