As every curly girl (or guy) undoubtedly knows, curls require a fair bit of TLC to look and feel their best. Because curly hair is, well, coiled, the natural oil from your scalp can’t travel down your strands as easily as it would straight hair. This oil plays a crucial role in keeping your hair moisturized: Without it, your hair can get dry and vulnerable to brittleness and breakage. That’s why a good leave-in conditioner for curly hair is a must-have if you want your coils to look their best.
These rich formulas provide the moisture and nourishment your curls need to be bouncy and healthy-looking—and they do so without weighing down your hair. If you’re looking to add a leave-in conditioner to your haircare arsenal, we’re here to help. Here, we’ve rounded up 19 of our favorite leave-in conditioners to help keep your curls and coils soft and springy. Find them all—plus details on how to use these curl saviors—ahead.
Are Leave-In Conditioners Good for Curly Hair?
Leave-in conditioners are great for curly hair—they help add much-needed moisture to keep your waves, curls, and coils in great shape. Some also boast other benefits, too, like helping to protect against (or even repair) damage and add shine. For the best results, you’ll want to look for a leave-in conditioner that’s either specifically made for curly hair, or one that’s suitable for all hair types.
How Many Times a Week Should You Use Leave-in Conditioner For Curly Hair?
If you search on Google “can you use a leave-in conditioner every day?,” you’re likely to get a few conflicting answers. The reason: there’s no hard-and-fast rule for how often you can use a leave-in conditioner—ultimately, it depends on your haircare habits. If you wash your hair every day, you can use a leave-in conditioner every day, too. If you wash your hair less frequently, consider using your leave-in conditioner every other day, or only on days you shampoo. Alternatively, use it as needed, but apply only to your mid-lengths and ends to avoid weighty buildup at your roots.
Best Leave-In Conditioners for Curly Hair
There are a ton of leave-in conditioners for curly hair you can choose from—so no matter what your hair concerns are, there’s a formula to fit your needs. Keep reading for a breakdown of our favorites.
Redken All Soft Mega Curls HydraMelt
If your curls are in need of serious moisture, add Redken All Soft Mega Curls HydraMelt to your cart ASAP. This intensely-moisturizing leave-in treatment—designed specifically for curl types 3A to 4C—is formulated with a nourishing blend of aloe vera, cactus flower extract, and Inca inchi oil. In addition to providing tons of instantly-visible hydration, the treatment also adds shine, defines curls, and helps fight frizz for up to 72 hours.*
*Based on consumer test using All Soft Mega Curls System.
Mizani Hairdress Coconut Souffle Hair Moisturizer
Transport yourself to the tropics—beachy curls and all—with Mizani Hairdress Coconut Souffle Hair Moisturizer. The whipped leave-in conditioner with coconut oil and camelina oil delivers long-lasting hydration to leave curls and waves soft, shiny, and touchable.
Matrix A Curl Can Dream Moisturizing Cream For Curly and Coily Hair
With a leave-in conditioner like Matrix A Curl Can Dream Moisturizing Cream For Curly and Coily Hair in your arsenal, you’ll never have to worry about dry, limp curls again. Designed specifically for 3A to 4C curls and coils, this manuka honey-infused cream provides moisture and definition, without leaving your hair feeling stiff or crunchy. Apply the silicone- and paraben-free formula while your hair is still soaking wet from the shower and gently scrunch through your curls for a hydrated, well-defined finish.
Mizani 25 Miracle Leave-In Cream
If you love Mizani’s Miracle Milk but prefer cream formulas, snag Mizani 25 Miracle Leave-In Cream. Similar to the leave-in formula, this rich leave-in conditioner boasts 25 benefits to help your hair look and feel its best. Plus, it penetrates deep down to the hair follicle to help protect your hair against damage. Apply it to wet hair and style as usual for soft, touchable curls and waves.
Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner
As the name suggests, Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner boasts not just one or two, but 25 distinct benefits. The versatile spray with fennel seed oil and coconut oil moisturizes, detangles, fights frizz, refreshes curls, and helps protect your hair from damaging stressors. Spritz it into your hair then style as usual for soft, manageable strands.
Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Leave-In Conditioner For Damaged Hair
Without proper care and maintenance, curly hair can get damaged fairly easily—particularly if you style it often or don’t use protective hairstyles to your full advantage. The solution: Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Leave-In Conditioner for Damaged Hair. The concentrated all-in-one formula with citric acid and a 5% bonding care complex deeply conditions dry hair, while helping to repair and strengthen damaged strands. Apply it to clean, damp hair (ideally after shampooing and conditioning with the other products in the Acidic Bonding Concentrate collection) for hair that looks and feels healthier over time.
Matrix Total Results Unbreak My Blonde Reviving Leave-In Treatment
Curls are prone to breakage—bleached curls even more so. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go platinum: You just have to give your curls the care they deserve. You’ll get just that with Matrix Unbreak My Blonde Reviving Leave-In Treatment. Made specifically for bleached hair, this deeply-conditioning treatment helps reinforce weakened bonds to strengthen dry, brittle hair. It also softens and adds tons of healthy-looking shine.
Biolage All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray
You’ll notice, as you go through this roundup of the best leave-in conditioners for curly hair, that many of them contain coconut oil. There’s a reason for that: coconut oil is perfect for hydrating and reviving curls. And, it’s a key ingredient in Biolage All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray, which conditions, nourishes, and helps smooth strands. Spritz it onto wet or dry hair to enjoy the benefits—and the luscious, fresh, and floral fragrance.
L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Pro Longer Leave-In Cream
If you have trouble growing out your curls without suffering breakage or split ends, consider adding L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Pro Longer Leave-In Cream to your curly hair routine. It’s made with a patented filling molecule and helps renew the hair fiber so your curls can grow to their full, bouncy potential.
Biolage Professional Hydra Source Daily Leave-In Tonic
Gorgeous, glossy curls are within reach with Biolage Professional Hydra Source Daily Leave-In Tonic. Made with hydrating aloe vera, this sprayable leave-in treatment nourishes your hair from the inside out, adding much-needed moisture while helping to protect against environmental stressors. Spritz it onto damp strands after shampooing and conditioning, then style as usual for sleek, shiny curls and waves.
Biolage Ultra HydraSource Daily Leave-In Balm For Very Dry or Curly Hair
If your curls are in need of serious moisture, Biolage Ultra Hydra Source Daily Leave-In Balm for Very Dry or Curly Hair is a must-buy. The innovative formula stars Cupacu butter—a super-moisturizer that retains water more than 100% more effectively than shea butter (another incredible moisturizing ingredient). The intensely-hydrating leave-in conditioner smooths, softens, and helps define curls and coils—all while providing up to 72 hours of lasting (yet lightweight) moisture.
Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Repairing Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner
Looking for a leave-in conditioner that does it all? Matrix Miracle Creator Repairing Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner delivers on all counts. This lightweight spray hydrates, nourishes, and protects, while simultaneously helping to fight frizz and flyaways. Plus, it helps prepare your hair for your styling routine—so no matter how you wear your curls, you’ll be left with soft, shiny, touchable ringlets. Like we said: It does it all.
L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Curl Expression Long-Lasting Moisturizer Leave-In Cream
When you’re dehydrated, you can drink water—problem solved. When your hair is dehydrated, however, it needs a bit of extra help to plump back up. Enter: L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Curl Expression Long-Lasting Moisturizer Leave-In Cream. Formulated with glycerin, urea, and hibiscus seed extract, this indulgent leave-in treatment aims to give curls exactly what they need to look their best: hydration and strength. Use it and watch your curls go from thirsty to thriving.
Matrix So Silver All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray
Keep your blonde cool and your curls hydrated with Matrix So Silver All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray. It smooths, moisturizes, and helps repair split ends while protecting your curls and coils from future damage. Additionally, the violet-hued spray deposits buildable color to instantly neutralize unwanted yellow tones between washes.
Matrix Brass Off All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray
Looking brassy? Get your color and curls back in shape with Matrix Brass Off All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray. The moisturizing, anti-brass spray utilizes blue pigments to offset brassy orange tones, leaving lightened brunette and dark blonde hair looking fresh and bright. Plus, the lightweight sprayable formula adds moisture, smooths the hair cuticle, and improves manageability, so your curls will always be at their best. What can we say? We love a multi-tasker.
Kérastase Curl Manifesto Crème de Jour Fondementale Hair Cream
If you have tight, coily curls in need of added moisture and definition, Kérastase Curl Manifesto Crème de Jour Fondementale Hair Cream is for you. Made with ceramide and manuka honey, this luxurious leave-in cream provides intense hydration and frizz control while protecting your curl pattern. Plus, it offers heat protection up to 450F—so no matter how you choose to style your curls, you can rest assured that they’ll remain protected and healthy-looking.
Redken Frizz Dismiss Rebel Tame Leave-In Hair Treatment
Without the proper precautions, humidity can leave your curly hair a poofy, frizzy mess. You can’t control the weather, but you can control how your hair reacts to it with Redken Frizz Dismiss Tame Leave-In Hair Treatment. Formulated with sustainably-sourced Babassu oil, this rich leave-in cream helps control frizz, while smoothing and detangling your hair for a sleek, shiny finish.
Redken Extreme Length Leave-In Treatment with Biotin
Get the long, bouncy curls of your dreams with the help of Redken Extreme Length Leave-In Treatment with Biotin. Featuring biotin and soy protein, this strengthening leave-in conditioner helps reduce breakage and smooth split ends, leaving your hair soft, shiny, and healthy-looking. It’s suitable for all hair types, so whether you’re rocking loose waves or tight coils, you can enjoy its hair-repairing benefits.
Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray
Last but certainly not least is Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray. With 21 essential benefits, this moisturizing leave-in treatment is the ultimate powerhouse. It conditions, smooths, protects color vibrancy, detangles, and so much more—so your waves, curls, coils, and spirals can be their bounciest, healthiest best.
Browse Hair.com for more professional product picks for all your curly hair needs.