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A must-have for every curly-haired gal is a microfiber towel to dry her hair. Traditional terrycloth towels often promote frizz while a microfiber towel dries hair quickly without the harsh texture. DevaCurl makes a DevaTowel that retails for $12 and is just the right size to remove water without creating frizz.
Aveda Be Curly
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Aveda's Be Curly line is designed to be used in tandem to get the best results. I tried the four-step kit including shampoo, conditioner, style prep, and curl enhancer. The shampoo cleaned my hair without stripping it of natural oils, and the conditioner left my hair soft and tangle-free. The combination of style prep and curl enhancer was a light-hold formula that gently defined my curls and left them feeling soft to the touch. Overall, the Aveda line was mild, and my curls had a lovely scent that I have come to associate with Aveda's hair-care products. Be Curly Style Prep and Curl Enhancer, Aveda, $24 and $23.
Miss Jessie's Quick Curls
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Miss Jessie's is another hair-care brand marketed for curly hair. It's great for relaxed or overprocessed hair. While my hair was damp, I applied Miss Jessie's Leave In Condish, then raked Miss Jessie's Quick Curls cream through my hair, and dried with the diffuser attachment on my blow dryer. The leave-in conditioner left my hair soft and helped to prevent frizz. Quick Curls is one of the best products for curly hair I've tried for enhancing natural texture. It held the curls all day long without changing the texture or leaving behind residue. Quick Curls, Miss Jessie's, $32.
Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious
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DC Staffer Morgan tried the Curl Conscious line from Bumble and bumble. Her favorite products in the line were the calming cream and defining cream. The calming cream smells amazing, and while it didn't tame curls, it did contribute to the softness of the locks. The defining cream made her hair soft, smelled amazing, and nicely defined her curls. Morgan says the defining cream made her wavy hair a consistent shape throughout. Curl Conscious Calming Cream and Defining Cream, Bumble and bumble, $29 each.
Kerastase Boucles D'art
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Kerastase is a hair-stylist favorite hair-care brand. I tried their Boucles D'art curl defining mousse. The mousse is a very light formula. I finger-combed it through my hair and dried with a diffuser. This mousse made my hair extremely soft. However, it didn't style my curls as well as I would have liked. This product would be great if you have waves instead of curls or want a light-hold product. Boucles D'art, Kerastase, $36.
L'Oreal Curve It Curl Taming Cream
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The L'Oreal Curve It Curl Taming Cream was tried by DC Staffer Leah, and it was her favorite product in the L'Oreal Curl line. The product was light, not sticky, but when applied had more of a gel consistency than a cream. Leah tried this product on wet hair and styled with a blow dryer. She used it a second day and let her hair air-dry. Both methods left her curls defined and frizz-free. The budget-friendly curl cream exceeded all expectations. Curve It Curl Taming Cream, L'Oreal Paris, $4.99.
DevaCurl Mist-er Right
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The DevaCurl brand is specifically formulated for curly hair of all types. One of my favorite products from DevaCurl is Mist-er Right spray. This product worked like a dream and perked up my limpest locks. A few spritzes and my tired, second-day curls were styled to see another day without the use of heating tools. This product is great for stretching your style another day (or two) between washes. The spray revitalizes strands with a lovely lavender scent while reshaping the natural wave of your hair. Mist-er Right, DevaCurl, $19.95.
Redken Smooth Lock Stay Sleek Anti-Frizz Cream
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When I want to style my curly strands into a sleeker style, I love Redken's Smooth Lock Stay Sleek Anti-Frizz Cream. Raking this through wet hair before a blowout will keep hair frizz-free, and it dries oh-so smooth. After using Smooth Lock, I am able to achieve pin-straight hair with just my blow dryer and don't have to use a flat iron. This is a great product to use when wearing hair straight, as it maintains the style longer and keeps it smoother. Smooth Lock Stay Sleek Anti-Frizz Cream, Redken, $16.99.
Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight
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Aveda has a new product added to its hair-care arsenal called Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight. This styling cream is applied to damp hair before drying with a brush and blow dryer. This product holds even your curliest strands straight and forms a barrier against frizz. Unlike other straightening products, where the benefits are washed away with your next shampoo, Smooth Infusion progressively straightens hair with each use. After 5 consecutive applications, hair will remain straight for up to 3 washes. A great product for a long-lasting result without spending hundreds on a Keratin treatment at the salon. Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight, Aveda, $26.