Curly hair is often weather-dependent and quite humidity-vulnerable. This hair type has a particularly rougher time during the summer and winter when extreme levels of moisture in the air—either too much, or not enough—cause curls to go out of wack. Luckily, finding the best conditioner for curly hair can truly be a lifesaver during these humid days.
During the hotter months, frizz is often the culprit of many pesky hair issues for curly hair, while dryness is a common challenge for this hair type during the colder seasons.
Conditioner for Curly Hair: What to Look For
Keep scrolling to find the best conditioner for curly hair that keeps your locks hydrated year-round.
Caring for curly hair is a bit of a Catch 22. Something that moisturizes and defines the ringlet without deflating your entire hairstyle or leaving hair limp is usually the top requirement across the board. These characteristics seem contrary to each other, but thankfully modern formulations in conditioner for curly hair have made these non-mutually exclusive.
First and foremost, the best conditioner for curly hair must be a hydrating formula. Moisture doesn’t find its way down a curly strand as efficiently as it does on a straighter strand, therefore reinforcements are needed to optimally coat the hair. A nourishing infusion, such as Dove Amplified Textures Super Slip Detangling Conditioner, not only helps smoothen the strand and make detangling easier, but when used in tandem with the shampoo, also helps define your curls—and all without a greasy, heavy feeling. Love! Best for: 3C, 4A, 4B, 4C curls
A good hair day equals a good day, period. And hair that behaves how we want to, when we want to, is the best kind of good hair day of ’em all. Take the guesswork out of what kind of situation you’ll be waking up to each morning by ensuring your curls are optimally moisturized and, yeah, properly “loaded up” to just the right level beforehand (because nothing is worse than flat curls, amirite?). A conditioner that targets your hair’s driest areas, like Emerge Smooth Mover Conditioner, helps give moisture where your hair needs it most—giving you a thoughtful moisture experience each time. Best for: 2C, 3A, 3B curls
Curlfriends, nearly nothing is as crucial as a leave-in conditioner. It keeps your hair prepped and primed for whatever weather is on the horizon. The key: Finding a strengthening formula that reduces frizz, tames any flyaways, detangles, and basically just, oh, saves the day. SheaMoisture 100% Virin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Leave-In Treatment does all that and works as a heat protectant too. Let’s just call it the gift that keeps on giving!
Have wavy or curly strands? SheaMoisture Sugarcane Extract & Meadowfoam Seed Miracle Multi-Benefit Conditioner is a perfect option because it uses Sugarcane, Meadowfoam Seed, Marshmallow Root, and Phyto-proteins to hydrate hair without weighing it down. Plus, it’ll help leave you with silk, smooth strands, and who wouldn’t want that?!
Suave Luscious Curls Conditioner is one of the best conditioners for curly hair because it helps soften and define your curls. Plus, it includes an Amino Acid Complex, which helps strengthen your strands and prevent breakage.
A conditioner that softens hair, controls frizz, and smoothes and defines curls sounds too good to be true. Guess what, it’s no! TRESemmé Pro Pure Curl Define Conditioner helps you achieve all of these things. For best results, use the coordinating shampoo.
Looking for a conditioner that’ll actually tame frizz all day? This SheaMoisture Papaya & Neroli All Day Frizz Control Conditioner uses papaya & neroli to help control frizz throughout the whole day. Plus, it includes fair trade shea butter and elderflower to help smooth the hair, making strands very manageable and soft.
Once curly girls learn the importance of a leave-in conditioner, they never go back. Emerge My Mane BFF Leave-In Conditioner is one of our favorite leave-in products because it uses pequi oil and fair-trade shea butter to help define curls while adding moisture and slip to your strands. Plus, it primes your curls for that perfect definition you’re looking for.
Looking for a leave-in conditioner that will actually do what you hope for? Nexxus Curl Define Daily Leave-In Moisturizer one of the best conditioners for curly hair because it will help strengthen, moisturize, and control frizz. We can thank the exclusive ProteinFusion blend, enriched with silk protein and marula oil for that!
Suave Professionals Moisturizing Curl Conditioner is a great option for any curly hair type. It uses shea butter and coconut oil to deeply moisturize your curls, allowing for lots of slip. Plus, this helps detangle and protect your hair against any breakage too!
TRESemmé Pro Care Curls Conditioner is one of the best conditioners for curly hair if you’re looking for a gentle option that will still moisturize your hair. This product includes sulfate-free Porosity Balance, which helps protect your hair against frizz and humidity.
This conditioner is a classic for many curly-haired ladies out there. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner is best for thicky curly hair. It instantly softens and detangles strands while intensely moisturizing and preventing breakage with coconut and neem oil. This product also uses silk protein, which will help leave curls silky and shiny.
Whether you’re looking for the best conditioner for curly hair that will tame frizziness all day long, or you need a leave-in product that will deeply nourish strands, there are so many options to help you achieve all of your curly hair goals.