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Best Styling Products for Curly Hair

Updated on February 22, 2010

I have crazy, curly hair. Not wavy. Not kinky. Crazy, long and curly hair that people remember when they meet me for the first time. The few times I have straightened it, my friends say they don't even recognize me. After years of trial and tribulation - and tears! - I have found a few products that make my hair do what I want most of the time.

What I have found is that shampoos and conditioners don't make a huge amount of difference. I switch shampoos frequently, based on what is on sale. Pretty much the same with conditioners - I choose based on smell mostly, anything from Suave to John Frieda. I figure that if I am washing it out, I probably don't need to spend an arm and a leg on it.

But, in my opinion, the following products are the best for styling curly hair. They aren't too heavy, but they work hard to get the job done and keep my hair frizz free, even in a tornado (disclaimer: I've actually never been in a tornado so I'm not if that's true...)

It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product

This product is exactly what it says it is - a miracle. It is a great leave in product that is perfect for curly hair that tends to be dry. It is heavy enough to condition and protect my hair, but it doesn't feel as heavy as a typical leave in.

I use this every day when I get out of the shower or bath when my hair is still wet and let it air dry. Instead of spraying it directly on my hair, I pump about 10 sprays into my palms and then work it into my hair with my hands.

Even though I don't use a flat iron or any heat on my hair, this also works as a thermal protectant for your hair. If you want your hair to be silky and shiny, check out this product!

John Freida Frizz-Ease Hair Serum

This silicone-based hair serum is absolutely amazing. I love to use this during the winter when my hair seems drier, or when I am growing out my hair super long because it is great at changing my dry, damaged hair into silky locks. It makes my hair super shiny and glossy, and every time I know it is going to rain, I make sure to put it on so my hair is protected from frizz all day.

Similar to the way I put in the leave in treatment, I work a couple pumps of this serum (a little goes a long way!) into my palms and then put it on my hair, starting with the ends. Make sure not to put too much on the crown of your head or else you hair might get weighed down at the top.

MoroccanOil Treatment

The characteristic that I like about all of the products in this article is the fact that they don't add a lot of weight to my hair. Since I like to keep it long, products that are light, but strong are essential to making sure my hair doesn't get too flat on top.

Even though you probably could use this product every day since it absorbs really quickly, I use it less frequently. Usually, I put this in when my hair is still damp, but not soaking wet. Even though the oil will feel slick on yours hands, it will make your hair shiny without making it oily.

Queen Helene Placenta Hot Oil Treatment

Don't pay too much attention to the name of this product - it isn't gross or smelly even though placenta is in the name. This hot oil treatment is a great way to strengthen your hair - I use it every week or every other week depending on how dry my hair is getting. I like to make the experience into a little spa night by relaxing while the oil is soaking into my hair.

Getting the oil hot ensures that the product will penetrate your hair better and really moisturize it from scalp to end. Wrap your hair in a hot towel and relax for 5 or 10 minutes. For long hair or curly hair, this is a treat for dry, damaged strands.

Aveda Air Control Hair Spray

This hairspray is a great combination of strength and lightness. It doesn't make me feel like I have a helmet head, even well I really spray it on. It doesn't have the same sticky texture as a lot of hairsprays that say they are best for curly hair. It smells wonderful - I always get compliments when I wear it. This is a unisex scent so don't be surprised if your boyfriend or husband decides to steal a spray or two!

I use this in combination with one of my other styling products like the leave in product. I usually put it in while it is still wet so that the curls don't have time to get frizzy.

Aveda is known for using natural plant and flower products and they work to make sure their hairspray puts less VOCs into the air, so this is a great choice is you are trying to lessen your impact on the environment.


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      Gloria Eshe 6 years ago

      Totally agree with every product on here! I swear by the Moroccan Oil and the Freida hair serum. One suggestion I have for ladies with curly hair who also straighten it is switching from the Extra Strength serum to the Thermal Protection serum; it doubles as a frizz reducer and thermal protection for when I use a flat iron.

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      KortneyWills 7 years ago

      I've been a hairdresser for 17 years and I have naturally curly hair - the Shielo Antioxidant Leave-In Protector works for me - its amazing.

      Wash, towel dry, spray it in and go. No frizz, curls are soft & bouncy, amazing! However, I use about a bottle a week! I need it in bigger bottles!!

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      mary 7 years ago

      nice list! i would also recommend this one too:

      i've had a lot of success with a few of those products. and i've heard wonderful stuff about that argan oil! i'm gonna have to give that a try.

      thanks :D