BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Beauty & Personal Care

Best curl cream for wavy hair

Which curl creams for wavy hair are best?

Sometimes, you need a moisturizing, lightweight curl cream to define and manage your wavy hair. While people tend to lump curl cream in with mousses, waxes and gels, curl cream formulas are a little different. They have a lotion-like, creamy texture that defines without weighing hair down.

The Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream is a first-rate curl cream for wavy hair. It helps detangle and defrizz so you can sport your waves without any unwanted flyaways.

What to know before you buy a curl cream for wavy hair

Curl creams vs. other products

When you use curl cream on your waves or curly locks, your hair will feel less frizzy, more manageable and extra soft. But there are some differences between curl creams and other styling products. 

  • Hair gels: These offer a long-lasting hold and give your hair a shiny finish. They can add definition to your curls and control frizz. However, gels may dry out your locks since they usually include high alcohol concentrations.
  • Hair wax: Hair wax creates defined shapes, but it’s usually heavier than curl cream.
  • Mousse: Using mousse gives your waves bounce and adds volume to thin, fine hair, but it can feel crunchy to the touch. 
  • Curl creams: These have proteins, vitamins and plant oils that add shine and tame frizz without leaving your hair stiff. But you may not get as much hold from these products, so your frizz might return in humid or wet weather.

How to select a curl cream for wavy hair

Think about the kind of curls or waves your hair has. You can even identify your wave or curl pattern to identify the best products for your hair. Also, consider your hair’s texture, any outstanding damage and whether you use treatments or heated styling tools. Look for a curl cream that works well with the condition of your hair and your daily styling.


Curl creams for wavy hair use plant and seed oils, proteins, amino acids, polymers, minerals and vitamins to moisturize and protect hair effectively. These ingredients also define curls and control frizz. 

What to look for in a quality curl cream for wavy hair


One of the best features of a high-quality curl cream is its creamy, light consistency. Curl cream has a similar feel and softness to hand lotion. Most of these creams don’t feel very greasy, sticky or heavy, so you’ll have bouncy waves that feel soft.


Most curl creams have a pleasant fragrance, but everyone has a preference when it comes to scent. Look for a fruity, citrus or floral fragrance that won’t clash with your cologne or perfume.


Curl creams come in various containers depending on the brand and quantity. You can find them in jars, tubes and bottles with pump, screw-on or flip-top tops.

How much you can expect to spend on a curl cream for wavy hair

Curl creams for wavy hair range in price from about $20-$40. Midrange curl creams go for $20-$25, while high-end curl creams cost about $25-$40.

Curl cream for wavy hair FAQ

Can you apply curl cream while your hair is dry?

A. Curl creams work best on wet hair because they smooth out the hair shaft before the frizz develops. That said, applying curl cream to your dry hair can tame frizzy hair and add some extra definition to your waves. Just rub a few drops of curl cream evenly throughout your hair with your hands and shape your waves with your fingers.

What curl cream should you get if your waves are brittle and dry?

A. Natural plant-based oils do an excellent job of moisturizing dry wavy hair. Almond oil, avocado oil, argan oil and coconut oil are a few of the most effective plant oils, but there are many other kinds.

Can you use other kinds of hair care products with curl cream?

A. Since curl cream is very lightweight, you can easily use it with other hair products. Simply use the curl cream after washing your hair, and then you can add some other hairstyling products, including mousse or gel. Use this technique on days when you need some more hold.

What’s the best curl cream for wavy hair to buy?

Top curl cream for wavy hair

Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream

What you need to know: This curl cream for loose curls and waves moisturizes hair without weighing it down.

What you’ll love: The rich formula defines and hydrates waves with argan oil and several other ingredients. It features a pleasant scent and makes your hair shiny and soft. It’s also phthalate- and paraben-free.

What you should consider: It doesn’t define tight coils and curls as well as other creams. It’s best suited for wavy hair.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Sephora

Top curl cream for wavy hair for the money

Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Cream

What you need to know: If you want a curl cream that protects your hair, this is a great option. It locks in moisture to keep your hair healthy, even if you use heating tools frequently.

What you’ll love: It works well for both tight and loose waves, taming your flyaways and frizz and making your hair feel soft. It’s free of phthalates, parabens and other harsh chemicals and protects your hair well from damage.

What you should consider: Some people find the scent slightly overpowering, though many people like the smell.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Worth checking out

Bumble and Bumble BB Curl Style Defining Cream

What you need to know: This curl cream gets praise from wavy and curly customers alike.

What you’ll love: It uses polymers and plant oils to moisturize and protect your hair, leaving your waves bouncy and soft. It has a creamy texture and is free of phthalates and parabens. 

What you should consider: This cream feels heavy on thin, fine hair. Some noticed the definition didn’t last the whole day.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: