What I am Currently Using for my Curly Hair and How am I Using the Products?

Since starting on my curly girl method journey, I get a lot of questions about what I am using and what techniques I use. By all means, I am not an expert and am only about 3 months into my journey. However, that being said, I am always willing to discuss the things I have learned and researched with others. That being said, let’s get into what I am currently using! (You can click on any of the product pictures to take you to the products.)

Please note that any of the product pictures can be clicked on to take you to a link to view and/or purchase the products.  Any Amazon links are part of my affiliate Amazon store front and I do earn a very small amount of money from any purchase made from that link.  Scrunch It Curls is also an affiliate link in which I earn a very small amount from any purchase from from that link.  All other links are not part of any affiliation.  

Shampoo

Shea Moisture Low Porosity Shampoo. This is something that I use as a “low poo”. To me, a low poo is something I use when I do not need to use a clarifying shampoo. Some following the curly girl method only co-wash (conditioner washing only), however, I personally wash my scalp every time I am in the shower. I will take a little of this shampoo and massage my scalp helping to break apart any build up that may be there. As I wash out the product from my scalp, the suds will run down the rest of my hair giving it a good wash.

Shea Moisture Baobab & Tee Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein-Free Shampoo

Kinky-Curly Come Clean. This shampoo is a clarifying shampoo, meaning it is really going to strip my hair of products and/or build up. Since my hair is low porosity, product build up can happen more easily. This build up will then weight the hair and curls down. Typically, I use this clarifying shampoo about every other week. However, I will use it sooner if I notice any build up or that my curls are being weighed down/look a little lifeless. I focus the Come Clean shampoo on my scalp, but I will then take a little bit and focus on the rest of my hair as well. You will get some good suds with this shampoo, so not much extra shampoo is needed to wash the rest of your hair.

Kinky-Curly Come Clean Shampoo

Conditioner

One of the most important things with curly hair is moisture. So how can you get the moisture that is needed? Water, of course; and conditioner. While there are different types of conditions, let me just go over what I am currently using.

Not Your Mothers Curl Talk Conditioner 3-in-1. This is something I use every time I shower, unless I am deep conditioning during my wash day. I focus the majority of the product on the rest of my hair than on the roots. Since I have not colored my hair or used heat for the last few years, that part is fairly healthy and does not need as much product since it’s the younger part of my hair. I will say that my hair is pretty long and I have not drastically cut my hair for the last 2-3 years. While using the conditioner, I will try to section it off a little bit so I can work it in as evenly as possible while trying to also finger detangle my hair.

NYMN Curl Talk 3-1 Conditioner

I will also use a wet brush to detangle my hair after I finger detangled my hair. At this point in my wash routine, I will flip my hair down (like I am touching my toes) working the wet brush from the base of my skull brushing through my hair down the the ends. Here is the brush that I use to do this process:

Wetbrush Detangling Comb

Once I have combed through my hair and made sure it is completely detangled, I will then squish the conditioner in. This is often referred to as squish to condish in the curly girl community. You take your hands (palms up) to the ends of your hair bringing all your hair up to your scalp and pulsating at the top. This helps to form your curl pattern and really helps that conditioner get in your hair to moisturize.

Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Ultra-Nourishing Mask. This mask is something I use as a deep conditioner. I use this exactly the same way as the conditioner.

Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Ultra-Nourishing Mask

The only step that is different while using this product versus the other conditioner is that I also use a heat cap. Since my hair is low porosity, using some heat helps open those cuticles to allow more moisture in. Here is the one that I use:

Deep Conditioning Heat Cap

After I have squished to condish with the Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Mask, I will then put the heat cap on. Often I will have my husband or my son go heat it up in the microwave while I am still in the shower so that I do not have to get out and get water everywhere. The directions recommend 10-15 minutes for deep conditioning. While I am in the shower with the heat cap on, I will do the rest of the things I need to do to finish my shower (shave, wash my face, wash my body).

Once the conditioning is all done (with either process), I will then wash my hair out with either warm or cold water. The temperature really depends on what I feel my hair needs during that time. Since I do have low porosity hair, that warm rinse will really open up the cuticle of the hair. However, if I feel there is enough slip (how lubricious the products have made my hair feel), I will use cold water to rinse my hair.

Curls Blueberry & Coconut Hair Milk. This is by far the best leave in conditioner I have used since starting this journey. I use this every time after getting out of the shower on wash days. This product is a milk which means it is going to be more lightweight. This works great for me because of my low porosity how that is prone to build up. I want to keep it as lightweight yet moisturizing as possible. To use the product, I will add just add product to my hands and finger comb it through my hair.

Curls Blueberry & Coconut Hair Milk

I will also use a Denman Brush to help distribute the product while also helping to define my curls.

Denman Brush, 7 Rows

Once it is all brushed in a evening distributed, I then again squish to condish. This is one part in my routine that I recently did switch up because I was having issues with my hair being matted in the back due to styling. The curly girl method really calls for you to do all the conditioning and styling with you bending over allowing your hair to drape down over your head. Instead, I now tilt my head to the side and then kind of body roll my hair to the opposite side. I prefer this technique because then I don’t have this weird area in the back of my head that is kind of matted down when I go to diffuse it or let it air dry.

Curl Defining Products

While this is not a step you have to take, it is something that I really started doing after finding a product I am absolutely in love with.

BounceCurl Avocado & Rose Oil Clump and Define Cream. I think this product does a great job of forming and clumping my curls. I use this product the same way that I use the leave in squishing it into my curls while using that head tilt to really get that curl pattern forming. I will also use the Denman Brush during this process as well. I will brush the hair down and away from my face. My hair will then start to curl and clump together, it is really kind of magical to watch.

BounceCurl Clump & Define Cream

Gels & Mousses

This is the product area I probably have the most amount of products. I have tried so many things, but I have found the three best products (for me personally) that I use. These three are not always used at one time. I do like to change things up a little bit so sometimes I will use all of them, sometimes I will use only one. To apply these products, I use the technique called “praying hands”. This is where you will take the product, rub it in your hands, then lightly run the product over your curls in a prayer hand formation (with your curls in between your hands). This helps not to disrupt the curl pattern you formed in the above steps. Once the product is applied, you then squish it into the curls by lifting your hair at the ends to the roots and pulsating once you get to the roots. Again, I tilt my head from side to side to apply the products and squish so that I do not get this weird flat, matted spot in my hair.

Not Your Mothers Curl Talk Curl Activating Mousse. I find that mousse doesn’t give my hair enough of a cast. So often, I will pair it with a gel using the technique called mousse-gel-mousse. It is how it sounds using mousse first, followed by gel, then followed by mousse.

Curl Talk Mousse

Aussie Instant Freeze Gel. This is a really great product. It will give a great cast (remember to scrunch out the crunch after your hair is fully dried). I tend not to use this product as much anymore because I found another gel that works really well with my hair. However, when I do any sort of wet/damp plopping over night, I use this gel because it gives such a great cast.

Aussie Instant Freeze Gel

Kinky-Curly Curling Custard. I honestly think this is magical. I heard a lot of great things about it and decided to buy it. I do not regret it at all. This is always my go to gel and it just works so nicely with my curly hair.

Kinky-Curly Curling Custard

Once all the product is in, I use a microfiber towel to remove the excess water. This helps in air drying time as well was diffusing time. A tshirt can also be used if you don’t have a micro fiber towel or do not want to buy one.

Deva Curl Microfiber Towel

At this point, you want to allow your hair to full dry before you touch it! This is very important. If you touch it before it is dry, it can cause your hair to frizz. You want to make sure your hair is fully dried before you then scrunch out the crunch. This is a technique where you scrunch your hair from ends to roots (pulsating at the top) in order to get the crunch from the products out. Once you have scrunched out all that crunch, you are left with amazing defined curls.

Refresh Products

I can often go 3-6 days without washing it. However, I do refresh my hair. This process can be done many ways with many products. Personally, I will either wet refresh or dry refresh.

To wet refresh, I will use a continuous water mister to wet my hair. I will then detangle my hair by finger detangling followed by the wet brush detangler. Then I just start at the leave in conditioner going through all the steps down the to gel. Again, you want to make sure you hair is fully dried (air or diffused) before scrunching out the crunch.

Continuous Water Mister

On days that I need just a little curl boost and my hair hasn’t gone limp or became too frizzy; I will just use a refresh spray.

Witch I Love Your Hair Hair Magic. Not only does this stuff smell amazing, it really works well for dry refreshing. I just spray a little on my hair, then will use praying hands over my hair followed by squishing the hair from ends to roots pulsating at the root.

Hair Magic

This product is also really good to use if you have an itchy scalp.

Other Tools/Items/Products I Use

Here are some of the other products and items that I use:

The Puff Cuff. I am not even sure how to put into words what this is. It is basically a plastic circle that has these two hooks to open it up and secure around your hair. It is very lose fitting, so this is something that does not pull at your hair causing breakage. At night, I will put my hair as far at the top of my head as possible, and then secure it with this cuff. I personally use the micro size.

The Puff Cuff (pictured: micro)

Scrunch It Sleep. I have tried a couple different bonnets to wear to bed at night. However, none of them fit as comfortable or are as thin as the Scrunch It Sleep. At night, I will use The Puff Cuff and then throw my hair into the Scrunch It Sleep. This helps project the curls from breakage, drying out, and keeping the curl pattern longer.

Scrunch It Sleep

Satin Pillow Cases. One of the biggest things I found out (other than I shouldn’t be using a towel on my hair) that shocked me, was my pillow cases were more than likely drying out my hair and causing breakage. I switched to satin pillow (or you can use silk) to make sure that didn’t continue to happen. Since purchasing them, I have added that Scrunch It Sleep cap, but if it were ever to fall off, I would still be okay not having to worry about damage to my hair.

Satin (or silk) Pillow Cases

Satin Scrunchies. Before starting this curly girl journey, I was using elastic hair ties. These were terrible on my hair! Back when I was a kid, I did not like scrunchies. However, since purchasing some satin ones off of Amazon, I will never go back ever again. I do not get the pulled hairs, I lose less hair, and my head doesn’t hurt from them.

Satin Scrunchies

ZazzyBandz. I am trying really hard to wear my hair down more. Not only is it better for the curl pattern and strain on the hair, I can also show off all my hard work. However, the biggest issue I have is I hate hair in my face. I was lucky enough to come across ZazzyBandz. These are headbands that fit more like how sunglasses fit when you put them on top of your head. This not only does pull the hair back with teeth (they have a small silicon like band instead of normal headbands that have small teeth), but it also fits more loosely. I have had a lot of issues with headaches and migraines. Using a normal headband would cause my head to hurt, a headache, or a migraine. It is a great company that gives a portion of every sale to support the children and their caregivers in the Peniel Centre Orphanage located in Zimbabwe.

Zazzy Bandz

Blow Dryer & Diffuser. I do typically air dry my hair. However, there are some days I just need to get it dry because I have to be somewhere. I will use the Xtava blow dryer with their Black Orchid diffuser on the end. I will use the medium heat setting but then for the last 10-15 seconds switch it to the cool setting before moving on the to next section.

Xtava Blow Dryer
Xtava Black Orchid Hair Diffuser

Curl Keeper Roller Jaw Clamps. These are something that I recently added. I have hair that does not contain a lot of volume. An issue I have had is volume at the roots. I do hair flip (flip my hair to different parts as it is drying), but I wanted something a little more. I purchased these roller jaw clamps and use them both while air drying or if I am diffusing my hair.

Curl Keeper Roller Jaw Clamps

Righteous Roots Pre-Poo Oil. This is also something that is new. The night before I have my wash day, I will section my hair into 4 and apply this oil to my hair while finger detangling. I found that this saves time during my wash days because sometimes my hair is a tangled mess by the time I go to wash it. After I section my hair into 4 sections, I take one at a time and apply about 3 drops to my finger tips and rub them together. I then go into my scalp in that section that I am working on and gently massage my scalp. I will then take about 3 more drops and start applying it to my hair in that section from roots to tips. Gently, I will start to finger detangle my hair. Once it is all detangled, I then will braid it and secure it with a small hair tie. I do this to the other 3 sections as well. Once it is all done, I will throw my hair into the Scrunch It Sleep cap and go to bed. Once I get into the shower for my wash day, I will take my hair out of the braids and wash day goes so much more smoothly than it did before.

Righteous Roots Pre-Poo

Whoa, that was a lot of information and products. That covers everything I am using and how I use each item. I am not a writer by any means, so hopefully you held with me through all of that. If you should have any questions, please feel free to leave any questions in the comments!

What…a…week!

I never thought I would ever experience the horror I did on Tuesday, July 29th.

Please note I will be adding photos to the bottom of this blog. If you are triggered or do not do well with cuts/stitches, please make sure to not scroll to the bottom.

It all started out when I got up and ready for the day. My mom had just called to let me know my sister-in-law was in labor and that the baby should come that day. She wanted to let me know her and my dad were on their way to Omaha and she would call when she heard more about the baby. Then I woke up Jace and told him to get ready to go back to his mom’s.

I got home and wanted to get to work right away. I wanted to get a lot of things done by working on releases for Friday and finishing up the made to order purchases. On my way down to my office, I asked Jaxson to feed and water the dogs. A chore he has done for years and something that you wouldn’t think would cause any damage or terror to your or your son’s life.

I could hear the dog food cling the steal dish as it entered the first bowl. A few seconds later, I heard Jaxson screaming at the top of his lungs. At the time, I really thought he had just encounter a large spider. That reaction to a spider is not something new for Jaxson or I by any means. However, I did know this scream was a little more than a normal “I see a spider” scream.

As I casually walked up from my office to the kitchen, I kept asking what was wrong. He would not respond and kept screaming. When I reached the kitchen and looked at him, I could see his knee. I could not believe what I was seeing. It took a minute for it to register in my mind what I was seeing. I remember I started screaming bloody murder like he was and managed to yell my husband’s name. Jaxson was standing right next to the kitchen drawer that has our towels in it. I reached in and grabbed whatever I could and put it on his cut right away.

In my husband’s words, when I started screaming, he knew this was not a drill and something was seriously wrong. He came rushing from upstairs. He was only at home to use the restroom and then leave again to go back to mowing. As he got to the kitchen he grabbed Jaxson. I looked at him and just asked “ambulance or take him”. He paused for a couple seconds to think then said ambulance.

I could not find my cell phone anywhere, so I rushed into the living room to grab the house phone. We then waited for the ambulance. It did not take very long, but it seemed like forever for Jaxson and I. My husband was very calm through all of this, however, I was not and barley kept it together.

When I say I was scared, that is an understatement. The initial look at his injury, I thought it went all the way to the bone. You could see just a flap of skin. It was right next to his knee cap so to me it appeared that his knee cap was literally falling off. I had no idea how bad it was or if he would need to have a transfusion when we got to the hospital. I ran through so many things in my head sitting on that kitchen floor putting pressure on Jaxson’s cut.

According to my husband, he knew that the cut was bad but not to the point where we really needed an ambulance. His concern was more so for Jaxson’s reaction. Jaxson was hyperventilating and his teeth were chattering.

As I sat on the phone with the 911 operator, Jaxson was crying hysterically saying he was scared and asking that they please hurry.

The paramedics arrived. They took a look and said that the majority of the bleeding had stopped. They tested his motor functions and vitals. During this time, they asked Jaxson questions to keep him calm. I think he found it comforting that one of the paramedics told Jaxson that his wife works at the school that Jaxson attends. After they checked him over and wrapped up the wound, they said that we could either transport him ourselves or they could take him by ambulance. Since they assured me the bleeding was not to be concerned about if we transported him, his vitals were fine, and his motor functions were good; we decided to transport him ourselves.

As we were waiting to fill out some information with the paramedics, Jaxson sat on the couch talking with a couple of them. One even went out to the ambulance and grabbed him a stuffed bear.

Once they had took all the information they needed from us, Jaxson and I went out the door to go to the hospital. I didn’t even bother to put any shoes on him.

Finally we were at the hospital. Thank goodness there were only a couple people there ahead of us. Jaxson at this point was very distraught. He would go into a panic and cry, then calm down, and then panic again. I found him a restroom since he had to potty. Shortly after that, we were already starting the process to get him into a room in the back.

They initially took us into a room to take his height, weight, and vitals. The nurse then took a look at his wound, and added topical numbing cream. The doctor came in and also took a look. She explained what they would be doing, but as we were talking, Jaxson asked that we go into the hallway to talk. The doctor explained what they intended to do, how they needed to numb the area, and how many stitches she thought he would need (she said 10 at that time). At this point, I was closer to his leg and could smell urine. I asked him if he peed himself in the bathroom trying to get his pants down. He said he did, but he did it at home when he saw the wound. I could not help but feel for him. I am sure it scared him so, so much.

After this, they took us back to a room. Ironically enough, the door had a whale shark on the glass. Jaxson LOVES sharks and ironically enough, it was Shark Week. We got settled in, introduced to nurses, and started watching Shark Week.

After about 20 minutes after they initially put the topical numbing cream on, they came back in to put another dose on. At this time they also gave Jaxson a sedative. He was pretty hysterical and the doctor would ask a couple times if that was normal. This is coming from the same kid who has to have a Bandaid for every scrape that he gets.

Once the sedative was given, Jaxson started to get sleepy. Which was great, he needed to rest. However, before he fell asleep he was rather restless. He would move his knee around causing the clear bandage they had over the topical cream to lift up a little. He tried to get out of bed a couple times and told me he was getting out of there. Finally, the sedative made him fall asleep.

The doctors and nurses came in about 20 minutes later. We tried to wake him up, but he was out. They started working on his knee by cleaning it out and injecting more medicine to numb the area. Jaxson would move, but did not wake up. When they finally started inserting stitches is when he woke. The hardest part was when he initially woke up, he didn’t know where he was at. It took about 10 minutes to get him settled down and understand what was going on. He would have times of extreme pain, but would then hold a conversation about sharks with the people in the room.

He received 17 stitches in total: 14 outside and 3 inside.

Finally we were done. They wrapped him up, gave us papers, and we left to go home.

He still is having a hard time four days later. He doesn’t like to talk about it, be asked about it, or hear others talking about what happened to him. I can only image how traumatizing this all was for him.

All because of the serrated edge of the Reynolds Wrap foil. Never in my life did I imagine that could have caused so much damage. Needless to say, the foil is no in a drawer where it has to somehow move 6 inches to the end of the counter to then fall on the floor.

7/29/19, 17 stitches in total (14 outside, 3 inside) after a freak accident with the Reynolds Wrap foil serrated edge.

Blog? About what?

I started a blog, so now what?

While I think Instagram is a great way to showcase a lot of information, I also feel that it is often over looked. I will admit that I have skipped through many Instagram stories.

I wanted a place that I could go into better detail of all things, not just planner related. I never know when Instagram if I should make it more personable or more business oriented. I never know if all my curly girl method things annoy people. In my head I would just continue to think the same thing: If you build it, they will come.

A place where I talk about anything and everything. Mistakes I have made in my business. What items have worked for me with the Curly Girl Method. What has worked for me in my business. Items that I have found that are so functional for my planning style.

So there you have it, my plans with this blog. I will also apologize in advance that I have not put any writing practice or proper English rules into play for a while. I apologize in advance for any grammar errors that may be in these blogs.

A Welcoming History Lesson of Ashy Leigh Deisngs

Hello & welcome to Ashy Leigh Desings Blogs!

I’m Ashley – mother, wife & business owner.

I live in Bennington, Nebraska with my husband (Cameron), son (Jaxson, 7), step-son (Jace, 13), and 3 dogs (Marilyn, Bella & Cardi).

I started my planner accessory business in January of 2015 called Ashy Leigh Designs. As I look back at the name now, I often think it is ridiculous. Most likely because I do not think many understand where it came from or the meaning. The name is based off of what my husband used to call me when we were younger – Ashy Lee. Due to an ex’s name, I did not want to have my business reflect the bad times of the past. I decided to change Lee to Leigh. Not only did it not reflect the past; it was prettier to write and my mom had once thought about spelling my name Ashleigh instead of Ashley. In my opinion, perfect fit.

So how did this whole thing start? I have always been into planning and paper planners. Prior to 2014 I would have planners from Target or Walmart. This always came in handy with school, work schedules, and the kid’s schedules. In 2014 a friend shared a planner she was using, the Erin Condren Life Planner. When I saw the pricing, I was like whoa that is SO expensive. Little did I know that I would fall down a rabbit hole of even more expensive planners.

With this new found planner; I also found Instagram pages, hash tags and Facebook groups. Again, another rabbit hole I quickly went down. I found some information on how to make your own stickers, so I bought a Silhouette. As time went on, I worked on making my own planner stickers.

This was still while I was working at my last job. Cameron (my husband) was working an hour away from home often pulling double shifts and myself working long hours as well. At the time, 95% of my paycheck was going directly to paying for child care between the two boys. It was also getting to the point that Jaxson was at daycare for 12 hours a day. As a family, we decided that I should be a stay at home mom. I put in my month notice, which they countered asking if I could stay three more months. I agreed, but looking back at it, I wish I would have declined and left after the month was over. Those last three months were some of the most stressful moments I have ever had. While I enjoyed certain aspects of my job, I felt like it was often way too overwhelming.

With some increase interest in my sticker designs, I decided to open my shop on Etsy on January 6, 2015. Only a few weeks prior to my last day of work. Within six months, I had created what I like to call planner tabs. This was widely popular and grew quickly in popularity.

The rest is history.

Here I am four and a half years later still doing the same thing only on my own website instead of Etsy. I cannot thank my customer’s enough for all the things I have been blessed with over the span of my business’s history.

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