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Anyone with a head of curls will tell you that they have a love-hate relationship with their texture. Whether you have soft waves, loose spirals, corkscrews or tight coils, all curly girls know the struggle. There’s frizz, tangles, puffiness, and dryness, to name a few. When we want our curls to be voluminous, they go flat. When we want them to be defined, the become shapeless. Curls really can be contrary.
But, the right hair products for curly hair can help. The best ones work with your texture and curl type, helping you embrace your natural strands. Why spend time battling nature when you can flaunt what you’ve got? It often takes a plethora of products to tame ringlets, including balms, gels, creams, oils, and sprays. These will help you shape your coils and waves with good-for-you ingredients. Your curls will behave the way you want them to—finally!—with the best hair products for curly hair.
Best Overall: Bb Curl Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil
The idea of gel in your curls may seem like a recipe for crunchy hair. But leave it to Bumble and Bumble to come up with a fresh formula that’s a gel/oil hybrid. That means you still get the hold without that crispy feel. The light gel leaves curls super touchable with lots of movement, all while fighting frizz and helping curls keep their shape. A blend of humectants delivers long-lasting moisture. Only its shaping magic gives away the fact that you have product in your hair.
Best Budget: Dove Quench Absolute Supreme Crème Serum
If a curl crème and a serum had a baby, it would be this twofer from Dove. It’s formulated with glycerin, which pulls moisture from the air to keep curls hydrated, add shine, and control frizz for even the most parched locks. It’s infused with Buriti oil to soften strands, leaving curls immensely touchable and protected against breakage. The treatment can give natural curls up to four times more definition.
Best for Frizz Control: Ouai Curl Jelly
Are you ready for this jelly? Your hair definitely is! Just work this gel-oil hybrid through damp hair and twist into curls for extra hold. The result is defined ringlets that are frizz-free, thanks to a formula infused with silk proteins and nutrient-rich oils that fight humidity and lock in hydration. The lightweight jelly works for waves to tight coils, leaving major shine. It also has an intoxicating French-inspired fragrance dubbed Rue St. Honoré, with notes of violet, gardenia, ylang-ylang, and white musk.
Best for Styling: DevaCurl Styling Cream
No list of products for curly hair would be complete without DevaCurl. This line always hits it out the park, and their styling cream is no exception. The botanical-rich formula includes jojoba oil and tapioca starch to ward off frizz, fight humidity, retain shape, and give locks great body and movement. It works for all curl types and conditions as it does its job.
Best for Fine Hair: Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream
Having fine hair and curls can be tough, since many defining creams can weigh them down. But not this gem from Moroccanoil. The featherweight formula is infused with argan oil to calm frizz and refine ringlets, all without ever feeling greasy or sticky. It works its magic to bring on the bounce for all curl types, from waves to tight coils. Plus, it restores elasticity, making hair more manageable.
Best Natural: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk
Coconut oil is this leave-in conditioner’s secret ingredient, which works to detangle and hydrate. Ideal for letting your hair air dry, it’s a major time saver. Curls are left soft and swingy, protected from frizz, and humidity. The natural formula includes ethically-traded ingredients that are also sustainably produced.
Best Curl Refresher: Miss Jessie’s Curls So Fresh Refreshing Curls
If you don’t want to shampoo your hair everyday—and who does?!—second- or third-day curls can be left looking a little flat and tired. Instead of locking them up in a boring topknot, reach for this spray. A combination of water and glycerin bring curls back to life, reshaping and rehydrating them as soon as you spritz it on. It also delivers major shine and frizz control. In other words, it puts your curls back in formation!
Best Serum: Vernon Francois Pure Fro Hold and Shine Serum
If you’ve embraced your natural texture, this is the product for you. And Vernon Francois knows natural hair. Made for kinky hair or tight coils, this serum encourages healthy hair growth by nourishing strands with a mix of six botanical oils. It holds curls in place without ever feeling or looking sticky or greasy. Grapefruit and ginseng give it a crisp, invigorating fragrance.
Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular hair products for curly hair on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different products overall, screened options from 20 different brands and manufacturers, read over 25 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 25 of the products themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.