The Best Curly Hair Products
Whether you have loose curls or kinks and coils, you know the importance of using the best curly hair products to keep your strands healthy. So we’re always on the hunt for the latest inventions (and tried-and-trues) that genuinely get the job done as we continue to enjoy our natural hair.
Every curly-haired woman knows that finding the perfect combination of products takes effort, but once you’ve discovered it, there’s no going back. Our panel of beauty experts analyzed hundreds of creams, conditioners, and co-washes to choose the best curly hair products of 2021 to help you flaunt your bouncy, gleaming curls. Scroll down to see the Glamour Beauty Award winners you should know about right now. It’s due to your hair.
Best Drugstore Shampoo & Conditioner for Curls: Carol’s Daughter Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner
Nothing else I’ve tried has helped me strengthen and grow my hair like Carol’s Daughter Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner. I’ve been using this power duo for over a year and have noticed a dramatic reduction in breakage and healthier hair with each usage. —T.V. news reporter Brittany Noble
Best Pro Shampoo & Conditioner for Curls: Ouidad Ready, Set, Clean Scalp + Hair Rinse
The formulation is everything when it comes to hair rinses. It’s challenging to strike the right balance between being efficient enough to remove buildup while preserving your hair’s natural moisture. However, this product has provided me with outstanding results from the start. I eliminated buildup, filth, and debris with just one Rinse, and my hair remained hydrated. This is one of my new favorites. Dermatologist Alexis Stephens, M.D
Best Drugstore Shampoo & Conditioner for Coils: Miss Jessie’s Honey Harmless Gentle Wash and Harm Me Knot Conditioner
This shampoo and conditioner set is ideal for anyone with knotted or dry locks. After applying both products, my hair feels very hydrated and silky, and my curl pattern looks super defined. —Artist Jade Purple Brown
Best Pro Shampoo & Conditioner for Coils: Bumble & Bumble Curl Moisture Shampoo & 3-in-1 Conditioner
My most minor favorite aspect of my wash-day routine is shampooing. Most shampoos leave my hair feeling dry, stringy, more tangled than when I first started. Bumble & Bumble’s shampoo did none of those things! Moisturizing shampoo seems like an oxymoron to me, but it was necessary for this circumstance. My curls were clean but not stripped, and they had a nice bounce and liveliness to them. I liked the butter mask and conditioner from this line for similar reasons—my curls were nourished, in shape, and ready to go. —Heben Nigatu, Desus & Mero writer
Best Cleanser for Protective Styles: Dark & Lovely Protective Styles Cleansing Water
This cleanser was an obvious winner for me because it was designed exclusively for protective styles. I didn’t expect it to clean my scalp so thoroughly! I have a dry, flaky scalp, and after wearing braids for a few days, dandruff begins to form. Throughout the time I had my braids in, this washing water kept me looking fresh. It’s a game-changer. —Senior visuals editor Lauren Brown
Best Detangler: Flawless by Gabrielle Union 3 Minute Restoring Conditioner
My 4C hair is coarse and needy for moisture. That’s why this restorative conditioner, invented by none other than Gabrielle Union, is one of my favorites. I applied this for less than $10 after removing my braids, and it rapidly nourished and detangled my ‘fro. —B.N.
Best Co-Wash: Kristin Ess Ultra Hydrating Curl Co-Wash
My wash-and-go method is still a work in progress for me. I didn’t realize I needed to use a co-wash until recently! However, Kristin Ess’s version was by far the best of all the goods I tried. My 4A hair felt fresh, soft, bouncy, and most importantly, clean after using it. —L.B.
Best Drugstore Hair Mask for Curls/Coils: Carol’s Daughter Monoi Intense Repair Inner Strength System
I’ve observed that my curls have been brittle during confinement, so I’ve been experimenting with different masks and treatments that I can do in the shower to restore their strength. This one is ideal for days when you don’t have time for a complete self-care ritual in the rain because you only have to leave it in for a minute. After a few uses, I observed that my curls were healthier, less prone to breakage, and more resistant in general. —Commerce writer Erin Parker
Best Pro Hair Mask for Curls/Coils: Bread Beauty Supply Hair Mask Creamy Deep Conditioner
For my braid-outs, this mask is the ideal hydrating conditioner. It smells lovely, and the staff is thick. It hydrates and softens my hair, leaving it silky and lustrous all day. Furthermore, the package is stunning. So it’s no surprise that it’s been flying off the shelves at Sephora since its debut. —B.N.
Best Drugstore Leave-In for Curls/Coils: Flawless by Gabrielle Union Detangling Leave-In Conditioner
My hair feels quickly nourished and cared for after using this detangling leave-in. The blunder! The aroma! The gentleness! With a few spritzes and some gentle finger-combing, any tangles seem to vanish. It has quickly become a staple in my wash-day arsenal. Gabby Union, you’re the one who did it! —Brionna Jimerson, Facebook’s social marketing manager
Best Pro Leave-In for Curls/Coils: 4C Only Too Soft Leave-In Conditioner
It’s kinky, thick, and juicy. However, this conditioner is incredibly dense and hydrating, instantly softening and moisturizing my 4C hair. It’s even better because it’s a Black-owned company. —B.N.
Best Drugstore Scalp Treatment: TPH Taraji P Henson Never Salty Hair Scrub
My curly, often dry hair enjoys being bathed in thick, nourishing leave-ins, which regularly results in product accumulation along my scalp. This scrub’s dual-pronged applicator distributes tiny beaded sugar crystals straight at your roots, allowing you to wash away the buildup effortlessly. The dissolving sensation is particularly appealing since the crystal-to-balm texture lifts filth while simultaneously hydrating my scalp. Wash days are no longer a chore, and my scalp looks and feels a lot better since I started using this shampoo weekly. —Beauty assistant Talia Gutierrez
Best Pro Scalp Treatment: Sunday II Sunday Soothe Me Daily Scalp Serum
My hair has suffered more than my skin as a result of being cooped up all day. My thick hair and dry scalp have suffered due to recirculated air, but this serum has made a significant difference. It’s a light, buildable serum that significantly reduced the tightness and itching I experienced when I removed my wrap in the morning. It made my hair feel and appear nourished, and it even gave it some bounce. —Producer Khaliha Hawkins