How to Use Curl Cream for Curly, Wavy & Coily Hair

How to Use Curl Cream for Curly, Wavy & Coily Hair

Using curl creams can bring a myriad of benefits to all hair types. The driest, coarsest of locks to even the most baby-fine of curls can benefit from the use of curl cream. We unpick what this crucial product is, and showcase how to use curl creams to get the tresses of your dreams. Does a curl cream feature in your curly hair routine? If not, it should!

Tables of Contents:

What Is A Curl Cream?

A curl cream is a unique curly hair product, with wide-reaching uses and benefits. They contain a unique ingredient blend of conditioning agents, such as emollients and humectants, and flexible hold agents. This means that you can expect a versatile, easy-to-use product that really works for all curly hair types.

Coating each strand with a lightweight film of nourishing ingredients, curl creams are designed to soften and smooth the hair, helping to promote curl clumps and definition whilst also adding a flexible hold that helps your style last a little longer.

What Does a Curl Cream Do?

Their primary function is to enhance definition to curly hair and condition the hair. Unlike products such as leave-in conditioners, however, they also have a secondary function of adding a light hold to the hair. Therefore, you can look at a curl cream as a hybrid between a leave-in conditioner and a styler. 

  • Whilst curl creams pair perfectly with many other hair styling products, they can also be used in isolation for a low-maintenance, one-and-done styling routine.
  • Despite their names as ‘curl’ creams, these products are suitable for wavy hair, curly, and coily hair. Learning how to use curl creams is a great idea for those who want a softer, bouncier feel to their tresses. 

The Best Curl Creams for Curls, Waves & Coils

There are several curl hair creams available in the Curlsmith recipes, bringing a variety of benefits. Discover the best curl creams to use from our range, and what they can help achieve:

Curl Cream for Added Moisture 

From our moisturising range, the Hold Me Softly Style Balm is a great curl cream to use to hydrate and help style the hair. This cream provides a crunch-free soft hold whilst adding essential moisture for a frizz-free style.

  • Benefits: Moisture
  • Suitable for: All hair types, any porosity
  • Best for: Medium to coarse textured hair

Curl Cream for Added Protein

From our strength range, the Feather-Light Protein Cream is ideal to use a curl cream to add moisture as well as protein. Protein can provide essential support to weak, or damaged hair. Using this curl cream provides a flexible hold and curl definition, without any crunch. 

  • Benefits: Strength
  • Suitable for: All curl types
  • Best for: Weak damaged hair, medium to high porosity

How to Use Curl Cream

Learning how to use curl cream is essential to seeing the benefits of this product for your tresses. Here’s how to use curl cream:

  1. Begin with soaking wet hair 
  2. Decant a small amount of curl cream into the palm of your hands
  3. Rub your palms together to emulsify the cream
  4. Rake the curl cream through wet hair (this may require sectioning for high-density hair)
  5. As a one-and-done product: Once 1-4 are complete, scrunch your hair gently to encourage natural curl formation. 
  6. With other stylers: Once 1-4 are complete, decant your next styler and scrunch it into your hair to encourage natural curls to form.
  7. Air dry or diffuse your hair till dry. 
  8. Enjoy hydrated and beautifully defined curls!


How Much Curl Cream to Use

Use just a small amount of curl cream at a time. Start with squeezing out a portion around the size of a penny. You can always add more as you need, but it is better to start small. You can always add, but you can’t take away if you use too much curl cream.

Curl creams tend to be rich and creamy in texture, full of curl-friendly ingredients, and are certainly a “little goes a long way” type of product. Sectioning your curls and applying on soaking wet hair can help to evenly distribute all over your curls, so you won’t need too much.

Top Tips for Using Curl Cream

Whilst the steps to use a curl cream are fairly straight-forward, it’s often beneficial to know some top tips for making sure you’re using a product correctly. Proper use of products can mean you can achieve the curly hairstyles of your dreams! The top tips for how to use curl cream are:

  1. Apply at the right stage of your routine: To use curl creams, you should apply after the wash stage. Use after you have applied and rinsed out your shampoo and conditioner, and after leave-in conditioner.  
  2. Apply on soaking wet hair: This helps allow for even application over the whole of your locks. Just like you should apply gels to wet hair, the same goes for curl creams. Once your hair is dry, you can scrunch out any gel cast that may have formed, for soft, bouncy curls. 
  3. Close your fingers to apply: If using the raking application method to apply curl creams to your hair, close your fingers as you rake. This helps to smooth the hair strands which can help to get rid of frizzy hair
  4. Rub the product into your palms: This is a crucial step as it will emulsify the curl cream, help a little go a long way, and stop the overuse of the product. 
  5. Don’t use too much: Curl creams tend to be rich and creamy in texture and are certainly a “little goes a long way” type of product.

If you want more advice on what products you need for your hair type, or how to care for it best, take our curl quiz: 

8 Benefits of Using Curl Creams

Curls creams are a fantastic addition to any curly hair routine, tackling several issues from frizz to dryness. Knowing how you use curl creams means you could see the following benefits: 

  1. To add moisture - Curl creams are designed to moisturise the hair strands, adding softness and malleability! It’s important to note that not all curl creams are created equal; some will heavily condition the hair, while others provide the lightest moisturisation, making them suitable for all hair types, from fine to coarse.
  2. To add shine - When your curls are well hydrated, your hair becomes shinier and healthier looking.
  3. To smooth away frizz - Adequately moisturised hair is less likely to be frizzy hair and instead is more defined. Curl creams can be used as products for frizz control. 
  4. To melt away tangles - Many curl creams add “slip” to the hair, meaning they allow the hair to be more easily detangled, leading to less overall breakage.
  5. To add light hold - If you’re not a fan of the harder hold that curly hair gels bring to the hair, a curl cream may be your perfect solution. Many curl creams can be used as one-and-done stylers to add a crunch-free light hold to the hair.
  6. To prep for styling - Many curlies may want to add a gel or foam into their styling routine. Curl creams help to smooth the hair strand prior to adding these products and styling your curly hair. Using curl creams can make the hair easier to manage and apply extra product to.
  7. To add definition - Curl creams help bring the hair strands together, forming better curl clumps and enhancing definition as the hair dries. 
  8. To protect the hair strand - Many of the ingredients in curl creams are designed to coat the hair strand, not only moisturising the hair but also adding an invisible barrier to protect the hair strand.

Curls Creams vs Other Styling Products

Curl creams aren’t the only solution to styling your curls, but they can help prep the hair before adding more formulas to complete your look. Here’s how using curl creams differs from our curl-styling products


Curl Cream vs Hair Gel 

  • The main function of a hair gel is to provide hold to the hair, setting a style for the days ahead and ensuring longevity. 
  • The best gels for curly hair tend to be thicker in consistency, working hard to lock your curls in place, fighting humidity and frizz.
  • Whilst creams generally do contain ingredients that add a light hold, unlike gels, they also bring conditioning benefits to the hair, softening the strands and aiding definition. 
  • Where a gel will form a hearty cast on the hair, you will likely find that a curl cream does not.
  • Many harder-hold gels can be a little drying, so using a curl cream in conjunction with a harder-hold gel can prevent the hair from feeling dry and brittle.

Curl Cream vs Hair Jelly 

  • Jellies tend to be a lighter-weight type of hair gel, aiming to add a more flexible hold to the hair, without any of the weight. 
  • Jellies tend to be watery in consistency, with limited conditioning properties. They instead aim to fight and control frizz and keep curls in place during the day and overnight, however much you may fidget. In this lies their primary difference with creams. 
  • Using a curl cream will bring a lighter hold than jellies to the table, but all the conditioning benefits that you could need. 
  • These two products work beautifully together to add moisture and hold to those who feel a thicker gel may weigh their hair down.

Curl Cream vs Soufflé

  • Much more conditioning in nature, our Curl Defining Styling Soufflé offers a balance between a gel and a cream for those who need a harder hold, but more added softness. 
  • They moisturise as well as adding hold and are primarily designed for those who find gel may make their hair feel a little dry or stringy. 
  • A soufflé has more of a custardy texture and gives the hair a harder hold than using a curl cream will. 
  • Again, a soufflé is likely to form a cast on the hair, whereas using a curl cream will give a softer, less crunchy hold.

Now you know what a curl cream is, how to use one, and the differences that set them apart from other products, we hope you feel empowered to choose a curl cream suited to you! 

Choose Curlsmith to Care For Your Curls

At Curlsmith, we create cruelty-free, vegan hair products for all hair types, free from parabens, silicones, and sulphates. From wavy hair products to coily hair products, see how to unlock your curl pattern. For tailored recommendations, take our curl quiz


Curly Hair Content Creator

Shosh began training as a hair stylist in 2021 and has completed the first year of her NVQ courses (the UK qualification for stylists). She will be undertaking a more advanced course to allow her to offer more in depth services at a higher level. Her aim is to specialise in curls and colour upon completion of her training.

Curly Hair Content Creator

Shosh began training as a hair stylist in 2021 and has completed the first year of her NVQ courses (the UK qualification for stylists). She will be undertaking a more advanced course to allow her to offer more in depth services at a higher level. Her aim is to specialise in curls and colour upon completion of her training.