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11 best hair products to make curls last for days

Ditch the bun on day three and let your curls fly free.
Mother and her two daughters sitting on her lap looking away
Peathegee Inc / Getty Images

If you're anything like me, your hair is usually thrown in a bun or some sort of updo after two to three days of wearing out natural curls. Between sleep, weather and everyday wear, the curls start to get frizzy, stretch out and become harder to manage for longer periods of time.

With so many products for curly hair on the market right now, it can be hard to decide what will work best to give your curls life for more than a few days. That's why we reached out to several experts for their tips on maintaining longer-lasting curls, along with a few product picks to make the process easier.

Tips on how to achieve long-lasting curls

Every expert agrees on one thing: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! In order to obtain longer-lasting curls, you need to have moisturized and hydrated hair to avoid frizz and breakage.

"Routine hydration promotes long-lasting moisture and nourishment for curls," celebrity hairstylist Marcia Hamilton, whose clients include Alicia Keys, Tracee Ellis Ross and Willow Smith, told Shop TODAY. "[Treatments like hair masks and leave-in conditioners] form a protective barrier around your strands to help block out those things that can harm your curls like frizz, breakage and UV damage."

Another thing the experts agree on? Regular trims! "People hate to do it because it makes [the hair] shorter and tighter," said Nelson Vercher, hairstylist to stars like Jennifer Lopez, Chanel Iman and Naomi Campbell. "In general, curly hair is on the dryer side, so you need to keep those ends fresh."

When looking for products to help make your curls last longer, there's more to think about than you may realize. "The product you use isn’t just about your curl; it’s also about your hair type and your hair needs," celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein said.

While you may want immediate results after one use of a new product, like anything else, you have to be patient before you see results. "Just like how visiting the gym once won’t instantly give you improved muscle tone, encouraging your curl pattern is something you have to do consistently," celebrity hairstylist Vernon François, whose clients include Serena Williams and Lupita Nyong'o, told us. "Stick with it, keep going. Buying [the] product is just the start."

The final tip? "Wear it curly! Embrace your curls," said George Kyriakos, veteran hairstylist and founder of in-home beauty company Style Bookings.

Expert-approved products for long-lasting curls

1. Rene Furterer Sublime Curl Nutri-Activating Cream

This curl cream is made with evening primrose oil and acanthus extract to help define your curls while protecting them from frizz. "You're really going to get the hybrid experience in terms of conditioning and styling at the highest levels," said Vercher.

2. Moroccanoil Curl Control Mousse

Curly hair specialist Leslie Ellen recommends this mousse to help keep your curls together. The best part? No sticky residue left behind!

3. Ouidad Botanical Boost Curl Energizing & Refreshing Spray

Consistent hydration is important for longer-lasting curls, which is why you'll need something like a light spray for days down the line. Hamilton recommends this spray from Ouidad, which detangles, defines the curl pattern and rehydrates your hair to keep it looking fresh.

4. Eva NYC Bounce Back Curl Reviving Mist

Kyriakos recommends Eva NYC for affordable products that are not only good for your hair, but also for the environment! These vegan and cruelty-free products are packaged in 100% recyclable aluminum. Kyriakos also likes the Gotta Bounce Curl Defining Cream.

5. Vernon François Conditioner

Rubenstein recommends François' products for every kind of curl. Starting with a hydrating moisturizing shampoo and conditioner is a must, she told us.

6. Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly

Hamilton also recommends this curl control jelly for soft and elongated curls. You won't have to worry about having crunchy curls with this one. Blueberry Bliss isn't just a play on the color; it actually smells like the summery fruit!

7. Ecru New York Curl Perfect Defining Styling Potion

If you have looser curls that just need a little bounce, Ellen recommends this Ecru New York styling potion along with the Rejuvenating Moisture Mist.

8. Redken One United Multi-Benefit Treatment Spray

François recommends this multi-benefit treatment spray from Redken because it "detangles, conditions and reduces dryness for hair that's easier to manage." This spray can be used in over two dozen ways, including as a leave-in conditioner and heat protectant.

9. Aunt Jackie's Curl Mane-tenance Defining Curl Whip

Vercher calls this curl whip "versatile" because it can be used for any type of curl you're trying to achieve. After applying this to your hair, blow-dry with a diffuser for tighter curls or finger-style and air-dry for elongated curls.

10. Mizani Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner

Celebrity hairstylist Enzo Angileri recommends this leave-in conditioner to help keep your hair moisturized while achieving that ideal curl. This lightweight leave-in is also designed to help repair damage, treat dryness and control frizz.

11. Fekkai Shea Butter Curl Defining Gel Creme

Both Kyriakos and Angileri recommend products from Fekkai's shea butter line. While Kyriakos recommends any product in the collection, Angileri really likes the gel cream. You can confidently apply this creme in your hair without worrying about stickiness or flakiness.

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