Top 3 Alcohol-Free Curl Definers

Curly-haired people stick to alcohol-free hair products to prevent extreme hair drying, frizziness, and further damage. However, not curly hairs are the same, there are some that will love the product and some that will cause damage.

This is because almost all products with alcohol contain short-chained alcohols like ethanol, SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, and alcohol denatured do not interact well with textured hair. 

Note that not all alcohols are bad for the hair. For example, fatty alcohols actually work well with the hair since it contains emollients that are usually used in hair and skincare products to act as a conditioner and eventually softens the hair shaft. 

These are the fatty alcohols that are commonly found in hair care products:

  • Lauryl alcohol
  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Stearyl alcohol

Now, here is the list of the best non-damaging curl definers that surely work in your textured hairs.

What are the best alcohol-free curl definers?

1. Design Essentials Natural Curl Enhancing Mousse

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Scent: Mousse

Hair type: Dry hair

This curl enhancing product from Design Essentials is recommended for all curl types – 2A to 4C hair. It has a medium-hold formula that helps defines the curls and reduces frizz, which is perfect for natural styling such as molding short hair, flip and scrunch, wash and go, set styles, and twist-outs.

This curl enhancing product is really suitable if you want your hair to get a soft hold that defines, separates curls, and reduces frizz. And unlike other styling products, this one has a lightweight formula that contains no alcohol and smells pretty amazing! On top of that, it has no parabens, paraffin, petrolatum, and mineral oils. So whether you have 2A waves or 4C coils, this will guarantee your hair to keep its texture all day long.


  • it separates curly hair perfectly
  • recommended for dry hair
  • has a pleasing smell
  • leaves your hair shiny
  • certainly gets rid of frizzy hair


  • can be sticky when used on damp hair

2. Biotera Alcohol-free Defining Gel

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Scent: fragrance-free

Hair type: All types,  especially dry hair

The Biotera Alcohol-free Defining Gel will always give you the professional look that you wanted. this product will give you a nice cast around curls and breaks cleanly without any residue on curly hair. Moreover, it doesn’t leave your hair sticky or crunchy when you leave in the whole day. At a good cost, it will give no frizz and doesn’t leave your hair feeling dried out.

Also, this product has a lightweight formula that will keep your hair looking great, natural, and extremely soft. Even with just a small amount used, it will hold your hair fantastically and does not weigh down. This is also a safe and gentle hair product since it is manufactured free from parabens, selected botanicals, and extracts to restore hair back to its natural beauty.


  • gives firm hold and volume
  • lifts without product build-up 
  • doesn’t flake and frizz
  • has bamboo extract to give control definition
  • shines in all hair types


  • none

3. Royal Locks-Pro Curl Cream Gel

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Scent: a floral scent

Hair type: All types, especially frizzy hair

This pro-curl cream hair gel from Royal Locks is a unique, lightweight 3 in 1 cream that defines, holds, and enhances the curls with exceptional softness and moisturizing effects. It is usually used in creating salon-styled, well-defined curls that dry soft while reducing frizz. Its blend of curl cream is uniquely designed to enhance and activates all types of curls such as classic curl, tight or kinky curls, well-defined curls, fine or medium textured curls.

Its key ingredient is Argan Oil, which is primarily used to give moisture and repair your hair. Aside from being natural, it is also free from toxic ingredients like parabens, sulfate, and another hair-damaging formula. With just a small amount of application, it can give you a moisturized and shaped har with zero grease and flakes. It also doesn’t collect product build-up and can be rinsed out easily.


  • best recommended for coils, classic, and curls
  • doesn’t leave the hear flaky and crunchy
  • hold the curls regardless of the ambient humidity
  • can give long-lasting curls
  • suitable for color-treated and permed hair


  • the smell can be irritating for some

How do I make my curls more defined?

If you are struggling to maintain your curls on a regular basis, here are some techniques and tips that you can follow in making your curls more defined:

1. Deeply wash and clean your hair

Know that those with dry hair is never recommended to regularly wash their hair with shampoos. If possible, only use hair conditioners. Also, a sulfate-free shampoo is better if you want to use one. Remember to use a gentle shampoo otherwise, it can be too harsh for your hair and can cause further damage. Here are more tips for washing your hair:

  • Use shampoos with natural oils, sage oil, or grape-seed oil to keep your hair moisturized.
  • Avoid hair products with these kinds of alcohols: Benzyl alcohol, Isopropyl alcohol, Ethanol alcohol, Ethyl alcohol, Propanol alcohol, Isopropanol alcohol, and Alcohol denatured.
  • Focus on applying the shampoo to the hair roots.
  • Massage your scalp and hair with conditioner, especially for dry and damaged hair.
  • Brush your hair gently using a wide-toothed brush and detangle it.
  • Rinse with cool water to prevent frizz.
  • Apply a leave-in conditioner or cream to smoothen your hair.

2. Shape your hair curls

Holding products like gel, mousse, or cream in order to shape your curls. Better get water-soluble products than alcohol-based curl definers to prevent from damaging your hair.

Here are some tips for shaping your hair:

  • Scrunch your hair after you cup it in your hands and do it in upwards motions.
  • The more you scrunch, the curler your hair will become.
  • Twirl your hair by taking a part of it and apply a curl definer.
  • Using your finger, continually twist it and make sure it goes with the natural curls.
  • Finger comb your hair and try twirling it in two sections after applying the curl definer
  • The smaller your sections are, the tighter your curls will be. 

3. Avoid touching it until it completely dries out

If you keep on touching it while wet, it will result in ruffling the cuticle and cause frizziness.

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