When it comes to reaching Rihanna-level curls, products are everything. Any celeb pro or beauty blogger will tell you that finding the right products for your unique curl pattern is half the battle.
In comparison to the few popular African-American hair products in the early ’90s (think: Pink Lotion, Just for Me, Blue Magic and African Heritage oil), thankfully, today’s beauty industry is a lot more inclusive. Curly hair has become a legit subdivision of the hair market with companies like DevaCurl, Shea Moisture and Gabrielle Union’s Flawless using science to create beauty products specifically for curly hair. These brands, as well as the larger beauty manufacturers, are also much more natural than their early ’90s counterparts. Shea butter, coconut oil, argan oil—for the most part, you know what you’re putting in your hair.
While there’s more products for everybody to find their must-haves, everything doesn’t work for everybody. Also, most people have more than one curl pattern, so finding the right products is a personalized journey that no one can complete for you. But, it’s nice to have a comprehensive list of reviews from someone that learned through trial and error.
So, I tried fifty plus products to bring you the resource I wish I had when I went heat-free for three months. Check out my must-haves below!
Disclaimer: My hair features tight curls, somewhere between 3C and 4A (Check out our celebrity hair graph here), so the products below were best for my texture of hair.
CURLY HAIR ESSENTIALS
A wide tooth comb is a must, but you don’t want to use it all of the time. As I transitioned my curls were…well…delicate, and by combing out my hair I would easily lose my curls. According to Angela Stevens, using your fingers to get conditioner through is fine. Save combing for when you’re styling your hair.
Conair Impressions Floral Volume Comb, $2.99Moisture was by far my biggest obstacle. My soaked up everything like a sponge, and by noon, it would be crispy—not cute. This thick (but not too thick) formula has a few of favorite things: avocado, shea butter, coconut oil and sunflower oil.
Mane Choice Doesn’t Get Much Butter Than This, $15.99
If you’re edges aren’t laid, then your hairstyle is pretty much ruined. I keep a toothbrush, specifically for my hair, in my bathroom, car and makeup bag.
PLUS ULTRA Hello Gorgeous Bamboo Toothbrush, $5.99
When you’re styling your hair, you’ll need to rewet your stands, making a spray bottle a must-have.
Salon Care 360 Mist Sprayers, $6.99