By The Damn Salon

We frequently meet women who find themselves frustrated with the arsenal of products they’ve collected on their quest for curls. As with most things, The Damn Salon has an opinion about this and It is a simple one…

Curls do not come in a jar.

Kinky hair is in and of itself curly. If you have ever examined a “nap” closely then you may have already arrived at this conclusion. So, why are black women spending millions of dollars annually on puddings, creams, gels, sprays, and other concoctions that promise what they already have? It is absolutely possible to find products that will tame frizz, or define YOUR natural EXISTING curl pattern. But you will not find springy spirals in a jar, if you never had them to begin with, my dear.

Don’t fight nature, embrace it. Haute hair, begins with healthy hair. So, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Trim every 3 months. Choose protective styles whenever possible. Avoid heat like the plague. Once you have mastered these principles, explore styling options that work with your natural curl pattern. If your hair is very kinky, roll with it…literally. Styles like finger twists and comb twists will produce awesome lasting texture with ease. These styles also tend to look better as they age. Gently separate the twist after a few days for greater volume and variety.

If you have a looser curl pattern the tried and true two strand twist will elongate and unify your curls. The springy corkscrews can be worn for up to two weeks, depending on their size. Larger twists will show their age a little faster. Use a light oil, like The Damn Salon’s Peppermint and Tea Tree Hair Oil, when doing your twist out. You should enjoy natural spirals that age beautifully. If you have wavy hair, try Bantu knots. The knots alone are Avante Garde and exotic. When twisted out they will provide you with big bold waves. Think old Hollywood Glam.

I really love the message of this piece! Ladies, what do you think?

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Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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148 Comments on "Curls Don’t Come in a Jar…"

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My hair used to have a curl pattern when it was virgin – the front and back were 4a and the crown was 4b. It was very tight and springy, like a rubber band. After I moisturized it (after washing) it was easier to manage. Now, after years of flat ironing and hair dye, my curl pattern has vanished. So, it’s just a ball of puff and when I moisturize it – it’s just wavy. So, it think the best way to tell what hair type one has is on virgin hair.

Aliyah Morrison

I have a s curl pattern but it’s tight curls and I have two different curl patterns . Right now I have my hair in a protective style cornrows .

For me, curls do come in a jar. I have 4c hair. Without product, my hair dries frizzy and tight with no discernible curl pattern. To get curls, I co-wash, apply a little almond or avocado oil close to the scalp, use regular conditioner mixed with a bit of castor oil as my leave-in, and Wetline Xtreme gel. After layering on the products, I rake my fingers through manageable sections (adding more water if I need more slip). Pow! Curls popping out all over. THE WETLINE XTREME GEL IS THE KEY. I get cute little spirals and very little frizz… Read more »
Annastacia Goodbeer

Sounds like you have 4b hair not 4c hair.

My hair is 4C and can be dry as heck. So I do moisturize quite bit. For those who just big choppd, I too was sad as hell because I had zero curls. However, with my type hair I learned that I have to manipulate my naps for style. I stayed away from all the EXPENSIVE products and tried a store brand curl creme, and smooth shine conditioning gel w/jojoba and olive oil, a palm rub around my head and…..BOOM!!! Naps with shine and definition. I loved it! However as my hair grew I had to change products but I… Read more »

My hair has no curl pattern either so I imbrace my fri and I luv it its mine in not waisting my money on those products sorry Chinese and white men won’t get to much of my money
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Arlinda Brown

I too have a diagnosis of natural hair with no curl pattern. What do you do with hair don’t won’t curl?


The article tells you how to achieve a curl pattern… it can be time consuming compared to those who can do a wash and go but results are well worth it!!!


why the need for a “curl”?

Interracial Dating Websites

Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing on your feed and I’m hoping you write once more soon!


I did my BC about a month ago and I hate it!! I have no curls in my hair whatsoever. Mi tried everything. I’m hoping this wil change, I refuse to give up!
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You just big chopped so your curl pattern may show after more growth. Also like they said in the article moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.


You look lovely!


Well I have changed since the last time I commented. I am doing wash and loc method, no braiding or twisting. My hair is suffering massive breakage.

I like the article and must admit that initially I was confused about my hair type when I went natural a few years ago. I haven’t had a relaxer on my hair in about 6 years…no heat in the last 3 and no braids in the past 1 1/5 years. I have naturally kinky coily hair. And people stop me to get the name(s) of the products that I use. Their usually disappointed because I don’t use any of the highly marketed products. My goal is to strengthen, moisturize and grow my kinky coily hair. Every now and then I… Read more »
Great article! And so important to say & keep saying, because the neverending chase to achieve the unachievable has discouraged many a person & kept them from embracing & appreciating whatever texture they naturally possess! I try to tell this advice to so of my friends/associates who are either newly natural or transitioning or thinking of going natural. There is no “perfect” curl pattern! Please don’t start off with that crap in mind or you will be sorely disappointed! And yes! A LOT, not all, but a damn big percentage of Black women with naturals are on a neverending quest… Read more »

I’ve been over Miss Jessies since I saw how they encourage their clients to get texturizers. Stuff cost too much anyway.


never really went looking for curls. because they’re just not there. one of the limitations of my hair. it can do a whole of other cool stuff though.


length though. whoooooo i go mad for it o_0


This was never my concern I like the nappy look of my hair i just wish i didnt have the tangling and the breakage. I think more naturals with 4xyz are more concerned with length more so than the texture.


I agree about desiring length too.Shrinkage really is a BEAST so it feel slike your hair isn’;t growing until you stretch it. 🙂


I must be one of a few naturals who was never in search of curls…too much to detangle.
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you betta WERQ! yasssss. I love this so much. Volume, thickness, that scarf. serving up some undefined realness up in herrr

ahem. anyways, I do see so many women fiending (?) for the perfect C curl. Not to loose, not too tight. Let’s stop playing goldiLOCS and the 3 textures and embrace what we have. The marketing for miss jessie’s is disgusting and the whole Mixed Chicks label irritates me based on the name alone. Give kinks a chance!

Wow, this is a really conversation and my feelings and sentiments have been all over this board. I have been natural since 2004 and I have done many styles, from fros to twists to curly weaves. Some points I definitely agree with: 1. A lot (not all) of people really do envy the curly naturals. I have a friend who I consider to have LOVELY natural hair…but because her hair isnt that wash-n-go curly Tracee Ellis Ross hair–she doesnt think it is good enough. My hair is a 4b/4c, so I know my hair will never be curly, but I… Read more »

would they say the same thing if you sported an undefined fro (still styled and well taken care of though)?

My hair has a big, less defined state which I love, but getting that kind of volume without damaging my hair seems impossible. I will continue trying things here and there, because I love big hair, and my hair has a surprising amount of volume without all the products. I have shared different things but in the end my hair did not like it. The only thing I can think if is that now that I am doing a low po hair regimen maybe I could try doing a heat dc first and then warming up a light leave-in like… Read more »

I can tell you are gorgeous and your hair is fab!

Crystal Waters

Most are paid advertisers. NikkiMae2003 aka NaturalChica has been a paid advertiser, starting with Miss Jessie’s Products, since the beginning of her sharing her journey. Be mindful that there are some that are paid advertisers and others who are sharing their journey, there is a difference.


On this same topic I am officially over the new phenom of “the curly girl method” Naturals are becoming PJ all over again to acheive this look that all the YT Gurus are pushing out there.. for marketing and pay out most likely!

Yes yes yes! I have long, long natural hair and I tried forever to get curly girl hair like waterlily or sun kiss alba. I began to realize that with my length and texture combo, it just can’t happen. Their hair might be long but mine is longer and some frizz just naturally comes with length. Rather than fight it, I have found ways that I discuss on my channel that help me bring out the best in my hair. As far as methods go, something can be taken from all of them, but following them to the letter, it… Read more »

Actually of all the natural hair trends, the curly girl method is the one I like although I haven’t tried it yet. The problem is a lot of those on YT have not read the book and are just doing too much. It is a very simple method that I may start using in the future. You simply wash the hair, condition, leave some conditioner in the hair, add some gel and you are good to go with very little manipulation to the hair.

Being naturaltomemeans hair eductaion.Unlearning all iknow and starting with a blank canvas. 🙂 The more more naturals the more info so that can ONLY be a good thing. We should focus on what unites not divide. I have kinky dry curls and my wash n go’s are simple they take 5- 10 mins.All i do is apply condtioner and rake through in sections and let it air dry! No all day madness and no diffuser.I simply like leaving my hair as it is curl or not with condtioner to moistures and i am happy.As my hair is dry i cant’… Read more »

I’m not going to criticize others for trying to obtain a certain look. The may not get what they’re looking for, but at least they’ve given up the creamy crack. One step in the right direction. All this talk about obtaining length and definition is the new relaxer is ridiculous and discouraging to potential natties.

There will always be women of any race who do not like what they have or were born with. Natural haired Black women are not immune to that nor are we more filled with self hate and a disdain for the ‘nappy’ than anyone else. No doubt, some of us do hold certain hairtypes in greater esteem than our own. That doesn’t mean that we ALL do, should we desire to try out different types of hair products. In other words, we are not all doing so because we want hair like “fill in the blank with name of your… Read more »

Zenith, I’m totally feelin’ you!


Thanks again Anastasia!

I follow everyone, I don’t discriminate on hair texture because I have learned from all of the lady’s and I admire the time they all put into the product reviews and making videos regardless of texture. Plus, I have 3c/4a/4B hair so for me,it’s helpful to see them all. However, tell that to Carol’s daughter who chose Taren an Elle of all the bloggers and vloggers on youtube, to represent natural hair, which I am totally happy for them, but they both have very nice hair, and from other commenters I read all the time who bring up the same… Read more »

I thought Solange Knowles (a beautiful woman with fully luscious Type 4 hair) was the featured spokesmodel for Carol’s Daughter. I didn’t realize that Lisa Price had changed her marketing campaign and placed the above mentioned ladies as the the featured spokesmodel. They are certainly beautiful too and have lovely hair. Lisa herself has a looser textured curl and I wonder if she feels partial to naturals whose hair more closely resembles her own.


Becky I totally agree, lets not get this twisted this curl definition debate goes back to what is deemed as GOOD HAIR…PERIOD!

Becky T
I am calling BullSh*t on this because the black natural hair community tends to focus on women with biracial or natural curly hair! So don’t be surprised if that is what most women going natural is looking for, THAT LOOK! And yes, they actually try to get curls in a bottle, which is the name of an actual product by the way! I can honestly say as a 36 year old woman, that is all I see on most natural webites is good hair, even most of our natural hair icons as someone stated, denimpixie (Elle), curly Nikki, etc, have… Read more »

So true. it’s not self hat when I say that I wish my hair were easier to manage. it just means I wish my hair were easier to manage.


Thought i was the only person who noticed that!! biracial; hair craze


if you do nothing to combat that sort of insecure thinking, that’s when the story becomes real sad because you will pass your mindset to the future generations of your family.


sad situatuion,but I have to agree…most of the natural hair icons as well as the pictures posted on natural hair site showcase “good hair” and they are the ones who get the best reactions.


:/ ummm.




That’s *real talk*!

One of the things I love abour being natural is the versitility that it provides. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting curl definition, but I do agree that you have to be realistic about what your hiar cn do on its own. A woman with natural hair doing soemthing to enhance her curls or create a different curl/wave effect is no different than a woman with a relaxer doing a roller set. Its simply another style option in my opinion. For example, I love Trece Ellis Ross’s hair. I know my hair won’t do that, but I… Read more »
I like the intent of this article- to encourage acceptance of your own hairtype. I am happy to see more ladies being willing to grow their hair out in it’s natural state. I think the product explosion is due to the newness of it all and folks want to financially capitalize on it. It is natural that a certain amount of experimentation occur. I went natural 12 yrs ago and I remember buying tons of stuff at the time-just to experiment and see how a given product product made my hair feel- not to change my texture. I think we… Read more »

mwant to say’ watching our self-esteem grow’.

When I went natural in 1995 the only thing I knew for sure about my hair was that it would be NAPPY with a capital NAPPY. 🙂 I figured (perfectly reasonably, I might add) that if I’d had any other texture I wouldn’t have gotten a relaxer in the first place. Unlike some women who’ve been relaxed since toddlerhood, I didn’t get my first real relaxer until I was 12, so I knew what I had AND I knew it wasn’t like my classmates’ looser-textured hair. Turns out I was right…sort of. I still have yet to be accused of… Read more »
Thank you for this post. I wish it was posted many years ago. I am over the people with the so call wash n go styles that takes hours for them to prep and tons of product. I have never been that woman.. my hair is kinky and I love it — it is mines and it is unique. Be who you are and stop trying to be something that you are not. Like wit relaxers we want that European flare with this “curly hair” look we want the so called exotic look — Brazilan, Spanish mixed so forth and… Read more »

Omg you are so right on! My hair is too long for perfect curls, it wouldn’t have enough life and body! I know I have the option on occasion to gunk my hair down with products, maybe for a certain look or updo. But on a regular basis I love big hair that is adequately moisturized of course to prevent breakage.


This journey is about self dicovery and acceptance. The more we are at peace with ourselves, we can learn to be accepting of others. Afro hair is beautiful in all its textures. In the process we will experiment with products, but ultimately maintaining healthy hair is what’s important.


Interesting the photo, with this story was here yesterday has been replaced!?!?!


Yep, the photo has been replaced!


As long as we are progressing from perming and frying our hair then I don’t really care. Generally as women, we like to wear and experiment with different hair styles. Even women with looser curls wear twist- or braid-outs! My hair is more wavy than curly and I don’t like that my hair looks soo thin and limp so I’ll do a twist- or braid-out to give my hair a more thick and textured look. On the other hand, my sister has curly-kinky hair and she chooses to wear twist- outs to avoid tangling.


True! I wear twist outs to avoid singe strand knots and keep my hair tangle free-that is the primary reason. It has nothing to do with trying to “fake the funk” or enhance my curl pattern.


Me, too! It’s maintenance for me.

Why aren’t twist outs considered as creating curl definition? I admit I am a little obsessed with curl definition because as much as I moisturize my hair just soaks it up and stays dry. Those thick puddings work great on my hair because it stays soft longer. When I don’t use any of those products or twist outs I can barely part my hair while dry or even put it in a ponytail without spraying it first and I have loose 3b/3c curls. I’m definitely not ashamed of wanting them to be defined instead of being clumped because frankly I… Read more »

I think twist outs ARE considered curl definition. I’m personally not a fan of twist outs, braid outs, or any other outs. I think it’s too much of a manipulation to the curl’s basically faking the funk in my opinion.

You are entitled to your opinion but like I said in my case not everyone can do wash and gos. Its very hard having to “wash” my hair everyday instead I do twist outs so I can just retwist at night. I’m not faking anything except the fact my hair is very normally dry and tangles easily and twist outs help me me retain moisture longer throughout the day. Its less about the look/pattern for me because I place random uneven ones all over and more about maintenance. & I say I’m obsessed with my hair having definition because I… Read more »
In my opinion wash and go’s are not great for length retention because your hair can gain a lot of split ends and single strand knots as it dries. For me they don’t really work. I would have to plop my hair for it to come out decently. I could never literally just wash and go, my hair would be unbelievably frizzy. But what I like to do is just a simple two French braids and then when my hair is dry I put water on the ends and comb it out dry. I personally prefer to wear it big… Read more »
i consider twist outs texture definition…i think it’s to also escape undefined and/or frizzy hair like people like to do with curl definition. There are ALOT of naturals that don’t see undefined hair as a viable style to walk outside the house with. To many I know, it’s “unkempt” hair. This also goes for women with looser curls because some have frizzy poofy hair without the aid of some conditioner or gel. There’s no strong social movement or fashion trend defining natural hair like in the 70’s so we are seeing how women truly view their hair. (not just talking… Read more »

I feel similar when I see twist outs on girls with kinkier hair. Their big and wavy twist outs always looked better to me then my flat stretched out curls. I don’t like my twist out until the second day, and now only use twist outs to do a stretched out style. I think sometimes we think the grass is greener on the other side. What helped me was looking at hair blogs from people with my hair texture, so I could be more comfortable with my texture.


i thought this site is called black girl with long hair. its nothing but so-called natural hair. honestly if your hair is yours its natural anyway. embracing all hair.


Umm yeah! Buying hair would (technically) make it naturally yours too, but lending support to people who solely rely on artificial hair is not the purpose of this site either.

This site is geared towards black women who choose not to process their hair with chemicals that permanently change the texture. For now, this has been termed ‘natural’. The site does not act as a source of derision for ladies who make a different choice, but as a source of support. I believe it’s possible to embrace all hair and lend support to a subset at the same time.


Zenith wrote:

“This site is geared towards black women who choose not to process their hair with chemicals that permanently change the texture. For now, this has been termed ‘natural’. The site does not act as a source of derision for ladies who make a different choice, but as a source of support. I believe it’s possible to embrace all hair and lend support to a subset at the same time.”

AWESOME and well-said!!!


Thank you Anastasia!


Are you upset because they are geared towards natural hair? & I’m pretty sure one of the captions of the website is Black Girl Long Hair: Celebrating the dopeness of natural hair. o_O

Uhm, wow yea guys that was random and made me bust out laughing! But I agree it was a pretty good read- however I feel that to each is own. People will always be ‘obsessed’ with something that they may not have had but attempt to get it by any means. There are some people who come from a family of overweight people but work their buts off to get in shape. I don’t see anything wrong with attempting to define your curls, but there is a time to realize that some options may not work best for your hair.… Read more »

That was random. Lol


LOL!!! Random- My thoughts exactly!

Hmmm…the poster’s message reads as if she’s angry. It’s ok, really…it will be alright whatever you choose to do with your hair and if not, you’ll discover something that does work for you.

Do what makes you happy with your own hair. “Noone can make you feel bad about yourself without your premission”-one of my favorite quotes. If curl creams work for you and you like the look-do you. I use them sometimes and sometimes I don’t. Some work better than others for me. I like to try different looks. I have been having a ball with my hair since I stopped relaxing it! I love the two-strand twist-I wear them in and I like them loose a few days later. I like the fro-look. Not everyone who uses products is trying to… Read more »
+1. I simply love the versatility of natural hair and refuse to limit myself based on the views of others. I will not be policed by either relaxed hair or natural hair folks. I love wash and gos, afro puffs, curly afros, flat twists, cornrows, etc. I use curl creams and gels because I like to enhance my curls at times. While other times, I just use natural oils and/or a leave-in when I am seeking a less defined look. Every now and then (a few times a year) I flat iron my hair for a different look. I do… Read more »
Samantha WH

Thanks for the article. I have tried NUMEROUS time to tell women that they cant get a product that will give them something they do not already have. the product will only enhance, not transform…unless of course, it is a RELAXER or COLOR.


I think until kinky curly hair is portrayed in the media and blogs just as regularly and complimented just as much as corkscrew and wavy hair, women will turn to “curls in a jar” as a means of achieving what is perceived as the standard of beauty for natural hair.

I actually don’t like the look of defined curls on myself. :/ I have medium sized curls and in the beginning I bought some eco-styler gel because I saw someone with my hair texture use it and have defined hair. Their hair was really long, so it looked really nice on them. My hair was short and when it dried, it was even shorter and I hated it. I have never tried to define my curls as a style again even though my hair is longer. It may just be my personality, but I like when my hair is big… Read more »

Good post, however just today I answered an email of how I get my hair curly. I got the “do you add oil” to make it curly? And if I see another “curl creme” or “Curly pudding” I”m going to *well, do nothing actually…lol*. But, it’s stil discouraging to see so many women who think that every one’s hair is extremly curly like Tracey Ellis Ross…


Yea, I gave up on getting my hair to do anything it doesn’t want to do. Twists and twist outs don’t work for me. Accept your hair and work with what you have.


i like using the tightly curly method. it’s worked on my hair like a charm! hopefully i can get the curls to last intact for up to two weeks because i’m trying to find a way of combating manipulation and the need to detangle.


I never knew I had cork-screw curls and waves until I stopped relaxing. NO PRODUCT WILL CREATE CURLS,WAVES, & COILYS!!
This goes back to that good hair debate, everyone is looking for that old fashion curly air referred to as good hair!!


I agree with this entire post! lol



People are like this with a lot of things. We see other folks with…curly hair, the newest fashion, the best cars..and we want it too. I still have jars of gel in my bathroom from the days when I tried to do wash n gos – wanting to have that perfect curl. I realized my hair wasn’t having it! It took a long journey to get to this place. But, it was a wonderful journey to have, since I learned about my hair in the process. I moisturize (not often enough), go longer than 3 months between trims, and rarely… Read more »