The Best Curly Hair Products: Shampoo, Conditioner, Gel and More
By Megan McIntyre
Each product has been selected and reviewed by our editorial team; however, we may receive affiliate commissions from some links to the products on this page. Prices listed are subject to change by the retailer.
We’ve come a long way over the past decade in how we approach curly hair care. Mainly, beauty brands have finally realized that we don’t all have straight hair and, no, we don’t all want to make our curly hair straight.
Today, more than 60% of women have curly hair -- and there are many different types of natural curls that need their own specific hair care routine to really let their beauty shine. The best hair products work with your texture and curl type, helping you embrace your natural strands. Lately, there's been an explosion of new offerings with curly girls in mind, especially from brands that have been preaching the “love your curls” gospel from day one.
From sulfate-free shampoos to cleansing conditioners to smoothing argan oils to edge definers and defining gel, there's a wealth of available products that cater to hair care routines for the girls with the curls.
Check out ET Style's recommended best curly hair products, ahead.
Ouidad is the original curl expert! The brand is known for opening the first salon dedicated to cutting and curly hair care -- 35 years ago. Their curly hair care routines and exemplary products are legendary to the legions of curly-haired girls in the know. This anti-frizz and sulfate-free shampoo is gentle and safe for color-treated hair, while its formula respects the hair’s natural protective barrier, helping curls look more defined and creating the perfect frizz-free protective barrier. This is the best beginning step for every curly hair routine.
With just a few healing drops, this affordable, powerful hair serum from OBX is one product to never leave out of your curl arsenal. This potent blend is infused with argan oil and will help to deeply heal, smooth and restore luster to dry, damaged and coarse hair. This exotic formula of OGX Moroccan extra-strength penetrating oil is specially formulated to renew, and it creates softness and strength while protecting curly locks from harmful styling heat and UV damage. Just apply a small amount to hands and distribute evenly on wet hair, starting with the ends, for luscious-looking curls.
In addition to being a fun texture, this curl jelly is an absolute boss at transforming lifeless strands into defined curls. Its ingredients contain a highly moisturizing trio -- apricot, neem and macadamia oils -- that detangle, strengthen, protect from breakage and add shine while also defining curls and smoothing away frizz.
For those times when you want to give your hair some stretch for a looser curl pattern, this Garnier Fructis pudding is a perfect pick. It uses coconut oil for moisture without the greasy residue, elongating curls to make them softer and more wavy. And it’s beyond easy to master: Apply to wet hair after using shampoo and conditioner, then blow-dry and gently pull curls downward, stretching and wrapping them around your fingers to create covetable waves. It’s a simple style switch-up to your hair care routine that won't damage your hair.
Set up your frizzy hair for success with this curl primer from the styling geniuses at R+Co. It adds moisture to control frizz and give you defined curls, prepping them for whatever spiral styling you plan on achieving. Made with aloe vera, pequi fruit oil from Brazil, shea butter and hydrolyzed quinoa protein, it’s everything you need to put your curls on their best behavior and control frizz.
SheaMoisture is a go-to all-natural brand that's perfect for those who regularly color, straighten, perm or heat style their hair, as well as kinky, curly or wavy hair and natural hair curl styles. If your dry, damaged hair needs some serious repairing and a deep conditioner, this is the 911 product you should reach for. It’s a deep, deep conditioning mask made with shea butter and Jamaican black castor oil in an ultra-nourishing and reparative formula that strengthens and restores even the most brittle, chemically damaged strands. It works on all types of curls, from the super-textured to looser curls and waves.
If there is anyone who knows just how beautiful curly hair can be, it’s Tracee Ellis Ross. The Black-ish star spent decades trying to make her hair conform to the straight-and-sleek status quo before deciding to embrace her gorgeous natural hair. That struggle led her to launch her own hair care line for curls, Pattern. It caters to those in the 3b to 4c hair types of curls, coils and tight texture. Her Intensive Conditioner is one of our faves because it is specifically formulated for those with the most porous, dense curls. It replenishes curl patterns and hydrates with shea butter, avocado oil and vitamin E to help protect against and repair damage, breakage and dryness.
A fundamental product in any curl care regimen, this all-star product from curly hair specialists DevaCurl is an absolute must. Traditional shampoo can be too harsh to use every day for curls. For those not in the know, a cleansing conditioner is a sulfate-free option that simultaneously cleanses and conditions without stripping away much-needed natural oils from dryness-prone curls. While there are plenty of no-shampoo options out there, this one gets our seal of approval thanks to a peppermint and grapeseed oil formula that make your beautiful curls look shiny and healthy.
Each product has been selected, and each product’s style has been reviewed, by our editorial team; however, we may receive affiliate commissions from some links to products on this page. Prices listed are subject to change by the retailer.