These are the best curl creams for wavy, coily, textured and afro hair types

my curls, my crown
Best curl cream: for soft and bouncy coils Delmaine Donson - Getty Images

Whether you've got wavy, curly, coily, textured or afro hair – a really great curl cream is a must-have for nourishing your strands and helping to define your natural curl pattern.

Packed with hydrating ingredients like shea butter, argan oil and aloe – curl creams can be used on wet or dry hair, and work to smooth away frizziness, enhance shine and keep your hair in tip-top shape.

But not all curl creams are made equally – and depending on how curly your hair is – you'll need to use a curl cream that's formulated for your hair type. For example, someone with fine, wavy hair will want a curl cream that's hydrating, without weighing down the hair. Whereas someone with textured or afro hair will benefit from richer, more conditioning ingredients to really nourish their hair from within.

Not sure which curl cream is right for you? That's where we can help.

Keep scrolling for WH's pick of the best curl creams – for every hair type and texture…

The best curl creams

1/ Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Coconut Curling Cream

Formulated with shea butter and a blend of 8 natural oils (including coconut, jojoba and mango seed oil) this intensely nourishing curling cream is great for those with textured or afro hair. It doesn't weigh the hair down or leave hair crunchy – just soft, hydrating and defined curls.

2/ Moroccanoil Intense Curl Cream

This leave-in conditioner helps to moisturise and smooth stubborn without leaving behind any stickiness or crunch-feeling. Infused with nourishing argan oil and vitamins to keep hair looking hydrated, it works best on wavy and curly hair that's crying out for moisture.

3/ Bouclème Curl Cream

Lightweight yet still deeply moisturising – this curl cream has won awards for its ability to nourish and replenish dry, dehydrated curls. Ideal for wet or dry hair, it provides frizz and humidity protection, whilst softening and conditioning for soft, shiny hair.

4/ KMS CurlUp Control Crème

Designed for all curl patterns and hair types, this hydrating curl cream uses polymers to shape and bundle curls. Use on damp hair to smooth away frizz and define your curl pattern – and reapply (if needed) once the hair is dry to reset your curls.

5/ Paul Mitchell Curls Twirl Around

Use this curl cream if you're wanting to define and separate your curls – without leaving them feeling crunchy or too 'styled.' Simply emulsify in your hands and work through the hair to form sculpted ringlets. Scrunch in to exaggerate your curls and waves and either air dry or diffuse for bouncy, soft tresses.

6/ Aveda Be Curly Advanced Coil Definer Gel

While this is technically a gel rather than a cream, it deserves a place on the round-up for its brilliant ability to define and smooth coils and tight curls. Since curls and coils are naturally more fragile, it also works to replenish strength with a peptide derived from plant proteins. Clever.

7/ Living Proof Curl Definer

Best suited to curly hair types (3A, 3B and 3C) – this transformative curl cream is designed to condition your hair and accentuate curls and coils. A midweight conditioner-meets-styling cream, it not only accentuates the definition of your hair but also lends control and bounce.

8/ Oribe Styling Butter Curl Enhancing Crème

Infused with shea and cupuacu butter to deeply hydrate each strand, this rich cream is designed to nourish and smooth textured hair for a soft and manageable finish. Wheat Amino Acids help to strengthen locks, leaving them soft and shiny while the brand's signature complex provides protection from pollution and the effects of stress.

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