We Have Curly Hair—Here Are the 23 Holy-Grail Products We Swear By for Styling


As anyone with curly hair can likely attest to, curls are a constant journey of trial and error. Though everyone’s journey to embracing their natural texture is as varied as curl patterns themselves, the one thing that remains constant is that finding the perfect styling products can be a challenge. Sure, there are specific products that help make the transition to natural hair easier, but once you’ve ditched your flat iron, the question becomes what products should you be using for styling? In search of that answer, we decided to reach out to women with curly hair to share what products they swear by for keeping their curls in top shape. Ahead, you’ll find which product works best for them, their curl types, and of course their tips for using their holy-grail product that makes styling a breeze.

For wash days…


(Image credit: @aysha.sow)

WHO: Aysha Sow

WHAT: 4A/3C curls 

WEAR: Maui Moisture Shine + Awapuhi Conditioner

There are so many different conditioners that claim to be the best for curly hair, but according to Sow, the best is from Maui Moisture. As she told us, "I love it so much to condition my curls with! It provides so much slip and moisture to my curls.”

Shop Sow's holy-grail curly hair styling product:


(Image credit: @venswifestyle )

WHO: Renia Jaz 

WHAT: 3C/3B curl type

WEAR: Bouclème Curls Redefined Scalp Exfoliating Shampoo 

Jaz told us, "I wash my hair every two days, and during the week, I use a number of products on my hair. This shampoo is my lifesaver. It removes any dead skin cells and product buildup, leaving my hair fresh and lighter and making my curls looking healthy and bouncy. I also noticed that after using it, my hair is a lot easier to style!”

Shop Jaz's holy-grail curly hair styling product:

For when you need a deep-conditioning hair mask…


(Image credit: @melodyslife)

WHO: Melody Acevedo

WHAT: 3C/3B curl type

WEAR: Not Your Mother's Curl Talk Deep Conditioning Curl Masque 

"My absolute favorite product is definitely the NYM Curl Talk Deep Conditioning Curl Masque. I can't skip a week where I don't deep condition. This product is super hydrating and moisturizing, which is the most important thing when you have curly hair,” Acevedo told us. 

Shop Acevedo's holy-grail curly hair styling product:


(Image credit: @thetennillelife_)

WHO: Tennille Murphy

WHAT: 3B curl type with high porosity 

WEAR: Adwoa Beauty Baomint Deep Conditioning Treatment 

Murphy told us, "I am so impressed with the consistent salon-style results I achieve with this product. This deep conditioner is made with clean, curl friendly ingredients that nourish my hair from scalp to tip. Infused with spearmint and peppermint, I find that this formula is so soothing on my scalp. Meanwhile, the creamy, rich, nourishing ingredients like omega-3, -6, and -9, leave my silver curls soft, defined, and moisturized.”

Shop Murphy's holy-grail curly hair styling product:

For when you need a leave-in conditioner…


(Image credit: @harmonicurls)

WHO: Mairaly

WHAT: 3C/3B curl type 

WEAR: Suave Professionals Curly Hair Leave-In Cream

"Wow, only one?!” Mairaly said. "Okay, if my curls had to choose one product, I’d say this leave-in cream. I don’t like heavy or crunchy gels on my hair, and this is the lightweight product I use to style and refresh my hair when I need to. I love to run some water on the section of curls I'm styling then apply some product and directly single out a curl or two and run the product through it, letting the curl bounce back. When it dries, it dries so defined and looks like it did when it was wet except a little shorter because of shrinkage. Leave it in, and it's like five bucks!”

Shop Mairaly's holy-grail curly hair styling product:


(Image credit: @myfashionbreak)

WHO: Oriane Adjibi

WHAT: 4C crl type

WEAR: Not Your Mother's Naturals Royal Honey & Kalahari Desert Melon Repair & Protect Leave-In Conditioner

As Adjibi told us, "My hair really can't handle too many products at the same time, like no more than two at the same time, and I still need to be cautious about the amount of product I use. That being said, I’m obsessed with Not Your Mother's leave-in conditioner to style my hair. It's my favorite because it’s not only plant-derived, but it also makes [my hair] so much more manageable and ready to style. Plus, this leave-in gives hydration to my hair, which is mandatory for natural hair, and it also works on natural or semi-natural hair add-ons and wigs, which is everything.” 

Shop Adjibi's holy-grail curly hair styling product:


(Image credit: @alannanicolex)

WHO: Alanna Doherty

WHAT: 3C curl type 

WEAR: Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner

Doherty professed, "I LOVE this product for styling curly hair! I’ve been using Shea Moisture products for over six years now, and its leave-ins are the only products that consistently moisturize my hair. I started using this one in particular after I dyed my hair blonde, and I’m positive that it's done wonders for the health of my fro!”

Shop Doherty's holy-grail curly hair styling product:

For daily styling…


(Image credit: @yvettecorinne)

WHO: Yvette Corinne

WHAT: 4C curl type

WEAR: TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer 

Why this styling product? Corinne shared, "I love this product because I have low porosity, and it adds a lot of moisture in my dry strands. Also, it pairs well with gel if you're looking for a more defined look.”

Shop Corinne's holy-grail curly hair styling product:


(Image credit: @enigivensunday)

WHO: Eni Popoola

WHAT: 4C curly type

WEAR: Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker

Popoola shared, "To get my natural curls more defined, I love to use the Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker. I love it because it works wonders for defining my tight 4C curls, but it also works just as well on any clip-ins or ponytails that I wear as well. It defines my curls without weighing them down or giving that unwanted crunchy feel.” 

Shop Popoola's holy-grail curly hair styling product:


(Image credit: @curlygallal)

WHO: Lal 

WHAT: 4A/3C curl type

WEARImbue Curl Empowering Crème Gel

Why this product? Lal shared, "I truly swear by the Imbue Crème Gel for curls and kinky hair like mine. It is a true one-and-done product, which means you can use it by itself, as it is a cream and a gel combined in one! It gives my hair a good base of moisture with lasting definition and volume. It is the only product I own that styles my hair in one. It is also CG-friendly, vegan, cruelty-free, and very affordable, which are all really important to me, as my mantra is to make curl care and education accessible for all!”

Shop Lal's holy-grail curly hair styling product:


(Image credit: @janibellrosanne)

WHO: Janibell Rosanne 

WHAT: 4A/3C curl type

WEAR: Pantene’s Gold Series Hydrating Butter Cream 

Skeptical? So was Rosanne, as she told us, "I never looked to Pantene for curly hair products, so I was skeptical at first, but this stuff is great! Whenever I use it, my curls are super soft and moisturized. I have a lot of hair, but it's very fine, so I like that this doesn’t weigh my hair down.”

Shop Rosanne's holy-grail curly hair styling product:


(Image credit: @tach.j)

WHO: Tacha John 

WHAT: 3B/3C curl type

WEAR: Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer 

John confessed, "I'm obsessed with Bumble and Bumble's curl products, but I think my one holy grail is its HIO primer because it's so versatile. It works as a leave-in, heat protectant, and the base for just about every style I do. It's also super lightweight without sacrificing moisture, which is important for my fine hair.”

Shop John's holy-grail curly hair styling product:


(Image credit: @itsashleyreuben)

WHO: Ashley Reuben 

WHAT: 3A/2C curl type

WEAR: Aussie Scrunch Mousse + Leave-In 

Reuben mused, "It's really hard to pick just one, but I would have to choose the Aussie Scrunch Mousse + Leave-In. This mousse has been my go-to for such a long time, and I love it because it is so versatile. I've used it as a one-and-done styler, a refresh for those days I don't feel like washing my hair, and to give me some texture when I just braid my hair if I'm too lazy to fully style it. In all scenarios, my hair has turned out great! It's perfect for fine-normal hair curlies who struggle to get volume, but it also provides great definition and hold.”

Shop Reuben's holy-grail curly hair styling product:

For when you need an oil…


(Image credit: @thevicstyles)

WHO: Vic Styles 

WHAT: 3C curl type with low porosity 

WEAR: Kreyòl Essence Haitian Black Castor Oil 

Styles shared, "I’ve been using this for about four years now and can’t live without it. It’s helped with breakage, growth, and to lock in moisture. I specifically love this brand because it’s Black-owned, AND castor oil typically has a strong odor, but they mix their oil with essential oils so it smells AMAZING.”

Shop Styles's holy-grail curly hair styling product:

For when those edges need some love…


(Image credit: @annadominguez)

WHO: Anneliese Nicole

WHAT: 3B curl type

WEAR: Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Edge Control 

Fellow WWW editor Anneliese has quite a few favorite curly hair products. But when I slid into her Slack messages, she professed her love for two products, the first being Olaplex’s miracle leave-in cream, and the second being Carol’s Daughter Edge Control. Per the Slack receipts, she stated, "I wear my hair in a snatched ponytail basically any time I go out, and this gel keeps all my flyaways from trying to ruin my look.”

Shop Anneliese's holy-grail curly hair styling product:

For when you’re not sure where to start…


(Image credit: @curlyloveclub)

WHO: Kristy 

WHAT: 2C/3A curl type

USE: The Original Wet Brush Detangler 

Formulas aren’t the only thing you need in your curly hair styling arsenal, and frankly, if you get nothing else from this story, investing in a good brush can make all the difference for styling your curls. As Kristy contested, "I swear by using a Wet Brush! First, I love using this brush to gently detangle my hair while dry to prevent breakage while detangling. I then use it in the shower to distribute conditioner and form curl clumps. Whether I’m using a mousse, gel, or any styling product, using this brush to distribute everything evenly throughout my hair is key to having bouncy ringlet curls!” 

Shop Kristy's holy-grail curly hair styling product:


(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz)

WHO: Jasmine Fox-Suliaman 

WHAT: 3C/3B curl type high porosity 

I’ll admit gathering everyone’s favorite curly hair products made me realize a few things, the first being that finding the best products for styling curly hair is all about trial and error and learning about your hair texture.

The second is that, no matter which products or brands work for you, there are seven essential styling products in general that every curly headed person should have in their arsenal. Here are the essentials that I not only love but noticed were a common thread within this story. Consider this a great starting-point list for shopping the best styling products for your curls.

#1: A shampoo (that actually works for you)

#2: A trusted hair mask

#3: Hair oil (to lock in the moisture)

#4: A daily styling product

#5: An in-between conditioner

#6: A little something for the baby hairs

#7: A reliable comb

Next: 21 Hair Masks (That Actually Work) for Growing Out Your Hair

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.