Truth be told, most curly girls are product junkies by heart. And not because we have loads of money to spend on hair care, but because it seems to take testing 15+ products before finding one that actually works for our hair type. We need moisture, definition, hydration and hold and while plenty of products claim to do all of these things, curly hair care is not a one-fits-all market.
Waves have different needs than curls, and curls have different needs than coils, but how do you know which one to pick? To save you a headache and a boatload of cash, we rounded up the top curl perfectors that actually work and are budget-friendly. No matter how loose or tight your spirals are, you’re sure to find a styler that works for you.
Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Elongating Flaxseed Gel
If shrinkage is a top concern, this flaxseed gel will elongate and stretch curls to give you maximum length.
$8 at Target
Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-In Defining Cream
If you prefer clean formulas in your hair care, try this super-food-infused defining cream.
$20 at Sephora
Cantu Coconut Curling Cream
A fan favorite, this curling cream is perfect for girls with coily and kinky textures.
$6 at Target
Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter
When dry strands need a little TLC, this hair butter conditions and nourishes so you can sport your best curls yet.
$17 at HSN
Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion
For smooth or sleek styles, this lightweight lotion adds moisture and eliminates frizz.
$20 at Naturally Curly
Curls Blueberry Bliss Twist N Shout Cream
Twist-outs are a curly girl’s best friend and this blueberry-infused cream keeps your twists defined and full of sheen.
$15 at Curls
Curly Sexy Hair Curl Power Curl Bounce Mousse
This foam mousse brings spring back into lifeless curls.
$12 at CVS
DevaCurl Beautiful Mess Curl Sculpting Pomade
Enhance any texture or slick down frizzy strands with this gel-pomade that is chock-full of moisture.
$20 at Sephora
Dove Absolute Curls Supreme Crème Serum
Adding a lightweight serum to your curly-hair routine will provide hydration and sheen without weighing strands down.
$6 at Walmart
Garnier Fructis Style Wonder Waves Wave-Enhancing Spray
On days when your hair is falling limp, spritz this wave enhancer to give waves a boost.
$4 at Walmart
It’s A 10 Miracle Styling Mousse
Ideal for fine or thin tresses, this mousse provides volume and hold.
$13 at Walmart
It's a 10.
Kinky-Curly Original Curling Custard
An oldie but goodie, this curling custard does it all. It holds, nourishes, moisturizes and defines from root to tip.
$15 at Target
Miss Jessie’s Multi Cultural Curls
A flake-free, flexible lotion that enhances all curl types. A great go-to for wash-and-go days.
$16 at Target
Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream
Infused with argan oil, this curl hydrator moisturizes and defines any curl type.
$13 at Sephora
Not Your Mother’s Curl Cream Tahitian Garden Glower & Mango Butter
Apply this combing cream before you detangle to decrease frizz and tangles.
$9 at Walgreens
Not Your Mother's Naturals.
Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Conditioner
Perfect spirals start in the shower. Replenish dry or stressed curls with this über-moisturizing conditioner.
$20 at Ulta
Pantene Curl Perfection Sculpting Gel
Slick down flyaways and tame frizz with a strong-hold gel like this one.
$5 at Walmart
SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Reparative Leave-in Conditioner
A great option for heat-styled or colored hair, the Jamaican black castor oil and shea butter in this restorative leave-in moisturize and strengthen hair so it doesn’t break or snap.
$11 at Sally Beauty
Taliah Waajid Curly Cream
This hydrating styler conditions and holds curls in place for days.
$7 at Target
Verb Curl Cream
If hold is a top concern for you, this lightweight cream will keep strands in place without the crunch.
$16 at Verb