Best Natural Leave In Conditioner for Curly Hair: 2019 Reviews

Best Natural Leave In Conditioner for Curly Hair

Leave-in conditioners are not just some fad the beauty industry thought up as a hair care follow-up. Leave in products can be incredibly useful to help lock in moisture, bring an added shine, and improve the overall strength and health of your hair. This is especially true for color-treated, dry, and curly locks, and should definitely be considered as a regular beauty routine.

Naturally, curly hair requires a little extra TLC, mainly because it isn’t quite a strong as straighter hair types, and in order to draw out the natural shape of the hair, moisture is a must. This natural leave-in conditioner for curly hair review provides all you need to know about curly hair needs and suggests some of the best leave-in options to consider.

Top 5 Best Natural Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair

IMAGE BRAND DETAILS
byb2-table__imageKinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner/Detangler
  • Application: Cream
  • Active Ingredient: Fruit extracts, Slippery Elm
  • Other Uses: smooth cuticles, detangles
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byb2-table__imageArtNaturals Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioner
  • Application: oil
  • Active Ingredient: Argan oil
  • Other Uses: Protective
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byb2-table__imageCurls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave-In Conditioner
  • Application: cream
  • Active Ingredient: Blueberry, coconut oil
  • Other Uses: Restore, Repair
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byb2-table__imageSoCozy Curl Leave-In Conditioner
  • Application: Spray
  • Active Ingredient: Jojoba esters, vegetable proteins
  • Other Uses: Detangling
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byb2-table__imageShea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk
  • Application: cream
  • Active Ingredients: coconut oil, fruit extracts
  • Other Uses: protectant, detangler
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Curly Hair Care Challenges

Curly locks have its own set of challenges due to its shape (determined by the follicle itself), which can result in poor care techniques that leads to breakage and a frizzy hair look. It also is often more porous and sensitive to humidity levels. Although quality products can help keep all this under control, it is important to understand what these challenges are:

Dryness

Scratching an itchy scalp.

The scalp secretes sebum, a natural oil, down the length of your hair. This helps control moisture and overall health of each strand. Straight styles allow easy transport and spread of sebum down the length as well as through contact from hair to hair. Curly styles do not have a straight route nor does it come in contact as easily with neighboring strands. This leads to a drier head of hair overall.

Shine

Shine is most noticeable on flatter, more uniform surfaces. Curls do not have this feature, and so does not reflect light in the same manner as straight hair. Also, the drier the hairs are, the less light they will reflect, making them look dull.

Frizz

Girl being irritated with her frizz hair.

Curly styles are also typically more porous and sensitive to moisture. On a humid day, this moisture enters into the hair strand more easily and plumps it, making it look frizzy and unkempt. This also can make it lose its curl pattern. In dry climates strands will be more easily damaged and break, creating flyaways and a frizzy appearance as well.

Curl Factor

Higher degrees of curl is often more elliptical- resulting in a thinner, weaker strand. This type of hair is more susceptible to breakage and often requires constant conditioning to help it keep its shape and health.

Breakage

A tangled and damaged hair

Curly hair is often easier to break, even when well cared for simply because more force is used on it when brushing and styling.

The Difference Between Leave-in Conditioner and Other Conditioning Products

Leave-in conditioners are designed to be applied when the hair is damp after every wash. It is left in as a long term treatment to help lock in moisture without weighing strands down. Generally made without any sort of heavy oils, they are designed to soften and strengthen the strands, allowing it to be more manageable, and make it look shinier. It also can be used between washings on dry hair to help top up moisture. Many people prefer to make their own homemade conditioners to create a specific treatment for their style.

Rinse out conditioners is applied to wet hair after shampoo to help protect and rehydrate strands. Although washed out, they help smooth the cuticle and tame unwanted frizz. It works well as a pre-treatment prior to using a leave-in conditioner.

Deep conditioners work like a rinse-out conditioner, but are not used with every wash, and are left in prolonged amounts of time before being rinsed out. These serve as a specialized treatment that can be applied a few times a month or if you feel your hair is feeling drier than usual.

Why Moisture is So Important for Curly Hair

Happy woman combing wet hair.

The appropriate amount of moisture can keep your bouncy locks looking their best. Finding that balance can be tricky and is based on your hair’s overall porosity, but the bottom line is that locking in moisture will give you more manageable tresses. Conditioners are created to provide this need, and learning how to apply it in degrees so you get the proper amount is a must. How a conditioner works will be affected by the degree of humidity where you live, as well as your own hair’s ability to accept and retain moisture. Since curls have a tendency to be more porous, they will be more sensitive to both weather and application of products, so applying in small amounts until what you need is achieved is suggested.

Types of Leave-in Conditioner

Leave-in conditioners are most often sold as a spray, which can be very effective for curls as it adheres to the whole strand of hair and does not require and unnecessary combing or working into the strand. Cream-based does require you to apply by hand and work it through the strands of hair to get full coverage. Even then combing might be needed to have it spread through the whole head and avoid missing the curves of curl.

A Word Concerning the Use ‘Natural’

Hair conditioner cream with aloe vera and flower.

The word natural is not by any means measureable. Seeing the term used suggests a healthier, more environmentally friendly, and thus human, application. This may not always be the case, nor does its use pertain to ALL the ingredients used. When looking for an all-natural hair conditioning product look for ingredient transparency and those derived from land or sea (not synthetically produced).

Top 5 Best Natural Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair

The following conditioner options are top picks by consumers for quality of ingredients and results. They are popular choices for various degrees of curly hair and are definitely worth the closer look.

If you are looking for a good leave-in option, but don’t have a lot of bodies or curl and want a lightweight formula for straighter or thinner hair, we suggest you look over the Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner review. It is an excellent option to help protect hair, rebuild damaged cuticles, reduce hair shedding, and build volume and shine.

Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner/Detangler

Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner/Detangler
  • Best Formula for All Hair Types
  • Application: Cream
  • Active Ingredient: Fruit extracts, Slippery Elm
  • Other Uses: smooth cuticles, detangles
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Paraben, sulfate, and silicone-free, the Kinky-Curly Knot Today conditioner is a favorite of consumers who have head curls and want soft, bouncy results. Although it can be used as a rinse out option as well as a detangler, it works amazingly well as a leave-in option to provide a moisturizing lock using organic and natural ingredients such as mango fruit, slippery elm, marshmallow root, and lemongrass.

Considered an excellent supplement to other products, it is not a heavy formula and is easy to apply without having to comb through. It also has a slightly sweet, but not overpowering scent and by all accounts works well for all curl types, from natural wave to tightly bound styles and helps keep frizz from making an appearance.

Who Should Purchase this?
If curl definition and frizz control is a need, this is a great product for all hair types. It is not a heavy formula and can be used with other products to achieve your perfect look and feel.

Pros

  • Great, non-overpowering scent
  • Lightweight formula
  • Great variety of use

Cons

  • Does not provide any hold
  • Not good as a stand-alone for very dry hair

ArtNaturals Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioner

ArtNaturals Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioner
  • Best Product for Frizz Control
  • Application: oil
  • Active Ingredient: Argan oil
  • Other Uses: Protective
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Argan oil has long been used as a beauty product to help with dry, brittle, or damaged hair and is a great repairing ingredient for all style types. Popular as protective against excessive heat and styling, using it on damp hair as a leave-in allows you to lock in natural moisture and protect each strand. The lightweight formula is easy to apply and also can be used with other styling products.

Designed to be added a little at a time until the desired feel is achieved, the oil also is healing to the scalp and provides the moisture needed for root health. Non-greasy, no residue is left behind with its use, allowing you to get shine without any worry oily, separated locks.

Who Should Purchase this?

Great for any hair type, this is a popular choice for frizz control and curl definition. It also mixes well into existing products you may already have.

Pros

  • Little goes a long way
  • Gets rid of frizz and smooths hair
  • Not at all greasy

Cons

  • May seem heavy on thin or fine hair types

Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave-In Conditioner

Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave-In Conditioner
  • Best Leave-In Protectant and Conditioner
  • Application: cream
  • Active Ingredient: Blueberry, coconut oil
  • Other Uses: Restore, Repair
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Curls Blueberry Bliss leave-in is a reparative conditioning cream that uses the highly antioxidant, organic blueberry extract and coconut oil as the main ingredients to penetrate the hair follicle for deeply nourishing effects. The sweet scent is considered light and not overpowering once applied, and leaves your hair feeling soft and lightweight and easy to style.

Considered a great detangler, it also protects your hair from free-radicals and consistent use results in a healthier scalp as well. With no greasy feel, the cream-like texture is easy to smooth into damp hair and dries without flaking or any stiffness.

Who Should Purchase this?

If hair protection and a healthy scalp are high on your list of hair care needs, this is an excellent option. The ingredient list is specific to powerful hair penetration and protection.

Pros

  • Leaves hair soft
  • Smells great
  • No greasy or sticky feel

Cons

  • May not work well on very dry, or very tight curls

SoCozy Curl Leave-In Conditioner

SoCozy Curl Leave-In Conditioner
  • Best Choice for Use on Children
  • Application: Spray
  • Active Ingredient: Jojoba esters, vegetable proteins
  • Other Uses: Detangling
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The hydrolyzed jojoba esters of this leave-in spray mimic natural oils produced by the scalp to promote growth and nourish hair. The vegetable proteins are hydrating and are easily absorbed so no residue is left behind. Free from parabens, sulfates, and synthetics, this is a natural option that is popular with all hair types, and especially used for detangling children’s hair without unnecessary tugging.

It also works great between washes on dry hair to help control frizz and allows for lightweight curl control. The slightly sweet, fruity smell is popular and not overpowering, plus a little goes a long way towards getting the effects you desire.

Who Should Purchase this?

Great for all hair types, this is a popular product for use on children to help detangle and define curls, as well as thin, or fine hair types.

Pros

  • A little goes a long way
  • Works great with just finger combing
  • Controls frizz and leaves hair soft

Cons

  • Too much will leave a greasy look behind

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk
  • Best Use for Styling and Conditioning
  • Application: cream
  • Active Ingredients: coconut oil, fruit extracts
  • Other Uses: protectant, detangler
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Perfect for daily use without the worry of weighing your hair down, the Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk works to define your curls and leave behind a soft bounce and frizz control. Coconut oil permeates the hair to provide deep moisturizing effects without any heavy residue or sticky feeling.

It also allows you to style as you normally would and provides an excellent definition for heat-treated curls. A little goes a long way and is easy to work through damp hair with fingers without straightening out the hair. Damaged hair also will benefit from its use as it smooths the follicle, and it works well on dry hair when smoothed in as needed between washes.

Who Should Purchase this?

If you regularly heat style your hair or color it this is a great choice to help protect damaged hair and provide hydration before styling. The lightweight formula provides great definition.

Pros

  • A little goes a long way
  • Non-greasy and very protective
  • Lasts well between washes

Cons

  • May not work well on heavy, dry or coarse hair
  • Too many leaves behind a greasy look

Conclusion

When you want the best natural ingredients for curly hair protection, hydration, and control, you need a dependable leave-in conditioning product. These choices all work well either as a stand-alone or with your favorite products to enhance your curls and leave behind soft, bouncy hair. Many also work well to detangle and restore, and have become some of the best selling leave-in options due to their ingredient list and dependable use.

If you have used any of the above-mentioned products, we’d love to hear about your experiences below. Also, leave for us any question you may have, and, as always, please share!

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