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The Best Hair Products to Protect Curly Hair from the Sun

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

By Isabella Fredrickson

Carefree coils, wild and wonderous waves, tasteful twists, spectacular spirals, and captivating curls. There is no doubt that naturally, curly hair is beautiful, but as curly girls everywhere know, caring for them is no easy feat.

With the everyday struggles of frizz, tangles, dryness, and hair becoming poofier by the hour, I wanted to share a few tips and tricks on how to help! When you add the sun and high heat temperatures to the equation, the effects of the struggles seem to triple.

Being a curly girl myself and living in Arizona for a year, I experienced the effects of the Arizona heat first hand. Here are my favorite products to protect my luscious locks from the aggressive sun.

1. Bb.Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer from Bumble and bumble

($28, sold at Sephora, Ulta, and professional salons)

This product is truly a game-changer. It was first recommended to me by my hairstylist, who is a certified curl expert, so you know it’s legit. This oil cream is a leave-in treatment and primer that moisturizes, prevents frizz, and protects from the sun’s UV. Yes, your precious curls need protection from the sun just like skin.

This heat-protective product protects hair from both heat tools and UV from the sun! It is called a primer, as you want to apply this to your hair first after washing and conditioning. Just like a primer in makeup, this product is a great “base product” to apply and build off of. I always put this on first after my shower, so the protective properties can get directly sealed into my hair. The difference I have seen in my hair since I have used this is dramatic. My hair is more moisturized, shinier, and healthier.

2. Royal Honey & Kalahari Desert Melon Repair & Protect Leave-In Conditioner from Not Your Mother’s Naturals

($9, sold at Ulta, Target, and other drugstores)

This product is one of my favorites. It works well and it smells SO AMAZING. It will give you all the tropical scents you need. This product is another great leave-in conditioner, which serves to repair and protect hair. This product makes my hair smoother, more manageable, and keeps it moisturized for days. The repair factor is definitely there too, as I get split ends much slower and far less noticeable than before. I put this on my hair after I put on the primer mentioned above. While it is called a leave-in conditioner, for me I consider it the all-around product every curly girl needs. It moisturizes, repairs, and styles my hair so well.

If I know I am not going out and choose not to style my hair further with styling products, this leave-in conditioner alone works well enough to keep my hair frizz-free and looking great. I just spray this in my hair, scrunch, and let it air dry. Once my hair is dry, the results are always AMAZING. Prior to discovering this product, I was finding that my hair was dry within a day or two, but since I started using this my hair is always moisturized.

3. Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel from Ouidad

($26, sold at Ulta and other professional salons)

Each curly girl needs a good gel, and after experiencing Arizona’s heat, this gel is my jam. The name alone contains “advanced climate control” and “heat.” For me, adding heat and/or humidity to my hair makes it look like I was electrocuted. It was this product that was able to tame my curls from the shock in temperature that Arizona offers. The gel is lightweight yet powerful enough to control my curls. It also won’t leave your hair feeling crunchy and looking like ramen noodles (a fear every curly girl has when trying a new gel). If you are going to be anywhere hot and/or humid, you are going to want this.

4. Triple Nutrition Marvelous Oil Hair Elixir from Garnier Fructis

($5 at any drugstore)

This oil is a favorite of mine, and you cannot beat the price! A little goes a long way, and mine has lasted forever. With avocado, almond, and olive oil, this product is amazing at smoothing hair and restoring moisture. When I find my hair on the dry end, I put a few squirts of this in my hair and voila! My hair is shiny, moisturized, and smelling great! This oil adds incredible shine to curls and is perfect to add to your hair to revive it when it looks dull. This is my favorite oil to add to the bottom half of my hair in between washes, or whenever I want my hair to look shiny and smooth. After spending time outside in the sun and I find my hair puffier than before, this is perfect for smoothing my hair down without having to restyle it.

While we just wanna have fun in the sun, so does our hair! With the sun and heat comes bigger, bouncier, and crazier curls. However, always remember, that the glorious lion mane on your head will never be tamed, and it shouldn’t!

Do not attempt to control your wild waves, because that is a battle that will not be won. Instead, embrace your lively locks, and find what works best for your unique curls. These products are what worked for me when my hair was met with the harsh Arizona sun. From a UV primer, leave-in conditioner, gel, and oil, I’m sure one of these will work for you!

Don’t forget, never aim to find products that manage your hair. Instead, find products that will embrace your beautiful hair. From one curly girl to another, keep rocking those glorious curls and let them flourish!


What are your favorite curly hair products? Let us know on Instagram and Twitter or leave a comment!

Reach the writer on Instagram


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