Styling your curls au naturel has never been more on-trend. And yet, as any curly hair advocate will tell you, embracing your natural curls is often easier said than done. Sporting flawless curls and coils doesn’t happen overnight—it requires the right cocktail of products to suit your hair type, curl type, and curl regimen. And with so many curly hair products to sort through, finding the right options to give your curls the bounce and definition they deserve can feel pretty daunting. Fortunately, L'Oréal Professionnel’s Curl Expression range features products that make it easy to keep your curls looking fabulous.
If you’re on the hunt for the best curly hair products to help keep your natural curls and coils in enviable shape, you’ve come to the right place. Pinpointing which curl-boosting products to use doesn’t need to be overwhelming—just keep reading. Follow along as we unveil our top products for curly hair, including shampoos, masks, mousses, and more, for gorgeous curls and coils.
How Do I Find the Best Hair Products for Curly Hair?
When it comes to the state of your curls, always remember: Your curls are only as good as the products you choose to nourish and moisturize them with. Every at-home routine for curly hair should star a few essentials. These include a hydrating shampoo and a mix of moisturizing curly hair styling products to help smooth, moisturize, and define. The specific products that will suit your hair best are influenced by your hair type and curl type.
If you’ve been blessed with natural curls, it’s important to choose products for curly hair that are specifically formulated for your hair type. And there are three main facets of your hair type to keep in mind: porosity, texture, and density.
Porosity: Hair porosity refers to how well your hair absorbs and holds onto moisture. This is measured on a scale from low to high. Wavy and curly hair types are generally more porous; they may also be prone to dryness. Dryness can lead to unwanted frizz, breakage, and curls that look less defined, so it’s important to look for hydrating and nourishing hair products.
Texture: Although many people think of hair texture as the overall “feel” of your hair, it actually refers to the circumference of your hair strands. There are three main types of hair texture: fine, medium, thick/coarse. Curly hair products may be designed with a specific texture in mind, making it important to be familiar with yours.
Density: Sometimes confused with hair thickness, hair density is a measurement of how many hairs grow per square inch of your scalp. Hair density can be categorized as low, medium, or high and will impact how full your curls look, as well as the best products for your needs.
How does hair density impact the types of products you should use?
"Hair density can impact the level of lift you can get from color and lightener depending on if your hair is sparse, average, or thick also can affect the level of depth you can get with color . As for styling products depending on the density you can leave sparse hair limp or not get enough support with thick density. Determining the density is super important." - Tina Jimenez L'Oreal Professionnel Artist
Next, you can take it a step further and select your curly hair products based on your specific curl type. This matters because all curls aren’t the same. Products formulated with 2A-2B curl types in mind may not be the best pick for 4A types and vice versa. If you’re unsure of your curl type, ask your stylist at your next salon appointment, or check out this quick breakdown below:
- 2A-2B: Also known as “Formation 2 Open Waves,” these curls typically include subtle, tousled waves that hold their shape but can also be easily straightened.
- 2C-3A: These “Formation 3 Wavy” curls are generally large and loose and have more of a defined S-shape pattern.
- 3B: “Formation 4 Curly” types have a springy, ringlet shape to them and may be prone to dryness or frizz.
- 3C: Also known as “Formation 5 Very Curly,” this curl type is characterized by a tight, corkscrew-like pattern with plenty of natural volume. Like the 3B type, 3C curls also require moisture to help prevent frizz.
- 4A: The “Formation 6 Coiled” type features very densely-packed S-shape curls that may require a bit more maintenance to help keep them smooth and manageable.
- 4B: This type, also known as the “Formation 7 Very Coiled,” starts to take on a more noticeable Z-shaped pattern, rather than an S-shaped curl pattern, and also requires lots of moisture and care.
- 4C: The “Formation 8 Zig Zag Coiled” type features a tight zig-zag curl pattern that can be particularly fragile. This type may benefit from heavier curly hair products, like thick creams, oils, and leave-in treatments, between washes.
8 Curly Hair Products for Added Bounce and Definition
If you’re looking to supercharge your curls and coils with hydration, L'Oréal Professionnel’s Curl Expression line is not to be missed. This curly hair innovation features a complete portfolio of curly hair products for women and men. This includes two shampoos, two masks, a leave-in cream, cream-in-mousse, activator gel, and curl-reviving spray. With these formulas, the line can be cocktailed to meet every curly hair need across the spectrum.
Infused with glycerin, urea, and hibiscus seed, the curl-loving range produces immediate results for 2x more conditioning,* 11x more definition,* and 48-hour frizz-free protection. If you’re a curl lover who wears your curly locks loud and proud, continue reading. Ahead, we’re covering how our Curl Expression line can help you achieve enviable curls.
Cleanse & Treat: Intense Moisturizing Shampoo
Our Intense Moisturizing Shampoo is the perfect first step in your at-home Curl Expression hair regimen. Formulated without sulfates or parabens, this curly hair shampoo gently cleanses while providing essential hydration to your curly locks.
Cleanse & Treat: Anti-Buildup Cleansing Shampoo
For another shampoo option for curly hair and coils, try Curl Expression Anti-Buildup Cleansing Shampoo. Sulfate-free, silicone-free, and paraben-free, this shampoo formula helps to gently eliminate buildup.
Cleanse & Treat: Intensive Moisturizer Mask
After cleansing curly hair, it’s time for the Intensive Moisturizer Mask. This paraben-free hair mask is specially formulated for curly hair and helps to deeply hydrate for a natural-feeling result.
Cleanse & Treat: Intensive Moisturizer Rich Mask
Our Curl Expression Intensive Moisturizer Rich Mask is another hair product for curly hair that’s not to be missed. Also paraben-free, this mask is expertly formulated to intensely hydrate for a luxurious feel.
Cleanse & Treat: Long-Lasting Moisturizer Leave-In Cream
Next up is the Curl Expression Long-Lasting Moisturizer Leave-In Cream. The ultimate leave-in product for curly hair and coils, this paraben-free leave-in cream provides hair with 2x more hydration when used as part of your curly hair regimen.
Style: 10-In-1 Cream-In-Mousse
L'Oréal Professionnel’s 10-In-1 Cream-In-Mousse delivers the best of both worlds: a deep care cream combined with the fluffiness of a mousse. This multi-benefit mousse is perfect for delivering soft hold and hydration to curly locks. With just one action, it provides 10 curly hair benefits, including 11x more definition,** strength, deep hydration, and humidity protection for curls and coils.***
Style: Definition Activator Gel
The Curl Expression Definition Activator Gel also makes the list of our top curly hair styling products to incorporate into your daily routine for bouncy, defined curls. This silicone-free and paraben-free formula provides definition from roots to ends when used as part of your styling regimen.
Revive: Curls Reviver Spray
Curl Expression Curls Reviver Spray is another star product in our Curl Expression line. This lightweight spray instantly revives curls and coils and extends curl definition for a soft, natural feel. It can be used daily, or as desired, as part of your curly hair styling routine for 6X more curl definition** and 48-hour frizz-free protection.
Pro Tip: For a simple curly hair routine, use the Curl Expression Moisturizing Shampoo first to gently cleanse and remove buildup. Next, apply the Intensive Moisturizer Mask to deeply hydrate, and rinse thoroughly. To style, apply the Cream-In-Mousse for deep care and hydration, followed by the Curl Reviver Spray for added definition.
Ingredients to Look Out for in Curly Hair Products
Now that you’ve met the products in our Curl Expression hair products for curly hair, let’s do a slightly deeper dive into the formulas. Below, learn about a few star ingredients you can look for in the line.
- Glycerin: This humectant works as an effective moisturizer for curly hair to help deliver long-lasting hydration.
- Urea H: This ingredient provides essential moisture while helping to protect delicate curls and coils.
- Hibiscus Seed: This plant-based ingredient helps provide the moisture, strength, and softness your curls require.
To learn more about how to achieve salon-quality hair at home, check out this article on how to upgrade your at-home hair care routine in just a few easy steps.
*vs. non-conditioning shampoo when using deep moisturizing shampoo + rich mask; clarifying shampoo + mask or 10-in-1 mousse
**vs. non-conditioning shampoo
***Up to 230°C/450°F