Formulating Curl Cream

how to make curl cream styling product definer

Formulating Curl Cream or Curl Crème

Curl creams help define, control, and smooth natural curls while providing a natural shine and a soft feel to hair. Curl creams help with humidity and control frizz and tames flyaways and split ends. In addition, curls need to be moisturized and protected to stay bouncy, defined, and separated. Curl cream should not weigh the hair down, the curls will lose their shape. In conclusion, a curl cream is an excellent product for waves and curls and provide long-lasting moisture, hold and style.

Other Names

  • Curl Defining Cream
  • Curl Definer Cream
  • Curl Defined Cream
  • Curl Enhancing Cream
  • Curl Styling Cream
  • Curl Retention Cream
  • Curling Cream

Formulating Curl Cream

For me, as a cosmetic formulator, I need to distinguish between a conditioning curl cream and a styling curl cream. Therefore, this is how I categorize them.

Conditioning Curl Cream

A conditioning curl cream contains cationic ingredients. Cationic ingredients are used in hair conditioners and generally washed off the hair. Cationic ingredients carry a positive charge and adhere to the net negative charge of hair. They can build up on the hair and weigh the hair down. Cationic ingredients are used in the majority of curl creams. They can work for a few hair types like thick (coarse) curly hair but they can build-up on hair and weigh the hair down on many types of hair.

Styling Curl Cream

A styling curl cream is lighter with no build-up, non-greasy and does not weigh the hair down. It produces bouncy soft curls and waves, and long-lasting moisture, hold and style.

Ingredients to include in a Styling Curl Cream Formulation

  • Humectant: glycerin, propanediol, aloe vera, sodium PCA
  • Protein: use a high molecular weight protein to form flexible film on the hair, many hydrolyzed proteins are high molecular weight or amino acids, many are low molecular weight, they benefit the hair by penetrating the hair shaft
  • Silicone Alternative: look for plant derived emollient silicone alternatives
  • Emulsifier: use a non-ionic emulsifier
  • Hair Fixative: there aren’t many hair fixatives available to the modern formulator (small batch production). Look for a styling polymer with a function of holding curls

Styling Curl Cream

Once you have a base formula it can easily be customized for hair type, wavy, curly, coily, kinky, fine, medium, thick (coarse) hair. Therefore, the key ingredients percentage can be increased or decreased depending on hair type and hair additives can be added to the formulation.

Two Styling Curl Creams in the Pro Hair Course

There are two defining styling curl creams in the Pro Hair Course. One is like a serum and to be pumped from a bottle. Second one has more body and to be put in a jar. Both formulations are light weight and non-greasy and do not build-up on the hair.


Specs on the formulations in the course:

Haircare Lines
Women’s, Men’s, Natural Hair, Clean Beauty, Green Beauty, Vegan, Cruelty-Free

A lightweight, non-greasy styling cream that defines waves and curls, producing soft and bouncy curls with long-lasting moisture.

Key Benefits

  • Defines Natural Curls
  • Flexible Curls
  • Seals in Moisture
  • Detangles
  • Reduces Hair Breakage
  • Minimizes Frizz
  • Smooths Hair
  • Softens Hair
  • Adds Natural Shine
  • Lightweight

Hair Types
Suitable for wavy, curly, coily, kinky hair types

Hair Concerns
Curl Enhancing
Hold and Style Extending

Formulation Type
O/W Emulsion

Medium to High Viscosity

How to Use
Suggested Usage: Apply to wet hair. Section your hair and with your fingers or comb apply curl cream liberally from root to end to shape and define curls. Air-dry and style hair as desired.
For coily hair: Apply curl cream to wet hair from root to end to soften, moisturize, and stretch kinks and coils. Comb or brush through hair. Or section your hair, wet your coils thoroughly and stretch coils with your fingers or comb. Optional: Lightly spray hair with hydrating mist or water. Air-dry hair or style as desired.
For curly hair: Apply curl cream to wet hair, comb or brush through hair and scrunch curls to boost curls and flexibility and add shine and moisture. Air-dry hair or style as desired.
For wavy hair: Apply curl cream to wet hair, comb or brush through hair and scrunch hair to enhance your waves, add shine and moisture. Air-dry hair or style as desired.

Join the Pro Hair Course today and learn how to make these two Styling Curl Creams here>>>

You might also like

Get a Free Training Series:

How To Start a Green, Clean Beauty Skin or Hair Care Line