Whether you’re blasting your hair with a blow dryer or letting a brush, your fingers, and air do the work, a good hair styling cream will, quite literally, make the process go much more smoothly. As is pretty much always the case with beauty and grooming products, the best hair styling cream for you will depend on your hair type and hair goals. But across the board, they’re all infused with moisturizing oils and nourishing plant butters, like argan oil and shea butter; and they won’t make your hair feel sticky, greasy, or gunky.
The best hair styling creams do more than make your hair look shinier and more defined, too. Certain ingredients, like amino acids, keratin, and antioxidants, work at a deeper level to restore damage, replenish moisture, or protect your color from fading — or all of the above, depending on the formula you choose. But whichever you go for, application remains the same (and ridiculously easy): Comb it through wet or damp hair, then style it (or not) however you want.
Scroll on to shop seven of the best hair styling creams you can get on Amazon, from a blonde-brightener to a curl-definer to an all natural option and beyond.
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1. Best For Dry, Damaged Hair
This Alterna "CC cream" works as an intensive leave-in treatment in addition to a styling cream, so it’s ideal for people who’ve gone overboard on the heat styling tools, dye, bleach, or other damage-inducing practices. There’s literal caviar in here (in extract form), which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help replenish dry hair, rebuild its elasticity, and prevent future breakage. Also among its 10 promised functions, this styling cream helps protect dyed hair from UV rays and temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s lightweight, despite its potency, so it works well for people with fine and thick hair alike.
2. Best For Curly Hair
There are so many highly rated curl creams available on Amazon. But, to adhere by an old adage I just made up now, “When in doubt, get something from Moroccanoil.” (At least the 4,000+ Amazon reviewers who gave their curl cream a five-star rating agree with me there.) This features the brand’s signature argan oil, which is rich in nourishing fatty acids, while an anti-static agent works to prevent frizz and help your curls hold their shape. Reviewers confirm this leaves their curls soft, defined, crunch-free, and smelling amazing, courtesy of the brand’s heavenly amber/white flower scent.
3. Best For Straight Hair
If you’re flat-ironing or blow-drying your hair straight, apply this John Frieda styling cream to boost your hair’s sleekness, shine, and hold (and, crucially, protect it from all that direct heat). Reviewers say this is especially effective for taming unwanted frizz, even in humid environments. And it’s a go-to for people with all hair types, including waves and curls: One reviewer with 4B/4C curls wrote that this product helps their hair “come out bone straight,” and stay that way all day long. Can’t beat that drugstore price tag, too.
4. Best For Fine Hair
Using their patented Thickening Molecule, this Living Proof styling cream helps give fine hair body without weighing it down (it also helps tame flyaways and provides a solid amount of non-crunchy hold). Amazon reviewers with fine hair confirm that it performs those functions really, really well. One person wrote, "This is a wonderful product that gives my baby fine hair body. A little bit goes a long way. My hair feels much thicker and holds my style all day long. Without it, my hair would go flat 15 minutes after I style it.I love the fact it doesn’t leave my hair sticky or hard."
5. Best For Medium-To-Thick Hair
So says the name, this Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Creme makes your hair look glossy, hydrated, and frizz-free while imparting lots of body and movement. Think: Stallion mane. Its functions extend beyond the aesthetic, as well. In here, a blend of antioxidant-rich plant extracts help keep hair protected from environmental aggressors that can deplete color and shine, amino acids help your hair hold moisture, and two types of keratin work to restore damage and provide thermal protection. Since the consistency is on the thicker side, this is ideal for people with long, medium-to-thick hair (think: stallion mane).
6. Best For Blondes
Purple-toned hair products work to neutralize brassy/yellow/orange undertones, so they're a must if you prefer to maintain a cool-toned shade of blonde. You’re most likely to find purple shampoos and hair masks that do this, so this violet styling cream from amika is something of a unicorn. Along with toning, this works to detangle, smooth, hydrate, and protect your hair, and give it some flexible hold — i.e., do everything a good hair styling cream should. If you’re using this, then you don’t need to be using any other purple hair products, as overusing them can actually make your hair look darker.
7. Best Natural Choice
Another unicorn for your consideration: This Andalou Naturals styling cream, one of the rare hair products that contains certified-organic ingredients. This is packed with lots of powerful botanicals, including the titular argan oil and shea butter for softness, sleekness, and nourishment, while an amino acid blend helps strengthen brittle strands. The brand’s signature Fruit Stem Cells and BioActive Complex are loaded with antioxidants, which help shield your hair from oxidation, UV rays, and other aggressors that can contribute to dullness. Styling-wise, one reviewer said they prefer this $8 cream to Bumble & Bumble’s cult-favorite (and much pricier) styling wax, since it absorbs quickly, doesn't feel sticky, and does a beautiful job of keeping hair conditioned at a more reasonable price point. What's not to love?