TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.7*
Why it's great: "This stuff rocks!" raves one TotalBeauty.com reader. Readers agree that the product "is gentle but holds style," and "doesn't build up in the hair" or "weigh hair down." This gel is "perfect for curly hair" because it "keeps hair soft, but without the crunch or 'wet look.'" Readers report that it also "controls frizz" and gives "good definition to the curls." Bonus: It "contains a sunscreen," as well.
TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.8*
Why it's great: "I have thick, frizzy, curly hair, and this stuff really helps define my curls," one reviewer writes. Others agree that applying this spray to wet hair and drying with a diffuser yields accentuated curls with minimal frizz.
"Even [on second-day hair], I will spray all over my dry hair and scrunch and end up with refreshed and revitalized waves with volume," another reader reports. "I have yet to find anything better, and will continue to have this product in my curly-hair arsenal."
Why it's great: Vernon Francois is the genius behind some of the coolest hairstyles on the red carpet (including Lupita Nyong'o's crown-like 'do at the 2018 Oscars) and now he has his own namesake line. A reviewer remarked that this product for curly hair serves a variety purposes, from hair serum to curl refresher to defrizzer. "This spray lived up to every challenge!" she wrote.
TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 9.0*
Why it's great: Readers say this curl enhancer makes it easy to manage rebellious hair. "I have mixed African American hair, and it can be hard to tame sometimes," says one reader. "Once I started using this, my hair became less frizzy and more defined, plus it smells really good." Other readers agree, saying the lightweight cream gel works best on damp or nearly dry hair, and even tamps down frizz on straight hair. "Before using this, my hair would always get poofy or frizzy after showering and I hated it," writes one reviewer. "But once I used this on my wet hair and let it dry, BAM -- instant beach waves."
Why it's great: Can't go wrong with coconut, right? "It smells delicious and leaves my hair feeling light and soft to the touch," said one reviewer. "I especially love that it's sulfate-free, which helps minimize frizz for more defined curls."
Those of us with curly hair know it can be both a blessing and a curse. When it behaves, nothing's better than having a head full of perfect ringlets or waves that cascade over your shoulders. But when it's acting ornery or piqued — look out. Thirsty, frizzy, stressed-out curly hair is never pretty. And when we try to wrestle those same misbehaving curls into submission, it only makes things worse. (Because, really, the only thing that looks worse than fried curls are fried curls that have been further fried in an attempt to make them behave.)
The question then is, what's a curly girl's best plan of attack for keeping her genetically blessed curly hair in shape? And what about when she wants to tame her waves and rock a silky-smooth style? The answer is simple and complicated. These days there's no shortage of products designed specifically with the various needs of curly-headed women in mind. The scientists have arrived at the proper formulas, all you need to do is figure out which to use and you'll be set.
But with so many "curly this" and "curly that" products to choose from, your curly head might feel like it's going to explode. So in an effort to keep that messy scenario at bay, we took it upon ourselves to sift through legions of reviews of conditioners and styling aids to find out precisely which ones TotalBeauty.com readers deem worthy of their precious curls — in both their natural and straightened states.
The results on the following pages may surprise you, but remember, you're getting the info straight from other curly-haired women who've tried — and approved — each and every one of these stellar products. It's like having your very own curly-haired sounding board. So what are you waiting for? Get clicking and find out which of these 20 curly hair products you need to add to your arsenal.