Best Leave-In Conditioners for Black Hair: Reviews and Guide (2018)

Updated 5 years ago

That exotic mane of natural, black curls is indeed eye-catching. Yet, for it to look its best, a lot of work goes into its maintenance. Since black hair is more porous with a coarser texture, it loses moisture easily, which means it has a natural tendency to be drier and that increases the likelihood of hair breakage and frizz. Before you sigh in defeat, advancements in hair care technology have released numerous products to help you care for your black hair easily. Your best bet would be to use a leave in conditioner that contains nourishing and hydrating ingredients to help you get rid of that frizz and regain your hair confidence.

The Best Leave In Conditioners for Black Hair

Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave In Conditioner

This lightweight conditioner contains humectants to penetrate the hair shaft and help curly hair types retain moisture for a well-hydrated look. Panthenol is also added to seal in the moisture while giving hair texture a glossy sheen. Users also love it for its hassle-free easy-spray application which dries quickly, making it a staple on busy days.

As I Am Leave In Conditioner

The antithesis to uncontrolled and crinkly hair, this conditioner received high ratings from users who swear by its effectiveness in making hair look soft and healthy without any greasiness. Its light consistency also means it can easily moisturize hair types 2 and 3 without giving you that awkward ‘crunchy’ texture.

Mixed Chicks Curl Defining & Frizz Eliminating Leave In Conditioner

Formulated with nourishing jojoba oil and evening primrose oil, this conditioner delivers its promise of blessing you with lustrous, tangle-free hair. It also includes Silk Amino Acids that have Silk Proteins to bond with the keratin in your hair, thereby protecting your hair from split ends and making it stronger to withstand breakage.  

Okay Jamaican Castor Oil Leave In Conditioner

Infused with a hydrating blend of Black Jamaican Castor Oil and Argan Oil, it helps to transform dry and brittle hair into moisturized, well-defined locks. With a citrusy scent, this product works great for those with thick, curly and kinky hair. Use a dime-sized amount on wet hair for best results.

Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner/Detangler

This herbal conditioner with a creamy consistency helps to smoothen hair cuticles and eliminate frizz. It also lives up to its name of doubling up as a detangler given its effectiveness in combating knots and tangles as mentioned by reviewers. Savor the ease of gliding your fingers through soft, silky hair without hitting any snags.  

INFUSIUM 23 Orginal Formula Pro-Vitamin Leave-In Hair Treatment

This treatment product is the answer to dull and breakage-prone hair. Imbued with a Pro-Vitamin B5 formula to penetrate the tough cuticle layer on the hair shaft, it works to repair the damage from within, thereby restoring your hair to its healthy state. This highly-rated conditioner also smoothens and detangles your hair to make it more manageable for styling some cute braids and weaves.

Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream

Shea butter’s intense moisturizing ability makes this cream highly raved by users with dry and bristly manes. This inexpensive cream is a life-saver for unmanageable type 4 hair due to its amazing ability to resolve hard tangles that are infamous for causing broken combs. Apply the cream onto hair so that you can show off glossy waves and coils.  

Creme of Nature Strength & Shine Leave-In Conditioner

This conditioner contains argan oil which is well-known for giving hair its shine and silkiness. Argan oil also promotes hair growth while resolving dry scalp issues. Combined with a strengthening protein complex, this product promises to make your hair less brittle while protecting it from further damage. With its paraben-free formulation, it works well for textured hair to give it that glossy sheen.   

Aya Natural Leave-In Conditioner Hair Moisturizer Cream

An all-natural, vegan conditioner that targets hair frizz, dryness and breakage. It consists of a potent blend of olive, jojoba, coconut, and rosemary oils to help nourish damaged hair and restore it to its natural healthy glow. This cream also comes with a handy pump to reduce product wastage and give you the right amount to coat your locks.   

Miss Jessie's Leave In Condish

Suitable for those with curly or wavy hair, this lightweight conditioner serves to banish all frizz-related and dryness issues with its moisturizing soybean and aloe ingredients. Users love it for giving them smooth, defined curls that are not weighed down. Moreover, it graces your hair with a healthy luster that would make you the envy of all!

Oyin Handmade Hair Dew Daily Quenching Hair Lotion

This sweet-smelling, luscious concoction works well as a leave in conditioner for your parched, frizzy hair coils. Do not be fooled by its light consistency as it works to deeply penetrate the hair shaft, leaving your hair well-hydrated and soft to the touch. It also breathes new life into limp and crimped locks by giving it a voluminous, healthy look.

Beauty Without Cruelty Revitalize Leave-In Conditioner

This plant-based formulation is made with 100% pure organic essential oils that promises to leave your hair troubled-free and revitalized. It also contains jojoba which resembles your scalp’s sebum, and is easily absorbed to deeply hydrate dull and lifeless hair without leaving an oily residue. Say goodbye to frizzy, flyaway hair with this vegan option.

Taliah Waajid Black Earth Natural Protective Mist Bodifier Leave-In Conditioner

A natural conditioner made with olive oil, wheat germ extract and coconut oil to soothe and heal brittle, damaged hair. Users raved about its ability to keep hair moisturized and untangled which minimized breakage. One reviewer even mentioned that it kept her extensions moisturized for days afterwards. Time to say hello to good hair days!

Vitamins Cosmetics Moroccan Argan Leave-In Conditioner Cream

This rich and hydrating cream is just what your hair needs. It deeply penetrates thick and coarse hair to treat it from within, and restore your hair health. A must-have for those sporting curly or kinky hair, this cream is sure to leave it feeling sleek and bouncy with no tangles to mar its natural beauty.

tgin Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer

This natural product is a classic among individuals with types 3 and 4 hair. Infused with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter and vitamin E oil, users highly complimented its moisturizing ability as they observed dramatically smoother and softer hair after use. It is suitable for a variety of curl lengths from simple waves to tightly-coiled 4c hair. It also works well for twist-out styles as it prevents frizz and a lack of curl definition.

Finding the right leave in conditioner to protect your beautiful curls might be a daunting task. But with the wide array of products and reviews mentioned above, you will be sure to find your perfect match.

Choosing the Right Conditioner

Wavy hair, curly hair, kinky hair, tight curls, loose curls - and the list goes on. Given that black hair comes in different shapes and textures, how do you choose the right leave in conditioner for your hair type? Black hair tends to be naturally curly which is why it has been given a classification range of type 2 to type 4 hair. Let’s take a closer look to understand the characteristics of each hair type.

Types of black hair:

  • Type 2: wavy hair falls under this classification which can have different textures such as fine, medium and coarse. Wavy hair with a rougher texture is more prone to frizziness and is more difficult to style. This is why you should go for anti-frizz conditioners that will make it more manageable while helping your waves look sleek and healthy.

  • Type 3: also widely known as spiral curls. Individual curl length can vary from loose, large curls to tight, small curls and even corkscrews. Type 3 hair also frizz up easily as it is naturally drier. As such, it is best to go for lightweight conditioners with moisture-rich ingredients to keep it smooth and hydrated without weighing it down.

  • Type 4: refers to kinky, fluffy hair with tight coils that can feel either soft or wiry. Due to its shape and texture, type 4 hair tend to have very thin and delicate strands which are most prone to breakage and tangles. The key to keeping it strong and healthy is to use highly-moisturizing conditioners that consist of rich, hydrating ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil and coconut oil.


With a clearer understanding of what your hair type is, you will be better able to decide on the product that is most suitable for you in order to show off your coiff with confidence.

How to Apply Leave In Conditioner

Leave in conditioners are probably one of the numerous steps in your hair care regime. Exactly when to use it to achieve smooth and manageable hair is probably something we all question about. Another commonly-asked query would be how to apply the leave-in to your hair. Here, we provide some tips on how to best use a leave in conditioner so that you can reap the full benefits.

Tips for using a leave in conditioner:

  • Use It Weekly: due to the drier nature of black hair, it is best to use a leave in conditioner at least once or twice a week to ensure your hair is well-moisturized from within.

  • Use It on Damp Hair: use it directly after shampooing and conditioning. Try to get rid of excess water before coating your hair with the leave in conditioner so that it absorbs better. However, do not vigorously rub your hair with the bath towel as it creates friction and will damage your hair even more. Instead, opt for using both ends of the towel to sandwich your hair and gently squeeze out the excess moisture.

  • Easy Application: for sprays, you can spritz onto damp hair and finger-comb through it to reduce breakage. For those with a thicker consistency like creams and serums, take a suitable amount and apply onto the hair ends before working it up. You can split your hair into four sections to make application easier. Make sure to coat every strand from top to bottom to achieve best results.
  • Apply More on Damaged Areas: if certain parts of your hair feel drier or frizz more, apply more generously to these areas and massage the product in thoroughly.

Leave in conditioners are easy to use with superb results once done correctly. This is why it is a must-have if you want beautiful, luscious hair that is easy to manage.

Why Black Hair Requires More Moisturization?

While black hair has the same biological composition as other ethnic groups like Asians and Caucasians, its unique disposition to curl physically means that it requires more care and maintenance. The reason why black hair tend to be naturally drier by comparison is due to this physical structure. The scalp produces a natural, moisturizing substance called sebum which is used to lubricate the hair as it travels down the shaft. Another source of moisture for the hair would be water which is required to keep it well-hydrated and healthy. However, due to the physical disposition of black hair which is often in the shape of waves, curls, kinks or coils, it is difficult for water and sebum to travel down the hair shaft. As a result, black hair is less able to retain moisture which causes it to be drier. As dry hair is more prone to breakage, split ends and other kinds of damage, moisturizing and hydration becomes a top priority for black hair. Besides moisturizing, there are also other lifestyle changes you can make to your daily routine to help protect your black hair while making it easier to manage.

Top 5 tips for healthy, black hair:

  • Silk Fabrics/Pillow: cotton tends to leach moisture out of your hair due to its porosity. Consider using silk pillows or wrapping your hair with a silk scarf when you sleep.
  • Avoid Using Relaxers Frequently: while relaxers are great at straightening out your curls, they are pretty damaging for your hair. Try to limit relaxing your hair once every eight weeks to prevent breakage. Also, do remember to never relax already chemically processed hair as this will damage it even more.
  • Shampoo Once A Week: as black hair tends to be drier, it does not have much oil buildup as compared to other hair types. This makes daily shampooing unnecessary and may even worsen the dryness. Aim for washing your hair once every 7 to 10 days and use a gentle shampoo that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate as it will strip away your hair’s natural oils.    
  • Use Wood Comb: plastic creates static and friction as you pull the comb through your curls which is definitely not beneficial for naturally drier black hair. Try using a wide tooth wooden comb that is better at detangling those annoying knots without causing you pain and hair breakage.
  • Protective Styles: think braids, twists and weaves to help protect your hair by keeping it up and out of the way which minimises the chance of hair ends being snagged on something and causing breakage. With a plethora of different styles like Havana Twists, Crochet Braids and Faux Locs, you can protect your hair while giving it a chic look at the same time.


Sure, black hair may seem to be a little more high-maintenance than other hair types, but that does not mean it cannot be kept healthy and strong. With some daily effort, a great leave in conditioner and certain lifestyle changes, frizzy and damaged hair will be a thing of the past for you!