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Five Best for curly hair

curly hair
Is a Solution for:
Dry or Brittle Hair, Limp Hair, Dull Hair
October 7, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 12 Comments
Let me be straight. I do not have curly hair. At a certain length it ripples and when I grow it towards my shoulders it forms soft waves. Any longer and it becomes pitifully limp. And as a Caucasian, I can't advise anyone with or aspiring to dreadlocks. I have, after years of experimentation and my new found wisdom as the result of researching for Truth In Aging, come up with a variety of solutions to give me a boost on limp days and tame when its humid. Plus I've had some great tips from my more tousled-haired friends.

From one red-haired pre-Raphaelite, I was introduced to Clay Esthe Pack. but decided not to include it here as this conditioner works equally well for a smooth as silk look. From another friend, I got a ringing endorsement for Living Proof's No Frizz. This is especially for those whose curls need taming. If you want curls but don't have them, you'll get a kick out of Bumble & Bumble's Surf Spray. For the romantically inclined, you can have summer beach waves all year around with Fekkai. To keep waves in place without nasty plastics, I turn to John Masters Organics almost every day. I haven't really come across a good shampoo that is specifically for curly hair, but Aveda's Be Curly is a very useful conditioner.

Ingredients in John Masters

Water (Purified Deionized), Sea Algae Extract (Wild-crafted), Sorbitol, Carrageenan, Gum Tragacanth, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Silk Protein, Scleroteum Gum (Mushroom), Essential Oils of Citrus Sinensis (Blood Orange*), Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange*), Cedrus Atlantica (Cedar Atlas*)

Ingredients in Aveda:

Abies balsamea (balsam canada) oil, aloe barbadensis leaf, babassuamidopropyltrimonium methosulfate/behenamidopropyltrimonium methosulfate/stearyl alcohol, behentrimonium methosulfate (and) cetearyl alcohol, biosaccharide gum-1, castor isostearate succinate, cetyl alcohol, cinnamomum cassia leaf oil, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, citrus nobilis (mandarin orange) peel oil, cymbopogon martini oil, fragrance (parfum), glycerin, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, hydrolyzed wheat protein, palmamidopropyl trimonium methosulfate, pelargonium graveolens flower oil, salvia sclarea (clary) oil, sodium benzoate, sodium gluconate, tapioca starch, tocopherol, water.

Ingredients for Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray:

Water (Aqua), Magnesium Sulfate, Macrocystis Pyrifera (Kelp) Extract, Algae Extract (Algae), Isoceteth-20, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance (Parfum).

Ingredients in Fekkai

Water (Aqua/Eau), PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Propylene Glycol, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate, Panthenol, Cystine Bis-PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Bioflavonoids, Sea Water, Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Algae Extract, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera (Kelp) Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Dextrin, Hydrolyzed Algin, Hydrolyzed Actin, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Wheat Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/PVP Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Benzophenone-4, Trisodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Sodium Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Coumarin, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool.

Ingredients in No Frizz Wave-Shaping Curl-Defining styling cream for medium to thick hair:

Water, VP/VA Copolymer, PolyfluoroEster, VP/Dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate Copolymer, Glycerin, Myristyl Alcohol, Polyacrylate-13, PEG-8 Stearate, PPG-2 Myristyl Ether Propionate, Polyisobutene, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance, Polysorbate 20, Sorbic Acid
  • November 30, 2014

    by Jess

    Curly hair folks, please try all Jessicurl products! I buy from the online website or from my hairstylist. The Jessicurl product line was developed by a naturally curly gal who is passionate about curls. NO SULFATES. Her curl cleanse cream is the only "shampoo" I will use. And the Confident Coils help my spirals looking really nice. I was so relieved when I finally discovered this product line. It has changed my attitude about my hair and really helped bring out the best in my natural curls!

  • August 7, 2010

    by mary french

    I have very thick, curly, grey hair. The BEST product I have found is Curls Rock, by Catwalk. I also like Davine's Love, Moisturizing Anti-Frizz Protective Fluid, which I occasionally use as a leave in conditioner. It is expensive though and I've never seen it in a store, but you can get it on line. Deva Lo-poo shampoo is pretty good, but finding a good shampoo is difficult.

  • November 5, 2009

    by Leslie Wayne

    For awhile I used Devashon products, specifically their No-Poo and Low-Poo shampoos, (I know you don't need suds in order to clean your hair, but there's something reassuring about lathering up and rinsing out the dirt and grime), and their An-gel, which is medium weight and has excellent hold. But it's been awhile and I didn't really scrutinize their ingredients at the time. Have any of you other curly girls used their products?

  • October 16, 2009

    by marta

    I just checked...there are sulfates in the shampoo, but not in the other three products.

  • October 16, 2009

    by aerwin

    I tried Quidad too several years ago. It left my hair drier also. SIGH! I just cannot find anything I am totally satisfied with. I would prefer not to use sulfates as my hair is color treated.

  • October 16, 2009

    by marta

    Tammara, I'm going to take up the Tammara Challenge and find something for you. For starters, how about trying Clay Esthe Pack. I have one going spare if you want to try it and review it for us.

  • October 16, 2009

    by Angela

    I loved Ouidad's Climate Control Gel mixed with their Clear Control Pomade -- when I had long hair. My hair is very thick and can't decide if it wants to be straight or wavy, so it's usually somewhere in between - and these two products really defined the waviness and gave a long-lasting hold without getting super crunchy.
    But then I got bored with long hair so I cut it all off and I now have little more to do than towel dry it and I'm ready (well, my hair is ready, not the rest of me - the time I save on my hair is now used to put on the war paint).

  • October 16, 2009

    by Cathy

    I went curly 14 mos ago and am making my way through a variety of curly wurly type products. After being a slave to my thick, course and color treated hair with a daily morning routine of approximately 2 hours or more to wash and blow out, I leave the house most days with my hair wet and the curls are beginning to set up nicely and my hair is the longest it's been in years. Just like before, I never know if it will be a good or bad hair day. But always willing to try new products. I tried OUIDAD a million weeks ago and never seemed satisfied and Living Proof isn't for those who don't blow dry so that failed too. My hairdresser finally said I should just use jojoba oil as a final step and that should eliminate my frizzy dryness but I haven't gone that route yet. Other lines I've tried include Ctonics, Kouros, Wen, Ojon etc. etc. Send me something that works and I'll post the results.

  • October 16, 2009

    by Tammara

    I was one of the (un)lucky ones to fall for the Ouidad hype. I ordered the Clear and Gentle Shampoo, Curl Quencher Conditioner and the Climate Control Gel.

    The shampoo is not sulfate-free, which I knew before buying but I wanted to try it anyway. It made my already dry hair even worse, which is surprising; from what I understand, most curly hair tends to be dry and needs extra care, and Ouidad is suppossed to be "the curl experts". I used the shampoo a handful of times and it now resides in the black hole under my sink with the other hair care rejects.

    I had slightly better luck with the Curl Quencher Conditioner. It was just OK; did not detangle very well, but did add some softness back in. I actually preferred this as a leave-in rather than a rinse-out (just a pea-sized amount will do it for my long hair), but still not enough to recommend.

    The only product I have liked is the Climate Control Gel. I use this when I straighten my hair rather than when I leave it to it's natural wave. It seems to provide light hold which does not weigh my fine hair down. It does help control the frizzies a bit better than some other products I have used, but, alas, it's not the perfect product. Or maybe I just have the worst hair imaginable. (Sigh)

  • October 7, 2009

    by Emily

    Just a note for those who are No Frizz fans. Living Proof introduced a large, 24 oz pump, for $95, on Monday. By my calculations this is over a third off their regular (high) price (4 oz for $24). It's available on their web site (and shipping's free). They claim it's only to be available for a limited time--but that may just be testing the waters. Their fulfillment is fast--ordered it Monday, received it today.

  • October 7, 2009

    by aersim

    Try AG Cosmetics Re:Coil Shampoo. And/or go to the "naturallycurly" website for extensive reviews of curly products. The Re:Coil has worked best for me, but I have fine curly hair. The Aveda "BeCurly" cond. gets mixed reviews on that site. But can't say, as haven't tried it myself. Most of the old conditioners for curly hair that worked well for me in the past (e.g. Re:coil cond.), are too heavy now that I'm having hair loss. However the thickening conditioners I've tried aren't sufficiently moisturizing and/or detangling, as generally they're geared for limp, straight hair. Would be very interested to hear of a conditioner that's both very moisturizing and very very thickening -- though perhaps such a combo isn't possible??

  • October 7, 2009

    by aerwin

    Thank you for this list! I am still on the search for the perfect shampoo for curly hair.

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