While it may be best to have a well-rounded hair routine and a product line up that covers all bases, let’s be real — when it comes to curlies, it’s the conditioners for us. Of course you need to cleanse thoroughly (and regularly, as you see fit), and styling products are a key to achieving definition and baby hair goals, but pliable and moisturized hair sets the stage for healthier looking, stronger curls across the board. For dryness-prone Type 4 curls this is doubly true. Believe us when we say, a trusty leave-in, deep conditioner, or even a co-wash will set you up for the best hair days to come.
Take a look at some of the most popular ones of the year for tight coily and curly hair below, selected by you, the NaturallyCurly community. We just announced the NaturallyCurly Best of the Best awards for 2021, awards voted on entirely by the NaturallyCurly community! These conditioners were YOUR top picks according to Type 4 voters.
Not sure what your hair type is? Take the quiz to learn more about your porosity, density, width and curl pattern!
Best Conditioner: AG Hair Natural Boost Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner
Naturals who prioritize clean ingredients will feel right at home with this one. With a formula boasting 98% plant-based and naturally-derived ingredients, this conditioner targets both your hair and scalp. Organic mango seed butter, shea butter, coconut oil and other moisturizing ingredients are combined to replenish your hair with essential vitamins and fatty acids. Then, organic apple cider vinegar seals your hair’s cuticles to give that shiny finish while also reducing extra oiliness on the scalp. The apple cider vinegar also makes this one an ideal choice for locking in color on dyed hair.
$30 on Amazon
Best Co-Washing/Cleansing Conditioner: As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner
It’s not exactly a substitute for a cleansing shampoo, but if you need something light to get you through until your next wash day, this long-time fan favorite has exactly what you need. This cleansing conditioner can remove product build up and excess oil from the scalp, while being extremely gentle and moisturizing on the hair, making it perfect for more regular cleansing if you’re really into keeping the curls clean. It also preserves the effectiveness of keratin treatments (regular shampoos can strip them), and provides enough slip to make detangling short and sweet.
$12.78 on Amazon
Best Deep Conditioner: TGIN (Thank God It’s Natural) Honey Miracle Mask
If you’ve been pondering on if you should add a deep conditioner to your routine, let this be a sign to start here. It’s worth a try, especially if breakage is a concern, and it might change your life (especially if it’s done regularly). Regardless of whether or not you’re a deep conditioning vet, this award-winning product has been a tried-and-true staple among naturals for years. It’s a honey and olive oil-infused creamy conditioner that will restore vitamins A, D, and E to tired and dry hair in as little as 35 minutes. As a natural humectant, honey draws in and locks moisture. In other words: it’ll help you kick split ends, breakage, and tangles to the proverbial curb where they belong.
$14.09 on Amazon
Best Leave-In: Mielle Organics Mielle Pomegranate & Honey Leave In
Not every lightweight leave-in can handle truly thick, curly/coily hair (trust me, I’ve had my fair share of ‘lightweight formula’ disasters), but this is absolutely an exception. This one smooths easily onto wet or damp kinky curls and is easily spread onto voluminous hair to allow malleability for whatever the next steps are in your routine, whether that’s styling or detangling. Applying a generous amount of this popular citrus-scented (from citrus extracts) conditioner will leave your hair shinier and with minimal frizz.
$12.34 on Amazon
Best New Line: Adwoa Beauty Blue Tansy Reparative Conditioner
Adwoa Beauty won the award for Best New Line, and with its fresh and modern take on natural hair care and unique (but clean!) ingredients, it's no wonder why the brand is steadily increasing in popularity. The namesake ingredient, blue tansy oil, is derived from a blue tansy flower and it, along with the avocado and buriti seed oils in this formula, can improve elasticity and shine. Breakage and hair weakness won’t be an issue with the protein boost and incredible level of slip this conditioner offers. And it achieves all this with no sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, petroleum, alcohols, or silicones and while being vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free. All of the amazing hair results, without the guilt – we love that.
$22 on Adwoa.com
What’s your opinion on this year’s winners? What are some other amazing conditioners that you would add to this list? Drop your comments below.