My favorite conditioners for curly hair

Hi curlies! I put together a short list of my favorite conditioners for curly hair. All of them are different kinds of conditioners: a “normal” conditioner, a deep conditioner, a leave-in and a detangler. The best thing about my list is you don’t need to chose one of the conditioners!

That’s because each one’s purpose is another, you can use all of them at the same time. Don’t worry you won’t be spending more money on products by getting them all. I’ll tell you why at the end of this post!

The pictured 4 conditioners are my holy grail conditioners, I wouldn’t want to miss any of them! This is how I use each one of these conditioners:

MopTop Daily Conditioner

The MopTop Daily Conditioner is the “normal” conditioner I’m using every time I wash my curls to finish combing them. Whenever I feel like my curls need some extra moisture I don’t completely rinse it. Especially if you have long curly hair I recommend you to leave some conditioner in your curls to prevent them from drying out (especially your ends need the extra moisture).

Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Treatment

Whenever my curls are frizzier than usual I treat them with a deep conditioner, as of right now I always use the Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Treatment. As my curls are quite well moisturized I only apply a deep conditioner about once every two weeks – however, if your curls crave more moisture feel free to deep condition them more often!

Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion

The Assurance Smoothing Lotion by Curl Junkie is a very light conditioner, which I don’t use while washing my hair. I only use this conditioner to restyle my curls on second or third days. In order to do so, I mix this light conditioner with water and apply this mixture to my curls to get them frizz-free and well defined.

Kinky Curly Knot Today

The Kinky Curly Knot Today actually isn’t a real conditioner, but I like to mention it in this context as you might want to consider trying this great product to comb your hair. It has really made detangling so much easier (faster and less painful) for me! Moreover it already provides my curls with a certain amount of moisture, which is why I then don’t need to use a lot of the Mop Top Daily Conditioner.

Obviously I’m regularly using all of these conditioners in my washing routine, which is why I love having all of them at home. Don’t worry about the cost of buying so many different products: Using the Kinky Curly Knot Today and using the Assurance Smoothing Lotion on second days allows me to use less of my Daily Conditioner. This is why I’m actually not using any more product than someone who only has one conditioner. Well ok, the deep conditioner is an additional product, but that’s a different kind of product which is absolutely necessary, right?!

  • uranie
    May 19, 2015

    Hello Switzerland, this is France! (Sorry if my english is not fluent :))

    Thanks Sandra for all those interesting posts, i love the way you share your experience, i love your beautiful curls and also the holy grails products you use every day. Dis you try to use Moroccanoil?

    • Sandra
      May 19, 2015

      Hi Uranie, it’s great to hear from you, thank you! I’ve not tried the Maroccanoil before, because I think it has some silicones in it. I’ve actually never really used an oil for my curls, but I think I should!

  • Joanna
    May 26, 2015

    Hi Sandra, I love your website, so good to be able to relate to other curlies and get advice! Just wanted to mention that I’m currently using Lush’s R&B Hair Moisturiser, which is great not just for moisturising but also keeps away frizz and adds shine – plus its made up of just natural ingredients so is really healthy in the long term! 🙂

    • Sandra
      May 26, 2015

      Hi Joanna, thank you so much! Do you know it this conditioner is also sulfate- and silicone-free? If so, I definitely need to give it a try!

  • Melissa
    July 2, 2015

    My daughter has beautiful naturally curly hair. She is only 3 and I don’t want to ruin her curls. But I brush her hair since I don’t wash it everyday. How do you recommend I get all the crazy knots out after she’s been sleeping or playing without brushing her hair? Her curls can also look weighed down when I use certain products so I worry if I condition without rinsing her hair will look greasy. I would classify her curls as a 2 but almost a 3.

    • Sandra
      July 8, 2015

      Hi Melissa, that certainly is a tricky question. I totally understand you brushing your daughter’s curls. I think it’s ok to do so as brushing her curls won’t ruin her curls in the longterm (her hair just doesn’t clump after brushing it). I can only imagine how many knots a three year old manages to get within a day or two! The products that has really helped me with detangling is the Kinky Curly Knot Today – maybe you could try using it on your daughters soaking wet hair when it’s covered with it.

      If you feel like her curls get weighed down when you’re not completely rinsing the conditioner, just go ahead and completely wash it out – that’s not a bad thing! I hope I could help a bit 🙂

      • Ruann
        August 11, 2015

        I LOVE LOVE LOVE this site!!!! Just started embracing my curls. It’s a lot of work. 🙂
        My 3 year old grand daughter also has curly hair. It hangs half way to her waist. She is a rough and tumble little girl so she also has many knots and snarls. While she is this age we braid her hair. Comb it in the bath (leaving a small amount of conditioner only at the ends) and put it in a French braid. It stays that way for a day and even after sleeping doesn’t look too bad. When it does, we take it down, trying to not tangle it too much, GENTLY brush with a curly hair brush and rebraid. We use some spray detanglers in it if it happens to be very bad. There’s no point in trying to have her go in curls when all manner of things get in that hair. Hope this helps

  • Melanie
    August 19, 2015

    Hi Sandra,
    I love your blog and your curls are beautiful. I was wondering when you apply the kinky curly knot today? Is it before your daily conditioner or after while you are still in the shower? I have 3a/3b hair that tends to be on the frizzy side so I’m going to try some different products. I have been using all products in the deva curl line. Today I bought the Kinky Curly Knot Today and the KCCC. Looking forward to trying them both! Thanks for your help!

    • Sandra
      August 19, 2015

      Hi Melanie

      Thank you so much! I always apply it right after I’ve shampooed my curls, which is before adding my conditioner. I make sure my curls are soaking wet while applying the KCKT to comb my curls thoroughly. I’m sure you’ll love the KCKT to comb your curls 🙂

  • Jessica
    September 22, 2015

    Hi Sandra, finally someone with my type of curls. Love them! Although mine are low porosity. I actually have many of the products you mention and I’ve being going back and forth with other not so curly friendly products. I think my hair needs to be moisturized everyday and I hear a lot about second day curls. I’ve being using devacul for years and curly junki, curly knot today detangler. The last week I’ve being moisturizing my hair with devacurl one condition every day and every four days I’ll use devacurl no poo. As far as leave in I use Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk, 8 Ounce and styling Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter, 8 Ounce they are natural, silicone free and very moisturizing. Another leave in that is awesome for winter is Oyin Handmade Hair Dew Daily Quenching Hair Lotion, 8.4 Ounce
    What brush do you use to detangle?

    • Sandra
      September 24, 2015

      Hi Jessica

      Thanks for your comment – it’s so interesting to read what products other curlies with a similar hair types use! I don’t use a brush, but instead just finger-comb my curls. By combing my curls with my fingers only, I feel like I can comb my curls more carefully this way (e.g. stretch them out less).

  • Sasha Bertolini
    December 12, 2015

    hello again Sandra! wow! thanks again Sandra! seriously.. you are my curly hair guru!
    I wanted to ask you if you could also have the same option of registering, curly talking, and much more just as Naturally Curly. It is really helpful for all of us to ask questions and for us to communicate with you! it is much easier. it is up to you.. anyway thanks again and again for all the tips that you share with us curlies!
    ♥ see you

  • Dayanthi
    February 22, 2016

    Hi Sandra, I accidentally stumbled upon this website and I think today is my lucky day ☺….. I have neck length stubborn curls which tend to frizz often. As of now the only solution i uses was applying almond oil on my hair once after a shower. Well, it’s not much helpful since my hair tends to frizz pretty soon once dry.
    I live in Sri Lanka, and the products you mentioned are not available here. Do you know of a website in which I can purchase these from?
    Many thanks for your worthy tips & advise,


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