Christina's Choice 2017: Best Curl Definers for Natural Hair

Best Curl Definers for Natural Hair 2017 Christina's Choice
Confession: I love gel.
Thisssssss is always theeeeeee most difficult, yet straightforward category for me each year. There are a lot of cool, good, and even great curl definers out there - and brands seem to create more and more every year. But when it comes to curl definers, I'm very particular about who gets that HG designation. My holy grail curl definers are typically thick, heavy, gel-gels that form a legit gel cast and have my curls poppin' for days on end. Borrowed from Christina's Choice 2016 is my exact explanation of why (and nothing has changed lol):

1. My hair is a multi-textured beast. I don't have baby smoove 3c curls out the gate like the perfectly positioned selfie would suggest. The back half of my hair is somewhere between 3b and 3c (its wavy and loose when wet, and dries into legit ringlet wavy curls with minimal product and manipulation). The crown of my hair has yet to be captured by any chart I've ever seen -- there might be a curl deep down inside somewhere, but with the amount of frizz and shrinkage, the world will never know. The front/middle section is the most disrespectful of the bunch. Where the crown is absolutely not here for my shenanigans, my front/middle section is that friend who don't never listen. You told them to meet you at Starbucks at 7, and they show up to Coffee Bean at 4. Just all kinds of loud and wrong. When wet, my front/center hair looks all wavy and sleek, very similar to my back half. But let that sucka go 2 seconds without water or product and it's poof city. It frizzes and shrinks like nobody's business, and doesn't even really "curl" except for the ends. The vast majority of it is some deep wave that might have wanted to be a curl in life, but dropped out of school 3 semesters shy of the degree.

2. I'm a gel kind of girl. The thicker and heavier, the better. In particular, I love gels that contain the thickening agent carbomer -- because it tends to make for a heavier gel that laaaaaaaays the frizz. Did I mention that I LOVE gel?!

The perfect curl definer for my hair texture is a delicate dance between science and nature. I've discovered over the years that too much botanical action leaves me with sticky, stringy curls that never expand, while curl definers with too many ingredients that I can't pronounce will leave me with hair that is dull, rough, and dry.

These curl definers have been top performers in 2017 - and in the end, there could only be 4. Trust me, this was a HARD decision to make. Let's dive into the 4 curl definers that stole my heart in 2017:

Best Curl Definers
Best Curl Definers for Natural Hair 2017 Christina's Choice
Some of my best wash & go's of 2017 happened thanks to these 4.
Urban Hydration Naturals Coconut Oil Curl Defining Gel
Has a hair product ever made you really, really emotional? Like, Carl Thomas Emotional? That's how I'm feeling about the Coconut Oil Curl Defining Gel. Now, don't go looking up all the lyrics, because you and I both know that what Emotional ain't got nothing to do with hair gel. 😂

But after watching my hair go from good, to great, to amazing over the course of 7 days, I couldn't help but feel a way about this Coconut Oil Curl Defining Gel. The Coconut Oil Curl Defining Gel has the properties that I love (plays nicely with leave-ins and creams) and has the thickness that I go nuts for. It's not quite as thick as EcoStyler, but it's definitely on par with my beloved tgin Curl Bomb. I can't ask for much more!

Read More: How to get 5+ days of curl poppage with Urban Hydration Naturals

Obia Naturals Curl Enhancing Custard
Obia blew my mind back in 2013 when I did my first review as a transitioner. 4 years later, I'm still strolling into Target (and now Sally's) to pick up a jar or two. Some products just have staying power, and I mean that both ways. Not only is Obia's Curl Enhancing Custard pH balanced for maximum curl poppage, it delivers shine, definition, and softness without leaving curls stringy or dry. Curl Enhancing Custard is honestly responsible for some of my best wash and go's in 2017. Point blank period.

tgin Curl Bomb Moisturizing Styling Gel
Curl Bomb is part of an elite squad known as Gels I Never Wanna Run Out Of. I literally spent 2017 making sure that I had at least one full bottle on my shelf at all time. At minimum. And here's why. First of all, I LOVE the consistency. It's a thick gel's gel. Sliiightly thinner than my beloved red-top Eco, but every bit as spreadable, and curl capturing.

It gives me beautiful definition, long-lasting wear (I can easily get 5 days out of this gel), and isn't flaky or drying. And simply put, Curl Bomb is one gel I continued to use over, and over, and over, and over....

EcoStyler Argan Oil Gel
Can we all agree that there are no surprises here? Okay, maybe a bit of surprise since EcoStyler was notably absent during the 2016 award season. And I'm sure you might've expected to see the JBCO gel (that fanfare died down quickly, eh?) instead of old faithful red. With my hair back healthy again, I've been able to enjoy my OG fave EcoStyler Gel and bask in the fact that:
1. It's incredibly affordable
2. It makes curls POP
3. You can get a lifetime supply for $10 or less

Are the ingredients all that? Not really. Is it pH balanced? Maybe. Eco Styler Argan Oil Gel is a super popping curl definer without all the pretentiousness. If you need a little more convincing, read on:

I'm in Love with Ecoco!
The $5 Wash & Go
How to Get the Perfect Wash & Go Curls

Deserted Island Pick
Best Curl Definers for Natural Hair 2017 Christina's Choice
The BEST of 2017.

I swear, everything Chris-Tia does, she does with excellence. Do you hear me? EXCELLENCE. I haven't met a tgin product that I don't like. I've been rocking with tgin about as long as I've been rocking with Samuel - and both of 'em are keepers for real. Sure, Samuel's been around since 2010. But still. You get my point. In all seriousness, tgin is a brand that moves with intention. And those intentions are always to deliver the absolute best for our hair - and it shows. Curl Bomb 137% deserves this spot - and I'll be rocking with it well into the new year!

Click here for more from Christina's Choice 2017!

Want to see 2016's winners? Click here.


  1. Hi Christina! Does Curl Bomb mix well with others?! Thinking of trying it with the Curls Blueberry and Coconut Hair Milk, and, just hoping I can replace my Eco Styler with Curl Bomb in general. What do you think?! Thanks!

  2. Become part of the snake 3D community, a place where gamers come together to share their achievements, high scores, and engage in conversations about their favorite game.

  3. Thank the author for the excellent blog and the valuable insights it provides. Additionally, if readers are interested in exploring more about online play poker, they can check out resources related to the poker game for added excitement and entertainment.