We can all agree that the search for a really good leave-in conditioner is one of the most challenging parts of having 4C hair. And if you’re like me, your hair follicles may have seen and tasted the ingredients of a thousand different hair moisturizers before settling for one.
Leave-in conditioners are a self-care essential because haircare is self-care! So it’s important to find one that works perfectly well. A great deep conditioner and leave-in conditioner should be rich in hair-fortifying ingredients like aloe vera and natural oils to help hydrate your hair.
Before we dive into my top picks, there are some very important 4C hair questions I just have to answer.
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What should you moisturize 4C hair with?
The great thing about our natural hair is that it can absorb and retain moisture. Water is one of the most basic hair conditioners you can find regardless of your hair texture; it is natural and free! What’s better than that?
If you have low-porosity hair, even water might not be able to penetrate those strands easily. This is where all the incredible hair products for deep conditioning and leave-in conditioning come in.
You can moisturize your hair with deep conditioners, jojoba oil, water in a spray bottle, or leave-in conditioners; they have the essential nutrients that keep your hair moisturized. Deep conditioners are meant to be rinsed out after use while leave-ins are meant to stay and moisturize your follicles.
Can you use a leave-in conditioner on 4C hair every day?
The only reason why I’m not screaming yes to this popular question is that we have to be wary of product build-up. But yes, the right leave-in conditioners can be used on 4C hair daily, in moderate measure, especially if you always rock protective styles. How often you use a leave-in conditioner depends on your hair type.
Unless you have high porosity hair, you should always try to moisturize your hair. Natural 4c hair, in general, can be more prone to hair breakage and dryness, so it requires extra moisture to keep it healthy.
Leave-ins were created for hair strands prone to dryness, damaged hair, and thick hair. Having at least a basic knowledge of your hair type is highly beneficial as it will help you skip too many trials and errors.
Leave-ins are great, but daily use may cause product build-up and hygral fatigue. This does your 4C hair type more harm than good.
So, it all comes down to your hair type. If you already have a moisturized hair shaft and soft hair, you don’t need to use a leave-in conditioner daily.
Brittle or dry 4c hair, on the other hand, can benefit from the extra moisture and daily use of conditioners. For oily hair, daily use of a leave-in hair moisturizer is definitely a no-no. If you have oily 4c hair, your scalp already produces enough oil to keep your strands moisturized, so limit deep conditioning to at most twice a month for balance.
What is the best leave-in conditioner for 4c hair?
Leave-in conditioners are a must-have if you have 4c hair, but the struggle to find the one that ticks all the boxes is real! A good quality leave should be able to make your beautiful curls pop, and promote healthy hair growth.
It should also have all the basic oils like avocado oil and peppermint oil. Thankfully, in this extensive list of the best leave for your 4c hair, we’ve covered them all.
This is one of the best products on the market because of its ability to not only keep your hair moisturized but to promote hair growth. 9 out of 10 natural hair ladies with 4c hair who have used this moisture milk have something great to say about it. That’s something to hold onto.
Why we love it: The Camile Rose moisture milk is one of the great options for high-porosity hair in need of moisture. It has great slip thanks to one of its most effective ingredients the slippery Elm Bark.
It is hair milk that can be used as a leave-in, so it has a lot of nutrients to bless your hair with. That’s not all ladies, the milk not only hydrates frizzy hair but also helps to elongate your hair strands.
Our Final Rating: We give the Camile Rose Curl Love Moisture Milk a 10/10! It’s perfect for all 4c hair types and can be used in any weather without fear of humidity.
The Kriya Botanical Leave-in received an overwhelming response from the 4c natural hair community because of its organic ingredients and all-around effectiveness. It can be used for deep conditioning, as a leave, as a detangler, and as a moisturizer. The smooth lightweight texture makes it perfect to pair with other hair products.
To use the Kriya Botanical leave during your detangling process, you’ll have to apply it to damp hair and use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers for even distribution.
Why we love it: Kriya botanicals have organic ginger root and hawthorn berry that helps to strengthen the hair, prevent split ends, and stimulate hair growth. So, it’s an all-in-one hair product that keeps your hair healthy, hydrated, and moisturized.
Our Final Rating: I say this one leave-in conditioner deserves a 10/10 because it has indisputable benefits for your 4c hair. One product can be your detangler, your leave-in, heat protectant, and your moisturizer, it’s deserving.
Treluxe Untie the knot has a lightweight formula that is perfect for kinky hair. If you have brittle hair, you will love the sleek texture and its ability to melt those knots.
Why we love it: A lot of good leaves don’t pair well with other products, but this one does! You can use it generously without worrying about buildup because it seeps into your hair strands easily.
Our Final Rating: While the texture and ingredients are great, with lots of fatty acids, the runny texture means you’ll finish a bottle in the blink of an eye. Another thing is that it is super moisturizing, so if you plan to use it as part of your styling routine, or twist-outs, it might be an epic fail.
For these reasons, we’ll give this an 8/10.
If you’re looking for something to incorporate into wash day, this is for you. It’s a leave-in that works well for dry hair and breakages. For the best result, use it on wet hair that’s clean or as a hair mask to prevent heat damage.
Why we love it: The tropical moringa line was made specially to aid moisture retention. It was created with a blend of honey and moringa to promote extra hydration and healthier hair growth. Your strands will feel hydrated, refreshed, and revived after use.
Our final rating: If you are looking for something that will penetrate really deep, this might not be the conditioner for you. But it does the work, perfectly if you’re looking to simply lock moisture in. So, we’ll give it a 9/10.
Hair products with aloe vera and amino acids in them? Count me in! The apple and aloe Leave-in is very moisturizing, it works great when you have locs or braids on and need to keep your hair moisturized.
It’s a spray lightweight leave that’s not so good when you pair it with different products but it works well on its own.
Why we love it: This is that leave that you can carry around when you go on vacation, and have braids on. If you plan to do a lot of swimming, it will come in handy to help fight dryness.
Our final rating: This leave won’t give your hair definition if you’re looking for one because it has glycerin. Though it’s excellent for hair loss, the presence of glycerin means you have to be careful with how much of it you spray on your natural hair.
I would give this an 8/10 because the glycerin may cause product build-up and is not so good for low-porosity hair or wet hair.
A very affordable leave-in with all the necessary mineral oils your hair needs. It’s one of the conditioners that help bring shine to dull hair and makes your curl pattern pop.
The entire moisture miracle series is perfect if you want a wide range of options, but I highly recommend the conditioner.
Why we love it: Coconut milk and honey are the real stars of this miracle, thanks to their deep penetrating power. If you’re struggling with your hair health and manageability, this product will not disappoint. I love the thick cream and how it easily loosens knots.
Our Final Rating: From its affordability to the depth of ingredients used, this product is a solid 10/10.
The Tgin Green Tea Super Moist Leave-in Conditioner packs a punch! Green tea is rich in vitamin e and easily promotes healthier hair growth. It is also packed with argan oil, the perfect combination for detangling and fighting frizz.
Why we love it: It is super moisturizing, just like its name states, and that makes it unideal to use as a styling cream.
It is perfect for when you have your hair done, regardless of your loc method, because of slight traces of glycerin. Pack it with you on your trips to dry areas. Interestingly, it works for all 4c hair types.
Our final rating: I am so in love with this spray leave-in, and I think it deserves a solid 9/10. The only reason why it’s not a 10 is because of glycerin! Oh, did I forget to mention, that it also has all kennel oil? It has a vitamin E overload, and that is great!
Ever wondered what honey in your hair would feel like? Try this leave-in conditioner! Honey is one of the most moisturizing natural leave-ins, and Jamaican black castor oil is another antioxidant powerhouse, both of which combine to bring you this great product.
Why we love it: This is one of the best deep conditioners out there. For smooth curls, use a shower cap after putting in all your other products. It has to be used on damp hair because it is super moisturizing and penetrating. You can rest assured that every strand of your hair will receive its share of goodness.
Our final rating: We are going to give this a 10/10. The Camille Rose Honey Hydrate performs its function with ease, passing through your thick hair strands to deeply work from the roots.
Works perfectly as a styler and leave-in conditioner. The formula is light and with lemon grass as the base, you already know the scent will be amazing. It is one of the best moisturizers out there, and it helps to reduce shedding or hair breakage.
Why we love it: Alikay naturals add shine, promote healthy hair growth, and deeply condition your hair down to the root.
If you always struggle with shedding especially when you take down your braid style, this leave can help to reduce it. The presence of wheat protein also makes it a strand strengthener.
Our final rating: I love a good lightweight spray leave, although this product has vegetable glycerin, it is good for all hair types and great to carry along everywhere. We give it a 9/10!
The Obia naturals curl moisture cream is packed with all the luxurious oils your hair needs to be healthy. Rich in nutrients from marshmallow root to grapeseed oil, the moisture creams not only strengthen but also adds shine.
Why we love it: It is lightweight and doesn’t weigh down your hair even though it is thick. It works its way into your root and helps keep your hair soft from root to tip.
Our final rating: We will give this a 10/10 for its all-around perfection. From the ingredient list to the texture, this leave-in conditioner is excellent.
Care of 4C Hair
It takes a lot of effort to have the strong, healthy, full natural 4c hair we all desire. When we take down the twists and see those natural curls pop, I believe we can agree that all the care we give our hair is worth it!
Your hair type is your heritage, and with these leave-in conditioners, you can make your natural hair journey easy. What’s your go-to leave-in conditioner? And which one of these will you be trying out?