If you have natural hair, then it's no surprise to you that maintaining your curls can certainly be a process.
Whether you're opting for a quick wash-and-go or a twist-out, the importance of great curl enhancing creams shouldn't be overlooked. Sadly, every product on the shelf is not created equal or works on a myriad of textures.
We chopped it up with several hairstylist that celebrities like Tracee Ellis Ross, Solange, Kelis, Zendaya and BET'S own Debra Lee swear by. Not only did these experts reveal their top curl-enhancing creams, but tricks to help define your natural texture for your best hair day yet. Because, at the end of the day, we can't have you on the street with those curls looking anything less than poppin'!
Scroll down below to see what they said:
"The Beautiful Kinks Styling Crème Gelee is my favorite," says Andre Walker, who has worked with Oprah, Michelle Obama and Halle Berry. "I developed it as part of The Gold System to give the right amount of moisture, oil and hold to achieve the perfect coil, curl, or twist-out."
Buy It: Andre Walker Hair Beautiful Kinks Styling Crème Gelee ($16)
"Always use your fingers to style and apply leave-ins after you've cleansed and conditioned," shares Andre. "This will maintain your curl. Never comb or brush because it will break up your coil or curl causing it to frizz."
"[Products] need to be applied to wet hair," explains Kiyah. "When enhancing the curls, it's great to section from back upwards and take about 1-inch diameter sections. Then, let the hair naturally coil in each section. Finally, air drying always garners the best results."
"Aquage Curl Defining Cream is my favorite," says Tre' Major, who has worked with Amanda Seales, Skai Jackson, and Mary J. Blige. "I love it because it's just the right thickness to tame without heavy build up and has very light mist."
Buy It: Aquage Curl Defining Cream ($18)
"Hot oil conditions the scalp, follicles, and strands," shares Tre'. "It will help hair to remember the curl pattern and simply makes your hair more manageable. You can also use a diffuser to set, lock, and create volume."
"Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream is the best," mentions Anthony Dickey, who has worked with Angela Rye, Issa Rae and Jill Scott. "It's my favorite because it works on a range of textures and the consistency is thick to be able to stretch tightly wound coils. It doesn't leave the hair greasy or heavy for women with lighter, finer, looser, curlier, to wavy textures."
Buy It: Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream ($32)
"Do not disturb the hair during the drying process," Dickey emphasizes. "Whether you decide to sit under a portable table top dryer, use a diffuser, or air dry, or even a combination of the three. All fluffing and stretching should be done when the hair is completely dry."
Buy It: Bb. Curl (Style) Defining Creme ($31)
"The secret to curly hair is deep conditioning by using a heating cap and/or steamer," Maisha explains. "[When drying] diffusing helps to give a natural, air-dried look. Also, layering your product is the best way to enhance curl."
"The Pantene Prov-V Curl Defining Pudding is definitely my favorite," says Chuck Amos, who has worked with Tracee Ellis Ross, Alicia Keys and Gabourey Sidibe. "The formula goes straight to the core of your hair and brings out your curl's natural pattern from within. It also has a touch of hold which is great for keeping your curls throughout the day."
Buy It: Pantene Pro-V Gold Series Curl Defining Pudding ($8)
"To enhance curl patterns you can use a pencil or straw and flat wrap your hair around them," Chuck says. "Then slide them off to create perfect coils, and air dry."
"My absolute favorite curl-enhancing cream is Dove Nourishing Curls Whipped Cream," shares Cynthia Alvarez, who has worked with Dascha Polanco, KeKe Palmer and Tatyana Ali. "We all know it takes a village of products to tame and help define curls, and this is one of the amazing creamy products that won't leave your hair crunchy or dry."
Buy It: Dove Style + Care Curls Defining Mousse ($5)
"Layer your products starting with your leave-in conditioner," Cynthia explains. "I say this because leave-ins are designed to be applied to clean hair and are most effective and nourishing that way."
"Right now I'm loving drugstore brands," emphasizes Tym Wallace, who has worked with Zendaya Coleman, Brandy and Kelly Rowland. "Most recently for Taraji's hosting of 'Black Girls Rock' I used Dove Absolute Curls Supreme Crème Serum and Dove Absolute Curls Leave-in Detangler."
Buy It: Dove Absolute Curls Supreme Crème Serum ($5) and Dove Advanced Hair Series Quench Absolute Detangler ($6)
"When applying conditioner to hair, use a Denman brush to define to curls," says Tym. "You can also define curls with a two-strand twist or a single-comb twist."
"I love Obia Naturals Curl Enhancing Custard," says Felicia Leatherwood, who counts ladies like Lena Waithe, Teyonah Parris and Issa Rae as clients. "I just love how the hair feels moisturized and not dried out! I also love the natural shine on the hair and the way it makes your texture pop."
Buy It: Obia Naturals curl Enhancing Custard ($15)
"Always use a T-shirt to dry hair in the fall and winter months to keep your hair feeling soft and hydrated," Felicia shares. "During the spring and summer, you can get some extra hang time by letting your hair air dry."
Buy It: Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream ($9)
"I like to apply the curl cream on the hair while it's wet, then gently stretch the curls with the diffuser a bit while your drying," says Jawara. "Or, you can let it air dry for a very light, airy texture."
Buy It: Color Proof TruCurl Curl Perfecting Crème ($28)
"It's best to apply products on wet hair, so it can be absorbed into the hair follicle," Amoy says. "[I always] air dry or use a diffuser to enhance the natural curl."
"I love Smooth N' Shine's Foam Wrap," explains Larry Sims, who works with Gabrielle Union, Ayesha Curry and Sanaa Lathan. "It's super versatile and allows me to create multiple twist out textures and also defines natural curl patterns."
"I like to start from wet to dry with the foam wrap," explains Larry. "Then, I set the hair with double strand flat twist, box flat twist, or comb coil twist."
"My favorite curl enhancing curl cream is the suave conditioner," says Nelson Vercher, who has worked with Tamia, Ebonee Davis and Kelly Rowland. "I've been using it for years, and to this day, it's still my number one!"
Buy It: Suave Essentials Tropical Coconut Conditioner ($2)
"My tip for enhancing curls, kinks, and coils, is that these textures dry and look best when they are left alone!" Nelson emphasizes. "Leave the hair alone until it is completely dry, and if your texture is coils, two strand twist or twisting the curl around with your finger will help with definition."
(Photo: GlobalStock/Getty Images)
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