When I was a pre-teen, my aunts with long, beautiful curls taught me a secret about textured hair – curling creams will enhance your curl pattern. Translation: you can make your natural hair curlier than it already is! I had to look for a cream to make natural hair curly!
Curl-activating styling creams
Curl-activating styling creams come in different forms.
Among the most popular among coily girls are curl smoothies and custards, but if you have loose waves you don’t want to weigh down, you’ll love gels.
A good curl cream should enhance and hold your curl definition so you can flaunt perfect ringlets all day long.
They can also be super nourishing.
Many curl creams contain rich oils or fatty acids your hair will drink up for extra hydration.
That means they can add shine and bounce to your curls.
All you have to do is apply these creams on clean, damp hair after wash day and scrunch your hair from the bottom up.
This helps the cream form proper curls, and the squishing motion ensures your hair drinks up all the moisturizing nutrients in the cream.
Best cream to make natural hair curly
Want frizz-free, defined, and ultra-moisturized curls?
Here are the best curl creams you can use to elevate those naturally beautiful curls:
Avlon KeraCare Natural Textures Defining Custard
Enjoy a blend of exotic fruit extracts and gorgeous, luxurious oils that nourish your hair while locking in your pretty curls with this texture-defining custard by KeraCare.
This thick and rich custard is perfect for those with super curly coils because it gives awesome definition to your locks while moisturizing the hair deeply.
The cream sets your ringlets and spirals in place so that you can enjoy your hairstyle for days on end.
It’s made with Argan and Abyssinian oils that deeply moisturize and soften your hair.
Meanwhile, Shikakai and amla fruit extracts give added hydration and shine.
These natural ingredients also help tame frizz, so you’re left only with silky smooth curls.
- Has an exotic blend of botanicals and oils for hydration
- Argan and Abyssinian oils nourish and soften locks
- Shikakai and amla fruit extracts hydrate hair
- Makes your ringlets and spirals clearly defined
- Gives your curls natural shine
- Tames frizz so you can have smooth hair
- Can be a bit flaky if you use too much of it
SheaMoisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
This curl-enhancing smoothie by SheaMoisture is a cult favorite among curly girls all over the world.
If you have parched curls and aren’t afraid of heavy creams, this is definitely for you.
This smoothie is packed with many rich oils and butters to nourish your hair and define your curl pattern.
It has shea butter and coconut, neem, and avocado oils to penetrate the hair shaft and moisturize it from the inside out.
It also has silk proteins to strengthen and fortify your hair.
A little goes a long way with this cream.
One dab into the tub, and you have all the product you need to smooth down your hair and scrunch to reveal soft and perfectly defined curls.
- Gives you soft and defined curls
- Deeply moisturizes the hair with rich oils and butters
- Contains silk protein to repair damaged hair
- Smooths down split ends
- A little goes a long way
- Suitable for natural and permed curls
- Weighs down loose curls because of its heaviness
As I Am Curling Jelly
Add body and definition to poofy curls with this curling jelly by As I Am!
It does a fantastic job of boosting your curl pattern, no matter how coily.
It boasts of retaining your curls up to 72% for hours, even in humid environments.
This curling jelly stretches out your curl and adds a comfortable amount of weight to reduce shrinkage in thick, type 4 curls.
The result is a lot of body and bounce to your curls.
The formula is infused with beetroot extract and aloe vera to give your hair some hydration and shine too, to improve hair health overall and make you look extra glowy.
- Boosts curl definition even in humid environments
- Stretches out the curl to reduce shrinkage
- Adds body and bounce to your curls
- Made with aloe and beetroot extract for hydration
- Adds some shine for a healthy look
- The hold doesn’t last that long, so you have to touch up throughout the week
ORS Curls Unleashed Aloe Vera and Honey Texture Boosting Curl Jelly
Curl jellies are terrific for lightweight definition that will keep your waves or coils springy and lively.
For a lightly hydrating gel, you can use this aloe and honey jelly by ORS.
It holds your curls all day long and keeps frizz and flyaways at bay so you can have smooth curls.
Because it’s made with aloe vera and honey, you’re in for some light hydration and natural shine.
It’s also infused with wheat proteins and vitamin B to strengthen the hair and give it some pliable bounce.
The best part is that it doesn’t have that hard, wet-looking crunch most gels have – just soft, touchable, shiny curls that smell as sweet as honey!
- Defines curls without weighing them down
- Holds your curl all day long
- Controls frizziness and flyaways
- Blended with aloe vera and honey for light hydration
- Contains wheat protein and vitamin B for hair strength
- Doesn’t leave that wet-looking crunch
Has a very strong sweet smell that can be distracting
amika Curl Corps Defining Cream
Curling creams are all about definition and frizz control, but sometimes, you’ll come across one that contains nutrients your hair will love too – like this cream by amika.
This product enhances curls to make sure they don’t look saggy and shapeless.
Tapioca starch gives those curls a soft hold.
It also smoothes down your locks to fight frizz and split ends.
It’s infused with so many unique ingredients.
Sea buckthorn berry is rich in vitamins C and A, as well as fatty acids and antioxidants that give your curls moisture and protection from damage.
It also has oat peptides that leave a protective coating on the hair to seal in moisture, making the hair soft and shiny.
- Smoothes down the hair to control frizz and splitting
- Enhances your curls, so they don’t look saggy
- Sea buckthorn berry feeds the hair vitamins and antioxidants
- Tapioca starch gives soft, flexible hold
- Has oat peptides that protect the hair and make it shiny
- You may get less volume near the roots because of its richness
Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Styling Gel
Who knew a lightweight gel could be so hydrating?
Ouidad’s quenching styling gel is perfect if you have fine, curly hair strands that can’t take that much weight but is so dry that it needs all the moisture it can get.
This gel activates your natural curl pattern to enhance the tresses you were blessed with.
It has a light but long-lasting hold to keep your curls pretty and defined, even if you have tight, coily spirals.
It’s made with hydrating ingredients like meadowfoam seed oil, which is excellent for light yet deep moisture, and pro-vitamin B5, which adds moisture and shine to the hair.
- Long-lasting hold to keep even tight curls defined
- A hydrating gel that locks in moisture for dry hair
- Lightweight but strong enough to activate your curl pattern
- Has meadowfoam seed oil for light but deep moisture
- Arnica flower plumps up the hair strands for fuller curls
- Contains pro-vitamin B5 for added moisture
- Leaves flakes or a white residue if too much is used
OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Curling Perfection Curl-Defining Cream
Curly hair loves moisture, so what better way to revive your curl pattern then feeding it the luxurious richness of argan oil straight from Morocco?
OGX’s curl-defining cream is made with argan oil, also known as “liquid gold” for the hair, to give your locks the moisture it needs to be smooth and frizz-free.
This cream helps your hair form gorgeous curls that are soft yet super defined.
It also protects the hair from UV and heat damage, so you don’t have to worry about going under the sun when you use this product.
The cream has a sensual aroma to it.
It has fresh, floral, and woodsy notes that will make you want to smell your hair all day.
- Helps your hair form soft, defined curls
- An anti-frizz cream that tames flyaways and wispy hairs
- Moisture from argan oil revives your curl pattern
- Protects the hair from UV and heat damage
- Has a fresh, floral, woodsy scent
- Doesn’t contain any parabens and sulfates
- Can leave the hair greasy if you use too much product
Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream
If you want a more high-end option for infusing your curls with argan oil from Morocco, try out this cream from the more upscale Moroccanoil.
Get perfect curls with this defining cream’s heat-activated curl memory technology that helps keep your curl’s shape for longer.
This unique technology fights frizz too, so you’re left only with smooth hair.
Rich argan oil hydrates your hair, giving it a luxe, glossy shine to make your uber defined curls shine even brighter.
It also adds a bit of life and bounce to your locks.
If you have damaged hair or split ends, don’t worry.
This cream has vegetable proteins to repair and protect your hair as well.
- Activates your curl pattern for more defined curls
- Hydrates the hair with rich argan oil
- Has a curl memory technology to keep your curl’s shape
- Fights frizz so you can have smooth hair
- Gives your hair bounce and a glossy shine
- Infused with vegetable proteins to repair brittle hair
- Can weigh your curls down
Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream
Shea butter is amazing for curly hair, but sometimes it can be too heavy.
With this curling cream from Taliah Waajid, you can enjoy the curl-defining and nourishing benefits of shea butter, minus heaviness.
The first ingredient in this cream is deionized water, so you know you’re only getting pure water without hard minerals that might make your hair dry.
The star ingredient is shea butter, which smoothes the hair and eliminates all traces of frizz.
It conditions the hair to make the curls more defined and gives it a flexible hold too.
Even if shea butter is creamy and emollient, this cream doesn’t leave you feeling greasy, which is always a plus.
- Made with shea butter to smoothen the hair and eliminate frizz
- Formulated with pure, deionized water
- Softens and conditions curls to make them more defined
- Enhances all curl types, from waves to coils
- Gives a flexible but long-lasting hold
- Doesn’t produce buildup or leave hair greasy
- Can be hard to spread because it’s so thick
Afro Sheen Gel Cream
This gel cream by Afro Sheen brings out the best in your curly or coily pattern by enhancing it and moisturizing it deeply to improve your overall hair health.
This cream is made with a thoughtful blend of rich oils and butters to nourish your curls.
Coconut and avocado oils moisturize the hair shaft deeply, while flaxseed oil feeds the hair omega fatty acids while soothing the scalp.
It also has shea butter to condition the hair and reduce split ends.
All these nourishing ingredients tame frizz and shrink even the poofiest kinky-curly hair, so you can look sleek and snatched for days.
- Enhances curly and coily hair patterns
- Made with natural oils and butters for superior moisture
- Has coconut milk for softening and detangling
- Provides a long-lasting hold that lasts days
- Tames frizz for a neater hairstyle
- Shrinks curls to prevent poofy hair
- Doesn’t leave any grease, residue, or flakiness
- It has a strong fragrance you might not like if you’re sensitive to smells
When I use any of these fantastic curling creams, I can turn my limp and lifeless texture into springy, shiny, and defined curls. Chef’s kiss!
If you are looking for a cream to make natural hair curly or enhance your curls, try out a curling cream that fits your hair needs.
These creams are seriously a godsend for curls that need a bit of extra help forming.
There’s always a curl activator out there for everyone.
Just remember: parched coils will love creamier options, while fine, wavy hair will get comfortable hold from a gel.
Good luck finding your perfect match!