The 5 Best Leave-In Conditioners For Natural Hair
(And you’ve probably never heard of them)
By: Ashley Renee
Ashley Renee is a natural hair enthusiast and writer from Chicago, living in Los Angeles. Ashley has hosted numerous natural hair forums educating women on the importance of natural hair care. Ashley is also a staff writer for Thank God I’m Natural, a natural hair company.
We’ve talked about the best leave-in conditioners before, but now it’s time to talk about the best leave-in conditioners specifically for natural hair!
Just five years ago, you would be lucky if haircare companies even included the word “natural” in products, let alone if you were able to find one that actually worked with your natural hair!
Fast forward to right now, and there are so many different natural hair products to choose from that many of us have become closeted product junkies who frequently scour the streets, internet, and local Target for a fix. It’s easy to spot the popular brands, sitting in their glorious displays, on the lips of every natural hair guru and every billboard, taunting you to buy more.
What about the underdog? The products you have never seen at your local Walmart, the products that even Naturalista herself has never even heard of, the products you suspect some voodoo priestess has been cooking for years, marinating it with nuts, berries, and coconut oil to perfection.
I know your palms are sweating, and your scalp is itching at the thought of magical conditioners that have the power to transform you from Celie to superstar, so without further ado, here is our list of the best leave-in conditioners for natural hair (that you probably have never heard of). Plus, you will be able to order them right from your computer.
1. Alaffia Beautiful Curls Curl Enhancing Leave-In Conditioner
One of the things that we love about Alaffia Beautiful Curls is that it works for all curly types. Loose curls, waves, tight, kinky, you name it!
Olowo-n’djo Tchala created Beautiful Curls by Alaffiaa in 2004. Tchala saw it as a way to assist women with curly hair types and to empower projects in the country of Togo, where he was born. Tchala also set up a Women’s fair trade shea butter cooperative to ensure that top quality shea butter was being used. Proceeds from the products go towards the women’s shea butter cooperative and empowering projects in his home country.
Not only are these products helping the development of other countries but it actually works! This rich and creamy conditioner is infused with shea butter and coconut oil, and different herbs strengthen the hair all day long. It works best for tightly curly hair and leaves it feeling moisturized long after you apply.
Why You Need It
Tightly curled and kinky hair stays moisturized all day, and frizz is eliminated with just a few pumps.
2. Daily Moisturizing Butter Cream by Thank God it’s Natural
Created by Harvard graduate Chris-Tia Donaldson, Thank God it’s Natural hair products were started following her #1 best selling book, Thank God I’m Natural. Donaldson then went on to be featured in Ebony, Essence, Heart and Soul, and a wide array of other magazines.
Thank God I’m Natural is currently sold to women across the country. TGIN products consist of various essential oils, shea butter straight from Ghana, olive oil, and much more. The Daily Butter Cream specifically works at drawing moisture to dry, brittle, color-treated, and damaged hair while detangling the hair and leaving hair soft, manageable, and detangled. This product is great for all hair textures and smells amazing!
Why You Need It
Daily Butter Cream conditions the hair and works well for styling and defining curls without leaving any residue. The product smells amazing and works for the loosest to the tightest of curls.
3. Handmade Juice and Berries Herbal Leave-In Hair Tonic by Oyin Handmade
Atlas, we have found the true voodoo priestess with her tonics and juices and berries and whatnot!
Jamyla Bennu founded this company in 2001. Bennu was tired of constantly finding harsh products in her favorite hair and skincare products and decided to try her hand at mixing her own products. It turns out she was a “natural” (pun intended), constantly mixing and trying different concoctions until she found the perfect blend that is now known as Oyin Handmade.
You can find Bennu’s products on proud women across the U.S. Her Juice and Berry Leave-In Conditioner is truly one of the best and is mixed to perfection with pure water and various herbs.
Why You Need It
It is as important to have a liquid leave-in conditioner as it is a cream. This product is convenient, smells amazing, and detangles while adding moisture. It also works extraordinarily well at refreshing braids and styles.
4. Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner & Detangler
Kinky Curly is a black-owned hair line founded to address the lack of natural hair products for African-Americans and tightly curly and coiled women of all races. The Knot Today Curling Custard is a creamy herbal conditioner and detangler designed to smooth the cuticle and remove knots, snarls, and tangles from thick curly textured hair.
Why You Need It
After washing hair and generously working through troubled areas with a wide-tooth comb, your hair will easily be the smoothest, curliest, and most knot-free it’s ever been. It’s also an excellent product to use after removing braids and extensions.
5. Alaffia Beautiful Curls Curl Activating Leave-in Conditioner Bundle
This never happens. Normally we would never do this, but it is impossible to talk about one without the other. Earlier, we told you about Curl Enhancing Leave-In Conditioner by Alaffia Beautiful Curls. It’s time to tell you about her sister: Curl Activating Leave-in Conditioner.
While the first one listed is for thick, tight curls, The wavy to curly conditioner does the same thing for looser curl types! This leave-in cream smells amazing and runs through the hair like butter, voodoo magic butter that is! This stuff is awesome at keeping even the thinnest of textures conditioned without weighing the hair down. Fresh Chamomille and yarrow oil help calm the scalp, and natural minerals smooth the cuticle while eliminating frizz.
Why You Need It
It’s creamy but not too thick, soft, and conditions hair without weighing down the hair.
How to Apply Leave-In Conditioner for Natural Hair
Every product will work differently with your hair. Feel free to experiment and try different brands and products! In fact, the weather and time of year can change the way your hair feels, behaves, and looks. You may need to use a different leave-in conditioner in the summer than you do in the winter, for example. Here are some more tips on how to get the most out of your leave-in conditioner for natural hair.
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