Curl Face-Off: 3 High-End Styling Products, 2 Hair Types

Publish date:
October 13, 2014
Davines, curly hair, styling products, frizzy hair, natural hair care, rahua, ouidad

Most curly-haired folks know that no two curls are exactly alike. As such, it’s difficult to find a product that works, especially amid all of the options that have flooded the market since the natural hair movement picked up steam. Sometimes you might even wonder if it’s worth dropping a bit more dough than you usually would to find that Holy Grail product for your curls.

That’s where Tamara and I come in. Today we're putting three high-end curly hair styling products to the test. Let's start by taking a look at our hair sans product.


My hair is very fine and curly; I have pretty tightly coiled ringlets. Without any product, it's dry and frizzy with no distinctive curl pattern.


My curls are more waves than coils, and they're dry as the desert.

On to the face-off!

Ouidad Curl Quencher Hydrafusion Intense Curl Cream

The Lowdown: Sulfate- and paraben-free styling cream. Similar to lightweight body lotion in texture with a bright floral scent that fades quickly. Formulated with almond, milk thistle, and soybean extracts for extra moisturizing power. Contains silicones. Apply to damp hair and style away.

Tamara's Review: I was wary of this at first because it is a heavier cream than I would normally use, but I was pleasantly surprised when it did not weigh my hair down at all. It definitely made my hair feel very soft (even after a shampoo), and my ringlets were defined but not crunchy. It wasn't a superstar in terms of frizz control, but it performed well in all other capacities.

Victoria's Review: I love this stuff. It does a great job defining my curls without making them crispy. It doesn’t dry my hair out or weigh it down. Definitely keeping this in my regular rotation.

Rahua Finishing Treatment

The Lowdown: Styling cream free of sulfates, parabens, and silicone. The texture is rich--like a thick hand cream--and it smells...really bad. It’s got the same medicinal licorice scent as all Rahua products. (Tamara says it reminds her of Jägermeister.) It's made with a blend of plant extracts, shea butter, jojoba, colza, and palo santo oils, as well as the brand’s namesake Rahua oil. Apply to damp hair concentrating on the ends.

Tamara's Review: This was my least favorite in the bunch, due in large part to the scent. It did make my hair softer, less frizzy, and more defined, but if felt a little greasy. Still, my hair even felt softer the day after I used it.

Victoria's Review: This stuff works really well in terms of moisturizing, but it’s not great at curl definition. Also, the smell you guys, the smell. At $45 for 2 ounces, it’s too rich even for my luxury-obsessed self.

Davines This Is A Curl Building Serum

The Lowdown: Sulfate- and paraben-free styling goo. The texture is somewhere between a cream and a gel, which is why it’s called a serum. It has a pretty strong powdery perfume scent, but it fades quickly. It's definitely not silicone-free. Apply sparingly to damp hair and style at will.

Tamara's Review: Most serums do nothing but make my hair feel like a big grease ball, but this one felt really lightweight in my curls, gave excellent definition and frizz control, and made my strands feel super smooth and soft. I would say it was my favorite in the bunch.

Victoria's Review: It's lightweight but it made my curls kinda crunchy and dried out my hair on day two. It may have looked the best but it felt the worst.

Unsurprisingly, we each had different favorites for our very different hair. I needed something moisture-packed for my super-dry hair and Tamara needed something more lightweight for her finer curls. We both agreed it was pretty hard to get past the smell of the Rahua product; though if you happen to enjoy the smell of black licorice, it might be just the thing for you!

Have you tried any of these products? What's your Holy Grail styling product for curly hair?