Being blessed with the curls of a goddess comes with great responsibility. Today, we have the best conditioners for natural hair at our disposal — though this wasn’t always the case. Growing up with afro-textured hair in the 80s, there were few moisturizing products specific for our natural hair type. But thanks to natural hair advocates and a booming black hair industry grossing well over 500 billion dollars, we now have more conditioning options than we know what to do with, and I’m not about to complain. I’ve waited my whole life to let my kinky curls shine.
The reason we benefit from conditioners that are specifically designed for our unique hair is all about texture. Since the strands themselves are very textured, the oils from the scalp don’t travel far down the hair shaft, causing dryness, which makes our hair more fragile and prone to breakage. Most of us coily-haired babes are looking for the same things in a conditioner: hydration, detangling ability, and the ability to maintain our natural curl pattern.
To that effect, there are some ingredients that we don’t want in our curls. Silicones that aren’t water soluble tend to build up in our hair and scalp and certain alcohols can dry out our hair. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives that our hair can safely drink up.
It's important to keep in mind that everyone's hair is different, so a product that works well for your friend might not work for you at all. Afro-textured hair falls under the Type 4 curl category, but many of us are working with multiple textures and patterns. Finding the best conditioner for your hair type requires some trial and error, but I recommend starting with one these seven amazing conditioners for natural hair.
1. A Daily Nourishing Conditioner for Wash-and-Gos
One of the luxuries of doing the big chop or having a short natural style is basking in wash-and-gos. Deva Curl’s creamy conditioner will keep your hair super moisturized before you style and stretch. The 32-ounce bottle is an ideal size for those conditioning multiple times a week, but it’s hearty emollients won’t require you to use a lot of product. You can use a small amount of this conditioner to easily detangle your hair in the shower and help your locks retain moisture all day long.
2. An Ultra Protective Conditioner For Color-Treated Hair
There’s nothing worse than seeing the added color rinse out of your hair in the shower. Luckily, This protein conditioner is specifically formulated to protect color-treated, afro-textured curls. It’s enriched with natural emollients, like shea butter and sweet almond oil, that are well-known for softening and strengthening dry hair. Whether you’re using chemical dyes, henna, or natural ingredients to enhance your own color, this conditioner is going to make sure that you don’t have to sacrifice moisture.
3. A Vitamin-Enriched Conditioner For Tight Curls
For folks working with tightly packed, less kinky curls, this argan oil conditioner is going to make sure your hair stay moisturized without weighing down your curl pattern. Because argan oil is a lightweight oil similar to the kind our scalps produce naturally, this is a great option for mixed hair, transitioning hair, and hair with multiple textures.
4. A Leave-In Conditioner That's Ideal For Detangling Kinky Hair
If you’ve ever found yourself using more than half a bottle of conditioner for one detangling session, you’re curls and wallet will definitely benefit from this detangling conditioner. Cleverly named Knot Today for a reason, this conditioner removes knots and tangles effortlessly by keeping the hair ultra-moisturized. This plant-based formula smooths and softens the cuticle, making the hair slick enough to work through even the most stubborn knots. You can confidently finger-detangle without worrying about missing any major hidden knots.
5. A Hydrating Rinse For Braids & Protective Styles
Protective styles are great for giving your hair a break from manipulation and styling, but these styles still need a trusty moisturizing rinse to keep the hair protected. Whether you’re in braids, a twist-out, or crown braid, this conditioner will replenish and nourish your hair without any product build-up in your style. It works great for color-treated and synthetic hair, is a great way to stay responsible in your protective style, and it's also a superb product for co-washing.
6. A Silky Conditioner For Dry, Damaged Hair
This detangling conditioner will leave your hair feeling soft, silky, and healthy. It’s been one of my favorite conditioners for several years because of its gentle, mineral-based formula that's designed to replenish moisture in even the driest curls. It’s light enough for wash-and-gos and heavy enough to use as a deep conditioner, plus it has a subtle, herbal scent that that’s great for folks with sensitive scalps, skin, and noses.
7. A Rhassoul Clay Conditioner For Processed Hair
Of course, no list of conditioners would be complete without an option for conditioning processed hair — and this rhassoul clay conditioner does just that. Whether you relax your hair or are transitioning into a natural routine, this is going to revitalize your natural color while putting an end to breakage. It's designed specifically for overly processed hair and it’s also paraben-, petroleum-, and mineral-free.
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