Whether it’s angel-hair-pasta thin or next-level thick, everyone’s curly hair routine needs moisture, moisture, and more moisture. So if leave-in conditioner isn’t already a part of your wash-day ritual, WYED?? The right leave-in conditioner for curly hair will saturate your hair in some much-needed hydration long after you step out of the shower. And that’s not the only perk—it’ll detangle your curls, protect them from heat damage, and leave them so shiny, you’ll be able to see your reflection.
But since there are so many damn leave-in conditioners on the market, it’s not the easiest task to find the best one. Luckily for you, I searched high and low until I found the absolute best leave-in conditioners so that your curls can live their best life. Peep the picks below.
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Best Leave-In Conditioner for Defined Curly Hair
Waterless Curl Milk Refresh & Redefine
Look, argan oil is a true MVP. I’m talking, like, LeBron levels—it’s in almost every hair product I use and this leave-in conditioner is no exception. Thanks to the hydrating oil in the formula, it helps add definition to your curls without clumping them together or leaving behind a greasy residue.
Best Leave-In Conditioner for Fine, Dry Curly Hair
Leonor Greyl Paris Tonique Hydratant Leave In Mist
This formula is so featherlight, you might even be fooled into thinking that it’s not doing anything. Fret not, because courtesy of the hydrolyzed silk proteins, amino acids, and seaweed extracts, this leave-in conditioner isn’t just adding a hydration boost—it’s also strengthening your curls, all without weighing them down.
Best Organic Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair
Mielle Organics Pomegranate and Honey Leave-In Conditioner
Trust: This organic leave-in conditioner for curly hair works just as well as a conventional rinse-out one. With ingredients like babassu oil and citrus extracts, the formula adds moisture and shine to your hair that actually lasts. Pro tip: Only use this if you have thick, curly hair—it’s way too heavy for fine curls.
Best Multitasking Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair
Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream
This two-in-one formula with argan oil is the only thing you’ll need to use on your hair between wash days. It’s part leave-in conditioner, part curl-cream styler. Just work a dollop through your hair and you’ll be left with smooth, hydrated curls that are defined and separated.
Best Drugstore Leave-In Conditioner for Curls
OGX Quenching Coconut Curls Curling Butter Leave-In or Rinse Out
Infused with coconut oil, citrus oils, and honey, this drugstore leave-in conditioner shows your curls a ton of love by hydrating TF out of it. Your hair will seriously be left so bouncy and shiny, you won’t be able to stop touching it. Plus, it’s under $10—what a steal, right?
Best Leave-In Conditioner for Frizz/Flyaways
Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner
If you’re annoyed by frizz and flyaways, you need to start using this leave-in conditioner for curls ASAP. It uses a patented molecule that basically blocks humidity and outside moisture from affecting (aka frizzing up) your hair, leaving it smooth and soft for hours.
Best Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair
Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave-In Conditioner
Not only does this leave-in conditioner smell like a yummy blueberry smoothie in a bottle, but it also repairs, strengthens, and moisturizes your curls. The formula contains blueberry extracts (which are packed with growth-stimulating vitamins), along with mango butter, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil for supersoft and shiny hair.
Best Volumizing Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair
DevaCurl B’Leave-In Miracle Curl Plumper
This leave-in does The Most in the best possible way. With wheat protein, lemongrass, and chamomile, the lightweight formula hydrates and protects your hair while adding pumped-up volume to fine curls. Just scrunch a quarter-size dollop of product onto your damp curls to add some body to your natural texture.
Best Leave-In Conditioner for Fine Curls
Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner
Perfect for looser curls, this non-greasy formula will moisturize and enhance your texture without leaving behind a heavy residue. The prickly pear extract in the leave-in conditioner seals in hydration, while the arnica extract smooths flyaways and adds shine.
Best Leave-In Conditioner for 4C Curls
Shea Moisture Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner
Thanks to shea butter and Jamaican black castor oil, this leave-in conditioning cream will keep your 4C hair clumped and elongated while still giving your coils the moisture they need. Spread it through your hair every day for an intense week of TLC, or just rake it through your hair after wash days.
Best Detangling Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair
Pantene Gold Series Leave-On Detangling Milk
Argan oil is the hero ingredient in this leave-in conditioner—not only will the lightweight oil moisturize and soften your curls, but it’ll also help detangle your curls without ripping your hair out of your head. Smooth the cream onto your hair, avoiding the roots, then live your life.
Best Shine-Enhancing Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair
The Mane Choice Soft As Can Be Revitalize & Refresh 3-in-1
Getchu a leave-in conditioner for curly hair that can do it all. This one is a three-in-one, meaning you can use it as a co-wash, a leave-in conditioner, and a detangler. Rake a palmful of this cream throughout your curls to get soft, shiny, and hella-moisturized hair.
Best Heat-Protectant Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair
Mielle Organics Leave-In Conditioner White Peony
Just a few spritzes of this lightweight leave-in conditioner are enough to seal in moisture and smooth your curls. The formula contains coconut oil and argan oil to lightly coat hair in a moisturizing shield that, bonus, also protects your curls from heat damage. Make sure to spray it on before you hit your hair with a diffuser.
Best Softening Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair
It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product
If your curls are feeling a little blah, this leave-in conditioner can help amp them up. With silk amino acids and green tea leaf extract, this lightweight formula will give your curls a boost of volume while leaving it feeling soft and silky. It’s also a multitasker—use it as a leave-in on wet hair or as a styling cream on dry hair.
Best Spray-On Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair
Not Your Mother’s Naturals Royal Honey & Kalahari Desert Melon Leave-In Conditioner
Specially formulated for dry and over-processed curls, this leave-in conditioner will help give your fried, dead hair a second life. It’s filled with a combo of royal honey and Kalahari Desert melon to help strengthen damaged hair and bring back its softness and smoothness.
Best Lightweight Leave-In Conditioner for Curly Hair
Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Treatment
This coconut-oil-based leave-in conditioner helps to hydrate and soften your curls without making them feel lank or greasy. Go ahead and spritz it all over—the formula is so lightweight (thus the whole “milk” thing) that you don’t really have to worry about overdoing it.
Best Leave-In Conditioner for Dry, Curly Hair
Suave Professionals Avocado and Olive Oil Leave-in Conditioner
With a formula that contains avocado and olive oils, this leave-in conditioner smooths and conditions your curls for a soft, crunch-free finish. Comb a few squeezes of cream into your curls whenever your hair is feeling a little dry or if you want to smooth down flyaways.
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