10 Best Styling Products For Each Curl Type: Kinks, Curls, Waves

mbg Beauty and Lifestyle Senior Editor By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty and Lifestyle Senior Editor
Alexandra Engler is the Beauty and Lifestyle Senior Editor. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department.
Someone with curly hair in the sun and sunglasses

Image by Sofie Delauw / Stocky

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Styling products in the natural and clean beauty space have come a long way—thanks to advances in technology, ingredients, and demand. Now, we can find really effective and sensorially beautiful hair care items that will tend to your strands while giving you the desired styling outcome you long for. 

And as anyone with a curl pattern (find your *exact* curl pattern here) knows, styling products are a near mandatory thing. They help tame frizz, control volume by amplifying it or toning it down, allow for hold, and have so many more wonderful properties. It, of course, takes time, patience, and practice to find your favorite products and cocktail them from there. Luckily, you'll have a head start with the list below, which has options for waves, curls, kinks, and coils. 

Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam

Those with waves tend to need to build up volume (waves tend to be flatter than other curl types), allow for movement, and won't dry down too crunchy. Mousses are a great way to do that, as the formulas are more weightless than gels or creams. This option comes with air-infused technology that transforms a liquid into a foam without hydrocarbon propellants.

Phomollient Styling Foam, Aveda ($23) 

Aveda styling foam
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Carol's Daughter Coco Cream Enhancing Moisture Butter

For extremely dry hair, step right up to this butter. It contains a blend of oils, waxes, and butters (like mango seed) to help feed and hydrate hair that needs it. It will impart definition, luster, and soft, stunning strands. 

Coco Cream Enhancing Moisture Butter, Carol's Daughter ($11.99)

carols daughter coco cream butter
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Briogeo Curl Charisma Leave-in Defining Cream

From the beloved and Sephora-favorite clean brand, this leave-in not only helps curlies get that much-desired spring, but it's infused with amino acids and rice proteins. What does that mean? It helps mend and tend to damage and brittleness. 

Curl Charisma Leave-in Defining Cream, Briogeo ($20)

briogeo curl cream
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Yarok Feed Your Curls Defining Crème

This formula blends together many of our favorite ingredients for hair: conditioning organic oils of jojoba, grapeseed, and meadowfoam; hydrating aloe vera; and strengthening argan oil. It's topped off with a lovely scent of sweet orange, bitter orange, and ylang ylang essential oils.

Feed Your Curls Defining Crème, Yarok ($49) 

yarok feed your curls
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Not Your Mother's Naturals Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Sea Minerals Weightless Mousse

If you need an extra dose of hydration with your styling mousse, this one's for you. It will give you the weightless hold you're looking for while infusing strands with conditioning and moisturizing agents from the sea veggies and coconut water. 

Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Sea Minerals Weightless Mousse, Not Your Mother's Naturals ($8.99)

NYMN blue sea kelp and pure coconut water
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Naturall Club Curl-Defining Flaxseed Gel With Yogurt

Flaxseed gel, we know, is filled with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. This option infuses that into a soft, silky, no-crunch gel. Available in flexible hold (for defining curly hair) and extreme hold (for defining kinky, coily hair).

Curl Defining Flaxseed Gel With Yogurt, Naturall Club ($19)

naturall club flaxseed gel
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Kevin Murphy Killer Waves

A wave-spray is essential for anyone who needs to add a touch more grit to fine or limp strands. These sprays can use salt, sugar, or other tacky substances like (as in the case of this one) yerba mate, to impart just enough texture so you can achieve that tousled effect. This option is also packed with antioxidants to keep hair protected. 

Killer Waves, Kevin Murphy ($32)

kevin murphy
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Design Essentials Nourishing Textures Almond & Avocado Curling Cream

Avocado is a nutrient-rich fruit we love for our diets, skin, and, yes, hair. It helps soften and feed delicate strands with its over 14 minerals; essential amino acids; omega-3s; and antioxidants like phytosterols; polyphenols; carotenoids; and vitamins B-complex, C, E, and K, to name a few. This lightweight cream is best for finger coiling, twist outs, and wash-and-go styling. 

Nourishing Textures Almond & Avocado Curling Cream, Design Essentials ($12.99)

design essentials curl cream
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Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Grow Thermal Protectant

Because curls are more prone to damage, it is essential that you protect strands whenever you use a hot tool (be it blow dryer or iron). This thermal protection product conditions hair with the beloved castor oil, as well as infusing plenty of other antioxidants and nutrients to keep your strands strong and safe.  

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Grow Thermal Protectant, Shea Moisture ($14)

shea moisture thermal protectant
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MIZANI True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Curl Gel

Got coils and prefer an oil-based gel? This option has a concentrated dose of coconut, marula, and olive oils—allowing for strong hold and lustrous payoff. As an added bonus for the environment, this formula is 93.5% biodegradable.

True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Curl Gel, MIZANI ($24)

mizani true texture hold gel
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