Curly hair, though beautiful, can be complicated. It’s finicky and often affected by changes to the weather. Curly hair will swell when the air is humid, but when the temperatures drop, it doesn’t air dry well. For men with curly hair, trying to find the perfect combination of grooming and hair care products can be tricky, and you may even find yourself swapping out products as the seasons change. But when you finally get the combo just right, you could end up with one of the best men’s hairstyles, causing you to believe you have finally cracked the code.
Still, getting from underdefined limp locks to adoration takes a little inside info. So to help you out, we’ve done the homework for you and parsed through the endless shelves of gels, creams and combs to find the best grooming products for men with curly hair. We’ve included both luxury grooming products from prestige brands as well as affordable drugstore buys. From wavy to tight curls and fros, we have you covered.
Keep reading to find the best hair and grooming products for curly hair, whether you’re rocking Afro-textured hair or look more like Timothée Chalamet. However, before you dive into our grooming guide, we should note that a lot of the curly hair products below are normally marketed toward women. If you’re a man that wants to get his curls under control, don’t let this put you off from a product that will make your hair look its best. You may want to avoid products with traditionally feminine fragrances, but we think you’ll be happy with the hair care products featured here.
Best Shampoos for Curly Hair
Curly hair tends to be on the drier end of the spectrum. But finding products that add moisture without leaving it limp can be frustrating. Modern Mammals Everyday Rinse manages to remove grime without leaving a poofy mess in place. It works great for hair on the waiver side. For a tighter curl, try Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Curl Nourish sulfate-free formula. It’s a combination of Jojoba, Coconut, and Macadamia oils. They gently cleanse and define your curl.
Best Conditioners for Curly Hair
If you have ever tried combining your hair after a particularly sweaty workout, you know how vital a detangling product can be. Powered by plants, Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Conditioner is free of silicone, parabens, mineral oil and makes combing through a breeze. It’s perfect for men with Jason Mamoa style locks.
If your hair tends to favor Justin Timberlake during his NSYNC days, then grab Dove Amplified Textures Detangling Conditioner. This coconut milk-based formula provides maximum slip so combing through your hair is easy peasy.
Best Cowash Products for Curls
Folks with curly hair are often told to avoid washing daily to maintain moisture, and that’s where a co-wash product fills in. In between washes, use Ouidad Double Duty Weightless Cleansing Conditioner to remove oil and building while nourishing your hair. Its featherweight formula is designed to work with your curl’s pattern.
Best Leave-In Conditioners
Leave-in conditioner is one of the best-kept secrets in the men’s grooming world, and it’s a must-have grooming product for men with curly hair. If your hair tends to fall on the drier side or you only shampoo in the shower, you should spritz on a leave-in like Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave-In Conditioner. It is light yet very moisturizing, making it the right product for most curl types. For a kinkier curl, reach for Dove Amplified Textures Moisture Lock Leave-in Conditioner.
Brushes for Curly Hair
To brush or not to brush the eternal conundrum of those with ringlets. Well if you do it is best when your hair is soaking wet and conditioned. The Denman brush has quite the reputation for being the go-to. But a wide-tooth comb is sometimes a better bet as it detangles without messing up your curl. And if you are unsure, well the OrganigrowHair Co Brush Bundle gives you both options. Just skip combing through your hair with the tail comb. Save that for moments when you want to create a part or lay your edges.
Best Curl Creams
Yes, you need a cream to help define and control your curls. So for days when you plan on hitting the gym Christophe Robin Control Those Curls will keep you from looking like a frizzed out mess. Or a lighter formula such as Pantene Curl Affair, which is excellent for midday and next day touch-ups.
Hair Gel for Curly Hair
Oftentimes gels can create a crunchy feel, but that’s not the case with Matrix Curl Please Super Defrizzer Gel. Though it offers long-lasting definition, it does so without stiffness or alcohol, which can be drying. Or for those whose scalp tends to get itchy or easily irritated, CHI Man In Fine Form natural hold gel is made with aloe vera, nettle, and provitamin B5 to help soothe and protect your scalp against dryness and irritation.
Hair Serum for Curly Hair
Using a serum may seem like an unnecessary step, but they are a great tool to have in your arsenal when it comes to mitigating damage. Kiehl’s smoothing Oil-Infused Leave-In Concentrate will not only tame your flyaways, but its infusion of argan and babassu oils is perfect for men with Corbin Bleu type hair. Or, if you are fighting breakage, choose African Pride 5 Essential Oils blended with vitamin E; it helps to protect against breakage.
Grooming Tools for Curly Hair
Drying your coils can prove to be tricky because disturbing the curl after washing can lead to frizz. While some choose to use a tee-shirt, a better choice is Bounce Curls microfiber towel. It helps your hair to dry fast without leaving it looking unkempt.
Best Hairdryer for Curly Hair
There are many videos on YouTube showing the proper way to use a blow dryer on curly hair. And though you may prefer to wash and go at times, using a blowdryer can help when you are in a hurry. The T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Hair Dryer is small but mighty and an excellent way to dry your hair until it’s damp without causing your coils to puff up like a Llama’s mane.