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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.

Image via Imaxtree

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Best Curly Hair Product No. 20: Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse, $2.99
TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.4*
Why it's great: "Defines curls with less frizz, smells great and gives volume — and isn't sticky!" one reader sums up. Other readers agree that the product "really helps enhance natural curls and waves," while controlling frizz. "Definitely worth buying again and again," says another reader. "It also smells fantastic!"

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse here.

Buy now

*At time of publication

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Best Curly Hair Product No. 19: Tresemmé Flawless Curls Extra Hold Mousse, $4.99
TotalBeauty.com average member rating: 8.5*
Why it's great: Readers call this mousse "a drugstore wonder." "This mousse is incredible and it smells wonderful, like watermelon!" a reader writes. "I put a couple egg-sized handfuls into my damp, air-dried hair to find the waves spring out of nothing.... It makes my thick, wavy, shoulder-length hair look like it just came from the salon!"

Others find that the product even helps create curls in naturally straight hair. Readers also find that the hold is outstanding.

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Tresemmé Flawless Curls Extra Hold Mousse here.

Buy now

*At time of publication

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Best Curly Hair Product No. 18: BioSilk Silk Therapy Glazing Gel, $15.50
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.

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for BioSilk Silk Therapy Glazing Gel here.

Buy now

*At time of publication

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Best Curly Hair Product No. 17: John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Daily Styling Spray, $7.49
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."

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Daily Styling Spray here.

Buy now

*At time of publication

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.

Image via Imaxtree
BY AUDREY FINE, KELLY SEARLE | SHARES
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