Say it with me: Having curly hair is an honor and privilege. Then, repeat it one more time. Solange, who so eloquently reminded us that our curls are our crown with her heartfelt lyrics featured in her 2016 single "Don't Touch My Hair", further reaffirmed that we should be proud to treat our hair like royalty. With that being said, natural hair is still a lot of work, and requires top-notch products to keep curls flourishing. No one curl is the same, and it's important to know what works for you and the universal hair rules that apply to every single hair type. It's also important to have the right product for the job: Whether you're hoping to preserve your edges, enhance your growth, or just brush-out without excessive shedding, we've rounded up go-to products to get the job done.
Thankfully, there hasn't been a shortage of amazing products that cater to natural hair—and many of them from BIPOC-owned business. There's literally something for every curl type and texture. Considering that the curly styling options are endless, your product shelf has to be in alignment. And as hard as it is, don't be afraid to try something new! Testing new products will only allow you to get to know your curls better—embrace the experiment, even if the results don't always add up. From sophisticated styling creams to next-level leave-in treatments, find the very best curl products naturalistas should know about, ahead.
Canvas Full Bloom Hair Follicle Booster
There is no worse feeling than that dreaded product buildup on your scalp that has you wanting to scratch off a layer of skin. Sometimes regular shampoos don’t cut it, but this hair follicle booster gets to the root of the issue cleansing the buildup away unclogging pores. If you’re scratching your hair at the thought, do yourself a favor and pick up this product before your next wash day.
PATTERN by Tracee Ellis Ross Lightweight Conditioner
Personally, I cannot say enough good things about this conditioner from Tracee Ellis Ross’ brand PATTERN. True to its name, the lightweight formula gently moisturizes and detangles hair for an easy comb session in the shower. Ideal for hair on the thinner side, if you need a simple conditioner that gets the job done (and well) look no further. Your curls will thank you.
Kaleidoscope Miracle Drops Extra Strength
Made for those with alopecia, these miracle drops are effective for any scalp that needs some extra TLC. With the same growth power as their OG Miracle Drops, this updated formula gets to work faster helping repair dry scalps and promote hair growth. Results can take up to 4-6 weeks, but the outcome is worth the time.
The Doux Twist Curl Cream
Get your perfect twist out with this curl cream that elongates hair while infusing strands with coconut, rose water, vitamin e, avocado oil, and minoi oil. Don’t worry, this product isn’t too thick, as it can be used on wet or dry hair, so buildup won’t be a concern. Also, the heavenly smell will give you compliments for days—I wonder if they offer the scent in perfume form?
African Pride Olive Miracle Anti-Breakage Foam Setting Mousse
A setting mousse specifically for natural hair, this formula is alcohol-free so it won’t dry out your style while also keeping fly-aways at bay. No matter what protective style you’re donning—from weaves, wigs, to braids—this frizz-defying foaming treatment is light enough to hold without clumping hairs. At its affordable price, it’s worth the purchase and once you begin using it, you’ll wonder why you haven’t always used a foam when setting hair.
Miss Jessie's Co-Wash
All fellow curly hair gals know the key to luscious, frizz-free, off-the-chart volume starts with what you use in the shower. So it's crucial to pick up sulfate-free products that won't wear down your hair. This nourishing co-wash delivers a moisturizing cleanse without suds and leaves your hair incredibly soft and manageable.
Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream
Frizz is a curly girl's number-one foe, which is why we adore this anti-static styling cream. Infused with argan oil, it can prevent and protect you from bad hair days. Apply it as the last step in your hair routine.
SheaMoisture Coconut Custard Make It Last Wash N’ Go Shampoo
Wash n' gos are arguably the most unpredictable natural style there is. Tons of variables (like, the weather, styling products, your hormones etc) influence the final product, which further confirms our curls truly have a mind of their own. However, you can live your best wash n' go life if you prep with this sulfate-free shampoo: the coconut oil, kokum butter, coconut milk, and plant peptides work together to cleanse your hair of build-up and restore hydration.
Taliah Waajid Hairline Help 2-in-1 Plus Bamboo And Biotin Edge Grow
A godsend for protecting or regenerating edges, this creamy pomade taps both biotin and bamboo to strengthen delicate follicles and enhance healthy growth.
Briogeo B. Well Organic + Australian 100% Tea Tree Oil
Dealing with a dry, itchy scalp? This potent dose of pure tea tree oil contains antimicrobial properties that will soothe your scalp. It's a concentrated amount. so the brand recommends diluting this with water or a carrier oil before application.
Dream Girls TLC Comb-Out Treatment
When you're combing out braids, or just detangling after wash day, shedding can be downright alarming. Add this to a spray bottle in a 1:1 combo with water, for an easy-glide, no tugging, no breakage process.
Curl Rehab Rice Water & Grapeseed Shampoo Conditioner
You've worked hard for your growth—and protecting and maintaining it starts in the shower. This no-fuzz, no-tugging formula gently cleanses and coats strands with a silky detangler that makes brush-through easier, but doesn't leave your curls wet or greasy.
African Pride Curl Milk & Detangler
If your curls call for finger detangling only, this gentle milk is just the ticket for helping you along the way. Don't be afraid to really soak your coils—the formula dries down elegantly.
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner
The first of our many drugstore favorites is one of the best moisturizing products on the market. Infused with avocado and Australian jojoba oil, this nourishing treatment only needs to chill in your hair for three minutes before you (and your curls) can go out and hit the town again.
DevaCurl High Shine Anti-Frizz Nourishing Oil
When it comes to hair oils, you have to tread a thin line so they don't weigh your curls down. You won't ever to worry about that with this feather-light, silicone-free, silky oil because it does the complete opposite. I've been spritzing it on my naturally wavy extensions, and it controls frizz while adding the most gorgeous, glistening shine that doesn't get dull later into the day.
TPH Ultra Chill Energising and Cooling Serum
Have an itchy scalp that needs immediate relief? Pick up this guy from Taraji P. Henson's haircare line. The three-prong applicator directly puts the calming formula at your roots and lets the formula's aromatherapeutic benefits take over.
Vernon François Pure Fro Hold and Shine Serum
This plant-based serum holds a trifecta of nourishing hair oils—sunflower seed, baobab seed, and apricot seed oils. Applying two drops to dry hair will help tame, and still provide an insane amount of moisture to your hair. It's also great to help lay fine hairs around the hairline flat, according to founder Vernon François.
Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave-in Conditioner
Get ready to sing the praises of lemongrass oil after using this leave-in. Known as "Liquid Gold," this shine-enhancing formula strengthens hair follicles, promotes healthy growth, reduces shedding, and soothes dry hair and itchy scalps.
It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product
There's a reason why you always see this product in a friend's hair care collection. This spray repairs damaged hair, adds shine, controls frizz, protects hair color, detangles, prevents split ends, and more. Yes, MORE. It's the ideal product for those who like a simple routine.
GIRL+HAIR Nourish+ With Shea Butter & Tea Tree Oil Nourishing Leave-in Conditioner
This trailblazing hair product featuring tea tree and neem oils is one of the first of its kind, and we can't believe we went without it for so long. It helps cleanse and protect your scalp and natural hair while wearing protective styles like braids, hair extensions, wigs, and weaves.
PATTERN Styling Cream
Tracee Ellis Ross knew what she was doing when she created this moisturizing styling cream for her haircare line, PATTERN. The combination of shea butter, cacay oil, and sweet almond oil makes setting twist-outs, braid-outs, and Bantu knots more effortless than ever.
adwoa beauty Baomint Moisturizing Shampoo
There's just something about using a shampoo where you recognize all the ingredients, right? This soothing shampoo's secret weapon is aloe leaf juice, which removes dead skin cells on the scalp and leaves hair smooth and shiny. Also, wintergreen, spearmint, and peppermint oils create the most sensational tingling feeling on your scalp.
Davines Love Curl Mask
Using a hair mask once or twice a week, especially one as nourishing as this one, can do wonders for your hair in the long run. This clean formula is rich with proteins, B and E vitamins, and other ingredients all curly hair queens can benefit from.
Oribe Priming Lotion Leave-In Conditioning Detangler
"Detangling is fun," said no one ever. It's certainly a chore, but your curls will endure way less breakage if you use this priming lotion. You don't have to put your poor tender scalp through hell anymore because its nourishing blend of cupuacu and mango seed butters will stop the snagging. Raking your comb through your hair shaft from root to tip will feel so much easier.
Head & Shoulders Royal Oils Scalp Elixir Treatment
Facts: nothing can ruin a good hair day like an itchy-as-hell scalp can. Get to the root of the problem with this peppermint oil and cooling menthol-infused elixir that'll soothe your irritated scalp in seconds. Whether you're dealing with dryness or build-up in-between protective styles, like box braids or twists, or refreshing your curls, it's the self-care moment your scalp is screaming at you for.
Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste
The smell of this stuff is seriously amazing as it's made with certified organic blueberry extract. It also features another superstar ingredient—argan oil—and helps keep those pesky-but-very-beautiful edges of yours in check. Feel free to use it on dry or wet hair.
BREAD BEAUTY SUPPLY Hair Oil Everyday Gloss
Most hair oils want you to use them during a specific part of your hair routine, but BREAD's hair oil is different. Designed to fit into any stage of your routine, the non-greasy, gloss-enabling blend is formulated with Kakadu plum oil (the ultimate vitamin for great scalp health) and your hair won't be able to get enough of this stuff after one use.
My Black is Beautiful Moisture Luxe Detangling Spray
Detangling will be less of a doozy with this hydrating spray. After you part and section your damp hair, spritz this through and use your fingers to work it into your hair shaft. For good measure, follow up with a wide-tooth comb to rake it through even more. The golden milk, honey, and coconut oil makes for a moisturizing concoction that'll unravel stubborn kinks.
Suave Professionals Define & Shine Gel Serum for Natural Hair
Suave recently launched its very first collection curated for natural hair with the help of 5,000 women, which is major. This defining gel will keep your coils freshly-shined, and feeling extra-soft. If your ringlets tend to unravel and fall throughout the day, this will pro-long the life of your curls.
Curls The Green Collection Avocado Hair Mousse
PSA: The mousse you swore by in middle school is making a major comeback. Except this time, you can enjoy a new-and-improved formula full of fatty acids from avocado and tons of vitamins to nourish, restore your hair's PH levels, and cleanse your scalp.
Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Strengthening Hair Masque
I'd like to shout from the mountaintops that hair masks are just as important as face masks. Your scalp and hair shaft deserves TLC, too, which is why you should let this rosemary mint mask marinate on your hair whenever you need a hydration re-up. I love lathering this on, putting on a shower cap, and taking a hot shower to open up my cuticles and allow the masks' juices to penetrate even deeper into curls.
Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner
The name says it all: this miraculous leave-in treatment works overtime to keep your curls in tip-top shape. The brand has identified 25 benefits that fall into the prep, protect, and moisture category. So, essentially this does it all and there's no reason you shouldn't be using it.
Bumble and bumble Bb. Curl Reactivator
Time is a luxury, and going through a 10-step haircare routine every single time your curls need a refresh is impossible. Working women: you need to spritz this through your hair any time your curls need to perk up. Plus, the scent is so soothing it will zen you out.
Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration Hibiscus Water Conditioner, 13 oz
If your curls are on the finer side, you need this lightweight conditioner designed specifically for low-porosity hair that's easily weighed down. The hibiscus water will add hydration and give you the bounciest curls.
BONUS: The Tools Your Hair Needs
Swirly Curly Frizz-Reducing Turban Towel
Ditch whatever old towel or t-shirt you’ve been using to dry your tresses. A proper hair wrap will speed up dry time without causing extra frizz that regular towels add. This microfiber turban is reversible for drying wet hair or keeping curls protected at night with the silk lining.
Drybar The Bouncer Diffuser
Drying natural hair can take a long time. Cut out the dry time with a diffuser attachment that won’t cause any heat damage and also helps elongate and separate curls—from 2B to 4C. This Drybar universal diffuser has long and short prongs that get every inch for a better drying experience.
Denman Classic Styling Brush 9 Row - D4
If for some reason you’re still using an old paddle brush or a wet brush, respectfully toss those and get yourself a Denman. A favorite amongst stylists for their natural hair clients, this styling brush gently detangles hair without tearing. Pro Tip: Begin combing wet hair in sections from the ends to the roots to work out any knots before brushing through.
Beautify Beauties Hair Spray Bottle
Avoid hand cramps from a traditional spray bottle with a continuous spray bottle that mists hair faster and allows for an easier twist-out session. Added bonus, you can use this sprayer for any humidity-loving plants you’ve been trying to revive in your apartment.
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