Wearing natural hair sounds easy-after all, it's natural, right?
In fact, it’s more complicated than it sounds.
What no one tells you about going natural is that it’s demanding and hard to manage.
See, because of its curly nature, natural kinky hair is more prone to knots, dryness, shrinkage and much more.
Those rocking natural hair tend to adopt a wash day routine, hydrating often, oiling frequently, using a satin bonnet, racking up on the curly hair tools to avoid tangles and much more.
But one thing hairstylists agree on is anyone rocking natural hair needs the best leave-in conditioner to shape and maintain their natural hair.
While most of us use shampoo and conditioner that gets rinsed out the shower, leave-in conditioner is one product that gives your hair the extra nourishment to remain shiny, vibrant, and healthy.
Furthermore, if you ask anyone with natural hair what’s their biggest struggle, they’re likely to tell you its dryness.
Now, while most people swear by conditioners to keep their natural hair moisturized, a leave-in conditioner is worth adding to the moisturizing arsenal as well.
Leave-in moisturizer can kill two birds with one stone: they leave your hair moisturized and soften your hair, while at the same time prepping it for styling.
But with so many options in the market, choosing the best leave in conditioner for natural hair can feel a bit intimidating.
Fortunately, we’ve prepared a guide reviewing the best leave-in moisturizers in the market, and hopefully, you’ll find one suiting your needs.
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick
This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and just need to know the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!
6.5 fl oz
Olive oil, elderberry & barley protein
4 fl oz
Keratin, Aqua & Behentrimonium Chloride
8.45 fl oz
Jojoba, camphor leaf extract & Sunflower Seed Extract
Other Great Recommendations
8 fl oz
Natural & Organic
5.1 fl oz
Aloe Extracts & Vitamin A&E
12 fl oz
Peppermint, Lavender, Tea Tree & Eucalyptus
10.2 fl oz
Best Top 7 Leave In Conditioner For Natural Hair in the Market for the Money
Olivina Men Rinse Out / Leave-In Conditioning Cream - Editor's Choice
Olivina Men is a multi-functional conditioner that can be used as a traditional conditioner or as a leave-in.
As a dual-purpose hair care product, you can either use it in a traditional sense (rinse out) or as a leave-in for all-day smoothness, softness, and strength.
It's natural, too, and it's packed with plenty of natural essentials such as barley, hemp, birch, juniper, and countless other natural ingredients.
You could say it's designed or the men who are seeking a skincare product with more natural offerings.
Olivina Men is also full of natural oils that can penetrate deep in your scalp to unwind any knots, a great benefit for those with dry, coarse, and textured hairs.
At the same time, this natural offering has a wickedly, manly scent. To some, the Bourbon Cedar fragrance is intoxicating, but it's the results that count.
- Dual-organic formula
- Hydrating properties
- Some users complain of the odor
It’s a 10 Leave-In Plus Keratin - Suitable for all hair types
It’s a 10 Leave-In Plus Keratin that has great nourishing properties and can be used either as alone or as a restorative care product.
It has some amazing good-for-you hair stuff in it, and probably the reason it works for most hair types.
Among the notable ingredients that bring your hair's natural luster is the well-known and effective hair strengthener, Panthenol.
The leave-in conditioner also contains sunflower seed extract, known for its sunscreen properties, and will protect your hair color from fading.
On the other hand, the green tea extract has anti-oxidation properties, thus shielding your hair from the environmental damages.
Finally, both the silk and citric acid help to strengthen the hair and improve your hair's shine and beauty.
What we liked most about this product is perhaps its versatility: it is suitable for wet hair for the extra shine as well as double up as a styling cream for dry hair.
Either way, applying It's a ten will protect the natural keratin, shield your hair against heat, restore hydration balance, and detangles your hair.
And the best part is you only need to use a pea-sized amount of the hair care product to get favorable results.
- Strengthens hair
- Protects hair from fading
- You only need a pea-sized amount
- Suitable for all hair types
- Bit expensive
TIGI Bed Head B For Men Leave-In Conditioner - Best for Men
TIGI is a renowned brand in the grooming domain, and they know a thing or two when it comes to making you look best.
And today, we shall look at one of their offerings, the TIGI Bed.
It's a uniquely formulated hair care product as it is available in spray form instead of liquid or cream form.
The benefit of the spray formulation is the ease of application: unlike the cream or liquids, it’s easy to work through your hair a little easier, especially if you use a two-sided comb.
The second benefit of the spray, in contrast to other leave-in formulas, is the scalp penetration.
Now, if you've used the cream, you understand you've to do it with care to avoid applying it too close to the scalp as it might cause a greasy mess.
However, with the spray option, you don't need to get concerned about it because it's fine, even if it reaches your scalp as it can offer moisturization. This is quite beneficial for those suffering from mild dandruff due to a dry scalp.
However, the spray application is a bit messy and tough to target. The good news is it lets you target your hairs and scalp, while at the same time allowing you to comb your hair.
The final benefit of this hair care product is the fragrance. I agree scent can be polarizing since it's quite subjective.
However, it's easy to see that most of the men were happy with the scent from the reviews, especially considering it offers a manly fragrance. Also, once it's applied, it dissipates fast.
- Easy to apply
- Reduces scalp dryness
- Keeps hair soft
- Some users don’t like the smell
Unite 7 Seconds Leave-In Conditioner - Salon Quality Conditioner
If you're looking for a salon-quality hair care product, and don't mind paying premium, you can't go wrong with the Unite 7 Seconds.
It’s a highly rated product, and from the reviews, it’s equally a performer.
For starters, it's a versatile option ideal for the various types of hairs, including curly, frizzy, dry, and any other unruly type of hair.
Like the TIGI conditioner we reviewed above, it's a spray option, so it's easy to apply. More importantly, however, it works quickly and effectively.
For the perfect hairstyling, we recommend 4-6 sprays of the Unite 7; this is sufficient to get your hair looking great and prepped for your favorite hair treatment procedure.
The conditioner's performance is also quite impressive, too, as it conditions, seals, and protects your hair from both UV and thermal damage.
And for those with thinning hairs, the leave-in conditioner will add more strength to the entire follicle shaft.
- Strengthens hair
- Ideal for unruly hair
- Easy application
- Fast and effective results
- Premium price
MOP Mixed Greens - All-Around Conditioner
Despite the poor name selection, Mixed Green is a solid all-around leave-in conditioner that similarly works well with all hair types.
It's a cream-based formula packed in a 5.1 oz container.
It’s primarily composed of all-natural and organic compounds, so it's unlikely it will result in any side effects.
Notably, it has sufficient Vitamin A & E, both of which are responsible for getting the nutrients to the root and shaft of your hair follicle for growth and development.
Besides the richness of vitamins, this leave-in conditioner has the added benefit of moisture delivery, which helps to keep your hair hydrated at all times.
Despite the hydrating properties, the conditioner leaves a nice non-greasy look, and this is one more reason why it’s such a popular product.
- Hydrating effects
- Natural Compounds
- Not the best packaging
Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioner - Best with Nourishing Properties
Aptly named, Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioner, this hair care conditioner has argan oil as its main ingredient.
Argan, as we know, has scalp-nourishing properties and will encourage the growth of new hair follicles.
The leave-in conditioners offer the perfect solution to those who need to nourish and pamper their unmanageable hairs.
Other components underlining its efficiency as a nourishing agent are coconut oil and Aloe Vera.
Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioner is also an all-around leave-in conditioner ideal for all hair types. Those with dry and damaged hair will particularly benefit from the oils and hydrating minerals in the conditioner.
Unfortunately, those with oily hair complained that the conditioner left residue on their hair. This is probably the fact it comes in a thick and creamy texture, so not the most suitable option for those with oily or fine hair.
It’s equally an effective hair care product, and a few uses will give you the nourished and healthy-looking hair you’ve always longed for.
- Encourages growth of new hair follicles
- Ideal for those with dry and damaged hair
- Hydrating effects
- Not suitable for those with oily/fine hair
Fructis Sleek & Shine - Budget Option
Fructis Sleek & Shine is a budget option leave-in conditioner specially formulated to tame the dry and frizzy hair.
This product from Garnier excels at nourishing your hair and offers a lasting smoothness and shine, thanks to the goodness of argan oil.
The leave-in conditioner is also available in a creamy texture, which is crucial in relieving dryness and frizziness.
It's also quite long-lasting, and according to the manufacturer, once applied on damp hair, the conditioning effects can last for up to three days.
It’s worth noting Fructis Sleek & Shine features an artificial fragrance, though the scent is mild and nice.
Unfortunately, the presence of alcohol doesn’t sit well with some users. It also doesn’t come with a sulfate-free claim, so if you’re sensitive about the ingredients of a conditioner, Fructis Sleek & Shine might not be best for you.
- Nourishes hair
- Relieves dryness and frizziness
- Concern on the ingredient composition
Best Leave-in Conditioner for Natural Hair Buying Guide
With so many different options, choosing a leave-in conditioner can be confusing at the least.
To help with the selection, we’ve prepared a comprehensive buying guide detailing all the factors to consider in your next leave-in conditioner purchase.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Leave-in Conditioner
Determine your Hair Type
Just like you need to determine your skin type before choosing a skincare product, you need to determine what type of hair before deciding on a leave-in conditioner.
1) Oily Hair
If you’ve oily hair, you’ll need a lightweight conditioner since normal conditioners can prove to be too heavy.
Oily hair doesn't need much hydration on their locks and needs a leave-in conditioner that won't leave their hair greasy and sticky.
2) Fine Hair
Similarly, those with fine hair should choose the lightweight leave-in conditioners.
They should, in particular, avoid the cream-based conditioners as these add weight to the hair making it look greasy.
A lightweight leave-in conditioner will add the right amount of moisture without making your fine hair look flat and dull.
3) Dry, Frizzy Hair
The dry, frizzy hair is the complete opposite of fine and oily hair.
This hair needs the thick and creamy leave-in conditioners for nourishment and conditioning.
The creamy leave-in conditioner will not only detangle and make it easy to manage your hair, but they’ll hydrate and nourish your scalp and hair roots.
4) Damaged and Treated Hair
If you’ve been using styling tools regularly or even subjecting your hair to chemical treatment repeatedly, it’s possible to damage the scalp and dry it out.
To rectify the damage, you’ll need specially-formulated conditioners.
For instance, leave-in conditioners rich in Shea butter and argan oil are suitable for nourishing the scalp and repairing the damaged strands.
On the other hand, the keratin-infused treatments are known to restore keratin, the structural protein promoting elasticity and strength on hair.
Finally, if you've colored hair, consider leave-in conditioners labeled color-safe or sulfate-free. These formulas will protect the brightness of your hair color, prevent fading, and fight the environmental damage to your hair.
5) Curly Hair
For those with curly hairs, the thick and creamy leave-in conditioners will do the trick since they add extra hydration.
The thick conditioners soften the curls, and at the same time remove the tangles to make the curly hair more manageable.
Once you’ve an idea of your type of hair, the next step is to consider the ingredients that will do well for your hair type.
As always, natural ingredients are always the best since they don’t have any side effects.
That said, some good ingredients might prove beneficial to your hair.
- Keratin: It's an awesome ingredient for those with several damaged hair. It fills the gaps in the hair cuticle and strengthens your hair.
- Argan oil: It’s rich in antioxidants and a great component for nourishing and replenishing hair
- Jojoba oil, Shea butter & glycerin will nourish the hair from the roots to the tips.
- Coconut oil and olive oil are incredible emollients helping with moisturization.
What to Avoid
Stay away from parabens, sulfates, and phthalates since they're known to cause possible side effects.
Also, avoid leave-in conditioners with fragrances as most of them are featured phthalates, which are linked to increased risk of cancer.
Leave-in Conditioners for Different Weather Conditions
During the hot summer, your hair tends to get oilier than normal, so you might want to avoid the creamy conditioners as they’re too heavy and might interfere with styling.
On the other hand, during the cold season, a liquid leave-in conditioner might not help that much. What you need is a thick conditioner to keep your mane under control, while adequately hydrating and moisturizing your hair.
Leave-in conditioners have numerous benefits, and it’s not a surprise they’re increasingly becoming popular for those who need to manage their hair.
It’s a great product for anyone who needs to keep their hair looking healthy, shiny, and free from tangles.
And now that we’ve presented you with the best options in the market, you simply have to pick a product that you think will address your hair needs.
What is the frequency of using a Leave In Conditioner For Natural Hair?
Applying the conditioner once a week is recommended for users. Since it is a leave-in type, you'll need to wash it when you are set to use the new conditioner. Keep the hair clean to ensure your conditioner maintains its value. In case you apply the conditioner daily, the chances of build-up on your scalp are high.
Will the leave-in conditioner grow my hair?
Yes, the conditioner has ingredients that help the hair to grow. With the right usage and at reasonable intervals, you'll have the scalp support rapid hair growth. It will also retain the hair on the head and promote good hair health.
Do I need to rinse out the conditioner?
Yes, you'll need to rinse out the conditioner to prevent build-up. Heavy, sticky, and coated hair is irritating and will cause harm to the scalp and hair if not managed well.
Should I put the conditioner on dry or wet hair?
It is advisable to use the conditioner on wet hair so that the ingredients can dissolve quickly and get into your hair faster. Your freshly shampooed hair is ideal for the conditioner and will give instant results.