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If you’re currently on the hunt for the best curly hair products, you’ve come to just the right place. As beauty editors, we know there are a lot of options out there, so determining each step of your ideal wash day routine can be tricky whether you want to defrizz your hair, define your curls, keep your curls moisturized, or give them a little lovin’ after a super sleek blowout.
Our Top Picks:
- Best Shampoo: Rizos Curls Hydrating Shampoo, $20
- Best Conditioner: Rizos Curls Deep Conditioner, $20
- Best Blow-Dryer: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, $430
- Best Scalp Treatment: DpHue ACV Rinse, $37
- Best Heat Protectant: Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner, $25
- Best Curl Cream: Pattern Styling Cream, $28
- Best Hair Gel: Bread Beauty Supply Hair-Gel, $26
We combed through all the jams, jellies, puddings, custards, gels, and creams to come up with some of our favorite foolproof products for curls. There’s a bottle of something for everything here — loose ‘fros, crisp braids, bouncy ringlets, or cropped coils. So, what are you waiting for?
Scroll to find the best hair products for curly hair, including the best shampoos, conditioners, bubbly mousses, and penetrating oils that will help give you the gorgeous curls you deserve — no matter how thick or slim your wallet is. Consider your curly hair routine upgraded.
Best Shampoos, Conditioners, and Co-Washes for Curly Hair
Best Shampoo & Conditioner: Rizos Curls Hydrating Shampoo & Deep Conditioner
Rizos Curls Hydrating Shampoo & Deep Conditioner
Why We Love It: This 2023 Best of Beauty-winning duo excels at locking in moisture, and combating dandruff and split ends — all while remaining silicone, sulfate, and cruelty-free. Latinx-founded brand Rizos was created to celebrate the natural texture of curls, coils, and waves everywhere. If you have thick, dense hair that’s best detangled in the shower, consider this a must-try.
Editor Tip: When you’ve got time on your hands for some extra TLC, apply the conditioner evenly throughout your strands, put on a plastic cap, and blow-dry on low for enhanced absorption and maximum reparative benefits.
Key Ingredients: Shea butter, moringa oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, argan oil
Best Cleansing Oil: Ouidad Curl Recovery Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil
Ouidad Curl Recovery Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil
Why We Love It: Need a deep cleanse but afraid a clarifying shampoo will be too harsh on your dry hair? Ouidad’s water-activated Curl Recovery Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil may become your new favorite, thanks to its innovative formulation that gently removes dirt and buildup without stripping your strands. Designed to cleanse while preserving hair’s natural moisture, it’s a welcome departure from harsh sulfates and boasts marufa butter and Kalahari melon for improved elasticity and a smooth finish.
Editor Tip: Take a moment to massage the product into your scalp in a circular motion to promote circulation for optimal hair health and speedier regrowth.
Key Ingredients: Meadowfoam seed oil, castor oil, wheat protein, jojoba seed oil
Best Scalp Rinse: DpHue ACV Rinse
Why We Love It: Leaving your hair’s natural oils alone for a bit and letting them do their thing is an essential part of any solid hair-care routine. That said, too much oil can lead to weighed-down curls, scalp irritation, and looking like you just went swimming when you most certainly did not. DpHue’s ACV Rinse takes the place of your regular shampoo when you need a clarifying boost.
Expert Tip: This rinse uses apple cider vinegar to gently cleanse hair without stripping away beneficial oils — while also adding shine and balancing hair pH. Los Angeles-based hairstylist Gabriella Mancha deems it a favorite for curls, thanks to its tapered nozzle, which “allows direct access to your roots and doesn’t leave a chemical itch like other shampoos [might].”
Key Ingredients: Apple cider vinegar, argan oil, lavender extract, aloe vera, fire tulip
Best Co-Wash: Kristin Ess Ultra-Hydrating Curl Co-Wash
Kristin Ess Ultra-Hydrating Curl Co-Wash
Why We Love It: Launched as part of a silicone-free curly hair-care collection in 2020, founder Kristin Ess said products like the Ultra Hydrating Curl Co-Wash align with the Curly Girl Method. This 2020 Best of Beauty-winning formula has hydrating glycerin and hydrolyzed linseed, which is rich in omega fatty acids, to keep curls from drying out as it gets rid of grime on your hair and scalp. The non-sudsy formula — free of drying alcohols, sulfates, and parabens — is prime for curly and kinky textures alike.
Editor Tip: Swap in this co-wash when you need to cleanse hair without compromising moisture retention. Massage it into your scalp for a minute and work the formula through your middle and ends when rinsing it out.
Key Ingredients: Glycerin, hydrolyzed linseed oil, sodium PCA, Moroccan lava clay, green tea
Best for Stimulating Hair Growth: Pantene Gold Series New Length Root Stimulating Shampoo & Conditioner
Pantene Gold Series Root Stimulating Shampoo and Root Rejuvenating Conditioner
Why We Love It: Formulated by a team of Black PhDs and hairstylists, Pantene’s Gold Series Root Stimulating Shampoo and Root Rejuvenating Conditioner cleanses and conditions hair while encouraging and maintaining new length.
Editor Tip: Apricot oil and green tea extract are the star ingredients in this sulfate-free set, which work their magic by detoxing the scalp and fortifying the hair for sustainable growth with regular use over time.
Key Ingredients: Apricot oil, green tea extract
Best-Smelling Treatment: SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner
SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner
Why We Love It: This beloved drugstore conditioner is cherished for its lightweight formula that’s ideal for every day. Silk protein restores and revitalizes damaged ends, resulting in softer, more supple curls, while shea butter adds a silky shine. What’s more, we can’t get enough of its subtle hibiscus and coconut aroma.
Editor Tip: When you’ve got extra time on your hands, leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes and cover your hair with a shower cap for boosted revitalization.
Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, hibiscus flower extract, silk protein, neem oil, shea butter
Best Detanglers and Leave-In Conditioners for Curly Hair
Best Heat Protectant: Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner
Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Heat Protectant Leave-In Conditioner
Why We Love It: If you’re on the hunt for a product that can add moisture and definition and protect hair against heat (up to 450⁰F), this hybrid Miracle Milk is the leave-in treatment that’s editor- and hairstylist-approved. On busy days, reach for this one-and-done formula for detangling, defrizzing, and prepping hair before other products.
Editor Tip: “I can’t recommend this holy grail product enough to detangle, defrizz, or prep hair — it truly does do it all,” says LA-based hairstylist Lana Hunter. “It’s also amazing as a quick refresher that doesn’t leave hair feeling weighed down.”
Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, fennel seed oil
Best for Porosity: Innersense Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner
Innersense Sweet Spirit Leave In Conditioner
Why We Love It: This clean (a.k.a. sulfate-, paraben-, and silicone-free, among other qualities) and weightless leave-in conditioner detangles and hydrates freshly washed curls while boosting shine and equalizing porosity, making it easier for strands to absorb moisture. It boasts serious versatility and can be spritzed as a refresher in addition to its post-wash application. Thanks to plant extracts (hi, lavender and honey), you’ll be left smelling delectable, too.
Editor Tip: “A little of this spray goes a long way,” says hairstylist Mona Baltazar, creator of The Mona Cut. “Work it through the hair, concentrating on the ends, which allows a bit of slip and ample moisture at your base to combine with additional products,” she instructs, adding that this treatment is a go-to in the winter months.
Best Hair Mask: Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask
Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask
Why We Love It: This ultra-nourishing mask is a staple in so many beauty routines. Famous for its restorative properties that combat damage from even the hottest of heat tools, it includes a delicious blend of essential oils (bonus points for biotin!) to quench parched curls and leave them luscious, smooth, and lively.
Editor Tip: Apply this Best of Beauty winner to wet hair in the shower to aid in detangling with a wide-tooth comb.
Key Ingredients: Rosehip, sweet almond, avocado oils, biotin, algae extract
Best Luxury Leave-In: Ouai Leave-In Conditioner
Ouai Leave In Conditioner
Why We Love It: No matter what your hair type is, you’ll love the Ouai Leave-In Conditioner‘s moisturizing formula. After all, it is a three-time Readers’ Choice Award winner. This detangling frizz-fighter contains hydrolyzed proteins to protect hair against environmental damage while tamarind seed extract, panthenol, and vitamin E condition hair so you can easily detangle knots and curls. Plus, this sweet-smelling spritz has lingering floral notes that can double as a light perfume.
Editor Tip: Heading straight into styling post-wash? This leave-in also acts as a heat protectant for up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, so you’re good to go. Former digital editor Jihan Forbes, who describes her hair as kinky/curly, said she loves to mix this spray with a bit of water to moisturize and smooth her curls.
Key Ingredients: Tamarind seed extract, amaranth extract, amino acids blend
Best Blow-Dryers and Diffusers for Curly Hair
Best Splurge: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
Why We Love It: You’re likely no stranger to the iconic hair dryer that’s been a fixture on social media feeds and bathroom counters since 2016. With patented technology, a lightweight motor, quick drying time, and the ability to keep heat damage at bay, this is worth the hype and the splurge. The best part is the Supersonic comes with a detachable diffuser that distributes heat more evenly, causes a bit less damage, and helps curls stay supple and frizz-free.
Editor Tip: For added protection, choose the Gentle Air Attachment (one of six included in the set) for diffused air coupled with a gentler, cooler flow.
Best Under $200: Curlsmith De-Frizzion Dryer
Curlsmith De-Frizzion Dryer
Why we love it: Meet your new favorite tool to make unruly frizz a thing of the past. With its precision engineering on your side, defined, voluminous curls are here to stay. Enjoy expertly diffused results thanks to 360-degree airflow and a porcelain ceramic element for even heat distribution. And it’s the little luxuries, like the hands-free stand, that make styling almost as breezy as a salon visit.
Editor Tip: For even more bounce, gently scrunch your curls as you diffuse in sections.
Best Drugstore: SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Why We Love It: SheaMoisture has been a trusted name in natural hair care for years, and this decadent curl cream is a star of the assortment. Loaded with certified organic shea butter, it has the power to breathe life into lackluster waves, curls, and coils — resulting in nothing but bouncy, frizz-free hair days ahead. Not to mention, its cost-effective price point fits right into any budget-conscious beauty routine.
Editor Tip: If you’re a dedicated clean beauty user, SheaMoisture is an excellent brand to shop.
Key Ingredients: Shea butter, coconut oil, hibiscus flower extract, silk protein
Best Mousse: Authentic Beauty Concept Amplify Mousse
Authentic Beauty Concept Amplify Mousse
Why We Love It: Who says mousse is passé? While you may not be channeling ’80s hair icons of yore, a quality mousse remains a solid addition to any curly hair routine. Just ask celebrity hairstylist Mia Santiago, who always keeps this lightweight, non-crunchy pick on hand. “I rely on this mousse to define and volumize curls while keeping frizz at bay,” says Santiago. With its lightweight blend of green tea and lime extracts, Authentic Beauty Concept’s Best of Beauty-winning Amplify Mousse is ideal for zhushing up finer curl patterns and ensuring your look holds all day.
Editor Tip: To amp up the volume after a long day, spray your hair with a little bit of water to reactivate the mousse for added shape and dimension.
Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, jojoba oil
Best for Protective Styles: Pattern Styling Cream
Why We Love It: We love a product with a long, honest resumé, and Tracee Ellis Ross isn’t afraid to list out exactly what her hard-working, curl-conscious Pattern Beauty haircare can do. Pattern’s Styling Cream for Curly & Coily Hair is good for twist-outs, braids, bantu knots — deep breath — locs, air-drying, and more.
Editor Tip: When it comes to truly iconic formulas, versatility is a must, and the professionals agree this one does it all. “It’s awesome for curly hair to detangle and to allow the styling cream to help define curls adding a nice luster,” notes Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist Alexander Armand. It’s packed with hydrating shea butter and almond oil to boot!
Key Ingredients: Rosemary leaf extract, Kahai oil, shea butter
Best for Wash and Go: Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream
Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream
Why We Love It: There’s no doubt that Allure readers love Moroccanoil’s Curl Defining Cream. If you need further proof, know that 2022 marks the fourth Readers’ Choice Award win for the product. “For me, the real test of a curl cream is if it can keep your hair defined as the days go by, while also fluffing out to its former, voluminous glory,” former Allure digital editor, Jihan Forbes, previously shared. “This one did just that.”
Editor Tip: If frizz is your arch nemesis, this Argan oil-rich formula is your new best friend. Renowned for its nourishing and hydrating properties, it’s an excellent choice for parched, unruly strands.
Key Ingredients: Argan oil, aloe leaf juice
Best Overall: Bread Beauty Supply Hair Gel
Bread Beauty Supply Hair-Gel
Why We Love It: Cool girl brand Bread Beauty Supply made magic yet again with a reimagined hair gel (and 2023 Best of Beauty winner, no less!), boasting an innovative formula that delivers a glossy shine free of flakiness or stickiness. Rake it through damp hair, add water as needed as you work it through, and finish off by finger-coiling or plopping the hair. Whether you want to air-dry, diffuse, or blow-dry is totally up to you.
Editor Tip: Want to rock a sleek bun or ponytail in the heat? This medium-hold gel fends off humidity and flyaways keeps your polished looks thriving all day long.
Key Ingredients: Yuzu extract, snow mushroom, red algae
Best Luxury: Oribe Curl Gelée
Why We Love It: Oribe Curl Gelée is as nourishing as a hair oil — but it also preserves your style with all-day hold and frizz control. Formulated with curl-enhancing neem seed oil and cuticle-strengthening avocado butter, this Oribe styling product is ideal for tight and coily curl types who want added shine and definition without any unwanted crunch. Smooth this 2020 Best of Beauty Award over damp hair before diffusing or air-drying, and you’ll see the difference for yourself.
Editor Tip: Forbes said that the Oribe Curl Gelée, despite having a thick texture, dried down to a weightless finish and left her highly-textured hair with a bouncy finish and days-long definition.
Key Ingredients: Watermelon, lychee and edelweiss flower, murumuru, mango and cocoa seed butters, apricot oil, avocado butter
Best-Smelling: Adwoa Beauty Baomint Moisturizing Curl Defining Cream
Adwoa Beauty Baomint Moisturizing Curl Defining Cream
Why We Love It: Adwoa Beauty’s cream-based Baomint Moisturizing Curl Defining Gel is the real deal when it comes to moisturizing dry curls. Formulated with baobab, cactus, sweet almond, and vitamin-E-rich pumpkin seed oils, it’ll leave your hair feeling pillowy-soft and conditioned.
Editor Tip: It’s Allure‘s associate news editor Gabi Thorne’s preferred last step in her wash-and-go routine, as it also adds long-lasting definition and hold to her style.
Key Ingredients: Baobab oil, peppermint oil, silk amino acids, shea butter, honey
Most Vitamin-Rich: Curls So So Def Vitamin C Curl Defining Jelly
Curls So So Def Vitamin C Curl Defining Jelly
Why We Love It: It’s easy to mistake the ingredients in Curls’ So So Def Vitamin C Curl Defining Jelly for your favorite face cream. Laced with vitamins A, B, and C, this 2020 Allure Best of Beauty winner introduces moisture into thirsty curls and keeps it there so that your curl definition springs to life and doesn’t dry out.
Editor Tip: Vitamin C is great at protecting hair from damage caused by free radicals, pollutants, and UV radiation — so consider yourself armed with an unlikely superhero ingredient.
Key Ingredients: Pineapple fruit extract, coconut oil, aloe leaf juice, chamomile flower extract
Looking for more curly-hair product recs? Keep reading:
- How to Keep Your Natural Curls Moisturized Between Washes
- 17 Best Hair Gels for Curly and Coily Hair That’ll Make You Forget You Own A Curling Iron
- 10 South and Southeast Asian Women With Curls Share Their Hair-Care Routines
Now, watch actor Novi Brown break down her wash-day routine for her gorgeous Bantu knots: