Curly hair is a lot of fun, as long as you treat it right. It’s actually pretty easy to take care of curly hair, but leave-in conditioners are an essential part of any curly girl or guy’s arsenal.

In this article, we’ll be looking at leave-in conditioners and what makes them great for your curly hair. We’ll compare different leave-in conditioner products and try to give you a good idea of what each leave-in does and whether it’s right for your hair.

So, leave those other curly-haired folks (or straight-haired people) behind, we’re going to jump right in and learn about how to pick the best leave-in conditioner for curly hair!

These are the best leave-in conditioners for curly hair we could find!

How to use leave-in conditioner for curly hair

To begin with, leave-ins are a vital part of curly hair care. Chances are you probably have some leave-in conditioner product on your bathroom shelf already, but do you know what it does? Do you know how to use leave-in conditioner properly?

Leave-in conditioners are designed to lock in moisture after you’ve washed your hair. Curly girls: DON’T wash your hair too much, as it can dry out the curls and leave them frizzy. Leave-in conditioner is perfect for locking in all that moisture you leave after washing your hair.

If your hair type resembles rigatoni, then try to find one that’s designed especially for curly hair. It should be nourishing and revitalizing, not just some average leave-in designed to simplify routine or improve curl definition.

NOTE: For SUPER hydrated hair, be sure to give hyaluronic acid a shot!

Should I use it on wet hair or dry hair?

Always apply leave in conditioner to wet or damp hair

When it comes to most moisturizing hair products, you’re going to want to use them on wet (or damp) hair. Leave-ins usually aren’t made of a lightweight formula – they’re usually heavy, thick, and creamy.

When used on dry strands, these products will over-absorb into the hair, causing the absorption to be uneven and patchy.

For a more even absorption, apply leave-in to wet hair (after shampooing).

Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Envy Leave-In Conditioner

This leave-in conditioner from Marc Anthony saturates the hair with vitamin E, helping to tame curls and lock moisture into the hair.

It also contains shea butter and avocado oil, two ingredients that are known to smooth the hair cuticle and give the hair a shiny appearance.

You’ll love the new soft texture of your once-frizzy hair. And at only $7, it’s a steal!

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow and Restore

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Restore - a great choice for natural hair!

Picking a leave-in conditioner for curly hair can be overwhelming, but if you want a leave-in that’s going to leave your hair feeling super soft and refreshed then look no further.

SheaMoisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil is one of the best leave-in conditioner brands on the market right now, and this specially-formulated product wonders for curly-haired people.

It contains castor oil, which has been used everywhere from Africa to Asia for over 3,000 years as a leave-in conditioner and treatment for all kinds of hair types. Also, all of their products utilize the power of shea butter to moisturize hair without leaving it oily or greasy.

You’ll love how the leave-in conditioner makes your curls soft and manageable without weighing them down. One negative – it can leave a bit of a residue after use, which you’ll need to wash off. But it’s nothing that a good clarifying shampoo won’t fix!

SoCozy Curl Spray Conditioner

SoCozy, Curl Spray Conditioner For Kids - a mild formula, perfect for kids under 12

This leave-in conditioner is perfect for curly-haired people who want a leave-in that will leave their hair feeling soft and supple, but won’t leave a residue on their hands after use.

Their lightweight formula works to add shine to curly-hair types, giving you frizz-free curls in half the time.

It’s also got a lovely fragrance and comes in an 8.5-ounce bottle so you’ll get plenty of uses out of it before needing to buy another one.

Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength Divine Strength

Carol's Daughter makes the best hair products for natural hair - hands down!

Of course, we couldn’t leave Carol’s Daughter to leave in conditioner off our list of best leave-in conditioners for textured (coily) hair.

Girls with coily hair know that their natural curls are different – and that means it requires a different set of hair products. But the Carol’s Daughter brand makes their line specifically for girls with natural hair (3A-4C).

It contains avocado oil, which is great for moisturizing curly hair. And its amino acids provide support to the natural proteins that make up the hair shaft.

It also has the added benefit of being free from sulfates and parabens. Perfect for curly-haired folks!

Marc Anthony Grow Long Biotin Leave-In Conditioner Spray

The GROW LONG formula by Marc Anthony works great to moisturize hair

If you’re all about leave-in conditioners that will leave your curls feeling soft and shiny, then this leave-in spray from Marc Anthony is perfect for you.

It contains biotin, an ingredient that stimulates the growth of healthy hair, promoting strong locks that are resistant to breakage.

Another great feature? It’s got a beautiful fragrance!

MIZANI 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner

MIZANI 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner is another great choice for a hair repair product

This leave-in conditioner offers all that you expect from a leave-in product, but with the benefit of being silicone-free.

Silicone is often used to protect hair from heat damage and reduce static but can leave it feeling heavy and lifeless after use.

So if you want an amazing product for curly hair which leaves your curls looking fresh rather than weighed down, try this leave-in conditioner instead.

It contains argan oil, an ingredient known to create softness and shine for beautifully healthy curls.

It’s also got hydrolyzed silk protein for repairing damaged curls, making them look more beautiful than ever!

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Intensely Smooth Conditioning Cream

Garnier Fructis Conditioning Cream is a heavy-duty conditioner for damaged hair

If you’re looking for a great leave-in conditioner for curly hair, this leave-in cream from Garnier Fructis is worth a try.

It’s got lasting moisture to leave your curls feeling moisturized and healthy. It also has special fruit oils to leave your hair smelling great!

This leave-in conditioner contains avocado oil and sweet almond oil to restore damaged hair to it’s glorious natural state without any moisture loss!

Paul Mitchell Full-Circle Leave-In Treatment

If you’re looking for a hydrating leave-in conditioner specifically designed to leave your curly hair feeling soft and manageable, then this leave-in treatment is perfect.

It’s a leave-in that doesn’t leave a greasy residue on your hands after use. Perfect!

How does it work? It contains glycerin derived from vegetables which moisturizes, smooths, and helps to protect from frizz.

And it has nettle extract which helps reduce drying time for smoother hair with less damage.

It’s also got lemongrass and citrus extracts to leave your curly hair feeling clean and fresh.

Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-in Conditioner

Ouidad Moisture Lock hydrates your hair for long-lasting strong hair

If you want leave-in conditioners for curly hair, this leave-in from Ouidad will leave your hair feeling gorgeously soft and smooth.

It has the added benefit of being a leave-in treatment that doesn’t leave residue on your hands. Perfect!

This leave-in is perfect for curly-haired people who want their curls to look shiny and healthy.

It also adds moisture to leave curls feeling hydrated, supple, and strong. And the best part? It’s got a lovely fresh scent that will leave your hair smelling great!

SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Types Hair Masque

SheaMoisture Rehydration Treatment Masque has 100 percent virgin coconut oil - all natural ingredients

This leave-in hair masque is perfect for curly-haired folks who are looking for a leave-in conditioner that leaves their beautiful curls soft and smooth, not weighed down or greasy.

It uses the moisturizing power of shea butter to leave your curls feeling hydrated and free of frizz. It also contains keratin amino acids to leave your curls looking glossy and beautiful.

And it has rice protein to leave your curls feeling soft, smooth, and full of life! Shea Moisture makes the best leave-in conditioners for people who prioritize using natural ingredients on their hair.

Johnson’s Curl Defining Tear-Free Kids’ Leave-in Conditioner

Johnson's Curl Defining leave-in conditioner is a top choice for kids because of its gentle formula

This leave-in conditioner from Johnson’s is perfect for curly-haired kids because it doesn’t leave residue on your hands after use.

It contains moisturizing ingredients to leave curls feeling healthy, shiny, and full of life. It also has aloe vera which helps leave your curls looking soft and smooth with added hydration.

And it has natural sea kelp extract which helps leave your curls looking glossy and beautiful.

Moroccanoil All-in-One Leave-In Conditioner

Moroccanoil All In One Leave In Conditioner pumps your hair full of moisture

Did you fry your hair with heat tools and now you’ll do anything to get your bouncy curls back? This leave-in conditioner from Moroccanoil is just what the doctor ordered.

It has moisturizing properties which leave your curls feeling hydrated and beautiful. It also contains hemp oil, sunflower seed oil, and argan oil which leave your curly hair looking healthy and shiny.

BioSilk Silk Therapy, 17 Miracle Leave-In Conditioner

Biosilk Silk Therapy 17 Miracle Leave In Conditioner for intense hair repair

This leave-in conditioner from BioSilk is a highly effective leave-in treatment designed to give you frizz-free curls in half the time..

It contains silk proteins that leave your curls soft, smooth, and manageable. It also has antioxidant properties which leave your hair feeling protected from the damaging effects of environmental factors such as UV rays.

And it has silk amino acids which leave your curly hair looking hydrated and shiny. Perfect for when you’re trying to repair damage done to your hair from mousse or hairspray!

Aussie Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner Spray

Aussie Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner Spray uses sea kelp and jojoba oil

If leave-in conditioners for curly hair are what you’re looking for, then you’ll love this leave-in conditioning spray from Aussie.

It contains ingredients that will make your curly smell amazing and smooth without weighing it down or making it feel greasy. It has jojoba oils to leave your curls manageable, while sea kelp extract leaves your hair feeling hydrated and silky.

And it has extracts of orange, grapefruit, and lemon that leave your curly hair smelling fabulously fresh!

Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Anti-Frizz Curl-Defining Hair Milk

Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Anti-Frizz Curl-Defining Curl Milk

This leave-in conditioner from Maui Moisture is perfect for curly-haired people who are looking for leave-in moisturizing cream. It contains legitimate coconut oil which leaves your curls hydrated and manageable without weighing them down or making them greasy.

It also has anti-frizz properties to leave your curly hair feeling smooth and silky.

And, of course, if you’re not already aware, it smells like coconut!

SheaMoisture Conditioner For Curly Hair with red palm oil and cocoa butter

SheaMoisture Leave-In Or Rinse-Out Conditioner for Curly Hair

This cruelty-free formula from SheaMoisture is perfect for curly-haired people who are looking for a leave-in that can be used on various curl types.

It contains cocoa butter which leaves your curls feeling soft, smooth, and frizz-free.

It also has red palm oil which will give you defined curls and reduce frizz.

And it has murumuru butter which leaves your curls looking hydrated and bouncy!

Final Thoughts

When it comes to buying the right leave-in conditioner for curly hair, you have literally thousands of options. But how do you know which one is right for you?

At the end of the day, it comes down to two factors: effect and ingredients.

On the one hand, you want the hair products you use to have a powerful effect. After all, we are going through the extra step of leaving conditioner in our hair for several hours. We want it to do something.

But on the other hand, safe ingredients are also important. Things like blueberry extract, mango butter, and coconut oil are all great things to look for.

So whether you’re trying to achieve that fluffy-haired look or if you just want to hydrate your hair, there is a leave-in conditioner out there for you.

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