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Taming curly hair isn't an exact science, and whether you're dealing with frizzy, dry or unruly curls — or all of the above — finding the perfect curly product cocktail can take a bit of trial and error.
After witnessing just about every curly hair conundrum, these hairstylists have an impressive arsenal of product solutions up their sleeves, and they're even willing to share. Even better? All the products are available at your favorite drugstore.
- 1. Shea Moisture 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil, $9, Target
Also available for $10 at Ulta.
"This oil is key for revitalizing dry, curly strands and gives them an extra silky shine. A little goes a long way, so apply (about a quarter-size drop) from the mid-shaft to ends and run the remainder through the hairline and part for added smoothness," said Glamsquad creative director, Giovanni Vaccaro.
- 2. Cantu Coconut Curling Cream, $6, Amazon
"Cantu's Coconut Curling Cream is good for defining curls, but it's also great to use for those wash-and-go days," said hairstylist Jerica Edwards. "It's a great standalone product, but it can also be layered with your favorite hair oil or defining gel to create any signature style."
- 3. John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Daily Styling Spray, $7 (Normally $9), Amazon
"I love this product because it fights the frizz that tends to come along with curly hair and also enhances natural curls while leaving hair shiny and smooth," said celebrity hairstylist Kristin Heitkotter, whose clients include Gina Rodriguez, Camilla Alves and Molly Sims. "Spray product from scalp to ends and scrunch into hair to refresh curls."
- 4. Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey, $10, Amazon
"I love this product because it add maximum shine and conditions hair without weighing it down. It also has a great citrus-y scent," said celebrity hairstylist Nai'vasha Johnson, whose clients include Yara Shahidi, Logan Browning and Uzo Aduba.
- 5. Kenra Curl Defining Cream No. 5, $14, Amazon
"This product is good for wavy to curly hair. It refines and separates curls and waves, tames frizz and flyaways and adds control and shine. It's especially great for humid weather," said Kathy Benghanem, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Gemini 14 Salon in New York City. "Apply one to two pumps of product to damp hair, then diffuse or air dry."
- 6. Infusium Repair & Renew Leave-In Creme, $7, Amazon
"Use a few drops (about the size of a nickel or quarter) of Infusium Repair and Renew Leave-in Creme on wet hair after shampooing and conditioning to smooth split ends and add moisture to any dry areas," said Detra Smith, artistic director for Hot Tools. "This product works well whether you like to air dry or blow dry with a diffuser. It also works well as a blowout cream if you want a smooth, straight look."
- 7. Gliss Hair Repair Nutritive Oil, $20 (Pack of 3), Amazon
"Gliss Hair Repair Weightless Oil keeps curls soft and healthy thanks to an intense-care formula that deeply restores moisture while fighting frizz," said celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims. "It's ideal for damaged or overprocessed hair.
- 8. Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Styling Cream, $25 (Normally $26), Amazon
"Curls need change with the seasons. To help battle winter dehydration, I like to use cream-based styling products like Ouidad’s Advanced Climate Control Styling Cream," said Scott Frelund, curl expert at Gene Juarez Salon & Spas. "This lightweight, light-hold product gives the perfect amount of moisture to combat winter dryness."
- 9. Garnier Fructis Style Curl Sculpt Conditioning Cream Gel, $3, Walmart
"This works for all curl types and gives you bouncy, frizz-free curls with a great smell," said Benghanem. "Apply a quarter size amount on slightly damp hair, then use a comb to distribute it from root to tip. Let air dry or dry with a diffuser."
Want more curly hair products? Pick up a curl cream one editor swears by!
This story was originally published on Jan. 22, 2018.