Products for people with curly hairShare on Pinterest
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Having curly hair can sometimes feel like trying to keep your houseplants alive. Some days they look alive and well with little sun or water, some days they look haggard, and you’re left figuring out what they need to look healthy again — more moisture? More product?

Because finding the right arsenal of hair products to style curly hair isn’t an easy feat, we tapped our Healthline editors (whose curls always look on point on Zoom meetings) to figure out their tried-and-true collection of products for curly hair.

Of course, we know not all curls are created equal. Every curl pattern is unique. We note the editor’s curl type next to their recommendations below.

Waves

  • 2a: more straight than curly — think soft and loose waves
  • 2b: a bit curvier, but still flat at the roots
  • 2c: deeper waves, with likely a few curls in the mix

Curls

  • 3a: soft curls, sometimes defined, sometimes frizzy
  • 3b: tighter spirals or ringlets with some spring
  • 3c: tight loops that are also prone to dryness and breakage

Coils

  • 4a: small, but distinctively S-shaped strands in tight rings
  • 4b: tiny, zigzag pattern
  • 4c: tightly coiled strands with a very tight zigzag shape

BluMaan Original Styling Meraki

  • Price: $$

“It’s a matte, thick, paste-like hair product that works amazingly as a pre-styler as well as a finishing styling cream. I use it all the time for both, and it’s, by far, the best product I’ve tested. I have tried all the American Crew, Bumble and Bumble, Hanz de Fuko, and more, and this product is light-years better than all of them.

“It’s got a great hold, does not look like any product is in my hair, and also can help hair feel and look thicker and fuller. I also use it on my kids, and it stays in their hair all day and can be styled from fully dry or wet.” — Michael Weisbaum, director of market content, Healthline (curl type: 2c)

Jessicurl Rockin’ Ringlets Styling Potion

  • Price: $$

“This product consistently works great for me. It has a medium hold, so while you need to do some scrunching after drying, it still leaves your hair soft and defined. I like combining it with Jessicurl Spiralicious Styling Gel or Confident Coils Styling Solution. But if I had to choose just one product, this would be it, since it gives good results on its own.

“It’s CG-friendly and has all-natural ingredients, and I also like that you can get it unscented! Plus, Jessicurl offers samples if you want to try before you buy.

“One word of caution: I’d buy directly from Jessicurl if at all possible. I once bought the product from Amazon, and it had a really weird texture.” — Chelsea Logan, editor II, Healthline (curl type: 3a)

Hairstory New Wash Original

  • Price: $$$

“A stylist used this to wash my hair a few years ago, and I’ve never looked back. It simultaneously cleans my scalp while hydrating my hair — an elusive combo I could never achieve despite trying tons of ‘curly’ shampoos or co-washing.

“I took a break from it at one point because of the price, but I ended up spending just as much money trying new shampoos, moisturizing treatments, and other products that didn’t work.

“This serves as my shampoo, conditioner, and hair masque (I occasionally leave it on for a few hours). If you sign up for the pouch refill program, you get an eco-friendly aluminum pump bottle that allows you to ditch plastic bottles.” — Kelly Morrell, editor II, Healthline (curl type: 3a)

Kinky-Curly Knot Today Natural Leave In/Detangler

  • Price: $$

“I’ve used this leave-in for years, because it offers great slip and moisture. I have 3A/2C hair that’s sort of fine, but this is light enough that it doesn’t weigh down my curls. I like that it’s made with organic ingredients, and it’s easy to find at stores.” — Logan

AQUIS Original Hair Towel

  • Price: $$

“A lot of people swear by drying their curls with an old cotton T-shirt. I was one of those people for many years, because it works. But I missed being able to wear my softest, rattiest oversized event tees around the house because they were always hanging around in various stages of wetness.

“This towel gives me the same results (better-defined curls and minimal frizz) faster. It also dries quickly, which is useful for traveling.” — Morrell

Trader Joe’s Shea Butter & Coconut Oil Hair Mask

  • Price: $$

“This baby is a staple. My dry hair just sucks it right up. I use it daily instead of styling products to “scrunch” my hair. I flip it, scrunch it, and get soft, bouncy curls with definition instead of a frizzy, shapeless mess. You can also use it as a full-blown rinse-out mask.” — Crystal Hoshaw, editor I, Healthline (curl type: 2a)

Kristin Ess Curl Leave-In Cream

  • Price: $

“This is a super hydrating spray cream that gives my curls bounce and shine. I like to spray it on after a wash and before I untangle my hair, and it works well as a detangler, too.

“I think it does a great job at keeping frizz at bay, and making my curls feel super soft. Sometimes I don’t even put on any gel or cream with hold afterwards!” — Mellanie Perez, editor I, Healthline (curl type: 2c)

Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel

  • Price: $

“This product has been a lifesaver! I love it, because it not only makes my curls ‘pop,’ and become incredibly defined, but it also doesn’t leave my hair feeling hard as a typical gel would.

“My curls are elongated, fluffy and defined without the hardness and crunch that gel leaves. It’s super moisturizing as well.” — Raven Shelvin, relationships manager, Healthline (curl type: 4a)

Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner

  • Price: $$

“This has been my go-to hair cream and styling tool for years now. What I like best is that this conditioner feels lightweight but still offers a nice amount of moisture and control without creating buildup.

“I have low-porosity 3B hair, so I’ve learned after lots of trial and error that I need products that can help lock in moisture without weighing my hair down too much in between washing. I also like that this cream is fragrance-free — a lot of curl creams are heavily scented, which can be tough if you’re sensitive to fragrance.

“Some downsides: This cream isn’t the greatest at frizz control when there’s a ton of moisture in the air. This cream also contains a type of silicone (amodimethicone) so it won’t work for anyone who uses the curly girl method.” — Erin Edge, editor in chief, Healthline, (curl type: 3b)

Banyan Botanicals Organic Healthy Hair Oil

  • Price: $$

“My hair tends toward dryness, so I use this product about once per week to oil my hair. I usually leave it in overnight and wash out in my morning shower. I don’t even use product afterward, and that first day is usually my best hair day all week.

“It makes my curls soft and silky rather than frizzy. It’s also good for the scalp, especially when combined with a massage.” — Hoshaw

Innersense Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner

  • Price: $$

“I started adding this to my routine during drier months when I wanted a little extra conditioning for my hair, and usually applied it under my usual leave-in styling cream — though if you have finer curls you may be able to get away with using this on its own.

“It also works for freshening up day two or three curls and is a pretty good detangler on wet hair. Most Innersense products do have fragrance, but it’s super light and not too perfumed, in my experience.” — Edge

HiBAR Moisturize Solid Shampoo and Conditioner

  • Price: $$$

“I’ve been using both the shampoo and conditioner for several months and have found that they leave my hair soft and defined. Both are curly girl method-friendly and easy to find in stores if you don’t want to shop online.

“The shampoo is super easy to use, and I actually like it better than any liquid shampoo I’ve tried. The conditioner bar is a little hard to get used to (it doesn’t distribute through hair as easily as a liquid product), but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be good to go.” — Logan

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Treatment Masque

  • Price: $$

“I like to do a deep conditioning treatment with this masque about once a month during drier months to give my hair a bit more TLC. Between heat styling (I blow dry or diffuse most days) and having low-porosity hair, extra conditioning is a must.

“This always makes my curls feel extra soft and hydrated without creating a ton of buildup, and helps reduce some of my hair shedding, too.” — Edge

Joon Haircare Moisturizing Trio Deal Seat

  • Price: $$$

“These are not marketed for curls, but I don’t think I’ve ever used a better shampoo. And I don’t say that lightly. Not only does it smell amazing without being overpowering, but it also leaves my hair feeling super soft, weightless, bouncy and shiny. I could go days without washing, and it wouldn’t start feeling frizzy and unruly.

“The oil in this set is also just as good, so all three combined are one of my favorite go-to kits. You can also buy all three items separately. The liter shampoo and conditioners are, of course, a better bang for your buck.” — Perez

Segbeauty Hair Diffuser

  • Price: $$

“I like this diffuser because you can attach it to any blow dryer. I like to go back and forth between wearing my hair curly and straight, and this diffuser allows me to do both. When I want straight hair, I just take it off and use my blow dryer as-is.

“When I don’t have the patience to wait for my curls to air-dry, I just pop this on. You can also adjust the airflow on the diffuser, which can be a big help for minimizing frizz.” — Morrell

Cantu Shea Butter For Natural Hair Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream

  • Price: $

“This styling cream is marketed toward people with curlier or coily hair. However, I think it does a great job on ‘activating’ my soft curls, too!

“This is perfect for when you want a more ‘wet’ look. It leaves hair with a little amount of ‘crunch’ without being drying, and it does a fairly good amount of hold. I would say that, if you don’t like products you can feel in your hair, this one isn’t for you.” — Perez

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque

  • Price: $$

“If there’s one product that delivers on its name, it’s this one! I deep condition my hair with this product, and it leaves my color treated hair moisturized. My hair feels so silky, and I can comb through and detangle with ease.

“It practically melts away any knots in my hair. A bonus is that it smells amazing!” — Shelvin