Leave-in Conditioner: Why You Should Use It and The Best Ones You Should Try

Ask anyone with naturally curly hair what their biggest hair problem is and the answer you’re probably going to hear is “dryness”.

Keeping natural hair hydrated is challenging, particularly during cold months since natural hair needs plenty of moisture to stay healthy and bright, particularly if you like styling it.

So what can you do?

There are plenty of home remedies that you can use to keep your natural hair hydrated, some of which we’ll explain later on but the best thing you can do to keep your hair feeling and looking its best is to get a good leave-in conditioner and, luckily, we’re about to tell you the best leave-in conditioner for natural hair in the market now.

** Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can click links above to see current prices and read customer's review on Amazon to find the best leave-in conditioner for natural hair.


Tips to Hydrate Natural Hair

tgin Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer for Natural Hair

- Wash your hair at least once a week.

- Make sure your shampoo and conditioner have the same pH so that work together instead of against each other.

- If you can, make sure your shampoo and conditioner are of the same line and brand

- Deep condition once a week with a strong and reliable conditioner

- Always follow your washes with cold rinses to close the cuticles and lock in the moisture.

- Apply moisturizer before applying oils, as oils will help trap the moisture.

- Avoid using petroleum oils to seal in the moisture. Yes, they will trap moisture but they will also damage your hair.

- Choose a good, high quality oil to seal in the moisture.

- Hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water.

- Use a spritzer to add a little extra moisture to your hair through the day

Why To Use A Best Leave-in Conditioner For Natural Hair?

Living Proof No Frizz Leave-in Conditioner

Maybe you’re wondering if using leave-in conditioner is necessary and the answer is a resounding yes.

There are plenty of reasons why you should use leave-in conditioner for your natural hair and here are 6 of them:

  • Aids with Conditioning: Even if you use conditioner as a regular part of your hair care routine, leave-in conditioner helps you hydrate your hair even further.
    Not only does it add extra moisture to it, some brands also add protein and nutrients to your hair, improving its appearance through the following days.
  • Protects It when Styling: Styling requires heat and heat dries your hair. Leave-in conditioners can aid you by providing extra protection to your hair.
    If you use it at the same time as heat protectant products you’ll prevent your hair from drying out, even after extensive styling.
  • Helps You Feel Fresh: As you know, washing natural hair every day is a bad idea but sometimes you just feel the need to freshen up in between washes. Leave-in conditioners are perfect for this, as they contain water and certain oils that help re-moisturize your hair without having to wet it.
  • Help Your Stylers: If you use styling agents on your hair you’ll be happy to know leave-in conditioners can help them be even more effective, as it will add extra moisture to give said products a boost.
  • Helps You Detangle: Conditioners are great for detangling and leave-in conditioners work just as well. All the ingredients contained in leave-in conditioners, even those for natural hair, help detangle even the most stubborn hair.

​How To Use Leave-in Conditioner

If you don't know how to use leave-in conditioner, check the below video: Applying Leave-In & Sealing Natural Hair

Do You Need to Use a Leave-In Conditioner?

That depends on you and your hair care needs. Some people find that leave-in conditioners aren’t for them and some people discover they can’t live without it.

You won’t find out if leave-in conditioner works for you unless you try it so why not try some of these?

Reviews of The Best Leave-in Conditioner for Natural Hair

This leave-in conditioner works for just about any kind of curly hair. Loose, tight, waved, kinky and more!

This is a very rich and creamy leave-in conditioner that uses shea butter and coconut oil to moisturize and strengthen your hair through the day and while this leave-in will work for any curl, it works particularly well for tight ones as it helps reduce frizz while hydrating your hair.

Another positive aspect of this conditioner is that, while it works perfectly as leave-in it also works as a rinse out conditioner which makes it not only useful but also versatile as you can use it both ways and figure out which one works best for you.

It leaves a fresh, clean smell, even in long and thick hair, and it helps great to prevent and deal with tangling.

It’s also rather expensive but you’ll find that it works so well you won’t need more than a pump or two to use all over your hair. That said, this product is rather thick so getting the product out might take more effort than you’re used to with other products.

What We Like

  • Works with all kinds of curls
  • Smells nice
  • ​Works both as a leave-in and rinse out
  • Helps with tangling

What We Didn't Like

  • The smell might be a little overwhelming to some
  • Very thick, it takes effort to get out of the bottle

This product is chock full of essential oils, shea butter, olive oil and other goodies that help by moisturizing dry and brittle hair, as well as damaged hair that needs an extra boost.

This leave-in conditioner not only conditions the hair but it also aids with styling and defining, all without leaving residues of any sort.

There’s a very good reason why this conditioner has “daily” in its name and that’s because its gentle enough that it can actually be used daily, be it to refreshed your hair, style it in any way you want and defining any kind of curl.

This product needs to be in a certain way in order to get the best results. Spray a little bit of water on your hair and use a small amount of the product. Doing this will help hydrate and keep your hair soft and detangling without any risk of flaking.

That said, if you don’t use this product properly or you use too much of it you might end up with flaking so be careful with that.

What We Like

  • Works great for all kinds of curls
  • ​Works great for thick hair
  • ​Works as a conditioner and as a styling product
  • Moisturizes and detangles your hair

What We Didn't Like

  • Will cause flaking unless used correctly
  • Has a strong, somewhat fruity smell that might not please all
  • Not completely natural. There are some chemical ingredients to consider.

This is an excellent leave-in conditioner for natural hair that works on all kinds of curls, as well as particularly dry hair.

It leaves your hair feeling soft and manageable though it absorbs rather quickly so don’t be surprised if you have to use it more often than expected.

Part of the reason why this leave-in conditioner absorbs as fast as it does is because of its texture. As opposed to the other products reviewed on this list, this is a liquid more than a cream so, while it’s easier to spread around your hair and to get out of the bottle.

This leave-in conditioner is particularly good for detangling and for protecting your hair from heat when styling, all while offering a very flowery and clean smell.

This conditioner can be used both on dry and wet hair in order to achieve different results. Using it on dry hair will help refresh your hair between washes and define your curls even further, while using it on wet hair will help detangling and leaving your hair feeling soft and clean.

What We Like

  • Works on all kinds of hair
  • ​Works for all kinds of curls
  • ​Has a great smell
  • ​Easy to use and spread on your hair
  • ​Affordable
  • Protects hair when styling with heat

What We Didn't Like

  • Absorbs too quickly
  • Doesn’t help with styling itself
  • Works more as a refreshing mist than as a regular leave-in conditioner

This is an excellent leave-in conditioner for particularly frizzy/kinky hair that works wonders even in days with humidity.

Better yet, this is a leave-in conditioner that helps you with styling, not only by protecting your hair but also by making it easier to style your hair, particularly if you’re planning on straightening it.

This product is somewhat expensive but you’ll find that it’s worth, as it smells great, though the smell can be rather strong for some.

While this product works great at reducing frizz, it’s important to mention that it needs to be used on wet hair, as using it on dry hair is only recommended if you’re planning on styling immediately afterwards. Otherwise it will leave your hair looking tacky and feeling stiff.

It has the consistency of lotion, so it spreads easily on your hair and, if used properly, it will help give your hair a healthier, more hydrated look while keeping the frizz down to a minimum.

What We Like

  • Easy to use
  • ​Reduces frizz
  • ​Helps with styling
  • Protects hair from heat

What We Didn't Like

  • Not good to use on dry hair unless you’re going to style
  • Smell can be overwhelming to some

With a catchy name and a trendy bottle, this leave in conditioner is amongst the most popular on this list and it’s easy to see why.

This leave in conditioner works great on natural hair of any kind. It keeps hair smooth, frizz free and soft, though it does tend to weight down curls so if you’re looking for volume and bounce this product might not be the one for you.

This conditioner is more affordable than others, though still on the expensive side, but it does the job so it’s definitely a good investment and it helps prevent shrinking so there’s always that.

Used both in dry and wet hair, it detangles hair with little to no problem though you’ll find that, thanks to its thickness, you might want to use a little bit of water anyway. Also, thanks to said thickness, you might have trouble squeezing it out of the bottle which can get really annoying.

The smell is sweet, more so than any other product on this list and it can get a little overwhelming but luckily, you can get away with using very little of this product so not only will your bottle last and last and last but you’ll be able to handle the smell without a problem.

It’s not an unpleasant smell, let’s be clear on that, it’s just strong.

What We Like

  • Works with all kinds of hair and all kinds of curl
  • ​Prevents shrinking
  • ​Affordable
  • Works on dry and wet hair

What We Didn't Like

  • Weighs down your curls
  • Strong, too sweet smell
  • Needs a bit of water to work on dry hair

Final Thought

Whether you use leave-in conditioners on your natural hair or not is an entirely personal decision. There are shampoos and wash off conditioners that will help you control your hair and there are other hair products, such as dry shampoo, that will help you refresh your hair between washes.

Regardless, it’s always a good idea to try new things so go ahead and try using leave-in conditioner at least once. That way you can know for sure if it helps your hair or not.

So, what is the best leave-in conditioner for natural hair?

For this list, we are picking Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner​ as our best leave-in conditioner for natural hair because it works with all kinds of curls and really helps with tangling.

We hope this list article has helped you find the leave-in conditioner that works well on your natural hair.

If you have any doubts, questions, suggestions or anything like that please leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share if you found this article and review useful.

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