13 Best Conditioners for Curly Hair and Natural Hair for 2022
Know the porosity of your curls
Remember: The porosity of your curls depends on how much water your curls can absorb and hold, like a sponge. Low porosity hair tends to have tight, flat cuticles that repel water, meaning products sit on top and don’t sink in. Low porosity curls require lightweight products (like a light conditioner) so they don’t feel heavy or stretchy.
Meanwhile, high porosity hair has open and raised cuticles (whether naturally, due to damage or chemicals), which means it absorbs every bit of moisture it can obtain and loves conditioners rich in butters and oils and tons of protein to keep hair soft and healthy. Not sure about your porosity? Nbd, just take this porosity quiz.
Go easy on “reinforcement formulas”
Formulas that claim to be good for repairing, such as “strengthening” shampoo, “damage repair” conditioner, “split-end repair” leave-in creams, or high protein mask longer than recommended – can lead to protein buildup on your hair. A little protein in your conditioner helps strengthen damaged hair by “filling in tiny holes or cracks in the hair strand” after shampooing, according to Stollmeyer.
But too much of a good thing could hurt your hair. “If your hair is healthy, regular use of conditioners containing protein can lead to protein overload and lead to breakagesays hairstylist Naeemah LaFond, because protein buildup acts like a suffocating shield that dries out hair, resulting in damaged, brittle, dull curls, Reslan adds.
To identify proteins, scan the ingredient list for “hydrolyzed”, “protein” (duh) or amino acids. One or two proteins won’t have a major effect on your hair, especially if they’re low on the list, but unless your hair is badly damaged, you should avoid gorging yourself on protein-rich formulas on a regular basis. And even if your hair Is love protein, you’ll still only want to use a protein treat once or twice a month to prevent buildup.
Look at the oils in the ingredient list
Oils give conditioners a lot of “slip”, which means your the hair will feel coated and slippery when wet, which is necessary to prevent breakage when detangling in the shower, whether with your fingers or a detangling brush. But choose your oils wisely: Heavier oils, like castor oil, coconut oil, and olive oil, lock in moisture, making them a great choice for dry to dry hair. high porosity that need significant hydration. But if your hair gets weighed down easily, look for conditioners with light oils, like argan, jojoba, almond, avocado, and grapeseed, that won’t leave your hair greasy.
4. Decide where you stand on silicones
Silicones are polymers that coat your hair and temporarily “glue” your cuticles, giving your hair a shiny, smooth look. But, says Spino, “too much silicone can excessively coat the hair, causing buildup” that leaves your curls undefined, weighed down, and stringy over time. Why is this important? Because a wall of silicone built around your wick can prevent moisture from entering your hair, leading to dryness and damageand over time.
Occasional use of silicones is fine (unless you’re following the Curly Girl method, obvs), but you’ll need to rinse twice a month with a sulfate-based product. clarifying shampoo to remove the buildup on your hair. Tbh, most of the products in the list above are silicone free. (unless otherwise stated), but always check the ingredient list before buying a product and don’t be afraid to do some trial and error. Some people find their curls love silicones, while others hate them.