In the last year I decided to start taking my waves seriously, and by that I mean actually looking at curl products to emphasize my waves. This was a bit scary to me, because I realized what I needed to know was not the best products for curls, but the best lightweight curl products.
Curly hair can prone to dryness, but some wavies and curlies, especially those with fine or medium hair, find that curl products end up weighing their hair down. While there are lightweight curl products on the market, they can be a little hard to identify.
After all, creating lightweight curl products that still provide adequate hold and definition can be a challenge for manufacturers. The formula must be carefully balanced to provide the right level of hold without weighing down the hair.
It’s also true that the market for curl products is much bigger for products that heavy with oils and butters, as some people with curly hair may prefer heavier products for added moisture and control.
But since necessity is the mother of invention, this sent me down a rabbit hole to fine the best lightweight curl products out there for lightweight hold, definition, and hydration.
Why do my curls get weighed down so easily?
Curls can get weighed down easily due to several reasons: using products that are too heavy, over-styling, buildup from produce use or excess oil, and not enough moisture.
Using heavy products such as oils, creams, or gels can weigh down curls and make them appear limp and flat. Over-styling with hot tools or excessive brushing can also cause the curls to lose their shape and bounce. Buildup and excess oil are similar to using heavy products because the they make hair heavier too, weighing it down so it appears flatter and lacking in bounce.
High humidity can cause curly hair to become frizzy and lose its shape, making it appear weighed down. Some hair types, such as fine hair, can be easily weighed down by heavy products.
Dry hair lacking moisture can also cause curls to become weighed down and lose their shape. To prevent curls from getting weighed down, it's important to use lightweight products that won't leave a heavy residue on the hair.
Clarifying shampoo can help remove product build-up and restore the natural shape and bounce of the curls. Limiting the use of hot tools, embracing natural air-drying techniques, and using regular deep conditioning treatments and leave-in conditioner can help keep curls hydrated and prevent them from becoming weighed down.
Benefits of Lightweight Curl Products
Lightweight curl products are especially beneficial for those with fine curly hair or with wavy hair, but they also can be useful for those with thicker or dryer hair who are already layering many products.
What does a good lightweight curl product do?
- Soften hair: A good lightweight curl cream will give your curls more softness and won't leave your curls stiff, crunchy, or greasy.
- Make hair healthier: Healthy, shiny hair needs moisture, and curl creams keep your hair hydrated throughout the day, keeping your hair in good conditioner longer term.
- Add bounce and volume: More moisture means your curls will spring into their best and curliest ringlets. Enough moisture means your curls can come to life.
- Reduces frizz: The added moisture also means your hair can defeat the frizz that curly and wavy hair is prone to.
6 Best Lightweight Curl Products
This lotion from Milani is a lightweight low-medium hold gel-cream hybrid that defines, prevents frizz, and leaves hair without any crunch. It does everything you could want in a curl lotion and more and it works for wavy, curly and coily hair. I use a quarter amount throughout my long hair and it does amazing things for frizz.
Everywhere I turned in my research for a lightweight curl product I heard about this curl cream from Moroccanoil. Despite being a cream-based product, the Moroccanoil Curl Cream is lightweight and doesn't leave a heavy or greasy residue on the hair. It was really easy to use, even for a beginner like me, because it can be applied to wet or dry hair, and can be used alone or in combination with other styling products. It’s still nicely moisturizing and prevents frizz, and it smells great.
This product from Philip B is a leave-in conditioner lotion that feels very luxurious and weightless in the hair. It also gives hair a lot of shine.
This weightless, milky serum from Ceremonia is great for those who still want some hydration but without the heaviness. It gives lightweight moisture to hair and gives waves and curls tighter definition. My hair feels so fluffy after I use this.
Gel can be dicey if you’re looking to avoid adding heaviness to the hair, but I love the hold and shine it can give to waves and curls. This gel from Glaze Me is super light but gives light hold and leaves my hair shiny. I use to on my damp hair starting at the bottom and working upwards and it leaves my hair with only a minimal amount of crunch that is easy to scrunch out.
Rahua says their hair gel is like a green juice for the hair because of how it strengthens and heals hair. But is also gives hair lightweight definition and style while leaving it touchable and soft. This is one of the lightest gels I’ve tried to give hair shine and definition without crunch.
Best Lightweight Curl Products Conclusion
Lightweight curl products have made such a difference in how bouncy, shiny, and defined my waves are. These products can give you increased volume, defined curls, reduced frizz, nourished and healthy hair, lightweight and non-greasy feel, and they are all easy to apply. And importantly, they also define and enhance natural curl patterns, providing long-lasting hold and definition without making the curls feel stiff or crunchy.