Whether you have loose curls or tight coils, you know products are essential to getting that “I woke up like this” look. But with so many creams, oils and co-washing products on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best one for you and your locks. Luckily, five women with different curl patterns were happy to share the hero products in their beauty cabinet with PureWow. So, if you’re looking for a way to spruce up your curls, look no further. (Pro tip: Walmart also recently launched The curl shop that can easily point you in the right direction). Without further ado, the products curly-haired women rely on to look their best.
The Best Products for Curly Hair, According to 5 Women with Different Curl Patterns
Christiané Jones; Curl Pattern: 3b
Christiané Jones has rocked everything from natural hair to relaxed locks to braids, but there’s one thing about her hair routine that hasn’t changed. As I Am Coconut Co-Wash ($10) has been part of the Los Angeles-based Youtuber’s hair regimen since she was 16-years-old. Jones told PureWow, “I usually wet or condition my hair every day to have more defined curls (I haven’t perfected the art of second-day curls just yet). I use As I Am Coconut Co-Wash ($10) in the shower to refresh and condition without drying it out.”
Get the Look: As I Am Coconut Co-Wash ($10)
Monica Linares; Curl Pattern: 3c
For Monica Linares, keeping her curls on point is easy thanks to a product she’s used for more than ten years. Linares reaches for Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner ($23) without fail. She calls it her “ride or die” and says it hooked her because it “always leaves my curls looking defined and hydrated.” Linares, who works as a strategic content producer at a prominent startup, says she also creates a strong and moisturized base for her favorite leave-in by using Aussie 3-Minute Moist Shampoo and Conditioner ($5; $5). An added bonus? All three of her go-top’s smell fantastic.
Nikki Bowles; Curl Pattern: 3c
Nikki Bowles’ hair journey has been just that—a journey. Three years ago, Bowles went on a mission to find the best products to accentuate her natural hair. Now, “after a lot of trial and error,” the financial account manager says she finally feels like she’s found her own arsenal of holy grail products that give her hair the love it needs. Bowles told PureWow, “I co-wash once a week and condition every two days using Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Conditioner ($16).” When it comes to styling, Bowles says she loves the “wash and go” look, so she uses Cantu Avocado Curl Activator Cream ($6). She finishes her edges Crème of Nature Perfect Edges ($7) and seals her ends with Miss Jessie’s Multicultural Curls ($14). For her, “this combination of conditioners gives my curls the definition I love while not weighing my hair down so that it can have that natural look and I can still claim, ‘I woke up like this.’”
Mimi Wilson; Curl Pattern: 3c & 4a
As a celebrity nail artist and mom, Mimi Wilson doesn’t have time to waste. Whether she’s chasing her son around or creating press-ons for magazine covers, Wilson loves Aloe Vera gel (like this $3 option from Fruit of the Earth) and Jamaican Black Castor Oil ($13) to moisturize and style her hair. She has a mix of curl patterns, with a combination of “some 3C and some 4A,” and this duo suits her needs exceptionally.
Marisa Staples; Curl Pattern: 4b/c
Marisa Staples has long, thick 4 B/C curls. So, for her, detangler is a necessity. When it comes to products, she counts Aunt Jackie Knot on My Watch Instant Detangling Therapy ($9) as her favorite. The L.A.-based media planner told PureWow, “It helps my comb slide through my hair on wash day…having an easy detangler is a game changer.”
Get the Look: Aunt Jackie Knot on My Watch Instant Detangling Therapy ($9)
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PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.