The 11 Best Products for Curly Hair, According to Celebrity Hairstylists
Those with curly hair know using the right products can mean the difference between sculpted, shiny ringlets and a complete frizz-fest. Even if you already have a trusted routine, chances are your curls, coils, or waves could benefit from additional expertise.
With that in mind, we reached out to hairstylists all over the country in search of the best curly hair products out there. We used their feedback to round up 11 must-haves for curlies of all textures, from defining creams to styling tools. Keep reading for more about each product, plus advice from stylists on how to find the right products for your curl pattern.
- Best Shampoo: Gliss Hair Repair Oil Nutritive Shampoo
- Best Conditioner: Dark and Lovely Protective Styles Detangling Cream
- Best Mousse: Shu Uemura Kaze Wave Curl and Wave Defining Hair Mousse
- Best Gel: SoftSheen-Carson Let’s Jam Condition & Shine Extra Hold Gel
- Best Moisturizer: Amika Curl Corps Defining Cream
- Best Hair Spray: Aussie Sprunch Hair Spray
- Best Deep Conditioner: Aloxxi Essential 7 Oil Leave-in Conditioner
- Best Value Set: Kérastase Discipline Shampoo and Conditioner Duo
- Best Comb: Louise Maelys Wooden Wide Tooth Comb
- Best Blow Dryer: Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000
- Best Flat Iron: Dyson Corrale Straightener
Those sentiments are echoed by Kendall Dorsey, the Los Angeles-based stylist behind some of Alicia Keys’s most iconic looks. He recommends products with rice water, rice bran oil, and rice protein to “add strength and prevent breakage,” plus those containing aloe to “restore moisture, help soften, and provide lasting hydration.”
Just as certain ingredients work wonders on curls, there are plenty that do the opposite. Dueñas suggests steering clear of non-water-based silicones, which “can coat the hair and prevent moisture from reaching inside the cuticle.” He also advises curlies to avoid sodium lauryl sulfate and salts, which can increase dryness and frizz. Meanwhile, Dorsey cautions against a few other common culprits for limp, lifeless curls: “Look for products without parabens, mineral oils and dyes to keep your natural hair truly protected underneath it all.”
It’s crucial to take equal care in selecting styling tools like blow dryers and flat irons, which can literally make or break your strands. Dorsey and Dueñas both advocate for tools with ionic technology. “Ionic hair dryers work by transferring negative ions to your hair, which attract positive ions, helping your hair dry faster,” says Dueñas. “This reduces the heat required to dry your hair. With less heat comes less moisture loss, which in turn gives you a healthier and bouncier curl. This technology in a flat iron reduces frizz and the amount of heat required to smooth and straighten your hair.”
No matter your goals for your hair, these are the best curl-enhancing products to buy now. Every stylist-approved pick meets Dueñas and Dorsey’s high standards, and they’re available through retailers like Amazon, Sephora, and Dermstore.