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15 Best 4C Hair Products to Moisturize and Define Your Curls

Curly hair experts recommend shopping these top picks to revitalize your natural hair.

best products for 4c hair

Even though all curly hair is beautiful, not all curl types are created equal. If you have 4C curls, you know that your tightly coiled strands are more fragile and prone to breakage than any other curl pattern, so moisturization, definition and hold are among your top hair concerns. To help you sort through the thousands of curly hair products on the market, we've curated a list of highly-rated picks from both beauty editors and online reviewers, including favorites from Black-owned beauty brands.

The truth is, you can't reach for any ol' product to style and enhance the very tight zig-zag shape of 4C hair. You need a moisture-rich formula that's full of naturally good-for-your-hair ingredients, like coconut oil and shea butter, to leave your hair soft to the touch and full of hydration. You'll also want to get your hands on a product that will make detangling a breeze and help define your natural curl pattern. Keep reading to discover the best hair products you can buy for stunning 4C curls.

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Bets Shampoo for 4C Hair
No-Poo Decadence
DevaCurl sephora.com

While traditional shampoos aren't a definite no-no for curly hair, picking a gentle cleanser for your curls has loads of benefits. This no-suds hair cleanser from DevaCurl is made with coily hair in mind and gets rid of dirt, grime and product build-up without stripping your strands dry. After rinsing, you'll be left with soft, moisturized and defined curls every time.

  • Highly hydrating
  • Adds definition
  • Mild formula

  • Expensive
Best Cowash for 4C Hair
Coconut Cleansing Conditioner
As I Am
As I Am sallybeauty.com

Cowashes (a.k.a. cleansing conditioners) are great for getting hair clean in between routine wash sessions. Consider them a reset for your strands whenever they're feeling out of whack.  This coconut-infused favorite gives curls a boost of moisture and helps add slip for detangling in the shower. Plus, it's gentle enough for daily use. 

  • Very moisturizing
  • Helps detangle knots
  • Gentle enough for daily use
  • Good value
Best Conditioner for 4C Hair
Heavy Conditioner for Coilies
Pattern Beauty
Pattern ulta.com

This conditioner from Pattern is specifically designed for 4C hair. It's thick, rich and goes on like butter, so you know your curls will feel like silk after you shower. The conditioner is formulated with avocado and safflower oils and shea butter to deeply moisturize strands and keep dryness at bay.

  • Rich formula for dry hair
  • Intensely hydrating

  • Some users say it doesn't have enough slip for detangling
Best Deep Conditioning Treatment for 4C Hair
Coco Creme Curl Quenching Deep Moisture Hair Mask
Carol's Daughter
Carol's Daughter amazon.com
$9.89 (29% off)

If you want healthy curls, routine deep treatments are non-negotiable. This mask is ideal for the combating extreme dryness and brittle curls and gives hair intensive moisturization. Thanks to the combination of coconut milk, coconut oil, mango butter and murumuru butter, you hair will feel softer and smoother than ever. 

  • Adds shine
  • Deeply moisturizes dry hair
  • Made with natural ingredients
Best Detangler for 4C Hair
Knot Today Natural Leave-In Detangler
Kinky Curly
Kinky-Curly amazon.com

Tangles are going to happen, but having a powerhouse product to help unravel knots will help you keep your sanity between styling sessions. This Kinky-Curly leave-in conditioner smooths hair's surface so tangles literally slide out of your hair without ripping or breaking. And the best part is, you don't have to rinse it out. Simply apply, detangle and layer on the rest of your styling products.

  • Helps detangle hair with ease
  • Smooths strands
Best Leave-In Conditioner for 4C Hair
Coily Miracle Leave-In
It's A 10
It's a 10 ulta.com

This leave-in conditioner made for coily hair is exactly what it says it is: miraculous. You'll cherish this moisturizing potion like gold because it does literally everything: smoothes, defines, hydrates, detangles and even adds shine. Consider it like a primer for your other hair styling products.

  • Enhances shine
  • Smooths strands
  • Defines curl shape

  • May be too heavy for some
Best Curl Cream for 4C Hair
Coconut Curling Cream
Cantu amazon.com

Curl creams are standard when styling 4C hair and Cantu is a fan-favorite brand. It softens and gently elongates coils, making them more manageable and easy to style, keeping them picture-perfect all-day long. Plus, the product is a true bargain at a little more than $5 for a generous size. 

  • Helps soften strands
  • Enhances curl styling
  • Great value
Best Curl Butter for 4C Hair
Twist & Define Cream For Natural Hair
Thank God It's Natural amazon.com

If most curl creams aren't rich enough for your 4C hair, consider this one. It's made for perfecting a twist or braid-out, and that's exactly why it's great for wash-and-go natural styles, too. In addition to adding moisture and keeping strands soft and smooth, it sets hair in place so your favorite style looks flawless while you're out and about.

  • Keeps style locked into place
  • Makes hair soft to the touch

  • May be too heavy for some
Best Curl Refresher for 4C Hair
Curl Reactivator
Bumble and Bumble
Bumble and Bumble sephora.com

Ideal for second and third day styles, this curl reactivator is like a cup o' joe for your coils: It gets things reset and ready for a new day. Simply spritz the blend of oils and butters onto your dry curls in the morning and style as usual. It will revitalize limp, stretched out curls and give strands a boost of moisture

  • Helps reshape curls
  • Softens strands
  • Works on dry hair
Best Gel for 4C Hair
Motorcycle Flexible Gel
R+Co nordstrom.com

There's nothing worse than a gel that leaves hair crunchy, stiff and dry. That's why this formulaf from R+Co is a real winner in our books: It makes curls feel springy and light, but keeps hairs in place no matter the weather. Thanks to coconut oil, sunflower seed extract and keratin, your hair will feel nourished and soft even after applying multiple days in a row. 

  • Has a soft, touchable hold
  • Helps curls hold their shape

  • May not fend off frizz
Best Mousse for 4C Hair
Spiked Honey Mousse
Camille Rose
Camille Rose amazon.com

The combination of nourishing honey and nettle root is what sets this Camille Rose mousse apart from its more drying counterparts. Honey helps to soften and smooth hair and nettle root gives strands a healthy sheen, while helping enhance curl shape.

  • Brings out the shape of coils
  • Softening formula
  • Good value
Best Serum for 4C Hair
K-PAK Protect & Shine Serum
Joico kutnbeauty.com

Hair serums are great to add luminosity and smoothness to dull or frizzy strands. But you don't want a serum that feels greasy, sticky or heavy. This version from Joico, a winner in our anti-frizz styling product tests, effectively smooths hair's surface to fend off frizz and enhance shine. Simply apply a few drops after your favorite styling products and voila, hydrated curls.

  • Lightweight formula
  • Boosts shine
  • Fights frizz
Best Edge Control for 4C Hair
Honey & Ginger Flexible Hold Edge Gel
Mielle Organics
Mielle Organics walmart.com

If you like your edges sleek and smooth, reach for this Mielle Organics edge gel. It keeps hairline frizz at bay without getting stiff or flaking. The formula is also not drying thanks to nourishing ingredients like honey and aloe vera.

  • Soft, touchable finish
  • Smooths down baby hairs

  • Scent is polarizing
Best Oil for 4C Hair
Multi-Use Pure Oil Blend
Melanin Haircare
Melanin Haircare ulta.com

A potent blend of sweet almond, avocado, jojoba, argan, baobab and sage oils make this Melanin Haircare oil chock-full of moisture. And since you won't find any silicones, parabens or petroleum in this blend, you don't have to worry about it feeling heavy on your strands. You can use it as a sealant to set your products into place or as an oil treatment in-between shampoo sessions.

  • Lightweight formula
  • Multiple uses
  • Made of botanical oils
Best Curl Elongator for 4C Hair
Don't Shrink Elongating Hair Curling Gel
Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils
Aunt Jackie's amazon.com

If shrinkage puts a damper on your styles, this curling gel will help to loosen tight coils. It's made with omega fatty acids, vitamin E and flaxseed to keep hair healthy and strong and to prevent damage. Since curls will be full of hydration and slip, it allows you to manipulate your curl pattern to be looser and more separated. Just remember to apply to wet hair for best results. 

  • Elongates tight, shriveled up coils

  • May be drying
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