Finding a good leave-in conditioner for your curly hair can be a pretty hard task these days. You see, what may work for one person may not have the slightest effect on another’s, which is hardly fair if you think about it.
Nevertheless, the following list has the best leave-in conditioners for curly hair that I could find. They’ll address almost every hair need you can think of, and you’ll surely find something within your price range. So, take a look and see which product your curls will benefit from the most.
At a Glance
- Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-in Defining Créme – Most Natural
- Shea Moisture Strengthen and Restore Leave-in Conditioner – Best Drugstore
- Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Detangler – Best for Detangling
- Pattern Beauty Leave-in Conditioner – Most Moisturizing
- Living Proof No Frizz Leave-in Conditioner – Best Anti-Frizz
- Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave-in Conditioner – Best for Damaged Hair
- Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream – Best for Styling
- It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product – Most Versatile
Best Leave-in Conditioners for Curly Hair in 2022
1. Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-in Defining Créme – Best Overall
The Curl Charisma Rice Amino and Avocado leave-in from Briogeo is truly one of a kind when it comes to its formula. Not only is it made of 94% natural ingredients, but it’s also free of artificial dues, parabens, and sulfates.
Moreover, the rice amino acids it contains are great for keeping your hair frizz-free, and the avocado oil does wonders for the definition and moisture levels of your curls.
Best of all, if your hair loves a good boost of protein, this leave-in conditioner will be absolutely perfect and don’t worry about it weighing your hair down. This is a lightweight leave-in conditioner that’ll produce voluminous and bouncy curls with each and every use.
- Mostly made with natural ingredients
- Cruelty-free and clean
- Contains tomato fruit ferment, which gives great curl definition
- Moisture that lasts for days due to its content of keratin amino acids
- Controls frizz
- A bit pricey
- Doesn’t have as strong a hold as other conditioners
2. Shea Moisture Strengthen and Restore Leave-in Conditioner – Most Budget-Friendly
We all know that natural hair products can be pretty expensive. However, the Shea Moisture brand always tries to make good-quality yet affordable products, and man, do we love them for it!!!
Their Strengths and Restore leave-in conditioning cream is truly incredible for curly hair prone to dryness. Since it contains organic shea butter and Jamaican black castor oil, your hair will get all the moisture it needs, as well as plenty of strengthening and reparative proteins.
Not only that, but it also contains apple cider vinegar to make detangling an easier job and reduce any scalp itchiness you may have. Additionally, the peppermint within it is really great for stimulating hair growth and preventing hair loss, and it’ll be honest, the refreshing sensation on the scalp isn’t bad either.
- Great for the wallet
- Full of nourishment
- Excellent curl definition
- Good for 4c curls
- Its consistency makes it great for styling
- Can enhance hair growth
- Great smell
- Not the best option for those with fine hair as it can be a bit heavy
3. Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Detangler – Best for Detangling
Does your hair easily get tangled up and knotted? Then the Kinky Curly Knot Today detangling leave-in conditioner will be an absolute godsend for you.
Made of a few simple ingredients, this product has great slip and works to smooth the hair cuticle. As such, you can easily remove any knots that may have formed throughout the week.
To top it off, this conditioner doesn’t just work as a leave-in. Its formula also makes it suitable for use as a rinse-out conditioner, which is perfect for those who don’t want lots of products on their curls.
Oh, and as an added bonus, this leave-in detangler thankfully doesn’t contain any protein or glycerin. Accordingly, you can use it to your heart’s content without fear of protein overload, and you’ll always get smooth, defined curls that last for days.
- Great for dry and frizzy hair
- Excellent slip to help with knots and tangles
- Can be used as a leave-in or as a deep
- Protein free
- Doesn’t leave a greasy residue
- Good for both curly and coily hair types
- May form a cast
4. Pattern Beauty Leave-in Conditioner – Most Moisturizing
For all my girls constantly suffering from dry hair, this product from Pattern is made for you.
With its content of honey and natural oils, this leave-in conditioner will restore all the moisture to your hair, leaving it healthy and smooth. And, yes, I said oils, plural. This baby has not one, not two, but four different oils, and that’s not even mentioning the aloe extract and the biotin.
So, if you’ve got high-porosity hair, be it due to genetics or from chemical and heat damage, then you can’t go wrong with this leave-in. Just a few pumps after your wash will make your hair shinier, less brittle, and more resistant to knotting.
And don’t worry, while it will reduce frizz and define your curls, it won’t leave them crunchy or flat as its consistency is suitable for practically all hair types.
- Gives you smooth, soft hair
- Leaves you curls defined and chock-full of moisture
- Has a wonderful sandalwood and jasmine scent
- Some may think the smell is overpowering
5. Living Proof No Frizz Leave-in Conditioner – Best Anti-Frizz
If frizz and flyaways are your number one concern, then you will love the Living Proof no-frizz leave-in conditioner.
This bottle of magic uses a patented molecule that’s specifically created to block outside moisture and humidity from entering your hair, consequently preventing it from frizzing up and making you look like you’ve been electrocuted.
And I’m not just talking about healthy hair. This baby will make sure to control chemically-processed and color-treated hair as well.
Still, that’s not all. This leave-in conditioner also does wonders when it comes to curl definition, and if you’re thinking of getting a blowout, it’ll be great at protecting your hair from the heat.
- Controls frizz and flyaways
- Safe for processed hair due to its gentle formula
- Good for use before blow drying
- Has a lightweight formula perfect for those with easily weighed down hair
- A bit too light for thicker and more textured curl types
6. Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave-in Conditioner – Best for Damaged Hair
Damaged hair is already hard enough to control when it’s straight, never mind when it’s wavy or curly. However, the Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative leave-in conditioner makes the impossible possible.
Basically, this conditioner has the perfect balance of moisture and protein, thereby giving your hair the hydration it needs without making it look flat and weighed down. As such, those with frequently colored/processed hair will greatly benefit from this leave-in.
Truly, the combination of mango butter, grapeseed oil, and coconut oil is perfect for those struggling with hair breakage and moisture retention.
Still, as great as all these qualities are, I have to say that my absolute favorite thing about this product is its scent. Just a couple of pumps will have your hair smelling like a summer garden and feeling like a silk scarf.
- Repairs damaged hair
- Contains the right amounts of moisture and protein
- Smells amazing
- Encourages hair growth
- Softens hair and adds shine
- Great price
- Its creamy consistency may feel a bit heavy for some
7. Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream – Best for Styling
If you want a great leave-in conditioner that can also work as a styling cream, then get yourself this Moroccanoil curl-defining cream.
With just this product, you can make do without those expensive curl creams. Just a little blob on your hair will allow you to define and shape your curls without leaving them crusty or hard.
And since this leave-in contains argan oil and other nourishing ingredients, your hair will be stronger and shinier than you could’ve ever imagined. Moreover, its content of vegetable protein will coat any porous stands and split ends you have, giving your hair an overall healthier look.
I will say this, though. If your hair is especially dry, you may need more moisture than this product has to offer. So, make sure you first know what your hair needs before getting this leave-in, or else you’ll be throwing your money down the drain.
- 2-1 product
- Lightweight hold
- Nourishes and strengthens the scalp
- User-friendly container and pump
- Not great for really dry hair
- Has very little slip
8. It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product – Most Versatile
If you need to add moisture to your locks throughout the week or just give your curl a little boost, the Miracle leave-in conditioner from It’s a 10 will be absolutely perfect.
With silk amino acids to strengthen the hair, aloe vera to lock in the moisture, and green tea extract to support hair growth, this spray conditioner will bring your curls and coils back to life.
Of course, it goes without saying that this is a lightweight leave-in conditioner, which means that it’s excellent for finer hair textures. Not only will it hydrate the curls, but it’ll also ensure enough lift and bounce.
Still, I’d say the best thing about this product is that it’s so versatile. Not only can it be used as a leave-in on wet hair, but it can also be used as a heat protectant, detangler, refresher, or styling cream. So, if you’re looking for an all-in-one hair product, this is as close as you’ll ever get.
- Protects colored hair
- Gives you silky smooth curls
- No product build-up
- Strengthens hair
- Reduces breakage and split end
- Runs out quickly as you need a lot of product to cover your whole head
- On the more expensive side
Things to Consider When Choosing a Leave-in Conditioner for Curly Hair
As you know, every hair is unique, so finding the best leave-in conditioner for your locks will be no easy feat. Nevertheless, there are a few things that you should contemplate before choosing any conditioner. So, let’s take a look at those items and see how you can make them work the best for your head of curls.
Depending on your hair type, you need to look for different ingredients in your hair and beauty products. However, one thing you should look for in all leave-ins is a moisturizing ingredient.
There are two things that can moisturize hair, i.e., humectants and oils.
Humectants, such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or aloe, work to hydrate your strands by attracting water and holding on to it. Meanwhile, oils work by locking in the moisture already present in your hair.
Now, with oils, you have lightweight oils and heavy oils. If your hair is really dry, coarse, or highly porous, then choose heavy oils like coconut, castor, and olive oil. Shea butter is also great for these hair types.
However, if your locks easily get oily, then stick with lightweight oils like argan, jojoba, almond, and rapeseed oil.
After you pick your moisturizing ingredient, you need to decide whether you want a silicone-free product or not. While they do make detangling easier and add smoothness to your locks, over time, they cause major build-up that may leave your curls dry and lifeless. So, it really comes down to the main concern you wish to address.
As for the formula, you need to think about your curl type. If you’ve got 4a, 4b, or 4c curls, then a cream formula will work best for you as it’ll give you the maximum amount of moisture. On the other hand, those with looser curls who want volume and body should look for liquidy leave-ins so as not to weigh down their strands.
By knowing what to look for, you can find a leave-in conditioner that’s best suited to your curls. Still, if you’re still exploring leave-in conditioners you want something that won’t let you down, then go with the Briogeo Curl Charisma defining créme. It’s great at softening and hydrating your curls, and it’ll give you that much sought-after definition.
However, if your hair is on the coarser side, then it’s best you stick with the leave-ins from Shea Moisture or Pattern. They’ll give your coils the hydration they need, leaving your curls popping between wash days.