Those of us with curls know that if you want to combat frizz, you have to invest time and money in your hair. What’s up for debate is just how much money.
Curly hair experts at salons will undoubtedly recommend big name creams, gels, and conditioners like Ouidad and DevaCurl. These products do in fact work wonders, but since both run at around $25 per bottle at Sephora, no one can blame you for looking elsewhere.
So here’s a list of the best products for those of us who love our hair—just not more than we love having money for food and a place to live.
1. Pantene Pro-V Curly Hair Series, Shampoo and Conditioner ($4.99 each)
There’s a reason this line can be found in nearly every drugstore: it’s cheap and most importantly, it works. Pantene gives you results comparable to those of much pricier brands, but for about one fourth the cost.
2. Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie ($11.99)
For $11.99 at Target, this is the most expensive product on the list. But it lasts forever (as in years), so it’s well worth the price. It works best on slightly damp or dry hair for touch-up frizz control.
3. Not Your Mother’s Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream ($5.99)
Not Your Mother’s products have been showing up more and more at drugstores lately, and it’s not hard to see why. The brand also makes a frizz control specific cream, which can be used in tandem with the curl cream for extra-special sleek and shiny ringlets.
4. Frizz Ease Secret Weapon Crème ($5.39)
This one is best for putting the finishing touches on your curls, or if you need a quick refresher throughout the day.
5. TRESemmé Flawless Curls Shampoo and Conditioner ($3.98 each)
TRESemmé deserves special mention as the cheapest curly hair product on this list. It’s also worth noting that their shampoo and conditioner containers are impressively large and long-lasting.
But if the above options still don’t satisfy, it’s important to keep in mind that often the best curly hair product is simply water. It’s cheap, easy, and extremely effective. So next time you have a few particularly problematic bits of hair, try separating them from the rest of your curls, wetting them, and then twisting the strands around your finger. This gives the ornery section a fresh start, while preserving those other ringlets that you’ve worked so hard to perfect.