If you have curly or coily hair, a good leave-in conditioner is an absolute must. Especially if your natural texture is on the drier side, a leave-in is not so much optional as it is highly necessary. I like to keep a few on hand and rotate between them, but I decided it would be a good idea to call in an expert to weigh in on what to look for in a leave-in. Natural hair expert and founder of Juices & Botanics Haircare, Whitney Eaddy, provided me with a wealth of knowledge.
“People with tighter curl patterns should look for a water-based, hydrating leave-in conditioner that offers nourishment, restoration, and protective benefits,” says Eaddy. “In my experience, people with tighter curl patterns tend to look for heavier products, but I find that lighter leave-in conditioners really do a better job of penetrating the strands and helping to mitigate dryness. Using products that are infused with nutrients, botanicals, and soft proteins is a great advantage in the hydration process. By infusing the hair with such ingredients and improving the absorption of water and nutrients, natural hair can hold and ultimately retain [more] moisture and length. This approach creates the optimal environment for healthy growth. A pro tip that I swear by is to always use both a liquid and cream leave-in. By layering them you’ll see an improvement in overall health, strength, hydration, and moisture retention.”
For Eaddy’s top leave-ins and a few of my own favorites, keep scrolling below.