Caring for relaxed hair can be tricky. Your best bet is to arm yourself with a conditioner that will help restore and carefully nurture your precious locks. In this article, we line up ten of the best moisturizing conditioners available for relaxed hair.
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In A Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks
|TopTop||Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner 16 oz||Buy on Amazon|
|Top||Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream 453 g||Buy on Amazon|
|Top||Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector, 100 ml||Buy on Amazon|
|Living Proof 1242 No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner (4 oz)||Buy on Amazon|
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What Type Of Conditioner Should I Use For Relaxed Hair?
Look for a water-based hydrator in all of your conditioners. This may be surprising, but the most moisturizing conditioners are those that contain water.
Emollients and oils are fantastic, but they only work to seal moisture in, whereas water-based products are humectant, meaning they draw water into your hair.
If you really want to double-down on the moisture, you can follow these steps:
- Use a water-based conditioner to moisturize your relaxed hair.
- Leave it on for around 30 minutes to an hour. If you wrap it in a shower cap, this will also benefit hair by creating heat and allowing the conditioner to really penetrate.
- Seal the ends of your hair with an oil (look to cover the last two to three inches).
Also Read: What To Do Before Relaxing Your Hair (5 Key Steps)
The 10 Best Moisturizing Conditioners For Relaxed Hair
1. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner
We know, we’re full of contradictions and said above that castor oil and shea butter might be too heavy for relaxed hair, but in this conditioner, they work together to make miracles.
Shea butter nourishes your hair and scalp, whilst the castor oil brings omegas that restore healthy locks and promote hair growth. Your hair will feel softer and more nourished, detangling easily and without breakage.
The peppermint smell is divine, and added water ensures that those humectants draw in moisture to your strands. Whether you want big, beautiful curls or frizz-free relaxed hair, this product will work – and we love a multi-tasker.
2. Moroccanoil Hydrating Conditioner
Apply this conditioner to damp or dry hair and leave in or wash out as you prefer. You’ll experience hair with boosted softness, smoothness, shine, and minimal frizz.
Antioxidant-rich argan oil infuses hair and seals in moisture, whilst the water in it will draw that moisture to your strands. There are no sulfates, phosphates, or parabens, and it’s designed for everyday use, so you can use it as frequently as you please.
3. Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector
You’ll likely have heard about this from a best pal, but this hugely popular formula lives up to the hype. Repair and restore hair, reducing breakage and improving the strength of your strands all from the comfort of your own home.
After shampooing hair, smooth this treatment all over your locks, but be sure to rinse out. Note that it’s not a conditioner but a treatment, so follow the instructions for best application.
4. Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream
This consistently takes top marks for the best moisturizing conditioners for relaxed hair, and we can see why. It’s affordable but still fantastic.
The formula is thick and creamy without feeling too heavy, and argan oil will nourish and restore your hair’s hydration whilst the water content draws moisture in.
5. Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner
This hydrating treatment will boost your hair’s moisture levels and minimize frizz without weighing it down. Your strands will look sleek and shiny, with minimal flyaways.
The treatment also promises to block the effects of humidity, so if your hair is very prone to frizzing up as a result of high moisture, this product is for you. It’s expensive, but the investment is worth it.
6. Coco & Eve Fig & Coconut Hair Mask
Another popular product that you’ll likely have seen smattered over social media, this deep conditioner is super moisturising and combines shea butter and argan oil to deeply penetrate and restore strands to their natural lustre.
You won’t find any sulfates, parabens, or phthalates in this formula, which works to penetrate into the cuticle, restoring and supporting hair hydration. Fig and shea butter detangle without weighing hair down, and linseed maximizes glossiness and shine.
7. Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Banana 3-in-1 Conditioning Treatment
Nourishing banana works to moisturize and detangle hair without weighing it down. We love that you can use this as a conditioner, leave-in conditioner, or rinse-out hair mask.
And for the price, it’s fantastic value. The formula is 98% natura with no silicons, and it’s cruelty free. The smell is also amazing.
8. Shea Moisture Manuka Honey Intensive Hydration Conditioner
We’ve added another product from Shea Moisture because they’re so fabulous. Manuka honey will work to smooth the scalp but also create a moisturizing barrier in combination with the water humectant.
Fig essence brings antioxidant goodness and vitamin C, leaving hair soft, shiny, and manageable.
9. Mizani Miracle Milk Leave In Conditioner
Fennel seed oil works to strengthen hair and prevent breakage, whilst the coconut extract moisturizes and hydrates hair. The formula penetrates to the follicle, delivering long-lasting moisture.
The smell is heavenly and it’s a great pick-me-up for relaxed hair that needs a spritz of extra hydration.
10. Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Shine Enhancing Hair Sheen
Not strictly a conditioner, this spray is nonetheless essential for those of us with relaxed hair. Spray it on after having conditioner and watch your hair become beautifully moist.
Ingredients like almond and soybean oils seal in moisture and the smell is amazing – plus the company are rigorous about using natural ingredients.
Other Ways To Keep Relaxed Hair Moisturized
Avoid Sulfates, Parabens, and Petroleum
There are many issues with these chemical ingredients. Petroleum is oil-based, and therefore terrible for the environment, but it’s also really heavy and will weigh your locks down.
Sulfates are chemically added agents designed to cause a lather. They’re controversial, and there’s argument about how dangerous they are to humans.
One thing’s for sure – they definitely dry hair out and can lead to protein breakdown. This is a big no for anyone with relaxed hair, so they’re best avoided.
Parabens are a preservative but have also been linked to hormonal disruption, so avoid these too for your overall health.
Don’t go overboard with the protein treatments
Protein treatments – or keratin treatments – are something of a thing in hair care, and they’re fantastic for restoring hair’s natural structure and boosting its strength and elasticity.
But, as with many things, too much protein and you’ll end up with dry, brittle, easily breakable hair.
This is especially the case with relaxed hair. The result will be something called protein overload, which can take a long time to fix, so it’s best to avoid it in the first instance.
Look out for ingredients like keratin, hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolyzed silk or wheat protein, and hydrolyzed collagen.
Again, it’s fine to use these ingredients every once in a while on relaxed hair, but you don’t want to go overboard.
If you think you suffer from protein overload, try these protein-free conditioners!
Use Hair Oils
Using oil can seem like a bad idea for relaxed hair, as it tends to be fairly heavy. In reality, it depends on the type of hair oil you’re using, as using hair oil on the ends of relaxed hair is a fantastic way to seal in moisture, as described above.
The best kinds of oil are those that are cold-pressed. The cold-pressed process is a centuries-long process involving no chemicals or heat.
This means that the oils produced are the healthiest and least acidic possible, retaining all of the nutritional properties of the ingredient being pressed.
Look for oils like coconut oil, argan oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil.
If you do use heavier products like castor oil or shea butter, that’s okay, but they may be too intense for your locks.
Try a patch-test or mix in a lighter oil like olive oil to prevent hair from being weighed down.
Also Read: Can You Use Relaxer on Caucasian Hair?
Be Mindful Of Coloring
No matter how appealing it may be to shake up your look, if you regularly relax your hair, you need to avoid dyeing it.
The relaxer treatment works by breaking down the disulfide bonds in your hair. If you add color to it, your hair is going to suffer from severe breakage.
Wrap Hair At Night
Most people toss and turn in their sleep, which causes friction between hair strands and the pillowcase.
This can in turn lead to frizziness and static in relaxed hair. By wrapping hair in a silk or satin scarf, you reduce this friction and will minimize the risk of breakage.
If you can, a silk pillowcase is a great investment, as cotton pillowcases will suck moisture from your hair too. Silk pillowcases also work similarly for your skin, so it’s a win all around.
Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.
Alice is an experienced writer and researcher with a background in the Creative Arts. She is a published poet and is currently completing her Ph.D., having worked in a variety of industries, including as a theatre dramaturg.
Alice is passionate about the environment, so is always on the lookout for the best zero-waste products that are vegan and cruelty-free.