The Best Styling Products for Wavy Hair and Type 2 Curls


This is Texture Talk, a weekly column that deep dives into the dynamic world of curly hair, from crowns of curls that are free flowing to strands that are tucked away in a protective style.

Souzan Michael Galway

Date March 18, 2021

Must of us know that curly and wavy hair can be on the drier side because the oils that are naturally produced by the scalp can’t travel down the hair shaft and nourish the hair as easily as they can with straight hair. Because of this, products for wavy hair need to be hydrating in order to keep it shiny and healthy. However, when it comes to type 2 hair — that is, waves that are bendable and lay closer to the head, appearing in a distinctive ‘S’ shape — it can range in thickness. Like, a lot. Type 2 waves can be ultra-fine, thick and coarse, or anything in between. This can make choosing the right styling product a bit tricky. If you pick one that’s not nourishing enough, your strands risk not getting enough hydration. If you go with one that’s too heavy, you’ll weigh your waves down.

To avoid any confusion, we’ve compiled a list of the best styling products for wavy hair, no matter how fine or thick. Browse our picks below and get ready to add to cart — trust us.

Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Styling Gel

SheaMoisture 100 Percent Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Styling Gel, $25,

Made with coconut oil, coconut fruit extract and coconut juice, this nourishing styling gel hydrates waves and curls without leaving behind any annoying residue or — even worse — hardened pieces or crunchiness.

Redken No Blow Dry NBD Just Right Cream

Redken No Blow Dry NBD Just Right Cream, $24, at select salons

Available in three different formulations (for fine hair, wavy hair and curly hair), Redken’s revolutionary No Blow Dry NBD Just Right Cream is perfect for anyone who wants to wash and go, rather than partake in an involved post-wash routine. Just Right, the product that, of the three, is best-suited for wavy hair and type 2 curls, leaves hair with just the right amount of hold. Plus, it’s made with Air-Tex Technology, the first technology of its kind that actually speeds up air-drying time.

Flow Haircare Touchable Texture Design Cream

Flow Haircare Touchable Texture Design Cream, $29,

Providing pliable, medium hold for curls and waves, Flow Haircare’s Touchable Texture Design Cream adds definition and texture sans crispiness.

Unite 7 Seconds Detangler

UNITE 7 Seconds Detangler, $35,

A great detangling product can be a necessary first post-shower step for wavy or curly hair. This one from Unite promises to detangle hair in seven seconds (!), leaving it nourished and hydrated all day long. Bonus: it doubles as a UV and thermal protector.

Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream

Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream, $38,

Formulated with nourishing argan oil, Moroccanoil’s curl cream is a favourite among those with curly hair, and for good reason. Featuring heat-activated technology that provides a curl memory factor, the cream leaves you with well-defined, natural-looking curls.

Matrix Total Results Curl Please Contouring Lotion

Matrix Total Results Curl Please Contouring Lotion, $18, at select salons

For extra body and bounce, the Matrix Total Results Curl Please Contouring Lotion should be applied evenly throughout damp hair. Finish by styling how you normally would.

Herbal Essences bio:renew Mango & Aloe Vera Curl Cream

Herbal Essences bio:renew Mango & Aloe Curl Cream, $10,

This leave-in treatment has been formulated to define and boost shine for curly and wavy hair, thanks to a blend of fruit extracts (mango, blackberry and avocado) as well as aloe vera juice and castor oil.

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