If you pulled this article up there is a one-in-five chance you are at the drugstore scanning the hair care aisle and looking for a new Holy Grail product right now. Okay, that statistic might be made up, but our own TextureTrends market research found that textured-hair consumers spend more than twice as much on products as consumers with straight hair.
“We spend $82 on products in a 3-month period, while straight-haired consumers spend $40. That's a lot of money, and we hate the thought of spending it on products that don't end up working for us,” says NaturallyCurly Managing Editor Cristina Cleveland.
To help make sure you go home with the right products and without buyer’s remorse, we've pulled together a list of the top-rated, editor-approved drugstore hair products.
1. AG Hair Curl Re:Coil Curl Activator
This is one of my personal favorite curl creams of all time. It's earned the coveted 5-curl rating from NaturallyCurly's team of experts—"Awesome curl separation and definition"—and CurlTalkers rave about it, too. I use this product right out of the shower while my hair is still wet and I let it air dry. This styling product is rich enough for my high-porosity 3b curls, but does not weigh my fine curls down — a balancing act few curl creams have mastered.
2. SheaMoisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein-Free Line
One of our most common questions on NaturallyCurly is about Porosity. While curl type remains an determining factor in your hair product choices, many argue porosity is more important. This line from SheaMoisture is made especially for low porosity, protein sensitive hair and is filled with ingredients that are rich in emollients like Baobab and Tea Tree Oils and Organic Shea Butter.
3. Catwalk by TIGI Curlesque Curls Rock Amplifier
I think every curly girl has tried this product at least once in her hair journey. It has been a staple in the community for providing protection against humidity and frizz, and Tigi’s recent reformulation has made the product better than ever!
4. Aussie Mega Moist Conditioner
This conditioner is perfect for dry hair in need of extra hydration. While it’s great for all hair types, curlies especially love this conditioner. Cleveland claims Mega Moist has “the best slip of any conditioner I’ve used.”
5. Tresemme Thermal Creations Protective Spray Heat Tamer
“As the colder months slowly approach, I'm thinking about straightening my hair, and this is an essential to protect my hair! This lightweight spray is great as a pre-protectant that won't leave your flat iron sizzling or your hair fried. It make my hair frizz-free, shiny, and soft instantly,” says editor Alexandra Wilson.
6. DevaCurl One Condition Delight
This do-it-all product gives the perfect amount of hydration, while also touting a super light and moisturizing formula. Made with rice proteins, lotus flower, and a chia-flaxseed blend, One Condition Delight fights frizz, detangles, and sets you up for a defined, wavy look that lasts.
7. Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils Intensive Conditioning Masque
Aunt Jackie's special blend of flaxseed and avocado and coconut oils is used to help repair damage, stop breakage, soften, shine, moisturize, and condition dry hair.
8. Redken Curvaceous Ringlet
This stuff is a dream. All you need is a few pumps and you’re left with frizz-free, weightless curls that last until your next wash day. I have always loved Redken's products and their curl line does not disappoint.
9. Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Styling Gel
Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Styling Gel is made with more than 70% certified organic ingredients such as honey, ginger, and babassu. This styling gel's natural ingredient formula hydrates and nourishes hair without any sulfates or silicones!
10. Taliah Waajid Curls, Waves and Naturals The Great Detangler
This is one of the greatest detanglers out there and the slip is amazing. If you are looking for the perfect wash-day detangler, this is it.
11. Cantu Shea Butter For Natural Hair Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream
Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in is a deep-penetrating, conditioning cream that is formulated with pure shea butter and other natural oils to mend breakage, hold curl definition, and improve manageability of your hair over time. This leave-in always leaves my hair feeling super soft and I often add a little bit in daily just because it smells so good!
12. Pantene Pro-V Smooth and Sleek 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner
Need a deep condition in a flash? Pantene’s got your back. This conditioner is known for its smoothing properties, leaving your curls frizz-free and soft all day.
13. Garnier Fructis’ Triple Nutrition Conditioner
“I’m a huge fan of Garnier Fructis’ Triple Nutrition Conditioner. It definitely does what it says: repairs hair and adds moisture without weighing your hair down. My hair is always super soft and happy after I use it. Also you can get a massive bottle of it for super cheap,” says Alyssa Alizor, NaturallyCurly’s video editor.
14. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Daily Nourishment Leave-In Conditioner
Every curly knows Frizz-Ease is the line that keeps it frizz-free. This leave-in is no different. With ingredients like olive oil, amino acids, and wheat proteins, your hair will feel strong and healthy and those curls will stay defined.
15. Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Styling Cream
The weather may be cooling down but in Texas, the humidity isn’t going anywhere. This is one of the only styling creams that keeps my curls defined all day, even when I walk outside and immediately start sweating.
16. Ouidad Curl Immersion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner
If you see this at the store, buy it. This deep conditioner is my Holy Grail and I have been using it weekly since our Editors’ Choice products came in May. Curl Immersion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner is a rich, super moisturizing formula that hydrates, de-frizzes, and softens hair while banishing dryness and encouraging curl definition and shine.
17.Herbal Essences Smooth Collection Shampoo and Conditioner
“I always love the smell and the commercials are so memorable and ridiculous. The product made my hair soft and it used to be the only cheap shampoo with pretty packaging,” says Cara Logue, NaturallyCurly designer.
18. Creme of Nature Argan Oil Moisture Rich Hair Butter
Creme of Nature has been a staple drugstore brand since I was a kid, and they continue to serve us quality products that moisturize with all of our favorite ingredients. This lightweight moisturizing buttercreme is a blend of argan, shea and cocoa butters working to soften, hydrate, and help detangle for various curl types.
19. OGX Quenching + Coconut Curls Frizz Defying Styling Milk
If soft, smooth, defined curls are what you are after, then this styling milk is for you. It’ll also have you leaving the house smelling like you just bathed in a tub of coconuts and honey.
20. Dove Invigorating Mint Anti-Dandruff 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner
Senior Copywriter Gerilyn Hayes loves this 2-in-1 product from Dove.
“For years, I've avoided using 2-in-1 hair care products. This year, I tried Dove's Invigorating Mint Anti-Dandruff 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner because my scalp was super flakey and dry due to wearing braids, Havana twists, and faux locs throughout the year,” she says.
“For years, I've avoided using 2-in-1 hair care products. This year, I tried Dove's Invigorating Mint Anti-Dandruff 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner because my scalp was super flakey and dry due to wearing braids, Havana twists, and faux locs throughout the year,” she says. “Once I took these styles down, my hair was super gross, and my standard shampoo wasn't cutting it. That's why I went to CVS and grabbed a shampoo and conditioner combo formulated to fight flakes. I wasn't disappointed. This stuff works! When I have my braids and faux locs in, I wash them with this 2-in-1 every two weeks (which may seem excessive, but it maintains my scalp's moisture).”
Did you see your favorite drugstore product on this list? If not, share in the comments below!