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Curl cream: Your ultimate guide to styling and caring for curly hair

by Christoffer Thorsager on Apr 09, 2023

Read through by Dorthe Kristensen

Hairdresser and former co-owner of the award-winning hairdressing chain Zoom by Zoom
With many years of experience in the hairdressing industry, Dorthe has advised many customers about hair and hair care. Dorthe has read through this blog entry to ensure high quality and professionalism. This blog post is professionally updated on May 2, 2024.

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Curly hair is beautiful, but it can also be a challenge to care for and style. However, a good curl cream can be your best friend when it comes to highlighting and caring for your curls. In this article, we will give you a complete guide to what curling cream is, how to use it and what to look for when buying a curling cream.

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What is curl cream?

Curl cream is a hair care and styling product that is specially designed to care for and highlight curly hair. It is a soft, creamy and often slightly thick consistency that is easy to apply to the hair. Curl creams typically contain ingredients that can hydrate, soften and define the curls.

How do you use curl cream?

There are several different ways to use curl cream, but here are some steps you can follow:

  • Wash your hair with a mild shampoo and conditioner specially designed for curly hair.
  • Apply a small amount of curling cream to your towel-dried hair. Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to spread the cream evenly through the hair.
  • Use a diffuser when blow-drying your hair to maintain the shape of the curls and avoid frizz.

If you want more definition, take small sections of hair and shape the curls with your fingers until you achieve the desired shape.

Finally, there is also the Curly Girl Method, here there are some specific requirements for the products and how to use them. You can read more about the Curly Girl Method here.

What should you look for when buying a curl cream?

When buying a curl cream, there are several factors to consider:

Ingredients: Look for a curl cream that contains natural ingredients, such as aloe vera, jojoba oil, and shea butter, which can help hydrate and soften curls without weighing them down. Avoid creams that contain sulfates, parabens, or other harmful chemicals.

Consistency: Choose a curl cream that suits your hair type. If you have thick hair, you may need a thicker consistency to tame the curls, while a lighter cream is more suitable for thinner hair.

Purpose: Consider what you want to achieve with your curl cream. Do you want more definition, less frizz, or more volume? There are curling creams that are designed for different purposes, so be sure to choose one that suits your needs.

Scent: Curling cream comes in different scents, so choose one that appeals to you and won't irritate your nose or scalp.

Woman using curl cream

Different types of curl cream

There are different types of curling cream on the market, and it can be a challenge to find the one that suits you best. Here are some of the most common types:

Defining curl cream: These creams are specially designed to define curls and give them more durability. They often contain ingredients such as coconut oil, aloe vera and shea butter that can hydrate and soften the curls.

Anti-frizz curl cream: These creams are designed to fight frizz and keep curls in place in humid weather. They often contain silicone or lanolin, which can protect the hair from moisture and tame flyaways.

Volumizing curl cream: These creams can give thin or flat hair more volume and fullness. They often contain ingredients that can add texture and volume, such as hydrolyzed wheat protein or keratin.

Hydrating Curl Cream: These creams are designed to add moisture and nourishment to curly hair that may be dry and damaged. They typically contain ingredients such as aloe vera, jojoba oil and shea butter, which can rebuild and strengthen the hair.

Good curling cream that defines and moisturizes the curls

How to get the best result with your curling cream

To get the best result with your curl cream, here are some tips and tricks:

  • Use a mild shampoo and conditioner specially designed for curly hair to prepare your hair for styling.
  • Use only a small amount of curling cream at a time to avoid weighing your hair down.
  • Apply the curling cream evenly to your towel-dried hair using a wide-toothed comb or your fingers.
  • Use a diffuser when blow-drying your hair to maintain the shape of the curls and avoid frizz.
  • Avoid touching your hair too much when it's dry, as this can break the curls and cause frizz.
  • Use a bamboo pillowcase when you sleep to prevent the curls from being ruined during the night.

Curl cream can be an important part of your hair care routine if you have curly hair. It can help define and condition your curls and keep them in place all day. When choosing a curl cream, it is important to consider ingredients, consistency, purpose and fragrance to find the one that best suits your needs. With the right techniques and products, you can achieve beautiful, defined curls that look healthy and well-groomed.

Unveiling the Science Behind Curl Cream and How They Work Their Magic on Hair

Hair gets its shape from proteins called keratin. In straight hair, these proteins are evenly distributed. But in curly hair, the keratin forms uneven clumps. It causes the hair to bend and curve. And eventually, it creates those unique and beautiful shapes we know as curls.

For curly-haired people, managing their locks can be a  real struggle. Frizzy, undefined curls and dryness can leave you longing for smooth, manageable locks. But fear not! Curl cream can help you get bouncy, beautiful, and healthy curls.

So, if you are wondering - What does curl cream do? Then, let us explore the science behind this. We will also find out how this curl cream can transform your locks.

The Struggles of Curly Hair

Curly hair comes with unique challenges compared to straight hair. Curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair. This dryness is due to the curved shape. This makes it harder for the sebum, the natural oils from the scalp to travel down the hair shaft. This lack of moisture makes your hair dry, leads to frizz and undefined curls. It leaves them looking dull and lifeless.

This dryness makes your tangle more and more difficult to manage. Curly hair also requires different styling techniques than straight hair. And many people struggle to find the right products and routines to tame their curls and enhance their natural beauty.

How Does Curl Cream Help in Frizz-Fighting

Before exploring how to use curl cream, let us find out how this curl cream helps your hair. Curl cream is a styling product that is designed specifically for curly hair. It contains a mix of ingredients that work together to tame frizz. This cream also defines curls. It adds the much-needed moisture to your hair.

Let us explore the benefits of using curl cream.

●      Humectants for Adding Moisture for Your Hair

So, to answer your question - what does curl cream do, curl cream contains humectants. These act like tiny sponges in curl cream. They attract moisture from the air and bring it into your hair strands. This helps to hydrate the dry curls and prevent frizz. Common humectants include glycerin and aloe vera. Glycerin is known for its powerful moisture-attracting properties and aloe vera provides hydration for sensitive scalps.

●      Emollients Lock in the Goodness

Emollients are like a protective layer on your hair. They coat the hair shaft and help to lock in moisture from the humectants. This keeps your curls hydrated and prevents them from drying out. Common emollients are shea butter, known for its rich and creamy texture, and coconut oil, which offers deep conditioning and shine.

●      Conditioning Agents for Smoothing the Hair

Conditioning agents in curl cream smooth down the hair cuticle (outer layer). This reduces frizz and makes your curls feel softer and more manageable. They also add shine and prevent tangles. It makes combing your hair and styling a lot easier.

●      Hold Without the Stiffness

Curl cream provides hold to your curls without making them stiff or crunchy. This allows your curls to retain their shape throughout the day without looking weighed down or unnatural. Different curl creams offer varying levels of hold. So, you can choose one that suits your curl pattern. Fine, loose curls might benefit from a lighter hold cream. And thick, coily curls might need a stronger hold for long-lasting definition.

How to Apply Curl Cream Like a Pro

How to use curl cream? Here is your answer. Apply a dime-sized curl cream to damp hair after showering or conditioning. Adjust the amount based on your hair length and thickness. Gently scrunch the cream into your hair, focussing on the ends where curls tend to be drier. We suggest you air dry your hair instead of blow drying to get a more natural look.

The Science of Happy, Healthy Curls

By understanding the science behind curl cream, you can choose the right product and apply it properly to achieve your desired look. Embrace it to give your hair a natural texture.

For extra frizz control, apply a small amount of curl cream to dry hair throughout the day. This can help to refresh your curls and tame flyaways.

Get ready to rock those gorgeous, healthy curls with confidence!

5 unique FAQs about curling cream

Can I use curl cream on my straight hair?

Yes, but it will not have the same effect as on curly hair. Curl cream is designed to define and hold curls, so if your hair is straight, try a product specifically designed for straight hair instead.

How often should I use curl cream?

It depends on your hair type and your styling needs. Some people use curl cream every day, while others only use it on special occasions. Start by trying it once a week and then adjust your usage based on how your hair responds.

Is curl cream healthy for my hair?

It depends on the ingredients in the curl cream. If it contains nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil and shea butter, it can actually be healthy for your hair. However, if it contains chemicals and synthetic ingredients, it can have a negative effect on your hair in the long run.

Can I use curl cream if I have colored hair?

Yes, but it's important to choose a curling cream specifically designed for colored hair and avoid products that contain sulfates and parabens, as they can dry out your hair.

Can I use curl cream on my hair if I have a sensitive scalp?

Yes, you can use curling cream, but it's important to choose one specifically designed for sensitive scalps and avoid products that contain perfume and alcohol, as they can irritate the scalp.

Curl cream can be a useful and effective way to style and care for your curly hair. By choosing the right curl cream and using it correctly, you can achieve beautiful, defined curls that look healthy and well-groomed. Remember to try different types of curl cream and experiment with different techniques to find the best method for your hair.

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