Last Updated on November 22, 2022 by Verna Meachum
Finding the best silicone free conditioner for curly hair can be a bit of a challenge. You endlessly search the internet, scouring through endless reviews and articles only to find that most of them are either outdated, confusing, or just plain wrong.
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
The good news is, we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of the best silicone free conditioners for curly hair, so you can finally stop searching!
What Are Silicones?
Silicones are a type of synthetic polymer that are commonly used in hair care products. They work on the surface of the hair by coating the hair shaft, which can provide temporary smoothing and shine benefits.
However, they can also build up on the hair, which can lead to frizz, tangles, and unmanageability. Additionally, some can be difficult to wash out, which can further contribute to build-up.
For these reasons, many people with curly hair prefer to avoid products that contain silicones.
Water-soluble silicones vs Water-insoluble silicones
One important thing to note about silicones is that they are not all created equal. There are two main types of silicones: water-soluble and water-insoluble.
Water-soluble silicones can be easily removed from the hair with just water. These are generally less likely to cause build-up.
Water-insoluble silicones, on the other hand, are not water-soluble and can be more difficult to remove from the hair. These types of silicones can often build up on the hair, leading to frizz, tangles, and unmanageability.
Most sulfate free shampoos and sulfate shampoo can remove these types of silicones from the hair. Be sure to look for ingredients such as:
- Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
- Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate
- Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
- Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate
- Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate
- Coco Betaine
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine
The Benefits of Silicone Free Conditioner
Silicone free conditioners can be a great option for people with curly hair, as they can help to avoid build-up and maintain healthy, hydrated curls.
Additionally, silicone free conditioners can be a great option for people who are trying to avoid synthetic ingredients.
Finally, silicone-free hair conditioners can provide your hair with brilliant luster, suppleness, and bounce through natural moisturizing ingredients.
Why are silicones in hair products?
By adding silicones to hair products, it helps improve the distribution of other ingredients, coat the hair for shine, and decrease friction.
Conditioners and silicones have partnered up for decades because of how good silicones are at multi-tasking. They can make your hair feel smooth, help keep moisture in, detangle it–the list goes on.
But some of us find them to be too heavy. They can make our hair feel greasy, oily, and may overall leave our hair unhealthy with regular use. And when it comes to curly hair, this is the last thing we want!
Are Silicones Bad?
Contrary to popular belief, silicones are not bad for your hair. Honestly, it depends on who you ask. Although they get a lot of hate, tests have shown that many products like hair care, facial moisturizers, and even medical treatments are safe to use as intended.
People often avoid using hair products that contain silicone for different reasons. Some people find that products with silicones weigh their hair down, making it appear flat and greasy.
Others find that products with silicones can cause build-up, making it difficult to style their hair and leading to frizz. Additionally, some people prefer to avoid synthetic ingredients, and so they choose silicone-free products.
Ultimately, whether or not you use hair products with silicones is a personal choice.
For more information on whether silicones are bad, read my blog ‘Are Silicones In Hair Products Always Bad?‘
Should you avoid silicones?
You should avoid silicones if strictly use co wash to cleanse your hair. Conditioning agents have the ability to build up on hair over time. Cationic ingredients binds to the hair, it’s great; however, if there is too much of it, you will get build up.
Silicones accumulate and don’t rinse off, resulting in hair that is heavy and limp hair. If you’re not using a clarifying shampoo in your regimen, you may want to reconsider using products with silicones.
If you have hair that is easily weighed down, then you should avoid silicones. Additionally, if you are trying to avoid synthetic ingredients, you may want to consider using silicone-free hair products.
Finally, if you have experienced any negative effects from using products with silicones, you may want to consider avoiding them in the future.
On the other hand, if silicones don’t pose a problem to your hair, then feel free to use them! Silicones are not permanent and can be removed with a clarifying shampoo, so if you do experience any build up, you can easily remove it from your hair.
What Exactly Are Silicone-Free Conditioners?
A silicone-free conditioner is, as the name suggests, a blend of conditioning ingredients that don’t include silicones. Instead, they consist of ingredients that provide slip and moisture to the hair without being heavy or greasy, such as amino acids, lipids, etc.
Both silicone and silicone-free hair products look the same on the surface. They’re both creamy, have a similar consistency, and are applied the same way.
The main difference lies in what’s inside the bottle and how they leave your hair feeling. You can expect silicone-free conditioners to be lighter weight than their silicone-based counterparts.
Common Types of Silicones
Reading the ingredients label can leave you feeling like you need a degree in cosmetology to understand all of the terms.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Here are some of the most common types of silicones that you’ll find in hair products:
– Dimethicone: A type of silicone that is often used as a conditioning agent. It can be found in both leave-in and rinse-out products.
– Cyclomethicone: A volatile silicone that evaporates quickly. It’s often used in leave-in products and can make hair appear shiny and smooth.
– Amodimethicone, Dimethiconol, Methicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Simethicone Stearoxy (or Stearyl) Dimethicone: Types of silicones that is often used as a conditioning agent.
This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the most common silicones that you’ll find in hair products.
Silicones generally end in:
33 Best Silicone Free Conditioner For Curly Hair
Acure Curiously Clarifying Conditioner
This is a vegan and certified cruelty-free formula that is actually a clarifying conditioner! It washes away residue and gives your hair a double dose of organic oils with lemongrass additions. Argan oil, argan stem cells and coq10 work together to help support hair keratin and strengthen the follicle connection.
Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner
This conditioner is often out of stock, so get it while you can! This is a fan favorite for a reason. This product helps improve hair texture with organic Rosa Mosqueta® rose hip seed and argan oils.
Keep your hair feeling amazing with the organic shea butter and sweet almond oils, while enhancing shine with chrysanthemum, angelica and magnolia extracts. It’s also protein free for those with protein-sensitive hair.
Aveda Rosemary Mint Weightless Conditioner
This is a light weight plant-based conditioner formulated with certified organic rosemary, peppermint, and spearmint to add body and help prevent tangles, and of course, to moisturize your hair. It also contains white vinegar to naturally enhances shine.
Boucleme Curl Conditioner is a UK based product. It is a moisturizing conditioner that is created to quench curls, coils, and waves. It has been upgraded to boost its detangling powers while still keeping its hydrating and lightweight formula.
The key active ingredients in this conditioner are virgin coconut oil, argan oil, organic aloe vera leaf, and honey. This conditioner softens strands, enhances definition, and increases shine. I love using this conditioner because it makes my curls look so healthy and shiny. This is protein free as well.
Bounce Curl Super Smooth Conditioner
This is a lightweight creamy conditioner that will lightly hydrate your curls! It’s important to note that the first ingredient is organic aloe, which means it contains no water in. This makes it a very concentrated product that a little goes a long way with. All good-for-your-hair ingredients. It’s also protein free for anyone with concerns about protein.
Bumble and Bumble Seaweed Conditioner
This conditioner is loaded with marine greens such as kelp and algae extract to hydrate and soften hair. This is great for those with fine hair, as it will not weigh hair down.
Don’t be alarmed by the Arachidyl alcohol, which is only a waxy fatty alcohol used as a thickening agent and emollient. It does contain Isopropyl alcohol, but it’s near the middle of the ingredient list and used in very small amounts.
Camille Rose Naturals Jansyns Moisture Max Conditioner
This conditioner is suitable for all hair types and you can never go wrong with this popular brand! If you have coarse, dry, and frizzy hair, then this is for you. This is super moisturizing, but it won’t leave your hair feeling heavy. By the way, this is not protein-free (in case anyone was wondering).
Curls Coconut Curlada Conditioner
This conditioner is super hydrating and contains certified organic ingredients. This is a great choice for those who need softening, moisture and hydration in a snap. Protein free? yes, it is!
Curls Coconut Sublime Moisturizing Instant Conditioner
This conditioner intensely moisturizes and softens your dry, curly hair! Although this is not protein free, it contains some great certified extracts and oils to strengthen your strands.
Curl Junkie Assurance Smoothing Conditioner
This conditioner is perfect to use daily if you have frizzy hair. The Shea Butter, Palm and Rosehip Seed oils help to discourage frizz and encourage your ringlets to shine. The conditioner is lightweight and doesn’t weigh down your hair, which is great. Also, this is protein free!
Curl Junkie Beauticurls Argan & Olive Oil Daily Hair Conditioner
This conditioner is a detangling, moisturizing conditioner infused with hydrating Aloe Vera and emollient and healing Argan, Olive, Jojoba, and Virgin Coconut oils. It helps to detangle hair, while adding moisture and shine. I found that it didn’t weigh my hair down and left it feeling soft and manageable. And yes, it is protein free.
EDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Conditioner
The EDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Conditioner is a refreshing and revitalizing conditioner that helps to stimulate the scalp and regulate the pH levels of the hair.
The conditioner also helps to reduce detangling time, alleviate scalp irritations, and treat dandruff. The formula is light and moisturizing, and leaves the hair feeling healthy and manageable. Furthermore, it is fortified with proteins to reduce split ends.
Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner
The Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner is a great product for those who have dry hair. It helps to boost moisture levels and add shine and silkiness to the hair. It also helps to minimize damage and provides continuous moisturizing.
The conditioner can be used as a leave-in treatment or regular conditioner, and it is perfect for those who have dry, damaged, or color-treated hair. This is protein free, but it does contain parabens (for those who want to stay away from them).
Garnier Hair Care Fructis Pure Clean Conditioner
This conditioner is a great choice for those with normal to oily hair. It helps remove daily pollutants such as dirt and oils from the hair, leaving it feeling refreshed with no heavy residue or build-up.
The citrus extract provides lightweight daily refreshment to the hair, while the biodegradable and silicone-free formula makes it a more environmentally friendly option. This contains Isopropyl alcohol (7th ingredient).
Giovanni Smooth As Silk Conditioner
If you’re looking for a conditioner that can help to soothe and hydrate dry, chemically processed hair, Giovanni’s Smooth As Silk Conditioner is a great option.
The conditioner is made with a combination of vegetable proteins and certified organic botanical extracts, which work to nourish and moisturize the hair. In addition, the conditioner is color safe and helps to tame unruly or frizzy hair.
Innersense Hydrating Cream Conditioner
This is a rich, moisturizing conditioner for thick, coarse and thirsty hair. Formulated with organic rice, quinoa and flax seed to strengthen the hair follicle, shea butter and coconut to nourish and hydrate, this silicone-free conditioner leaves hair naturally beautiful and moisturized.
Ingredients come straight from nature, grown organically and sustainably without chemicals – ethically harvested and sourced from trusted, transparent plantations, orchards and farms from around the world. paraben-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free.
Innersense Pure Inspiration Daily Conditioner
The Innersense Pure Inspiration Daily Conditioner is a natural, lightweight conditioner that is designed to increase moisture and detangle hair. It is crafted with rice bran oil and aloe to strengthen and smooth the hair shaft while orange flower oil delivers beautiful shine.
The silicone-free formula eliminates frizz, leaving hair hydrated and happy. The ingredients are straight from nature, grown organically and sustainably without chemicals. The conditioner is paraben-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.
Jane Carter Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner
This conditioner is a deep conditioner that repairs and restores dry, damaged hair. It nourishes hair with a blend of Rosemary Extract and Jojoba Oil, while also improving manageability and increasing natural shine. The conditioner is protein enriched and ideal for revitalizing brittle, damaged hair.
Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner
The Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner is a great conditioner for fine hair. It tames tangles and provides hydration, leaving hair with lots of life. The ingredients include aloe, jojoba, coconut, and avocado oils, as well as various herbs, which work together to provide optimum conditioning for fine hair. This is also protein free.
Jessicurl, Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner
Jessicurl, Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner is a thick, moisturizing protein free conditioner that contains shea butter, jojoba oil, avocado oil and herbs and spices that are beneficial for hair and scalp. The conditioner makes curls soft and manageable without being greasy.
Living Proof Restore Conditioner
The Living Proof Restore Conditioner is a great product for those who have damaged hair. It is protein free and helps to renew the softness, shine, and manageability of your hair, while also restoring the damaged cuticles.
The conditioner also strengthens and protects your hair from further damage, leaving it looking and feeling healthier overall.
Love Beauty and Planet Coconut Milk & White Jasmine Conditioner
If you’re looking for a conditioner that will help repair damage, then this is the perfect conditioner for you. This set is infused with natural coconut oil, which helps to nourish and protect your hair while helping to prevent breakage and split ends.
The conditioner has a refreshing floral scent, while the conditioner is lightly scented with ylang ylang flower oil. It is also protein free.
Maple Holistics Tea Tree Conditioner
If you’re looking for an amazing conditioner for dandruff or itchy scalp, look no further than the Tea Tree Conditioner from Maple Holistics. I swear by this conditioner.
It is packed with natural oils that help to hydrate and nourish your hair, giving you better looking hair and scalp. Tea tree oil is also known of its anti-dandruff properties, making it a great choice for those with dry scalp issues. Also, it’s protein free.
Miche Beauty Prime Smoothing & Detangling Conditioner
Detangling conditioners are a must for anyone with curly or kinky hair. This formula is a creamy, super-slippery rinse-out conditioner that hydrates, detangles, and smoothes the hair cuticle.
Loaded with hair and scalp loving herbs, vitamins, and nutrients, does an excellent job at detangling stubborn knots and tangles. Also, it is protein free.
Mielle Organics Mongongo Hydrating Conditioner
Looking for a protein-free conditioner that will leave your hair soft and silky? Mielle Organics Mongongo Hydrating Conditioner is perfect for you! Made with Mongongo oil, this conditioner is designed to hydrate and protect your hair with every use.
The MopTop Daily Conditioner is a great conditioner for those with dry and frizzy hair. The conditioner helps to boost moisture levels and maintain a soft, natural look and feel. It is also compatible with a wide range of hair textures, and restores vitality to normal, dry, damaged, or color-treated hair.
All MopTop products avoid parabens, sulfates, silicone and dyes while using natural honey, aloe and sea botanicals to provide the healthiest nutrients for your curls, waves and coils.
Not Your Mother’s Naturals Tahitian Gardenia Flower Butter Curl Defining Conditioner
If you’re looking for a conditioner that will help define and enhance your curls, Not Your Mother’s Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Curl Defining Conditioner is a great option.
This conditioner deeply hydrates your hair without weighing it down, and the ingredients like Tahitian gardenia flower and mango butter help to define your natural curl shape. I found that my curls were bouncier and more voluminous after using this conditioner, and it also left my hair feeling soft and silky. This is also protein free.
NYC Curls The Curl Conditioner
This unique product is infused with aloe, vitamin E, and a mix of curl-friendly ingredients, making it perfect for all curl types. The bamboo scent mixed with essential ginger oil is refreshing and invigorating, while the sulfate, silicone, and paraben-free formula is 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
Use it as a daily conditioner, leave-in conditioner, or deep conditioner for unbeatable curls. Protein free? Yes.
Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner
The Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner is a rich and nourishing conditioner that is perfect for tresses that need some extra TLC. The hemp oil in this product provides a wealth of fatty acids that help to nourish and revitalize hair, while the silk protein and aloe vera gel help to add moisture and sheen.
If you’re looking for a conditioner that will tame your tresses without weighing them down, Puracy Natural Conditioner is the perfect choice. This plant-based formula contains unique anti-static polymers that help to reduce frizz and static, while natural squalene provides lightweight moisture.
The result is soft, bouncy hair that’s free of tangles and knots. It is also protein free.
If you’re looking for a protein free conditioner that will detangle and moisturize your hair all at once, look no further than the Righteous Roots Conditioner.
This conditioner is infused with several deluxe oils, including baobab, grapefruit, jojoba and peppermint, that work together to leave your hair soft, shiny and knot-free. This is the best detangling conditioner on the market, and it’s also vegan and cruelty-free.
Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Detangler
The Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Detangler is a lightweight protein free detangler that conditions and smooths dry, damaged hair while removing knots and tangles.
It is made with organic and fair trade shea butter, sea kelp, and argan oil to provide extra moisture and nourishment to damaged hair. The detangler is free of sulfates and parabens, making it a safe choice for those with sensitive skin.
The Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian Anti-Breakage & Repair Antidote Conditioner
This protein free conditioner is a unique and powerful conditioner that helps to strengthen hair while fighting damage and breakage.
It is formulated with natural ingredients that help to nourish and hydrate hair, as well as restore and repair damaged hair. The conditioner leaves hair soft, shiny, and tangle free, and it is ideal for use on all hair types.
You’ve heard it a thousand times before: “silicones are bad for hair and should be avoided.” This is not true! While silicones can cause build-up, they are not permanent and can be removed with a great detergent.
Additionally, not all silicones are bad for hair. Some actually provide slip and moisture to the hair without being heavy or greasy. Ultimately, whether or not you use hair products with silicones is a personal choice.
Do you have any experience using silicone-free hair products? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!