The 11 Best Curl Creams For Hydrated, Soft, Frizz-Free Strands
To get curls just right, sometimes it takes more than one product. (Or for some of us, several.) But there is something oh-so satisfying about finding your perfect product cocktail—in fact, we might argue it's as satisfying as an actual cocktail. And the cornerstone of many a curly girls' product lineups is the curl cream. Sure, you might need a frizz-controlling spray, a hydrating serum, heat protectant, or any number of curl products—but the curl cream is what gives you that definition and hold we all so adore. Without it, springs run the risk of looking, well, unsprung.
We rounded up our favorites, here, with options that will work for any curl type.
EVOLVh SuperCurl Defining Cream
This silicone-free curl cream smooths down cuticles with shea butter, coconut oil, and red grape seed oil. This helps eliminate frizz (a must for curlies) while nurturing delicate strands. Plus, since it's sans silicones, you won't have annoying buildup to worry about.
SuperCurl Defining Cream, EVOLVh ($12)
Miss Jessie's Original Quick Curls
For those of us who air dry and wash-and-go, we are often looking for products to help speed things up, no? Sitting around with damp curls is not fun. This cream serum acts as a no-fuss curl enhancer that you can slick on to get things going.
Quick Curls, Miss Jessie's Original ($15.45)
Not Your Mother's Curl Talk Defining Cream
We love this for the rice complex, which blends together rice proteins, keratin, and amino acids to give strands extra strength. As for the hold? Just enough to define springs, but with plenty of elasticity for movement.
Curl Talk Defining Cream, Not Your Mother's ($8.99)
Innersense Beauty Quiet Calm Curl Control
Come for the blend of certified organic shea butter, rooibos tea, and honey extract—stay for the scent of certified organic orange flower oil and frangipani. These organic botanics come together for a hydrating mix that also offers antioxidant protection.
Quiet Calm Curl Control, Innersense Beauty ($26)
Adwoa Baomint Moisturizing Curl Cream
Ah, where to begin with this delicious concoction? Let's start with honey, which conditions hair with vitamins and minerals. Then it layers in amino acids from silk to help tend to damage and lock in water. Then it tops it off with a cocktail of baobab, spearmint, peppermint, and wintergreen oils.
Baomint Moisturizing Curl Cream, Adwoa ($32)
As I Am Twist Defining Cream
For twists and twist outs, this defining option hydrates with sunflower and castor oil—while adding in a protecting layer of antioxidants from phytosterols and sugar beet root.
Twist Defining Cream, As I Am ($12)
Curl Smith Curl Defining Styling Souffle
It's hard not to get lost in this one's ingredient label—every active is just so good. There's avocado oil and aloe for moisture; then it's blended with Irish Moss for frizz control, babassu oil for conditioning, and flaxseed for elasticity and definition.
Curl Defining Styling Souffle, Curl Smith ($27)
Kristen Ess Ultra Light Curl Defining Cream
For looser waves and curls, opt for a light, movable option—so as not to add too much weight. This was formulated for fine to medium curls, so it offers just enough hold without imparting the crunch.
Ultra Light Curl Defining Cream, Kristen Ess ($14)
Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
A fan favorite, here. Trust us, your strands will simply drink up this botanical blend—especially if your curls are on the thick, full side. Coat strands post shower for a soft, silky feel and bouncy springs.
Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Shea Moisture ($11)
Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Curl Defining Butter
Agave nectar, avocado oil, and honey make up this whip-thick butter. (With one touch of the product you'll be in love with the rich texture.) It's beloved by fans and users for how simply moisturizing it is; if you are on the hunt for a product to hydrate dry hair, this one's for you.
Hair Milk Curl Defining Butter, Carol's Daughter ($11.99)
Kevin Murphy Killer Curls
Ideal those with curls that are right in between waves and springs—sure you need the lightness to allow your waves to move, but you also need a touch more hold to get the curls in place. This does so with elasticity and hydration to boot—not to mention some antioxidant protection in there too.
Killer Curls, Kevin Murphy ($34)
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.