Curly hair can be a pain if you don’t have the right products and tools to keep it tame. I have always had a wave in my hair, but in my adult years, that wave has turned into full-blown curls. That means I’ve had to find the best products for naturally curly hair, and I’m here to share!

Products for naturally curly hair

There are three things you need to take care of your curly hair:

  1. The best curly hair products
  2. The best tools for curly hair
  3. A great method for applying these and creating stellar style

With that in mind, let’s cover my favourite must-have curly hair products!

Drybar Prep Rally

I fell in love with Drybar Prep Rally after getting a bottle of it in my Fall 2019 FabFitFun Box. I’ve come across a lot of great products that help keep my hair untangled, but none have worked as fast as this bad boy.

Seriously, I had this pile up happening at the nape of my neck that I just couldn’t seem to get straightened out and a few sprays and five minutes later it was all fixed. Better yet, it hasn’t come back since I started using it. It’s basically a miracle spray.

If I could only pick one thing from this list, it would be Prep Rally. Seriously, I’ve tested out using it as my only product and not only does it fix all the little kinks but my curls come out nice in it too. I would highly recommend this.

OUAI Leave-in Conditioner

Having curly hair can be a curse as much as it’s a blessing. I find that curly hair almost always looks nice, regardless of how messy it is, pending you take care of it. But it can easily become a tangled mess. Recently, I had been looking for a leave-in conditioner and FabFitFun answered my prayers.

I had been looking for the perfect leave-in conditioner when I came across the OUAI Leave-in Conditioner, and it truly is an amazing product for curly hair. I got it in my Spring FabFitFun box, and since then I’ve had to replace it… twice.

I get terrible tangles at the nape of my neck due to my thick curly hair, but they’ve been getting much better since I started using this leave in conditioner on my damp hair and it’s worked like a charm. This is my main product—if I could only have one this would be it!

Bumble and Bumble Pre-Style Primer

If you have the kind of hair that doesn’t require leave-in conditioner, or you’re running a style where you want a lighter primer (like if you’re going to use a heavier product like the gel-oil listed below) then the Bumble and Bumble Pre-Style Primer is an excellent choice for products for naturally curly hair.

I’ve been using this light styling spray for the last three or four years and it hasn’t failed me yet. While I would say that the Ouai leave-in conditioner is my go-to curly hair product simply because you really can use it alone and call it a day.

With the primer, you definitely require another product to do the styling heavy work. Likewise, this bad boy isn’t great at detangling your hair.

This primer spray is also great if you need to liven up your style briefly or re-style in a pinch the next morning (pending you didn’t flatten all over your curls during the night). I’ve definitely used this to restyle and it’s been a lifestyle for a quick pick-me-up.

Oribe Matte Waves

Oribe Matte Waves is my absolute favourite must-have product for curly hair. If I could only pick one product off this list it would be a tough choice between this and the Ouai conditioner—ultimately, I’d go with the conditioner because I get such tangled hair and this product is WAY MORE EXPENSIVE.

If you’re looking for curls, and I mean real curls, Oribe Matte Waves is the product to use to get them. I keep a bottle of this on-hand as a “special occasion” product for when I’m headed out on the town, meeting a new client or simply need to feel amazing!

Bumble and Bumble Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil

The Bumble and Bumble Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil is thicker and greasier than the Oribe Matte Waves but together they make a perfect pair.

This curly hair product is best used away from the roots, and when I use it goes on the ends of my hair and helps produce a luscious springy curl. One of the things I love most about this Bumble and Bumble product is the shine that it gives to my hair.

Plus it lasts forever. Every time I read “just use a dab” I roll my eyes because companies have no idea how thick and long my hair is—seriously, every stylist I’ve ever been to has commented about how thick my hair is and it falls a mere inch or two above my hips! But in the case of this product for curly hair, a tiny bit is truly enough.

Bumble and Bumble Curl Defining Cream

This curl-defining cream is much like the Living Proof No Frizz cream, but if you as me to recommend one over the other, I’d go with Living Proof. Even still, some of my curly-haired friends swear by this defining cream, and the Bumble and Bumble line really is a friend to those with frizzy, curly hair.

This curly hair product is also nice because it helps protect your hair from drying out from sun exposure (which is a real problem in those harsh dry climate summers), and helps provide nourishing elements to help keep your hair healthy.

Best Tools for Curly Hair

All the best products in the world will do absolutely nothing if you have the wrong styling tools. The good news is that when it comes to curly hair there are not a ton of tools you need, but these ones are absolutely necessary:

Blow Dryer with Diffuser

There is no point in using a blow dryer on curly hair unless you have a diffuser to use with it. No diffuser is simply going to result in a half-curled head of hair, maybe, but mostly straight hair with way too much volume. What I can promise, is that it won’t look anything like what you want.

With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure you get yourself a hairdryer with a diffuser—that’s the circular head with holes and prongs.

To use a diffuser properly, you tip your hair forward and down then gather the hair into the diffuser and bring the dryer up to your head. I rotate the diffuser around my head in 30-second intervals until my hair is almost dry and let the air do the rest.

You’ll also want to make sure your blow dryer has at least two settings. You’ll want to defuse it on the lowest speed with the lowest heat setting to get the best results.

A good blow dryer doesn’t mean it has to be an expensive one, as with many things what really counts is how you use it. Something like the NITION Ceramic Hair Dryer will do the trick for under $50.

Looking for more tools to create stellar waves? Check these bad boys out!

Wide Tooth Comb

A wide-tooth comb is my favourite tool for curly hair. It does a lot for your hair, even if you don’t have any product.

A lot of days I simply spray in some leave-in conditioner and brush my hair out with a wide-tooth comb. If I’m feeling particularly fancy, I might add in some Living Proof. Then I throw on a pair of my fancy sweats and voila, it’s another day at the home office!

Detangling Brush

Managing curly hair can be a serious task, and that’s where a detangling brush comes in. The close-but-flexible teeth help get nasty knots, especially the ones that I get close to my neck.

But I would note that the small, close teeth on the detangler mean that it brushes a lot of curls out. With that in mind, I only use this tool when I’m not headed out for something special because it really does deflate my curls.

Invisibobble Original Duo Pack

I will never use a normal elastic hairband again after using the Invisibobble traceless hairband. My long, curly hair always gets bunched up and wrapped around my hair bands and I end up having to pull out a chunk of hair with the band. It’s annoying and painful.

But the Invisibobble bands are the perfect hair accessory because not only do they hold the top knot that I wear pretty much every day up, but they also slide right out. These hair ties replace your regular old elastic hair bands like a charm. It’s amazing, No fuss!

Styling Curly Hair

While curly hair is truly a blessing, styling it how you want it is really a game of trial and error. But so long as you have the best products for naturally curly hair, you should be ok!

I have a number of styling techniques and curly hair product combinations that I use depending on what I want my hair to look like—beach waves, corkscrews, fully and curly, there’s a tool and product combination that works for everything.

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What are your must-have products for naturally curly hair? Share them in the comments below so I can add them to my list!

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