Best products for curly hair 2022: Shampoo, conditioner, oils and masks

·7 min read

They say your curls are your crown and that couldn’t be more true.

It’s been two years since I finally put down the straighteners and embraced my coils and while its taken a bit of getting used to, I feel confident in my decision to embrace my natural locks (and my hair is thankful too).

A curly haired person knows that no two days are the same, and no matter what you might try, whether it be the plopping technique (where you use a dry towel to soak excess product) or scrunching (literally scrunching your hair to get rid of excess product and refine curls) there’s no saying what your curl pattern could look like.

Finding out your curl type can be super helpful in finding the best products to suit you. The curl scale has always been more complex than straight hair and can seem pretty daunting at first. It ranges from 2A to 4C, with the 2s being waves, 3s being corkscrew curls and 4s being kinks and coils. Determining your curl pattern will help you to find out the porosity of your hair which in turn shows you how much product your hair needs for the optimum curl.

Some say that when you find the curl routine to suit you, you should never let it go - because lord knows it’s taken a while to perfect. But if you ask me, it doesn’t need to be gospel because there are so many different methods and innovation has come in leaps and bounds.

There are however, some cardinal rules when it comes to curls, according to Only Curls founder Lizzie Carter.

  1. Avoid dry brushing: So many people with waves/curls don’t even realise they have curly hair as they have spent a lifetime brushing them out. Brushing curly hair once dry breaks up the natural curl pattern and causes masses of frizz. Instead try detangling your hair in the shower with lots of conditioner and a wide tooth comb. Give it a rinse and don’t brush/comb again until your next wash day.

  2. Protect your curls at night: In addition to absorbing moisture from your hair and skin, cotton pillowcases can tug a little on the hair as you move in the night. A silk or satin bonnet, or a silk pillowcase will help keep your hair hydrated and your curls intact.”

  3. Instead of washing: REFRESH! Rather than the entire wash process, a simple refresh can help redefine and hydrate the curls. To do this spritz the hair with water using a misting bottle. The water will help reactivate the products already on your hair. You can then gently detangle any curl clumps, and scrunch in a little more leave in crème/conditioner and/or gel to help redefine and hydrate the curls.

Shop the best products for curly hair below

Twist by Ouidad Boss Bounce Light As Air

Twist is the brand new range from Ouidad and it’s truly sensational. The Boss Bounce styling cream is one of the heroes. It’s super lightweight but delivers extreme hydration and gets rid of any signs of frizz. I like to apply this onto my hair while damp, then scrunch for the perfect curl. It contains Shea butter to moisturise, jojoba oil to nourish and keep curls healthy and pataua fruit oil for intense hydration. Your curls will be super defined after this and it won’t leave a cast as it simply melts right into your hair.

Buy now £13.00, ASOS

Living Proof Curl Shampoo

As a curly girl I know all too well the dangers of over cleansing and shampooing. Let it be known that I won’t do anything to compromise my curls and that’s why I have to champion this shampoo because it lightly cleanses while delivering hydration. It’s a creamy low lather shampoo which doesn’t strip curls of their natural moisture. If anything, it will leave your curls looking healthy and defined.

Buy now £31.00, Feel Unique

Bread Macadamia Oil

It’s no secret that curly hair is far drier than straight hair, so it order to maintain the bounciest curls, we need large injections of hydration. So, I give you Bread’s new Macadamia Oil. This is the perfect dry and frizzy hair remedy and it’s pretty versatile. Use it as a conditioning pre-wash, leave it in as a treatment oil, or add a few drops to your hair mask as a fatty acid booster for insanely soft hair. It also smells like a dream.

Buy now £25.00, Cult Beauty

Moo & Yoo Miracle Curl Cream

This product quite literally going to give your hair a second life. It’s so lightweight it feels like a cloud and but it really ensures that your curls are nourished and frizz free. The formula is infused with Marula Oil, Shea butter and Icelandic Moss to condition and define your curls. I put this through my hair while it’s wet and then let my hair dry naturally. If you’re a fan of the refresh technique, this is the perfect product to use for it.

Buy now £26.00, Harrods

Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm

This product is designed to add a hit of hydration for drier and tighter coils and it works like magic. The balm delivers intense moisture and can reduce breakage up to 80 per cent. Shea butter offers nourishment, while Murumuru conditions and restores strength to your tresses. It contains Smart Release technology which feeds the moisturising goodness to each strand, while rosehip oil and keratin help to strengthen. I like to leave this on with a shower cap for maximum absorption for three to five minutes. This is truly one of my favourite curl products ever.

Buy now £18.30, Look Fantastic

Pacifica Pineapple Curl Refresher Spritz

Those who swear by the refresh technique, pay attention now, this one is for you. For the days between washes, this spray will keep your hair revitalised. It contains linseed oil to hydrate and seal in moisture, vitamin B5 to help strengthen hair and boost shine, while the namesake pineapple extract enzymes help to restore dry and brittle hair. There’s also hyaluronic acid for adding an injection of hydration. This can be used on wet or dry hair and works best with the scrunching method, or by simply curling your hair around your fingers.

Buy now £17.00, Cult Beauty

Boucleme Protein Booster

Boucleme has established themselves as one of the best curl brands in the UK and the brand’s newest release certainly lives up to the hype. This booster can be added to your current curl care routine and it works like a charm. It uses hydrolysed vegetable protein to strengthen and restructure hair at the inside of the hair shaft. If you’ve suffered heat damage or your hair is coloured, this will be a game-changer to leave your hair nourished and enhanced. I like to add a couple of drops to my hair mask and either rinse it out or leave it in.

Buy now £26.00, Boucleme

Kevin Murphy Killer Curls

This truly does what it says on the tin and leaves you with incredible killer curls. This is a hardworking anti-frizz cream that is so light your hair will thank you. Bergamot fruit oil stimulates the scalp and increases circulation, Paraguay leaf replenishes moisture, watermelon extract repairs and strengthens, aloe vera leaf juice improves scalp condition, and baobab seed oil improves elasticity. So consider frizz out of the question.

Buy now £34.00, Cult Beauty

Kristin Ess Hair Frizz Management Cleansing Conditioner

The minute this formula touched my hair I couldn’t help but fall in love. But seriously, it left my hair feeling so soft and smooth. It’s cleansing properties is ideal if you’re a fan of a co-washing (washing your hair with conditioner and not shampoo). It does a great job of detangling, smoothing and eliminating frizz. For best result, leave on for three minutes then wash out.

Buy now £13.00, Boots

Andrew Fitzimmons Fantasy Curls Mask

PSA: celebrity hair stylist Andrew Fitzsimmons has released a full curl range to the delight of curly haired people everywhere. This literally feeds your tresses everything it needs to stay bouncy and frizz free. It leaves hair looking healthy, shiny and helps to build powerful hydrogen and ionic bonds outside of the keratin hair structure to increase elasticity and flexibility. Leave on for five to seven minutes and use with a shower cap on for maximum results.

Buy now £8.67, Boots