C'mon Curly Kings! The Case For Curls — And How to Coiff Them

An endless, often painful, parade of male hairstyles has passed through pop culture. The Justin Timberlake frosted tips. The Justin Bieber swoosh — also sported by Zac Efron circa HSM. Even the slicked-back TikTok heartthrob hair of late. But now, curly-haired kings, your time has come. That’s right, all forms of curly, wavy, coily hair is back and better than ever.

Maybe it’s a symptom of the unruly quarantine coif. With no barbers to line you up, trim your sides, and keep your hair clipped-n-crisp, your hair was free to grow. Many people experimented with long hair, hence the slicked-back style of yesteryear and even the shocking return of mullets.

However, another trend — eclipsing its scruffy counterpart — is the return of the curl.

Scan the red carpet. As male celebrities step up their fashion game, their hairdos are following suit. Lately, all events is increasingly crowded with outrageous outfits, dapper suits, and perfectly coiffed curls.


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From Omar Apollo to Jack Harlow, Timmy Chalamet to OBJ, MBJ to Adrien Grenier, curls are in full swing. Whether they’re tight ringlets or impressive afros, there’s no wrong way to rock your curls. You just have to unleash them first.

So many guys have naturally curly hair — but they don’t even know it. That’s right, your 3-in-1 shampoo/conditioner/body-wash might be limiting your potential (in more ways than one). Most drugstore formulas are filled with harsh ingredients that fry your hair, leaving it to hang limp over your ears.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Simply by switching out your products, you can unlock a whole new side of your locks.

Not convinced? For every aesthetic, there’s some dude rocking the curly hair. And he’s making a case for it. I mean, if NFL players and NBA players can make the tunnel their runway, you can put a little effort into your hair.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been many legendary curly-haired kings in the zeitgeist. But apart from 80s perms and 90s ramen-like ringlets, curly hair hadn’t captured the mainstream as a trend of its own.

But with a diverse range of style-inspo out there repping curly looks on all different hair textures with all different aesthetics, now’s the time to go big or go home. But how do you find the curly hair product perfect for you?

Let me take you through the process:

Step 1 - Figure out your hair type:

If you have fine hair, it may be a challenge to hold a curl. But for thick hair or afro-textured hair with tight curls, God already gave with both hands — your job is sculpting your curls and defining your desired style.

Step 2 - Audit your current hair routine

If you have no hair routine to speak of, you need one. If you’re looking to switch up your product lineup, refine what actually works for you. And if nothing is, start form scratch.

Step 3 - Get familiar with products and what they do

So you rinse and repeat … then what? Get acquainted with different types of products and their uses. A pomade and a cream are not created equal.

But fear not, read on to discover the best curly hair products for men with all hair types.

All products featured are independently selected by our editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

Best products for wash day

Level-up your wash day with these elevated shampoo-n-conditioning staples. Even if you can’t quit the classic bar soap, choose one that’s made of ingredients that won’t sabotage your hair.

For thicker, dryer hair types, try adding a hair mask once a week before you shower. Bonus points if you finish with a leave-in conditioner.
  1. Modern Mammals Shampoo Light Bar
  2. Jack Black True Volume Thickening Shampoo
  3. Pattern Beauty Leave-In Conditioner
  4. Pattern Beauty Rice Water Mask

Best Products for styling curly (or aspirationally curly) hair

So your hair is clean, but how to style it? Depending on what types of products your hair holds best, finger comb through your damp hair with a styling cream. Curl-defining creams lock in moisture and give your hair that fresh-from-the-shower texture and sheen.

  1. Blu Atlas Hair and Body Oil
  2. MALIN+GOETZ Sage Styling Cream.
  3. R+Co Twister
  4. Christophe Robin Luscious Curl Defining Butter
  5. Shea Moisture's Curl Enhancing Smoothie
  6. Frederick Benjamin Haircare Daily Hydrator Styling Crème

Best Products to provide long-lasting hold

Want to keep your style fresh all day? The final step is setting your style with a pomade, gel, or spray. For a stronger hold, run a gel through your fledgling curls. For finer hair, spray it with a lightweight mineral spray. And there you have it. The new and improved you.

  1. Aveda Men Pure-Formance Liquid Pomade
  2. Le Labo's Styling Concrete
  3. Cantu Shea Butter Extreme Hold Styling Stay Glue
  4. Fellow Barber Mineral Spray

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