The Best Styling Products for Curly Hair, According to the Pros

The Best Styling Products for Curly Hair, According to the Pros featured image

Being a curly-haired girl myself, I can confidently say that this hair type is both a blessing and a curse. Through years of dealing with my quirky hair, I’ve learned a few concrete things: a hairbrush is most-definitely not your friend, no matter how much you want bangs they’ll never look as good as Alexa Chung’s, and avoid the outdoors at all costs when humidity strikes.

But, when you have a day where your curls finally look good, feeling on top of the world is an understatement. With the help of these products, you can get your hair under curl-trol seven days out of the week.

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Ouidad Mongongo Oil Multi-Use Curl Treatment ($38)

Using oil is a must for curly girls; it tames, de-frizzes and soothes the hair, giving your locks the perfect sleek finish. This oil in particular, derived from the oils of the mongongo nut and coconut, helps to diminish the harsh look of split ends while protecting stands from heat—without the worry of having a greasy finish.  

“I regularly reach for the Mongongo Oil when I’m looking to add an extra boost of shine and hydration–curls really come to life when I apply it,” says Chadwick Pendley, Ouidad master artistic educator. Another fan of the oil blend is head designer and trichologist at Cosmo & Company Salon & Spa, Helen Wagmeister. Her go to-tip? “For tight and kinky curl types, which typically need more love, the oil makes a great overnight hydrating treatment.”

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Bumble and Bumble Bb.Curl Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil ($30)

This frizz-fighting, heat-defying oil deserves to be in your next shelfie if you have thick, ringlet-full hair. The best way to use this is post-shower and you can even enhance your unique curls by shape-curling individual tendrils with your fingers. Not only is the hold amazing, but it immediately quenches your curl’s thirst with the help of exotic oils like Babassu and Pracasi.

Celebrity hairstylist Patrick Kyle, who has worked with celebrities like Zara Larson and Willa Fitzgerald, says this formula works on everything from waves to tight spirals.

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Davines LOVE Curl Controller ($25)

This taming cream is a must for getting naturally polished curls without the heat. Applying this fresh out of the shower yields the best results; simply work through the hair and let the magic of powerhouse ingredients rhizobian gum and mica do the dirty work. What you’re left with is a defined, elastic texture that is gloriously smooth to the touch.

Leonardo Manetti, editorial hair stylist and founder of ION STUDIO NYC—a sustainable salon hidden among the streets of SOHO—uses this potion daily. “I love this curl controller; it helps to keep the hair’s texture alive and tamed.”

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Bounce Curl Light Creme Gel ($18)

I love when I get my hands on an inexpensive hair product—I constantly find myself running out of my must-haves in a blink and if it doesn’t break the bank, I don’t stress about it. This one in particular is a blessing because it keeps my curls in tact for days. It’s a gel and a cream combined into one and it gives the perfect amount of volume without any weight.

Hortencia Adams, influencer and curly-haired goddess, raves about this product on her blog. She writes: “I use Bounce Curl’s gel to define and give my curls the extra hold they need to provide me with 2 and 3 day hair! Embrace your curls people!!!”

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Nexxus Comb Thru Volume Finishing Mist ($14)

Coming in hot with another affordable steal is a salon-crafted hairspray that leaves the hair full of natural movement. Hairsprays are tricky; they can rid your hair of natural elasticity and they can build up in your hair, causing it to look desperate for a wash day. This finishing spray, however, administers just enough product to weightlessly refresh and set the hair for a look that can last through any party.

Lacy Redway, celebrity hairstylist, keeps this in her back pocket. In an Instagram picture featuring this product being put to work on red carpet–ready Zazie Beetz, she writes, “The last few mins before running out the door are the most crucial especially on Oscar day. Thankfully @nexxushaircare comb thru can help me keep these gorgeous locks in place…especially on this rainy Sunday afternoon.”

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Oribe Priming Lotion Leave-in Conditioning Detangler ($38)

Oribe’s Priming Lotion is the ultimate product for improving manageability. This silicone-free dream conditions the hair to protect from dryness, smooths the cuticle to prevent breakage and unleashes an irresistible finish. This can be used on both wet and dry hair, depending on how much love your curls need on that day.

Manny Rolon, cofounder of hu.MANE beauty and co-owner of hair salon My Darling Ivy, uses this primer before the styling process begins. “The combination of the beautiful oils—avocado, jojoba and olive—do such a great job of offering hydration to dehydrated curls and assist in encouraging the formation of the pattern. The other reason is because, come on… who could possibly resist that Côte d’Azur fragrance.”

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Aveda be curly Curl Enhancer ($26)

No matter what look you’re going for, this styling know-it-all will be your best friend. It goes to work on wet or dry hair and is formulated with high-tech ingredients that make sure it’s always living up to every curl’s expectation. The secret? A Hydrolyzed wheat protein and aloe blend that expands when hair is wet and retracts when it’s dry to enhance the pattern.

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