Looking for a new Curly Girl-friendly styling cream to add to your product lineup? Learning to embrace and take care of your curls is not only a process of achieving healthy hair, but also achieving the style and look that suits your preferences and lifestyle. Some love the strong hold of a gel for ultimate frizz fighting, some love their hair to be as big as possible and opt for volumizing mousse, but if you like a bit of moisture and a softer hold, then a curl cream may be the styler for you.
What is the Curly Girl Method?
The Curly Girl Method is a term coined by Lorraine Massey in her book “Curly Girl: The Handbook.” She recommends avoiding heat styling, traditional shampoos, and specific ingredients such as sulfates and non-water soluble silicones. You can learn more about how to follow the Curly Girl Method here.
The Curly Girl Method is to thank for countless curly hair transformations over the years, but it’s not for everyone. There are those who tried it and decided it’s not for them, and there are many who’ve created their own modified versions of the method. It’s all about finding what works for you – and that includes your styling product lineup! Here are CG-friendly curl creams that Type 2 wavies, Type 3 curlies, and Type 4 coilies love.
1. OBIA Naturals Sweet Almond Heavy Cream
This curl cream is one of those rare unicorn products that is beloved by Type 2C waves to Type 4C coils. It comes especially recommended for twist outs.
“I have super dry 4c/4b hair. I used it for a twist out and I could tell something was special about this because after my hair had dried it was still soft. I really felt the product penetrated my hair instead of just sitting on top being greasy.” – Amazon reviewer
2. Ecoslay Lemon Buttercream Styling Cream
Type 2 wavies and looser Type 3 curlies with fine hair love the volume and hold this product gives without weighing their hair down.
“This product does what it says. Hold, volume and moisture. It is very lightweight, which is perfect for my natural (no colour or chemicals”> fine wavy hair. This is my one done styler. No need to layer with other products. Perfect for fine hair, as my waves are enhanced with plenty of volume and such a beautiful smell.” – Ecoslay reviewer
3. Not Your Mother’s Naturals Coconut Milk & African Marula Tree Oil High Moisture Smoothing Cream
This cream is part styling cream, part leave-in conditioner, with humidity resistant properties that will give you moisture and flexible hold.
“I have thin, curly hair that does not like a lot of protein. It loves coconut milk, but not coconut oil. This leave in was wonderful. It’s still easy to overdo it if I use too much, so I am careful with the amount. Leaves hair soft and helps with frizz, although for a decent hold, use a gel on top.” – Amazon reviewer
Check out: 15 Curly Girl Method Approved Products
4. Jane Carter Solution Curls to Go Curl Cocktail Conditioning Cream
If you have high porosity hair that quickly absorbs moisture – and just as quickly loses it – this conditioning cream is for you. It’s positively reviewed from Type 3B curlies to Type 4C coilies.
“4c high porosity hair – AND LOVING THIS!! Detangled with q-redew, spritzed with water and massaged this product in, before bedtime, putting up in 4 twists. Woke up this morning and my hair was soft, moisturized and had a great shine that I haven’t seen in the middle and back sections of my hair previously, and definitely not at the ends – WOW. It’s now a staple for me.” – Amazon reviewer
5. Twisted Sista Amazing Dream Curls Cream Gel
Some wavies find that a curl cream is too heavy on their looser texture, but this cream gel is recommended for thin, or wavy curl textures. Just note that the consistency is loose, somewhere between a gel and a cream.
“Love this!! I have long curly / wavy hair and this is brilliant. I follow the curly girl method and use this on soaking wet hair – makes it crunchy but when you scrunch it out it leaves lovely curls. Will def buy again!” – Amazon reviewer
Read more: Here Are The Top 5 Mistakes Wavies Make When Starting The Curly Girl Method
6. Curl Keeper Tweek Cream Hairspray
This unusual product was formulated to be the first ever hairspray in a cream form for curly hair – without the drying alcohols, buildup, or sticky residue.
“I was tired of spending money on products that done [sic] work. I hate traditional hairspray but saw this product and thought I’d give it a try. Wish they had a 5 gallon jug cause I will never be able to live without this product again ! Game changer, after I diffuse my hair 95% dry I add about a Nickel size amount in my hand, rub together and rub it on my roots. Finish diffusing my hair. It’s incredible. Can’t say anything other than incredible!” – Frizzoff Reviewer
7. Curls Creme Brule Whipped Curl Cream
This curl cream provides soft hold and plays well when cocktailed with gels or leave-ins. Before purchasing just note that this product does smell like sweet creme brulee, which may or may not be your thing – scent is so personal!
“this has great definition and hold without weighing your hair down. my boyfriend has 2a-2c hair and this is the only stuff he will use for control and definition because of how light it is… I am 3a-3c curly and I love this product for the same reason- hold & definition without weighing my curls down so they can look their best!!” – Amazon reviewer
8. SheaMoisture Kids Curling Butter Cream Coconut & Hibiscus
Whether you’re looking for a moisturizing styling cream for your active toddler’s curls or your own twist outs, this SheaMoisture cream is a multipurpose must-have.
“This product have been soo good in my son curly hair . Those with curl know the hassle of getting a product the would moisturize and define your curls and this bottle is everything in one. I love the scent and the price is good.” – Amazon reviewer
9. Camille Rose Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel
This may have “gel” in the name, but the product itself is an opaque, creamy styler that offers both moisture and hold for all textures from Type 2 wavies to Type 4 coilies. You will just want to vary the amount of product you apply for your hair type – a little goes a long way. This is another cake-smelling product FYI.
“This is my holy grail, the one I always come back to because it has never let me down. NOTHING does better. I have 3b/3c high porosity hair and use this as a leave-in/curl cream. I also use it as a refresher for those pesky curls that tend to frizz out during the night. I can go a good 3-4 days between a washes and my hair is still moisturized and the curls are still popping! A huge plus for me is that the smell is wonderful, like cake. This is a MUST have. No doubt.” – Amazon reviewer
10. Zotos All About Curls Bouncy Cream
This is another cream that cocktails well with gel so you can increase the hold depending on your preference. If you are someone who’s sensitive to strong or sweet smelling products, reviewers enjoy the subtle fragrance of this one.
“The curls are full, clumped curls, I don’t feel my hair is weighed down, I’m able to touch my hair without it getting big or starting to frizz, and feel my curls look “natural” rather than controlled by products! Also, I can reapply for several days after to refresh my hair with out this starting to make my hair look greasy or stringy.” – Amazon reviewer
11. Miche BOUNCE Curl Defining Cream
Whether you’re wearing twist-outs, braid-outs, wash and go’s, Flexi rod sets, or finger coils, naturals love the moisture, slip and soft hold this defining cream provides. And it won’t leave a white cast!
“I used Boost and Bounce to style my wash and go. Usually when I use white products it leaves my hair dusty looking. My hair is so soft and shiny. I am really impressed with Miche products!” – Miche reviewer
12. Cantu Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream
A Curly Girl Friendly product for under $7? Sign us up! And this is a cream that wavies, curlies and coilies alike love.
“Quite literally THE HOLY GRAIL of styling products. (2b waves/fine-medium hair/in my 50s”>. I have spent YEARS, and so, so, SO much money looking for the perfect styling product. I have also tried several Cantu products — and while I’ve *liked* most all of the Cantù products fairly well, I still hadn’t found my perfect product… UNTIL NOW. I ordered it, tried it the day I received it, and went back to Amazon and ordered 4 more bottles the same day. NO JOKE. I cannot be without this stuff. It made my hair look and feel exactly like I wanted it to. I’ve never had a hair product do that for my hair before in my 50+ years!
And for our international readers, check out My Natural Curl Curling Cream in South Africa, Boucleme Curls Redefined Curl Cream in the UK, and CleverCurl Cream in Australia.
Please help your fellow curlies out by leaving your favorite CG-friendly curl creams in the comments!
Read next: Top 20 CG Approved Drugstore Products Under $10