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Best Curl Creams for Wavy Hair: Our Top 21 Picks!

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Photo of back of wavy hair with curl cream for wavy hair products.

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With a background that includes seven years on a personal curly hair journey and as a seasoned beauty editor, I have a deep-rooted understanding of the nuances of wavy hair. I’ve sifted through curl creams, decoded ingredient lists, and tested numerous products.

So, what exactly is a curl cream for wavy hair? It’s a product specifically formulated to define and hold the natural curl pattern while offering enough moisture to prevent frizz. Essentially, it’s a go-to essential for anyone aiming to achieve manageable, bouncy, and beautifully defined wavy natural hair texture.

In the spirit of serving you the very best in wavy hair care, we’ve handpicked our top 21 curl creams designed exclusively for those with wavy tresses. Trust us, we’re diving deep into the nitty-gritty of each product to give you a complete picture of what to expect.

Our aim is not just to tell you which products to buy, but to empower you with the knowledge to choose what’s best for your specific hair needs. With careful sourcing of expert opinions and scientific insights, we strive to be your go-to resource for all things related to curly hair.

So go ahead, bookmark this page, or share it with a friend; this is wavy hair wisdom that you’ll want to return to!

  1. All About Curls Bouncy Cream 
  2. Aveda
  3. Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-In Defining Crème
  4. Boucleme Curl Cream
  5. Bumble and bumble Curl Defining Cream
  6. Cantu Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream
  7. Curls Blueberry Bliss Twist-N-Shout Cream
  8. CURLS Crème Brule Whipped Curl Sculpting Cream 
  9. Curlsmith Weightless Air Dry Cream
  10. DevaCurl Wave Maker Lightweight Moisturizing Definer
  11. Innersense Organic Beauty – Natural Quiet Calm Curl Control 
  12. Jessicurl Confident Coils Styling Solution
  13. Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream
  14. Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Defining Cream
  15. Oribe Curl Control Silkening Crème
  16. Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Styling Cream
  17. Ouai Curl Creme
  18. Rizos Curl Cream
  19. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
  20. Verb Curl Cream
  21. amika Curl Corps Defining Cream

Best Curl Cream for Wavy Hair: Top 21 Picks!

For your convenience, we’ve included the ingredient lists for each product. Keep in mind that these lists may be outdated, so it’s advisable to check the product bottle for the most accurate and current details. Also, be sure to verify the size of the product, as it may vary across different sites.

#1 All About Curls Bouncy Cream 

This rich, moisturizing cream defines and de-frizzes curls, for a look that’s irresistibly soft to the touch.

Infused with natural oils and extracts like coconut oil, argan oil, monoi oil, black currant extract, and lycii berry extract, which are rich in antioxidants that counteract oxidative stress, offering protective health benefits like preventing DNA, lipid, and protein damage from free radicals. 1

Ingredients: WATER/AQUA/EAU, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, ISODECYL NEOPENTANOATE, PEG-150/DECYL ALCOHOL/SMDICOPOLYMER, POLYQUATERNIUM-55, BEHENYL ALCOHOL, HYDROXYETHYL CETEARAMIDOPROPYLDIMONIUM CHLORIDE, JASMINUM OFFICINALE (JASMINE) FLOWER/LEAF EXTRACT, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER, HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, RIBES NIGRUM (BLACK CURRANT) FRUIT EXTRACT, LYCIUM BARBARUM FRUIT EXTRACT, COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) OIL, ARGANIA SPINOSA KERNEL OIL, GARDENIA TAITENSIS FLOWER EXTRACT, PANTHENOL, GLYCERIN, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, DISODIUM EDTA, IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE, POLYSORBATE 20, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, STEARAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE, STEARETH-2, STEARETH-20, BENZYL SALICYLATE, CITRONELLOL, HEXYL CINNAMAL, LINALOOL, FRAGRANCE/PARFUM.


#2 Aveda Be Curly

One key ingredient in this product is wheat protein. A 2018 study found that shampoos with quaternized wheat protein hydrolysate improve damaged hair by enhancing its binding with keratin, resulting in smoother and more compact hair. 2 It also contains an organic aloe blend that will help intensify the curl or wave in your hair while controlling frizz.

You will also find that the organic baobab and babassu oil, as well as the macadamia nut, help to seal, soften, and moisturize your hair.

Finally, the guar bean and plant-derived cellulose in general, is a vegetable-based lipids (oils) that can act as conditioning agents and restore the hydrophobic character of the hair shaft by replacing the hair’s natural lipidic layer.3

Ingredients: WaterAquaEau, Vp/Va Copolyme, Glycerin, Propanediol, C14-22 Alcohols, Caprylyl Glycol, Decyl Glucoside, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Wheat Amino Acids, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Brazil Nut Protein, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Phytosteryl Macadamiate, Hydroxypropyl Starch, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyquaternium-4, Maltodextrin, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol, Eugenol, Limonene, Phenoxyethanol.


Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer
$34.00 $27.80 ($4.15 / Fl Oz)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Target
03/22/2024 03:02 pm GMT

#3 Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-In Defining Crème

If you have curly hair, it’s likely that you’re all too familiar with the difficulties of taming frizz. Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-In Defining Crème is a unique product that helps to define curls while hydrating and protecting them from humidity and damage.

The rice amino acids help to smooth and seal the hair cuticle, while according to a study, 4 avocado oil has a high absorption efficiency on hair compared to sunflower and jojoba oils. For added hold, layer this product under the Curl Charisma Frizz Control Gel.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin*, Polyquaternium-37, Isopropyl Myristate*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil*, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract*, Hydrolyzed Quinoa*, Keratin Amino Acids*, Lactobacillus/Tomato Fruit Ferment Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Sorbitol*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil*, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil*, Acyl Coenzyme A Desaturase*, Cetrimonium Chloride*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Polyquaternium-10, Rice Amino Acids*, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate*, Citric Acid*, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance (Parfum), Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol* Coconut, vegetable, or plant-derived.


#4 Boucleme Curl Cream

Boucleme Curl Cream is the ultimate in plant-powered hair care for natural curls. This ultra-nourishing leave-in soft hold cream offers great moisture and humidity protection, which is essential for keeping curls looking their best. Styles softens and defines all curl types, helping to harness the power of your frizz to create bouncy, velvety curls.

Key Actives include:

Organic shea butter – hydrates and seals in the moisture while increasing hair softness.

Coconut fruit extract – helps reduce the natural protein loss in hair, promotes hair growth, and strengthens the hair fiber helping to retain the moisture level.

Kukui nut oil – contains amino acids and essential fatty acids that leave the hair shaft looking healthy and moisturized.

Coconut oil – being a triglyceride of lauric acid, has a high affinity for hair proteins and because of its straight linear chain, can penetrate inside the hair shaft. 5

Castor oil – contains ricinoleic acid, which is effective for deep moisturization and easily penetrates hair and scalp. Additionally, its germicidal and fungicidal properties protect against fungal and microbial infections. 6

Ingredients: Aqua/​Water/​Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Virgin Coconut) Oil, Glycerin (Vegetable), Diheptyl Succinate, Coco-Caprylate, Bis-(Isostearoyl/​Oleoyl Isopropyl) Dimonium Methosulfate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Distearoylethyl Dimonium Chloride, Capryloyl Glycerin/​Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Benzyl Alcohol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui Butter), Butyrospermum Parkii (***Shea) Butter, *Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, *Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Red) Peel Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange Sweet) Peel Oil, *Origanum Majorana (Marjoram Sweet) Leaf Oil, *Michelia Alba (Magnolia) Leaf Oil, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Dehydroacetic Acid, *Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, *Styrax Tonkinensis (Benzoin) Resin Extract, *Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa) Leaf Oil, *Michelia Alba (Magnolia) Flower Oil, *Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) Fruit Oil, *Tilia Cordata (Linden) FlowerOil, Tocopherol, **Limonene, **Linalool, **Geraniol.



#5 Bumble and bumble Curl Defining Cream

Bumble and bumble Curl Defining Cream is a rich cream that helps create moveable curls without the crunch. It has UV filters (ethylhexyl salicylate and ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate)7 to help protect hair against the drying effects of the sun.

The cream is enhanced with a rich blend of oils (avocado, coconut, jojoba) and butter (shea, cocoa) to hydrate hair deeply. Benefits include defining, de-frizzing, holding, and shining hair.

Ingredients: WaterAquaEau, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Petrolatum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Ceteareth-20, Dimethicone, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Tocopherol, Microcrystalline WaxCera MicrocristallinaCire Microcrystalline, BeeswaxCera AlbaCire D’Abeille, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pantethine, Panthenol, Squalane, Octyldodecyl Citrate Crosspolymer, Sodium PCA, Phytantriol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Cetrimonium Chloride, PVP, Polyquaternium-7, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, BHT, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol.



#6 Cantu Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream

The Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream is a staple styling product that is known to nourish dry strands and add natural shine.

The award-winning blend of shea butter and essential oils helps to enhance your natural curl pattern to produce definition and added volume. Enjoy increased curl definition with each use, no matter your hair type.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Glycerin, Propanediol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Fragrance (Parfum), Polyquaternium-10, Stearalkonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Olea Euopaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernal Oil, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Laminaria Cloustoni (Sea Kelp) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Silk Amino Acids, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate-60, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Cantu Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream
$7.49 $6.48 ($0.54 / Fl Oz)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Target
03/19/2024 02:18 pm GMT

#7 Curls Blueberry Bliss Twist-N-Shout Cream

If you’re looking to add some shine, moisture, and definition to your hair, then you need to give this product a try. It’s formulated with high-quality ingredients like blueberry extract, this cream will help improve the condition of your hair.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Certified Organic Blueberry Extract, Certified Organic Coconut Oil, Certified Organic Sunflower Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Certified Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Sorbitol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Certified Organic Coconut Oil, Certified Organic Gardenia Tahitensis Flower, Certified Organic Olive Oil, Certified Organic Soybean Oil, Certified Organic Jojoba Seed Oil, Certified Organic Avocado Oil, Centella Asiatica Extract, Certified Organic Hazel Seed Oil, Tocopherol Acetate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate 80, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Carbomer, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Caramel.



#8 CURLS Crème Brule Whipped Curl Sculpting Cream 

This curl cream is perfect for all hair types! If you are looking for a product that will help you achieve defined, popping curls, then this is the one for you.

It is infused with plumeria alba flower extract and aloe leaf juice, which helps to fight frizz and hydrate your hair. Plus, it delivers softly held curls that will last.

Ingredients: Water, Certified Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Certified Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Methylheptyl Isostearate, Certified Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Certified Organic Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Certified Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Panthenol, Allantoin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Sodium Carbomer, Potassium Sorbate, Cetyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid.

Curls Crème Brule Whipped Sculpting Cream
$11.89 $9.60 ($1.20 / Ounce)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Curls
03/22/2024 02:06 pm GMT

#9 Curlsmith Weightless Air Dry Cream

The Curlsmith Weightless Air Dry Cream is perfect for air drying your curls! The cream absorbs into the hair without leaving residue and minimizes product build-up on your scalp.

The cream is light and silky, making it suitable for finer hair, but it is also enriched with lubricating ingredients like castor oil, babassu, jojoba, and murumuru butter that provide enough nourishment for coarser hair types.

Ingredients: WATER (AQUA), RICINUS COMMUNIS (CASTOR) SEED OIL, DICAPRYLYL CARBONATE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, ORBIGNYA SPECIOSA (BABASSU) KERNEL OIL, BEHENTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, SODIUM HYALURONATE, ASTROCARYUM MURUMURU SEED BUTTER, SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER, HYLOCEREUS UNDATUS (DRAGON FRUIT) FRUIT EXTRACT, PAULLINIA CUPANA (GUARANA) SEED EXTRACT, URTICA DIOICA (NETTLE) LEAF EXTRACT, ZINGIBER OFFICINALE (GINGER) ROOT EXTRACT, POLYQUATERNIUM-10, PANTHENOL, GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, TOCOPHEROL, DISODIUM EDTA, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, GLYCERIN, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, SODIUM BENZOATE, PHENOXYETHANOL, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), LINALOOL, LIMONENE, CITRONELLOL.


#10 DevaCurl Wave Maker Lightweight Moisturizing Definer

The WaveMaker Lightweight Moisturizing Definer is a cream that provides hydra-definition to fine curls, giving them shape and frizz control.

My 3C curls love the Wavemaker! I never need to apply any gel because this product works wonders on my hair – giving it the hold and definition of a gel without all the fuss. So, it’s not just for wavy hair. Type 3 hair can benefit from this as well.

It is a lightweight product that is easy to apply and leaves hair looking healthy. A little goes a long way so you don’t need to use a lot of product, which is great for those with fine hair. If your hair feels sticky, then that’s a sign that you’ve used too much!

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Triethyl Citrate, VP/VA Copolymer, Ceteareth-20, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Aminomethyl Propanol, BHT, Caprylic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lauryl Laurate, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Methylheptyl Isostearate, Peg-45m, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Polyimide-1, Polyquaternium-55, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Silica, Sodium Polyacrylate Starch, T-Butyl Alcohol, Tocopherol, Xylitol, Parfum/Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Citral, Citronellol, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool.


#11 Innersense Organic Beauty – Natural Quiet Calm Curl Control 

Innersense Organic Beauty’s Natural Quiet Calm Curl Control is a styling lotion that will help to define your curls while hydrating and minimizing frizz.

The perfect blend of certified organic Shea butter, rooibos tea, and honey extract work together to create a bouquet of organic orange flower oil and frangipani (the leaves contain flavonoids that can also act as UV filters)8 that will create a sense of peace and balance.

The ingredients are straight from nature, grown organically and sustainably without chemicals. They are ethically harvested and sourced from trusted, transparent plantations, orchards, and farms from around the world.

Ingredients: water/aqua/eau, glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate, oryza sativa (rice) bran oil, citrus aurantium dulcis peel oil*, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)*, gluconolactone, calcium gluconate, sorbitol powder, cetrimonium chloride, tocopherol, potassium sorbate, nelumbium speciosum (lotus) flower oil*, plumeria alba (frangipani) flower extract, avena sativa (oat) seed extract, vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil*, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract*, eucalyptus globulus leaf extract*, ginkgo biloba leaf extract*, aspalathus linearis leaf extract*, schoenanthus (lemongrass) extract*, honey extract*, sodium benzoate, citric acid, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, linalool†, limonene†.


#12 Jessicurl Confident Coils Styling Solution

Confident Coils Styling Solution by Jessicurl is a creamy styling product with a consistency thin enough to make it easy to distribute through even the tightest, kinkiest curls.

It helps create amazing definition and provides excellent humidity protection. By itself, it’s not super curl-enhancing, which makes it great for tighter curl patterns looking to elongate rather than enhance curls.

For those with looser curls, using it with Rockin’ Ringlets will give you all the bounce, definition, and frizz control you need.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, VP/VA Copolymer, Polyimide-1, C 12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Polysorbate 60; Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.


#13 Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream

Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream, a popular choice for curly hair, uses argan oil to regulate sebum and advanced heat-activated technology to combat frizz and maintain bouncy curls. A 2018 study confirmed that argan oil significantly improves hair elasticity within two months.9

Ingredients: AQUA/WATER/EAU, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, GLYCOL STEARATE, CETYL ALCOHOL, BEHENTRIMONIUM METHOSULFATE, PARFUM/FRAGRANCE, DIMETHICONE, PHENYL TRIMETHICONE, POLYQUATERNIUM-11, STEARETH-2, ARGANIA SPINOSA (ARGAN) KERNEL OIL, HYDROLYZED VEGETABLE PROTEIN PG-PROPYL SILANETRIOL, CELLULOSE, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, PG-HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE COCODIMONIUM CHLORIDE, GLUCOSE, CETEARYL GLUCOSIDE, SORBITAN OLEATE, DIPHENYL DIMETHICONE, ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, POLYQUATERNIUM-10, POLYQUATERNIUM-37, POLYQUATERNIUM-55, PPG-1 TRIDECETH-6, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, PROPYLENE GLYCOL DICAPRYLATE/DICAPRATE, CITRIC ACID, DISODIUM EDTA, C10-40 ISOALKYLAMIDOPROPYLETHYLDIMONIUM ETHOSULFATE, SODIUM ACETATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, CHLORPHENESIN, PHENOXYETHANOL, ALPHA-ISOMETHYL IONONE, BENZYL BENZOATE, HYDROXYCITRONELLAL, LINALOOL. MOCDC04.

Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream
$36.00 ($4.29 / Fl Oz)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Sephora
03/22/2024 03:11 pm GMT

#14 Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Defining Cream

Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Defining Cream is the answer to achieving defined curls and added bounce in your day-to-day styling routine. This cream helps seal in moisture, manage frizz, and add shine.

Ingredients: WATER (AQUA), POLYACRYLAMIDE, C13-14 ISOPARAFFIN, SHEA BUTTER ETHYL ESTERS, POLYQUATERNIUM-10, LACTOBACILLUS/TOMATO FRUIT FERMENT EXTRACT, ORYZA SATIVA (RICE) EXTRACT, KERATIN AMINO ACIDS, LEUCONOSTOC/RADISH ROOT FERMENT FILTRATE, ACYL COENZYME A DESATURASE, LAURETH-7, PG-HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE COCODIMONIUM CHLORIDE, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), DISODIUM EDTA, PHENOXYETHANOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN.


#15 Oribe Curl Control Silkening Crème

Formulated with a combination of styling polymers that provide the ideal balance of hold and frizz control, this product utilizes coconut oil to penetrate the hair for added softness and protection from breakage.6

Avocado oil is then added due to its wealth in essential vitamins A, B, D, and E; allowing it to nourish each strand while preserving moisture levels.

Apricot oil nourishes your scalp and hair, while jojoba oil works its way deep into each follicle to provide strength, elasticity, and a natural shine.

For added body and thickness, panthenol is the perfect solution that helps thicken up those thinning strands. Finally, argan oil’s protective properties help strengthen the elasticity of individual hairs for overall healthier hair.6

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Dimethiconol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance, Polyquaternium-37, Palmitamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Citric Acid, PVP, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Acrylates/Stearyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone, Sodium PCA, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Sodium Lactate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Arginine, C11-15 Pareth-7, Polyquaternium-59, Aspartic Acid, PCA, C12-16 Pareth-9, Trideceth-12, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Disodium Phosphate, Leontopodium Alpinum Flower/Leaf Extract, Litchi Chinensis Fruit Extract, Polysorbate 60, Pentasodium Pentetate, Wheat Amino Acids, Glycine, Alanine, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Serine, Valine, Tocopherol, Isoleucine, Proline, Sodium Phosphate, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Styrax Benzoin Resin Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Citral.


#16 Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Styling Cream

The Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Styling Cream is the perfect solution for anyone with curly hair. It has a light, soft hold that will keep your curls looking defined without frizz or crunch.

The key ingredients in this cream are meadowfoam seed oil, olive oil, soybean oil, and sericin, all of which work together to help moisturize and protect your curls from the environment. This cream is perfect for any climate and works with all curl types.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Amodimethicone, Glycerin, Propanediol, Polysorbate 60, Sericin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) See Oil, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Polyquaternium-59, Polyquaternium-7, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Polyquaternium-37, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Glycereth-26, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum).


#17 Ouai Curl Creme

The curl cream helps define curls, tame frizz, and add shine. The key ingredients, linseed and chia seed collab to shape curls while maintaining the hair’s natural texture. Coconut oil and babassu oil help soften your curls, “seal” damaged cuticles, and enhance shine.

Ingredients: Water / Aqua / Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Orbignya Speciosa Kernel Oil, Behentrimonium Chloride (Anti-Static Agent / Agent Antistatique), Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Cetrimonium Chloride (Anti-Static Agent / Agent Antistatique), Ppg-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Lauryl Glucoside, Polyquaternium-37, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Tocopherol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Xylitol, Caprylic Acid, Sorbitan Oleate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol.

OUAI Curl Creme, Fragrance Free
$69.99 ($8.75 / Fl Oz)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Target
03/22/2024 01:59 pm GMT

#18 Rizos Curl Cream

If you’re looking for a curl cream that will define and hold your curls without leaving them crunchy, try Rizos Curl Cream.

This cream is made with 95% naturally derived ingredients and contains no sulfates or parabens. It’s great for all textured hair types, including waves, curls, and coils.

Key ingredients include aloe vera, which deeply conditions and promotes healthy hair growth. Shea butter helps lock in moisture without leaving your hair greasy. Coconut oil also helps reduce frizz and prevent hair breakage and split ends.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua/Eau), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Cetrimonium Chloride, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Trehalose, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Polyurethane-14, Amp Acrylates Copolymer, PVP, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Beeswax, Tamarindus Indica Fruit Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol.

Rizos Curls Curl Defining Cream
$21.99 ($2.20 / Fl Oz)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Target
03/22/2024 03:16 pm GMT

#19 Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie helps condition hair, restore moisture, body, and shine.

The smoothie enhances curls, minimizes frizz, and provides curl control. It is color-safe and works well on thick, curly hair. Honestly, this popular curl cream works for almost every curly hair type!

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Magnifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter*, Persea Gratissima (Avacado) Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Silk Protein, Ammonium Salt, Melia Azadiratcha (Neem) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed oil, Sorbitol Esters, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Caprylyl Glycol, Essential Oil Blend, Lonicera Caprifolium (honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Hibiscus Flower Extract *Certified Organic Ingredient.


#20 Verb Curl Cream

This anti-frizz cream helps provide shape and memory to your curl pattern. It also re-activates curls gone rogue on dry hair while providing bounce and softness. Plus, it’s free of sulfates and gentle enough for everyday use.

Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Behenamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Glycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Lawsonia Inermis (Henna) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, VP/DMAPA Acrylates Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Polyquaternium-37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Butylene Glycol, Silicone Quaternium-16/Glycidoxy Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Centella Asiatica Extract, Keratin Amino Acids, Undeceth-11, Undeceth-5, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Geraniol, Benzyl Salicylate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, Benzyl Cinnamate, Amyl Cinnamyl, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Fragrance.

Verb Curl Cream
$20.00 ($3.77 / Fl Oz)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Verb
03/21/2024 06:31 pm GMT

#21 amika Curl Corps Defining Cream

This curl cream features Tapioca Starch, an ingredient that gives your curls lightweight definition and a soft hold without stiffness.

On a molecular level, the starch molecules form a thin film around each hair strand, helping your curls maintain their natural shape.

Another key ingredient is oat peptide, which works to nourish and repair the hair from the inside out. It does this by penetrating the hair shaft and mending damaged structures on a molecular level, effectively eliminating frizz and strengthening your hair.

Finally, sea buckthorn berry, also known as obliphica, is rich in antioxidants like vitamins C and E. It forms a protective barrier around each hair strand, shielding it from environmental damage while also providing lightweight hydration.

This product is ideal for a variety of hair types—whether you have wavy, curly, or coily hair. It’s also designed to benefit fine, medium, and thick hair textures. If you’re dealing with hair concerns such as dryness, frizz, or a lack of curl definition, amika’s Curls Corp Defining Cream offers targeted solutions.

Ingredients: Water/Eau/Aqua, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride*, Tapioca Starch, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn/Argousier) Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat/Avoine) Peptide, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Protein, Panthenol, Tocopherol, Laurdimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Cetrimonium Chloride*, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Fragrance/Parfum, Ceteareth-20, Laureth-4, Ethyl Macadamiate, Disodium EDTA, Aminomethyl Propanol, Propylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Benzoic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Coumarin, Hydroxycitronellal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene *Antistatic Agent/Agent Antistatique.

amika CurlCorps Defining Cream
$30.00 ($4.41 / Fl Oz)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Sephora
03/22/2024 03:18 pm GMT

What is the Purpose of a Curl Cream?

A curl cream is more than just another styling product; it’s a multitasker engineered to elevate your waves and curls to their highest potential. Designed for optimal definition and control, a good curl cream not only shapes your natural curls but also maintains their health by locking in essential moisture.

Consider it your go-to for targeted hydration that leaves your hair irresistibly smooth and touchable. This specialized treatment tackles frizz and unruly strands without sacrificing your curls’ natural texture and volume.

The true beauty of a curl cream lies in its adaptability; the perfect choice will align with your unique curl pattern and hair needs.

So, as you navigate our curated list of curl creams, keep in mind that the best pick will resonate with your individual hair characteristics, ensuring a harmonious marriage between the product’s formulation and your curls’ intrinsic requirements.

Which Ingredients Should You look For in a Curl Cream?

When hunting for the ideal curl cream, paying attention to its ingredient list is key. You’ll want to look for ingredients that not only enhance your curls’ elasticity but also make them easier to manage.

A top-notch curl cream should offer a trifecta of benefits: moisturization, curl definition, and frizz control. Just as you scrutinize food labels, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the ingredients that make your favorite curl cream tick.

Below, we unravel some of the key ingredients commonly found in quality curl creams, delving into their unique benefits for your curls:

  • Coconut oil: This powerhouse ingredient is a savior for dry or damaged hair. It penetrates deep into the hair shaft,5 effectively locking in moisture.
  • Shea butter: A treasure trove of nutrients, shea butter is replete with vitamins A and E and essential fatty acids. It lends your curls both moisture and a luminous shine.
  • Aloe vera: A natural moisturizer, aloe vera nourishes the scalp and helps your curls retain moisture. It’s a go-to ingredient for keeping your curl pattern defined and healthy.
  • Glycerin: Also known as glycerol, glycerin is a misunderstood humectant that can be a curl’s best friend in the right formula. It draws moisture from the air, keeping your curls hydrated and minimizing breakage.
  • Manuka honey: Besides its moisturizing properties, it has anti-inflammatory properties. It locks in moisture, tames frizz, and adds a healthy shine to curls.
  • Avocado oil: Packed with essential vitamins, fatty acids, and minerals, it nourishes the scalp and hair strands. It excels in helping your curls retain moisture, making it a prime ingredient for curl hydration.
  • Argan oil: Valued for its moisture-retaining properties, it also serves as a shield, protecting your curls from environmental aggressors like humidity. It neutralizes static charge and enhances hair conductivity, offering a multi-dimensional approach to curl care.

While these are some of the standout ingredients, it’s worth noting that curl creams can include other elements like silicones, alcohol, and mineral oils.

The key is to choose a formula that aligns with your specific hair needs, so always make it a point to read the label.

How to Apply Curl Cream

Girl applying curl cream to hair

Your curl type—be it wavy, curly, or coily—dictates more than just your look; it outlines a specific care routine tailored to your hair’s unique characteristics like density and porosity.

For example, if you have high porosity hair, low porosity hair, or curly hair, there are curl creams designed to bring out the best in your texture.

The most opportune moment to shape your curls is during your shower routine when your hair is well-hydrated and primed for definition. What you see is what you get: if your curls look good wet, they’ll likely look good dry. Here’s a streamlined guide to mastering the curl cream application:

Step 1: Start with a Clean Slate: Begin with freshly washed and conditioned hair for the best results. A clean canvas is essential for any masterpiece, and your curls are no different.

Step 2: Gentle Drying: Use a microfiber towel to gently blot away excess water. This safeguards your curl pattern and minimizes cuticle disturbance, setting the stage for a frizz-free finish.

Step 3: Less is More: Dispense a modest amount of curl cream into your hand. Whether your hair is dripping wet or just damp, apply the cream to find what your hair responds to best. It’s smarter to err on the side of caution; these creams can be rich, and overdoing it can leave your locks feeling weighed down.

Step 4: Even Distribution: Utilize either your fingers or a specialized curly hair brush to disperse the cream uniformly through your tresses. An even application ensures that every curl gets its moment in the spotlight.

Step 5: Add Extra Definition: Introduce additional curl-enhancing products like gel or mousse. These work in tandem with your cream to secure your curls, providing that extra oomph of definition.

Step 6: The Art of Scrunching: To activate the curl cream and boost your curls’ shape, scrunch your hair gently. This simple technique can work wonders for curl activation.

Step 7: The Finishing Touch: Allow your hair to air-dry for around 10-15 minutes before employing a diffuser to finish the job. Remember, the state of your wet hair serves as a preview for the final, dry look.

FAQs

Can all curly textures benefit from using a curl cream?

Yes, absolutely! Curl creams are formulated to enhance curl definition and soften hair. They can be beneficial for all curl types and textures!

Curl creams can achieve both definition and volume for those with finer curls. If you have thicker coils, curl creams can help elongate (depending on the formula) and moisturize them. Regardless of curl pattern, curl creams help keep curls hydrated and nourished.

Can you mix different curl creams?

Although curl creams aren’t typically mixed with other products, they can be used in conjunction when layered with other products such as a leave-in conditioner, gel, or oils.

Is a curl cream the same as a conditioner?

Curl creams and conditioners are both essential for hydration, detangling, and nourishing curly hair. The key difference is that conditioners are rinsed off in the shower, whereas a curl cream is a leave-in product applied to wet hair after the shower–so, no need to rinse!


References

  1. Ma, Z. F., Zhang, H., Teh, S. S., Wang, C. W., Zhang, Y., Hayford, F., Wang, L., Ma, T., Dong, Z., Zhang, Y., & Zhu, Y. (2019). Goji berries as a potential natural antioxidant medicine: An insight into their molecular mechanisms of actionOxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2019, 2437397.  ↩︎
  2. Zhang, Z., Yang, R., & Zhao, W. (2018). Modification of wheat gluten for improvement of binding capacity with keratin in hairRoyal Society Open Science, 5(2), 171216.  ↩︎
  3. Fernandes, C., Medronho, B., Alves, L., & Rasteiro, M. G. (2023). On hair care physicochemistry: From structure and degradation to novel biobased conditioning agentsPolymers, 15(3), 608.  ↩︎
  4. Hornby, S. & Appa, Y. & Ruetsch, S. & Kamath, Yash. (2005). Mapping penetration of cosmetic compounds into hair fibers using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS). International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 27. 10.1111/j.0142-5463.2005.00278_3.x ↩︎
  5. Rele, A. S.; Mohile, R. B., Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J. Cosmet. Sci. 2003, 54 (2), 175-192.  ↩︎
  6. Mysore, V., & Arghya, A. (2022). Hair oils: Indigenous knowledge revisitedInternational Journal of Trichology, 14(3), 84–90. ↩︎
  7. Nitulescu, G., Lupuliasa, D., Adam-Dima, I., & Nitulescu, G. M. (2023). Ultraviolet filters for cosmetic applicationsCosmetics, 10(4), 101. ↩︎
  8.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/355761907_Effectiveness_of_Frangipani_Leaf_Extract_Plumeria_alba_Linn_as_a_UV_Filter ↩︎
  9. Mysore, V., & Arghya, A. (2022). Hair oils: Indigenous knowledge revisitedInternational Journal of Trichology, 14(3), 84–90. ↩︎

HI,I'M VERNA

I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

My mission? To empower others with the tools to restore, and maintain healthy hair, and celebrate the hair they were born with!

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