Best Leave In Conditioner For Natural Hair

If you've embraced your natural hair, you've made a choice to work with it instead of against it. When you're letting the natural texture of your hair guide your style, a leave-in conditioner can be an indispensable tool in your arsenal. This article will try to help you figure out the best leave-in conditioner to moisturize and repair your hair, tame frizz, and keep tangles at bay.


Know And Understand Your Hair TypeIn order to rock a gorgeous natural look and keep your mane healthy, you'll need a care regimen that helps you meet the unique needs of your hair. If you've been wearing your hair natural for a while, you might already be very familiar with what its texture is like, what challenges it poses, and you'll understand the range of styles that you can achieve.


However, if you're relatively new to natural hair, or are, perhaps, helping care for a child who has a different type of hair than you do, you'll need to understand what type of hair you're dealing with, and, therefore, what your conditioner needs to do for you.


Categorizing Hair Textures

Andre Walker, famous for styling Oprah Winfrey's hair, devised a system of categorizing hair, which naturally ranges across the spectrum from straight to kinky (Andre Walker Hair). According to this system, which is now used worldwide, hair texture is defined in four basic types. Within the four types there are two or three more subtle gradations.


Type 1 hair is straight and curl-resistant. It's the most naturally glossy and resilient type, but can be prone to oiliness.


Type 2 is wavy. It can get frizzy.


Type 3 is curly, and can range from s-shaped to z-shaped curls. It's often high-volume, is easily damaged, and can become frizzy in humid conditions or depending on how it's handled.


Type 4 is kinky. It's tightly coiled, prone to shrinkage, has no discernible curl pattern, and is the most delicate hair type.


To decide what sort of leave-in conditioner is best for you, it's important to appreciate what kind of hair you have, so that you can help your hair do its thing, instead of fighting it and getting frustrated with disappointing results. If, for example, you have Type 3 hair, you'll know that, short of chemical intervention, there's no way your hair is going to be poker straight (Know Facts).


Let Your Conditioner Work With Your Hair

Depending on the texture of your hair, you will need your conditioner to do a number of things. You might want to tame frizz or prevent breakage.

 

Perhaps your hair is prone to getting matted, and your special challenge is to keep it from snarling up into tangles. Another need might be to make your hair softer and more manageable.


Many types of natural hair, particularly those with more texture and defined curl patterns, need loads of moisture in order to stay healthy and look their best. The great thing about leave-in conditioner is you can keep applying it to your hair throughout the day as needed.


Once you've identified your hair type, along with its special qualities and needs, you can more easily evaluate the leave-in conditioner that's right for you.


What Type of Leave-In Conditioner

If your hair is coarse and thick, a creamy leave-in conditioner might be the best choice to keep moisture locked in. However, the same conditioner might be too heavy for finer textured hair, and could leave it looking greasy and limp. Fine textured hair might respond better to a lighter conditioner that doesn't weigh it down.


Parabens or Paraben-Free?

Parabens have been something of a boogie man in recent years. You might have noticed conditioners that market themselves as paraben free, or heard or read in the media or online that you need to stay away from these chemicals.


Parabens are a type of chemical preservative commonly used in hair care products and other cosmetics in order to keep them free from germs and mold (Cosmetics Cop). At the moment, official regulating bodies across the world have found no conclusive evidence that they are harmful to use (FDA).


If you would still rather avoid parabens, you'll need to check the list of ingredients on your conditioner. Look out for ethylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben or propylparaben, which are among the most commonly used kinds.


Why Use Leave-In Conditioner?

You already know that you need to condition your natural hair to keep it healthy and looking great, but why use a leave-in product? One huge bonus of leave-in conditioner is that it can continue working on your hair throughout the day.


Even if you have hair that does not respond well to daily washing, you can re-apply your leave-in conditioner between washes to keep your hair soft and tangle free and to refresh its natural texture.


If you're in a hurry, leave-in conditioner can be a time-saver. When minutes are precious, it can make a huge difference to skip the rinse-out step that a regular conditioner would otherwise add to your routine.

 

Instead, you can apply your leave-in conditioner, style your hair as usual, and go.


The 5 Best Leave In Conditioners

Here's a round-up of five highly-rated leave-in conditioners.

This product, marketed for use in both natural and chemically treated hair, promises to strengthen and restore your hair.


Its ingredients include shea butter, used as long ago as in Ancient Egypt to moisturize and protect hair against harsh weather conditions.

What I Like

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    A little goes a long way
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    Pleasant and long-lasting smell
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    Can help control frizzy hair

What I don't Like

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    Too much can make hair feel greasy

This is another product that bases its effectiveness on tried and true shea butter.


The Roots Shea Butter leave-in conditioner is targeted specifically at natural hair, particularly curly hair that’s prone to frizz.


It claims to moisturise, protect, and rebuild hair by virtue of its protein and vitamin formula, and promises instant results.

What I Like

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    Can make curls pop out
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    Can be effective against frizz
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    Good results have been reported on various races and hair types

What I don't Like

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    Some might find it difficult to dispense the product out of its bottle

This plant-based conditioning cream promises that its good results can be achieved in all hair types.


It aims to moisturize and protect hair, and leave it looking shiny. One unique promise it makes is to protect your hair against the dreaded effect of humidity.


In addition, Just Natural Leave-In Conditioner claims to help detangle hair and prevent frizz. Its essential ingredient is the kukui nut, also known as Indian walnut or candleberry. The product is also enriched with jojoba and avocado oils.

What I Like

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    Can help hair that struggles to hold onto moisture
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    Effective on all hair types
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    Softens hair

What I don't Like

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    Formulation might be too heavy and rich for fine hair

This conditioner is aimed squarely at those whose natural hair is thick and coarse.


Boasting the properties of argan oil, which has been used as a cosmetic for centuries in Morocco, this cream promises to moisturize, tame frizz, protect, and soften coarse and thick hair.


It is best applied on damp hair.

What I Like

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    Although aimed at natural hair, it might also benefit those whose hair is damaged by chemicals
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    Those with fine, curly hair might also find this product gives good results

What I don't Like

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    If you plan to use heat in styling your hair, you’ll need an additional product to protect it

Mixed Chicks is a well-known brand among people whose dual or multiple heritage has given them hair whose needs are often not catered for by mass market hair products.


This leave-in conditioner is made for curly hair, and promises to enhance the hair’s natural texture.


It’s not a cream, but is a light-weight formula that seeks to leave hair welcoming to touch as well as to look good.

What I Like

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    Can help with frizz, which many curly-haired women struggle to control
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    Non-sticky, light formula does not weigh down hair
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    Can provide effective curl definition

What I don't Like

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    Might leave hair feeling slightly crunchy
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    Some complain about the design of the bottle, which can make it hard to get the product out

Conclusion

Each of these products is based on ingredients that were discovered centuries ago by various ethnicities across the world.


These ingredients and which have proved themselves as effective in bringing out the best in natural hair. Shea butter, argan oil, candleberries and jojoba all offer moisturising, strengthening, and protective properties, and these five leave-in conditioners are all good choices.


However, if I had to pick a winner, I would opt for Just Natural Leave-In Conditioner. As its name suggests, it is packed with natural ingredients, each bringing something beneficial to your hair.


It is versatile enough to give results in all hair types. It can help solve many of the problems that challenge natural hair, such as frizz, and dryness. It's light enough to use on fine textured hair, but is powerful enough to have an effect on coarse hair. It can protect hair when heat-styling and also claims to keep your hair looking good and manageable in humid conditions.