There’s nothing like a great curl cream. Silky and moisturizing, these hair products are a staple in many curly girls’ hair routines. They take you from “Hey, cool hair!” to “OMG what do you use for your hair?”
There are a few different types of curl creams – styling creams, curl smoothies, souffles, and puddings all fit into this category. If the color is opaque and it’s thicker than a lotion, but thinner than a butter, it’s safe to say that you’re looking at a curl cream. Some of them are denser than others. They often contain rich butters and oils, like shea, coconut, or jojoba.
Practically all hair types should have a curl cream in their arsenal, but different types are useful for different things. Lightweight creams and curl smoothies are lovely for finishing off your wash-and-gos – the LOC method has a C in it for a reason! Thicker curl creams, souffles, and puddings are ideal for twist-outs, braid-outs, and protective styles.
With so many curl creams on the market, how do you know which one to choose for your hair? We rounded up the 18 top curl creams of 2018. Your curls will thank you!
1. Curl Junkie Spiral Lotion Hair Styling Creme
For lightweight moisture and a boost of volume, reach for this curl cream from Curl Junkie. It’s great for wash-and-gos and can also be used to revive second day hair, adding some much-needed definition into your hair. Type 3s especially adore this cream.
2. Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie
This Maui Moisture curl smoothie features coconut oil, papaya butter, and plumeria extract. The rich formula is ideal for type 4 hair. It smooths and hydrates, so your curls will end up bouncy, soft, and frizz-free.
3. Obia Naturals Curl Moisture Cream
The Curl Moisture Cream provides deep nourishment without being too heavy or weighing down your hair, making it ideal for type 4 hair. It contains argan oil, burdock root, and grape seed oil to strengthen your hair while adding shine. Oh, and it’s pH balanced,, too!
4. Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Curl Defining Cream
This curl cream keeps it simple, yet effective. It features coconut oil, coconut milk, and shea butter, which work together to moisturize and define your hair. It works wonderfully for all hair types. Use it for the LOC method or super-defined wash-and-gos.
5. Aunt Jackie’s Coconut Creme Recipes Butter Creme
Looser curl types adore this cream, which is ideal for hydrating and protecting the ends of your curls as well as any damaged sections. It contains tons of nourishing ingredients, including coconut oil, shea butter, avocado, monoi, and rosemary extract.
6. SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
This OG SheaMoisture product remains a staple in many cabinets. When it comes to styling twist-outs, wash-and-gos, braids, and other styles, this curl-enhancing smoothie is as dependable as it gets. It features shea butter along with silk protein and neem oil, and it’s great for all curl types.
7. Mielle Pomegranate & Honey Twisting Souffle
Looking for the perfect curl cream for twist-outs? This souffle results in a secure hold while also moisturizing your curls, so your hair is defined, but still soft. Bonus: It adds a silky shine to your hair.
8. DevaCurl SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler
Type 2 or 3 curls will love this cream, which also doubles as one of the best stylers out there. Infused with coconut oil, the SuperCream results in gorgeously defined, soft curls. It also adds volume.
9. Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Curling Creme
This curl cream smells divine, but more importantly, it’s full of bomb ingredients like avocado and almond oil to make your curls pop. This formula dries quickly and results in soft, touchable, frizz-free curls. It’s light, but it works well for all hair types and textures.
10. Cantu Curl Activating Cream
Ladies on a budget, this one is for you. Cantu’s Curl Activating Cream is available at most drug stores for under $7, and it delivers consistently great results. It’s chock full nourishing oils like jojoba, sweet almond, argan, and avocado. It’s easy to use and versatile enough for all hair types.
11. Redavid Orchid Oil Dual Therapy
Many curly hair routines involve both cream and oil, so why not combine both into one dual product? Redavid Oil Dual Therapy has two sides – one side dispenses oil, while the other dispenses cream. You can use however much you need of each. Brilliant!
12. Controlled Chaos Curl Creme
Controlled Chaos may be a slightly lesser known brand, but this curl cream could be your new secret weapon. It’s wonderful for firmly defining your curls while also delivering a healthy dose of nutrients, including rosemary exact, green tea, aloe, and lavender. Use it for wash-and-gos, finger coils, or to style your second day curls.
13. Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-In Defining Creme
This luscious curl cream is perfect for type 2 and 3 hair. Unlike most curl creams, this one contains rice amino acids, which help seal the hair cuticle to prevent frizz. It also has shea butter, avocado, quinoa extract, and a bunch of other yummy good stuff. This cream is an ideal moisturizer for wash-and-gos.
14. Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding
How many curl creams also double as a skin cream?! Whipped Pudding can be used for your hair or for dry skin. It contains shea butter, cocoa butter, and aloe vera gel, and it’s great for achieving super-soft twists and braids. Rub the excess on your elbows, and your entire body will smell like dessert.
15. Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream
This affordable hair cream from Taliah Waajid has a short ingredients list, which is always a good sign. It contains shea butter, sage, and protein to strengthen, moisturize, and define your hair. It’s best for type 3 and 4 hair.
16. As I Am Double Butter Cream
As you might guess from the name, this is a very rich cream, containing both cocoa butter and shea butter along with jojoba oil, castor oil, and vitamin B5. It’s ultra-moisturizing, making it ideal for type 4 hair. Although the jar says that it’s a daily moisturizer, it may be too heavy for daily use – a little goes a long way! Use this for twist-outs, wash-and-gos, or refreshing older styles.
17. Curls Creme Brulee Whipped Curl Cream
This curl cream smells divine. It provides deep moisture, but the product itself is lightweight and leaves no build-up. This curl cream contains organic ingredients, like aloe juice, shea butter, and sweet almond oil. It’s great for twists and braids.
18. ORS Curls Unleashed Shea Butter & Honey Curl Defining Creme
This thick, yummy-smelling cream from ORS is lovely for wash-and-gos and twist-outs. It also works well for sealing and re-defining the ends of your hair on the second or third day. It’s perfect for type 3 or 4 hair, especially if you’d like to prevent shrinkage.