How To Chose The Best Conditioner For Curly Hair

So, what really is the best conditioner for curly hair?

Conditioners come in various forms - some you leave in and some you rinse out. Some are great for detangling and some are great for hydrating.

Even though it might seem like a minefield, it is really not that daunting and with information below, you can be a more discerning user. It is always hard when you see so many options such as Hydrating Conditioners, Moisturising Conditioners, Omega 3 Conditioners, Organic Conditioners, Mousse Conditioners, Conditioning Bars, Nourishing Sprays etc... the list is never ending. Most people have no idea where to start and I have to admit that many years ago, neither did I.

What are the main duties of a good conditioner?

Conditioners work to restore moisture and elasticity to damaged hair or dry hair. The best curly hair conditioner for curly hair should end up revealing silky shine, body and control. For rinse out conditioners, there is even more that you should demand from your conditioner - easy, painfree and ability to really help to detangle wet or dry hair.

Using a conditioner made specifically for wavy or curly hair can really improve the look and feel of your curls. In order to determine the best conditioner for curly hair, you first need to know what type of hair you have.

Very heat damaged hair, used lots of Nourishing Conditioner and Hair Mask.

Main types of curly hair

There are actually two main types of hair - curly and straight. Then you have a wide spectrum of a blend of both types of hair.

To see the universally accepted Curly hair types and how to look after each type see The CurlyEllie Guide to Curly Hair Types, which include

  1. Wavy
  2. Kinky
  3. Afro

What you need is a conditioner which helps to protect your hair by protecting your curls and coating it in natural ingredients that not only hydrate your frizzy hair but also keep pumping in moisture to your curls through out the day.

However, the best conditioner for curly hair actually is one which works well with your individual hair type and hair texture. Due to curly hair's texture and shape, it's much more susceptible to frizz and dryness. It is therefore important to use a rinse out and leave in conditioner that is custom crafted specifically for curly hair.

How does the conditioner work?

What should a good conditioner contain:

The main things you would want:

  • Something to sooth and heal your scalp. Suggestions are tea tree oil, aloe vera, etc. Ideally you want natural plants and seeds that work to sooth your scalp and have a natural antiseptic property.
  • Something to coat and hydrate your hair - especially if you have frizz.
  • Something to keep your hair hydrated.
    You want to look out for a humectant (keeps things moist by attracting and retaining moisture from the air). You should look out for ingrendients like Pro Vitamin B5 or D-Panthenol that increases the water content of hair and improves its elasticity. 
    • You want an emollient and moisturiser.
    They keep your layers soft and more pliable by increasing hydration due to reducing evaporation or loss of water. Panthenol offers us these wonderful benefits without creating oiliness or greasiness on the hair.
    • Protein.
    Once you know you need a conditioner with proteins, you can choose which protein works for you. I used to be a fan of egg based conditioners until my daughter developed allergies to dairy and we had to reconsider using animal products in her hair care routine.  But be careful not to use too many products with high amounts of proteins.
    • Oils.
    • Vitamins - especially Toper (Vitamin E).
    We all know we need vitamins for our bodies. We use them in our skincare but somehow we forget to include it in our haircare too. 

    Tocopherol is a type of Vitamin E that protects your hair when included in your curly hair conditioner. It helps with by acting as a barrier to assist in protecting your hair from pollution and other environmental stresses.

    This list not exhausted and we will be adding more to this post in future.


    What you may not want:

    This is slightly controversial but here goes

    • Parabens.
    • Silicones if you don't wash your hair regularly or space the times between hair washes.
    • Animal products or derivatives - if you follow a plant based lifestyle.
    • Artificial fragrances - if you are fragrance sensitive.
    • Products tested on animals - this has been banned in the UK, but there have been rumours that this is a rule that may be set to be relaxed.
    • Harsh chemicals.

    In closing, conditioners should add bounce, nourishment and protection to curly and wavy locks. The curlier your hair and the more active your lifestyle, the more regularly you would need to use both a rinse our and leave in conditioner.

    In fact, some of the best conditioners for curly hair also work well on chemically treated, colour treated and naturally grey locks. 

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