6 Great Leave-In Conditioners for Natural Hair
Words: Dara Mathis
A cold snap should refer to the weather, not your hair. Keep those curls nice and moisturized with these six products that will get you through the fall and winter.
If you ask any woman with kinky-curly hair what her biggest hair struggle is, she’ll likely tell you it’s dryness. The cold air in the fall and winter months can make it tough to keep natural hair moisturized. A lot of women who wear their hair naturally swear by regular conditioners to keep brittle hair at bay, but a leave-in conditioner is worth adding to the moisturizing arsenal as well.
Natural hair needs a lot of moisture to keep it supple and healthy, and leave-in conditioners can kill two birds with one stone: they moisturize and soften your hair, while prepping it for styling. A good leave-in conditioner contains moisture-enriching ingredients like water and glycerin, and oils (e.g. coconut, jojoba, and avocado) for shine.
With that in mind, we rounded up a few of our favorite leave-in conditioners to keep natural hair soft, moisturized, and tangle-free. (Note: Some of the following products are called “hair milk” but you may use them in the same manner as the ones labeled “leave-in conditioner.”)
Karen's Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-in Conditioner
There's a reason why this product is one of mater mea mom Karen Tappin's best sellers: It's great at detangling, moisturizing, and softening your hair, everything you want in a leave-in conditioner. Packed with all-natural ingredients like jojoba and avocado oil, you'll feel good about what you're putting in your hair. This leave-in conditioner also lives up to its name—it smells amazing.
Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Hair Milk
This product boasts just the right amount of thickness to give your hair volume, plus the smell is light and pleasant. You can use Eden BodyWorks Hair Milk on dry hair in between washes to give your fro a boost of moisture, and as a morning hair refresher if your satin scarf falls off while you’re sleeping. For those concerned about harmful ingredients, this product is sulfate-free and contains no petroleum.
As I Am Leave-In Conditioner
You may be tempted to taste this product. That sweet candy smell is thanks to As I Am Leave-In Conditioner being chock full of natural goodness like sugar beet root, lemon, apple, and sugar cane. But this leave-in conditioner does more than make your hair smell delicious—it is very helpful with finger detangling for soft wash-and-gos.
Kynx I Am Fierce…Refreshing Leave-In Moisturizer
Of the six leave-ins, this product has the most attractive price point: it just costs $5. It works best for quick detangling sessions because it’s very slippery and watery, due to the aloe leaf juice and glycerin. This leave-in conditioner does need to be used with an oil—try coconut—for shine, as well as an additional moisturizer if you prefer a fluffier look for your hair. But for slip, finger coils, and some curl definition, Kynx is effective.
SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk
SheaMoisture is a brand that many natural-haired women use frequently for styling. Their hair milk is heavy enough to use as a styling agent, but light enough for daily use, and the shea butter in the style milk helps make your curls and kinks incredibly soft when you apply the product to shower-dampened hair.
Kinky Curly Knot Today
This product may be the Holy Grail of leave-in conditioners: It smells wonderful and it gives tons of slip for detangling wet hair. If you’re serious about working out the knots in your hair, you should pick this leave-in up. Best of all, Kinky Curly Knot Today leaves your hair with some shine even without adding oil on top of it. It’s a good foundation to styling straight or curly.
What are your favorite leave-in conditioners?