Curly hair is beautiful but requires some special care to look it’s best. The advice to minimize or eliminate shampooing, avoid sulfates, and dry hair with an old t-shirt or microfiber towel make a difference but only go so far.
The rest is up to curl-enhancing products that define curls, hydrate hair, fight frizz, and protect locks from damage from heat and the environment. And no, that’s not asking too much. All of these products do all that, although some are more suited for fine hair and some are for coarse or thick hair.
Keep reading for the top 5 curly hair products based on user reviews to find the right curl definer for you!
Honorable Mention: Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious Defining Crème
4.2 out of 5 stars from 48 reviews (though the larger size gets 4.4 stars)
This lightweight cream is best suited for fine to medium curly hair. It smoothes and enhances curls, supporting their shape while defeating droop. The end result if always soft, never sticky, flaky, or stiff. For medium to thick hair, check out Bb’s Calming Creme for Coarse Curls.
“My fine wavy-curly hair loves this product. A tiny bit whips everything into smooth, controlled, soft curls that are never crunchy (even when I let it air dry…miracle). If you’ve got fine hair, try it. There’s nothing else like it out there.”
$29.00 for 8.5 oz from Bumble and bumble, Sephora, and Amazon.
4.2 out of 5 stars from 120 reviews
Ouidad is one of the must have brands for girls with curly hair and this product is still going strong after winning the 1999 Allure Magazine Best Defrizzer Award in addition to accolades from dailyglow, glam.com, and Shecky’s Beauty at it’s Best Wards.
If you’re looking for strong hold in an alcohol-free formula this is the one for you. It tames, smoothes, and controls unruly hair in heat and humidity as well as protecting hair from styling heat.
“Having naturally curly hair, I have tried every product known to man. Nothing has worked better for me than Ouidad Gel. It is worth every penny and it lasts me about 6-8 months.
I normally use a very small amount, about a dime size and just smooth it through my towel dried hair, let air dry for about 15 minutes and then blow dry with a curl diffuser. This leaves my hair soft, light and frizz-free all day long.”
$23.00 for 8.5 oz or $40.00 for 16.9 oz from Sephora, Ulta, Folica, and beauty.com.
4.3 out of 5 stars from 155 reviews
This creamy, soft formula moisturizes, enhances shine, and boost body in addition to protecting against heated styling tools. To use it, apply a dime to quarter-sized amount (their instructions say more but it can be too much for some) to wet hair below the ears. Comb it through and wrap hair in a microfiber hair towel.
“Made my hair soft and easy to manage my curls love it will recommend this item to every one A+++++”
$13.89 for 4 oz from Amazon.
4.4 out of 5 stars from 130 reviews
Curly Sexy Hair’s cream enhances and controls curls while leaving hair extra soft and hydrated. The all-day hold smoothes and controls frizz and keeps curls from falling flat. Use it daily or to refresh second day curls
This product works best when applied to damp hair. Rub a pea-sized amount between hands and then diffuse or let air dry.
“It makes perfect curls in my hair without using any heat and the curls can be refreshed with just a bit of water on my hands scrunching the hair.” “I love the way it manages my hair and leaves my hair and curls soft. It’s never sticky and has a pleasant aroma.”
This product is available at a range of prices but the best deal is at Amazon for $14.89.
4.4 out of 5 stars from 228 reviews
This fabulous smelling product gives hold and control for defined curls, streamlined waves, and enhanced natural texture. Essential oils combined with thermal and environmental protectants nurture curls for a touchable and shiny finish. Users recommend this product for frizziness and dry hair.
Follow the bottles directions to apply this product from halfway down your hair to the tips. It can feel stiff when used close to the scalp. If that happens, just scrunch the dry hair.
“I have tried everything for my curly hair and I have found that this is the only one that will leave my hair very curly and frizz free.”
$10.60 for 5.07 ounces from Amazon.
4.5 our of 5 stars from 43 reviews and always recommended by our resident stylist Isabelle Faure
This cream leaves curls well formed and hair shiny and soft. It controls frizz and excess volume and protects from humidity and thermal damage. If you have thick and/or coarse curly hair, this is the product for you.
“I love this product when I let my hair be its curly self. Leaves my curls well-defined, smells great and softens my hair. Expensive, but worth it.”
$31.75 for 5.1 oz from Amazon.