20 Best Curly Hair Products 2021 | The Sun UK01/29/2021
CURLS tend to have a mind of their own, but we've got a few great solutions with our selection of the best curly hair products.
Whether you're looking to give your natural curl a better definition or banish frizz, there are quite a few product to choose from, depending on your budget.
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To help you sift through the many options out there, we’ve selected the best products that curly-haired folk swear by – and that you can easily purchase online.
What's the best product for frizzy curly hair?
The general rule if you have curly hair when it comes to shampooing?
Use a gentle, low-foaming, sulphate-free shampoo when possible and wash hair infrequently so you don't rob it of essential oils.
Conditioning those curls is also crucial, so invest in a super-hydrating conditioner or leave-in conditioner to get every inch of hair nourished and hydrated.
A weekly hair mask is another mainstay to strengthen and repair those fragile strands.
When it comes to styling your curly hair, you'll want a lightweight cream or gel-oil that combats frizz, that won’t weigh hair down and leaves it looking shiny.
Here's our round-up of the best products for curly hair around.
1. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo
- Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo, £10.99 from Boots- buy here
Finding the right shampoo is essential to keeping curly hair in its best condition – and you also don't want to over-wash it.
The pros recommend a sulphate-free, low-foam shampoo like Shea Moisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo, with gorgeous, nourishing ingredients like coconut oil and silk protein.
It cleanses the scalp gently and protects against breakage and you won't need to use it more than once a week.
2. Noughty Wave Hello Curl Defining Bundle
- Wave Hello Curl Defining Bundle, £15.72 from Noughty – buy here
Noughty haircare products tick all the boxes when it comes to gentle, natural, vegan hair care – at great value for money.
This curl-enhancing set contains sea kelp, avocado oil and mango butter to nourish curls and tame frizz, and fans love its smell and shine.
One satisfied customer said: "The curl cream gives my hair the same effect as it does when sitting in the sun and scrunching, (no more hard work – woohoo), all I need do is finger it through and leave to air dry."
3. African Pride Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner
- African Pride Shea Butter, £5.13 from Amazon – buy here
A heavy-duty moisturising conditioner is essential for curly, wavy, coily hair, and this popular shea butter product from African Pride does a good job hydrating, detangling, smoothing and adding plenty of shine to curls.
For best results, use daily and enjoy as the compliments start flooding in.
4. Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream
Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream, £6 from Amazon – buy here
A sulphate-free, shea butter product that you can apply to damp hair and scrunch up to style, Cantu has a cult following among the curly-haired.
It manages to moisturise locks, define curls and leave hair looking shiny.
Fans love that it's "affordable and effective" and "marvellous for frizzy hair," with one declaring: "I'm in love with this product! I have naturally curly and dry hair and this product saves my day every time I use it.
"I use it on dump hair (just a tiny amount is sufficient) and then simply dry it. The result is amazing: my hair is hydrated, soft, and maintains the style all day! Highly recommended."
5. Bumble and bumble Curl Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil
- Bumble and bumble Curl Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil, £20.40 (Was £24) from Boots – buy here
A lightweight gel-oil hybrid, this Bb product hydrates and holds curls without weighing hair down, while the blend of Brazilian oils keeps hair shiny and glossy.
Fans love it so much they call it their "holy grail," "saving grace" and "amazing on so many levels."
One customer declares: "I have been religiously using this product for a little over a year now. My hair is thick and textured and I like to wear it natural.
"This product lets me do that. Because it is a gel-oil, it has the moisturizing effect of oil but it is lightweight like a gel. It leaves my hair shiny and soft without making it crunchy like most gels."
6.Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream
- Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream, £27.70 from Amazon – buy here
A curl-defining, frizz-fighting product with Argan oil and proteins to hydrate, detangle and strengthen, wavy-haired gals love this product for encouraging their waves to go curly.
People love how it softens hair – and rave about its delicious smell.
7. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Edge Treatment
- Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Edge Treatment, £12.99 from LookFantastic – buy here
Shea Moisture's Jamaican Black Castor Oil does what it says on the tin, working to strengthen and restore your curls so they can reach their glossy bounce potential.
Complete with a nutrient-rich formula that conditions and encourages hair growth, Shea Moisture's castor oil is perfect for controlling frizz and any unruly baby hairs, sleeking out your locks.
There's absolutely nothing dodgy inside either, free from sulphates, paragons, phthalates, paraffin, mineral oil and synthetic colour. Phew. Plus, it smells delicious.
8. Aveda Be Curly
Aveda Be Curly Shampoo (250ml), £20.50, Lookfantastic – buy here
Aveda's curly hair line is known to be one of the best on the market and this shampoo is the perfect to start with if you want to try it out.
This gentles shampoo will cleanse your hair while combating frizz and is also a great way to kick-start your shine-boosting regimen in the shower.
We love its refreshing citrus aroma and the fact that Aveda is a completely cruelty-free brand is a wonderful bonus.
Once converted, you can complete the set with Aveda's Be Curly Conditioner and the Be Curly Enhancer.
is a completely cruelty-free brand. There is no animal testing occurring on their products or ingredients
9. Percy & Reed Oh-So-Smooth Frizz Fixer
Percy & Reed Oh-So-Smooth Frizz Fixer (150ml), £15 at FeelUnique – buy here
If you have super frizzy hair that's hard to tame, this light mist is the ideal product for you.
Its formula contains Sweet Almond Seedcake Extract that creates a humidity resistant shield around each and every hair strand, while Coconut & Moringa Oils moisturise and enhance shine.
Spray it over dry hair, for a smoothing effect and to reduce any humidity induced frizz.
10. We tested: Sexy Hair Curly Curling Crème
- Sexy Hair Curly Curling Crème, £16.95 from LookFantastic – buy here
Sexy Hair have a range of products made specifically to improve the health, shine and definition of your curls.
Their Curling Crème is a lightweight moisturiser for smoothing out untameable barnets, reducing frizz – we decided to see if those promises really deliver.
After washing and towel-drying our hair, we then squirted a scrunched a small amount of Curling Crème through it. The perfumed smell swayed us before we could even recognise the results.
Once it had air-dried, our curls looked noticeably tighter and glossier, however we think it would work wonders on thicker hair as our fine hair meant that it ended up getting a bit greasy by the following day, only seeming to work well when using a small amount.
For best results definitely apply to damp or wet hair then allow your hair to air dry, or use a hairdryer with a diffuser on the end to eliminate any possibility of frizz.
11. Boucleme Hydrating Hair Cleanser
- Boucleme Hydrating Hair Cleanser, £15 from Selfridges – buy here
Part of Selfridges' Project Earth range, the Bouclème hair cleanser doesn't harm the environment, and hydrates your curls. Win, win.
Combining actives of coconut, mongongo, seabuckthorn, camellia and sea salt, this vegan, low-foaming cleanser is ideal for those with fine hair or oily scalps.
After rinsing your hair, simply massage this into your scalp in a circular motion then proceed to rinse thoroughly and enjoy the volumnous effects.
12. Cantu Deep Nourishing Hair & Scalp Masque with Rhassoul Clay
- Cantu Deep Nourishing Hair & Scalp Masque with Rhassoul Clay, £2.95 from BeautyBay – buy here
Award-winning beauty brand Cantu specialise in textured hair products, so they know what they're doing when it comes to taming curls – we had to include their hair mask that's under £3!
Blending pure shea butter and rhassoul clay, this mask strives to cleanse impurities and any other excess oils, giving you a deep clean and helping your curls combat any grease.
If you suffer from scalp flakiness too, this is a great hair mask for you that you can easily slot into your weekly haircare routine at such an affordable price.
13. The Inkey List Chia Seed Curl Defining Hair Treatment
- The Inkey List Chia Seed Curl Defining Hair Treatment, £7.99 from CultBeauty – buy here
Affordable favourite The Inkey List has a loyal customer-base in the beauty world, so we have high expectations for the Chia Seed Curl Defining hair treatment.
Ringlets lost their bounce? Well, this vegan, weightless serum combines carefully-selected ingredients to bond your strands, protecting them from chemical damage, frizz and breakage.
There are some mixed reviews on CultBeauty, but it's because it's not-so heavy, offering a light combat of frizz and best used to strengthen colour-damaged hair.
14. KeraCare Oil Moisturizer with Jojoba Oil
- KeraCare Oil Moisturizer with Jojoba Oil, £6.75 from BeautyBay – buy here
Suited for both natural and braided hair, KeraCare's moisturising oil is made to soften without making your hair go oily.
For under £7, it nourishes the hair, softly hydrating it and forming a shield against any breakage.
One happy customer new to the hair-product-game says, "10/10 for my curly hair!" and another writes, "It smells amazing and really gives you moisture and shine."
15. Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly Scrunching Jelly
- Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly Scrunching Jelly, £7.25 from Boots – buy here
For just £7.25, the Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly from Boots is such a steal for creating defined curls and taming frizz.
Not only has it been best-seller for over a decade, it also works well for fine or thick hair.
According to reviews, most customers have re-bought it after purchasing, as it smells great, leaving curled tresses feeling oh-so soft and defined for a long time. For more volume, apply upside down!
16. We tested: Toni & Guy Sea Salt Texturising Spray
- Toni & Guy Sea Salt Texturising Spray, £8.25 from Superdrug – buy here
For those of you out there who have that curly-wavy-inbetween type hair, Toni & Guy's Sea Salt Texturising Spray is made for you.
Created to give you tousled, beachy waves, this spray says it will define and separate your tresses, so we put it to the test.
We took tips from TikTok and applied a few sprays to wet hair after showering, then scrunched and created a hair wrap out of a t-shirt to leave on for an hour or so.
When we removed the t-shirt, our hair looked bouncy with beautiful-smelling curls that weren't greasy at all, but still had a shine.
If your hair isn't usually good with products and you don't have tight ringlets, then this is a must-have product as it's lightweight, working to define any waves that you might have.
In terms of the texture of the product, it can feel quite sticky so apply it directly to your hair before scrunching.
17. VIRTUE Curl Conditioner
- VIRTUE Curl Conditioner, £38 from FeelUnique – buy here
One of the newest launches at VIRTUE, the Curl Conditioner hydrates without leaving your hair feeling heavy with unwanted oil or moisture.
Incorporating the brand's own Alpha Keratin 60ku®, jojoba oil and really lightweight olive oil, this is a premium conditioner crafted to care for curly hair.
It's particularly good if your hair is dry or damaged, striving to boost your locks with nutrients and leave it shiny-fresh.
18. Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil
- Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil, £26 from CultBeauty – buy here
Loved by the Kardashians, Vicky Pattinson and just about every celebrity hairdresser, Olaplex never disappoints – their No.7 Bonding Oil is a curly-hair must-have.
This concentrated golden oil repairs broken bonds but also maintains any frizz or stray hairs, leaving your hair soft and well-tamed at all times.
One glance at the reviews is enough persuasion, anyway: "I cannot believe what this product and No.6 have done to my dry, frizzy, mixed race hair. Even after one application. I love it!" Apparently, just a small amount goes a long way.
19.Bumble and Bumble BB.curl Curl Reactivator
- Bumble and Bumble BB.curl Curl Reactivator, £24 from ASOS – buy here
Another great-smelling curly hair product: Bumble and Bmble's BB.curl Curl Reactivator is here to boost the energy and life of your locks.
Mixing avocado, coconut and jojoba oils, shea and coca butters, it's made for re-activating your ringlets, letting your curls reach their full potential.
The bottle's 250ml too which is always a plus, so although it's a little pricier than some products, it's sure to last you through months of bouncy good hair days.
20. Oribe Cleansing Crème for Moisture and Control
- Oribe Cleansing Crème for Moisture and Control, £44.50 from Harrods – buy here
First of all, how gorgeous is Oribe's pale green and gold bottle? This cleansing crème is definitely one to have on display in your bathroom.
For £44.50, you get the high quality you pay for as this formula of purifying oils and fruit extracts has an amazing scent of mint, removes impurities from your scalp and helps dry hair in need of serious moisture.
Another 250ml bottle, this is sure to last a long time as you only need a small amount to see results.
What's better for curly hair gel or mousse?
Whether gel or mousse is better for your curls will very much depend on the thickness of your hair.
Mousse may be better for thinner hair, it will be enough to keep your hair steady for hours without weighting them down or making them look greasy.
But gel usually works harder in keeping hair in place, so it's a better option for those with thicker curls. It will hold them steady no matter the weather and give you more sculpting ability if you're after a particular style.
How can I make my curls more defined?
There are a few things you can do to get rid of the frizz and get well defined curls.
First, make sure you keep your hair well- moisturised.
Curls that are too dry will never achieve the same definition than well moisturised ones.
Try to set aside some time aside weekly do a regular hydrating treatment or masque, once or twice a week.
Another tip is to start styling your curls while they are still wet straight after you had a shower. Start with a leave-in conditioner to control your hair and seal in moisture before you begin the rest styling process.
Finally, make sure you use a diffuser when drying your hair. It can help even out your curl pattern and boost the volume of heavy curls, giving more body to your hair.
You can still get lovely soft curls with shorter hair – à la Alexa Chung – you just need the right tools. Check our round-up of the best of the best curling wands for short hair.
Enjoyed our roundup of the best curly hair products? head over to our Sun Selects Beauty page.
We’re all about helping you find the best products at the best prices, so follow the link if you want to check out more of Sun Selects’ recommendations.
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