My fine, thin, flyaway curls seem to have strong opinions on what they like and what they don’t. They crave moisture constantly, but when given too much they look flat, greasy, and stringy. Before I fully transitioned, trying anything in the decadent food sounding category was an epic fail. Custards, puddings, creams or butters weighed down my hair, and I ended up giving away those products to my friends with tighter and denser curls. However, despite their perceived heaviness, styling creams have lots of benefits that make them worthwhile for a second try, including:
- providing maximum moisture to parched strands
- good slip for detangling
- enhanced curl definition
- soft yet resilient hold
- imparting sheen to the hair
Additionally, proponents of the LOC method use them as a last step, as they have good sealing properties.
Recently, I needed to find something with a little more weight than the whipped air and water-based stylers I usually go for to style my curly bangs, and I also wanted to determine if I needed a heavier-hold product because my curls were declumping by the evening, making next-day refreshing very difficult. I decided to compare the following two creams: Curly Hair Solutions - Curl Keeper Styling Cream and Curls Crème Brule.
I chose them for the following reasons.
- The first ingredient in each is water, which lets me know a product will have a lighter consistency.
- Both contain a number of natural ingredients that my hair has responded well to in the past, including aloe and sunflower.
- Reviews let me know that the product could be easily refreshed with water.
Round One: Ease of Application
Both are easy to apply over wet hair. They also have good enough slip that they can be used to help detangle, though I do prefer to detangle first, and then work in the product. I have used a Denman brush to distribute, and I have also used the praying hands method. When doing a full application, I prefer the former because I feel it ultimately coats my curls better, leading to exceptional definition.
Round Two: Scent
You really can’t go wrong with either of these scents. Curl Keeper Styling Cream has a light, citrusy scent that goes well with just about any fruit or floral scented product, so it won’t clash with other products in your regimen. Curls Crème Brule smells like birthday cake icing (sweet, with vanilla notes).
Round Three: Hold
Both of these creams provide reliable, yet soft, hold. I was able to Scrunch Out the Crunch without losing any definition. The hold lasts all day, and is easily refreshed with water and a bit more product.
I have to give a slight edge Curls Crème Brule because it is a little lighter than Curl Keeper Styling Cream so it keeps my curls bouncy all day. It gives my bangs just enough weight that they stayed in their spirals instead of losing definition when I didn’t want them to. Crème Brule also added a bit more shine to my hair which is something I always appreciate. I did not need to use oil or a balm to finish my style with it.
Some Tips on Using Styling Cream with Fine Hair
- You don’t need to use it all over your head if you find it to be a bit heavy. It can be used as a spot-styler wherever you need a little extra hold and definition.
- It makes a great cocktail with a light, watery gel when you need both moisture and hold.
- Water-based cream stylers such as the two I tried here can be thinned out with a little water, and then emulsified between the palms of your hands to create a lighter product. When I do this, I like to use the praying-hands method for application.
Do you use cream stylers? Let us know in the comments. For more about the LOC method, click here.