Editor Tip: To amp up the volume after a long day, spray your hair with a little bit of water to reactivate the mousse for added shape and dimension.
Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, jojoba oil
Best for Protective Styles: Pattern Styling Cream
Why We Love It: We love a product with a long, honest resumé, and Tracee Ellis Ross isn’t afraid to list out exactly what her hard-working, curl-conscious Pattern Beauty haircare can do. Pattern’s Styling Cream for Curly & Coily Hair is good for twist-outs, braids, bantu knots — deep breath — locs, air-drying, and more.
Editor Tip: When it comes to truly iconic formulas, versatility is a must, and the professionals agree this one does it all. “It’s awesome for curly hair to detangle and to allow the styling cream to help define curls adding a nice luster,” notes Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist Alexander Armand. It’s packed with hydrating shea butter and almond oil to boot!
Key Ingredients: Rosemary leaf extract, Kahai oil, shea butter
Best for Wash and Go: Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream
Why We Love It: There’s no doubt that Allure readers love Moroccanoil’s Curl Defining Cream. If you need further proof, know that 2022 marks the fourth Readers’ Choice Award win for the product. “For me, the real test of a curl cream is if it can keep your hair defined as the days go by, while also fluffing out to its former, voluminous glory,” former Allure digital editor, Jihan Forbes, previously shared. “This one did just that.”
Editor Tip: If frizz is your arch nemesis, this Argan oil-rich formula is your new best friend. Renowned for its nourishing and hydrating properties, it’s an excellent choice for parched, unruly strands.
Key Ingredients: Argan oil, aloe leaf juice
Best Overall: Bread Beauty Supply Hair Gel
Why We Love It: Cool girl brand Bread Beauty Supply made magic yet again with a reimagined hair gel (and 2023 Best of Beauty winner, no less!), boasting an innovative formula that delivers a glossy shine free of flakiness or stickiness. Rake it through damp hair, add water as needed as you work it through, and finish off by finger-coiling or plopping the hair. Whether you want to air-dry, diffuse, or blow-dry is totally up to you.