- Second-day hair is a way of life for curly-haired folks who’ve embraced the benefits of not washing hair with every shower. In fact, you shouldn’t wash curly hair so often because it can become dry and prone to breakage.
- Curl-reviving products are a quick and easy way to refresh your style in between washes, banishing flat bedhead and reviving droopy curls instantly.
- They come as sprays, mists, gels, creams, and more, but all serve the same purpose of re-activating your hair’s curl pattern.
- Our favorite is AG Hair Curl Re:Coil Curl Activator because it works on dry or damp hair to define and reshape curls.
One of the best things I ever did for my curly hair was to break up with daily washes (and real shampoo, but that’s another story). My hair frequently looks better on the second or even third day after shampooing and conditioning.
But curls are temperamental beasts. Sometimes I’ll wake up on a non-wash day with bouncy, luscious ringlets and other times I wake up with a flat, matted bird’s nest.
Luckily, there’s a whole category of curl revivers on the market — sprays and mists designed to refresh tired curls between cleanses, whether you’re an every-two-days or every-two-weeks kind of washer.
Curl-reviving products are usually packed with ingredients that hydrate and defrizz, restoring your style to its original, freshly washed glory (or close to it) with no shower required. If you’ve already made friends with shower caps and silk pillowcases, finding a curl refresher you love is the next step.
Here are the best curl-reviving products you can buy:
- Best overall: AG Hair Curl Re:Coil Curl Activator
- Best detangling: Ouidad Botanical Boost Curl Energizing & Refreshing Spray
- Best for frizzy hair: Living Proof No Frizz Instant De-Frizzer
- Best scalp-soothing: DevaCurl Mist-er Right Dream Curl Refresher
- Best for loose curls: Kristin Ess The One Signature Hair Water
The best overall
The AG Hair Curl Re:Coil Curl Activator re-shapes flattened ringlets without making them crunchy and stiff.
If you struggle with curls losing their shape over time, try the AG Curl Re:Coil Curl Activator.
Unlike a lot of curl refresher sprays, this is a cream designed to actually define and reform your ringlets. Scrunch it into damp or dry hair to give your curls more structure between conditioning sessions.
Formulated with the brand’s signature Curl Creating Complex of bio-fermented tomato extract and rice amino acids, the Re:Coil Curl Activator hydrates, cuts down on frizz, and encourages definition. It also contains soothing ingredients like chamomile, rosemary leaf, and sage leaf extracts.
"This is one of the best curling products I’ve ever used. I have tried so many products and this one has won. This defines my curls without weight and stiffness. it’s smells [sic] great and my curls last for 4-5 days, without frizz or any problems! I would highly recommend this product and will be forever using it!" writes one Ulta shopper.
Pros: lightweight, helps curls re-form, a little goes a long way, good for thick hair
Cons: expensive, some reviewers complained of sticky texture if they apply too much
The best detangler
Ouidad Botanical Boost Curl Energizing & Refreshing Spray gives your hair some extra juice while detangling knots.
Knots are a fact of life when you have curly hair. The Ouidad Botanical Boost Curl Energizing & Refreshing Spray not only pumps up tired curls, but detangles them as well. No more pulling out clumps of tangled strands between conditioning treatments.
This refreshing spray is packed with proteins and botanicals that hydrate, detangle, and reshape your curl pattern between washes. It contains soothing aloe vera and is free of heavy oils and waxes. This is a truly lightweight product that you can use liberally throughout the day.
Fashionista writer Tamim Alnuweiri says she opts for this "on days when I’m hoping to channel Donna Summer or Chaka Khan vibes, because it’s amazing at infusing volume."
Pros: lightweight, detangling, hydrating
Cons: expensive, slightly sticky
The best for frizzy hair
Living Proof’s No-Frizz Instant De-Frizzer is great for smoothing down flyaways in humid temperatures or if you’re naturally frizz-prone.
The Living Proof No-Frizz Instant De-Frizzer is the quick-fix you’ve been waiting for all your live if you’re in a humid climate or are naturally prone to frizz.
This is basically conditioner in spray form, and the brand claims that it can smooth up to 92% of frizz. It’s specifically designed for use on dry hair whenever your hair is starting to grow in volume — and not the kind you want.
The active ingredients include Living Proof’s patented Healthy Hair Molecule that claims to "seal the cuticle and smooth without buildup," while a blend of oils (including moringa and jojoba) nourish and add shine.
Simply spray directly onto curls and comb through, or smooth with your hands. It’s safe to use on color-treated hair, and is especially great for medium to thick hair types.
The product won an Allure Best of Beauty in 2018 and has a 4.4 Sephora rating based on more than 560 reviews.
Pros: instantly de-frizzes, good for all hair types
Cons: expensive, strong citrus smell
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