Beauty Advice: Defining Natural Curls

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Dear Budget Fashionista,

I have a press and curl and I’m looking for products I can use when I want to go for a more natural-curly look.  I’m looking for products that will define my tightly curled hair while at the same time leave my hair looking moisturized

Answer: I find most over-the-counter curl defining products do not work very well on African-American hair. However, there are two products that work fairly well on my tightly curled hair:

Miss Jessie Curly Pudding.  Pricey but works wonders and was created by two sisters with curly hair who own a VERY popular hair salon in Brooklyn. The product is very thick, so it weighs hair down, while also keeping it nice and moisturized.

Aveda’s Be Curly Curl Enhancer and Aveda’s Confixtor Gel. Run a health size amount of Be Curly through wet hair to define the curls and then add a small amount of the Confixtor gel. Again, not the cheapest products out there, but they work.

Now be aware that these products won’t change the texture of your hair, but they will help define and build shine.

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  • every beauty tip for women is welcome…especially when it comes about curls…

  • S Morris

    I use and love Curling Custard by Kinky-Curly. It is all natural and defines my curls and the shine is unbelievable!

    You can buy it here

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  • DT

    It’s called Ouidad (not Quidad). The haircuts and products are expensive, but I actually spend less on my curly hair than I used to. Before I went to Ouidad, I got more frequent haircuts and bought every new curly hair product in hopes that one would be great. Now, I get my hair cut 3-4 times a year and buy very expensive products 2-3 times a year. So it works out cheaper, and strangers compliment me on my hair.

    Ouidad is the best thing EVER for curly hair!

  • Nisa

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have been trying to find a curl enhancing product for some time now. Just ordered a jar of Curly Meringue from Miss Jessies. I can’t wait to try it.

  • Joelle

    Hi, I have found a great leave in that does the job of defining natural curls just as well as Miss Jessies its called Cantu Leavin In Conditioner, and you can find it at walmart for under 5 bucks!

  • I use Carol’s Daughter Honey Mimosa to define my natural curls but to tame the would-be fro that would fill my cubicle.

  • Shannon

    For women with curly and/or coarse hair: you’ll find great advice on and by reading a book called “Curly Girl”. Changed everything for me and I have friends who have known me my whole life say my hair never looked better. Rule #1, avoid products with silicone at all costs (anything in the ingredient list with -cone). It looks shiny and moist at first and then your hair gets dryer and you keep on having to put on more. I thought I was going crazy but read that’s what silicones do, they actually dry out hair. I have also been washing my hair & scalp with conditioner (w/o silicones) instead of shampoo for 3 years now—really! I use a spritz of 1/2 vegetable glycerin, 1/2 distilled water and a little Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil to keep my hair manageable, shiny and get rid of frizz. Budget minded for sure!

  • christal

    My daughters hair is just like this and I use a product called DPT on her hair.  What it really is a curl activator that my beautician suggested and it works.  You don’t have to use a lot either.

  • Danika

    I use and love Curls Rock by Catwalk, it’s a cream instead of harsh, drying gels and mousses ….but use sparingly…I have a lot of hair and the curls will drink up just about anything but this stuff can get greasy if too much is used as with any other product.I find that 2 and half pumps of it works great. People are always asking what I use 🙂

  • cynthia

    This info is right on time. I found a retail shop for the Miss Jessies product and will be using it on my daughters hair tomorrow. Thanks for the information!

  • Keila

    On the cheaper end, I have found that Garnier Fructis Curl and Shine Leave in Conditioning Creme as well as Aloe Vera Gel (yes the kind you usually use for sunburn) work well to hold curl. Currently, I use Curls Whipped Cream, which is a little pricier, but holds my hair better than conventional gel. If you are still looking for helpful hair websites, you might want to try out or Hope this helps!

  • Denene

    When I wore my hair curly, I used and very much liked a product called Quidad. Google Quidad and it should direct you to the site where you can purchase the product. Also has a very nice salon in NYC.