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Do you struggle to keep your curls bouncy, smooth, and beautiful?
The struggle is real. But don’t worry; you aren’t alone.
Girls with wavy and curly hair have struggled for years to keep frizz and lifelessness at bay and ensure their curls stay well-defined, nourished, and gorgeous.
That’s why curl-enhancing products are so important.
These products are created for wavy- and curly-haired gals to help tame frizz, define and hold their beautiful natural curls, and ensure their hair stays bouncy and full of life.
But with so many curl-enhancing products available and (let’s face it) so many different kinds of curls, how do you choose the best one for you and your unique hair type?
We’ve got the answers for you! We’ve looked through the best curl-enhancing products to find the best ones for all types of curls.
- Full of antioxidants
- Contains argan oil, vitamin E, and fatty acids
- Contains shea butter and essential oils
- No harsh ingredients
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are Curl Enhancers?
- 2 The Benefits of Curl-Enhancing Products
- 3 Understanding Wavy, Curly, and Coily Hair
- 4 Choosing the Best Curl-Enhancing Products for Your Hair
- 5 Which Curl Enhancer Should You Get Based on Your Curls?
- 6 Top 12 Curl-Enhancing Products
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Get Those Perfect Curls!
What Are Curl Enhancers?
What is a good curl enhancer product?
It’s an essential curl-styling product that comes in a cream or gel form, and it’s formulated to help define and lift your curls while enhancing your hair’s natural texture.
It typically has an emulsified combination of ingredients chosen to keep frizz away, boost volume, and provide hydration.
A curl enhancer is also designed to help lock in the hair’s moisture, which is especially important if you have high-porosity hair, which tends to lose moisture easily.
Additionally, it provides lightweight hold that sets curls and helps them maintain their bounce all day.
Many curl enhancers include a host of ingredients like hydrolyzed keratin, amino acids, and natural oils and butters, including shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, argan oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil.
Because of the good combination of nourishing ingredients, a curl enhancer doesn’t just improve your curls but strengthens your locks too.
The Benefits of Curl-Enhancing Products
Do you really need to invest in curl-enhancing products? We say yes!
If you have curly hair, you can definitely benefit from having these products in your regular haircare routine.
Here are the benefits of using a curl-enhancing products:
Gives You Well-Defined Curls
The most important benefit of using a curl enhancer product is to create gorgeous and well-defined curls.
Whether you have wavy, curly, or even coily hair, there are times when your curls are limp or frizzy, making your mane look unruly.
With a good curl-enhancing cream or gel, you can define your curls, ensuring your hair looks smooth and beautiful.
Softens and Hydrates Your Hair
When your hair is curly, your scalp’s natural oils may have difficulty going all the way around your curls and reaching their tips. This leaves them dry and prone to split ends.
But when you use a curl-enhancing product, you glide the product from the top to the bottom of your curls, ensuring your hair is fully hydrated from root to tip.
This is because curl-enhancing products also moisturize your hair and make it soft to the touch.
And they also nourish your hair and boost its overall health, strengthening your strands.
Those with wavy and curly hair are prone to dryness because, as mentioned above, the structure of their hair makes it challenging for natural oils from the scalp to travel down the entire hair shaft.
Now dry hair is prone to frizz, which is caused primarily by raised hair cuticles.
When hair cuticles are raised, air can enter the hair shaft and make it swell, causing the hair to look frizzy.
When the hair cuticles are flat, the hair looks smoother.
Curl creams or gels coat the strands fully and smoothen hair cuticles to keep frizz and dryness at bay.
Makes Your Hair Easier To Style
Finally, other than becoming frizzy, curly and wavy hair tends to go limp when not styled properly.
But while using styling spray and hair spray can hold curls in place, they sometimes make your curls crunchy.
A curl-enhancing product, on the other hand, moisturizes your hair and provides a lightweight hold to keep your curls in place while keeping them soft and smooth.
And because these products are lightweight, they can be used with other hairstyling products without making the hair too heavy.
Understanding Wavy, Curly, and Coily Hair
Now that you know the benefits of curl-enhancing products, the next step is identifying which curl enhancers are good for your type of curls.
To do this, you need to know your particular curl pattern and be able to identify the type of curly hair you have. This can range from wavy to curly to coily.
Essentially there are four types of hair depending on the shape of the hair follicle:
- Type 1: straight hair
- Type 2: wavy hair
- Type 3: curly hair
- Type 4: coily hair
And under these types, there are more sub-types.
Since we’re focusing mainly on curls and curl-enhancing products, we’ll look closer at wavy, curly, and coily hair and their sub-types.
|Type 2: Wavy Hair|
|Type 2A: soft wave||This type of hair grows straight from the crown and ends in soft waves at the tips.|
|Type 2B: wavy||This type of hair waves from the crown and falls in soft waves. They commonly look like “beach waves.”|
|Type 2C: deep wave||This type of wavy hair is closest to curly hair. The strands form small to medium waves in S shapes as they grow.|
|Type 3: Curly Hair|
|Type 3A: soft curl||These are stretched spiral curls that are large in diameter. They roll down from the top of the crown.|
|Type 3B: curly||These curls are medium-sized and well-defined spring-type curls that look like corkscrews.|
|Type 3C: ultra curly||This hair type has similar spring-type curls to 3b, but the curls are tighter and more densely packed.|
|Type 4: Coily Hair|
|Type 4A: coiled||These curls are small, distinctively S-shaped, and sequenced into tight, looped rings.|
|Type 4B: zigzag||Characterized by their zig-zag pattern (hence the name), these curls are compressed S-shaped coils.|
|Type 3C: tightly coiled||These are tightly coiled strands, which are known for their tight zig-zag shape.|
Understanding the type of curls you have will help you determine which curl-enhancing products are best suited for you.
Choosing the Best Curl-Enhancing Products for Your Hair
Now that you know what type of curls you have, here are some tips on finding the best curl-enhancing products for your hair.
No matter what your hair type is, remember the following tips:
- Choose products that deliver great definition.
Of course, your top priority is to find a product that defines your curls and accentuates their shape. So look for curl enhancers that are specially designed for curl definition, helping add life to your locks.
- Look for lightweight products.
Lightweight formulas are always best for wavy, curly, and coily hair. Products that are too heavy can weigh your hair down and make them appear limp and lifeless.
- Opt for ingredients that strengthen and protect your hair.
Lastly, look for products that help strengthen your hair. A lot of girls with waves, curls, and coils are prone to breakage and brittle hair.
If you choose curl-defining products with ingredients like keratin, vitamin B, vitamin E, and other proteins and vitamins that strengthen your strands, you will not only have better curls but healthier hair too.
- Avoid harsh chemicals.
Whenever possible avoid harsh chemicals like sulfates, parabens, silicones, or alcohols. These can dry out your hair or cause hair buildup, making your locks frizzy and dull.
That’s a general list to remember for all curly-haired girls. However, we understand that curl types can be different. This leads us to the next section.
Which Curl Enhancer Should You Get Based on Your Curls?
Let’s look more closely at what to look for and what ingredients you should find based on your specific type of curls:
Choosing the Best Curl Enhancers for Wavy Hair
Limpness and frizz are common problems for those with wavy hair, so find curl enhancers with nourishing and volumizing ingredients.
Also, look for lightweight products that can define your waves without weighing them down. Light creams or even gels are a good option for wavy hair.
This way, you can achieve waves that are full of bounce and life.
Ingredients to look for include lightweight moisturizing ingredients like cocoa butter and avocado, argan, and jojoba oils.
Choosing the Best Curl Enhancers for Curly Hair
Hydration is vital for people with curly hair because these types of curls are prone to dryness and frizz.
As such, it’s important to find curl enhancers that maintain the hydration of your locks.
With these, you can ensure your strands stay soft and silky smooth while also helping keep frizz at bay.
Ingredients to look for include moisturizers that offer deep hydration like coconut oil, aloe vera, jojoba oil, or shea butter
Choosing the Best Curl Enhancers for Coily Hair
Coily hair especially needs to be hydrated because these strands can get really dry, and the dryness can make the curls frizzy.
Look for enhancers with intense hydration. You can opt for richer, creamier products to achieve this.
Ingredients to look for include deep moisturizing ingredients like coconut and jojoba oil, botanical extracts, honey, aloe vera, and shea butter.
Top 12 Curl-Enhancing Products
Ready to find your next favorite curly hair-enhancing product? Here are some of our favorites.
Best Curl Enhancers for Wavy Hair
Add shine and define your waves with this curl-enhancing cream.
Key benefits: Lightweight; tames frizzy hair; defines wave and smoothens strands
- 96% naturally derived
- Contains wheat protein
- Contains essential oils
A fantastic lightweight option to help smoothen and bring out your gorgeous waves without weighing the hair down.
The Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer is among the best curl-enhancing products for wavy hair.
It’s formulated to intensify your hair’s natural wave pattern and combat frizz.
It contains wheat protein to enhance the hair’s natural waves and curls by promoting hair elasticity.
It expands on wet strands and retracts on dry strands, so you can apply it to wet hair and have your waves bounce up beautifully as they dry.
Plus, it contains natural essential oils suitable for waves and curls like bergamot, lemon, geranium, and orange.
It can be used alone or in tandem with the products in the Aveda Be Curly Range like the Aveda Be Curly Shampoo and Conditioner.
Give your waves more definition and lock them into place with this lightweight curl-defining gel.
Key benefits: Smoothens and defines waves; easy to apply; leaves no residue
- Powered by plants
- Contains linseed oil, argan oil, and pomegranate
A serum-like gel that glides smoothly on the hair without stickiness.
If you prefer gel to cream, the Bouclème Curl Defining Gel is a perfect choice!
It’s a great curl-enhancing product for hair of all types.
It dries around waves and curls and locks them into place with a soft to medium hold.
Its weightless formulation defines waves without leaving any stickiness or residue.
Additionally, it contains coconut oil, argan oil, linseed extract, and aloe vera to help combat frizz and strengthen hair.
This cruelty-free gel also comes from an eco-conscious brand that uses recyclable packaging, making it a fantastic product all around.
With this curl-enhancing cream, you can get well-defined, long-lasting curls that are soft and shiny.
Key benefits: Provides flake-free hold; seals in moisture; adds shine
- Made with a rice curl complex
- Safe for all types of curls
- Free from harmful ingredients
This lightweight curl-defining cream won’t weigh down fine hair, and it strengthens your locks.
This curl-defining cream was awarded as one of the best curl-enhancing products for fine hair and is perfect for creating gorgeous flowing, well-defined curls.
It contains shea butter esters, which are very lightweight emollients.
This means the product won’t weigh the hair down as it carefully coats and locks in the curls.
It’s made with a rice curl complex formulated with rice, keratin, amino acids, and enzymes to strengthen the strands and promote curl retention.
This nourishing curl-enhancing cream is perfect for waves or loose curls.
Key benefits: Leaves hair smooth and silky; creates well-defined curls; provides soft and touchable hold
- Full of antioxidants
- Contains argan oil, vitamin E, and fatty acids
The Morrocanoil brand is known for having great products for curly hair, and this Curl Defining Cream is one of their most versatile offerings.
The cult favorite formula is one of the best curl-enhancing products for wavy hair from the drugstore.
It’s a lightweight curl-defining cream that helps to separate and define waves (and even loose curls) while hydrating and moisturizing the hair.
It’s full of nourishing and strengthening ingredients like argan oil, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants that not only nourish hair and banish frizz but also help improve elasticity and shine.
It provides a soft hold to keep your curls in place and leave them silky and smooth while maintaining your hair’s movement and bounce.
Best Curl Enhancers for Curly Hair
Utilize this incredible combination of shea butter and natural ingredients to get soft, smooth, and gorgeous curls.
Key benefits: Helps restore hair moisture; reduces frizz; creates soft and bouncy curls
- Contains shea butter, silk protein, neem, and coconut oil
- No silicones, sulfates, or harmful ingredients
This curl enhancer nourishes and pampers your strands while creating well-defined and bouncy curls.
Between scrunching and using rollers or curling irons, getting gorgeous curls can often tax your strands, so it’s always good to use a curl enhancer that focuses on nourishing hair and combating dryness between styling sessions.
The Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie does just that.
It hydrates the hair and helps repair hair damage with shea butter, silk protein, coconut and neem oil, and other natural ingredients.
It’s best for curly hair, though, because it is quite rich, which means it can weigh down wavy or fine hair. But for type 3 hair, it creates incredible curl definition while keeping hair bouncy and touchably soft.
Get beautifully defined curls with this mineral-rich hydrating shampoo that adds shine and controls frizz.
Key benefits: Helps create curl definition; adds shine, volume, and bounce; doesn’t strip the hair of natural oils
- Contains almond extract, proteins, and vitamins
- Vegan, cruelty-free, and environmentally conscious
- Free of parabens and sulfates
This shampoo not only cleans your hair but also helps enhance curls and strengthen strands.
Naturally, Shampoo can’t make your hair perfectly curly, but when it comes to improving curl definition, the Davines Love Curl Enhancing Shampoo definitely stands out.
While most products on our list are creams and gels, this shampoo still makes the cut as one of the curl-enhancing products for natural hair because it cleanses the hair while helping define curls.
It contains almond extract rich in B-complex vitamins and proteins, creating a rich and hydrating formula that nourishes your strands, brings out the shape of your curls, and controls frizz.
Deva Curl’s dermatologist-tested formula helps provide hydration and impressive curl definition.
Key benefits: Gives curls more shape and body; reduces frizz; provides smoothness and shine
- Infused with coconut
- Sulfate, silicone, paraben-free
Create gorgeous, well-defined curls with this hydrating cream formulation.
The Deva Curl brand is known for its curl-friendly products, and the Supercream is one of their most versatile ones that helps enhance your curls while hydrating them.
It works with curly and coily hair, and it’s infused with coconut and other nourishing ingredients to provide essential moisture to the tresses and gives your curls added shine and bounce.
This cream has a refreshing coconut scent, and you can use it with their Deva Curl Defining Spray Gel for curls that last all day.
This versatile curl-enhancing cream makes your curls stunningly well-defined and helps ensure they last!
Key benefits: Provides moisture and definition to curls; works on wet or dry hair; leaves no residue or stickiness
- Contains coconut and babassu oil, linseed extract, and chia seeds
- Available in a scented variant
- Silicone-, sulfate-, and sulfate-free
If you want a product that works on a wide variety of curls and help strengthen the strands, this is a great all-around product.
This curl enhancer suits almost all types of curls because it’s formulated with coconut, babassu oil, linseed extract, and chia seeds, which smoothen and sculpt curls while protecting them from humidity to keep them bouncy and soft.
The formulation also helps seal hair cuticles and keep frizz at bay while adding shine and delivering essential hydration for beautiful, healthy hair.
It’s also free of silicones, sulfates, waxes, and fragrances, although you can also opt for a scented version of it to add a refreshing scent to your curls.
Best Curl Enhancers for Coily Hair
Try the Cantu Coconut Curling Cream for good curl definition, easy styling, and improved manageability — it’s perfect for coily hair!
Key benefits: Offers weightless moisture for natural curls; defines and conditions; improves manageability
- Contains shea butter and essential oils
- No harsh ingredients
Give your curls extra definition, hydration, and shine with a natural formula you can use on both curls and coils.
If you have tight curls or coily strands, you need intense moisture to ensure your tresses retain their gorgeous shape without the frizz.
This cream is perfect for beautifully defining your curls while conditioning them to ensure they retain their shape all day.
The award-winning formula also contains shea butter and essential oils like avocado, jojoba, and castor oil, which is why it’s one of the best curl-enhancing products for 4c hair.
This moisturizing curl-enhancing cream is perfect if you want soft and defined tight curls and coils.
Key benefits: Keeps curls defined; seals in moisture; perfect for twists and braid-outs
- Contain shea butter and aloe vera
- Infused with coconut and avocado oil
- Designed for maximum absorption into the hair
Resist humidity, lock in moisture, and avoid crunchy curls with this ultra-hydrating formulation.
Eden Bodyworks creates products inspired by nature designed to help define curls while hydrating the hair.
This product is perfect for girls with tight curls and curl patterns because it combines hydrating ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, and aloe vera.
These ingredients help enhance the curls, nourish the hair, and combat frizz caused by humidity.
The product also helps hold curls in place with a medium hold but without crunchiness.
This moisturizing styling gel provides a long-lasting touchable hold for those who want defined curls all day.
Key benefits: Reduces frizz; creates curl definition; improves hair elasticity
- Contains nettle leaf and olive oil
- All-natural ingredients
- Sulfate- and silicone-free
This all-natural product enhances curls, reduces frizz, and provides gorgeous shine.
This product is infused with essential vitamins and natural oils to create soft, well-defined, touchable curls.
It contains nettle leaf and olive oil that has antioxidants to help remove free radicals that contribute to frizz and flyaways, resulting in smooth and beautiful curls.
The olive oil also helps enhance the shine and improve hair elasticity, while the unique formula promotes moisture retention for softer locks.
Enhance the look of your gorgeous coily curls without the sticky or oily finish.
Key benefits: Defines and enhances curls; provides gorgeous sheen; works on all kinds of curls
- Contains honey, aloe vera, and natural sea botanicals
- Free of phthalates, parabens, silicones, and sulfates
- Created with the input of hairstylists
This curl enhancer gel helps elevate your locks while ensuring lasting, touchable hold.
This curl-enhancing gel from MopTop was created for curls of all types and textures, from loose waves to coily strands.
With a formula free of all harmful chemicals, it utilizes the strength of natural ingredients, like honey, aloe vera, and sea botanicals to deliver its benefits.
It promotes well-defined curls, adds a beautiful, healthy sheen, and helps keep frizziness at bay without the usual oily or sticky finish.
However, because the product is a bit heavier than others, it’s usually best for thicker hair as it may weigh down fine hair.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use Curl-Enhancing Products for Straight Hair?
Yes, of course. However, it’s important to understand that these products just help enhance and define existing curls.
They don’t create curls for naturally straight hair.
But you definitely use curl-enhancing products after curling your straight hair.
Like for naturally curly hair, these products will help maintain the look of the curls you’ve created and give them gorgeous shine.
The best curl-enhancing products for straight hair are lightweight products because heavy gels and creams may weigh down the curls and straighten them faster.
What’s the Difference Between a Curl Enhancer and a Curl Activator?
For many, the only difference in these products is their name. Many curl enhancers and curl activators are the same, and it’s just the name that’s different.
For many brands, this is the case. For some brands, though, curl activators are made as spray and gel products, while curl enhancers are made as rich creams.
Get Those Perfect Curls!
While most curl enhancers will work on all types of curls, some are better suited to certain curl types than others.
You can experiment until you find the formulation that gives you your desired results.
Once you find the right one, you’ll enjoy nourished hair and gorgeous curls every day.
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