Shannon of UK Curly Girl is a natural curly hair blogger, YouTuber and owner of 'O So Curly'. She's a huge fan of natural beauty and hair products, and a self-proclaimed 'product junkie'.
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Shannon of UK Curly Girl is a naturally curly hair blogger, YouTuber and owner of brand 'O So Curly'. She's a huge fan of natural beauty and hair products, and a self-proclaimed 'product junkie'.
With a gorgeous head of curls herself, she's previously shared her favourite curly hair accessories and deep conditioners with us, so we thought we'd ask her to share some pointers to think about when buying curl creams, too!
Their nourishing and conditioning properties prevent your hair from looking limp without leaving it feeling sticky or crunchy. Using a curl cream as a follow-up product after washing your hair can help you cut down on heat styling and aids in detangling particularly unruly tresses.
Type 2 hair is usually prone to frizz so you want to use products that will help to combat it. You'll find water-based products with ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera, jojoba oil and natural oils great for this. You can then top it off with a moisturising curl gel or custard/jelly to define and hold the curl pattern in place - leaving no room for frizz!
My hair loves a curl cream with slip! This helps with detangling and defining the hair all in one, use curl creams that are thick but yet have a more water-based feel than a creamy natural shea butter feel. This will help with the detangling and when applied in sections you'll be sure to get defined results.
With this hair type, you will often have thicker and naturally dryer hair. Due to this, you will want to opt for the curl creams that are more like butter, look out for ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter and mango butter as these will help to seal in the much-needed moisture your curls need.
Unfortunately, this asymmetry inhibits the natural oils secreted by the scalp from fully coating each strand. Furthermore, the uneven shape creates areas where the cuticle is lifted, leaving the internal structure of the hair exposed and vulnerable to damage. Some highly moisturising ingredients to look for on the label are shea butter, and rich plant-based oils such as coconut, avocado and olive.
Avocado is not just only great for your body, but has amazing benefits for your hair! This is why you will find many avocado masques and deep conditioners on the market or in DIY hair care recipes. Mixing both avocado and olive oil together is a match made in heaven! The 2 combined will give moisture to dry hair but also strengthen it thanks to its protein.
The pulp or gel of the aloe vera plant is incredibly sticky, making it a fantastic natural alternative to chemical styling products. It provides a medium hold and washes out easily with moisturising properties that leave curls feeling light and bouncy.
I love Aloe Vera for a hair moisturiser! I have used it straight from the Aloe plant onto my curls whilst damp to give my hair definition with a soft hold and it works wonders (however it can get messy!). Luckily, there are many products that include Aloe Vera as a key ingredient. Its slip is unmatched so if you are looking for 100% natural ways to style your hair, this plant is the one for you!
Polyquaternium is the name given to a category of large, positively charged molecules called polymers that are used in cosmetics and grooming products. The positively charged polyquats are attracted to the negative charge of our hair, which forms a strong electrostatic bond.
This interaction creates a protective barrier along the surface of the hair, which prevents moisture from getting in and helps to retain the shape and structure of the curl in humid weather. So, keep an eye out for products with polymers, listed in the ingredients as “polyquaternium-” followed by a number, such as polyquaternium-37.
Polyquaterniums are great for protecting your curls from the humidity! When I travel to Florida often my hair reacts badly to the humidity causing a lot of dryness and frizz but if I opt for products like polyquats I get better results! These coat the hair strand preventing the humidity from getting into the hair, they help to maintain the oils and water in your products.
Curly hair, especially very kinky hair that follows a zig-zag pattern, is more likely to have breaks in the keratin along the shaft. Silk protein strengthens the hair by filling in the gaps between the keratin bonds, thus repairing the cuticle and helping it to resist breakage. Other hair-strengthening proteins you can keep an eye out for include jojoba protein and wheat protein.
Dry brittle curly hair can be a nightmare to live with, when you have heat, colour or chemical damage your curls become weak and often you will find it even harder to apply moisture.
Silk protein can help to combat that as it will repair the hair bonds from the inside which, in turn, over time allows the hair to become smoother and open to accepting moisture. You can find this in many protein strong treatments and deep conditioners, be sure to read the instructions as if not used correctly you can end up damaging your hair further.
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Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie
The Best Creamy, Coconut-Based Curl Cream for All Hair Types
Curl Conditioning Oil-in-Cream
A Highly Moisturising Leave-in Conditioner and Primer That’s Rich in Natural Oils
Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
A Curl Cream With Silk Protein to Strengthen Weak or Damaged Hair
Coconut Curling Cream｜Shea Butter for Natural Hair
An Intensely Hydrating Curl Cream for Dry and Brittle Hair, Packed With Nourishing Ingredients
Texture My Way
Keep It Curly Ultra Defining Curl Pudding
A Non-greasy Super Lightweight Cream That Won’t Cause Build-up
Tigi Bed Head
Foxy Curls Contour Cream
An Anti-humidity Styling Cream That Provides Heat Protection and Medium Hold
Curl La La Defining Curl Custard
A Curl Defining Absorbent Cream to Revive Wet or Dry Limp Hair
Supercream Coconut Curl Styler Hair Cream
A Premium All-In-One Curl Cream to Detangle, Define and Calm Frizz
Amazing Dream Curls Cream Gel
A Curling Gel With a Powerful 48 Hour Hold and Extra Moisturising Ingredients
Wave Hello Curl Taming Cream
A Lightweight Styling Cream for Wavy Hair to Reduce Volume and Frizz
On their own, curl creams do not work with straight hair. As curl cream has been formulated to enhance curls, the product is not suited for those with straight hair. In fact, using a formulation such as this may weigh your hair down and not give you the desired look.
Balance is key. Too little won’t spread right and too much won’t sink in, leaving your hair oily later in the day. Aim for a ratio of 2:1 water to curl cream or 3:1 if your hair is particularly fine. Of course, it may take a little bit of trial and error.
Never say never, but using a curl cream too often may lead your hair to become heavy. So our advice is to use it sparingly, 1 or 2 times a week should suffice. Though if you see benefits in using it every day, there’s no need to stop!
Written and researched by Wren Mann
No. 1: Maui Moisture｜Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie
No. 2: Curlsmith ｜Curl Conditioning Oil-in-Cream
No. 3: Shea Moisture ｜Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
No. 4: Cantu ｜Coconut Curling Cream｜Shea Butter for Natural Hair
No. 5: Texture My Way ｜Keep It Curly Ultra Defining Curl Pudding
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