23 Best Leave-in Conditioners for 4C Natural Hair In 2022

Leave-in conditioner is vital for 4c hair as this hair type tends to be very dry. It is therefore very important to use moisturizing hair products in your daily routine and so in this post, I have reviewed the 25 best leave-in conditioners for 4C hair.

best Leave-in Conditioners for 4C hair

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How did I review the products?

Each of the products below have been reviewed based on the following criteria:

Moisturizing ingredients

4c hair is dry. There’s no way around it. So one of the most important factors when choosing a leave-in conditioner for this hair type is to ensure it is bursting with moisturizing and hydrating ingredients. This was my most important rating factor.

Ability to eliminate frizz

Dry hair easily becomes frizzy, so it is important that a leave-in conditioner can help manage frizz and unruly locks. This means I looked for products that contain nourishing oils and butters.

Budget

Haircare is important but we don’t want to break the bank. I’ve mostly chosen affordable products but the few products on my list which may seem expensive are definitely worth it.

Repairing properties

A leave-in conditioner should be used weekly and repairing ingredients such as vitamins and herbal extracts can make all the difference. If you have damaged hair, this is something you should be aware of.

Customer reviews

Don’t just take my word for it. I have only chosen products that have been given a very high rating by thousands of other customers. This ensures that you can trust this review and be assured that many others have tried and tested these products.

25 Best Leave-In Conditioners for 4C Hair

bEST OVERALL
1. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner

Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Vitamin E, black castor oil, peppermint, shea butter
Reviews:
91% of 27300 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Vegan

Cruelty-free

This strengthen and restore leave-in conditioner from Shea Moisture is formulated with shea butter, peppermint, and keratin. Peppermint is beneficial as it stimulates your scalp and promotes hair growth.

It contains no sulfates or parabens. Infused with castor oil, it promises to gently soften and detangle your strands. It also eliminates frizz which leaves your hair smooth and easily manageable.

This leave-in is suitable to use on natural, chemically processed, and color-treated hair. This makes it one of the best leave-in conditioners for 4C natural hair.

What I liked: Affordable, feels luxurious and nourishing, and is Curly Girl friendly

What I didn’t like: Very rich product so don’t use if you have oily hair


BEST FOR DEFINED CURLS
2. Aunt Jackie’s Quench Moisture Intensive Leave in Conditioner

Aunt Jackie’s Quench Moisture Intensive Leave in Conditioner

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Shea butter, olive oil, marshmallow root
Reviews:
87% of 28090 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Cruelty-free

This moisturizing and conditioning treatment from Aunt Jackie helps to eliminate dryness, without leaving a heavy feel.

The formula is specially designed to be as natural as possible and is free of sulfates, parabens, and mineral oils. This eco-friendly leave-in conditioner is infused with marshmallow root, shea butter, and extra virgin olive oil to offer the utmost hydration to dry hair.

An added bonus is that this buttery conditioner is lightweight and won’t clog your pores or weigh your hair down.

What I liked: Defines, softens and moisturizes curls without the oily greasy look

What I didn’t like: Works best on damp hair


BEST FOR THICK HAIR
3. Curlsmith – Curl Conditioning Oil in Cream

Curlsmith - Curl Conditioning Oil in Cream

Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Olive oil, carrot oil, and andiron
Reviews:
85% of 872 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Vegan

Cruelty-free

If you’re hoping to bring life back into your dry hair, this oil-in-cream leave-in conditioner is rich in moisture.

Ideally suited to combat extremely dry, porous hair, the formula is designed to hydrate and moisturize thick, curly hair.

The product is lightweight. You will therefore not run the risk of weighing down your hair. Once applied, it offers a nourishing boost. An added advantage is that it can be used as a primer before styling or on its own as part of your hair care routine.

This product is free from sulfates and silicones and is 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

What I liked: Extremely nourishing for thick hair and you only need a small amount

What I didn’t like: Can weigh down very fine hair


BEST FOR DETANGLING
4. African Pride Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioner

African Pride Shea Butter Leave in Conditioner

Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Shea butter, mango butter, olive oil, aloe vera extract
Reviews:
86% of 3699 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

If you’re looking for a product to help combat dryness and add volume to your hair, this leave-in conditioner by African Pride is an ideal choice.

The product includes extracts of shea butter which acts as a source of intense moisture to hydrate your strands and lock in the moisture. Suited to naturally curly, wavy, and kinky textured hair it is one of the best leave-in conditioners for 4C natural hair.

What I liked: Has an incredible smell and can double up as a co-wash

What I didn’t like: The texture is very lightweight so may not suit very thick hair


BEST CONDITIONING SPRAY
5. REDKEN Multi-Benefits Leave-In Conditioner and Treatment Spray

REDKEN Multi-Benefits Leave-In Conditioner and Treatment Spray

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Coconut oil, sweet violet extract
Reviews:
92% of 19181 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

This multi-benefit leave-in conditioner is one of the best products to use for treating 4C natural hair.

It will help to increase your hair’s manageability levels and offer a source of moisture to your locks. The intense smoothing treatment will also help soften any frizz and soften unruly hair.

What I liked: The absolute best spray that conditions, softens, moisturizes, adds shine, and controls frizz

What I didn’t like: It’s pricey (but worth it)


BEST WEIGHTLESS CONDITIONER
6. As I Am Leave-In Conditioner

As I Am Leave-In Conditioner

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Coconut, saw palmetto, green tea, lemon extract
Reviews:
87% of 4890 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Vegan

Cruelty-free

As I Am leave-in conditioner aims to manage dry, brittle hair and results in hydrated locks with added volume.

It also works great as a detangler so you can enjoy effortless styling after your cleansing routine. The formula is specifically designed to include an organic strengthening agent and consists of all-natural ingredients.

What I liked: Helps detangle and combat frizz without weighing hair down

What I didn’t like: Works best on its own without layering other products


BEST FOR SHINE
7. Giovanni 2chic Ultra Luxurious Leave-in Conditioner

Giovanni 2chic Ultra Luxurious Leave in Conditioner

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Honeysuckle, jasmine, passion fruit, aloe vera
Reviews:
85% of 449 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Vegan

Cruelty-free

This leave-in conditioner from Giovanni offers instant hydration and also works well to prevent split ends and combat unwanted flyaways.

Your hair will be well-nourished and easy to manage during styling. The formula is infused with heavenly-scented rose petals and cherry blossoms while nodes of honeysuckle, jasmine plumeria, and passion fruit add to the floral aroma.

Your hair will be left feeling shiny and glossy thanks to the corn silk extract which is specially formulated to deeply hydrate dry locks delivering a salon-quality shine.

What I liked: Leaves an incredible shine, lasts forever, and works great for fine hair.

What I didn’t like: Not as moisturizing as other leave-in conditioners


best moisturizing conditioner
8. Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food 3-in-1 UK

Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food 3-in-1

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Banana, shea butter
Reviews:
89% of 15644 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Vegan

This vegan-formulated hair product from Garnier can be used three ways – as a conditioner, rinse-out hair mask, or leave-in conditioner. Infused with coconut and macadamia, this decadent hair treatment is a major source of nourishment for dry or damaged hair.

It promises to leave hair up to four times smoother after just one application.

Suitable to use on 4C natural hair, it is free from silicones and any harsh chemicals.

What I liked: Lightweight formula so can be used as a co-wash or conditioner as well

What I didn’t like: You need a bit more product than usual so may not last as long


BEST ANTI-STATIC
9. Palmers Olive Oil Leave-In Conditioner

Palmers Olive Oil Leave-In Conditioner

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Extra virgin olive oil, vitamin E, keratin, and silk proteins
Reviews:
87% of 2329 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

If you’re in the market for a leave-in conditioner and would like a moisturizer and detangler in one, this product from Palmers is perfectly suited to you.

The unique formula acts as an all-in-one solution and even serves as a heat protectant for your hair during styling. It features keratin, silk protein, and Vitamin E which is perfect for treating frizzy hair.

It’s also natural and free from sulfates and parabens so it’s gentle and safe to use on 4C natural hair.

What I liked: A little goes a long way and works great for removing static flyaway hairs

What I didn’t like: Can be too heavy for fine hair


10. Kinky-Curly Natural Leave-In Detangler

Kinky-Curly Natural Leave-In Detangler

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Mango fruit extract, marshmallow root, lemongrass
Reviews:
87% of 2872 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Free your hair from tangles and knots with this natural leave-in conditioner from Kinky-Curly. It’s specially formulated to be gentle on your curls and contains no harsh chemicals.

This creamy, herbal conditioner is designed to help protect, strengthen, and add moisture back into your damaged locks. It also helps to smooth out any knots and tangles throughout your hair resulting in defined, bouncy curls.

What I liked: Great for low porosity hair

What I didn’t like: Can be heavy on thin or fine hair


11. Noughty Intensive Care Leave in Conditioner

Noughty Intensive Care Leave in Conditioner

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Vitamin E, argan oil, shea butter
Reviews:
80% of 1393 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Vegan

Cruelty-free

Rescue dry, frizzy, and damaged hair with this leave-in conditioner by Noughty.

The formula is infused with shea butter to add moisture and hydration to your dry locks with argan oil ideally suited to combat frizz and unwanted flyaways.

Designed with a Moroccan argan and almond scent, it will help to rejuvenate your natural hair offering a deep conditioning treatment.

What I liked: Great for frizz control and has a lightweight formula

What I didn’t like: If you need protein in your hair this may not be for you


12. MIZANI 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner

MIZANI 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower seed extract
Reviews:
88% of 8932 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

This leave-in conditioner spray is one of the best for those with low porosity 4c hair.

It repairs damage, moisturizes, and controls frizz while providing a protective shield against heat damage and color fade. It penetrates deep down to the follicle with fennel seed oil and coconut oil.

What I liked: The spray formula makes it great for low-porosity hair

What I didn’t like: Can weigh down curls so not great for thin hair


13. GIOVANNI Eco Chic Weightless Moisture Formula Direct Leave-In

GIOVANNI Eco Chic Weightless Moisture Formula Direct Leave-In

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Vitamin E, aloe vera juice, sunflower seed oil
Reviews:
84% of 867 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Vegan

Cruelty-free

Giovanni’s leave-in conditioner protects your 4c hair throughout the day, giving it more body and leaving it feeling thicker.

It nourishes hair with a rich blend of vitamins, antioxidants, and organic ingredients. A lightweight formula that won’t weigh down the hair.

What I liked: This product is color safe and adds body to hair

What I didn’t like: Not rich enough for very dry hair


14. Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-In Conditioner

Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-In Conditioner

Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: White peony oil, green tea leaf extract, grapefruit seed extract
Reviews:
89% of 1786 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

This floral-scented, fan-favorite leave-in is versatile and goes well with other products.

It is a lightweight mist formula and will not weigh the hair down. It even protects the hair from heat damage.

Infused with botanicals and natural ingredients, it can be used for daily styling to effectively hydrate the hair.

What I liked: Works nicely with other products, so you don’t have to adjust your entire routine

What I didn’t like: Has a thin consistency


15. Oyin Handmade Hair Dew Daily Quenching Hair Lotion

Oyin Handmade Hair Dew Daily Quenching Hair Lotion

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Castor oil and olive squalane
Reviews:
84% of 904 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

This sweet-smelling hair lotion smells just like cookies! And the creamy formula is lightweight and nourishing for dry 4c hair.

Great not just for wash day but also for reinvigorating hair all through your hair care cycle. Made with food-grade, natural and organic ingredients.

What I liked: Lightweight and can be used daily without product build-up

What I didn’t like: The scent can be overpowering for some


16. Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Leave-In Treatment

Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Leave-In Treatment

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Coconut oil, coconut milk, and acacia senega
Reviews:
87% of 14231 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Cruelty-free

This tropical-smelling leave-in conditioner will leave your 4c hair detangled, soft and frizz-free.

It can be used daily as a leave-in due to its lightweight spray formula.

Blended with coconut oil, coconut milk, and acacia Senegal, along with argan oil and sweet almond oil, it is formulated without nasties like silicones, sulfates, parabens, or petrolatum.

What I liked: Can be used daily and also works as a heat barrier

What I didn’t like: Can be a bit heavy and may weigh down curls


17. TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer For Natural Hair

TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer For Natural Hair

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Vitamin E oil and cocoa butter
Reviews:
89% of 5712 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

If you prefer a leave-in for your 4c hair that has the texture of butter or cream, this could be the one for you.

Ideal for naturals who struggle with dry hair, it can be used daily. Shea butter, vitamin E, and cocoa butter deliver moisture without leaving the hair greasy.

What I liked: Ideal for those who prefer a butter or cream formula over a spray-in.

What I didn’t like: Shouldn’t be used daily as it’s very rich


18. NaturAll Nourishing Avocado Leave-In Conditioner

NaturAll Nourishing Avocado Leave-In Conditioner

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Avocado, kiwi, and konjac root extract
Reviews:
86% of 38 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Vegan

Cruelty-free

This product is packed with all the benefits of avocados for your 4c hair, including antioxidants and healthy fats.

Expect increased softness, shine, and bounce. It hydrates and seals moisture with a lightweight formula.

What I liked: Loaded with the goodness of avocado and great for sealing in moisture.

What I didn’t like: Very expensive


19. Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner

Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Vitamin B5, wheat protein, aloe leaf, shea butter
Reviews:
84% of 8205 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

This weightless leave-in conditioner smells amazing and has powerful ingredients with lavender, honeysuckle, sage, and aloe.

It adds strength to your 4c hair with soy protein, pro-vitamin B5, and natural moisturizers. Many believe it also makes their curls more defined. It can be used every day without weighing down your hair.

What I liked: Strengthens hair and made with natural moisturizers

What I didn’t like: Has a strong scent of vanilla that may not suit everyone


20. Pattern Beauty Leave-In Conditioner

Pattern Beauty Leave-In Conditioner

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Shea butter, avocado oil & vitamin E
Reviews:
89% of 223 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Cruelty-free

This leave-in is an ideal detangler for 4c hair and helps give hair definition.

With a lighter consistency, it lays a base foundation for moisture with a cocktail of oils and honey. It has a light, floral fragrance that is not overpowering.

What I liked:Lightweight formula that won’t weigh down hair

What I didn’t like: Can be a bit difficult to rinse out


21. Camille Rose Naturals Honey Leave-In Treatment

Camille Rose Naturals Honey Leave-In Treatment

Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Vitamin E, black castor oil, apple cider vinegar, shea butter
Reviews:
91% of 27300 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Vegan

Cruelty-free

This product looks like honey and has the same emollient and moisturizing benefits, but without stickiness.

It will smooth your hair and provide maximum hydration with honey, olive oil, castor oil, bilberry and orange extract, and pure sugar maple. It sounds good enough to eat and smells delicious.

What I liked: Gorgeous honey and orange scent

What I didn’t like: Not the best for high-porosity hair


22. Imbue Curl Inspiring Conditioning Leave in Spray

Imbue Curl Inspiring Conditioning Leave in Spray

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Vitamin E, black castor oil, apple cider vinegar, shea butter
Reviews:
91% of 27300 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Vegan

Cruelty-free

Known as the ultimate pick-me-up to help moisturize and detangle your curls, this leave-in spray from Imbue Curl is vegan and Curly Girl friendly.

Designed to be a nutrient-rich mist, the formula is lightweight with zero stickiness. It can be used as a styler for fine hair or even as a stand-alone product to help treat dry ends.

This product includes camellia oil which delivers its signature scent. Other ingredients include coconut and cupuaçu oils. Your hair will be left feeling nourished and manageable with reduced frizz.

What I liked: Excellent for detangling and works great on damp hair

What I didn’t like: The scent may take some getting used to


23. Bounce Curl Super Smooth Cream Conditioner

Bounce Curl Super Smooth Cream Conditioner

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Price Range: $$$$
Active Ingredients: Vitamin E, black castor oil, apple cider vinegar, shea butter
Reviews:
91% of 27300 customers rated this product 4 stars and above

Silicone-free

Vegan

Cruelty-free

This creamy conditioner from Bounce Curl offers much-needed hydration to dry, porous hair.

The formula is lightweight, so it won’t leave your hair feeling heavy or saturated with product.

Designed with organic aloe, the formula is vegan and color safe making it suitable to use on most hair types.

It’s also free from silicones and parabens making it one of the best leave-in conditioners to use on natural 4C hair.

What I liked: Lightweight and smells divine

What I didn’t like: very expensive


What Is 4c Hair?

Best Leave in Conditioners for 4C Natural Hair

4C natural hair is characterized as being one of the kinkiest types of hair and is known to have a unique structure. It can be recognized by its S and Z-shaped coils that are woven close together and appear kinky in its shape.

This type of hair is often susceptible to breakage as it is quite fragile and dry. You may find that the texture may range from being super fine and thin to being wiry and coarse.

Why Is a Leave-In Conditioner Important for 4C Hair?

4C hair is structurally very textured and curly. As a result, the natural oils produced by your scalp battle to get transported down the hair shaft to the ends of your hair, and the oils become contained in your roots.

This can lead to your strands becoming dry and brittle and this is also the reason why you should also use a heat protectant after styling.

The best leave-in conditioners for 4C natural hair offer your strands a much-needed boost in moisture so your hair is left feeling hydrated and well-nourished.

It will also help to make styling your locks easier as the added moisture helps to detangle the strands making them more manageable.

Many leave-in conditioners that are suitable for 4C natural hair are best at offering protein as well as moisture. This will serve to fortify your hair against breakage and will encourage new hair growth in the process.

Other advantages of applying a leave-in conditioner to your hair include added shine, the elimination of unwanted frizz, and voluminous curls.

Ingredients That Are Beneficial for 4C Hair

One of the benefits of understanding 4C natural hair is knowing what styling methods work best and which ingredients are better suited to caring for your strands.

Here are a few of the ingredients that are beneficial for 4C hair:

Olive Oil

Natural hair can really benefit from oils. Olive oil offers great benefits to your hair as it acts as a sealant to lock in moisture in your strands. It increases moisture levels and helps improve the elasticity of your hair.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can act as a protein boost and will help to reduce the appearance of dandruff. An added advantage is that it works well to add shine to dull hair and works well in thickening fragile hair strands often found in 4C natural hair.

Honey

Honey is loaded with powerful antioxidants and nutrients which go a long way to nourish 4C natural hair. This in turn helps to promote hair growth.

Avocado

Did you know that avocado is rich in vitamins and minerals? These ingredients help to encourage hair growth and shine making your hair look and feel healthier.

What’s The Difference Between Deep Conditioners And Leave-In Conditioners?

Deep conditioners are used as a treatment for your hair, usually weekly. They are applied after shampooing and are generally left in for five minutes to an hour, then rinsed out.

Whereas leave-in conditioners are applied to your damp hair after shampooing and conditioning, or shampooing and deep conditioning.

They are not rinsed out and are left in your hair to keep it shiny and manageable. Think of leave-in conditioners as being like a lotion for your hair.

How Often Should You Use Leave-in Conditioner For 4c Hair?

It all depends on the condition of your hair, the porosity of your hair, the products you use, and even the climate you live in.

You could use leave-in every other day, or only 2-3 times a week if you use a richer formula.

If your hair is damaged or especially dry, or you prefer to use a lighter spray-type leave-in, then you can apply it every day.

It all depends on your preferences and hair, and you may have to do a bit of experimenting to see what works best for you.


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.

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Dee Poulsen

Dee has been following the Curly Girl Method for over four years and is our in-house Curly Girl expert. She has a keen interest in natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She has a photographic memory of most sulfate and silicone-free hair products available on the high street and she's always happy to recommend you her favorites.