Daniel Castenada proves curls are for the guys, too | MopTop

The MopTop Instagram feed is full of so many curly-haired trendsetters who inspire us daily. If, like us, you can get lost in an Instagram deep-dive of curly-haired accounts, you know that for the most part, it’s a girl’s game. 


Or at least, it has been until Daniel. 


Daniel Castañeda (@thedanielcastaneda) is paving the way for curly-haired guys, one post at a time. This Dallas-area Instagrammer has made caring for curly hair approachable for other guys looking to embrace their natural texture. While he may be relatively new to the world of curly hair care, he’s already made it his own. A short dive into his Instagram grid shows you Daniel’s personal journey to finding the routine that’s right for him (AKA #thedanielmethod). His is a down-to-earth, no-fuss approach; less products, less precision — ideal for guys like him who were conditioned to low-maintenance grooming. 

We love that he embraced his natural curls and love even more that he recently shared with us his inspiration for publicly documenting his journey, his favorite MopTop products, and how growing out his hair has changed him (for the better):


MOPTOP: Tell me about your entry into being a curly hair influencer. What made you want to document your hair care process?

DANIEL: When I was a kid, and even as a teen, I always had very short, buzzed hair. I kept it short because any time it would grow, it grew straight “out,” away from my head. I hated that it never looked like other guys’ hair. So I got my hair cut every two weeks like clockwork — for years. And I never really liked my hair; I couldn’t pull off hairstyles that I thought were cool growing up, because my hair never laid right.  

But then, I just got tired of buzzing it. And I had this curiosity to know what it looked like if I grew it out. When I first started growing it, I really didn’t understand anything about my hair. I didn’t know it had any sort of texture, or how to care for it, or anything. So, because I wanted to do this, I started researching. That’s when I had an “aha” moment that I actually had curly hair. 

But that wasn’t really the end of my research. The problem, I found, was that very few men had my hair type. I found information for natural hair for African American men, but it still wasn’t right for me. So I turned to women who were blogging or documenting their hair care process for curly hair. I learned about the Curly Hair Method. And it was helpful getting advice from women, but I really wanted to make it easy — very low maintenance. So I started playing around with what worked for me. I decided to share my day-to-day advice, thinking it would be helpful for other people, and it’s really just been a process of documenting it since then. 

MT: You are very transparent on your Instagram...is that something that you had to grow into being comfortable with?

DC: Yes! I’m a very introverted person in real life. But putting myself out there on Instagram (by filming short videos and messaging with new people) has helped me be less shy. Of course, I think it’s easier to be confident on social media, but this has actually helped me feel a lot more confident around others. 


MT: What’s the most common reaction or comment you get on your hair either on social media or in real life? 

DC: I can say that it’s always a positive reaction! People say that they love it or that my hair is amazing. And then they may ask what I do to make it so curly. Because the MopTop Curly Hair Custard is my favorite product, I usually share that information with them. When they ask, I typically recommend the MopTop Gentle Shampoo, Daily Conditioner, and Curly Hair Custard. Those three products are all you really need to manage curly hair. 

MT: Would you say your followers are mainly female or male? What kind of feedback do you get from your followers? 

DC: I actually have a mix of followers. It’s great seeing more men follow me or reach out with questions. It’s nice to be able to help those guys out because I never had that male resource to go to for tips.

Most of the time, guys who are new to growing out their hair have no idea what to do. They have no frame of reference, really. They just know they shampoo their hair every day. So I usually start with the basics and try to keep it easy. Just passing on those tips can help start to normalize curly hair care for men.


MT: How do you deal with negative comments or feedback?

DC: I’ve only gotten a few “negative” DMs on Instagram. They’re usually not mean-spirited or anything, but they’ll mention something like, “Oh, have you heard of keratin treatments… it’ll straighten your hair and make it look better.” And I usually just let them know (in a kind way!) that’s not what I’m about. Some people get it and some people don’t. I just focus on being a resource for those people that really understand how embracing natural hair is a good thing.

MT: Would you say your hair styling methods are low maintenance or high maintenance? 

DC: I would say low-maintenance. I’ll either co-wash every third day and shampoo once a week. I also try to deep condition once a week. For styling, I keep it to two products at the most: a gel and a leave-in conditioner. Because I try to keep it super simple, sometimes I have frizz or my curls aren’t perfect. I don’t stress about it.


MT: Why do you think embracing your natural hair is important? What has doing so given back to you in your life?

DC: I think it’s helped me finally like (and understand) my hair after years of not liking it. And it’s helped me break out of my shell. Getting to meet people and interact with them on Instagram has given me confidence and really helped me be less socially awkward! 

Thank you, Daniel! Follow Daniel for more curl inspiration at @thedanielcastaneda.


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