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The 10 Best Conditioners for Curls & Waves (Silicone Free!)

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If you’ve got curly hair, you know that not all conditioners are created equal. When it comes to finding the best conditioner for curls, one of the most important factors is finding one that reduces frizz and moisturizes while not being too heavy. And many people follow the curly girl method and need to avoid silicone, which can build up on curly hair and weigh it down, leaving you with flat, lifeless curls.

But fear not, curly-haired friends! We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best conditioners for curly hair that are silicone-free, so you can find the perfect match for your curls. Plus, we’ve included answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about finding the best conditioner for curls. So, whether you’re new to the curly hair game or a seasoned pro, read on to find your new go-to conditioner!

Also looking for other curly girl approved products?

the 10 best conditioners For Curly Hair

I chose the following curly girl approved conditioners based on a few points:

  • slip
  • ingredient quality
  • concentration – how much you need to use
  • how lightweight to heavy it is
  • buildup potential

I have assigned a number from 1 to 5 for each category, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. Of course, they are all silicone free and drying alcohol free, which is what makes them curly girl method approved.

Delilah Orpi showing her beautiful curls using curly girl approved conditioner

Conditioner tip: Something I want to emphasize about a lot of these conditioners is that you need to use them the right way. Emulsify a small amount in your hand, apply to the length of your hair, and let it sit for a few minutes. After waiting, add some water by cupping your hands to catch some and squishing it up. Your hair should soften up and be much easier to detangle this way.

1. Innersense Pure Inspiration Daily Conditioner – best overall for all hair types

Innersense has 3 lines and the Pure Inspiration conditioner is loved by all curl types. If you want more moisture go with the Hydrating line and for color treated hair the Color Radiance line is equally amazing.

They all have a light scent, are made with organic ingredients, and are extremely concentrated so they should last a while. Shop the Innersense conditioner here.

  • slip – 3
  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 5
  • lightweight to moderate
  • buildup potential – very low
INNERSENSE Organic Beauty Pure Inspiration Daily Conditioner
$30.00


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03/04/2024 05:32 pm GMT

2. Giovanni Root 66 – best lightweight conditioner for volume

The Root 66 line from Giovanni is their volumizing line and this conditioner is the best for that that I have tried. It’s creamy with a light scent and doesn’t weigh down my hair at all. This line is also very affordable. Shop the Giovanni Root 66 conditioner here.

  • slip – 4
  • ingredient quality – 3
  • concentration – 3
  • lightweight
  • buildup potential – low
Giovanni Cosmetics Conditioner Root 66 Max Volume
$12.32 $11.35 ($1.34 / Fl Oz)


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03/05/2024 07:27 pm GMT
LUS Love Ur Curls hair products review

3. Love Ur Curls Silicone-Free Conditioner – best for damage Or Tangles

Love Ur Curls Conditioner is a great option for hair that needs the extra moisture and polyquats that this conditioner offers. It softens hair instantly, which is great for damaged hair and tangles. It helps the hair feel smoother which is especially beneficial for damaged hair. Just be careful because this is not a lightweight conditioner. Shop the Love Ur Curls Silicone Free Conditioner here.

  • slip – 5
  • ingredient quality – 4
  • concentration – 4
  • the thick/curly hair option can be heavy
  • buildup potential – high
Love Ur Curls LUS Brands Conditioner for Curly, Wavy, Kinky-Coily Hair
$21.00 ($2.47 / Ounce)

Use code HOLISTICENCHILADA10 to save at LUSbrands.com

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03/04/2024 07:42 pm GMT
holding up the TreLuxe conditioner for curly hair showing my styled curls. This is a curly girl method approved conditioner.

4. TreLuxe Untie The Knot – best slip for detangling

The TreLuxe conditioner has the best slip on this list so detangling is easy with this. It also provides a lot of moisture and has the strongest scent (cinnamon like). It’s very popular but for me, it’s too moisturizing. However, I do use it daily on my daughter’s hair to detangle. It instantly softens her knots. Shop the TreLuxe Untie The Knot conditioner here. Code holisticenchilada15 saves you 15%.

  • slip – 5
  • ingredient quality – 3
  • concentration – 3
  • moderate
  • buildup potential – moderate
TRELUXE Untie The Knot Leave In Conditioner
$19.50

Use code holisticenchilada15 at discovertreluxe.com to save15%.

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5. Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner – best unscented conditioner

All Jessicurl products can be ordered unscented if you want making this a great option for those who need to avoid fragrance. The quality is great and it works on all curl types. This conditioner works like the other water soluble ones. Shop the Jessicurl daily conditioner here.

  • slip – 4
  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 5
  • lightweight to moderate
  • buildup potential – very low
Jessicurl, Aloeba Daily Conditioner for Curly Hair
$18.85 ($2.36 / Fl Oz)


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03/05/2024 07:57 pm GMT
holding up EVOLVh conditioner for curly hair

6. EVOLVh SmartCurl- best Lightweight Conditioner

This is the brand that revived my curls, but like all other water soluble brands, can be tricky to figure out. This is a creamy conditioner that absorbs quickly and softens well. It has a very faint scent and is very concentrated. Shop the EVOLVh SmartCurl conditioner here.

  • slip – 3
  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 5
  • lightweight to moderate
  • buildup potential – very low
EVOLVh SmartCurl Hydrating Conditioner
$38.00 ($4.47 / Fl Oz)

This is a fantastic lightweight conditioner that softens curls.

Use code HE15 to save on your first order with EVOLVh.

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03/03/2024 07:22 pm GMT

7. Innersense Hydrating Cream Conditioner – best for dry, thirsty curls

This conditioner is the most hydrating on this list so it’s not for most curls. There isn’t much of a difference between this one and the Pure Inspiration conditioner other than this one is heavier and more moisturizing. Shop the Innersense Conditioner here.

  • slip – 3
  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 5
  • heavy
  • buildup potential – very low
Innersense Hydrating Cream Conditioner


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8. Giovanni Smooth As Silk Conditioner- best affordable curly girl conditioner

This drugstore option for conditioner is a great value. While the ingredient quality is not of the other high-end brands, it’s a great option because of how effective it is while still being water soluble. It’s the most moisturizing option from Giovanni, so if you want less moisture check out the 50:50 and Root 66 lines. Shop Giovanni Smooth As Silk conditioner here.

  • slip – 4
  • ingredient quality – 3
  • concentration – 3
  • moderate
  • buildup potential – low
GIOVANNI Eco Chic Smooth as Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner
$28.99 $18.49 ($0.77 / Fl Oz)


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03/05/2024 08:22 pm GMT
MopTop daily conditioner for curly hair

9. MopTop Daily Conditioner – best overall for all hair types

This conditioner is another great option for all hair types. It’s creamy, has a nice citrus scent, and softens hair. It has more slip than other water soluble brands but it’s still pretty lightweight. Shop the MopTop Daily Conditioner here. Use code HE10 to save.

  • slip – 4
  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 4
  • lightweight to moderate
  • buildup potential – very low
Top Pick
MopTop Daily Conditioner
$16.99 ($2.12 / Fl Oz)

This is my favorite for light moisture, slip, and softness.

Use code HE10 to save at MopTop.com.

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03/05/2024 09:07 pm GMT
holding up TWIST curly hair conditioner for humidity

10. TWIST Weather or Not – best For Humidity

This conditioner hydrates without weighing down your hair. It has a light fragrance and you don’t need to use much. It has ingreidients to help combat the effects of humidity and I lvoe using here in Florida. Shop the TWIST conditioner here.

  • slip – 4
  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 4
  • lightweight
  • buildup potential – low
Top Pick
TWIST Weather or Not Element-Defying Conditioner
$6.56 ($0.41 / Ounce)

This lightweight conditioner softens hair instantly without weighing hair down and has light anti-humidity ingredients to help your style last in the humidity.

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03/09/2024 08:32 pm GMT

If you’re new to the curly girl method, I recommend you check out my post on affordable curly girl approved products to start off. That post contains over 60 affordable and drugstore options.

Curly Girl Method Product Matching Guide

You should also check out my product matching guide, The Curly Product Handbook, to help you choose the right products for your hair type. There are so many things to consider when choosing products and this guide will help you narrow down what you need to look for.

This product guide will help you identify your hair type and characteristics, provide some styling tips, and list exact products that will work on your hair type. Click here for more info.

Curly Product Handbook mockup

Tips for Using Conditioner on Curly Hair

Now that you know the 10 best conditioners for curly hair, it’s important to learn how to use them properly. Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results:

1. Start by using a clarifying shampoo to remove any buildup on your hair before applying the conditioner. This will help the conditioner penetrate better and work more effectively.

2. Apply the conditioner to wet hair, starting from the ends and working your way up. Use a wide-tooth comb to distribute the conditioner evenly throughout your hair.

3. Leave the conditioner on for at least 3-5 minutes, or longer if your hair is particularly dry or damaged. Use this time to detangle your hair with your fingers or a comb.

4. Rinse the conditioner out thoroughly with cool water. This will help seal the cuticles and lock in moisture.

5. For extra hydration, you can also use a leave-in conditioner or hair oil on damp hair before styling.

By following these tips, you can get the most out of your conditioner and keep your curls looking healthy and beautiful. Happy conditioning!

Best Conditioner for Curls FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about conditioners for curly hair:

What ingredients should I avoid in my conditioner if I have curly hair?

You should avoid conditioners that contain silicones, sulfates, and alcohol as they can cause frizz and dryness in curly hair.

How often should I use a conditioner for my curly hair?

It’s recommended to use a conditioner after every shampoo to keep your curly hair nourished and hydrated.

Can I leave a conditioner in my hair overnight?

It is not recommended to leave conditioner in your hair overnight. This is because it can cause scalp issues by having damp hair against it for so many hours.

Should I use a leave-in conditioner for my curly hair?

Yes, a leave-in conditioner can be beneficial for curly hair as it provides extra moisture and helps to define your curls. Not everyone needs it but if you struggle with dryness then it’s a good idea to add one to your regimen.

How do I choose the right conditioner for my curly hair?

Look for a conditioner that is specifically designed for curly hair and is silicone-free. You may also want to consider the thickness and texture of your hair when choosing a conditioner.

How long should I leave the conditioner in my hair?

Follow the instructions on the conditioner bottle for the recommended time to leave the product in your hair. Typically, it’s recommended to leave a conditioner in your hair for a few minutes before rinsing it out.

Overall, finding the right conditioner for your curly hair can make a big difference in the health and appearance of your curls. Be sure to choose a conditioner that is designed for curly hair, is silicone-free, and provides the moisture and nourishment your curls need.

Bottom Line

Remember that finding the right conditioner for your curls may take some trial and error, but don’t get discouraged. With the right product, you can have gorgeous, bouncy, and healthy curls.

Keep in mind that everyone’s hair is different, so what works for someone else may not work for you. But don’t worry, with these ten options, you’re sure to find a conditioner that will work wonders for your curls.

Don’t forget to follow the instructions on the bottle for best results, and always use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your curls while the conditioner is still in your hair.

Finally, be sure to check out our Best Conditioners for Curls FAQs section for additional tips and advice on how to care for your curly locks. Happy conditioning!


Please do me a favor and share this post to social media, as it helps me grow my audience and spread the word about our curly hair movement! And remember to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more curly hair tips and product recommendations. Thanks!

woman bent over sliding wide tooth comb through dry hair to show the 10 best curly girl method approved conditioners

If you want help with embracing your naturally wavy or curly hair, you can join my FREE email course and download my FREE pdf guide, THE QUICK START GUIDE TO MASTERING YOUR CURLS, full of everything you need to know to get started and bring out your beautiful waves and curls.

curly girl method pdf guide download
woman running conditioner through damp hair to show the 10 best curly girl approved conditioners

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4 Comments

  1. Is number 1 your top choice and why didn’t EVOLVh make the cut. I just watched your tutorial and thought it was a favorite of yours.

    1. Hi Haleema! While I do love EVOLVh and it is one of MY favorites, it’s not the best choice for all curly hair. I chose these 10 for specific reasons with all curly hair types in mind. I do have a post with all my favorites and you’ll see it there.

  2. So in the conditioner tip you mentioned “ Emulsify a small amount in your hand, apply to the length of your hair, and let it sit for a few minutes. After waiting, add some water by cupping your hands to catch some and squishing it up. Your hair should soften up and be much easier to detangle this way.”. So …. you’re talking about after I’ve cleansed my hair, I apply the conditioner as you’ve mentioned. After this, do I rinse it out and then put leave in conditioner and style as usual (with gel, etc)? Is that correct? Or is this instead of leave-in conditioner?

    1. Yes, after you cleanse, you apply the conditioner like I explained. Then rinse it out and apply leave in, or you can leave some in if your hair needs the extra moisture. I rinse mine out and lately I am skipping leave in conditioner as well.

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