Dry locks need extra care – and choosing the right product to condition your hair is a crucial step in the long run to restoring natural smoothness and shine. While shampooing your hair opens the hair’s cuticle, the conditioner will seal them up; helping strands retain moisture, and therefore enhance shine. Which frankly is all dry-haired ladies’ dreams.
Healthy-looking hair takes patience to achieve but it’s worth the money and effort to invest in a good product that suits both your roots and length. Here’s our round-up of the best conditioner for curly hair available on the market right now.
Top 10 best hair conditioner for curly hair
1. Aveda Be Curly Conditioner
This clever conditioner has natural ingredients that enhance and define your curls.
Wheat protein and organic aloe expand when your hair is wet and retract when it’s dry, creating a pronounced wave.
And if that’s not impressive enough, the zesty uplifting scent of organic lime, lemon, bergamot and orange is pretty gorgeous, too.
2. Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly Wash Shampoo and Curl Jelly Care De-Frizz Conditioner
This bright pink range (the packaging, not the formula!) has been formulated for all curls to help add definition and bounce. The sulphate-free shampoo has been injected with moisturising Vitamin B5 and the conditioner (same price) de-frizzes, detangles and adds shine. Our testers found a little shampoo went a long way, but the tube needed a firm squeeze to dispense. The jelly-like texture felt odd at first, but it lathered up and left hair feeling softer. The conditioner helped aid styling and everybody loved the fresh floral fragrance.
3. Toni & Guy Sea Salt Texturising Spray
For those of you out there who have that curly-wavy-inbetween type hair, Toni & Guy’s Sea Salt Texturising Spray is made for you.
Created to give you tousled, beachy waves, this spray says it will define and separate your tresses, so we put it to the test.
We took tips from TikTok and applied a few sprays to wet hair after showering, then scrunched and created a hair wrap out of a t-shirt to leave on for an hour or so.
When we removed the t-shirt, our hair looked bouncy with beautiful-smelling curls that weren’t greasy at all, but still had a shine.
If your hair isn’t usually good with products and you don’t have tight ringlets, then this is a must-have product as it’s lightweight, working to define any waves that you might have.
In terms of the texture of the product, it can feel quite sticky so apply it directly to your hair before scrunching.
4. LOVE Curl Mask
Davines makes some of the best hair masks around, this one included. The secret to its success? The sustainably sourced Italian almond extracts, which deliver moisture deep enough to tame flyaways and coax hair into tighter, more defined curls.
Use it in place of your conditioner once a week – the difference will be remarkable. Even better, the low-plastic tub is easily and enturely recyclable.
5. Aunt Jackie’sIn Control Anti-Poof Moisturizing and Softening Conditioner
If you’re looking for a budget conditioner with a good balance of moisturising ingredients and protein, this is one to keep in mind. The hydrolyzed keratin will strengthen your strands, shea butter will detangle, glycerin will help give your hair essential moisture, and olive oil will help to keep that moisture in your hair, reducing frizz.
This conditioner does have silicones, although they are water soluble. It is also quite thick so those with fine hair should make sure to rinse it all out properly.
6. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Smoothie
Like a green smoothie but for our hair, this Shea Moisture treatment uses a coconut-rich formula to treat dry and dehydrated locks. Trust Silk Protein and Neem Oil to condition and add definition to your curls without weighing them down, while the coconut oil helps your strands to lock in moisture and deliver a dazzling shine. What’s better, this coil-boosting smoothie is formulated without the nasties that can damage our natural curls; that means no sulfates, no parabens, and no mineral oils. For a drugstore option, this Shea Moisture hair mask packs a real punch for just under £13.
7. Aesop Classic Conditioner
For the girl on the-go, a lightweight formula is a must – y’ know, if you’re running out of the shower and don’t rinse properly. Aesop is an authority on cult bathroom products and this conditioner is no exception. The scent is charmingly fruity without being overwhelming and the results are revitalised ends.
8. Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioning Repair Cream
Cantu leave in conditioning repair cream provides intense moisture leaving hair soft and manageable. It is formulated for damaged, dry or coarse hair.
Cantu leave-in conditioning repair cream is shea butter infused deep penetrating leave-in conditioning treatment made with pure shea butter and other natural oils to stop and mend breakage, repair split ends, and add manageability and shine with every application. When used daily, Cantu leave-in conditioning repair cream helps promote stronger, healthier hair.
Cantu leave-In conditioning repair cream is great for relaxed, texturised, coloured and permed hair.
9. SEBASTIAN TWISTED ELASTIC DETANGLER FOR CURLS CONDITIONER
Sick of waking up to a matted mess? Sebastian Twisted Elastic Detangler For Curls Conditioner has the answer. Designed to make curly hair more manageable, this conditioner also boost elasticity, so your hair doesn’t end up looking flat or lifeless. Expect touchably softer tresses and (thanks to no longer having to battle with your hairbrush) to knock valuable minutes off your morning routine. Always a winner.
10. Intensive Moisture Treatment
Prickly pear seed oil, amino acids, mafura butter, camellia and marula oil, are just some of the nourishing key actives packing a punch in this glorious tub. Regular use enhances hair health, making it more manageable and a whole lot easier to style.
How to buy the best conditioner for curly hair?
To find the best conditioner for curly hair, you need to consider these following factors:
Are there any essential products I need to buy?
When it comes to curly hair you should never go in all guns blazing from the start, so find something gentle to incorporate into your routine at first. Perhaps moisturising shampoo that doesn’t strip the vital oils from your locks, or a product that’s actually enriched with natural oils and doesn’t include drying parabens and sulphates – no-nos for curls.
How often should I wash my hair?
You’ll have seen a lot of debate on this topic. but ideally, it’s best to wash curly hair every few days. Washing it every day, even with a gentle shampoo, can wreak havoc with your hair type and is a recipe for frizz.
What kind of conditioner should I use?
A good, hydrating conditioner will do the work of sealing in moisture, warding off tangles and defining the shape of your gorgeous curls. To find this you’ll need to look for a formulation that suits your texture and your lifestyle – a heavy conditioner will penetrate thick curls but is far less suitable for finer hair, weighing it down. Leave-in conditioners are great for busy lifestyles and can be applied and forgotten about while you get on with your day. Even better, it helps to hold your style in place while it does the work of conditioning your tresses.
Are there any other products I should consider?
It’s worth investing in a good repairing hair treatment for extra care once a week (or more frequently, if your hair is suffering). Hot oil, treatment masques and overnight leave-in products will all help soften and nourish curly hair, and make for a lovely Sunday night bathroom ritual too. Comb conditioners and treatment products through with a wide-toothed detangling comb that won’t snag or break your delicate curls.
Finally, smoothing styling products can be a godsend for frizzy hair – but resist the temptation to slap on too much, or to layer up too many products at once. Pick one serum, balm or styling wax suitable for your hair type and use it sparingly to promote bouncy ringlets and control frizz and flyaway hair.