Must-Have Products for Naturally Curly Hair


Health + Beauty / Tuesday, August 6th, 2019
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Curly hair can be a pain if you don’t have the right products and tools to keep it tame. I have always had a wave in my hair, but in my adult years, that wave has turned into full-blown curls. That means I’ve had to find the best products for naturally curly hair, and I’m here to share!

Products for Naturally Curly Hair

There are three things you need to take care of your curly hair:

  1. The best curly hair products
  2. The best tools for curly hair
  3. A great method for applying these and creating stellar style

With that in mind, let’s cover my favourite must-have curly hair products!

OUAI Leave in Conditioner

Having curly hair can be a curse as much as it’s a blessing. I find that curly hair almost always looks nice, regardless of how messy it is, pending you take care of it. But it can easily become a tangled mess. Recently, I had been looking for a leave-in conditioner and FabFitFun answered my prayers.

I had been looking for the perfect leave-in conditioner when I came across the OUAI Leave-in Conditioner, and it truly is an amazing product for curly hair. I got it in my Spring FabFitFun box, and since then I’ve had to replace it… twice.

I get terrible tangles at the nape of my neck due to my thick curly hair, but they’ve been getting much better since I started using this leave-in conditioner. This is my main product—if I could only have one this would be it!

Buy it on Sephora

Bumble and Bumble Pre-Style Primer

If you have the kind of hair that doesn’t require leave-in conditioner, or you’re running a style where you want a lighter primer (like if you’re going to use a heavier product like the gel-oil listed below) then the Bumble and Bumble Pre-Style Primer is an excellent choice.

I’ve been using this light styling spray for the last three or four years and it hasn’t failed me yet. While I would say that the Ouai leave-in conditioner is my go-to curly hair product simply because you really can use it alone and call it a day.

With the primer, you definitely require another product to do the styling heavy work. Likewise, this bad boy isn’t great at detangling your hair.

This primer spray is also great if you need to liven up your style briefly or re-style in a pinch the next morning (pending you didn’t flatten all over your curls during the night). I’ve definitely used this to restyle and it’s been a lifestyle for a quick pick-me-up.

Get your bottle of Bumble and Bumble Pre-Style Primer on Amazon

Living Proof Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream

Curly hair is a GIGANTIC pain in the buttox, and I am constantly trying to figure out what products won’t weigh my hair down and, as an added bonus, will help shape the curls nicely without leaving too much frizz. That’s where the Living Proof Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream comes in.

Combined with the OUAI Leave in Conditioner that I got in my Spring FabFitFun box, this cream leaves my curls looking amazing. While it doesn’t completely do away with the frizz, it does get rid of the perm-like curls and leave me with a tight beach wave—which is exactly what I want.

This is another one of those awesome items that came in a FabFitFun box, and I can’t recall what I did without it!

Get your bottle of Living Proof Styling Cream on Amazon

Oribe Matte Waves

Oribe Matte Waves is my absolute favourite must-have product for curly hair. If I could only pick one product off this list it would be a tough choice between this and the Ouai conditioner—ultimately, I’d go with the conditioner because I get such tangled hair and this product is WAY MORE EXPENSIVE.

If you’re looking for curls, and I mean real curls, Oribe Matte Waves is the product to use to get them. I keep a bottle of this on-hand as a “special occasion” product for when I’m headed out on the town, meeting a new client or simply need to feel amazing!

Get your bottle of Oribe Matte Waves on Amazon

Bumble and Bumble Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil

The Bumble and Bumble Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil is thicker and greasier than the Oribe Matte Waves but together they make a perfect pair.

This curly hair product is best used away from the roots, and when I use it goes on the ends of my hair and helps produce a luscious springy curl. One of the things I love most about this Bumble and Bumble product is the shine that it gives to my hair.

Plus it lasts forever. Every time I read “just use a dab” I roll my eyes because companies have no idea how thick and long my hair is—seriously, every stylist I’ve ever been to has commented about how thick my hair is and it falls a mere inch or two above my hips! But in the case of this product for curly hair, a tiny bit is truly enough.

Get your bottle of Bumble and Bumble Gel Oil on Amazon

Bumble and Bumble Curl Defining Cream

This curl defining cream is much like the Living Proof No Frizz cream, but if you as me to recommend one over the other, I’d go with Living Proof. Even still, some of my curly-haired friends swear by this defining cream, and the Bumble and Bumble line really is a friend to those with frizzy, curly hair.

This curly hair product is also nice because it helps protect your hair from drying out from sun exposure (which is a real problem in those harsh dry climate summers), and helps provide nourishing elements to help keep your hair healthy.

Get your bottle of Bumble and Bumble Curl Defining Cream on Amazon

Best Tools for Curly Hair

All the best products in the world will do absolutely nothing if you have the wrong styling tools. The good news is that when it comes to curly hair there are not a ton of tools you need, but these ones are absolutely necessary:

Blow Dryer with Diffuser

There is no point in using a blow dryer on curly hair unless you have a diffuser to use with it. No diffuser is simply going to result in a half-curled head of hair, maybe, but mostly straight hair with way too much volume. What I can promise, is that it won’t look anything like what you want.

With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure you get yourself a hairdryer with a diffuser—that’s the circular head with holes and prongs.

To use a diffuser properly, you tip your hair forward and down then gather the hair into the diffuser and bring the dryer up to your head. I rotate the diffuser around my head in 30-second intervals until my hair is almost dry and let the air do the rest.

You’ll also want to make sure your blow dryer has at least two settings. You’ll want to defuse on the lowest speed with the lowest heat setting to get the best results.

A good blow dryer doesn’t mean it has to be an expensive one, as with many things what really counts is how you use it. Something like the NITION Ceramic Hair Dryer will do the trick for under $50.

Find a blowdryer with a diffuser on Amazon

Wide Tooth Comb

A wide-tooth comb is my favourite tool for curly hair. It does a lot for your hair, even if you don’t have any product.

A lot of days I simply spray in some leave-in conditioner and brush my hair out with a wide tooth comb. If I’m feeling particularly fancy, I might add in some Living Proof. Then I throw on a pair of my fancy sweats and voila, it’s another day at the home office!

Find a wide-tooth comb on Amazon

Detangling Brush

Managing curly hair can be a serious task, and that’s where a detangling brush comes in. The close-but-flexible teeth help get nasty knots, especially the ones that I get close to my neck.

But I would note that the small, close teeth on the detangler mean that it brushes a lot of curls out. With that in mind, I only use this tool when I’m not headed out for something special because it really does deflate my curls.

Get your own detangling brush on Amazon

Invisibobble Original Duo Pack

I will never use a normal elastic hairband again after using the Invisibobble. My long, curly hair always gets bunched up and wrapped around my hair bands and I end up having to pull out a chunk of hair with the band. It’s annoying and painful.

But the Invisibobble bands are so nice because not only do they hold the top knot that I wear pretty much every day up, but they also slide right out. It’s amazing, No fuss!

Get a set of Invisibobble hair bands on Amazon

Styling Curly Hair

While curly hair is truly a blessing, styling it how you want it is really a game of trial and error.

I have a number of styling techniques and curly hair product combinations that I use depending on what I want my hair to look like—beach waves, corkscrews, fully and curly, there’s a tool and product combination that works for everything.

What are your favourite products for naturally curly hair? Share them in the comments below!

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