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Frizz-free, bouncy curls are every curly-haired girl's dream, but getting them that way can be a struggle. Any girl with curly hair will likely tell you that her medicine cabinet and bathroom drawers are filled with curl-activating products and sprays, and that it can seem like finding one that works is impossible. Not all curl-activating products are the same. Curl activators and curl sprays have their pros and cons. What you want out of your hair product determines the kind you should purchase.
Curl Activator vs. Curl Spray
A curl activator and a curl spray are extremely similar. They both help eliminate frizz and create gorgeous curls, but there's one major difference. Curl activators come in a few varieties (creams, oils and mousses) and are primarily used on damp hair. They're meant to enhance your natural curls, and aren't made for hold. Meanwhile, while lots of sprays are designed to be sprayed on wet hair, sprays can hold heat-styled curls and add texture to waves when sprayed on dry hair, which activators can't.
For Thick Curly Hair
Ever struggle with products that have given you crunchy, stiff curls? Everyone wants their hair to be bouncy and touchable, and a curl-activating cream can do just that. Curl activating creams have a few benefits depending on your type of hair. If you've got thin but wavy hair, it might be a better option to stick with a light spray. Curl activating creams can weigh your hair down; but if they're applied when your hair is still damp, you'll get frizz-free, touchable curls. The curlier your hair naturally is, the better this product will work.
For Thin Curly Hair
Curl-enhancing spray is often one of the first products curly haired girls buy to help define curls and kick frizz. The only problem is that if your hair is extra-thick and -curly, it might not be strong enough. If it does work, your hair is probably so heavily coated that it's crunchy (despite how "touchable" the bottle says your hair will be). For someone who has thin hair, this option reigns supreme. It won't weigh hair down and you won't need to use a lot to get gorgeous soft waves. Just make sure to apply it to damp hair to avoid the dreaded crunch.
For Heat-Styled Curls
If you have wavy hair but generally use a diffuser or curling iron to create tamed, soft curls, the right curl activating spray or curl activator can make a huge difference in how long it holds. To enhance naturally wavy hair (which is usually frizzy) a spray could be your best bet. Curl activating spray plays double duty: it will enhance your waves and hold artificial curls. If you're not trying to get artificial waves but rather to eliminate frizz, choose a curl-activating cream that you can use when hair is wet or dry. This way, you can smooth out frizz on days when it's a little humid.