Wearing your hair au naturel has never been cooler, but those of us with curly or wavy strands know that letting our kinks loose with abandon is easier said than done. Sure, frizz is also currently on trend, but there's a fine line between a little effortless static and channeling Monica Gellar in Barbados. Our curls can only be as good as the products we use—defined, gorgeous curls and healthy, hydrated strands go hand in hand, after all. But with so many curl-geared products on the market, how do we know which ones actually get the job done? To find out, we thought we'd do a little crowd-sourcing. We reached out to real women to spill the best products for curly hair that they use on their very own tresses. From styling creams to smoothing oils to leave-in conditioners, we've got you—and your curls—covered.
Keep reading to see which products real women swear by to care for their curls.
"The DevaCurl cut changed how I styled my hair completely. Before the cut, I used to rely on a gel-and-mousse combo to get curl definition without being too crunchy (favorite budget products are Garnier's curl line and Aussie's Mousse and Leave-In Conditioner combo, $3). After the cut, all I need is curl cream to have perfectly defined, frizz-free curls. I love Bumble and Bumble's Curl Cream ($31), and since summer started, the brand's Anti-Humidity Gel Oil ($34) has been a lifesaver." — Katie
"DevaCurl is my everything! The no-poo, one-condition, and gel are the only products I need to keep my tight curls moisturized, defined, and frizz-free! I'm a devoted Deva girl myself now, only getting my hair cut from certified Deva specialists and following their process for healthier, bouncier curly hair. And it takes a lot to control this mess!" — Alison
"My hair texture oscillates between waves when it's longer and loose curls when it's short. Either way, swapping my regular shampoo for a cleansing cream has been a game changer. Not only does the two-in-one formula save me time, but because I'm no longer stripping the natural oils from my hair and relying on a product that conditions first and cleanses second, my strands stay hydrated, defined, and frizz-free. After assuming that my hair would always be poofy for most of my life, it's been amazing to see that it looks entirely different when it's actually healthy!" — Laura
"My FAVORITE hair (and skin) product is argan oil—not the one just for hair but the pure 100% argan oil. It makes my hair so, so soft and healthy." — Molly
"Another vote for DevaCurl. About a year after I moved to Florida, I gave up on trying to keep my hair straight and decided to embrace the curl. It's the only brand I've found that works every time and doesn't leave my hair a frizzy mess in a few hours." — Jennifer
"I recently started using Shea Moisture's Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In Conditioner. It has a cream base, but it has some hold to it. I put it in my hair wet, right out of the shower. It helps define my curls, leaving them moisturized all day long; plus it's got reparative properties if you use it over time." — Erin
"My hair is naturally super wavy, and Phyto's Phytodefrisant is a godsend for curbing my persistent frizz." — Jessica
"This oil really keeps my hair in check (aka not crazy frizzy), and it's also great for processed hair." — Maddie
"I am a DevaCurl evangelist. I use the brand's No-Poo and conditioner, and I'm very into the Styling Cream for really lightweight definition. You can use it wet or dry too, which is nice." — Kate
"I like to scrunch in a mix of argan oil and Bed Head's Manipulator." — Lauren
"I've recently been introduced to Verb, a sulfate- and paraben-free line that relies on a lot of really powerful botanical ingredients. I'm especially impressed with the brand's Curl Cream and Sculpting Clay—I mix a small dab of the clay with a liberal amount of the cream and scrunch it into hair when it's damp. The cream combats frizz and hydrates my curls, while the clay helps hold their shape. After it dries, I work my fingers through any crunchiness and suddenly I have soft, beautiful, defined texture!" — Victoria
Got curly or wavy hair? Tell us your go-to products in the comments below!
This story was originally published on June 15, 2016, and has been updated.