Winter is a challenging season for curly hair. Fight back with hair-care products with moisturizing oils and ingredients for hold and conditioning.

Share story

Winter is a particularly challenging season for curly hair, which tends to be drier than its straighter counterparts. Cold air and indoor heating can leave curls parched and rough; wet days can cause frizz.

So several companies are introducing products aimed at curly-heads, all designed to cleanse, hydrate or style with their specific needs in mind.

These offerings combine moisturizing oils with targeted ingredients for hold and conditioning. Although each product can be used on its own, combining several at once is a popular strategy.

“Not every woman has the same curl, so not every product is going to work on every woman,” says David Babaii, a hairstylist whose clients have included curly-haired celebrities such as Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker. “It’s a matter of mixing one curl product with another to make the right little cocktail.”

Some of the products in the brand new Bumble & bumble Bb. Curl collection lend themselves to that type of blending.

For example, there is a gloppy Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil ($34) designed to prevent frizz in very curly hair. A small dab mixed with the line’s less intense Defining Creme ($31, both at offers an effective amount of hold and smoothness. The six-product collection includes a blend of moisturizing ingredients including cupuaçu butter and the oils of pracaxi and babassu nuts.

The L’Oréal Paris Extraordinary Oil Curls Collection, which includes three curl products, also incorporates a variety of oils into its formula. The standout is the dense Re-Nourish Mask ($7 at drugstores) with a coconut-heavy scent that looks like a creamy mousse dessert. A thick application for a few minutes helps replenish hair’s moisture.

For some women, the goal is to control and define locks without making them look and feel limp or overly stiff. Oribe Curl Control Silkening Crème ($38 at shapes curls with a light touch. Its formula includes hydrating avocado and jojoba oil. Kevin.Murphy Killer.Curls, a new item in a popular line sold in salons (find locations at, is a lotion that adds contour to waves and coils without being heavy.

Co-washing — cleaning hair with conditioner alone — has become a routine for many curly-heads. Sachajuan Hair Cleansing Cream ($33 at Nordstrom) is nourishing and particularly gentle on curls, although it is appropriate for all hair types.

The key to using many of these products is moderation.

“When it comes to products, less is always more,” Babaii says. “A woman with curly hair should moisturize and hydrate her hair, but if conditioner builds up, after a while it snaps your hair. Using the right amount is great. Overusing really isn’t.”