When you are on the search for a Holy Grail product, clicking ‘Add to cart’ can feel like a major commitment for your curls – and your wallet. Especially when so many of us have experienced disappointment after disappointment purchasing products that have promised us all the moisture in the world or 300% more curl definition.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just ask thousands of curly and natural hair enthusiasts what actually works on their hair?

Lucky for you, we can. And we do it every year with our annual Best of the Best survey. Our community is constantly testing product combinations (especially the Product Junkies”> and we love being a platform for you to vote and declare your love for the brands and products that really get you and your hair. We asked over 4,000 women what their favorite products and they answered, totally unaided. They were not limited to certain brands or products, they could type in anything they wanted to.

If you’re shopping for cleansers or conditioners, stylers or moisturizers, let our community take the guesswork out of your shopping process. Here are your favorite curly hair products of 2016, and why you love them.

Favorite shampoo

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore

Favorite sheamoisture shampoo! I noticed less shedding and my hair felt clean and stronger, and it didn’t leave a residue behind but it also didn’t strip my hair! Love it! – CurlyGirlieLiv

Favorite cleansing conditioner (co-wash”>

As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner

I have tried a decent amount of cowashes, and to be quite honest, I was skeptical about using this one in particular. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this worked! It INSTANTLY defined my coils, moisturized my hair, and left my hair feeling light, clean, and healthy! My hair detangles so easily after I start washing. I have high porosity hair and prone to breakage and this significantly reduces it when I finger comb. I had taken a chance with another shampoo that loosened my curls big time, but after using this twice, they started coming back! I would definitely recommend this to a friend and it will be a staple in my bathroom! – Anonymous

Favorite daily conditioner

DevaCurl One Condition

For me this is one of the greatest products ever created. It makes my hair soft, detangled, and bouncy. I LOVE the scent…lemon-lime…it’s so refreshing. This is also an excellent leave-in that really helps keep gels from crunching. My 32 oz. bottles last for months. – gardencurls

Favorite leave-in conditioner

Kinky Curly Knot Today

KCKT is my staple leave in conditioner. It detangles well, moisturizes without weighing my hair down, and works great under many different stylers (though using with the KCCC is a tried-and-true combo”>. I can also add a bit of this into my conditioner-only WnG’s for some added shine. At $12, this is one of the lower-priced products for naturals (and available on the ground”>. Will repurchase again and again. – Anonymous

Favorite deep conditioner

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque

I love this product so much. I’ve had a problem with hair breakage for a while and since I’ve been using this product all I’ve been seeing are great results. Less breakage and more hair growth. This product also keeps my hair moisturized throughout the week. This is definitely a new staple for me. – Anonymous

Favorite hair moisturizer

Oyin Handmade Hair Dew

This is EXCELLENT!!! I love the smell so much. It smells like the Burnt Sugar Pomade, and it has such a smooth, light texture. It’s a great moisturizer, especially when you put the pomade on top. Also, it’s great for refreshing/re-moisturizing because the texture is light enough that it doesn’t cause build-up or residue. Amazing product, I adore it. – Anonymous

Favorite styling cream

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

The curl cream has seriously been a life saver and is most definitely one of my staples! First of all, I love the smell! Kind of has a fruity/marshmallow scent. This product has multiple uses for me. I remember when I had no idea how to take care and style my hair, this product STILL got my curls to pop. Now, I put this in my hair (as a cream”> using the LCO method and I scrunch this into each section. Then I let it air dry and my hair is so soft afterwards. The CES has my hair lasting for days too! Definitely would recommend this if you need a good styling cream for your curls. – Anonymous

Favorite styling pudding, custard, or butter

Kinky Curly Curling Custard

Being the on-the-budget college girl I am, I was very hesitant to spend $17 on this product. However one summer day I decided to bite the bullet…and I’m so glad I did! It’s slippery enough to glide through my dense, kinky-curly hair, and keeps my hair wash and go defined until my next wash day. Plus a little goes a long way…it usually takes me 6-7 months to finish a jar so the price actually is pretty cost effective for me. I pair with Kinky Curly Knot Today and Avocado Oil to keep my hair from being crunchy. This is a holy grail product for me. – ATCG

Favorite oil

Darshana Natural Indian Hair Oil

A wonderful product. Love the fact that it is all natural. Worthy of all the rave reviews. Price, in my opinion, is more than justified because a little goes a long way and also because of the purity of ingredients with no petroleum products, parabens or mineral oils added as in the ones used prior to this. Smell is heavenly and couldn’t ask for better results. Worth every penny! – Anonymous

Favorite frizz fighter

Curl Keeper Original

I loved this stuff. I purchased this because I was looking for some new and lighter products to use on my type 3b hair. This product worked WONDERS I never want to use another styler! The consistency is almost like water and has a very light unnoticeable floral scent. It defines my curls and clumps them together nicely and lasts for up to 5 days. My favorite for a wash n go. – Anonymous

Favorite transitioning product

SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Extra-Moisture Transitioning Milk

This is my holy grail product. I love it. My hair loves it. I have very dry, brittle, and coarse hair and it takes away it all. It melts onto your hair and gives it ultimate shine! The softness and suppleness of your curls will last for days. Light enough for a daily styler and has enough slip for a detangler! It smells great too! Like sweet, baked goods…NOT just for transitioning hair… I’ve been natural for close to one year and love it! – cscamsam

Favorite styling tool

Denman 3 Brush

Love this brush as a styling-curl-maker! Please do not use this brush to detangle because it will basically rip curls out depending on the thickness of your hair. Simply finger or comb detangle your hair with your leave in or styler then take the brush and use it to form curls at the END of your hair. – CurlySassy

OVERALL Favorite brand of 2016


For the last two years our community named SheaMoisture their favorite brand, earning it a spot in our Hall of Fame. Our community voted on their favorite products, retailers, bloggers and more in 36 different categories, you can see the full list of this year’s winners here.

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