Get Ready for the Curls of Your Dreams

Textured Hair Needs Extra Care During the Summer. The Elysian Team Tested Dozens of Curly-Hair Products and Here Are Our Five Favorite Formulas For Amazing Wash-and-Go Hair

In the past 5 years, public attitudes about curly hair have shifted drastically. It’s no longer about ironing, straightening, and weaving your way toward an idealized hair aesthetic. It’s really about celebrating what Mother Nature gave you. We have no objections to flat-ironed or blow-dried tresses. But do you really want to spend your summer days inside a salon? Or be that person at the pool party who can’t swim because her hairdo requires a team of stylists? Nah, this summer, it’s time for the curls of your dreams, and we have just the stuff to get you there.

BEST OVERALL CURLY HAIR PRODUCT LINE
Aveda’s “Be Curly”

Aveda Labs spent years creating a plant-based formulation to hydrate delicate curls, repair damage, and attain frizz-free style. The “Be Curly” 4-step regimen consists of a conditioning shampoo, wash-out cream conditioner, Curl Enhancer and Style-Prep. Aveda’s proprietary blend of wheat protein and aloe define curls and help them keep their shape. And it couldn’t be easier to use. After you wash and condition in the shower, gently dab your hair with a towel. Apply Curl Enhancer to damp locks, gently observing the hair’s natural waves. Apply Style-Prep to palms and gently smooth over your tresses. Air dry your hair in a net or diffuse with a blow dryer if you prefer. We love Be Curly’s fresh scent of natural lemon, bergamot and orange flowers, which is appropriately subtle so as to not interfere with our favorite summer perfume.

($96, aveda.com)

 

BEST DRUGSTORE BRAND CURLY HAIR PRODUCT LINE
Garnier Fructis Curl Nourish

One thing we have learned through our curly hair product trials at Elysian is that there is no single formula that works for everyone. We’re big believers in getting recommendations from friends with similar hair texture–but the only way to know if something really works for you is to try it out yourself. Garnier Fructis’ Curl Nourish shampoo, conditioner and leave-in offers powerful hydration that helps revive even dry or damaged curls. The conditioner is quite thick, so we recommend combing it through your hair with a loose-tooth comb to distribute it thoroughly. Then plop a shower cap on your head and tend to another aspects of your shower routine for about 5 minutes to give your hair a chance to absorb the conditioner.

Shampoo ($14.59, amazon.com) ・ Conditioner ($2.39, amazon.com) ・Leave-In Conditioner ($4.99, amazon.com)

 

BEST PRODUCT LINE FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN, ETHNIC AND NATURAL HAIR
Pantene Gold Series

The Pantene Gold Series is specifically formulated to cleanse, nourish and strengthen tightly coiled hair. The 8-product collection includes a shampoo and wash-out conditioner as well as a spray-in hair oil, a detangler and a leave-in conditioner. The products contain no sulfates, parabens or dyes, and they smell like heaven. Bravo, Pantene.

Shampoo ($6.99, amazon.com) ・ Repairing Mask ($6.69, amazon.com) ・ Leave-On Detangling Milk ($7.99 | amazon.com)

BEST CROSSOVER PRODUCT FOR CURLY/STRAIGHT STYLES
L’Oreal EverCurl

We love L’Oreal’s EverCurl because the Sulfate-free formula is designed to smooth the hair’s cuticle for a smoother look and softer feel. You’ll notice the difference immediately in your wash-and-go styles. But if you choose to blow-dry your hair straight, EverCurl will give your straight style a smooth finish.

Shampoo ($6.19, amazon.com) ・ Conditioner ($6.39, amazon.com)

 

BEST PRODUCT FOR CURLY-HAIRED KIDS
L’Oreal Kids Pear Tangle Tamer

Most of the curly-hair products we’ve been experimenting with work equally well on children and adults. But if you have a tender-headed child at home, you know how difficult post-wash styling can be. We found the sweet-smelling Pear Tangle Tamer to be a powerful tool against knotted hair. Spray it on from roots to ends, and gently comb through. Your moppet’s mane will be tamed in no time.

($2.64, amazon.com)

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