The Best Conditioners for Curly, Wavy, Kinky, and Relaxed Hair

My star Contributor @ChristeneCarr shares her thoughts on the best conditioners by hair type…

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I started out 2011 convinced that I was going to slowly transition out of my relaxed hair into a more natural state. Boy, was I wrong. During the course of the year I cycled through conditioners as I tried to find the one conditioner that would work for the roughly four different hair textures occupying my head. Let me break down the textures:

Texture 1 – Chemically relaxed with Organics Root Stimulator Relaxer
Texture 2 – Chemically relaxed with PhytoSpecific PhytoRelaxer Index 1
Texture 3 – Chemically relaxed with PhytoSpecific PhytoRelaxer Index 2
Texture 4 – My natural hair, which is kinky and dry (mostly 4c and 4b in the back)

Loreal Mega Strength Fortifying Deep Treatment – I’ve never been disappointed with a Loreal product and this is no exception. I do have a love hate relationship with this particular conditioner. When my hair was mostly natural, it did an amazing job of detangling, when it was mostly relaxed the tangles went on for days. I’d recommend for thick naturally wavy or curly hair. Loreal Mega Strength Fortifying Deep Treatment is available at Sally Beauty and retails for under $11.

Proclaim Argan Oil Intense Hydrating Masque – I’m mad at this one because the labeling made it seem like Argan oil is a major ingredient in the formulation. Dimethicone is listed before argan oil, that suggests to me that the argan oil is less than 2% of this formulation. I’m guessing this because Dimethicone is generally 2% or less in conditioners. The Proclaim Intense Hydrating Masque did a great job of moisturized my hair but only a fair job of detangling. I’d recommend for a once or twice monthly use on relaxed or natural hair. Proclaim Intense Hydrating Masques is also available at Sally Beauty, it retails for about $7.50.

Ion Moisture Solutions Intense Moisture for Dry and Chemically Treated Hair – At first, this product confused me. It didn’t do a lot to detangle my hair, but once I managed to detangle it, dried and styled it, my hair had a really great shine and was very light and full of movement. I think this would be great for someone with lighter hair that doesn’t want the hair weighed down too much. Ion Moisture Solutions Intense Moisture for Dry and Chemically Treated Hair retails for under $9 and is available at Sally Beauty


Pantene Relaxed and Natural – This conditioner is simple and straight to the point. No matter the state of my hair I can always go to Pantene for a quick three minute condition and detangle. Though I like this conditioner, I have to break up the routine and do a deep conditioner about once or twice per month. Pantene products are available at your drugstore, Walmart, Target and many other locations. Pantene Relaxed and Natural Conditioner retails for under $5.


Surya Brasil Intensive Restorative Mask – This conditioner is formulated to work on color treated hair, which means it is loaded with amazing conditioning ingredients like Babusu Butter, Cupuaçu butter and so many more! I used this product after I had already given up the natural hair quest and was dealing with textures 1 to 3. It did a great job of conditioning my hair but I had to use another product to detangle. This product is formulated for color treated hair but I think it would also works for tightly coiled, kinky, curly, natural hair. Surya Brasil Intensive
Restorative Mask retails for $9 and is available online

Sidenote: From my own observation, products formulated for color treated hair will always provide more conditioners and smoothing agents than other conditioners. If you have hair that is chemically straightened (or curled, gasp!) and it also has been permanently colored, the hair is weaker and more prone to breakage and dullness, therefore it needs more help to look its best.

Joico K-Pak Conditioner – Formulated with Keratin Silicone Complex, the Joico K-Pak has become one of my go to conditioners. When I first tried it, it reminded me a little of Pantene but it after repeated use, I realize it packs just a bit more conditioning punch than Pantene, especially on my natural hair. This is a good weekly conditioner. For those folks that work out, Joico K-Pak Conditioner is also good for the mid week no poo conditioning rinse. Joico K-Pak Conditioner retails for about $14.

Curls Coconut Sublime Conditioner – I had to save the best for last. This conditioner is amazing! It is formulated for the driest, kinkiest and most unruly tresses, which I clearly have. This conditioner does a fantastic job of not only conditioning and detangling the chemically process portions of my hair but also my natural hair. Made with certified organic ingredients, Curls Coconut Sublime Conditioner retails for $16 and is a must try if you have natural kinky, curly hair and/or if you are transitioning to natural hair.

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I know the average person doesn’t have to contend with four different textures of hair on their head, but with this roundup I’m hoping to give you some options.

Let’s Connect!

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Felicia Walker Benson is Editor in Chief for ThisThatBeauty and Social Media Beauty Editor at Bergdorf Goodman (her glorious day job!). For Felicia's complete bio, click on the "About Felicia" tab. Follow Felicia on Twitter @ThisThatBeauty

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Comments

  1. Nicole says:

    Hi Felicia, i have been natural for about 11 years and have tried soo many products. However, I think the best conditioners are Rene furterer Karite intense nourishing mask and Ojon restorative hair treatment. Have you ever tried them? These two products are AMAZING!!

  2. Christene says:

    Hi Nicole,

    I have not tried either of the conditioners you mentioned. I am once again growing out to natural so I will definitely add them to my list. The conditioners I mentioned above are just a fraction of what I have tried. Some others failed miserably but the quest continues :)

  3. tyran says:

    hi felicia is there any stores i can find the curls cocunut sublime conditioner at? thanks!

  4. Robin Poli says:

    I have thick coarse hair that looks great when it is relaxed. I have been experimenting with other products and forgot how much I love the Shielo Restoration Oil.

    I use the Shielo Oil on my hair for conditioning every few days (depending on hair dullness). My hair looks amazingly shiny and more manageable. It also helps me prevent split ends. Recently I was in a wedding and we used it as a finisher for my upsweep. The hair stylist was amazed, she commented she had never seen hair with so much sheen.

  5. Leanne says:

    The best best best one for me is the argan oil hair mask by Pro Naturals. It’s very….soothing? Don’t know how to describe it but your hair just gets much softer and silkier after using it for like a week

  6. Christene Carr Christene says:

    Thanks, Leanne! Going to have to look for that one. BTW…What’s your hair type?

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