My Mixed-Texture Curls Would Be Flat and Lifeless Without These Products

Ty Lauren


My relationship with my hair has always been complicated, spanning decades of getting harsh chemical relaxers and tight box braids, looking in the mirror, and feeling disappointed. To make matters more difficult, I had an unfortunate health stint in college that required a six-month antibiotic treatment. The side effect? Hair loss. All things considered, I should feel fortunate to have hair at all, but for a long time, I wasn't focused on that. I was too preoccupied with what I lacked, which was healthy, manageable, frizz-less hair. As an African American female, I've found it incredibly difficult to come to terms with the fact that my hair doesn’t look like what I see on the majority of people around me—and that there’s nothing wrong with that.

Almost two years ago, I made a serious decision to stop getting relaxers and to let my hair grow naturally. I hadn’t seen my natural curl pattern since I was under the age of 5 and too young to be doing my own hair, so I had no idea what to expect. While deciding to go natural has been challenging, to say the least, it’s also been one of the most educational, rewarding, and happy experiences of my life. I’m fortunate that I have two older sisters who have also decided to go natural to share this experience with. That being said, when I started on this journey I had no idea what products to use, what my hair routine should look like, or even what my hair texture was. I’ve come a long way, and none of that would have been possible without these products. If you’ve been looking for products to make your 3c, 4b, or 4c curls pop, keep scrolling because these 59 products will make you fall in love with your hair all over again.

Shampoo & Conditioner

Coconut Milk shampoo
Hask Coconut Milk and Honey Shampoo $6.00
Hask coconut milk conditioner
Hask Coconut Milk and Organic Honey Curl Care Conditioner $6.00

This combo makes my curls pop before I even apply any creams or gels. It’s hands down one of the best formulas I’ve ever tried.

scalp revival exfoliating shamoo
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo $42.00
Scalp Revival conditioner
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Peppermint Oil Cooling Jelly Conditioner $36.00

Whether you have curly hair or not, this is the perfect shampoo and conditioner for people who don’t wash their hair every day. I love the way these products make my scalp tingle.

Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner $16.00

This was the first sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner that I ever tried, and it’s become a mainstay in my haircare routine.

Super Foods hair pack
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Superfood Shampoo and Conditioner $48.00

Another beloved Briogeo duo. I’ve been using this combination for months, and it’s delivered incredibly shiny, healthy hair.


Be Gentle, Be Kind(TM) Avocado Quinoa Co Wash 33.8 oz/ 1000 mL
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash $32.00

Key Ingredients

Avocado oil is rich in oleic acid and monounsaturated fats, plus vitamins E and D, which may prevent breakage, reduce frizz, and combat dandruff.

This co-wash works like a dream. It’s free of sulfates and harsh ingredients, and the creamy formula makes my hair feel so smooth.

Curl Immersion(TM) Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner 16 oz
Ouidad Curl Immersion Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner $36.00

This no-foam formula makes my hair more manageable and makes my curls feel clean and soft.

Smoke & Mirrors Conditioning Cleansing Oil 5 oz
IGK Smoke and Mirrors Conditioning Cleansing Oil $14.00

This cleansing oil makes my scalp feel balanced, my hair feel clean, and it makes my hair incredibly shiny.

Buildup Buster
DevaCurl Buildup Buster Micellar Water Cleansing Serum $28.00

My favorite thing about this product is the applicator. I’m able to target areas of my scalp that feel dry or oily and massage it in to make my hair feel incredible.

coconut cowash
As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner $9.00

This cleansing conditioner is incredible. It smells like a tropical vacation, and it made all my knots and tangles melt away in seconds.

Deep Conditioner & Masks

Bb. While You Sleep Overnight Damage Repair Masque 6.4 oz/ 190 mL
Bumble and Bumble BB. While You Sleep Overnight Damage Repair Masque $49.00

I’ll just say it. This is one of my all-time greatest product discoveries. If you love a pre-’poo but don’t always have the time or just want to have the softest hair of your life, use this.

Pre-shampoo mask
Prose Pre-Shampoo Mask $38.00

The best thing about Prose products is that they're customizable—so if you need moisture, or a product that will smooth flyaways, you'll be able to have them formulate it.

Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Nutrient Rich Butter Masque
Not Your Mother's Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Nutrient Rich Butter Masque $9.00

This matcha- and apple blossom-infused mask enriches the scalp with nutrients, leaving it soothed and hair tamed.

Mask with Mango Butter 5.07 oz/ 143 g
Klorane Nourishing Mask With Mango Butter $26.00

I’m in love with this mask. The scent, the way that it makes my hair feel, I don’t have a single bad thing to say.

Amika SoulFood Mask
Amika SoulFood Nourishing Mask $28.00

This mask makes me feel like I’ve just left the salon. It’s like any bit of dryness or UV damage melts away as I wash it out of my hair.

Curl Recovery(TM) Melt Down Extreme Repair Mask 6 oz
Ouidad Curl Recovery Melt-Down Extreme Repair Mask $44.00

I’ve convinced so many of my friends to use this mask. I use it every other week, and I can feel a difference the next time I wash my hair. It literally makes any knots or tangles melt away.

Restorative Hair Mask 8.5 oz/ 250 mL
Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask $43.00

This is a great mask to use while your hair is transitioning or after a big chop. It will make your hair feel healthy and strong.

Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Protein-Strong Treatment
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Protein Power Treatment $11.00

Key Ingredients

Manuka honey is native to New Zealand and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It may stimulate hair growth, prevent scalp infections, and combat dandruff.

If your hair is in need of a little protein treatment for added strength, elasticity, and hydration, this is the perfect option for you.

Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Mask $15.00

I love this mask on its own. It’s incredibly hydrating and smells divine. Sometimes for an added boost, I add a little jojoba oil and castor oil to make a concoction that gives my hair a little extra something.

Don't Despair, Repair!(TM) Deep Conditioning Mask 32 oz/ 946 mL
Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask $36.00

Briogeo is the haircare brand that’s taken social media and Sephora by storm, but I’m telling you this mask is 150% worth the hype. After feeling your soft, hydrated hair, you won’t be disappointed you tried this. 

Olive fruit oil hair pak
Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak $25.00

The majority of the time, frizz is caused by weakened, dry hair. This incredibly nourishing mask will help to prevent that from happening so your curls will look and feel smooth.

Ultimate Reset
Shu Uemura Ultimate Reset Mask Treatment $69.00

Enhanced with Japanese rice extract, this mask works on straight, wavy, curly, and coily hair.

Leave-In Conditioner

Thirsty Girl conditioner
IGK Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave-In Conditioner $28.00

The aerosol container helps ensure that all my curls are drenched in long-lasting moisture. Oh, and the scent is mesmerizing.

Farewell Frizz leave in conditioner
Briogeo Farewell Frizz Roscaro Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray $20.00

This is and will always be my go-to leave-in product. It provides the perfect amount of slip, and it makes my hair feel incredibly hydrated.

leave-in conditioner
Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Leave-In Conditioner $11.00

This is the leave-in conditioner that I always bring with me when I travel. Not only is it a great leave-in, but it’s also a great way to refresh curls after a long flight.

leave in conditioning repair cream
Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream $6.00

This is an oldie but a goodie, and it never lets me down. If your curls are on the kinkier side, this is a great option for detangling and hydration.

Sugarcane leave in conditioner
SheaMoisture Sugarcane Extract & Meadowfoam Seed Silicone Free Miracle Style Leave-In Treatment $16.00

SheaMoisture’s products rarely let me down, and this is no exception. This makes it easy for me to detangle my curls and the moisture lasts for days.


Maui Moisture Curl Quench+Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie $7.00

I bought this on a whim and fell in love with it instantly. The scent is intoxicating and it gives my curls the perfect amount of moisture.

Curl enhancing smoothie
SheaMoisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie $13.00

This is a holy-grail product for curly hair. Whenever I rake this through my curls, I know that they’ll be moisturized for days. It’s also great for braids and twist-outs.

Pracaxi nectar blow dry cream
Carol's Daughter Pracaxi Nectar Straight Blow Dry Cream $12.00

Since deciding to go natural, I’ve only straightened my hair once, and I couldn’t have done it without this product. It protected my hair from heat damage and made it super smooth and manageable.

SUPERCREAM(R) Coconut Curl Styler 5.1 oz/ 151 mL
DevaCurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler $28.00

This is the product that made me realize how much I needed a curl cream. It will always be my tried-and-true favorite.

Mimosa hair honey
Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey Shine Pomade $12.00

I discovered this product this summer, and honestly, I’m upset that no one told me about it sooner. I use this religiously, and it makes my hair feel and look healthy, soft, and shiny.

Leave in conditioner
Klorane Leave-In Cream with Mango Butter $18.00

This cream helps to seal in moisture and protect my hair from split ends and breakage. I couldn’t be more obsessed with it.

Curl Corps Defining Cream 6.7 oz/ 200 mL
Amika Curl Corps Defining Cream $25.00

If you love having moisturized, frizz-free, tight, bouncy curls, you’ll instantly fall in love with this product the way that I did.


Treatment 3.4 oz/ 100 mL
Moroccanoil Treatment $34.00

There’s a good chance that you’ve tried this incredible oil, but in case you haven’t, I’m here to recommend that you do. The lightweight formula is perfection.

instant scalp treatment
IGK Trust Issues Instant Scalp Rebalancing Treatment $29.00 $14.00

The key to healthy hair is having a healthy scalp, and if you want to have a healthy scalp, you should use this.

CAKE Restorative Scalp Tonic 1.67 oz/ 50 mL
Reverie Cake Restorative Scalp Tonic $72.00

This product makes my scalp tingle in the best way. It makes me feel like my scalp is perfectly balanced.

Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Split End Balm
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate and Repair Split End Balm $10.00

This product has been instrumental in keeping my ends from becoming dead or split. Also a little bit goes a long way so this product will last you for a long time.

Advanced Climate Control Restore + Revive Bi-Phase
Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Restore + REvive Bi-Phase $32.00

I never really believed in curl refreshing sprays—until I tried this. This helped my curls last longer between wash days, and for that, I couldn’t be more thankful.

Sun Radiance Protective Oil with Ylang-Ylang Wax 3.3 oz/ 100 mL
Klorane Sun Radiance Protective Oil With Ylang Ylang $18.00

This product has been a godsend this summer. I spent a lot of time at the beach and this has protected my hair and scalp from UV damage.


Mongongo Oil Multi-Use Curl Treatment 1.7 oz/ 50 mL
Ouidad Mongongo Oil $38.00

This oil is so luxurious and hydrating. It’s lightweight, smells like a dream, and makes my hair feel so soft.

leave-in moisture mask
Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Strength + Moisture Leave-In Mask $28.00

I love the consistency of this product. I slather my curls in the gel and wake up to hydrated, beautiful hair.

Black Castor oil
Tropic Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil $7.00

People swear by this product for hair growth, and I don’t disagree with them. I love warming it between my hands, then massaging it into my scalp.

coconut oil
Simply Balanced Coconut Oil $7.00

I think it’s safe to say that everyone owns this cure-all beauty product. It’s great to use on its own, as a ’poo, or to combine with other powerful ingredients for a DIY deep conditioner.


passion fruit curl control paste
Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste $8.00

This gives my curls extra bounce and can be used to slick back my hair and keep frizz at bay. What’s not to love?

Gel with argan oil
Eco Style Gel With Argan Oil $8.00

Seriously, my curls would be non-existent without this gel. This makes them defined, bouncy, and absolutely perfect.

Advanced Climate Control(R) Heat & Humidity Gel 33.8 oz/ 1 L
Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel $26.00

If you have curly hair and live in a warm climate or like being outside during the summer, you will love this miracle gel from Ouidad.

Edge control
ORS Olive Oil Edge Control Hair Gel With Almond Oil $5.00

This is the product I rely on to keep my edges perfectly laid. It doesn’t leave behind a residue, and the added almond oil makes it smell so good.

Anti-humidity gel oil
Bumble and Bumble BB Curl Style Anti-Humidity Gel $30.00

This lightweight gel will keep your curls bouncy and intact, no matter how hot it gets outside.

Curling Jelly
As I Am Curling Jelly Coil and Curl Definer $20.00

If you’ve ever struggled to define your type 4 curls, those days are about to end. This product will give your kinky coils amazing definition.


Hot Head
Thermal Hair Care Hot Head $30.00

I deep-condition my hair at least once a week, and this product makes that possible. It helps the conditioner penetrate my hair for long-lasting effects and yields salon-quality results from the comfort of my own home.

Small Slipsilk(TM) Scrunchies
Slip Small Slipsilk Scrunchies $39.00

As someone who works out frequently and hates having curls, defined or not, stick to their neck in hot weather, I love an updo. These silk scrunchies protect my curls from being pulled too hard or rubbing against harsh fabrics.

hair, skin and nails gummies
Nature's Bounty Optimal Solutions Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies $14.00

I have been taking these vitamins for years. They taste delicious, and I can notice their positive effect on my hair and nails.

DEVAFUSER(TM) Universal Diffuser For All Curl Kind
DevaCurl DevaFuser Diffuser $50.00

I love this diffuser. I can attach it to any blow-dryer, which makes it great for travel, and it helps give my curls extra volume.

wide-tooth comb
Conair Cararra Marble Detangle Comb $3.00

If you have curly hair, you know that you can’t go far without a wide-tooth comb. This is the one that I swear by.

hair vitamins
Curls Blissful Lengths Liquid Hair Growth Vitamin $26.00

I started taking this supplement just over a year ago, and it made my hair grow like weeds. It’s safe to say I’m obsessed.

Silk Pillowcase - King White
Slip Silk Pillowcase $105.00

The journey to healthy hair never stops, which means while I sleep, I rely on these silk pillowcases to keep my hair feeling soft.

microfiber towel
DevaCurl DevaTowel Anti-Frizz Microfiber Towel $20.00

Bad news: Your beloved terrycloth towel could be making your hair frizzier than it needs to be. That's why I rely on this microfiber towel to prevent damage on wash days.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Gavazzoni Dias MF. Hair cosmetics: an overviewInt J Trichology. 2015;7(1):2-15. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.153450

  2. McLoone P, Oluwadun A, Warnock M, Fyfe L. Honey: a therapeutic agent for disorders of the skinCent Asian J Glob Health. 2016;5(1):241. doi:10.5195/cajgh.2016.241

  3. Trüeb RM, Henry JP, Davis MG, Schwartz JR. Scalp condition impacts hair growth and retention via oxidative stressInt J Trichology. 2018;10(6):262-270. doi:10.4103/ijt.ijt_57_18

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