11 Best Curl Activators To Buy Online In 2023

For some great hair days where your curls stay lively and bouncy all day long

By Oyendrila KanjilalOyendrila Kanjilal, Certified Skin Care Coach  • 
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Thick curly hair can go from fab to drab in a matter of minutes, depending on various environmental stressors. That’s precisely why you need to get your hands on the best curl activators available in the market. While naturally curly hair can get dry easily, a curl activator helps balance the moisture, tame the frizz, and add bounce and shine back to your curls. It also rejuvenates and revitalizes your hair making it easier to detangle and style. If you are keen to know more about them but wondering where to start, we got you covered with the 11 best curl activators shortlisted and reviewed for you to choose from.

Top Picks

11 Best Curl Activators To Check Out

Best Affordable:Cantu Shea Butter For Natural Hair Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream

Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream is the most affordable curl activator cream. It is formulated with shea butter that smoothens your hair and enhances its natural curl pattern. This curl activator cream activates frizz-free curls, increases volume, and imparts bounce to your amazing curls. It defines, moisturizes, and restores your soft and natural curls. This curl activator works to tackle dandruff and remove the excess oil on the scalp. You can also check this YouTuber’s detailed review to know more about the results after using this product.

  • Affordable
  • Reduces frizz
  • Enhances the natural curl pattern
  • Increases volume
  • Adds definition
  • Moisturizesthe hair
  • No mineral oil
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free


  • Leaves white residue

protip_icon Pro Tip
If you have curly hair, comb through your hair to distribute the product before scrunching up palmfuls of hair. But if you have wavy hair, do not comb it but simply smooth and scrunch it in sections.

Price at the time of publication: $5.69

Best Non-Sticky Formula:AG Hair Care Re:coil Curl Activator

AG Hair Care Re:coil Curl Activator Image: Ag Care

If you want your curls to remain intact, without any stickiness or stiffness, pick the AG Hair Care Recoil Curl Activator. It creates bouncy, springy, and pronounced curls. The curl cream is formulated with a curl-creating complex which is rich in amino acids and tomato extract. The bio-fermented tomato extract creates curls by shrinking the cuticles. The amino acids keep the hair hydrated while reducing frizz. This formula also increases hair strength and elasticity. Keratin and silk proteins promote hair growth and elasticity. NaPCA in this formula, provides intense natural moisturization. Whether it is kinky or classic curls or waves, this defining cream will provide control and texture for the best bouncy-looking curls!

  • Bio-fermented ingredients
  • Non-sticky formula
  • Offers frizz control
  • Offers Intense moisturization
  • Increases hair strength


  • Strong odor

Price at the time of publication: $24

Sofn’Free Curl Activator Lotion is the best curl enhancer for all hair types. It is enriched with glycerin for softness and sheen, vitamin E to promote healthy hair, and panthenol to condition and restore moisture. This 2-in-1 moisturizer and activator moisturize your hair for healthier and thicker curls. This curl-enhancing cream leaves your hair soft while maintaining its natural bounce. It forms and enhances soft curls and controls frizz. This curl activator is infused with a fresh botanical fragrance. Check out this YouTuber’s review of the product if you require more details.


  • l Moisturizes the hair
  • l Controls frizz
  • l Imparts shine
  • l Fresh botanical fragrance
  • l Easy to apply
  • l Easy to use
  • l Suitable for all hair types


  • Poor quality

Price at the time of publication: $23.95

Best For Conditioning:SoftSheen-Carson Care Free Curl Curl Activator

SoftSheen-Carson Care Free Curl Activator, 16 fl oz Image: Softsheen-carson

SoftSheen-Carson Care Free Curl is the best curl activator for natural-looking styles and waves. This curl activator rejuvenates your curls. It locks the moisture in your strands without leaving your hair looking oily. The built-in conditioners maintain the proper moisture-oil balance necessary for soft, healthy, and moist curls. It also helps repair split ends, revitalizes lip curls, and conditions your hair. SoftSheen-Carson Care Free is formulated for protecting your hair from dryness and keeping it curly.

  • Repairs split ends
  • Maintainsmoisture balance
  • Conditions the hair
  • Enhances the natural curl pattern
  • Revitalizes the curls
  • Suitable for all types of curls
  • Pleasant fragrance


  • Sticky formula

Price at the time of publication: $7.99

Best For Split Ends:Lustrasilk Curl Max Curl Activator Moisturizer

Lustrasilk Curl Max Curl Activator Moisturizer is the best smoothening product for normal, thick, and coarse curls. It is infused with argan oil that creates a silky soft texture and repairs split ends. This curl moisturizer nourishes and hydrates your tresses and restores their elasticity. It controls frizz, prevents flyaways, and imparts bounce to curls. It gives a natural shape, control, and definition to your curls.

  • Revitalize the curls
  • Quick penetrating formula
  • Controls frizz
  • Prevents stubborn flyaways
  • Moisturizesthe hair
  • Alcohol-free
  • Non-greasy
  • No build-up
  • Suitable for all types of curls


  • May make your hair dry and crunchy

protip_icon Pro Tip
Use a wide-teethed comb to brush your hair before shampooing. Never brush your wet curly hair after a wash, as it is more prone to breakage and damage.

Price at the time of publication: $12.39

Best For Instant Results:Worlds Of Curls Curl Activator

Worlds of Curls Curl Activator for Extra Dry Hair, 16 Ounce 1.01 Pound (Pack of 1) Image: Worlds Of Curls

Worlds Of Curls Curl Activator is the best split-end and damage repair hair care product for extra-dry curly hair. It prevents stubborn flyaways and frizz and adds shape, control, and definition to your curls. This curl activator works instantly and is specially formulated to moisturize and condition your hair. It also promotes hair growth. This instant curl activator stimulates and locks your hair into lustrous curls. Worlds Of Curls Curl Activator leaves your hair tangle-free, soft, and curly with a healthy sheen.

  • Works instantly
  • Non-sticky
  • Moisturizesthe hair
  • Prevents split ends
  • Minimizes breakage
  • Controls frizz
  • Provides curl definition
  • Suitable for extra-dry hair



Price at the time of publication: $8.96

Urban Therapy Twisted Sista Curl Activator Creme is a salon-inspired hair care product for complete curl hydration. It is infused with avocado, coconut, and almond oils that deliver volume, bounce, and definition to your curls. Coconut oil imparts moisture, avocado oil strengthens the curls and controls frizz, and almond oil imparts shine. This curl-defining creme is perfect for thick curls. It provides soft hold without making your hair sticky. Also, it breathes life into tired and saggy curls.


  • Controls frizz
  • Moisturizesthe hair
  • Strengthensthe curls
  • Imparts shine
  • Adds curl definition
  • Adds volume
  • Suitable for thick hair


  • Unpleasant fragrance

Price at the time of publication: $9.99

Creme Of Nature With Argan Oil Curl Activator Creme is a high-quality curl activator for natural hair. The creamy formula of this curl activator defines and smoothens your curls while leaving them springy. It offers a soft and flexible hold for defined curls. This curl-defining creme controls frizz and rehydrates your hair to give you defined and bouncy curls with an exotic shine.


  • Reduces frizz
  • Good for detangling the hair
  • Revives dry curls
  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • No mineral oil
  • No petrolatum


  • Thick formula
  • Difficult to use

Price at the time of publication: $6.52

Best For Breakage:Luster's S-Curl “No Drip” Curl Activator Moisturizer

Luster's Image: Luster’s S-curl “no Drip” Curl Activator Moisturizer

Luster’s S-Curl “No Drip” Curl Activator is a great curl moisturizer. This coily curl activator is infused with vitamin B5 and glycerine that eliminate breakage and keep your curls soft with a healthy sheen. It is suitable for curly, wavy, and natural hair. The S-Curl Activator is formulated with the special No Drip Formula that allows you to use it without fear of residue.

  • Reduces frizz
  • Eliminates breakage
  • Imparts long-lasting shine
  • Paraben-free
  • No mineral oil


  • Greasy formula

Price at the time of publication: $9.43

Best For Volumizing:Lottabody Coconut & Shea Oil Activate Me Curl Activator

Lottabody Coconut & Shea Oil Activate Me Curl Activator Image: Lottabody

Make your curls appear bouncy, springy and full-of-life with the Lottabody Coconut & Shea Oil Activate Me. This curl activator defines and refreshes your hair coils while offering body, volume, and structure to them. It keeps the curls moisturized and frizz-free while adding a healthy shine. The coconut and shea oils in this formula penetrate each pore and hair shaft, nourishing them and making them soft. The detangling formula prevents hair breakage and keeps the natural hydration to the hair intact.

  • Offers volume
  • Frizz-free formula
  • Detangling formula
  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petroleum-free



Price at the time of publication: $6.5

Best UV Protection:Marc Daniels ProfessionalEnhance Define Curls Curl Control Serum

Curl Control Serum - Curl Activator - Anti Frizz Control for Curly Hair - Enhance Define Curls & Wavy Hair. Restores Moisture, Body, Bounce & Shine by Marc Daniels Professional Image: Marc Daniels Professional

Marc Daniels Professional Enhance Define Curls Curl Control Serum is a great styling product for curly and wavy hair. It is infused with chamomile extract that hydrates and repairs dry, frizzy hair. It locks in moisture, leaving your curly hair soft, healthy, and manageable. The pro-vitamin B5 in it promotes scalp health and encourages hair growth. This ultra-rich curl control serum infuses moisture into your hair. It also strengthens each strand and goes deep into the hair cuticle to reduce frizz without weighing your hair down. The added UV protection agents protect your hair from UV rays and free radicals.

  • l Eliminatesfrizz
  • l Hydratesthe hair
  • l Restores curl definition
  • l Detangles the hair
  • l UV protection
  • l Vegan
  • l Cruelty-free
  • l Suitable for all hair types



Price at the time of publication: $23.2

Curl activators are becoming increasingly popular, and there are a variety of options available on the market. If you are looking to add some waves to your hair, curl activators are a great way to do it. However, before you take the plunge and buy one, it is important to know what to look for. In this buying guide, you will learn the key points to note before purchasing curl activators.

What To Look For When Buying Curl Activators

  1. Moisturizing Properties: It is important to use a curl activator that moisturizes your hair. If it does not, then the curls may look dry and frizzy after you use it. Look for ingredients such as glycerin or panthenol, which will make your curls soft and shiny. If you have loose curls, look for a product that defines and moisturizes the curls for a healthier appearance.
  2. Anti-frizz Benefits:It is important to look for a curl activator that helps control frizz in your hair. A good product will keep your hair frizz-free with regular use. Look for ingredients such as panthenol, which helps fight frizz. At the same time, it helps restore moisture in your hair, preventing your strands from drying out.
  3. Lightweight: Curl activators could weigh down your hair, make your tresses appear greasy or even worse. Look for a lightweight product, so it will not leave your hair feeling heavy or weighed down. A lightweight activator will also ensure your hair looks shiny and healthy. It should not weigh down your hair, even if you have long, thick locks.
  4. Easy to apply: Using a curl activator should be easy and simple enough for anyone to do at home. We want to avoid products that are too difficult to manage, especially if you are a newbie. So look for products with easy-to-use instructions.

The best curls activators mentioned in this list allow you to keep your gorgeous curls well-defined and bouncy. They restore the shine and health of your tresses by absorbing excessive moisture and taming the frizz. The products listed in this article add volume to your strands and leave them feeling soft and smooth. Some of them add moisture, and others repair split ends. However, some products might make your hair crunchy, and it is better to avoid such formulas.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this article, Oyendrila Kanjilal, has a keen interest in hair care. She loves to explore various hair care products and says that one should invest in the best hair care products for shiny and lustrous hair. The list of best curl activators is compiled by her after thorough research and after reading many customer reviews online. These curl activators are a great way to keep frizz dryness at bay and add a bouncy moisturized look to your tresses.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you use a curl activator?

Use a curl activator once or twice weekly.

Does curl activator grow hair?

Yes. Curl activators contain humectants that draw moisture into your hair and hydrate them. As a result, they increase hair growth and soften its texture.

Do you put a curl activator on wet hair?

Yes. Apply a curl activator on wet hair to lock the moisture, hold the curls better, and prevent frizz.

Can I use a curl activator on relaxed hair?

Yes. Use a curl activator on relaxed hair to define and enhance your natural curls.

Can I use a curl activator on straight hair?

No. Curl activators do not create curls or coils but enhance the existing ones. Therefore, using the product on straight hair is ineffective.

Will it be okay to bleach my hair if I have a curl activator in it?

Yes. Brush the hair properly after applying the curl activators, then bleach it to reduce the damage.

What is the difference between curl activators and curl enhancers?

Curl enhancers control frizz, enhance your waves, and hold the hairstyle. On the other hand, curl activators tame frizz, add shine and moisture to the curls, and soften your hair.

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