20 Curly Hair-Friendly Products that Work

After searching the internet for care and helpful hints while switching to curly hair, the persistent question that undoubtedly comes to mind is what products to test out—and not just any products, but good ones that are unique to your hair type and texture, and information like that is hard to come by.

Want to switch up your products? In this piece, we answer the common question, ‘What products should I use for curly hair?’

Best Products to Use for Your Curly Hair

Here are some of the best items you’ll need for your journey with curly hair, and they are suitable for all types of curly hair.

1. Sulfate-Free Shampoo

sulfate-free shampoo curly hair product
Instagram / @poppy.curly

Oval-shaped follicles and the natural texture of curly hair make it more difficult for natural oils to penetrate the hair shaft and result in dryness.

Switching to a sulfate-free shampoo would help leave the hair hydrated after a wash because it contains milder surfactants and since curly hair is prone to dryness, utilizing harsh surfactants for its cleansing process leaves it feeling drier.

The Shea Moisture African Retention Shampoo is a well-liked, frequently discussed sulfate-free shampoo ideal for all curl types.

2. A Co-Wash

Co-wash curly hair product
Instagram / @temmydaynaturals

A co-wash is a conditioning cleanser that can both clean and condition hair at the same time. As a co-wash doesn’t strip the hair of its natural oils and may be used with a reset shampoo if you are concerned about buildup, it allows for frequent hair washing.

Many people are afraid that the co-wash would make their hair feel greasy at first, but over time, your hair grows used to it and reduces the quantity of natural oils released.

Additionally, even while a rinse-out conditioner can pass for a co-wash, you should buy a cleansing conditioner that bears the label “co-wash” because it will have softer surfactants that enable some cleaning.

The As I AM co-wash is the best, and many curly hair folks recommend it wholeheartedly. When using a co-wash, you must scrub and rub your scalp with your fingers or a scalp brush vigorously to help remove buildups.

3. A Conditioner

Conditioner for curly hair
Instagram / @garnierfructis

Conditioners are excellent for moisturizing hair and making detangling much simpler. They also help prevent split ends and hair breakage.

The three types of conditioners—rinse out, leave in, and deep—have the same basic function but are utilized at various stages.

A wonderful and reasonably priced rinse-out conditioner is Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser. It is known as a rinse-out because it happens after shampooing. A cationic surfactant, which makes up the majority of a conditioner, balances the negative charges left behind from the shampooing process.

4. A leave-in Conditioner

Kinky Curl Knot Today

The wash day process’s third and most crucial phase is the leave-in conditioner. A rinse-out conditioner shouldn’t be mistaken for a leave-in because it may contain stronger ingredients that, if left in the hair for an extended period, could damage it. A leave-in conditioner keeps the hair moisturized for much longer.

Working your way down from the mid-lengths to the tips, apply the leave-in conditioner, paying special attention to the regions that are more prone to dryness. The Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in has received outstanding reviews, try it out today!

5. A Deep Conditioner

Deep Conditioner for curly hair
Instagram / @kevinmurphyhair

Given that deep conditioning treatments are made to function three times better than regular conditioners, they can be beneficial in restoring curly hair that has been damaged and providing it with all the moisture it needs.

For low porosity curlies, use a deep conditioner, sit under a hooded dryer to let it work its magic, and then rinse out after 30 minutes, as directed by the product. Kevin Murphy Born Again Essential Treatment is one deep conditioner that is recommended any time any day!

6. Curl Defining Cream

Curl defining cream
Instagram / @curlybox.by.farah

What comes after a leave-in conditioner in the LCO or LOC method is either an oil or a cream. The curl-defining cream assists with definition as well as frizz control and curl moisturization. And with our curls, that’s exactly what we want.

You can use the super soaker method, which involves scooping and scrunching curls in sections, or the praying hand technique, which involves applying the product in a way that resembles prayer. To apply the cream, scoop some into your palms, rub them together, and rake them into your curls.

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, give it a try! It doesn’t have any harmful ingredients and is curly-girl-approved.

7. Gels

curly hair gel
Instagram / @ecostyle_us

Gels are categorized as a colloid, which has a thick and sticky consistency and is more solid than liquid. Gels typically produce a solid texture after setting in place; however, this also relies on the gel’s strength.

Gels are crucial for reducing frizz, especially in humid environments. Depending on how much you have on, and are surprisingly durable. Gels can weigh down fine hair because of their thickness and produce an after-applying cast that many people dislike; the cast can be squeezed out after it dries. Additionally, drying takes a long time. Eco-styler gel is excellent and incredibly cheap!

8. Mousse

curly hair Mousse
Instagram / @meisshopccs

Hair mousse is a thin, foam-based styling product that can be used to protect, smooth out flyaways and frizz, and give hair a flexible grip for a casual look. It also gives your hair extra volume and sheen.

The fact that it doesn’t weigh the hair down or leave behind gritty deposits makes it one of the easiest ways to style hair, and it works especially well on fine or less dense hair types. The hair mousse that receives the most attention and rave reviews is herbal essence mousse.

9. Oils

curly hair Oil
Instagram / @kusculture

Due to their small size, oils can penetrate hair to form an oily layer that traps moisture. Although there are many options for using oil, lighter oils like jojoba and argan oil should be utilized for finer and denser hair types.

10. A Clarifying Shampoo

Neutrogena Anti Residue Shampoo
Instagram / @polly_in_the_beautyland

The hair is cleared of buildups caused by frequent use of haircare and styling products, minerals from hard water, and dirt using Neutrogena Anti Residue Shampoo, a clarifying treatment.

The clarifying shampoo is applied similarly to regular shampoo.

11. A Diffuser

A Diffuser
Instagram / @dysonhair

To disperse, attach a diffuser to a blow dryer. Although a tad costly, the Dyson supersonic diffuser is well worth it! A diffuser works wonders for increasing volume, keeping the curl pattern, and evenly dispersing fresh air to lessen frizz.

To use a diffuser, hold it over your head and move the air around the roots of your hair to ensure that it is completely dried. 

Then, focus the diffuser on the areas of your hair that need more drying. Scoop the curls into the diffuser bowl for more volume, turn on the blow dryer using the low to medium settings, and let it run for about ten seconds before turning it off. Repeat the process for the other sections.

12. A Silk or Satin Head Wrap

Silk or Satin Head Wrap
Instagram / @myksilk

It’s not ideal for your curls if you’ve developed the habit of going straight to bed without a covering for your head. You will wake up with a huge amount of frizz if you use cotton bedding because of the increased friction it causes due to its surface area and the hold it provides. 

This can be avoided by using silk or satin bonnets because of their naturally smooth surface, which allows for an easy glide and results in less frizz, tangles, and split ends.

13. A Microfiber Towel

Microfiber Towel
Instagram / @qredew

A microfiber towel is completely lint-free! Softer for the hair and has a large absorption capacity.

14. A Frizz Serum

product for curly frizzy hair
Instagram / @johnfriedaus

Curly hair’s constant struggle is keeping frizz at bay and that can be avoided with an anti-frizz serum as it helps fight against frizz. Of which John Frieda Ease Serum does correctly!

15. Scalp Treatments

Scalp Treatments
Instagram / @moonstarsandeve

A scalp treatment is necessary for dry, flaky, and itchy scalp, and the Briogeo Scalp Revival Masque is the best of the best!

16. Hair Spray

Hair Spray
Instagram / @bellachicinc

Hairspray offers you a more finished, and polished look. It is great for styling but can leave your hair feeling slightly sticky. Kenra volume spray has all the attention.

17. Dry Shampoo

Dry Shampoo
Instagram / @vegamour

Dry shampoo doesn’t need to be washed out of the hair and minimizes oil, grime, and grease. It is ideal for extending a blowout or used after a session at the gym to remove extra oils and sweat.

18. Texturizing Spray

Texturizing Spray for curly hair
Instagram / @beautybyearth

When styling your hair, a texturizing spray gives it grit and grip and increases volume. It is quite light and does not make hair feel heavy. The Beauty by Earth sea salt and texturizing spray does the job quite well.

19. Protein Treatment 

curly hair Protein Treatment 
Instagram / @olaplex

Regular protein treatments are very beneficial for damaged hair with high porosity because they enhance the structure and integrity of the hair by restoring the protein’s moisture balance and form.

Aphogee protein therapy works well and is cost-effective, while Olaplex is a terrific protein treatment that is fairly expensive.

20. Heat Protectant

Heat Protectant for curly hair
Instagram / @rare.essentials.wigkits

A heat protectant, especially one as effective as a Tresemme heat protectant, can help avoid irreparable damage to hair caused by heat altering the chemical composition of the protein in the hair.

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