Best Moisturizer for Curly Hair

November 03, 2020 6 min read

Best Moisturizer for Curly Hair

 By Tiffany Walker

Life is too short not to embrace your natural hair curls' texture, shape, and beauty. And once you discover the best moisturizer for curly hair, you won't just be embracing; you'll be flaunting!

But with so many curly hair product options available, how can you know which moisturizers are the best for your curls? We have you covered with this simple guide to understand your curls and pampering them with the right moisturizer for naturally curly hair.

What’s In a Curl?

If you were born with natural curls, then curls are just a fact of life. But even though you’ve lived with them this long, do you understand your curls? It sounds like a strange question to ask, but have you ever felt confused and frustrated by your hair type? 

Well, there’s no better way to care for and properly moisturize them than to get down to the science of what makes them curl!

It’s All About the Follicle

One fundamental difference between curly and straight hair is the shape of the hair follicles.

Curly-haired gals have uniquely asymmetrical hair follicles, while straight-haired folks have circular follicles. These more symmetrical follicles lead to the flat pattern of hair, hence straighter strands. Asymmetrical strands tend to be more oval-shaped and spread out, which causes a curved shape of the hair shaft.

Don’t Forget the Proteins

The follicle isn’t the only piece to this equation. Proteins are a big part of the picture too.

The way that the follicle is shaped also determines how the hair shaft will bond with proteins. Proteins are important to the structural integrity of hair strands. And, as it turns out, curly hair has more of these protein bonds—also known in scientific terms as disulfide bonds—than straight strands. 

Why? That’s because the shape of the follicle allows more of these bonds to form on the hair. So it’s both the asymmetrical shape of your hair follicles and the protein bonding that creates the individual shape and character of the curls you proudly wear. 

Identify Your Curl Type

To find the best hair moisturizer for curly hair, it’s essential to find your curl type. You may find that your curls overlap with a couple of categories, and that’s just one more reason that you’re extraordinarily you.

Once you identify the type (or types) of curls you have, you’ll be more able to treat them with the right hair care products. And who doesn’t want that?

Type 2

Technically Type 2 hair is more wavy than curly, but these locks fall under three classes that can be fine or coarse.

  • Type 2a – This hair type tends to be thin and limp while still having a bit of tousled texture. 
  • Type 2b – These are S-shaped waves that form because hair rests flat at the crown and then emerges into wavy hair around ear level. These waves are more defined and thicker than 2a waves.
  • Type 2c – The thickest of the bunch, Type 2c strands have a more defined curl shape starting from the root. They also happen to be thicker and very frizz-prone. 

Type 3

These are straight-up curls, sometimes loose curls, and sometimes tight and bouncy curls. Type 3 curls, on the tighter end of the spectrum, are spring-like curls that frizz easily.

  • Type 3a – The loosest type of Type 3 curl, these curls are the largest, resulting in luscious, wavy hair. Their size is close to a piece of sidewalk chalk. 
  • Type 3b – These are buoyant, ringlet-type, bouncy curls that are always asking for moisture. These curls benefit from a hair moisturizer product that also supports natural curl definition to avoid frizz.
  • Type 3c – The tightest of them all, Type 3c curls are often described as corkscrews or curly-coily hair. These curls tend to be about the size of a pencil in terms of circumference. They’re dense and are naturally voluminous but struggle with frizz and shrinkage.

Type 4

Type 4 hair features tight and coily curls that vary in thickness from thin to coarse. If you don’t have Type 4 hair but are looking for how to coil natural Black hair, this is the look you could be going for. These tight curls lay in unique Z patterns and need extra love to retain moisture and neutralize shrinkage. If you’re looking to retain your curly locks, we have all the tips on how to retain 4c hair here.

  • Type 4a – These are tightly coiled S-shaped curls that are dense but might be fine or coarse in texture. The size is similar to a crochet hook.
  • Type 4b – Type 4b curls create more of a zig-zag pattern than a curl. Pen-like in width, these curls tend to have less definition than other natural curl types. They can also be fine to wiry and coarse in texture.
  • Type 4c – These curls are similar to 4b but with less definition. This type of curl also tends to be the most prone to breakage and shrinkage. Since they’re quite delicate and can be super-fine in texture, Type 4c locks need ample moisture and TLC. Luckily, we have more on the best products for 4c hair and ideas for 4c hair natural styles.

Why Moisturizer is a Curly Girl’s Go-To Product

As a curly-haired queen, you know all too well the importance of moisture in your hair. When your hair has enough moisture, you enjoy a ton of other benefits: shine, strength, and protection against breakage and annoying split ends that you just don’t have time for.

But do you feel like your curls never seem to have enough moisture or always require a moisture boost? Why is that exactly?

Curls are Always Thirsty

Do you sometimes feel like it’s impossible to give your curls enough moisturizing care? If so, you’re not alone. 

The lovely shape of your curls comes with a bit of an obstacle for root-to-end moisture. It’s harder to deliver moisture through the hair shaft from your follicles because of their curved shape. 

They’re Vulnerable to Heat and Breakage

All hair is fragile to a certain degree, but curly hair is more prone to breaking than straight hair. The reason is actually an extension of the moisturizing conundrum. Because moisture can’t always get where it needs to be, this can leave hair strands dehydrated and easily breakable. 

That means increased sensitivity to heat and more risk of breakage. Heating tools don’t need any help with depleting moisture from any type of hair—but for curly hair, the risk of dehydration is higher. So if you’re ever wondering how to blow dry curly hair, make sure you use a moisturizing hair product that protects from heat. 

Best Hair Moisturizer for Curly Hair: What to Look For

When it comes to finding a hair moisturizer worthy of your curly hair, it’s all about looking for ingredients with integrity and specific value to your curls. That means seeking out natural, soothing oils and moisturizing hair care products.

Wondering how to enhance curls with certain ingredients? You may have experimented with some or all of these items in your existing products. But choosing the best products for frizzy curly hair that incorporate and feature these superpower ingredients will save you time and give your curls exactly what they need. 

  • Coconut oil – This is a highly moisturizing natural oil. In its purest form can be a true powerhouse for deep conditioning as a mask or leave-in treatment.
  • Avocado oil – The healthy fats you know and love in avocados can do wonders for your tresses too. It’s particularly excellent for gals with the densest curls and coarser textures. If you’re ready to add this amazing fruit to your hair care diet, try our Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk.
  • Babassu oil – Rich in fatty acids that are absorbed quickly, this is the ultimate ingredient for smoothing and intensive conditioning. You’ll find it front-and-center in our Babassu oil line, including our Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner.
  • Jojoba oil – This oil is praised for mirroring the natural oils in our scalp. Even better, it provides lightweight moisture that won’t leave you feeling weighed down.
  • Shea butter – This is a rockstar ingredient you’ll find in any moisturizer for naturally curly hair, and you’ll find it throughout our product lines. It’s an antioxidant-rich powerhouse for sealing in much-needed moisture.
  • Antioxidants – We’ve been hearing about antioxidants for years now, and there’s a reason. They’re just plain good for us, and that includes our hair! Antioxidant-rich pomegranate can have a swiss-army knife effect against all the bad stuff your curls face (think UV rays). Who doesn’t want a forcefield around her curls? 

Moisturize Your Curls with MIELLE Organics

At MIELLE Organics, we’re dedicated to treating your curls the right way. And that starts with a commitment to natural hair products that will nurture your curls just the way they need to be nourished. 

No matter your hair or curl type, we have natural, quality solutions for you, including products focused on Type 3 and Type 4 curl shaping, protection, and moisture needs.

We can‘t wait to help you pamper your natural hair. Reach out with any questions about the bestMIELLE moisturizers for your curls.


  1. Helix. The Science of Curls
  2. Naturally Curly. Hair Types.
  3. Smithsonian Magazine. Curly Hair Science is Revealing How Different Locks React to Heat.
  4. Byrdie. 9 Nourishing Natural Ingredients for Black Hair.
  5. Shape. The Benefits of Antioxidants in Hair Products.

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