If you have curly hair, you know the struggle of finding products to suit your strands. What works for one person's waves could ruin another's coils, and the result for all is a pile of barely used products taking up valuable bathroom space and leaving a big dent in bank accounts.

As someone with a head of curls myself (shout out to the 3B gals), I decided to put some of my product testing to use and share my reviews in the hopes of saving others the trouble.

In the meantime, if you are looking to give your barely used bottles a new home, be sure to check out some Curly Hair Facebook groups; the curly community are great for doing regular product swaps, drops, and recommendations.

NB: Curly Girl Method followers should note that not all of the following products are CG approved.

Click here to learn more about the Curly Girl Method

Kérastase
A surprise contender on the curly hair market, Kérastase's new Curl Manifesto range is formulated with hydrating manuka honey and cementing ceramide which aims to provide a combination of hydration and definition to curly, very curly and coily hair. And, happily, it does just that.

The shampoo and conditioner are buttery soft, smell amazing and left my hair feeling clean and frizz-free. I followed with the leave-in smoothing cream - which I brushed through with a Denman paddle brush - and a dollop of the gel cream. The combination gave my curls more definition than I thought possible without drying it out or leaving a cast.

The oil smelled beautiful and left my hair with a noticeable shine, however, it does come in at €39.90 which is a little too expensive for, what I consider to be, a non-essential step in my routine.

This set was gifted to me, but I will absolutely be buying the majority of products for myself when I run out. Although they run at a slightly higher price point, they eliminated frizz and left my hair feeling soft without the side effect of hygral fatigue (damage from over hydration).

The range is available in Peter Marks for the following prices:

  • Bain Hydratation Douceur Shampoo, €25.50
  • Fondant Hydratation Essentielle Conditioner, €31
  • Crème De Jour Fondamentale (smoothing cream), €31
  • Gelée Curl Contour, €31.00
  • Huile Sublime Repair (oil), €39.90

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Cantu
If your hair is feeling frizzy this summer, look no further than Cantu. Made with shea butter and natural oils, these products are extremely moisturising and hydrating without weighing the hair down.

The shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner combo is ideal for those with coarse or dried out hair or for those who are looking to keeping their routine simple and smelling sweet without breaking the bank.

The shampoo left my scalp feeling super clean while the conditioner had my strands feeling soft and nourished. The leave-in conditioner (combined with a Denman paddle brush) left my curls with enough hold and definition that I didn't have to follow up with a styling cream or gel.

This is a straight forward set that I can see myself returning to time and time again, and will be perfect for bringing on holiday when I don't want an entire suitcase dedicated to my wash days.

  • Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo 400ml, €9 on BeautyFeatures.ie
  • Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Hydrating Cream Conditioner 400ml, €9 in McCabes
  • Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream 453g, €9 on BeautyFeatures.ie

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Olaplex
If your hair is fried from bleach or heating tools, this is the product that every hairstylist will recommend to you. Known for their transformative qualities, Olaplex products don't just make your hair look good, they actually improve the quality and strength of your strands.

The brand has a nine step product line - seven of which are for at home use while the other two are for in salon. They come in at a slightly higher price point but are vegan friendly, cruelty-free and free from parabens, sulphates and phosphates.

So far, I have used number 4 and 5 and I always notice an immediate difference in my hair. The products leave curls feeling nourished and repaired, however, I do find them to be a little on the heavy side meaning that my hair tends to fall a little flat when styling.

I would personally use Olaplex as an occasional treat when my gruaig need some extra TLC.

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Bouclème
This is the hair set that my curly hair aficionado hairdresser swears by. Free from sulphates, parabens and silicones, the CG-friendly set uses natural products such as argan oil, aloe vera leaf and virgin coconut oil.

The non-foaming curl cleanser is ultra-hydrating and smells minty fresh while the nourishing conditioner delivers intense moisture deep into the hair cuticle. The gel is super lightweight and leaves a barely-there veil over the hair to add definition. These products leave hair feeling clean, light, and free from any residue.

Personally, my hair refuses to work with gel but Bouclème is the only brand that's come close to working. I find the gel handy for smoothing baby hairs and putting shape on loose strands when I want my messy bun to be a little less messy.

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Shea Moisture
If you have very curly, kinky or coily curls that rely on protein-rich products, you will fall in love with this cruelty-free set. The shampoo and leave-in conditioner are ideal for unruly hair as well as heat-damaged or chemically processed locks.

The shampoo reduces the appearance of breakage and shedding while encouraging hair to grow longer while leaving strands super soft and smelling delicious. The leave-in conditioner is super reparative and a dream for detangling hair while controlling frizz.

The leave-in conditioner has become an old reliable in my books. It leaves my hair soft, defined, and tangle-free in seconds.

Personally, I find that the products can become a little too heavy on my curls over time so I make sure to use a cleansing shampoo or an apple cider hair rinse in between washes.

  • Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo, €16.99 in Boots
  • Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner, €11.33 in Boots

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