DIY Curl Conditioning Serum


Curly hair can be very unpredictable, yet once you figure out the best way to manage your curls it can be so much fun.  I have found that the products you use are only part of managing your curls.  It is also about treating them well by not fighting with them, but allowing them to be themselves.

As you know, I love making my own beauty products.  I have found that it saves me a ton of money and works just as good if not better than products that I have bought.  One of the best benefits is that you know exactly what is in the product because you made it yourself.  This DIY Curl Conditioning Serum is truly easy to make and won’t take long at all.

What you will need:

Aloe Vera

Vegetable Glycerin

Agave Nectar

Coconut Oil

Mix or preferably blend three tablespoons of aloe vera, one teaspoon of vegetable glycerin, 1/2 teaspoon of agave nectar, and one teaspoon of coconut oil thoroughly.  After you hair has been washed and conditioned apply your DIY Curl Conditioning Serum throughout your hair first then add a leave-in conditioner of your choice to style.  All of the ingredients to this serum add moisture and nutrients to the hair.  (This recipe is for 1-2 applications.  Depending on your hair thickness and length, you may want to double the measurement to make more.  Store any remainder product in the refrigerator.)

I have found that the best way to create frizz-free curls is by defining your curls with the Tightly Curly Method.  By styling your hair this way, your hair remains fresh and free of tangles until you wash again.  At night braid or bun your hair and cover or sleep on satin material.  To refresh your hair in the morning simply spritz with water or this curl refreshing spray, then add more conditioner.  No brushing, combing, or even finger combing needed.  Add serum to any frizzy areas if needed.  If you have very dry thick curls add a bit of shea butter to your hair while damp to keep your hair moisturized and weighed down.  I love the unrefined shea butter from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Happy curls are moisturized.  Although many use heavy commercial gels,  I have found that they only dry out my hair over the long run and possibly be damaging to hair.  This Curl Conditioning Serum will give your curls the moisture and definition that it truly desires.

(Note:  This recipe mixes best with aloe vera gel, although you can use aloe vera juice too.  The aloe vera gel from Mountain Rose Herbs is more of a thick liquid but still works very well.)

Embrace your curls!

To read more articles about hair care go here.  To see my latest beauty regimen included hair care go here.

(Image by Dawn Michelle)

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  1. Marjorie G. says

    All the ingredients make sense except the agave nectar. I’m curious to know what the agave nectar adds to the serum.

  2. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Marjorie, Agave nectar is another humectant. Humectants help hold moisture in products and in this case it helps with moisture retension in hair. Have a beautiful day!

  3. says

    Thank you so much for posting this. It has literally changed my life. My hair loves this mixture. It’s so simple and cost effective and it really works great. I’ve had nothing but soft bouncy hair since I’ve added this step to my regime.

  4. Dawn Michelle says

    This is so wonderful to hear Monique! I’m so happy this recipe has worked so well for you! Best Wishes!

  5. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Venisha,
    You can use either gel or juice. This serum will mix better with aloe gel though. Let me know how this works out for you.

  6. Lori says

    Hi Dawn,
    Loving this DIY serum. It really makes my curls pop. I now use it as my wash and go styler! Thanks so much.

  7. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Lori, This is so awesome that you use this DIY serum as your wash and go styler! I’m so glad this is working out so well for you! Best Wishes

  8. Dawn Michelle says

    That sounds like a perfect substitution Lily! Honey and agave both serve as humectants.

  9. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sheena,
    If your hair is dry then this conditioning serum will be nice for wavy hair too. You may appreciate the information in Lorraine Massey’s 2nd Edition of Curly Girl The Method. It has great information for wavy textures as well. For starters washing your hair with conditioner versus shampoo will really help with frizz. My favorite store bought co-wash conditioner is Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner. You may like using this conditioning serum to style or even flaxseed gel. You may also like this article. Let me know what you try and what works for you.
    Dawn Michelle

  10. Regine says

    Since you said flaxseed is good for your curls have you tried to add it to your serum and maybe calling it DIY curl definer ? Just thinking aloud. Lol. Can’t wait to try your serum.

  11. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Regine, This curl conditioning serum has worked to define curls for some of my readers, yet it just depends on your curl pattern and how hydrated your hair currently is. I like to look at this serum as a moisturizing serum to use under hair stylers or leave-in conditioners. Best, Dawn Michelle

  12. Dawn Michelle says

    Regine, I usually add different things to my flaxseed gel each time I make it, yet mixing these two recipes would also be good. Let me know what you think of the DIY Curl Conditioning Serum when you do get a chance to try it out. Make sure you refrigerate your finished product.

  13. Tiffany says

    Loving this mixture in my hair (I left out the glycerin because I don’t have any on me)! You truly have some amazing tips and recipes here. I have a question about adding an ingredient. If I were to add marshmallow root to this mixture to replace the added step of having to put in my leave-in, what proportion do you think would be best for this serum to work effectively?

    Thanks! And Happy Holidays!


  14. Dawn Michelle says

    Thanks so much Tiffany! I haven’t tried adding marshmallow root extract with this serum yet I think that would be a great bonus ingredient to add. You could try adding a tablespoon and see how that works out but I haven’t tried this mixture yet. Maybe I will be able to make some later this week. Hope you are enjoying your holiday and happy new year!

  15. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sarah,
    Aloe gel creates an easier consistency to work with but both are fine. Keep me posted on how this works for you. Best wishes!

  16. Sarah says

    Dear Dawn Michelle,
    I love the diy curl conditioning serum thank you so much for the recipe!

    I was thinking about going no poo for my hair but I workout a lot so I tend to sweat a lot.

    Do you think it would work for me? If not, do you know of something else that will cleanse and conditions my hair naturally?

    Thank you,


  17. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Anonymous,
    You can use vegetable glycerin or honey in place of agave nectar. They are all considered humectants.

  18. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Anonymous,
    I store all of my DIY beauty products in the refrigerator and keep them for 1-1.5 weeks.

  19. Dawn Michelle says

    I store all of my DIY beauty products in the refrigerator for 1-1.5 weeks. Let me know what you think if you try this!

  20. Appy says

    Hi, I love your blog, you are doing a fantastic work. I am sorry, but I cannot understand if this serum is leave in, or would it need to be washed out? Thanks..

  21. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Appy,
    This serum recipe is for a leave-in. You can use it under your moisturizing or styling hair care product/oil/butter. Thanks for th compliment too! <3

  22. Alana says

    I’m curious as to adding marshmallow root to the serum too. Do you think it would be better to put the actual dried powder mixed with the serum or boil the marshmallow and obtain the liquid and add it to the serum?

  23. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Alana,
    It would probably be better to use the mucilage than the powdered herb because the powdered herb would make it grainy. Experiment with ratios to find exactly what works best for you. <3

  24. Alana says

    Thank you Dawn. I think I’ll experiment with adding a bit of hibiscus as well. Probably make a marshmallow- hibiscus infusion. Time to experiment! 😀 Have you ever used hibiscus in your hair care?

  25. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Alana,
    I have tried hibiscus before and wrote about how I’ve used it for hair care here. You can find the details of. Y current regimen here. <3

  26. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Kiara,
    You can use either but this recipe mixes best with aloe vera gel. I hope you enjoy this recipe! <3