Hair Favorites

My hair has always and continues to be a source of stress for me. Every girl I know struggles with their hair at least a little bit and the consensus seems to be that the grass is always greener. I only know one girl, she’s my sister’s friend, who has beautiful hair without touching it. Frizz-free, gorgeous waves. I’m so jealous!

College Prepster Hair

But that’s not what I have to work with. My hair is super curly in spots, wavy everywhere else, and generally frizzy. I will say, although my hair is a pain to work with, I have finally figured it out. There are various milestones throughout the years of me grasping how to work with my hair. My friend showed me how to use her Chi flatiron in eighth grade. In college, I discovered the power of a professional blow dryer. Going to Drybar for the first time in 2012 opened my eyes to what a good blowout was. I splurged on a curling iron for my 24th birthday.

I still have bad hair days, but when I want my hair to look good, I can do it. At home. By myself. In under 45 minutes. Now that my hair has grown out from my haircut a little bit, it’s long enough to curl again so I promise I’m going to do a video on how I do it soon. But in the meantime, here are the tools and products I like to use:

Hair Mask: Once a week, I use this hair mask in the shower. Sometimes I’ll let it sit in my hair while I shave my legs or, if I have the time, while I sit in the tub and read. My hair is so incredibly soft after I use this and just feels overall healthier. When I use the mask, my curls are so much bouncier, too.

Tresemme Heat Protectant: I’m not super picky about heat protectors, but this is one that I have bought multiple times. It’s lightweight and, once my hair is dry, I don’t feel it in my hair at all!

T3 Hair Dryer: My old dryer bit the dust over the summer, and I upgraded to this one. I like it because it’s easy to hold and not very heavy (key when you’re blow drying your own hair). It also does a great job creating frizz-free smooth hair, even without straightening.

When blow drying, I use a plain round brush and a regular hair clip.

Chi: When I’m doing a full straightening of my hair, I can’t go wrong with my Chi! There aren’t a lot of bells, and whistles and the plates heat evenly without snagging hair along the way.

BaByliss Mini: For traveling and for little touch ups, I use this mini straightener! I bought this before Ireland because it was dual voltage; I didn’t expect too much from it at all, but it’s amazing. So tiny yet it gets the job done, even my unruly hair! (It’s really great for getting close to my hairline too, especially those wispy hairs around my face.)

Drybar Curling Iron: It takes a few tries to get used to, but this is my favorite curling iron. The barrel twists making it easy to twirl your hair without burning your fingers. I love the perfect curls it produces!

Curling Wands: I use a curling wand when I want to have a little more control over my curls. You can play around with the hair, so it doesn’t look so uniform. For me, the waves I get with the wand are unparalleled. The wand also took some getting used to, and I definitely had a couple of burned fingers along the way, but I’d still say it’s worth it!

Dry Shampoo: I try not to use the dry shampoo too much, but in a pinch I love it. If I don’t have time to wash and style my hair, I’ll use a few sprints and run the dryer over my hair to fluff it up again.

Texturizer: A newer product in my “arsenal,” but man does it pack a punch. It makes my curls a little bit crunchier (not soft) and adds a lot of volume!!!


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It seems to me like American women in general are obsessed with their hair and spend a lot of time styling it. So different here in Europe – you just let it be 😉

Taylor Cannon

Thank you so much for sharing Carly! I also really struggle with my hair as I have a similar wavy-curly-frizzy combo. I will definitely try using some of these products to help tame it 🙂
-Taylor (


I had long hair down to about mid-back, got frustrated and chopped it into a severe assymetrical cut where one side was very short, like a 3 on a shaiving clippers. Sometimes you need a total change. Sure there are days where I miss my ponytail, but my short hair has liberated me from so much stuff. And it fits my personality more.

Jordana @WhiteCabana

I think your hair looks great, Carly. I spend about 3 minutes on my hair. I curled it for Halloween, and it took forever. I was so bored with the process. Zero patience over here! Maybe this is something I can work on…


I get bored too. I bring my Bose speaker () into the bathroom and listen to podcasts, Spotify, or audiobooks… and sometimes I do like positivity meditation (where I repeat phrases to the mirror) to prep for the day!

Amber Guillory

Carly, my hair texture is so similar and living in Texas doesn’t help with the frizz situation. I’m excited to try some of your favorite products. Do you find that a particular shampoo and conditioner help tame your hair?


I only use Head and Shoulders (unless I’m traveling) which has nothing to do with frizz, haha! But try Dove shampoo!


Love this post! I’ve finally figured my hair out as well. I find leave-in conditioner, heat protectant and a touch of argan oil do wonders for my dry thin hair! And dry shampoo adds volume which I definitely need 🙂

x Sarah


Your hair always looks so pretty. It can definitely be an adventure trying to uncover all of the products that work best. I’m obsessed with using a deep conditioner because I color my hair.


My hair is similar to yours, and boy do I dread the days when I have to wash and blow dry my hair! I’m definitely wanting to upgrade my blow dryer soon since that causes me the most grief….I also really love using coconut oil by Kopari as a hair mask! It’s made the biggest difference!

xo, Taylor

Memories of the Pacific - Cristina

My hair is a pain too. I have really curly hair and I wish it was straight. I usually alternate: sometimes I leave my natural curls others I straighten it although I fear I’m going to ruin it with the heat of the flat iron… Curly hair is higher maintenance than people think. It looks great the day you wash it but the next day it looks awful even if it’s still clean. The problem with straight hair are rainy days…So it looks like I’ll never be happy with my tresses…


Great tips! I would love if you would do a french braid tutorial too, because no matter how hard I try, it’s not something I’ve mastered.


You are 100% my hair inspiration! I feel like we have very similar hair – thick and unpredictable. I look forward to implementing your tips and getting closer the amazing waves and frizz-free curls you have in all your photos!

Kimberly Pultz

Thanks so much for these recommendations! I have a very similar type of hair and am always trying to figure out what works best for me. I’m curious though, what kind of shampoo/conditioner do you use or recommend? I have hair styling products that I love but I feel like whatever you clean your hair with really can make all the difference when paired with really great styling products.

Taylor Cunningham

What shampoo do you prefer? Desperately searching for a new one that doesn’t make my hair greasy.


How did you learn to use the T3 dryer? I just bought it and it looks better than usual but I still feel like I don’t know what I am doing. Thanks!