Bounce Curl is a popular hair care brand for curly and natural hair. The brand claims that their products are “made with modern science & nature,” and that they only use “carefully selected ingredients for the body.”
But does Bounce Curl contain ingredients shown to improve hair quality or are these just marketing claims? Are there really specific ingredients for curly hair, or are the same ingredients good for all hair types? Does Bounce Curl contain any potentially unhealthy additives? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Bounce Curl products?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in two of the brand’s most popular products (Clump & Define Cream and Clarifying Shampoo) based on medical studies to give our take on whether the products are likely to improve hair quality or if they’re a waste of money.
We’ll also provide a cost breakdown featuring which retailer sells this brand for the best price, and share real, unsponsored Bounce Curl user reviews.
Clump & Define Cream Ingredient Analysis
The ingredients in Bounce Curl Avocado & Rose Oil Clump & Define Cream are shown above.
There are a number of research-backed ingredients in this formulation.
Argania spinosa (argan) kernel oil was shown to protect hair from damage in a clinical trial published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
Nigella sativa (black seed) oil is a potent natural antifungal according to a 2017 medical review, so it may help keep the scalp healthy and free of dandruff.
Astrocaryum murumuru seed butter is derived from a plant native to Brazil, and is clinically shown to be rich in lipids, which suggests it’s an effective hair conditioner and texturizer.
Adansonia digitata (baobab) seed oil is frequently used in cosmetic products due to its ability to create a natural barrier on the skin that keeps the skin underneath hydrated, as described in a 2017 clinical trial.
Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) seed extract was shown to be potentially effective for hair regrowth in a series of medical case reports, but only when combined with other botanical ingredients.
We can’t find any studies suggesting this ingredient improves hair on its own.
Clearly there are a number of research-backed ingredients in this styling cream. However, there are also a few ingredients we consider questionable from a health perspective.
Fragrance is the number one inactive ingredient we recommend consumers look out for, because as we documented in our review of Ouai Shampoo, clinical studies have shown that fragrance poses a risk to human and environmental health.
Cetrimonium chloride and phenoxyethanol are synthetic preservatives, the latter of which was shown in a 2020 clinical trial to be toxic to human cells.
Overall, we consider Clump & Define Cream likely to improve hair quality and texture. It has a large number of research-backed ingredients. However, we don’t currently recommend the product due to the questionable inactive ingredients highlighted above.
A YouTube creator named “Honest Liz” shared her first time using this product for a few days in a row, and included before-and-after images to showcase how much volume it added to her hair:
Clarifying Shampoo Ingredient Analysis
The ingredients in Bounce Curl Gentle Clarifying Shampoo are shown above.
This is the brand’s most popular shampoo product, and it contains a several effective active ingredients that we already discussed in the previous ingredient analysis section: black seed oil, baobab, and argan oil.
This shampoo also contains some unique research-backed ingredients.
Coconut oil was shown in a clinical trial published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science to prevent hair damage, and is widely considered one of the most effective plant oils for dermatological effects.
Geranium maculatum was shown in a 2017 clinical trial to cause a significant amount of hair growth, but this was an animal study and used an extracted version of the plant which is more potent than the oil used in Bounce Curl’s shampoo.
Lavender oil was tested for its effectiveness in promoting hair growth in a 2016 clinical trial, and the study authors concluded the following: “These results indicated that [lavender oil] has a marked hair growth-promoting effect.”
Panthenol is clinically shown to support scalp health, as we discussed in our review of another shampoo brand called Briogeo.
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract is one of the most well-studied natural hair growth promoters, and was shown in a clinical trial published in the Skinmed journal to cause significant hair growth after 6 months of treatment, and its effects were comparable to minoxidil, which is the active ingredient in Rogaine.
Unlike the previous product, Bounce Curl’s shampoo is entirely free of questionable additives like fragrance or synthetic preservatives.
We would recommend this shampoo as we consider it likely effective for improving hair quality, potentially effective for improving hair growth, and one of the best-formulated shampoos we’ve analyzed on Illuminate Health.
A YouTube creator named “BiancaReneeToday” reviewed this shampoo including a product demo and shares her thoughts on whether it’s worth the hype:
Where to Buy Bounce Curl for the Best Price
Bounce Curl is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here’s a price breakdown for the two products reviewed in this article at the time of publishing:
Clump & Define Cream
Walmart: $36 (plus shipping, third-party seller, link)
Brand website: $25.99 (plus shipping – link)
Amazon: $29.99 (free shipping depending on plan – link to official Amazon listing)
The shipping fee for the test address we input into Bounce Curl’s website was $7.36, so we consider Amazon to be the better-priced option.
Brand website: $21.99 (plus shipping – link)
Amazon: $25.96 (free shipping – link to official Amazon listing)
The shipping fee for the test address we input into Bounce Curl’s website was $8.63, so we consider Amazon to be the better-priced option.
The Amazon listing was from a third-party seller in both cases, so we also included links to the brand’s official website. Third-party sellers may slightly increase the risk of counterfeit products, although for this brand both appeared to be well-rated.
Real Customers Review Bounce Curl
Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.
The Clump & Define Cream has been reviewed over 400 times on Amazon, with an average review rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
The top positive review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Cara Lou" who claims the product is effective and makes hair care more convenient:
"When I purchased this I was prepared for it to not work just like so many other products. This stuff does exactly what it says… I haven’t touched a straightener or a blow dryer in months and I couldn’t be happier."
The top negative review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "kassandraventer" who claims the product caused negative changes to hair quality:
"This product is horrible left hair dry and very thick and leaves product build-up on the hair defffintley not worth the price"
Pros and Cons of Bounce Curl
Here are the pros and cons of Bounce Curl as a brand in our opinion:
- Contains many natural ingredients with research backing
- Should improve hair appearance
- Should improve hair health
- Reasonably priced
- One of few research-backed brands for curly hair
- Mostly positive online customer reviews
- One of best shampoos we've reviewed
- Styling cream contains fragrance
- Styling cream contains synthetic preservatives
- Brand website charges for shipping