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Finding the perfect product for your curls seems like a never-ending task. First, you watch a million YouTube videos (we know you’re guilty!) with the hopes of finding someone with your curl type, then you spend loads of cash on a handful of curly girl products, only to discover only one or two actually work for your curls. And, we’re not even going to mention the time it takes to see results from these so-called miracle workers.
That’s where we come in. We feel your pain, so we rounded up the best curly hair products from drugstore aisles and luxury retailers that will give you the perfect coil every, single, time.
Best Overall: Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls
If you think having static-free, big, soft, curly hair only exists in your dreams, Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls will make you think everything you know about curls. A quarter-size amount of this longtime cult-favorite gel (by the way…it seriously smells like fabric softener) will leave you with larger, expanded, fluffy curls that are sure to last until your next wash day. Just distribute to damp, freshly washed hair then air dry or dry with a diffuser. Watch heads turn in amazement.
Best Budget: Suave Professionals Natural Curl Defining Cream
We’re obsessed with Suave’s curl defining cream because it does what it's supposed to do—define your curls while adding tons and tons of moisture. We always liked shea butter and coconut oil, but when combined, it truly is a winning hand. Bottom line: this curling cream for natural hair is ideal for curls that need a major help coming back to life.
Best Moisturizing: Vernon Francois Hold and Shine Serum
For shine and moisture minus the sticky, tacky buildup, we look to this shine serum crafted by celebrity hairstylist Vernon Francois. It’s great for adding bounce and fullness, without the weight. And, it moisturizes and supports natural, healthy hair growth thanks to its unique blend of nourishing ingredients like daikon seed extract, apricot kernel oil, tamanu oil, and baobab oil.
Best Drugstore: Dove Advanced Hair Series Supreme Crème Serum Quench Absolute
If you only need a little help in refreshing dry, dull curls, this cream serum is gold. The leave-in treatment helps give curly hair softness, shine, and manageability as well as natural movement and definition. How’s that for a curly win, win?
Best for Natural Curls: The Mane Choice Prickly Pear Conditioning Cleanse Foam
Curly hair has a way of holding onto excess dirt and residue, so we love when we’re able to find a cleanser that won’t strip curls of its natural oils—this no-poo conditioning cleanser foam does exactly that. It gently breaks down product buildup, conditions, and leaves hair with a vibrant shine. And don’t be fooled by this product’s simple packaging: there’s nothing basic about this cleansing conditioner.
Best Scent: Carol's Daughter Coco Crème Coil Enhancing Moisture Butter
When achieving the perfect coil, we need all the nourishing moisture and softness we can get. This styling cream—that’s blended with Carol’s Daughter’s signature Coco Crème recipe—adds long-lasting definition, tons of shine, and touchable softness. It also smells just like a yummy coconut popsicle making it even harder for us to put down.
Best for Fine Hair: Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Wash
We’ve always loved blueberries, but did you know they’re packed with antioxidants and vitamins that hydrate and protect hair, stimulate circulation and slow down the aging process? So it was pretty genius move when Curls™ launched a cleanser with blueberry extract to protect curls while stimulating healthy hair growth. Seriously, what’s better than a reparative cleanser that prevents tears, breakage, split ends and signs of aging? Yes, don’t mind if we do!
Best Anti Frizz: Oribe Curl Gloss Hydration & Hold
A small drop of this gloss is all you need to create silky smooth curls; it hydrates and holds (all day might we add), unlike anything we’ve seen before, without leaving curls feeling stiff and crunchy. Bonus: the styling resin provides long-lasting curl retention for control in areas of high humidity. We’re sold!
Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular curly hair products on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different products overall, screened options from 21 different brands and manufacturers, read over 30 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 18 of the products themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.