If You Could Bottle a Good Hair Day, These 18 Styling Creams Would Make the Cut
I don't know about you, but I've found that the products I'm using can really make or break a good hair day. Using the right styling cream makes me feel some type of way—my hair is bouncy, frizz-free, and full of luster. On the other hand, sometimes I'll opt to skip it if I'm in a hurry, and let's just say my strands notice. Considering the fact that I also naturally have very frizzy curls, things can get a little murky.
That's why I enlisted a panel of experts for advice. These days (especially), I like to keep my routine pretty low-maintenance but still want my strands to be healthy, hydrated, and frizz-free. These hair masters have provided me with just the ticket. I asked hairstylist and educator Samantha Harman, celebrity stylist Anthony Holguin, and nontoxic-beauty advocate Alba Ramos. Ramos also happens to be the ultimate curl queen. I've learned many of my best curl-care tips straight from her YouTube channel. Keep reading for what they think are the absolute best styling creams along with a few of my own favorites.
Best for Thick Hair
"This really gives the hair a smooth and sophisticated look like it was styled in a salon!" — Harman
This is the only time I'm ever going to tell you fast food is good for your hair, so savor the moment. This leave-in conditioner is perfect for thicker hair types because it contains potent humectants for extra hydration but won't weigh your hair down or feel greasy.
Filled with organic aloe and jojoba oil, this rich formula is great for thick, drier hair types. It can be applied to dry or damp hair, depending on how much hold and shine you'd like for the day.
Best for Fine Hair
Luxe haircare brand Oribe's styling cream contains vitamin E, green tea, and other herbal extracts that really tame frizz and flyaways. It's a great blend for finer hair as vitamin E can help strengthen the hair shaft and protect it from breakage.
"This product gives volume, body, and texture to the hair while also preventing static, frizz, and flyaways. I personally have very fine hair, and I never have to worry about this product weighing it down." — Harman
For enhanced texture and extra body, opt for Bumble and Bumble's Air Dry Styler. It's a great option for days you won't be blow-drying to give the hair a bit of bounce. It also shields your strands from harmful UV rays.
Best for Curly Hair
"This is a styling cream I absolutely love. It's a leave-in curl cream that gives my hair bounce and definition without weighing it down or feeling heavy despite how thick it looks. I love using this with a gel to seal in my results, but it's also wonderful as a one-and-done restyling product on next day curls." — Ramos
"I really love this treatment, which is made for all hair types, but it's also a great base for my curly styling. It's an oil-cream formula that's silky and feels lightweight so I love to start with it to smooth and hydrate without weighing down the volume I want in my end results." — Ramos
Briogeo's Curl Charisma provides a soft, flexible hold and gives curls extra definition. I personally love this cream for days I don't feel like heat styling or putting anything on my hair for that matter. A quick pump of this gives my hair just the right amount of softness.
Best for Wavy Hair
If you have a naturally wavy texture, Odele's Air Dry Styler will be your new everyday go-to. It adds moisture, shine, and just the right amount of separation if you're doing a mini at-home blowout.
Busier days require JVN's Complete Air Dry Cream. It provides 24-hour frizz control, smoothes, and defines without being crunchy or flaky. This kind of textured cream will work really well for thin, wavier hair types.
Okay, I'm a sucker for a well-named product, so naturally, In Common's Magic Myst makes this list. Magic Myst is a detangling, leave-in treatment that also strengthens the hair shaft. It's a great option for wavy hair types that are a bit thicker and prone to breakage.
Best for Dry Hair
"This is a great option for dry, medium-thick hair. It gives shine and softness to the hair with added heat protection." — Harman
I know what you're thinking because I thought the same thing. This styling cream looks (and sounds) like a face mask, but upon careful review, it's more like a face mask for your hair. It's a 10-in-one leave-in cream that revives dull or dry hair in a big way.
In my opinion, Moroccanoil products are the gold standard for drier hair types. I have dry, thick hair, and let's just say this styling cream has saved me on a few troublesome winter days.
Best for Long Hair
"This is my all-time favorite styling cream right now. The Bleu line is the brand's luxe vegan and biodegradable line. This product has a light hold, it's cruelty-free, and it has avocado and bamboo in it. I also love this because it's very light but does the job. I guess you can say a little goes a long way. This is a newer line, and I think that it's by far my favorite line out there." — Holguin
Another favorite of Holguin's is R+Co's Bleu Surreal Styling Serum. To be honest, longer strands just need a little more love and a lot more product. This serum is loaded with R+Co's Bleu Molecule Complex, which contains micro-encapsulated sugar molecules that gradually deliver the formula's active ingredients. It provides repair and strength to broken down strands and is also completely weightless.
If your longer locks have been looking a bit dull this season, Amika's Supernova cream can help out. In addition to being a detangler and conditioner, it also protects from heat damage if you'll be blow-drying or flat-ironing.