Hi, I’m about to drop some serious knowledge on you: Every single hair texture—including thick and coily, or flat and fine—requires a moisturizer. Yup, even if you use the most hydrating cleansers and conditioners, you’re still missing out on so much potential for shine, softness, and strength when you don’t treat your hair to a moisturizer. For the record, hair moisturizers are any leave-in or rinse-out treatment that’s specifically formulated to hydrate the sh*t out of your hair (among other things, obvs, like smooth flyaways, create definition, or treat damage). And because they come in so many varieties, whether you’re looking for a lightweight leave-in conditioner or a creamy mask, there’s really no excuse not to be using one with now.
But the broad concept of “hair moisturizers” can be a bit…confusing. That’s why I made it easy for you by handpicking the 10 best hair moisturizers for every texture and concern, ahead. Do yourself a favor and start using these this ASAP (your dry-ass hair will thank you).
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Best Hair Moisturizer for Color-Treated Hair
O&M The Power Base Protein Mask
Fact: Color-treated hair requires extra TLC, so do yourself a favor and invest in a hydrating hair mask. This one from O&M is loaded with moisturizing ingredients, like rice protein, shea butter, and vitamin E, that help strengthen your hair without stripping your color. Work it through your wet hair post shampoo, leave it on for 10 minutes max, then rinse it all the way out.
Best Hair Moisturizer for Coils
Curlsmith Curl Conditioning Oil-In-Cream
Rub a dollop of this moisturizing leave-in between your palms, rake it and scrunch it into your sopping-wet coils (or coarse curls), then prepare for the formula’s hydrating and shine-enhancing olive and aloe vera oils to get to work ASAP. Once your hair is dry, shake and scrunch your hair once again for a soft, non-crunchy finish.
Best Hair Moisturizer for Damaged Hair
Playa Monoi Milk Leave-in Conditioner
Perfect for dry, damaged hair, this leave-in conditioner from Playa is spiked with monoi oil and coconut milk that work to deeply hydrate and smooth flyaways. A little goes a long way—especially if you’ve got fine hair—so just comb two or three spritzes through clean, damp hair and keep it off your roots.
Best Hair Moisturizer for Curls
Adwoa Beauty Baomint Moisturizing Curl Defining Cream
Looking for a hair moisturizer that’ll condition your curls without weighing them down? Allow me to introduce you to this lightweight—yet super hydrating—curl cream. Thanks to ingredients like honey, silk amino acids, and shea butter, the formula helps lock in moisture, enhance shine, and add plenty of definition. After prepping your curls with a leave-in conditioner, rake and twirl this bb in sections to make sure each clump is fully coated.
Best Hair Moisturizer for Fine Hair
Sachajuan Leave In Conditioner
Moisturizing fine hair can be kiiinda tricky, since the majority of hydrating ingredients (think: coconut or shea) can weigh you down. That’s why I love this lightweight option from Sachajuan, which calls on algae extract to smooth and condition your hair without leaving behind a heavy or greasy finish.
Best Drugstore Hair Moisturizer
OGX Renewing Argan Oil Of Morocco Intense Moisturizing Treatment
TBH you can’t really go wrong with this drugstore hair moisturizer. For legit $8, you get a vitamin E- and antioxidant-rich treatment that helps enhance shine, lock in moisture, and prevent heat damage. You’ll want to comb a thick dollop through wet or dry hair, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then follow with shampoo and conditioner.
Best Hair Moisturizer Detangling Spray
Drunk Elephant Wild Marula Tangle Spray
On wash day, spritz this moisturizing detangler through damp, towel-dried hair and the formula’s marula and sacha inchi seed oils will work to hydrate and smooth your hair before you style it. Let your hair air-dry or hit it with a blow dryer—it’s totally up to you.
Best Hair Moisturizer Oil
Mizani 25 Miracle Nourishing Oil
The best thing about this hydrating hair oil from Mizani is that it can be used on any hair texture. The formula (which works on dry or wet hair, BTW) calls on three oils—coconut, jojoba, and sunflower seed—to add back moisture, shine, and softness every time you use it.
Best Hair Moisturizer With Coconut Oil
IGK Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm
Oil-based formulas not really your thing? This balm from IGK gives you all the moisturizing benefits of an oil (thanks its coconut oil base), but with a thicker, creamier consistency (courtesy of shea butter). I like to use this one on my dry ends in between wash days.
Best Hair Moisturizer for Dry Scalp
Living Proof Restore Dry Scalp Treatment
If regular hair moisturizers aren’t doing much for your dry scalp, try this treatment from Living Proof. The formula’s got hyaluronic acid (to hydrate) and charcoal (to remove buildup), and it’s way easy to apply—just massage it into your scalp three times per week after showering.
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