Best Curl Cream: Top 5 Brands Most Recommended By Style Experts

Want to keep your curly hair looking bouncy and vibrant? Then use a curl cream on those wavy locks. The best curl creams are great for hydrating your hair and taming and defining your curls, which helps to eliminate that dreaded frizz. That way, you can finally embrace your natural curls with a little help from the beauty community. 

Did you know that your hair can provide clues to future health problems? According to new research, stress hormones detected in our hair could potentially predict the risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke. A European research team investigated long-term levels of cortisol and its inactive form, cortisone, found in scalp hair. How? By using cortisol and cortisone levels in over 6,000 hair samples collected from adult men and women participating, researchers found participants with elevated cortisol and cortisone levels had twice the likelihood of experiencing a cardiovascular event during their lifetime. This risk increased to over three times for individuals 57 years of age or younger. However, for those aged 57 and older, there was no significant link found between hair cortisol and cortisone levels and cardiovascular disease.

Curly hair tends to be more prone to frizz, dryness, and lack of definition, making it challenging to style and maintain. Curl creams are specifically designed to address these issues by providing hydration, enhancing curl formation, and reducing frizz. The rich and nourishing ingredients in curl creams, such as shea butter, argan oil, or coconut oil, deeply moisturize the hair, restoring its natural moisture balance and preventing dryness. These creams also contain polymers that help define and hold the curl pattern, resulting in well-defined, bouncy curls. Furthermore, curl creams create a protective barrier around the hair shaft, shielding it from humidity and external factors that can cause frizz and unruliness. With regular use of curl cream, individuals with curly hair can achieve a manageable and vibrant hairstyle that showcases the beauty of their natural curls.

Wondering which product to use to style your curls? Since all head of hair are different, it’s best to pick one for your hair type. That’s why StudyFinds compiled a list of the five best curl cream brands from ten expert websites, zeroing in on the most recommended products. As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!

woman with curly hair
Woman with curly hair (Photo by Justin Essah from Unsplash)

The List: Best Curl Cream, According to Beauty Experts

1. Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream

This cream from Moroccanoil is a hit with reviewers, especially for taming those waves. “With its lightweight, frizz-fighting formula, this curl cream is ideal for anyone with type 2 wavy hair. Formulated with argan oil and hydrolyzed vegetable protein, it smooths waves while helping mend split ends. Apply to wet hair and air dry for gorgeous, defined waves,” according to Byrdie.

Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream
Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream

If you’re tired of using multiple hair products to achieve your curl-defining look, this cream is a good solution. “Created to replace the tedious cocktailing of creams and gels curly girls often need to tame their mane, Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream is a one-stop shop that provides protection against humidity and UV damage while boosting volume and hold, making it a great choice for those with fine or thin hair that needs a boost,” adds Adore Beauty.

The end result? “The all-in-one curl cream separates your curls and makes them more vibrant without making them crunchy,” points out Pinkvilla. However, some reviewers did point out this product has a stronger scent. So you may want to skip it if you don’t like perfumy hair products. It’s also not as wallet-friendly as some other brands.

2. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

This curl-boosting formula is easy to find in most drug stores. “Like a green smoothie for hair, this Shea Moisture treatment uses a coconut-rich formula to treat dry and dehydrated locks. Trust silk protein and neem oil to condition and add definition to your curls without weighing them down, while the coconut oil helps your strands to lock in moisture and deliver dazzling shine,” according to Expert Reviews.

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

“It’s particularly good for thick, curly hair and those trying to repair permed hair,” notes body+soul. Plus, “its nutrient-rich formulation is oh-so-nourishing, thanks to coconut oil and vitamins E and K,” adds the New York Post.

3. Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream

If you are in search of an affordable product that works well on thicker, natural hair, this is a solid choice. “This moisturizer goes on clean thanks to the blend of natural ingredients. There’s no alcohol or parabens to harm your follicles or scalp, and it works particularly well on medium-thick hair. It leaves a welcome shine along with a hydrated feel,” suggests Don’t Waste Your Money.

Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream
Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream

“Users with type 3 and 4 curl patterns rave about the formula, which defines curls without weighing them down,” adds Byrdie. However, Hair Everyday points out, “the Cantu Activator cream might not be the best curl enhancing product for finer hair as it can weigh the fine strands down.”

4. amika Curl Corps Defining Cream

This product by amika gets high praise for its versatility. How does it work? “Applied alone, it’ll give your curls a loose, natural bounce, but it can also be coupled with a gel for added definition and longer-lasting frizz-control. This product has a thick consistency, so a little goes a long way,” notes InStyle.

amika Curl Corps Defining Cream
amika Curl Corps Defining Cream

“The smoothing formula, which is chock full of antioxidants, protects hair against environmental aggressors that cause color fade and damage and contains humidity-blocking ingredients to tame frizz. Users report shiny, bouncy curls that never feel weighed down,” adds Byrdie.

Hair Everyday points out, “it’s great for type 2b hair, 3a, and 4 hair textures and is suited for most weather conditions too!” However, it’s not as wallet-friendly as some of the other choices. 

5. OGX Moroccan Curling Perfection Defining Cream

Rounding out our top five, is this affordable cream from OGX Beauty. “Ideal for all hair textures and curls types, this rich moisturizing curl cream helps eliminate frizz while taming flyaways. This precious blend with rich cold-pressed Moroccan argan oil helps moisturize and revive spirals. Plus, the citrus-fresh, floral-green, and woodsy scent of this smoothing cream leaves your hair smelling irresistibly good,” according to Pinkvilla.

OGX Moroccan Curling Perfection Defining Cream
OGX Moroccan Curling Perfection Defining Cream

Humidity has met its match with this product. “Even in humid climates, this cream can work wonders on curly locks. It’s a good solution for those who don’t want to combine products in their hair care routine. Just work in a generous amount and let dry,” notes Don’t Waste Your Money

“In addition, this hair cream moisturizes your scalp, strengthens your hair, and increases the elasticity of the curls,” adds Stylecraze.

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