One Hair Product to Tame the Unruliest of Curls

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My Jewish heritage has provided me with many gifts — an appreciation for Woody Allen movies, a comfort with questioning authority, and a killer matzo-ball soup recipe (psst, the secret ingredients are celeriac and schmaltz). But there is a tradeoff for these blessings that weighs heavily on my head, and I’m not talking about my mother’s talent for guilt. It’s my hair.

Its strands are intermittently curly — think a significantly less cool version of Patti Smith, with all the rebellious spirit and none of the poetry. The only thing rock and roll about my hair’s natural texture is its self-destructive tendencies. It vines itself into the kind of snarls you have to tear out of your comb.

To solve my dilemma, I systematically tested fifteen curly-hair styling products in hopes of finding one that would unify levels of volume — no more triangle-shaped head — defrizz throughout, and define each curl. I considered scent, ease of application, evenness of distribution, and shine. While most products had some positive effect on my mop, there were definite standouts that I will be adding to my repertoire. Find out why the viscosity of the styling product is important, plus a reminder that products shouldn't be judged by their packaging, in the slideshow below. Like a good chocolate babka for dessert, I've saved the best for last.

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