The 6 Best Curl Activators to Get Perfectly Defined Curls
If you're looking to define your curls and make them look their best, you need the right curl activator.
Not all curl activators are created equal - some work better than others depending on your hair type.
In this post, we will introduce you to the best curl activators for defined curls. We'll also give you a few tips on how to use them to get the best results!
How We Choose the Best Curl Activator
What is the best curl activator? We wanted to know!
That’s why our team reads through thousands of Amazon reviews, TikTok and YouTube videos and social media posts to compile the absolute best curl activator. We know after reading this article you will find the best curl enhancers for your hair.
Best For Thick Hair
Twisted Sista Curl Activator Creme
Why We Picked It
Suffering from tired, saggy curls? Twisted Sista is here to help! This product puts the life back into your natural curl pattern, adding shine and eliminating frizz. It's perfect for thicker curls, and contains coconut oil, avocado oil, and sweet almond oil to nourish your hair.
Plus, it provides the perfect soft curl hold without being sticky. So give your curls a boost with Twisted Sista.
Best Budget Buy
Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream
Why We Picked It
Looking for a way to add shine and definition to your natural waves, curls, or coils? Cantu Activator Cream is a popular choice.
This shea butter-infused formula is packed with 7 essential oils that work to nourish your dry hair while you style. It’s great for all hair types, including type 2 waves, type 3 curls, and type 4 coils.
And best of all, it’s formulated with no harsh ingredients like mineral oil, sulfates, or parabens. So you can feel good about using it on even damaged hair.
Plus, it’s cruelty-free and has absolutely no testing on animals.
Best For Split Ends
Lustrasilk Max Curl Activator Moisturizer
Why We Picked It
Looking for a product that will give you dramatic definition, shape and control to your wavy hair? Look no further than Lustrasilk Max Curl Activator Moisturizer.
Enriched with argan oil, this powerful product will help prevent stubborn flyaways and frizzy hair, giving you the perfect look every time.
Best For Dry Hair
Smooth ‘N Shine Polishing Curl Activator Gel
Why We Picked It
Looking for a formula that can help you achieve bouncy, gorgeous curls? Look no further than Smooth 'N Shine Polishing Curl Activator Gel.
This curl activator gel is enriched with camellia oil and shea butter, which work together to leave your curls looking light and lustrous.
Plus, it's sulfate-free and alcohol-free, so it's gentle on your hair. Use it to achieve flexible hold and frizz prevention. Your curls will thank you!
Best Conditioning Activator
SoftSheen-Carson Care Free Curl Curl Activator
Why We Picked It
Looking for a curl activator that will help maintain the proper moisture-oil balance for your curls? Look no further than SoftSheen-Carson Care Free Curl Curl Activator.
This product not only helps repair split ends and revitalize limp curls, but also conditions hair to keep it looking healthy and moist.
With a pleasant fragrance, Softsheen-Carson Curl Activator is the perfect product to help you achieve unique looks for all hair types.
Best for Soft Curls
Sofn’Free Moisturizer & Curl Activator for Natural Hair, Soft Curls, and Waves
Why We Picked It
This product is perfect for all hair types, from natural to permed to color-treated.
It’s packed with Vitamin E, panthenol, and glycerin to moisturize and condition your hair for healthy, bouncing curls. Plus, the tropical fresh scent will make you feel like you’re on a beach vacation!
Curl Activator FAQ’s
Curls can be hard to manage, especially if you don't know how to style them.
Even if you have the best curl activator on the market, it won't do you any good if you don't know how to use it.
We've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about curl activators so that you can get the most curl definition out of your product.
What can I use to activate curls?
There are a few things you can use to activate curls: hair cream, gel, mousse, or spray. You can also use a curling iron, but that's not really activating the curl so much as it's creating it.
To get the best curl activation, start with damp hair. Apply your chosen product to your wet hair, then use your hands to scrunch it up until all of the product is absorbed.
Allow your hair to air dry for best results. Don't use too much product or it will weigh hair down.
If you need to speed up the process, you can use a blow dryer on low heat and medium speed. Just be careful not to overheat your hair and damage it. And it's always recommended to use a hair diffuser when blow drying your hair.
To maintain your curly hair, be sure to sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase. This will help maintain your curl shape and prevent damage and breakage.
What is the difference between curl activator and curling cream?
Curl activators are designed to help define your curls and make them appear more voluminous.
Curling creams, on the other hand, are thicker in consistency and are meant to help keep your curls hydrated and frizz-free for longer periods of time.
How often should I use curl activator?
It depends on how your hair reacts to the activator. You may need to use it every time you wash your hair, or just every other time. If you use it too often, your hair may become greasy.
The best way to find out how often to use the activator is to try it out and see how your hair responds.
Some people find that their hair becomes greasy if they use the activator more than once a week, while others can use it every time they wash their hair without any problems.
Is Cantu curl activator good for your hair?
There are a lot of different curl activators on the market, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.
Cantu curl activator is a popular choice, but there are others that might work better for your hair type.
The best way to find out if a curl activator is right for you is to try it out and see how your hair responds.
Some people love Cantu curl activator and find that it helps them achieve bouncy, defined curls; while others find that it makes their hair feel heavy and greasy. Every head of hair is different, so what works for one person might not work for another.
What is the best curl enhancer spray?
The best curl enhancer spray for your natural curls is one that contains glycerin.
When sprayed on the hair, glycerin coats the individual strands and helps to lock in moisture. This traps the curls in place and gives them a more defined appearance.
Some people also find that using a curl enhancer spray helps to reduce frizz and flyaways. If you have curly hair, it's a good idea to keep a bottle of curl enhancer spray handy for quick touch-ups throughout the day.
Do I put leave in conditioner before curl activator?
Yes, you should put leave in conditioner before curl activator. The leave in conditioner will help to protect your hair from the harsh chemicals in the curl activator, and it will also help to define your curls.
Is it better to use curl cream or mousse?
It depends on your hair type. For example, if you have curly hair, using a curl cream can help define your curls and keep them hydrated. If you have straight hair, using a mousse can give your hair some volume and make it look fuller.
Is gel or mousse better for curly hair?
There is no definitive answer to this question because it depends on your hair type and the products you use.
Some people find that gel gives them more definition and control, while others prefer the weightless feeling of mousse. Ultimately, it's up to you to experiment with different products and find what works best for your curls.
When should I apply curl activator?
Curl activators should be applied when hair is still damp from washing. This will help to define the curl pattern and increase shine.
What do hairdressers use to curl hair?
There are a few different ways to activate curls in hair. One popular method is to use a curling iron.
However, hairdressers also use products like mousse and hairspray to help activate the curls. These products work by coating the hair with a layer of protection that helps to hold the curl in place.
The Best Curl Activator for Your Hair
So what are the best curl activators for bouncy curls? According to our findings, it looks like the best products include the brands we listed above.
We’ve included shopping links so you can check out prices and reviews of these products for yourself. And try products until you find the one that works best for your naturally curly hair.
If you want to grow your curly hair longer, we recommend checking out our article on rosemary oil for hair growth.
Prefer a curl cream over a curl activator? We've got you! Tap the button below for our short list of the best curl creams!