Last Updated on February 3, 2023 by Verna Meachum
In a sea of hair products, it can be tough to discover which ones are best for your locks as well as CG (curly girl) approved if you follow the Curly Girl Method.
To make your curly journey a breeze, we’ve compiled a list of the top curly girl friendly conditioners.
From luxurious deep conditioners to rinse-out conditioners – these go-to conditioners will be sure to give your curl the extra love and hydration they need.
Escape into an oasis of hydration as we unlock the key ingredients to find your perfect, curly girl-friendly conditioner. With this information at hand, you will be able to make wise decisions regarding which products are best for your curls!
Get ready to nourish those curls like a pro!
What is the Curly Girl Method?
Before we dive into curly girl friendly conditioners, let’s look at what the Curly Girl Method is.
The Curly Girl Method is a curly hair regimen, founded by Lorraine Massey, that helps curly heads achieve and maintain healthy, hydrated hair.
This method encourages people to get rid of damaging habits such as shampooing and heat styling, and instead, opt for conditioning cleanser (co-wash).
Many curlies around the world have experienced amazing results from this set of recommendations; however, do not forget you can still modify it so that it works best for your unique curls!
The Dos of the CG Method
Before beginning the Curly Girl Method, it’s essential to become aware of what not to do. Many everyday hair practices that we have been using for years can be detrimental to our curls.
Do Not Use
- Combs and brushes
- Heat styling tools
- Sulfates – particularly Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & TEA Lauryl Sulfate
- Non-water soluble silicones
- Raw oils or butter
This method is not for everyone and should be taken with a grain of salt. Some curly heads may experience more success using different methods, or a combination of several.
What Makes a Conditioner Curly Girl Approved?
A curly girl approved conditioner should:
– Be free of sulfates and silicones.
– Contain no drying alcohol, such as isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol, and denatured alcohol.
– Have no fragrances.
– Have “all-natural ingredients” that promote hydration and curly hair health.
With so many products available that promise to provide the solution for dry, unruly hair; how do we decide which is truly best?
Marketers and hair care experts have no shortage of words to offer on what we need for healthy, beautiful locks. However, understanding the curly girl-friendly ingredients is key to achieving your curly goals.
To help you make an informed decision, here is a list of ingredients to look out for when choosing a curly girl-friendly rinse-out conditioner:
The first and most obvious ingredient that curly hair needs is water. Water is an amazing solvent and undoubtedly, the most important part of any conditioner formalization. It is a great carrier for water-soluble ingredients
When it comes to curly girl friendly conditioners, there are plenty of water-based ingredients at your disposal – think aloe vera juice, etc.
Emollients are ingredients that help to soften and smooth curly hair. They form a thin, protective layer on the surface of curly strands to prevent water loss.
They are usually naturally-derived or plant-based oils and butter, such as shea butter, coconut oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil. Fine hair cannot handle heavy emollients, so it’s best to use fewer and lighter formulas that won’t cause the locks to become limp or weighed down.
Humectants help provide moisture to the hair and work by drawing water from the air and holding it in the curly strands. Glycerin, honey, sorbitol, panthenol, and propylene glycol are all great humectants.
These are positively charged ingredients that help to soften curly strands. Conditioners contain cationic ingredients that are positively charged, which attach to the surface of the hair instead of being absorbed into it, resulting in frizz-free and tangle-resistant hair.
They are commonly found in conditioners and provide extra conditioning benefits. Common cationic ingredients include:
- Behentrimonium Chloride
- Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine
- Cetrimonium Chloride
- Cetrimonium Bromide
- Behentrimonium Methosulfate
- Stearalkonium Chloride
Conditioner should contain more than just cosmeceuticals and botanical extracts – it also needs to hold active ingredients that can penetrate the hair shaft.
Because a conditioner tends to stay on for longer, this is an ideal opportunity to infuse powerful ingredients that give your hair the extra boost of nutrients it may need.
If you need a protein-free conditioners, then check out my blog, ‘10 Best Protein Free Deep Conditioners For Curly Hair.‘
Curly Girl Friendly Conditioners: Our Top 20 Picks!
- Bounce Curl Super Smooth Cream Conditioner
- MopTop Daily Conditioner, Natural Hair Moisturizer, Reduces Frizz, Aloe, Sea Botanicals & Honey, Color Safe - For All Hair Types, Straight, Curly, Wavy, Thin, Coily (8 oz)
- Jessicurl, Aloeba Daily Conditioner for Fine Hair
- SheaMoisture Strengthen and Restore Rinse Out Hair Conditioner to Intensely Smooth and Nourish Hair 100% Pure Jamaican Black Castor Oil with Shea Butter, Peppermint and Apple Cider Vinegar 13 oz
This is a light moisturizing conditioner that will lightly hydrate your hair. This conditioner is weightless and leaves the hair feeling light, yet moisturized. It is also color-safe, vegan, and cruelty-free!
By boosting the absorption rate through hair layers, this product efficiently moisturizes. Penetrating the hair to increase moisture content and prevent split ends.
Dry, frazzled, or kinky-coily hair is suitable for this conditioner.
It's lightweight for fine hair. Aloeba Daily Conditioner uses aloe, jojoba, coconut, and avocado oils to moisturize hair without being greasy or heavy.
This Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a reparative rinse-out hair conditioner treatment that softens and detangles hair while controlling frizz.
This hair cleanser conditioner is made with Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Shea Butter to provide intensive conditioning and nourishment.
Shea Moisture products are both environmentally and humanely sustainable. It is formulated with no silicone, no sulfates, no parabens, no mineral oil or petrolatum and, no phthalates.
- Shea Moisture Leave in Conditioner with Jamaican Black Castor Oil for Hair Growth, Strengthen & Restore, Vitamin E, Curly Hair Products Safe for use on Hair Color, 16 Oz
- Bounce Curl Moisture Balance Leave-in Conditioner
- Giovanni Direct Leave In Treatment Conditioner, 8.5 oz
- Soultanicals Mango Dip Dentaling Slip 8oz
- Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave In Conditioner, 8 Ounces (Pack of 2)
This is my all-time and go-to product since the beginning of my healthy hair journey. It's especially good for color-treated.
It contains Jamaican black castor oil and certified organic shea butter to nourish, moisturize, and support elasticity for hair that resists breakage during detangling. It literally heals your curls!
This is super concentrated and filled with all kinds of goodness. It's designed for deep nourishment to generate strong, glossy, healthy, and soft hair.
This leave-in can be used as a primer underneath any hair products to achieve extreme moisture balance and daily protection.
To all of you OG's out there, remember this leave-in conditioner? This was all the rave when I started my healthy hair journey and is still a great product.
It is a weightless moisturizing conditioner that penetrates into each individual strand to provide exactly what is needed, every time.
This leave-in conditioner uses a rich blend that protects hair as you go through the day. Your hair will not be dull, strip its color, or damage your hair. It’s color-safe, paraben free, and cruelty-free.
This is a great detangling conditioner that helps to smooth the cuticle. It penetrates the hair while moisturizing and nourishing every strand.
You'll get an explosion of mango and tangle-free bliss!
Love, love this leave-in conditioner. With this ultra-soothing leave-in conditioner, your stressed curls will be repaired and restored to health.
It is formulated with certified organic blueberry extract, coconut oil, to repair damaged hair.
- Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask for Dry, Damaged or Color Treated Hair - Repairs Straight, Wavy and Curly Hair, 8 Ounces
- Bounce Curl Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner
- I AM Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner, 8 Fl Oz
- Red Clay Hair Mask
- Mielle Organics Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner with Protein, 8 Ounces
This is my favorite deep conditioner. It's a comprehensive hair repair treatment that may be used on dry, damaged, chemically treated, or lifeless hair.
This deep conditioning mask works in minutes to restore essential hydration and natural vibrancy to your hair. Really good stuff!
This is a protein-free deep conditioning treatment that will hydrate, soften, and improve your hair's elasticity without weighing your curls down.
It is ultra-moisturizing and functions as an instant conditioner and deep conditioner. It's almost like having two products in one, so more bang for your buck!
This formula gives curls a deep-down hydrating fortifying treatment. The powerful penetrating conditioner is a wonderful blend of coconut, sugar cane, green tea, apple, and lemon extracts, shea butter, vitamin E, and proven hair fortifiers.
It moisturizes deep within the hair shaft and smooths and aligns the cuticles. If you need a list of protein-free deep conditioners, click here.
Red Rawkyn is a red clay deep conditioning treatment with an intense moisturizing effect. The clay enables the mask to go deep into the hair follicle, which aids absorption.
This clay mask will hydrate, tame frizz, and restore your dry hair with it's hydrating, frizz-controlling, and restorative ingredients.
I love this deep conditioner! This intensive conditioner is rich in fatty acids, which provide hair with a wonderful softness while natural oils and Cetearyl Alcohol help prevent flyaways and reduce frizz.
Mielle Organics' deep conditioner is comprised of two complex amino acids derived from wheat, soy, and other natural resources that closely mimic the function of hair amino acids, helping to restore and moisturize damaged and dry hair.
Drugstore / Amazon Curly Girl Friendly Conditioners
- SheaMoisture Restorative Conditioner for Dry, Damaged Hair Raw Shea Butter Silicone Free Conditioner for Curly Hair 13 oz
- Cantu Leave in Conditioning Cream with Shea Butter for Natural Hair, 12 oz (Packaging May Vary)
- Tresemme Pro Collection Conditioner - Botanique - Nourish & Replenish - With Coconut Milk & Aloe Vera - Net Wt. 22 FL OZ (650 mL) Per Bottle - Pack of 3 Bottles
- Not Your Mother's Naturals Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Curl Defining Shampoo 16 Fl oz
- Kinky-Curly, Knot Today, Natural Leave in / Detangler, 8 oz (236 ml) by Kinky-Curly
This product helps to detangle, moisturize, and restore lifeless damaged hair. This conditioner is best for those transitioning from chemically treated hair to natural curls.
This product is super affordable. It helps mend breakage, repairs split ends, and reduces frizz. Shea butter helps to penetrate deeply and add manageability and shine to hair with every application.
This formula is made with botanical ingredients and nutrient. It is a professional-quality conditioner that boosts hair's moisture, leaving it nourished and silky.
Enriched with coconut milk and aloe vera, this deep conditioner helps smooth and detangle hair.
The Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Hair Balm is a rich mixture that moisturizes hair without weighing it down. It deeply hydrates, conditions, and helps to define curls.
I think just about every curly head is familiar with this product. This is a creamy herbal conditioner and detangler designed to smooth the cuticle and remove knots, snarls, and tangles. It is formulated with organic fruit extracts and herbs to naturally moisturize the hair.