As curly girls, our hair loses moisture at a faster rate than our straight haired sisters - leaving our tresses more prone to frizz, breakage, and split ends. A good conditioner (or two or three) is a must in our hair care arsenal, but they’re not one formula fits all. No need to fret though, there are so many varieties from countless brands-there’s a conditioner out there for every curly girl! While some relish the process of trial and error that comes with testing out new products, you can skip all that with this recommendations for the best conditioner for your hair type!
What's your curl type?
Before you read on, it's important that you know your hair type. If you don't, you can take our quick quiz or as a brief summary Type 2 hair consists of loose waves and a few curls, Type 3 hair has more defined spirals and ringlets, and Type 4 hair consists of tighter coils and Afro-textured hair.
Type 2A: MopTop Daily Conditioner
This cone-free conditioner is infused with sea botanicals and honey. It's made with natural humectants, which work to hydrate hair by increasing the absorption rate through hair layers. It penetrates the hair, which builds up the moisture content and helps prevent split ends.
With AG’s patented C3 curl-creating complex, this rich conditioner performs on 3 levels: it penetrates the hair shaft to provide moisture and strength, shrinks the cuticle to intesify curls, and improves flexibility and smoothness.
Type 2C: DevaCurl One Condition
This hair type tends to be more resistant to styling and will frizz easily so you need a thick, frizz reducing conditioner to help create defined curls. DevaCurl One Condition ultra creamy daily conditioner provides maximum hydration and is perfect for 2C curls. Bonus: this ultra moisturizing daily conditioner protects color or chemically processed curls as well!
Type 3A: Kinky Curly Knot Today
Leave-In conditioners, like Kinky Curly Knot Today are great for Type 3A curlies! Not only does it make it a cinch to detangle hair, it leaves curls shiny and well moisturized without being weighed down and heavy.
Type 3B: Mixed Chicks Leave In Conditioner
Type 3B curls can also benefit from the hydrating prowess of a leave in conditioner!Mixed Chicks Leave In Conditioner is a great option. It’s lightweight, non-sticky (great smelling) formula leaves curls soft to the touch, yet defines curls and locks in moisture. It penetrates deep into the hair shaft and conditions locks as it smoothes the follicle. To use, saturate hair from root to ends with Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner and use a t-shirt to get rid of excess moisture.
This hair type needs extra moisture and tender-loving care since it's so fragile, so picking the right conditioner is key to its health. Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix Moisturizing Conditioner has banana extract to help soften your hair while luxurious oils smooth and protect the hair shaft. Hibiscus helps to revitalize the hair (it is known to have excellent anti-oxidant properties). Bonus: this rich, thick concoction literally smells bananas, making it a pleasure to use each and every time!
Type 4 hair has fewer cuticle layers than other hair types, which means it has less natural protection from damage. Not only should you contemplate cowashing with a conditioner, you also need a good deep conditioner in your arsenal. One to check out: MYHoneyChild’s Olive You Deep Conditioner (how cute is that name?). It is formulated with soy milk, minerals, and amino acids to help rebuild your hair, plus seaweed to soften and oils to increase strength.
Type 4B: Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner
You’ll want a conditioner that provides lots of slip to safely remove all traces of tangles and snarls from your fragile tresses. Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner has the benefit of not only being all natural, organic, silicone, sulfate, and paraben free-it packs serious moisturizing power (thanks to alow vera gel, hemp oil, and honey) AND it can be used as a leave in!
Your tresses look best when you utilize a deep conditioning cowash, oils, rich creams, and butters, as well as a nourishing leave in treatment! Jessicurl’s Deep Conditioning Treatment (especially combined with a little bit of heat) will not only add some serious moisturize to your hair, it will work to strengthen it too!
All Types: Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner
All curlies unite! Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner is a product that EVERY curly girl should have in their collection! It’s a dual-purpose, moisture-adjusting product that works to suit your hair’s unique and individual needs. It can be used as a one-minute rinse out to boost moisture levels with essential lipids and proteins, or as a leave-in lotion to provide continuous moisturizing and suppleness to unusually dry hair. Double duty indeed!
This article was originally published in July 2013 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.