Hello, my fellow curl enthusiasts! Welcome back to our beauty haven where we obsess over all things curly and fabulous.
Today, we’re discussing curl creams for low porosity hair as part of our series on caring for this hair type– a topic that’s near and dear to many of us on the quest for defined, luscious curls.
Understanding the concept of low porosity hair is crucial, as it dictates how your locks interact with moisture and hair care products, ultimately impacting your curl game.
Whether you’re a seasoned curl connoisseur or just dipping your toes into the world of hair care, this guide will provide you with all the essential information and actionable advice you need to achieve moisturized, defined curls.
We shall reveal the secret arsenal of the key ingredients of curl creams for low-porosity hair that will storm the gates of your curls and infuse them with the nourishment they crave.
So, let’s dive headfirst into what you need to look for in low-porosity curl creams!
The Key Ingredients to Look for in Curl Creams for Low Porosity Hair
Choosing the right curl cream for your specific hair type can be a daunting task due to the vast array of options available in the market. However, my friend, who is a hair scientist and cosmetic formulator, and I have collaborated on a guide that focuses on the crucial ingredients for low-porosity hair.
When selecting curl cream for low-porosity hair, look for these key ingredients:
To keep your scalp and hair healthy, it’s important to maintain moisture. If you have low-porosity hair, you may notice dryness at the tips because of aging and the frequent use of grooming tools like brushes and combs.
The end of your hair may have split ends because the cuticle has been removed and it’s extremely dry.1 To fix this, you need ingredients that hydrate your hair and restore its moisture content. This will help recover its natural texture and fight dryness and porosity.6
This is a list of our preferred hydrating ingredients that are ideal for low-porosity hair fibers and can be easily incorporated into a curl cream.
● Betaine – a super water-binding molecule derived from beetroot.2
Both of the aforementioned ingredients have a light texture and do not result in hair feeling heavy or weighed down.
In addition to the information provided above, it should be noted that glycerin and propylene glycol are two commonly used humectants due to their safety, effectiveness, and affordability. However, glycerin has a heavy and slightly sticky texture, and both humectants can be affected by the humidity levels in their environment.5,6,7
Curly hair is often prone to knots and twists due to its texture and curls.8 The tighter the curls, the more likely these knots will occur, making detangling a must.
Thankfully, cationic surfactants can help. These ingredients condition the hair, align the cuticles, and smooth the surface, making combing, brushing, and everyday grooming much easier and preventing curl knots.9
To prevent excessive build-up, we recommend using light to medium molecular weight molecules. Here are some of our preferred options listed below:
● Behentrimonium Chloride – (22 carbon long chain) Superior conditioning, smoothness, and detangling benefits.11
● Cetrimonium Methosulfate – A sister molecule of Behentrimonium Methosulfate.13
Curl Defining Ingredients
Film-forming polymers are used in hair products to define curls, retain styles, and enhance texture. They form a delicate fine coating over the hair shaft that aligns the curl pattern and enhances bounce.9 A small amount of polymers is sufficient for low-porosity hair fibers.
Here are some options that are suitable for natural, low-porosity hair:
● Methylcellulose – starch-derived polymer that provides a gentle hold.14
● Polyquaternium-11 – is a synthetic material that forms a film to help improve the hold and retention of your hairstyle.9
● Polyquaternium-28 – provides excellent hold for hairstyles and is resistant to humidity.9
Natural Oils & Butter
Natural oils and butter are gifted by nature and can be used as emollients to lubricate the hair shaft. They have multiple benefits, including enhancing the quality of the hair fiber and stimulating scalp cells.
Because of their hydrophobic fatty nature, they are great at reducing static and frizz.9 Low-porosity hair fibers work best with light-textured emollients to condition your hair without making it feel greasy or heavy.
The following emollients are highly recommended for low-porosity hair:
● Shea Butter provides excellent conditioning, adds sensorial texture, and enhances shine with its rich and creamy consistency.15
● Mango Seed Butter is a gentle and smooth moisturizer that provides excellent smoothness, slip, and conditioning.16
●Apricot Kernel Oil is an amazing lightweight oil that conditions hair, adds softness, and provides shine.17
● Argan Oil is a great solution for those with dry, frizzy, and rough hair.18
● Baobab Oil is a natural oil that is unique and can be used for both hair and skincare.25
● Avocado Oil is a rich blend of fatty molecules and antioxidants.19
● Jojoba Oil is a type of liquid wax that has a great moisturizing effect.26
● Coconut Oil is a light-textured oil that contains a high amount of lauric acid, which allows it to penetrate deep into the hair cortex for improved conditioning, shine, and oil absorption.20
Natural Plant Extracts
Natural extracts and hydrosols are excellent hydrating ingredients for hair and scalp. They also improve the mildness of the formulation and make it more skin-friendly.21 Certain natural extracts can minimize UV-induced damage to hair and scalp tissues.22
We suggest using the following extracts for low-porosity hair:
● Green Tea Extract
● Chamomile Flower Extract
● Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract
● Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Extract
● Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract
● Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract
Preservatives and Fragrance: The Additives
Preservatives are added to maintain the quality and freshness of the product for a longer duration, whereas fragrance is added to give a pleasant odor.
Man-made synthetic preservatives and fragrance ingredients may contain components that can sensitize your skin, but they are frequently used nonetheless.23
We recommend reviewing the ingredient list of a product before using it. Products containing green, sustainable, and skin-friendly natural preservatives and aromatic oils are preferred.
Avoid using products that contain formaldehyde releasers and thiozolinones. Instead, opt for natural essential oils such as Bergamot Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Rosemary Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, etc, which are great options for natural fragrance.
Our Top 12 Curl Creams for Low Porosity Hair
Here is our exclusive list of the Top 12 Curl Creams for Low Porosity Hair. As always, we have included the ingredient lists for each product for your convenience. However, it is important to note that these lists may not be current. We strongly advise checking out the product’s label for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
It’s important to keep in mind that while these curl creams are effective for low-porosity hair, there is no guarantee that they will work for every individual. It is best to try out the different formulas and find the one that suits you best through trial and error. Always let your hair be your guide!
This curl cream suits all hair textures and porosity levels. It includes natural ingredients that help to produce soft, smooth, and well-defined curls. Certified organic shea butter forms a part of this product, along with a variety of oils such as coconut juice and oil, which provides a unique moisturizing effect.
The moisturizing formula contains coconut oil, which helps to hydrate and protect hair from breakage while also replenishing lost oils. Neem oil adds shine and increases volume and definition for curls and coils that may appear dull and lifeless. The smoothing effects of silk protein, an essential ingredient, make unruly locks feel soft, smooth, and manageable when bottled in this enhancing smoothie.
If you have wavy, curly hair, or coily texture then this product is perfect for you. It is a stronger hold-styling solution that helps to shape and define your curls, leaving them soft to the touch. They will stay in place even in humid weather and remain flexible no matter the climate. Say goodbye to frizzy or shapeless curls and give this product a try.
This elongating style cream is ideal for tight textures. It is light and instantly hydrates and seals moisture into hair, making it easier to manage and reduce knots. The formula contains five natural hair butters including shea, mango, cocoa, kokum, and cupuacu, as well as aloe vera, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, and argan oil.
This product contains almond extract, which is high in magnesium and helps to nourish the scalp and hair ends. Aloe vera helps to retain moisture and stimulate hair growth. The natural hair softening and smoothing properties are provided by sweet honey droplets. This soft-styling butter is made with almond milk and honey droplets and is designed to moisturize and elongate coily hair strands.
This product is designed for those with wavy, curly, or frizzy hair and can be used to create curls or define your hair. While you may not typically try new products, this one is definitely worth considering. Made with organic ingredients, it has a natural scent and will refresh and rehydrate your hair from root to tip, leaving you feeling confident.
This product is a specialized hair product that contains a unique blend of three unrefined butters – shea, tucuma, and mango. It is water-based and pH balanced, ensuring the best possible care for your hair. Specifically designed for parched hair, it provides intense moisture, shine, and protection. Infused with essential oils like lemongrass and lavender, it nourishes and softens your hair while strengthening it at the same time.
This curl pudding is perfect for those looking to enhance their curls and reduce frizz. It contains guar gum for hold, avocado oil to strengthen and soften strands, and agave nectar to lock in moisture. Apply it whenever you want extra curl control or to maintain a particular style. It won’t weigh down your hair or leave a sticky residue.
This cream does not contain silicone and can be used on all types of curls. It defines curls, reduces frizz, and adds shine. The cream contains linseed and chia seed which help to shape curls while preserving the hair’s natural texture and protecting it from humidity. Additionally, the cream includes coconut oil and babassu oil which help to make the curls soft, seal damaged cuticles, and enhance shine.
Mielle Organics’ Babassu Curly Cocktail can help you achieve soft, defined, and frizz-free curls. This cream has a unique blend of emollients such as babassu oil, copaiba oil, and muru-muru that helps your hair absorb and retain moisture, providing both definition and hydration.
I highly recommend the Clump & Define Cream as one of the best curl creams on the market. It has a wonderful scent and is suitable for all hair types and porosity levels.
This luxurious leave-in cream can provide light hold and softness while also adding volume without feeling heavy. Its ingredients include 10 exotic oils from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean areas, such as organic black seed oil, avocado, Egyptian abyssinian oil, Moroccan rose, argan oil, and more. Because it is concentrated; you will only need to use a small amount.
This styling cream is designed to moisturize and enhance curls while reducing frizz and smoothing hair texture. It contains certified organic shea butter, rooibos tea, and honey extract, as well as certified organic orange flower oil and frangipani for a calming effect. It is suitable for all hair types.
What is Low-Porosity Hair?
Hair porosity is a measure of the quality and condition of your hair. It indicates how damaged your hair is and how its structure affects it.
If your hair has high porosity, it means that your hair fibers have more damage and a higher pore density. If your hair has low porosity, it means that your hair fibers are less damaged and less porous.24,25
Low-porosity hair fibers are virgin non-chemically treated hair that have relatively fewer pores, resulting in less damage. However, the hair ends may be more damaged compared to the roots due to exposure to environmental and grooming factors. This is a natural process of aging.26
Low-porosity hair fibers can be difficult to manage and style and can pose a challenge for formulators trying to create suitable hair products.
What is a Curl Cream?
Curl cream, also known as curl defining cream or curl enhancer, is a product specifically designed to cater to the unique needs of curly hair.
This hair care elixir is designed to reduce frizz and enhance the definition of curls by aligning the hair fibers, while also minimizing frizz and flyaways.
It’s the secret weapon that helps you showcase your curls at their fullest potential, giving them the perfect amount of bounce, shine, and definition.
Because curly hair has unique characteristics, it requires specific and personalized hair care products.27
To properly care for curly hair, it’s important to note that it is often coarse, fragile, and dry.28
Additionally, porosity levels are a major concern for those with curly hair.
Hair experts have categorized curly hair into three distinct porosity levels:
Low porosity hair can be difficult to manage because of its unique structural features, which are similar to fine hair. This type of hair tends to become heavy and limp. To maintain its natural texture and defined curl pattern, it is important to choose the right hair products.
How Does Curl Cream Work?
To truly appreciate the magic of curl cream, let’s delve into the science behind its extraordinary powers:
- Hydration: The key to healthy, bouncy curls lies in maintaining adequate moisture levels. Curl creams are packed with moisturizing ingredients such as natural oils, butter, and humectants (like glycerin) that work together to lock in hydration, keeping your curls nourished and happy.29
- Frizz Control: Curly hair is infamous for its susceptibility to frizz, especially in humid environments. Curl creams contain ingredients that create a protective barrier around each curl, sealing in moisture and preventing frizz-causing external factors from wreaking havoc on your tresses.30
- Definition & Hold: Curl creams are designed to enhance your hair’s natural curl pattern, providing definition and hold without weighing your curls down or causing them to feel stiff or crunchy. They achieve this through a combination of natural polymers and conditioning agents that work together to give your curls structure and shape.31
- Shine: Many curl creams are infused with nourishing oils and light-reflecting ingredients that impart a beautiful, healthy sheen to your curls, making them look even more vibrant and full of life.32
How to Use Curl Cream Effectively
Now that you’re well-versed in the wonders of curl cream, here’s how to make the most of it:
- Choose the Right Product: Not all curl creams are created equal. Look for one that is specifically designed for your hair type, porosity, and curl pattern. Be sure to read product labels and reviews to find the perfect match for your unique tresses.
- Apply to Damp Hair: For best results, apply the curl cream to clean, damp hair. This will allow the product to be evenly distributed and absorbed, maximizing its benefits.
- Use the Right Amount: Start with a small amount of product (about the size of a nickel or quarter, depending on your hair length and thickness), and add more if needed. Too much product can weigh your curls down, so it’s always best to begin with less and build up as needed.
- Distribute Evenly: To ensure each curl gets its fair share of cream, use your fingers or a curly hair brush to evenly distribute the product throughout your hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends.
- Scrunch & Style: Gently scrunch your curls with your hands to encourage their natural shape and enhance definition. You can also use a diffuser attachment on your hair dryer to dry your curls while maintaining their shape and minimizing frizz.
- Experiment & Adjust: Finding the perfect curl cream and application technique may take some trial and error. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different products, amounts, and methods until you find what works best for your unique curls.
Be sure to check out our other low porosity related articles below.
- Gels for Low Porosity Hair and Key Ingredients
- Ingredients to Avoid for Low Porosity Hair: A Comprehensive Guide
- 15 Shampoos for Low Porosity Hair: A Comprehensive Guide
- Deep Conditioners for Low Porosity Hair: The Key Ingredients
- Uncover the Facts About How to Grow Low Porosity Hair
- 17 Best Leave-in Conditioners for Low Porosity Hair
- Does Low Porosity Hair Need Protein? How to Know
- Best Proteins for Low Porosity Hair
- 17 Best Conditioners for Low Porosity Hair
- How to Moisturize Low Porosity Hair: A Detailed Guide
- What to Look for in Oils for Low Porosity Hair: A Detailed Guide
- Pre Poo for Low Porosity Hair: Step By Step Guide
If you have low-porosity hair, it means your hair is in its natural state and has not undergone any chemical treatments. To give your hair a natural and bouncy outlook with curly texture, you need to use customized hair care products.
A curl cream is highly recommended as it can help eliminate knots and twists in your curls while enhancing their definition. It’s essential to examine the ingredient listing of any hair care product you choose to ensure it’s suitable and compatible with your hair and scalp.