The 50 best products you need to care for textured and afro hair, according to the experts

The hair hero edit.

07 Oct 2019

Whether kinky, coily, wavy or straightened, naturally-textured and Afro hair has unique needs, requiring a bespoke regime to ensure optimum results and hair health. From masks that boost moisture levels, to creams that define curls, to de-tanglers that work on the most complex of knots, we called in the experts to recommend their all time favourite products especially for textured hair.

Among our expert panel is Vernon François, global hair stylist and the visionary behind the hair of a-list clients including Lupita Nyong’o and Serena Williams. Vernon also founded his very own haircare brand, bringing red-carpet results to all. Fellow brand founder and stylist Charlotte Mensah is also here to help, sparing time from her back-to-back salon schedule to recommend her ultimate array of texture-enhancing, curl-nourishing products.

We've also asked Subrina Kidd, hair stylist at Hair By The Collective and an expert in styling and treating textured hair. She has over 20 years of experience under her belt, working on the most exclusive fashion shows as well as magazine editorial photoshoots. Mimi Koné also joins us on our expert panel. As the founder of salon Mimi et Mina, she's well-equipped to provide invaluable recommendations.

Plus, Ateh Jewel brings her expertise as an award-winning beauty journalist and producer to the table, sharing her personal hair heroes. Another award-winning journalist and editor of Black Hair Magazine, Keysha Davis has also revealed her extensive knowledge to help us uncover the very best formulas to cater to the unique hair needs of textured hair.

Keep scrolling to discover the ultimate product guide to treating, styling and caring for textured and Afro hair with recommendations for co-washes, shampoo, conditioner, masks, leave-in conditioner, detanglers, oils, blow-dry protectors, hair butters and curl definers...

1. Shampoos

It’s the foundation to a comprehensive hair care regime, which can prep hair for any treatments that follow, so it’s important to choose a good shampoo. The best shampoos will provide a thorough cleanse of strands and scalps, without stripping the hair of essential moisture. Luckily, our panel of textured hair experts have whittled it down to fast track your search…

Aveda Dry Remedy Shampoo, £24.50
“I love this shampoo because it is just so hydrating. It still cleanses thoroughly, but while moisturising," says Subrina.

Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil Shampoo, £24
“This rich, creamy cleanser leaves my thick, coily hair feeling smooth and nourished, priming it for styling,” says Keysha.

KeraCare Hydrating Detangling Shampoo, £14
“I always go for KERACARE Hydrating and Detangling shampoo because as soon as you apply it into the hair it instantly soften it and the hair feel less dry and more hydrated and moisture,” says Mimi.

Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt, £40
“A great for optimum scalp health. Cleanses, Detoxifies, Hydrates and soothes and restores balance to sensitive or oily scalps. It’s great to alternative between your weekly moisturising shampoo so you get the best of both,” says Subrina.

Trepadora Hibiscus Pink Cleansing Clay-Wash, £19
“I’ve recently discovered and I’m obsessed with the Trepadora range and have been using their Hibiscus Oink Cleansing Clay-Wash. It’s silicone free and is great for my sensitive scalp, as it’s deeply soothing yet cleanses my hair,” says Ateh.

2. itioners

Rich, moisture-restoring nourishment is the name of the game when it comes to choosing a conditioner for textured hair. Luckily, there’s a plethora of expert formulas, packed with natural oils and intelligent ingredients that promise in-shower results. Here are the experts’ favourites…

Aveda Dry Remedy itioner, £20.25
“This leaves hair feeling silky soft with Organic jojoba oil and makes your bathroom smells like a spa,” says Ateh.

Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil itioner, £24
“It’s a rich creamy formula that nourishes each strand by replenishing lost moisture. Plus, it replenishes and protects the hair from further damage from styling and heat tools,” says Charlotte.

KeraCare Humecto Crème itioner 234g, £7.40
“I love KERACARE Humecto it has been my go to conditioner for my clients with afro and curly hair who haven’t had any keratin, ” says Mimi. For best results, leave the conditioner on hair for at least 10 minutes and watch it work its magic.

DIZZIAK Deep itioner, £22
Aside from the impressive blend of Quinoa Protein, Babassu Oil, Inca Inchi, Coconut Oil, Argan Oil, it’s the heavenly smell that sets this conditioner apart; “the citrus scent of this enriched conditioner is just one of the reasons why I continually go back to it during wash day,” says Keysha.

Pureology Hydrate itioner, £23.10
“The peppermint and green tea make for a refreshing and soothing lightweight hydrating itioner. It eases detangling and is fantastic on colour treated hair to helps it last longer.” says Subrina.

3. Masks

An essential in every textured hair regime, a mask is not only an intensive treatment to restore vital moisture but it can also provide a moment of much deserved pampering. From bounce-boosting treatments to oil-based creams, here’s our round up of the best masks for textured hair.

Big Hair Deep itioning Clay Mask, £20
“A great home-care Treatment/Mask. The Moroccan Rhasssoul Clay helps reduces dryness while removing toxins and product build up. Leaves hair soft and moisturised.” says Subrina.

Bouclème Intensive Moisture Treatment, £26
“I’m a huge fan of Bouclème and love the Intensive Moisture Treatment. It’s great for leaving my 4C coils bouncy and moisturised with softening marula oil. I put it on before hitting the steam room for a deep treatment,” says Ateh.

Avlon Affirm Moisture Right Hair Repair Masque, £16.42
“I mix Avlon Moisture Right Mask and Cantu Shea Butter Mask and it's a winning combination. When hair very dry I would had some castor oil,” says Mimi.

Cantu Shea Butter Deep Treatment Hair Masque, £7.99
Containing pure Shea Butter, this intensive mask penetrates deep into the hair shaft to repair damaged and chemically treated hair, making it one of Mimi's go-tos.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Deep-itioning Treatment, £33
“This masks adds silkiness suppleness elasticity, bounce and strength to the hair,” says Charlotte. This award-winning product provides a pre-shampoo hydrating treatment thanks to ingredients like Castor Oil and Hydrolyzed Elastin.

4. Detanglers

Anyone with curls can understand that the struggle is real when it comes to de-tangling, but there’s no denying that a good comb-out results in beautifully separated and defined curls and hair that gleams with health. These tried-and-tested detangling products help to make the process a little more manageable (and a little less painful!).

The Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush, £12.99
“This brush is easily adaptable on all hair types! Kinky Curly, Curly, Wavy, Straight. For best results use the brush during conditioning treatments,” says Subrina.

Charlotte Mensah Paddle Brush, £22
“This has been a game changer. I used to spend hours detangling both my twin girls hair, now it’s done in 10 minutes with no fuss and yelps,” says Ateh.

Cantu Coil Calm Detangler, £6.99
“This detangler is perfect for keeping my hair hydrated and tangle free in-between wash days. It’s light, effective and works well when cocktailing with other products from the brand,”
says Keysha.

Kent Brushes PF19 Paddle Brush, £10
“I rely on a wide comb and the Kent Wide Tooth Paddle Brush. To detangle afro or curly hair I use a simple mix water and conditioner in a spray bottle and comb it through using those two tools,” says Mimi.

5. Leave-In itioners

If your hair is prone to dryness, it can cause it to look brittle and dull as well as compromising your curls. A good leave-in conditioner acts as an extra layer of protection to help to safeguard against dryness, providing a dose of lasting nourishment that keeps hair hydrated until your next wash. Our expert panel reveals their favourites…

Vernon François Leave-In itioner, £21.50
“This non-sticky, non-heavy, day-to-day Leave-In itioner defines kinks, curls, coils and waves without weighing them down. With African tulip tree extract, and amino acids to help build strength within the strands for a vibrant and nourished finish,” says Vernon.

Bouclème Curl Cream, £19
“My standard go to! It’s lightweight truly suitable for a wide range of textures and curl patterns ranging from Coily- Kinky, Curly to Wavy. I love the smell is not imposing. It’s light and fresh. I love that you don’t need to habitually reapply you can alternate every few days. Love it for a wash and go, finger coiling or twist out with a little oil. I love that it contains Shea Butter but is so lightweight,” says Subrina.

Keracare Natural Textures Leave In itioner, £5.75
Hair stylists Mimi Kone and Charlotte Mensah rely on this leave in conditioner to provide lasting moisture to hair thanks to a blend of Ayurvedic botanicals that nourish hair while still wet, while Argan oil promotes optimum hair health; “Keracare leave in conditioner really helps to nourish and condition, leaving hair moisturized,” says Charlotte.

Cantu Coil Calm Detangler, £6.99
“This detangler is perfect for keeping my hair hydrated and tangle free in-between wash days. It’s light, effective and works well when cocktailing with other products from the brand,” says Keysha.

Trepadora Babassu Quench Leave in Curl Primer, £19
“This Primer always leaves my coils soft and hydrated with its Organci Inca Inchi Oil and Babassu oil. It’s an excellent base to add more styling products onto or you can use it by itself,” says Ateh.

6. Co-Washes

Co-washes not only save time in the shower, but also offer a gentler way to wash hair and safeguard against the dryness that can occur with stripping shampoos. GLAMOUR finds out which ones the experts recommend.

As I Am Dry and Itchy Scalp Care Olive and Tea Tree Oil Co-Wash 454g, £12.99
“I’m not a huge fan of co-washes as I always prefer to have a sudsy, squeaky clean wash, but this product by ASIAM comes pretty close to a traditional shampoo. The peppermint and tea tree oil ingredients provide the scalp with a cool, nourishing cleanse," says Keysha.

Bb.Curl Custom itioner, £26.50 for 200ml
“It’s laced with Brazilian oils to help curls looking juicy. You can use it as a cowash or as a leave in treatment and is totally customisable,” says Ateh.

Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Cleansing itioner, approximately £7.37
“Sulfate-free and blended with agave and shea, this deeply moisturises and detangle curls," says Charlotte.

Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Comp itioning Co Wash, £6.99
“Cantu’s co-wash gently removes impurities and product build up, while infusing vital moisture. It’s the best," says Mimi.

7. Oils

Finding the perfect oil for your hair is no mean feat. Too thick and it becomes greasy, but too lightweight and it doesn’t offer enough moisture. Luckily, we’ve called in the experts to recommend their favourites to aid your search.

Vernon François Overnight Repair Treatment Oils, £28
“This formula is incredibly lightweight, non-greasy and easily absorbed by the hair. The blend includes jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, argan oil and anti-oxidant vitamin E, to lock in moisture, deeply nourish and condition the hair and scalp,” explains Vernon.

Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturising Oil, £22
“Hands down at the moment my favourite is Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturising Oil. It’s lightweight, absorbent and moisturising," recommends Subrina.

ORIBE Supershine Moisturising Cream, £20-£50
“Not technically an oil, but it gives a great finish for a blow dry. Hair is left feeling soft with a natural shine. I use on damp or dry hair. You only need a small amount. This product lasts for almost forever," says Subrina.

Redken Diamond Oil Glow Dry, £33.50
“If you heat style your hair, this oil is perfect as it is heat responsive and delivers a glossy, smooth finish,” Mimi says.

Charlotte Mensah Manketti Hair Oil, £48, Net-A-Porter
“Packed with naturally-sourced Manketti nuts to deliver moisture without weighing the hair down. It instantly improves shine and combats frizz," says Charlotte.

Trepadora Inca Radiance Smoothing Elixir, £23
“This magic oil has helped my scalp and hair feel calmer, softer and fuller. Packed with Jojoba, sweet almond and Inca Inchi Oil you can use it on wet hair to lock in moisture or as a pre shampoo treatment," says Ateh.

Moroccanoil Treatment, £32.85
“I love the fact that this classic hair staple is so light in consistency, pure and multi-purpose. I use it as a heat protector, to seal my hair, and as a hot oil treatment,” says
Keysha.

8. Hair Butters

To deeply nourish dry or coarse hair, there’s nothing better than a hair butter. Here, we asked our panel of experts for their top picks.

Camille Rose Naturals Curlaide Moisture Butter 240ml, £12.50
“Camille Rose Moisture Butter is a great moisturiser to inject my hair with nourishment when it’s feeling a little dry and unloved. It’s blended with quality natural ingredients including shea moisture, coconut oil and castor oil, which results in a rich buttery textured cream that exudes quality," says Keysha.

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, £12.99
“This is perfect for looser thirsty curls and helps to keep them hydrated with Coconut and Neem oils," says Ateh.

Carol's Daughter Coco Creme Coil Enhancing Moisture Butter, approximately £11.48
“Shields hair from everyday wear and tear and boost the hair natural shine thanks to a blend of seven essential oils, including jojoba, soybean and sweet almond," says Charlotte.

Keracare Natural Textures Butter Cream 227g, £10.70
“This butter contains Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Amla & Shikakai (Ayurvedic) Botanicals, Argan and Abyssinian Oils to hydrate and keep hair healthy," says Mimi.

9. Curl Definer

Whether you’re looking to wash and go, twist and define, or up the shine factor, these expert approved defining products offer the perfect solution to all your curl woes.

Vernon François Styling Cream, £17
“This rich and smooth Styling Cream is excellent for helping to shape protective styles like twists as well as emphasizing the natural curls and kinks of all hair types. It distributes easily and evenly without any stickiness, stiffness or flaking. Texture-loving ingredients are blended into a pure water base, including coconut oil to smooth, shea butter for softness, witch hazel water for shine, argan oil with vitamin E to deliver moisture and nourishment, and olive oil for a beautiful silky feel,” says Vernon.

Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade, £18.75 for 150ml
“It gives maximum definition and shine, which is both lightweight and tangible. My tip if you want to switch it up for a straight look is to do a wrap set (it’s a more sustainable way of protecting your hair from heat damage or tension)," says Subrina.

TWISTED SISTA Foaming Curl Pomade, £5.89
“Great for a wash and go and Twistout/ Braidout or Bantu set. It is super lightweight with a natural shine. While it is great for fine to medium hair textures, I have also used it on thicker textures which are coily and kinky for a great twistout. The beauty of this product it’s not greasy and your hair so tangible" says Subrina. "Love it!"

Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer, £23
“I love this product because it Intensifies curls, tames frizz and increase shine," says Charlotte.

Cantu Define and Shine Custard, £5.49
“This is great for defining coils and curls without being too sticky," says Ateh.

Bouclème Curl Defining Gel 300ml, £15.00
“This is a gel-based curl definer that’s extremely light in formula and gives my 4c type coils a more elongated curl definition than normal. It smells amazing, and with active ingredients of linseed extract, virgin coconut oil and aloe vera, leaves your curls soft and crunch-free too," says Keysha.

10. Blow Drying Protectant

A good protecting hair product can not only safeguard against heat damage from your heat styling tools, but it also helps to lock in moisture and protect from environmental aggressors and UV rays. We’ve asked the experts to recommend their go-tos.

Keracare Silken Seal 120ml, £16.15
“On the rare occasions I blow-dry or heat style my hair, KeraCare’s Silken Seal can always be relied upon to adequately protect my strands while also emitting a healthy shine," says Keysha.

Kérastase Discipline Fluidissime Spray, £23.80
Boasting a pro-keratin formula, this spray helps to strengthen hair as well as protect; “it’s a great multitasker. It really helps to improve shine as well and protecting against heat damage,” says Ateh.

Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray, £27
“This product provides three layers of protection - against UV rays, up to 400 degree heat, and against dryness, providing an instant hydration boost for dry hair," says Charlotte.

ORIBE, Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray, £46
“I love the luxury lightweight mist. It protects, softens and it leaves the hair with body and a gorgeous natural shine. I’ve been using it religiously for 4yrs! Don’t get me started on the smell! Just divine," says Subrina.

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