Moisture is our curls’ life force. Our hair thrives off the proper balance of moisture and proteins, and despite knowing that we have to keep this delicate balance, it is hard to maintain. Nature’s source of moisture is water, but many are still unaware of the importance of water in a curly girl’s regimen. Some are under the impression that oils moisturize hair, but they do not; they seal moisture in. Hair moisturizers are big business — however, many on the market have tons of emollients and oils but lack the water. The best moisturizers are water-based, so if you are suffering from dry hair, ensure water is a main component of your moisturizing regimen. 

Some are under the impression that oils moisturize hair but they do not; they seal moisture in.

I love water and use it as my main moisturizer with only a hint of lavender oil, but many curly girls prefer those moisturizers with a little more oomph to bring their hair back to life. Moisturizers are excellent for revitalizing second, third, and even fourth-day hair, so jumping back into the shower is not the only way to revive those strands, and not everyone chooses to go the DIY route for a moisturizer. Spray leave-in conditioners are great for looser textures and fine strands that become easily weighed down. Lucky for us, the hair care market has flooded us with options for already-made moisturizers, though it can be challenging to find the right ones, so we are sharing some of the best liquid moisturizers (water-based) that curly women love.

1. Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-in Conditioner

A holy grail amongst many curlies, it’s known to seal in moisture, smooth the cuticle, and tame frizzies and flyaways. It’s great for natural and transitioning hair and protects from heat damage. It won a NaturallyCurly Best of the Best Award for Best Leave-In Conditioner as voted by thousands of NC community members. 

2. RENPURE Coconut Whipped Creme Leave-In Conditioner

With over 17,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.5-star rating, curlies have used this product for years as a lightweight solution for dryness and frizz. The number one ingredient is water, but this is not a cone-free product, so Curly Girl Method followers should opt for a different leave-in. 

3. SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Leave-in Conditioner

This lightweight, milky leave-in refreshes with a sweet coconut scent that softens hair and improves styling manageability without leaving behind product buildup. 100% extra-virgin coconut and shea oils, coconut milk, and acacia senegal combine in this restorative formula that rehydrates hair, detangles, and acts as a barrier against heat while reducing frizz.

4. Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils Quench! Moisture Intensive Leave-In Conditioner

This is not a spray formula, but has a light, watery consistency that leaves hair slippery for easy detangling thanks to ingredients like aloe and marshmallow root. Type 2 Wavies, Type 3 Curlies, and Type 4 Coilies alike love the moisture they get from this leave-in. Just know that this has a thin, watery consistency, so if you love a thicker moisturizer, this will not be it. 

5. As I Am CocoShea Moisturizer Hair Spray 

This unique moisturizing hair spray will delight your curls and coils while protecting them from UV rays. Water, coconut oil, and shea butter will protect, soften, and seal in moisture with this well-loved leave-in treatment.

6. Curls Lavish Curls Moisturizer 

Water, glycerin, emulsifiers, silk amino acids, and emollients make up this excellent second-day curl refreshing moisturizer. Get frizz-free curls without sulfates, silicones, parabens, or mineral oils.

7. Soultanicals Hair Sorrell Knappylicious Kink Drink 

Looking for the perfect curl refresher to perfect your twist out? This moisturizing blend of hibiscus leaves, sweet ginger, agave nectar, and ‘superfruit’ sea buckthorn gives you a fruity, nourishing tropical hair treat! Perfect for warm summer days, this hydrating blend will transport you to exotic locations with every spritz.

8. OBIA Naturals Curl Hydration Spray 

A pH-balanced hydrating spray to detangle and impart shine on thirsty curls. It has water, vegetable glycerin, argan oil, rose, and coconut oil, aiding in a powerhouse moisturizer that will not leave buildup or residue.

9. Oyin Handmade Juices & Berries 

Water infused with shavegrass leaves, lavender buds, nettle leaves, and chamomile flowers, this oil-free moisturizer by Oyin is wildly popular. Your thirsty curls, coils, and waves feel therapeutic effects with the perfect blend for a daily pick-me-up without the weight.

10. adwoa beauty Baomint Leave In Conditioning Styler

Water is the number one ingredient of this minty moisturizer, yet it has a creamy consistency for those of you who prefer a thicker formula. This recently launched product has quickly become a Holy Grail for being exceptionally moisturizing. And if it’s new to you, you can buy it in a mini-size to try it out! We love a mini-size. 

What’s your favorite water-based leave-in conditioner? Let us know in the comments below.

This article has been updated with new links and products.

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