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Luxy® Hair  - The best drugstore curl creams 
Hair Care & Advice

The best drugstore curl creams 

Fact: Finding the right curl cream can make all the difference when styling curly or natural hair. Not only do they help to define and style your curls, the right curly hair products will also strengthen, nourish, and moisturize your mane from the inside out. 

Unlike gels or mousse, curl creams provide hold without leaving your hair looking crunchy. A good curl cream will enhance your natural curls by encouraging curl formation, and allowing them to be the best version of themselves. 

To get the scoop on why every curly girl needs a curl cream we turned to celebrity hair stylist, Anthony Perez. “Curl creme is great to properly hydrate, moisturize and define the natural texture,” says Perez. He reaches for curl creams when he’s trying to enhance his client’s natural texture and add some moisturize to dry strands. “Curly hair the majority of the time is prone to dryness, due to the shape of the cuticle, so having something coating each strand helps beautify the curl pattern,” says Perez.

Curl creams tend to work best when worked through wet hair, evenly coating each strand. This helps to lock in moisture and hydrate your curls. After you shampoo (here are some of our fav shampoos for curly hair) and condition, apply the cream to slightly dripping hair and comb through. Once you’ve distributed the cream through your curls they should start to clump together in their natural curl pattern. Once all of your hair is fully coated, scrunch excess water out and diffuse for bouncy, shiny curls.

Not all curl creams are made equal. Those with thicker hair should look for thicker creams that are formulated with rich ingredients. If you have finer hair, check out lighter formulas like gel-cream hybrids so that they don’t weigh your curls down. If you find that products don’t penetrate your hair well, you can add water to help dilute so that your hair can soak up all the moisture. If your hair is super parched, pair your curl cream with an oil to lock everything in. 

If you’re ready to add a curl cream to your hair care routine look no further. We’ve rounded up 15 drugstore curl creams that won’t break the bank but will leave you hair looking like a million bucks. 

1. Kinky Curly Custard Gel

kinky curly curling custard

Behold, the ultimate cult favourite. There’s a reason this curl gel has amassed thousands of five star reviews, the Kinky Curly Custard gel never disappoints. It conditions hair and eliminates frizz, leaving you with shiny, defined curls. The weightless formula is great for all curl types. It’s a bit of a splurge but a little goes a long way. 

2. Cantu Coconut Curling Cream for Natural Hair

cantu-coconut-curling cream

Finding the right curl cream for thick hair is tough, you need something that’s heavy enough to do its job without weighing down your curls. Cantu Coconut curling cream is the reliable hair product your curls can always count on for days you want to wash-and-go. Coconut oil teams up with Argan oil and Shea Butter to define, moisturize, and strengthen strands. 

3. Cake Beauty The Curl Friend Curl Defining Cream 

cake curl defining cream

Second or third day hair can be left looking limp and lifeless. Instead of throwing your hair into a messy bun, bring your curls back to life with this moisturizing styling cream. The lightweight formula is infused with shea butter, which treats your hair as it styles. 

4. Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie

Maui Curl Cream 

Turn your bathroom into a tropical vacation with Maui Moisture’s ultra-hydrating curl smoothie. Coconut oil, papaya butter, and aloe vera come together to de-frizz and define your curls, transforming lackluster locs into shiny, bouncy curls. 

5. Aunt Jackie’s Curl La La Defining Curl Custard

Aunt Jackie’s Curl La La Defining Curl Custard

If limp and lifeless curls have you down, fret no more. This curl custard will bring your strands back to life. Key ingredients shea butter and olive oil work to tame unruly hair and leave you with frizz-free, manageable curls. Whether you’re doing a twist out or wash and go rest assured that your style will be well moisturized, without caking or flaking. 

6. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie 

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

A staple in every curl girl’s hair routine, the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie leaves you with the shiniest, bounciest curls. The rich formula hydrates and protects hair, while adding volume and definition to full lifeless curls and coils. For the best results, apply this to super-wet hair and it through section by section, which will make sure you get every last drop of moisture and provide maximum definition. 

7. Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Cream 

Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Cream

If you have fine hair and curls it can be hard to find a product that won’t weigh them down. This featherweight formula is enriched with Vitamin E to calm frizz, refine ringlets, while replenishing lost moisture 

8. Moroccan Oil Curl Defining Cream 

Moroccan oil Curl Defining Cream

For a do-it-all curl cream look no further than Moroccan Oil’s Curl Defining Cream. It’s formulated with nourishing Argan oil which leaves your curls defined, frizz-free, and silky smooth. Best of all, this curl cream can be used on all curl types from tight coils to loose waves. 

9. Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner

Mixed CHicks Leave-in Conditioner

Use this curl-defining leave-in conditioner to add shine, hydration, and definition to your curls. It works on all curl types and is safe to use on your human hair or synthetic extensions. While it’s definitely a higher price point than most drugstore products, it’s worth every penny. 

10. Pantene Curl Defining Pudding

Pantene Curl Defining Pudding

Want to run your fingers through your curls without feeling any crunchiness? This curl defining pudding provides a lightweight hold that will leave your curls frizz-free and touchably soft. It also delivers major shine and frizz control. 

11. L'oreal EverCurl Cream Gel

L'oreal Ever curl 

For many curly girls washing your hair everyday is not a thing.This cream gel hybrid is perfect a day or two after washing and helps get frizzy, curly hair under control. Use a spray bottle to rewet the hair, apply the cream, and scrunch to reform your curls. It’s formulated with intensely nourishing coconut oil, which treats and styles curls without weighing them down. It’s also great for those with finer hair that feel like curl creams are too heavy for their curls. 

12. Aussie Miracle Curls Curl Cream 

Aussie Miracle Curls Cream

Made with coconut oil and jojoba oil, this curl cream is perfect for smoothing curly hair and adding shine. Comb a few squeezes into your curls whenever they’re feeling a bit dry or you need to tame frizz. 

13. OGX Quenching + Coconut Curls Curling Hair Butter

Quenching Coconut curls OGX

Thirsty strands won’t know what hit ‘em with this hydrating hair butter. This versatile hair treatment can be used as a moisturizing leave-in conditioner or rinsed out for use as a deep conditioner. 

14. Tresemme Curl Hydration Leave-In

Tresemme Curl Hydration

If you struggle with frizz and flyaways, you need to start using this leave-in for your curls ASAP. The humidity resistant formula enhances your natural curls, and leaves your hair looking soft and bouncy. 

15. Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Leave-In Conditioner

GArnier Fructis Sleek and Shine

Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Leave-In Conditioner is proof you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get great results. It’ll smooth, hydrate, and style your hair all in one sweet smelling product. *Adds to cart*

Looking for more hair advice and styling tips? Subscribe to our newsletter to step up your hair game. 

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