6 Hair Products for Bouncy Messy Curls (and the Internal Struggle to Discuss Beauty)


Anytime I wear my hair in these loose messy ringlet curls, I get the following comments/questions:

“Is that your natural hair?”  That is a definite NO.

“Is it a perm?”  Again, nope!

“Do you use curlers?” Never have, (probably) never will.

“What kind of curling iron do you use?”  See below.

“Is it the kind with the clamp?” Nope, I use a wand

“Do you use hairspray?” Of course!

“Do you have clip-ins on?” Nope!

“I could never do that to my hair.” I believe you can with practice!

“That must take forever.” Not as long as you think!

Seriously, anytime I wear my hair like this, I always get the most comments (and I admit, it is a fun way to wear my hair)! I always get asked what I use, so I figured the internet world may be interested as well. 😉 Most on here do not know me personally, so I will tell you that I used to have very long hair and recently cut it to this medium length! I used these products when my hair was very long and they worked just as well with my longer hair as they do with my hair now!

I have to confess a couple things before I dive in to these products.

First, I grew up with an aunt who is basically one of the most talented hairstylists I know, so I feel like I was a little spoiled growing up and learning how to do hair from her. Second, I am NOT a hairstylist so nothing I am saying is ‘professional advice’, this is just what I use for my hair and what I have found really works for me!  Third, EVERYONE has very different hair types, so keep in mind, my hair type is course and thick, which I know helps add some volume!  Fourth, NONE of these products will change your true beauty – which is far deeper and more important than how dead strands of hair lay on top of your head.  Regardless, I really do love these products. I believe they are all great quality and will help to create that bouncy curls look!

1. Redken – High Rise Volume Shampoo and Conditioner


Hi, I am Leah and I have a Redken problem.  Remember how I said I grew up a little spoiled in the hair department?  This is a result of that. I have tried so many other shampoos and conditioners and I still go back to this stuff.  I have pretty thick voluminous hair to begin with (thanks, Dad!), however, I will ALWAYS use volumizing shampoo and conditioner.  I swear they make a difference.  Anytime I use smoothing shampoo or conditioner, they seem to deflate the best feature of my natural hair, VOLUME! (why do we always try and ‘deflate’ our natural features-rather than showing them off!).  For these kinds of curls, my opinion?  Volume is key.

2. Neuma – Smoothing Creme

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

This product was introduced to me by my hairstylist in Nashville (Oh how I miss her), and it is a dream! I use this product when my hair is still wet just to smooth out any frizz or fly aways without weighing down my hair. With any ringlet-type curls, I have found that some kind of smoothing agent is important for keeping curls from looking frizzy. A bonus about this product is that it is organic, vegan, cruelty free, and all of that other good stuff (I could take up a huge post to talk about the sustainability of their products, so instead I will link it here for you to look up!). I also feel obligied to tell you that I just saw on their website, unauthorized retailers are selling their products on Amazon and Ebay, so make sure to buy from them directly!

*Purchasing information- Click here to find a salon near you that sells Neuma! They can ship directly to you!*

3. Organic Pure Care – Volumizing Spray

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

VOLUME. VOLUME. VOLUME.  Yup, back at it again.  This spray was recommended to me by my current hair stylist (y’all see a theme? I listen to my hair stylists! They kind of know what they are doing!) and I am a fan!  I spray this on my roots before I blow dry my hair to really get that extra lift. This was super important to me when I had really long hair because my hair would get weighed down really easily. It does not leave your roots greasy and is EXTREMELY light weight! I highly recommend this product for getting that awesome extra lift in your hair!

*Purchasing information – this product is sold directly to salons only, however, the salons that carry this product can always ship it!  To find a salon- please click here and search in salon locator.*

4. NanoThermic – Ceramic and Ion Round Brush

In order to get that lift in my roots, I have to blow dry my hair. When I blow dry my hair, this brush is a must (see what I did there?). I blow dry starting at the roots with this round brush. A bonus with this brush is that since it as openings on both sides, it allows air to pass through and thus drying your hair quicker! Not too much else to say except I like this brush a lot!

5. Argan Heat Taper Iron

attachment-5.jpegOkay, now it is time for the star of the show, where the curling magic comes from… drum roll… world, meet the Aragon Heat Taper Iron! Yes it is a wand, aka no clamp. If you haven’t used a wand before, I promise it is possible to use them. Just like anything, it just takes practice! Yes, you can even learn how to use one without using a heat glove. I don’t use a glove at all and can do my entire head (without burning my hand might I add). Seriously, just practice. I do not believe you can get these kind of curls with a traditional curling iron, so this step is the most critical. I also curl my head in three layers, starting with the bottom layer. One other piece of advice I have is when curling the front half of your hair (nearest my face) ALWAYS curl away from your face. I feel like it always helps frame my face nicely and the curls lay better.

6. Kenya Professional – Volume Spray 25Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

The final touch! Let me tell you, you do NOT need a lot of this stuff to finish off your curls. It is intense and it is not lying when it says “Super Hold”. I normally hold this about 1 foot from my hair and lightly spritz the bottom of my curls a couple times and then flip my hair upside to shake it out. And wah-lah! Bouncy Curls!

Now for the Internal Struggle…

I started writing this post when I first launched this blog 16 days ago.  I originally started blogging with the mindset that I would post about Catholic apologetics/faith once a week, hair/make-up products once a week, and maybe throw in some things I am passionate about in between.  Well, in these short (yet very long) 16 days, things have changed. I had planned to post this yesterday, but something caught in my throat. I couldn’t bring myself to hit that ‘publish’ button.

A few days ago I posted about Catholicism in the 21st century and my mission to encourage others to speak up about their faith.  Well, ever since this post, I have received multiple messages from some amazing Christ-filled, Catholic women, thanking me for the post and encouraging me to keep up my mission. Y’all…they told me I inspired them. That hit me HARD. I honestly have no words to adequately describe what those messages and comments meant to me. It was SO incredibly humbling, I started to tear up and it really got me thinking.  I have a platform, albeit a small one, but still, it’s a platform.  Does talking about hair products make me frivolous?  Does it discredit my ability to speak about more serious topics? We are called to be radical in Christ, so is this post about hair products making me skin-deep?

I absolutely believe that the beauty industry is hurting us so much in defining what true beauty is, we don’t even recognize it when we see it anymore. As the profound Leah Darrow has said, “Being beautiful will never be as important as doing something beautiful.” That is so stinking true.  This truly led me to an internal crisis.

Will a post about hair products still continue my mission?

99% of us use some kind of beauty product every day BUT does talking about them set me back?  It’s a fine line to walk isn’t it?  To be in the world but not of the world? Walk into church on Sunday, I promise you 90% of the women there will be dressed up in nice dresses, with hair and make-up done. In fact, I am sure if you admired someone’s hair or dress and asked them where they got it, they would be happy and excited to tell you! However, it feels like making beauty recommendations publicly could be sending the wrong message. In the midst of this battle, I happened to be re-reading one of my favorite books, Catholicism by Robert Barron.

In Fr. Barron’s book, he discusses Thomas Aquinas’ four typical substitutes for God; wealth, pleasure, honor, and power. He discusses these in relation to the four negative beatitudes in the book of Matthew. The first negative beatitude is found in Matthew 3:5, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Fr. Barron estutely explains that in this beatitude, Christ is not demonizing all wealth but rather he is emphasizing what a blessing it is to be free of being consumed by such worldly, unimportant things.  This remains true for all four of Thomas Aquinas’ substitutes for God and man did this. hit. home.

It is the love of wealth (or in this case-outward beauty) that is the issue, not wealth itself.

So yes, we can talk about beauty products but all within the context of our true purpose and with the recognition that it does not become an all-consuming power that rules our lives. We are so much more than how we look and as long as we don’t lose focus on true God-given purpose, yes! You can still curl your hair and be radical in your faith!

Once a week I try (key word here- try) and go out with no make-up on and with my hair “un-done”.  Not a drop of foundation, not a spritz of hairspray.  I think I use it as a reminder that while I wear make-up most days, it doesn’t define me.  I never in a million years thought I would publicly write about beauty in relation to my faith because it has always been a personal struggle of mine and therefore, don’t feel like an adequate spokesperson.  I am the girl that takes 1,000 photos and will only showcase the absolute best one at the right angle (going to own up to that 100%).

 I take this blog platform seriously, no matter how small the platform might be.

The last thing I want to do is contribute further to an already warped perception of beauty.  Therefore, I am going to put my money where my mouth is. Here is an unedited-unfiltered photo of me next to my filtered-edited photo.  I am doing this to show that no, you don’t have to be a professional model to get nicely edited photos of yourself.  So just because you see a girl you know on Instagram, doesn’t mean the photos aren’t edited.  This may hurt any chance I have at getting any beauty product endorsements (hah!) BUT you do not NEED any of my recommended products. However, if you have been looking for some quality products, I believe these are some. 🙂


“You don’t have to shy away from the world, just know who you are when you go out into it.” – Leah Darrow