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    25 Curly Hair Products That Actually Work

    Finally, products that *actually* work.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Melanin Haircare Multi-Use Softening Leave In Conditioner is the answer to your low-porosity 4C hair woes. It's got ingredients Afro-textured hair can't get enough of, like aloe vera, argan oil, jojoba oil and more! Leave it to Naptural85 aka Whitney White, to craft a product that leaves hair perfectly moisturized for days on end.

    Christine Forbes / Buzzfeed

    Trust me, I've bought five — and it's not because the bottle was embarrassingly small. You actually get quite a bit of product. This conditioner has changed my hair. It's longer, stronger, and more manageable.

    Promising review: "My overall experience using this conditioner was excellent! My hair was color and heat damaged. With my busy schedule, I didn’t have time to create the DIY products on [Whitney's] YouTube channel. First of all, I have utilized it [the Multi-Use Softening Conditioner] in all six ways possible. Secondly, in just four short weeks my hair has grown half an inch, it’s softer and more manageable, with a noticeable reduction in dry damaged spots. Natural curl is more well-defined, shiny, and healthy again 😊! Also, I use it in conjunction with my Mane Choice shampoo. I am allergic to soy and gluten therefore these all-natural ingredients are perfect for my hair and body." —Thomas

    Get it from Ulta or Melanin Haircare for $18.99.

    Currently sold out at Melanin Haircare.

    This business is Black-owned.

    2. Curldaze Glossy Shine Gel with Kukui Oil targets the deepest layers of your hair. The rich, fruit-scented creme is infused with Kukui oil to protect your precious strands from environmental damage. A little goes a long way on fine hair!

    Curldaze / Via,

    Tip: It works best on wet hair!

    Get it from Curldaze for $11.99.

    This business is Black-owned.

    3. Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Curling Custard is a cult-favorite for a reason. Although it effectively hydrates 4c hair, it works for looser textures as well. As far as consistency, it's definitely more on the smooth jelly side. The curling sculpting custard cradles every strand with a soft, not flaky, hold. Get ready to glow from the inside out.

    The product jar

    Promising review: "The best curl custard ever! I’ve tried Eco Styler gel and other natural brands' custards/gels and they leave my hair crunchy and stiff. This one is amazing! Not only does it smell amazing, it smooths onto the hair great and immediately defines the curl. Once it’s dry, your hair isn’t crunchy or stiff! I go through a container a week using it daily." —Mielle Customer

    Get it from Target or Mielle Organics for $12.99.

    This business is Black-owned.

    4. Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie won't break your hair or the bank. Most natural hair products are water-based, but aloe is the main ingredient here — and your hair will feel the difference. The coconut water will naturally balance and hydrate your lovely coils.

    The jar
    Maui Moisture

    Promising review: "I am so glad I took a chance on this! First, this states it's for thick hair and I believe that to be true. I wear my hair very short (TWA - tapered) and my usual style is a wash and go. So I used this instead of the Cantu Cream leave-in I had been using and was not pleased with due to the residue it left behind. The last step of my routine includes Eco Style Gel. Directly out of the shower, my hair wasn't nearly as white as I expected it to be! Not only that, my hair dried with no streaks! None! I have never had a cream leave-in that did not leave streaks in my hair. And you'd think it couldn't get better than that but it does. Typically, my hair dries and it's hard. I thought it came along with the territory of using gel. Not anymore! My hair dried soft but was still defined by the gel! I sometimes forego the gel and do my wash and goes with leave-in conditioner only. The definition doesn't last like when I use a gel, and I can get 4 or 5 days out of a wash and go. To make my morning prep easier, I use gel. But now when I touch my coils, they feel moisturized! I love it." —AmazonAddiction

    Get it on Amazon for $6.97.

    5. Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly brings out the best in your kinky curly tresses. Prepare to have "waves on swim so they hate on him," or whatever Nicki Minaj said. The Control Jelly also works well for people with looser textures, albeit, with varying levels of hold.

    Curls, Amazon

    Promising review: "I love this product and it smells nice too. It was sticky to me, feels better than Eco Styler Gel. It leaves a soft hold, unlike Eco Styler. I don't know if I'll continue to use it because of the price and how much I use for one wash n go. But I use way less of this product compared to when I use Eco Styler. I give it a 4 out of 5 due to the high price and small quantity." —Tizzler Pop

    Get it from Amazon for $16.95.

    This business is Black-owned.

    6. Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner is yet another amazing product curated by the woman who literally coined the LOC Method. This product is tailored for busy people in need of a reliable daily moisturizer. Hence, the spray bottle minimizes mess.


    Promising review: "I originally ordered the 8 -ounce of this and as soon as I finished I ordered the larger size. This is very moisturizing. It soaks into my hair and keeps it moisturized. I use this in conjunction with the Growth Oil and Shea Yogurt for amazing twist out results. The consistency is thicker than water and it smells like lemongrass. My only complaint is the nozzle on the spray bottle. It shoots out in a stream instead of a mist. That is the only reason this does not get 5 stars because I feel like the nozzle wastes unnecessary product." —Lakesha Ellard

    Get it from Amazon for $19.96.

    This business is Black-owned.

    7. Alaffia Curl Activating Cream is great for everyone who has beef with coconut oil (because it has none). Shea butter makes this product as versatile as your lovely Afro-textured hair.

    The product jar

    Each purchase supports the Alaffia Foundation which works to improve maternal health outcomes, supplies students with bikes to get to school, and distributes eyeglasses to those in need.

    Promising review: "I have natural, 4b/4c hair and this cream is amazing! I use it as my styler and my natural curls pop. With a simple braid up, my curls are defined and moisturized for at least a week. There is no greasy residue. I would highly recommend giving this cream a try if you have kinky hair and curls that just need that extra push." —Jay

    Get it from Alaffia for $12.99.

    8. Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker was created by a Black-woman out of sheer necessity. Janell Stephens needed a product that worked. So, she created a vegan line that never skimps on quality. The Curl Maker is beloved across textures for its nourishing mix of marshmallow, agave, seaweed, aloe, and vitamin E.


    Promising review: "Wasn't expecting this to work as well as it did, but using it as directed (applying immediately after showering to wet hair) gave me AMAZING curls— the type of curls that usually take me 45 minutes of hand-separating with cream and light gel. The only thing I will say is that, after several uses in a row (two to three times in two weeks), my hair started to feel drier than normal. I like to use this on days where I'm pressed for time or just want super defined curls with minimal effort, but also alternate with a more moisturizing (and cheaper!) product. Off note: I have 3c-4a hair."—T. Williams

    Get it from Amazon for $21.99.

    This business is Black-owned.

    9. Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Curl Defining Creme is ideal for people who just want to throw product in their hair and go. It literally glides through curls while protecting them from humidity and protein loss. This product has a rich, creamy consistency that minimizes breakage but doesn't weigh hair down. No matter the weather, you'll have soft, healthy, poppin' curls!


    Promising review: "I cannot believe how well this product works...and for the price. For reference, I have medium-high density, high porosity, 3c hair (my hair is also of a finer/silkier texture). I do mostly wash and go’s and I usually use the LCO method. This product will give me a full week of moisture and softness! I do refresh with a water-based refresher spray or plain water throughout the week, but I only have to apply this product once per week. It is very thick and concentrated and with it being 16 ounces, it lasts forever! This product can definitely be used as a stand-alone product which is awesome! I’ll definitely repurchase...when it runs a million years. FYI, this product pairs great with Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic! I’ve taken to mixing the two in a 50/50 ratio in a separate container and applying that to my hair for the perfect wash n go." —TK

    Get it from Amazon for $8.47.

    This business is Black-owned.

    10. Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding leaves curls shinier than Lil Mama's lip gloss. Kiss fly away strands goodbye, and say hello to well-defined kinky coils. For a little extra softness, try adding Baby Buttercreme.

    Miss Jessie's,

    Promising review: "I bought this without knowing if it would be good for my hair. I did my two-strand twists and got so many compliments. I told everybody to try Miss Jessie’s. My hair was never hard or crunchy and it didn’t flake. Plus it smelled so good. I fell in love with the product. A little goes a long way. I started using it on my daughter’s hair which is very kinky. I like the Buttercream too, but it didn’t work as great as the curly pudding. When I took the twists out, even the twist-out looked great. I need to twist my hair again, but I need to find my Curly Pudding first." —Eileen E

    Get it from Amazon for $13 or Miss Jessie's for $14.

    This business is Black-owned.

    11. Curl Dynasty Kalahari Smoothie Leave-In does double duty and never clocks out early. It functions as a leave-in AND a styler. The formula has enough slip to make detangling easy and painless. It's humectant-free, so your hair won't swell too much either.

    The product pump bottle
    Curls Dynasty

    Promising review: "I've never like using a leave-in BUT this smoothie leave-in is AMAZING! It's light and very moisturizing. I used it with the Twist Definition Cream and my twists are beautiful!" —Mikesa Graves

    Get it from Target for $12.99 or Curls Dynasty for $13.99.

    This business is Black-owned.

    12. Mylon's Natural Hair Care Nutrient Butter protects ya neck, I mean your ends, while you rock ODB style plaits under that bonnet. How? Cupuacu butter, it retains four times its weight in water! The Nutrient Butter is packed with other all-natural vitamins your hair will love., Mylon's Natural Hair Care System

    Get it from Mylon's Natural Hair Care System for $10.99.

    This business is Black-owned.

    13. Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Hair Gel is ideal for people with wavy hair looking to achieve touchable beach curls. At under $10, it's definitely worth a try. This is the budget gel you've been waiting for.


    Promising review: "I really love this gel. I have really fine hair (the strands are really thin), but I have a lot of hair. My hair is wavy/curly. I have really long stretched out curls. I put it in my hair while still damp. It does wonders for my curls! The gel is not heavy. It doesn't dry "crunchy" or "stiff." Once my hair is completely dry, the curls stay together in locks, and are very soft to the touch. This gel also helps on second-day hair. I may need to spray a little water in my hair and scrunch the hair to get it to freshen up. My flyaways are very tame and my hair smells fruity and delicious. I am very impressed with this gel. It is very important to me to have soft (not sticky, crunchy, hard to run fingers through) hair. Additionally, I really like how this doesn't have alcohol. Alcohol can be very drying to hair, especially if it is fine like mine. In the photos, the first photo is my natural hair with zero products and air-dried. The second picture is my hair with this gel and air-dried, the third photo is my hair with gel the day after." —Reviewer 007

    Get it from Amazon for $7.72.

    14. Bourn Beautiful Naturals Leave Me Be Leave-In Conditioner traps moisture in freshly washed hair. The lightweight, very clean formula not only smells amazing but smooths the cuticle. In other words, it's great for finger coils and twist outs. Pair it with the Curl Crush Flaxseed & Marshmallow Gel to give your coils some extra *umph*.

    The squeezable bottle
    Bourn Beautiful Naturals

    Promising review: "I have relaxed hair but I wanted to try something that was a bit more natural and less harsh on my hair. I have been using this for almost a year ow and it conditions so well and I especially love it when I am blow-drying my hair. Others in my family who are completely natural also use and love it!" —Onica

    Get it from Bourn Beautiful Naturals for $15.59.

    We've converted this price from pounds sterling.

    This business is Black-owned.

    15. The Doux Bonita Afro Balm Texture Cream doesn't have that annoying sticky residue. The Texture Cream has *just* enough hold to keep the frizzies at bay but without all the flaking. It has goji berry which promotes hair growth. Plus, it's on sale!

    The product jar
    The Doux

    Promising review: "I use this product on my hair and my kids' hair. We all have low-porosity, high-density hair with a mix of 4a-4c curls. It smells amazing! I love the definition that this gives our hair. This is one of my most-used products. A little goes along with it." —Jennifer

    Get it from Target or The Doux for $14.99.

    This business is Black-owned.

    16. Jane Carter Solution Twist Out Foam is exactly what you need to nail the twist out of your dreams, Rihanna-style Bantu knots, or maintain your locs. It helps the hair retain moisture while rosemary extract protects and conditions your delicate strands.

    The bottle
    Jane Carter Solution

    Support a clean Black-owned hair care line designed for people with non-uniform curls!

    Promising review: "I've been searching for a cheaper, more abundant and better-smelling substitute for Paul Mitchell's Foaming Pomade for my 4c curly hair, and this is it! I use it as a slickening agent for twist out and finger coil styles, and it does the job. If you're looking for something to make your hair slippery to reduce friction between your fingers and hair, speeding up styling time, this is it. It doesn't take much to foam my entire head, just a few pumps. Honestly, this bottle will probably last me a few years. As an added bonus, it leaves my hair soft to the touch with a pleasant lemony scent, without becoming sticky or leaving any visible residue. —Lauren

    Get it from Whole Foods for $9.99 or the two pack for $21.98.

    This business is Black-owned.

    17. Organix Locking + Coconut Curls Decadent Creamy Mousse is like CPR for 2C to 3C curls — it brings them back to life. This half-foam, half-cream will help you get the big, voluptuous locks of your 80s dreams. Apply this coconut-based product to damp hair and watch the magic happen.


    Promising review: "I'm a cosmetologist of 50 years and I've worked on almost every type of hair you can imagine, mine being the toughest! I have naturally curly hair that is so frizzy at times I have mastered the tying of a scarf to cover the madness. I love, love this product. I've tried the shampoo, which I also loved, the conditioner, eh, not so much, it was a bit too heavy for my hair, I wear mine curly...I tried to post a picture of myself but it wouldn't happen, so you'll have to take my word how cute I really am after I scrunch my hair with this mousse. Plus, it's not sticky and smells GREAT! I had a sticker on my can to give feedback, glad to do so, especially when it's a great product." —William Denham

    Get it from Amazon for $6.74.

    18. Like Wu-Tang, Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercreme is for the children (and any adult looking for a less scented version of of Curly Buttercreme). This product is what put Miss Jessie's, a Black-owned business, on the map. The reviews speak for themselves, expect moisturized curls for about a week — with minimal refreshing.

    The product jar
    Miss Jessie's

    Promising review: "I am an active African American male with type 3C/4A hair. I maintain my hair around 1.5 to 2.5 inches in length. My lifestyle requires a lot of travel which exposes my hair to different types of water and chemicals when I shower and/or wash my hair. I have found that all city water is not created equal. This product has been beneficial in maintaining moisture and my curl pattern. I really like the fact it doesn’t have an outlandish amount of residue or build up after a few days. The product is light and easy to apply. I went away from this product for a year trying other moisturizers but I keep coming back to the Buttercreme. It doesn’t have a high shine on my hair. I top the product with a dime size of glycerin if I really want it to shine." —Blessvince

    Get it from Amazon for $26 or Miss Jessie's for $32.

    This business is Black-owned.

    19. Uncle Funky's Daughter Curly Magic Curl Stimulator comes out swinging — and gets better with time. Leave it to a Black-owned company with nostalgic branding to create a product that makes curls pop like Michael Jackson in the '80s. You'll have no problem making your hair last for the week.

    The product bottle and pump
    Uncle Funky's

    Promising review: "Great for 2b thick hair! So I have always had natural waves in my hair but I never knew how to keep them in my hair without damaging heat tools and chemicals. I even tried heatless curls and my hair fell out more times than I could count. Then I was finally recommended this. Washed my hair, ran this product through my strands, scrunched and plopped my hair and voila! My hair is now back to its wavy self and not only that, but it is so soft and not weighed down at all! I can't even tell that there is product in it." —Kara G

    Get it from Target for $16.79 or Uncle Funky's Daughter for $24.99.

    This business is Black-owned.

    20. Peach Black Tea Anti-Shedding & Intense Volume Therapy Mousse does the heavy lifting. Use it to create bouncy curls or a sleek straight style, courtesy of its thermal protectant properties. The mousse won't weigh your hair down and it smells like heaven.

    The product pump in some flowers

    Promising review: "I wanted to try this mousse a few different ways before giving a review. I purchased it because it's listed as a heat protectant. It worked pretty well before blow-drying and cut the time in half. It did leave a coating/residue that softened after a few days. The downside is that it made my hair dryer than usual. I used it on an old blow out to extend with a roller set. The curls were perfect and lasted until I washed my hair. Again, there was a noticeable coating and dryness but a great smell for refreshing hair and extending a style." —Phillyjawn

    Get it from Sally's for $17.99.

    21. Dippity-do Girls With Curls Gelée hydrates with aloe, heals with vitamin E, and minimizes flyaways with wheat protein. No wonder this tried-and-true product has stood the test of time. You deserve voluminous waves and this product is the answer!

    The product jar

    Promising review: "This stuff is amazing. I was worried it wouldn't work for my hair, considering some of the reviews, but it holds my 3b/c curls for three to four days for my needs. I usually twist my hair with the gel and even after I remove them, it holds the curl nicely. It's great for wash and go's. I find it doesn't define my curls by itself, hence why I twist my hair, but it will hold whatever it's put on. I don't have frizz. I find I don't need a lot of the product either. The smell isn't overwhelming, it's pleasant and floral and eventually fades. Anyone talking about crunchiness, invest in a diffuser. It helps. I will definitely be buying this again." —Deni S.

    Get it from Amazon for $12.

    22. Tgin Curl Bomb Moisturizing Styling Gel For Natural Hair proves that natural hair products really can work for everyone. The formula seals in moisture while giving every strand a chance to shine.


    The brand was created in 2002 by a Black woman and it's totally organic!

    Promising review: "I love this styling gel! It’s not sticky and I was able to brush thru my hair while applying this gel. It kept my edges intact as well as not leaving my hair hard or dry. My hair kept its curls and definitely stayed moisturized as it says." —Precious Keen
    Get it from Amazon for $10.95.

    This business is Black-owned.

    23. Design Essentials Natural Curl Defining Gelee won't freeze your hair. If you prefer a softer hold gel that produces slightly defined curls, this product is perfect. Plus, it works on tight and loose curls alike.


    Promising review: "Best gel for my hair! I have type 4b/c hair and this is perfect for wash and go's. Really helps to define my curls and prevents frizz. I prefer this over Eco Styler because it has better hold and smells really nice. I use this gel in addition to the TGIN Buttercream Daily Moisturizer. The perfect duo for braid-outs and wash-and-gos alike." —Crystal

    Get it from Amazon for $13.04.

    This business is Black-owned.

    24. Creme of Nature with Argan Twirling Custard Curl Styling Gel brings out the confidence in your curls! The product itself is bouncy, almost like a pudding. It's got a fresh scent that fades throughout the day, i.e. not too overpowering. Layer it under your gel of choice to stretch that wash 'n' go for days.

    The product jar

    Promising review: "I have extremely frizzy hair, it's a mix between curly and wavy that no product could tame until I got a free sample of this magical product. It brought out curls I didn't know I had, it doesn't turn crunchy like most gels, and makes my hair super soft. I even did an overnight test, and my hair looked just as great as when I first put it in! I have, and will continue to sing this products praise." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    25. Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner breathes life into flattened curls. There's not too much frizz and virtually no build-up. A self-declared, "detangling powerhouse," the product has honey which is basically a moisture magnet. There's also aloe, coconut oil, and a splash of liquid silk to keep your strands velvety and soft.

    The product bottle, a comb, soap, and a towel
    Oyin Handmade

    Promising review: "This conditioner is the single best thing to happen to my hair EVER. I have a sensitive scalp that reacts to almost every shampoo/conditioner/oil blend/leave-in. But Oyin Handmade's Honey Hemp Conditioner and Hair Dew leave my hair soft and my natural (4c) curls pumped up with moisture without the itch. I used to think my hair texture was just naturally "crunchy" but this is literally the only product that helps me retain moisture. I was only convinced that I even had a curl pattern when I started using this as a deep conditioner three years ago. It was the only 'product' I used on my locs (aside from shampoo and black castor oil) for 2.5 years until I cut them. I had minimal product build-up (mostly from having to learn how to rinse my locs well). I would highly recommend this product!" —Maren

    Get it from Amazon for $21.37.

    Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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