The Secret Ingredients For Perfectly Defined Curls

Take it from Andrea K. Castillo, a Brooklyn-based entrepreneur and model who's got the art down to a science.
Doreen Pierre/HuffPost

If anyone knows a thing or two about embracing their naturally curly hair, it’s Andrea K. Castillo, a Brooklyn-born and based entrepreneur and model who rocks her perfectly defined curls for photo shoots and public appearances on a regular basis.

Some people prefer straightening their curls, but Castillo leans into her natural hair texture by creating the perfect cocktail of products to make her strands pop.

All curly hair textures require plenty of moisture, so Castillo is careful about selecting products that won’t strip natural oils. To keep her locks hydrated and looking their best, she has an arsenal of cleansers, conditioners, treatments and stylers that she uses to create an enviable and polished look. Below, she shares her go-to products for picture-perfect curls.

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Camille Rose Rose Cleansing Milk

Camille Rose

“I really enjoy this cleansing milk, as it is super-soft and hydrating and doesn’t strip my strands. After soaking my strands in the shower, I section my hair out into about four sections, liberally apply product throughout, comb through with a wide-tooth comb and rinse out thoroughly.”

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask


“This has been my favorite deep conditioner for years, hands down. I have been hip to Briogeo for years now, and their deep conditioning mask was one of the first products I tried. I love the clean ingredients and scent, and the fact that it leaves my curls super-hydrated without having to keep the product in for hours.”

Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector


“I’ve always been concerned about my curl definition, and I noticed from countless scrolls on Instagram and asking my Twitter friends for suggestions that Olaplex’s No. 3 treatment was what many of the curly girls have been using to achieve such great results. I have noticed a difference in using the product after many weeks, which is amazing. Although their site says to use it once a week, Candace, my stylist at Candace Witherspoon Salon, suggests using it once a month as it is a bond repairer, not a hydrating treatment.”

Kinky-Curly Original Curling Custard


“When it comes to styling, I like to keep it simple. Typically I have to use a leave-in conditioner, styling gel and styling cream, but the curling custard gives me all three in one, as it is super-moisturizing. Once the product is in, I generally air-dry for a few hours, and diffuse a bit at the end.”

Neon & Co. Treatment Oil

Neon & Co.

“After my hair is completely dry and styled, I like to rake a quarter-sized amount of treatment oil through my hair, focusing on the ends and parts that tend to be dryer, mainly around the mid-crown. The base of the formula is macadamia nut, which is super-light and doesn’t weigh down my hair, while adding shine.”

Agadir Argan Oil Spray Treatment


“When my curls start to look sad or dirty and it’s time for a wash, I like to use this spray treatment all over my strands before cleansing. I definitely use it more in the summer months after the pool or beach. I spray it on while my hair is still wet from swimming, and let it do its thing on my commute back home.”

Unwash Bio Cleansing Conditioner


“Keeping my curls bouncy while trying to stay fit can sometimes be tricky. I am definitely one of those people who sweats a lot during workouts, so I need to wash my hair afterward so I don’t feel gross. I tried this cleansing conditioner a few years ago and it is still one of my favorites. I use it as a co-wash after workouts or on generally hot summer days. It is super-moisturizing, so I am able to style my hair normally afterward.”

Curls Lavish Curls Moisturizer


“Second-day curls can be great or terrible, depending on how you sleep the night before. When mine are looking a little limp or flat, I like to dampen my strands a bit and work Lavish Curls Moisturizer through the parts that have lost definition.”

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ColorWOW Dream Coat Anti-Frizz Treatment

Frizz-Fighting Hair Products For Summer Humidity