These Hardworking Products Make Curly Hair Shine (2024)

These Hardworking Products Make Curly Hair Shine (1)

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There's a lot that goes into healthy hair. Just ask Oprah. Her thick, long hair is healthy and beautiful, thanks to a diligent routing established in tandem with her stylist of seven years. So what's the secret? Getting a trim every 10 to 12 weeks, eating nourishing foods, conditioning often, and—of course—the right products.

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If you have curly hair, finding a suitable line of products is even more vital. That's because curly hair is more prone to things like frizz caused by humidity, dehydration that makes curls look limp, and dryness that can lead to breakage and split ends—especially when curls get all tangled up, says Raven Hurtado, a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. "These issues make the curls look dull and also overly washing can make the curls dry," she explains.

The good news: There are plenty of products to help these problems. Look for moisturizing creams, serums, and masks to condition. And consider investing in a silk pillowcase or silk bonnet to use while sleeping to avoid split ends from friction caused by a cotton pillow case that also leads to frizz, says Hurtado. "Using a diffuser while the hair is damp can also increase volume and shape," she says. And, in general, it's a good rule of thumb to avoid any sulfates and parabens. "They can lead to itching and dryness at the scalp, plus tend to pull out natural oils that leaves hair feeling dry," she explains.

To take the guesswork out of the equation, we scouted the very best products for curly hair.

1

Best Conditioning Mask for Curly Hair

Pattern Transition Mask

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This Beauty O-ward winner contains a powerful duo of white tea and Manuka honey to hydrate and strengthen the hair, ultimately minimizing breakage. The moisturizing treatment can even help make hair look more voluminous—perfect for anyone with thinning hair.

2

Best Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair

KERASTASE Nutritive Nectar Thermique Polishing Nourishing Milk

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If you have thick, unruly hair, this leave-in conditioner is a must-have, says celebrity hairstylist Paul Labrecque. The formula's star ingredients? Iris root extract, which nourishes dry, damaged strands, and rose jelly extract, which boosts hydration and shine.

3

Best Shine Enhancer for Curly Hair

curlsmith Shine Oil

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Covet shiny, bouncy curls? This product may be an oil, but it won't leave your hair heavy, greasy, and limp. Instead, the combination of watermelon seed oil, sea buckthorn oil, murumuru butter, and babassu oil lends a silky quality you won't get from anything else.

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4

Best Serum for Curly Hair

ORIBE Power Drops Damage Repair Booster

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A splurge, perhaps, but this concentrated serum works wonders smoothing unruly curls. The formula has a whopping 2 percent reparative linoleic acid, plus biotin and sea kelp extract to smooth the outer cuticle of the hair shaft to keep it soft and shiny.

5

Best Gel for Curly Hair

Miss Jessie's Jelly Soft Curls Gel

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Always in a rush? When you want to skip hot tools, this soft- to medium-hold hair gel will be your best friend. It defines curls and boosts shine but doesn't leave much crunch or stickiness behind.

6

Best Styling Product for Curly Hair

The Doux Mousse Def Texture Foam

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For more definition, turn to this mousse. It's the Goldilocks styling product—the lightweight foam provides plenty of hold but absolutely no crunch.

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7

Best Sleep Bonnet for Curly Hair

Glow By Daye Satin Bonnet

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This satin sleep cap has a double-layer construction to ensure your hair gets all the protection it needs while you get some shut-eye. And, as a nice bonus, it's reversible, so you can choose black or soft pink—whatever your mood dictates.

8

Best Budget Buy for Curly Hair

Pantene Gold Series Moisture Boost Shampoo

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This highly rated drugstore buy pulls as much weight as any salon-quality shampoo. The argan oil formula gently cleanses to remove product buildup and impurities, plus works to restore moisture. Of course, the brand has a line of compatible products, including a conditioner.

9

Best Diffuser for Curly Hair

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Universal Finger Diffuser

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Not only does this diffuser fit on any blow-dryer, but it also has an exceptionally large dome to more evenly distribute heat—essential to minimize damage. Also nice: It uses far-infrared heat to dry strands faster. And that's not just time-saving; it also helps reduce frizz and add volume.

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10

Best for Definition

DevaCurl Supercream Rich Coconut-Infused Definer

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If your kinks are coarse and frizz-prone, reach for this defining cream. It smooths, shapes, and adds shine, so your curls will look their very best for up to 96 hours.

11

Best Hair Ties for Curly Hair

slip Pure Silk Skinny Scrunchie Duo

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This brand may be best known for its award-winning pure silk pillowcase, but these delicate scrunchies are a must for people with curly hair, since the super-soft silk ties help minimize breakage. Plus, they're crease-free, so you won't sacrifice your style if you have to put your hair up.

12

Best Dry Shampoo Alternative for Curly Hair

Not Your Mother's Not Your Mother's Curl Talk Refreshing Curl Foam

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On day two or three, and short on time? This curl foam will save you precious time. Simply work it through strands for a weightless, flexible hold. It also adds shine and helps manage frizz.

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13

Best for Damaged Hair

Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment

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More than 90,000 people gave this prewash treatment a five-star review on Amazon, and it's easy to see why. The beloved product boasts a special bond-building technology that helps rebuild weak and broken bonds in your hair. The result: Instantly healthier, smoother strands.

14

Best Brush for Curly Hair

denman D3 African Violet Original Styler 7 Row Hairbrush

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Curly girls swear by this hairbrush, because it has sturdy nylon pins that provide the necessary tension to work through coils and kinks. It's pretty cute, too.

15

Best Curl Cream

SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

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Now 11% Off

If you regularly rock curls, you've probably heard of SheaMoisture. The brand's curl cream is a holy grail product for anyone with waves, coils, or kinks, working hard to restore moisture and control for softer, bouncier curls.

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Brigitt Earley

Contributing Writer

Brigitt is a writer, editor and craft stylist with nearly 15 years of experience. She specializes in lifestyle topics, including home, health, parenting, beauty, style, food, entertaining, travel and weddings. She has written for Glamour, People, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, Real Simple, Martha Stewart, Apartment Therapy, The Spruce, and more.

These Hardworking Products Make Curly Hair Shine (2024)

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