Please hug yourself and brace yourself for the following information: there is no such thing as “the best” curly hair product. I understand—shock, fear, astonishment, and so on. But, honestly, with so many varied curl types, each with their own individual levels of health/damage or thinness/thickness, it’s difficult to pretend that a single curl cream or styler will perform as effectively for your 4a hair as it will for my 2c/3a curls (that are also fine, thin, and easily weighed down). Let’s be honest: even the products I use every day provide different results each time (IYKYK).
That’s why I believe in keeping an arsenal of curly hair products on hand at all times, just to appease the curl overlords. But, because there are approximately six-trillion curl products on the market right now—and probably only a few dozen that work for your specific hair type—I’m here to help you out with 23 of the best masks, serums, mousses, gels, creams, and conditioners for curly hair, all of which are guaranteed to give you really excellent curls.
Our top picks for the best curly hair products of 2022
Lus All-in-One Fragrance-Free Styler: Curly
Lus has long been one of my favourite curly-hair brands. Their products are simple, stripped-down, free of blah things (such silicones, sulphates, and mineral oils), and exactly what I would manufacture if I could formulate my own. My most recent favourite? This all-in-one styler is a cross between a leave-in conditioner and a curl cream, and it uses moringa oil and shea butter to delicately hydrate and define curls. It’s also highly customizable: Try the original version (here) or the fragrance-free version (here). Do you require a lighter or heavier formula? Choose the wavy-haired or “kinky-coily” variant. So good, I told you.
Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream
There’s a reason this cream has over 900 positive reviews on Amazon alone: it works. While most creams weigh down finer curl types, this lightweight lotion has just a hint of argan oil, which works to calm frizz and define waves and curls without feeling greasy, heavy, or sticky.
Dove Advanced Hair Series Supreme Crème Serum
This drugstore curl serum with buriti oil is a curly hair hydrating delight. It hydrates curls without weighing them down, and it also leaves your hair soft and shining. Warm two to three pumps of the product in your hands and rub it through dry or damp hair evenly.
Vernon François Pure Fro Hold and Shine Serum
This smoothing serum not only adds lustre to dull curls, but it also helps coils clump together as they dry. With a botanical oil blend (including apricot kernel and baobab), this mid-weight solution deeply hydrates and shines, whether applied to wet or dry hair. Or both, you know.
Living Proof No Frizz Intense Moisture Mask
I’ll repeat it again for the benefit of those in the back: there’s nothing wrong with frizz, and it doesn’t need to be contained or managed. BUT, if you don’t like your own flyaways and want smoother curls, try this moisture mask. It’s made with a patented molecule (OFPMA) that wraps around each strand of hair to keep moisture out and surface friction down. It completely eliminates frizz while also defining your curls.