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  • 10 Best Conditioners for Curly Hair 2023 | UK Hair Blogger Reviewed 1
  • 10 Best Conditioners for Curly Hair 2023 | UK Hair Blogger Reviewed 2
  • 10 Best Conditioners for Curly Hair 2023 | UK Hair Blogger Reviewed 3
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10 Best Conditioners for Curly Hair 2023 | UK Hair Blogger Reviewed

People with curly hair know how difficult it can be to find a conditioner that delivers the perfect balance between hydration and definition. We all know the feeling of disappointment when, despite your hard work in the shower, your hair ends up frizzy and dry and your curls seem to be a no-show.

Another challenge for British curlies is that it can be difficult (or impossible, even) to buy products that our American cousins rave about across the pond. The good news is that there are now many good quality, affordable conditioners in the UK from drugstores and online stores like Amazon, Boots, and eBay. Read on to discover the ten best products and hear the advice of our resident curl specialist Shannon of UK Curly Girl
Last updated 07/06/2023
UK Curly Girl
Expert
Hair Blogger and Entrepreneur
UK Curly Girl

Shannon of UK Curly Girl is a natural curly hair blogger, YouTuber and owner of 'O So Curly'. She's a huge fan of natural beauty and hair products, and a self-proclaimed 'product junkie'.

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Table of Contents

With Specialist Advice From UK Curly Girl

With Specialist Advice From UK Curly Girl

Shannon of UK Curly Girl is a natural curly hair blogger, YouTuber and owner of brand 'O So Curly'. She's a huge fan of natural beauty and hair products, and a self-proclaimed 'product junkie'.


With a gorgeous head of curls herself, she's previously shared her favourite curly hair accessories and deep conditioners with us, so we thought we'd ask her to share some pointers to think about when buying a conditioner for curly hair, too! 

How to Choose a Conditioner for Curly Hair in the UK

Key Points to Consider
  1. Choose a Product According to Your Hair and Curl Type
  2. Do You Need a Protein-Based Conditioner Based on the Porosity of Your Hair
  3. Keep an Eye Out for Potentially Damaging Ingredients Like Silicones and Humectants
  4. Ensure That the Conditioner Has a Good “Slip” to Detangle Your Curls
1

Select a Product to Suit Your Hair Type From Lightweight Conditioners for Loose Waves to Oils and Deep Moisturising Treatments for Tighter Curls

Select a Product to Suit Your Hair Type From Lightweight Conditioners for Loose Waves to Oils and Deep Moisturising Treatments for Tighter Curls

Opt For a Lightweight Formula if You Have Loose “S”-Shaped Waves, as Too Much Oil Will Weigh Your Locks Down

Wavy hair needs lightweight products that will not weigh it down, so stay clear of heavy, overly-moisturising and thick conditioners. In addition, although oils can be good at giving moisture to your strands, they can make wavy hair look greasy and flat. Therefore you may want to avoid conditioners with too many natural oils, or wash the excess oils out with a gentle cleanser after conditioning.

Need a curl cream to add to your hair care routine? Check these out!

UK Curly Girl
Hair Blogger and EntrepreneurUK Curly Girl

The looser your curls the less oil and cream-based products you need! Looser curls should avoid heavy oils as it creates a build-up and weighs the curls down (resulting in less volume and definition).


If you have this hair type, I would recommend that you opt for more water-based products, look out for ingredient lists with glycerin and aloe vera which will give both great slip and moisture without the heaviness!

Those With Clear 'S' -Shaped Curls Should Look For a Deep Moisturising Conditioner That Will Prevent Frizz

Humidity and changes in the weather can make curly hair frizzy, and it can be hard to keep your ringlets defined for multiple days. This hair type can also get drier than straight or wavy hair, so it is important to use products that will give your hair enough moisture

Some bestowed with curls like to use light oils to seal in moisture and prevent frizz. At the same time, thick products can weigh your ringlets down, so it can be difficult to find a balance between too heavy and too light.

UK Curly Girl
Hair Blogger and EntrepreneurUK Curly Girl

The tighter your hair texture, the more moisture you will need! The more kinks in your strand make it harder for our scalps natural oil to make it down the hair shaft (hence why curly hair is more prone to dryness than straight hair). 


If you have this hair type I recommend that you opt for leave-ins and styling creams that are strictly for moisture, usually including shea butter and coconut oil. These will make sure to moisturise your hair enough to prevent frizz and dryness after styling.

Nourishing, Oil-Based Products Are Best for Tight 'Z' -Shaped Coils and Afro Curls

Afro-textured hair with kinky curls can dry out very easily, so it is best to use lots of conditioner to replenish your hair’s moisture. Conditioners containing oils are beneficial to promote scalp health, strengthen hair strands, and encourage hair growth. 

Natural oils with an affinity for hair protein such as coconut and babassu oil have been shown to penetrate the hair shaft, reducing swelling and preventing protein loss. These oils are excellent for all curl types, but especially for porous or damaged hair. Shea butter is great for increasing curl elasticity, while jojoba oil is a liquid wax that resembles sebum, and castor oil is excellent for shine.


Explore the best curly hair products for men here!

UK Curly Girl
Hair Blogger and EntrepreneurUK Curly Girl

Z shaped curls require heavier creams, oils and butters to lock in moisture as it's highly prone to dryness. Applying products in the LCO or LOC (Liquid, Cream, Oil) method will really help to moisturise each strand and lock in the moisture to last you throughout the day and few days before you need to refresh. 

2

Decide if You Need a Protein-Based Conditioner, Depending on Your Hair’s Porosity

Decide if You Need a Protein-Based Conditioner, Depending on Your Hair’s Porosity

Low-Porosity Hair Types Should Avoid Protein-Based Products Which Can Cause Buildup

Porosity is the degree of how open or closed your hair cuticles are, and how well your hair can take in and keep moisture. It's another important way to determine what kind of products to use. Spray a section of your curls with some water: if it gets wet quickly, you most likely have high-porosity hair. If the water droplets stay on the surface, you probably have low-porosity hair


Low porosity means that your hair’s cuticles are close together, so they do not absorb hydration easily. Therefore, as products may not be absorbed completely, avoid heavyweight conditioners which might cause buildup. Products with lots of protein, such as keratin, are known to make low-porosity hair feel brittle and dry, so exercise caution.

UK Curly Girl
Hair Blogger and EntrepreneurUK Curly Girl

I have low porosity hair and often suffer with product build-up, meaning I have to deeply cleanse my scalp once a week! If you have low porosity hair you are better off using water-based products, instead of oil-based. The water will help to feed the cuticles whereas oil typically sits on top of low porosity hair causing dryness and build up (due to it not penetrating the hair cuticles).

If You Have Medium or High-Porosity Hair, Look For a Conditioner With Plenty of Protein to Strengthen Strands

High porosity hair has cuticles that are very open, so it absorbs and gets rid of moisture easily. This means that, while it may be easy to get your hair wet, your hair will dry quickly too. This hair type tends to like heavy oils, and proteins can help to repair and strengthen these sensitive strands.

If you have medium-porosity hair, your hair probably has a good balance of absorbing and repelling hydration. However, you will still need to experiment to find the right balance of moisture and protein in your conditioner; using too much of one or the other could make hair frizzy or brittle.

UK Curly Girl
Hair Blogger and EntrepreneurUK Curly Girl

High porosity hair is open to product and welcomes it! This means that applying heavier oils and protein will be a breeze, so take advantage as you can moisturise your hair with ease. Due to the ease of product/moisture absorption into your hair, you will want to balance this out with protein-based products to maintain strength because too much moisture can become damaging, strangely enough!

3

Avoid Drying Ingredients Like Silicones and Stay Away From Humectant-Infused Formulas During Humid Weather

Avoid Drying Ingredients Like Silicones and Stay Away From Humectant-Infused Formulas During Humid Weather

Steer Clear of Silicones, SLS and Paraffin, Which Will Weigh Curls Down and Dry Them Out

If your curls are easily weighed down, you should avoid silicones like the plague. These ingredients that end in “-cone”, “-xane”, and “-conol” make hair feel smooth by forming a layer around the individual strands. However, over time this can weigh your curls down, causing buildup and frizz.

If you cannot be without these silky silicones, go for water-soluble alternatives such as dimethicone copolyol, or those which start with PEG, which will not cause buildup. Other ingredients people with curly hair should avoid in conditioners include sodium laureth sulphate (SLS), paraffin, mineral oil, and strong alcohols (such as isopropyl alcohol).

UK Curly Girl
Hair Blogger and EntrepreneurUK Curly Girl

Silicones are a huge no-no! Growing up I remember so many products "for curly hair" would make my curls look great at first but they would soon dry up, create frizz, noticeable flakes and build-up. They are something to steer far away from especially if you desire moisture and definition from your hair products.

Only Use Products Containing Humectants Like Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid and Hydrolysed Proteins in Mild Weather, as They Can Attract Too Much Water in High Humidity

Humectants are ingredients that are often included to help moisturise dry hair. Curly hair can get drier than straight hair as it takes longer for oils to travel from the scalp down to the ends: therefore it is important to give your hair extra moisture. Some common humectants include glycerin, glucose, propylene glycol, hyaluronic acid, and hydrolysed proteins

Humectants are most beneficial for your hair in mild weather as they hydrate hair by drawing water molecules from the air. In humid weather, humectants can attract too much water, causing excess frizz and volume, especially in high-porosity hair. Whereas in cold and dry weather, humectants may attract moisture from the hair instead, leading to damage and dryness. 


These anti-frizz serums are sure to tame the wildest of frizzes!

UK Curly Girl
Hair Blogger and EntrepreneurUK Curly Girl

Humectants are amazing for giving moisture to dry hair, which is most of us curlies! Deep conditioners and masques infused with natural humectants like honey are perfect for when your hair needs some extra moisture. 


However, you'll need to steer clear of humectants when the climate is overly humid or dry. Instead, use plenty of moisturising emollients such as oils and butters to keep your hair healthy and happy! 

4

Check That the Conditioner Contains a Mix of Emollients and Cationic Surfactants to Provide Enough Slip for Detangling Your Curls

Check That the Conditioner Contains a Mix of Emollients and Cationic Surfactants to Provide Enough Slip for Detangling Your Curls
A conditioner with good “slip” will make your hair feel slippery, and your fingers should glide through your hair with no difficulty. Curly hair, especially kinky hair, can get tangled easily and can break or become damaged while detangling. Therefore it is important to always detangle with a conditioner with good slip in order to keep your hair protected and facilitate the process.

You know a conditioner has good slip if it has a mix of emollients and cationic surfactants. Common emollients include natural oils, shea butter, and cetearyl alcohol. Cationic surfactants include behentrimonium methosulfate and behentrimonium chloride.

UK Curly Girl
Hair Blogger and EntrepreneurUK Curly Girl

Without slip where would we be?! A huge tangled mess! Opt for products with slip if like me you have very curly and thick hair, it makes the detangling process much easier - and faster, allowing your detangling comb/brush or fingers to slide through any knots with ease, preventing breakages.

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10 Best Conditioners for Curly Hair in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.
Popularity
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Key features
1

John Frieda

Frizz Ease Dream Curls Curl-Defining Conditioner

John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Curl-Defining Conditioner 1枚目

Rich Creamy Nourishment for Bouncy Defined Curls

2

Shea Moisture

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Conditioner

Shea Moisture  Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Conditioner 1枚目

Contains Castor Seed Oil and Jojoba to Restore Moisture and Strength to Your Locks

3

Noughty

Wave Hello Curl Defining Conditioner

Noughty  Wave Hello Curl Defining Conditioner 1枚目

An Affordable Vegan Hair Product With 97% Natural Ingredients

4

DevaCurl

One Condition Original

DevaCurl One Condition Original 1枚目

A Staple Product From the Pioneer of the Curly Girl Method

5

Maui Moisture

Nourish & Moisture + Coconut Milk Conditioner

Maui Moisture  Nourish & Moisture + Coconut Milk Conditioner  1枚目

A Lightweight, Softening Coconut-Based Conditioner

6

Faith in Nature

Jojoba Conditioner

Faith in Nature  Jojoba Conditioner 1枚目

Totally Silicone-Free and Packed With Essential Oils

7

OGX

Quenching+ Coconut Curls pH Balanced Conditioner

OGX Quenching+ Coconut Curls pH Balanced Conditioner 1枚目

Coconut Heaven for Soft, Light, and Defined Curls

8

Aunt Jackie’s

In Control Anti-Poof Moisturizing and Softening Conditioner

Aunt Jackie’s  In Control Anti-Poof Moisturizing and Softening Conditioner 1枚目

Defrizz Your Curls With Shea Butter, Olive Oil and Keratin

9

Aveda

Be Curly Conditioner

Aveda Be Curly Conditioner 1枚目

Botanical-Based Nourishment for Wavy Locks

10

Cantu

Shea Butter Hydrating Cream Conditioner

Cantu  Shea Butter Hydrating Cream Conditioner 1枚目

A Budget-Friendly Conditioner That's Incredibly Creamy

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

John FriedaFrizz Ease Dream Curls Curl-Defining Conditioner

Frizz Ease Dream Curls Curl-Defining Conditioner Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£5.99
Reference price
£5.99

Rich Creamy Nourishment for Bouncy Defined Curls

If you're looking for something to tame your dry and frizzy hair, this moisturising conditioner may help. It contains rosehip oil which is a non-greasy, lightweight oil that can help to seal moisture into your locks, leaving hair smooth, shiny, and soft. 

Formulated with curl enhancing technology and frizz-defying formulas, this conditioner is sure to bring the best out of your unique curls while keeping the frizz and tangles to a minimum. This conditioner is suitable for wavy and curly hair, as well as colour-treated hair.
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No.2

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Conditioner

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Conditioner Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£11.18
Reference price
£11.18

Contains Castor Seed Oil and Jojoba to Restore Moisture and Strength to Your Locks

With natural oils and proteins, this conditioner from Shea Moisture is sure to nourish and heal dry, damaged hair. Your locks will end up feeling soft and smelling sweet. Those who color, straighten, or perm their hair on a regular basis, as well as kinky, curly, and wavy natural styles will love this.

People with fine or low-porosity hair may find this product to be too heavy for their hair, and the protein might make their curls feel dry or brittle. This powerful conditioner is best for normal-porosity or high-porosity curly and kinky hair types who need to give their hair some extra love.
No.3

Noughty Wave Hello Curl Defining Conditioner

Wave Hello Curl Defining Conditioner Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£6.99
Reference price
£6.99

An Affordable Vegan Hair Product With 97% Natural Ingredients

This conditioner has an abundance of natural ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, and avocado oil, which will deliver moisture deep into your hair. Vitamin-rich sea kelp extract and avocado oil defines curls, keeping it silky soft and super-conditioned.

Added ingredients such as Irish moss and sea fennel also help to soften and smooth your curls. What’s more, this 97% natural product is on the more affordable side considering the amount of beneficial ingredients used. 


No.4

DevaCurlOne Condition Original

One Condition Original Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£14.99
Reference price
£14.99

A Staple Product From the Pioneer of the Curly Girl Method

Lorraine Massey popularised the “Curly Girl Method” and subsequently helped curly haircare get to where it is today. She co-founded DevaCurl, a brand that makes consistently high-quality products for all types of curly hair. This is their original conditioner which has captured the hearts of many curlies since.

This product has beneficial ingredients such as behentrimonium chloride, glycerin and olive oil, so it will help to detangle and hydrate hair. Some may find this product too lightweight, but it is good for those with low-porosity hair. It is expensive compared to other conditioners, but worth it if you want a staple that you can trust.
No.5

Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture + Coconut Milk Conditioner

Reference price
£8.99

A Lightweight, Softening Coconut-Based Conditioner

Maui Moisture was inspired by the ingredients found on the tropical Maui islands. This particular conditioner contains aloe leaf juice, coconut water, coconut fruit extract, guava seed oil, mango seed butter, and coconut oil, which all make your hair feel (and smell!) amazing.

This is a great choice for those who need a conditioner with great slip that will make their hair smooth and soft. Just bear in mind that this product does not contain protein, so may not help to strengthen damaged hair.
No.6

Faith in Nature Jojoba Conditioner

Jojoba Conditioner Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£4.11
Reference price
£4.11

Totally Silicone-Free and Packed With Essential Oils

Looking for a UK-made, vegan, cruelty-free product that can supply your hair with an abundance of nutrients? Try out the Faith in Nature conditioners! None of them contain silicones or any other nasties, but all are packed full of essential oils instead. This particular recommendation contains jojoba oil which can help to repair hair damage.

Those who need more nourishing ingredients may find this falls short – the lack of humectants and cationic surfactants mean that it might not provide much moisture or slip. However, it is a great choice for wavy or curly girls who need lightweight but good-quality products.
No.7

OGXQuenching+ Coconut Curls pH Balanced Conditioner

Reference price
£5.99

Coconut Heaven for Soft, Light, and Defined Curls

Curly girls (or guys) with hair that needs taming need to try this OGX Quenching+Coconut Curls conditioner. OGX's improved, pH-balanced solutions for salon-quality, gentle cleansing will help you achieve healthier hair with more shine, less frizz, and long-lasting smoothness

Softness and definition are enhanced while frizz is kept to a minimum,  leaving you with beautifully soft and shiny hair. It's worth mentioning that it does contain silicones such as amodimethicone as well as some alcohols which means those with easily-weighed down curls may want to proceed carefully. 

No.8

Aunt Jackie’s In Control Anti-Poof Moisturizing and Softening Conditioner

In Control Anti-Poof Moisturizing and Softening Conditioner Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£6.93
Reference price
£6.93

Defrizz Your Curls With Shea Butter, Olive Oil and Keratin

If you're looking for a budget conditioner with a good balance of moisturising ingredients and protein, this is one to keep in mind. The hydrolyzed keratin will strengthen your strands, shea butter will detangle, glycerin will help give your hair essential moisture, and olive oil will help to keep that moisture in your hair, reducing frizz.

Delicate humectants will keep your hair moisturized and hydrated, making this a great treatment for any hair type or texture. This conditioner does have silicones, although they are water soluble. It is also quite thick so those with fine hair should make sure to rinse it all out properly.
No.9

AvedaBe Curly Conditioner

Be Curly Conditioner Image 1
Source:johnlewis.com
Reference price
£24.00
Reference price
£24.00

Botanical-Based Nourishment for Wavy Locks

Aveda was inspired by the Indian tradition of Ayurveda, so it's no surprise it contains some wonderful natural ingredients such as aloe and sunflower seed oil to give curls moisture, and plant essences to create a refreshing scent. Wheat protein and aloe are said to help define curls once they dry, resulting in less frizz

A small amount of alcohol denat means that it could be a bit drying for some hair. It is also quite pricey considering its size, but arguably worth it if you are looking for a gentle balance of protein and moisture.
No.10

Cantu Shea Butter Hydrating Cream Conditioner

Reference price
£4.66

A Budget-Friendly Conditioner That's Incredibly Creamy

This thick-consistency conditioner from Cantu contains shea butter to make hair feel moisturised and to help comb through tangled curls. It is more affordable than other similar-quality products, and to top it off, it also has a delicious tropical smell.

It does contain isododecane which is water-insoluble, so there is a chance that this conditioner will cause buildup and weigh down lightweight curls over time. Nevertheless, curlies who use this conditioner with the accompanying Cantu shampoo say that they make their curls feel soft and shiny.

The Best Way to Apply Conditioner to Curly Hair

The Best Way to Apply Conditioner to Curly Hair
Apply conditioner after gently cleansing your scalp, or even without cleansing if your hair is particularly dry. Those with wavy and loose curls may want to avoid putting conditioner close to their scalp to prevent the top of their hair from getting weighed down.

With plenty of conditioner throughout your hair, gently detangle with a wide-tooth comb or your fingers. Don’t mind if lots of hair comes out! Leave the conditioner in for a few minutes in order to make sure it penetrates each hair.


When rinsing, leaving some conditioner in your hair will help to define curls and weigh your hair down, whereas washing all the conditioner out will give more volume. After finishing, gently scrunch the extra water out with a micro-fibre towel or cotton t-shirt, and style. Et voila, beautiful moisturised curls!

UK Curly Girl
Hair Blogger and EntrepreneurUK Curly Girl

The best way to apply conditioner to your hair is in sections! I spent years applying conditioner on top of my hair all in one go (just slapping it on) without any water and expecting moisturised and defined results. 


This is a huge mistake that can be fixed if you simply section your hair in 2-4's (or more if you have thicker hair) and apply some water and conditioner per section, detangling as you go. It's similar to if you straighten your hair without sectioning it, you never get the sleek/straight results without taking your time and reaching every single strand.

Written and researched by Brigid Bernard

Top 5 Conditioners for Curly Hair

No. 1: John FriedaFrizz Ease Dream Curls Curl-Defining Conditioner

No. 2: Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Conditioner

No. 3: Noughty Wave Hello Curl Defining Conditioner

No. 4: DevaCurlOne Condition Original

No. 5: Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture + Coconut Milk Conditioner

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The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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