Best Leave-In Conditioner for 4C Hair: Reviews and Buying Guide
Publushed by:Khadija B.
Last updated:November 15, 2022
I tested dozens of leave-in conditioners and found Bumble and Bumble Grooming Creme to be the best overall for my 4C hair.
If you have 4C hair, you are probably looking for a good leave-in conditioner to add to your wash day routine that will leave your hair soft and silky. You may be tired of the frizziness, dryness, and breakage of having 4C hair. If you’re looking for the best leave-in conditioner, you have come to the right place. I’ve done my research and have identified the best leave-in conditioners for all of your 4C hair problems.
The Bumble and Bumble Grooming Creme leave-in hair conditioner includes a thick, rich formula that is outstanding for both damaged hair and healthy hair.
Whatever your reason for seeking the best leave-in conditioner for 4C hair, you will find the answers here. For our quick picks of best products, see below:
For more in-depth product reviews, see below:
When it comes to top-quality haircare products, we love Bumble and Bumble. This New York-founded company has been in the styling and product business for over 40 years. Their products are cruelty-free and feature only highly refined select ingredients.
Many of us with 4c natural hair have learned that we need to take extra steps to keep our dry natural hair incredibly soft and moisturized. One of the main reasons to use a leave in conditioner is to give your hair type the help it needs to retain moisture.. Bumble and Bumble Grooming Creme moisturizing leave in conditioner will help your hair hydrated and have your scalp and hair feeling light and clean. Since so much breakage you experiences comes from dryness, adding this top leave in conditioner to your hair regime will help with preventing moisture loss.
One of the benefits about this product that I love is the hold it will give you. So many leave-in conditioners can weigh hair down, leaving you with limp, loose curls and kinks that are hard to style.
The other thing we love about Bumble and Bumble Grooming Creme is that it contains sun protection. Sun can damage 4C hair, leaving it dry, coarse, and brittle. The sun protection ingredients in Bumble and Bumble Grooming Creme guard your hair against those harsh UV rays. You can soak up the sun without worrying about the damage your hair is enduring.
To use this leave-in conditioner, apply a small amount to wet hair and work it down the hair shaft with a wide tooth comb, all the way down to the roots. It’s best to start with your ends, which tend to be the driest and most brittle, then slowly work toward your roots.
Once you’ve applied this product, you can style your hair as you usually do. You should find that you can groom and style more easily. This is your way of knowing that this leave-in conditioner is working as it should.
If you are committed to all-natural ingredients for your 4C hair, check out this product from tgin. The truth is, we often know so little about what goes into our hair styling products. So many products contain artificial, harsh ingredients like artificial colors, petrolatum, sulfates, and parabens.
These artificial ingredients can leave your hair dry and brittle, stripped of its essential oils and vitamins. What’s more, these artificial ingredients wash straight down the drain, contaminating waterways and land areas prone to run-off.
If you’re concerned about protecting your hair and the planet, tgin Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer may be right for you, especially if you sport an all-natural look with your 4C hair. Natural hair deserves natural products, and that’s just what you’ll find with tgin Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer.
Rather than the long list of artificial ingredients you’ll discover in some deep conditioner, this product contains ingredients like vitamin E, cocoa butter, and shea butter. These rich, natural ingredients give you hair that is healthy, strong, shiny, and moisturized.
When I tried tgin Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer, my hair felt soft and moisturized while remaining manageable and stylable. It made my hair feel like it had extra moisture than usual and I never experienced the product buildup that I have with a prior regular conditioner.
It is best to use this product every day or every other day. You’ll determine the right frequency for you as you use it. Take a small amount into your hands and rub your hands together. Then, work this leave-in conditioner down your hair shaft, ensuring each of your hair strands is saturated.
I love that you can use this product as a leave-in conditioner and a setting cream when styling your hair. When using as a setting cream, you’ll find you can easily create lovely twist-outs and two-strand twists.
When it comes to the best leave-in conditioners for 4C hair, you don’t have to break the bank to get results. That is where Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Original Leave-In Moisturizer comes in.
Beyond the financial savings, why do I love Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Original Leave-In Moisturizer? Because it gives me soft, natural-looking, well-moisturized hair without the dryness and frailty we often struggle with as 4C hair types. This product from Carol’s Daughter is perfect for every curl, coil, kink, and wave you’ll find in the 4C family.
Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Original Leave-In Moisturizer boasts no parabens, mineral oil, artificial colors, or petroleum. Instead, you’ll find rich ingredients like shea butter for hydration, sweet almond oil for smoothness and shine, and agave nectar that ensures your hair retains moisture.
To use this product, dispense a small amount into your palm. How much you use will depend on the length of your hair and the moisture level you want to attain. For leave-in conditioning, work the product through wet hair, starting at the ends and progressing toward the roots. For styling, you can use this product on dry hair, either working it through or focusing just on the sections you want to set.
With Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Original Leave-In Moisturizer, you get plenty of product without spending plenty of dough. Unlike other low-dollar products, this one delivers on moisture, style, and shine.
If you’re working with relaxed, texturized, or color-treated hair, Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream is the perfect product for you. This product is designed with treated hair in mind, ensuring you keep the benefits of your hair treatments like color and relaxation without losing out on moisture, shine, and strength.
Cantu formulates their Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream by leaving out ingredients harsh on treated hair, like alcohol and silicones. Instead you will find natural oils and shea butter, ideal ingredients for color-treated, relaxed, and texturized hair.
Permanent treatments like coloring and relaxation can harm hair, leaving it dry, coarse, brittle, and damaged. Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream repairs the damage done by these harsh treatments, reducing split-ends and preventing future damage by protecting your hair from roots to ends.
Cantu boasts three-way hydration with their Leave-In Conditioning Hair Cream. First, you can use this deep conditioning leave in conditioner daily by focusing on the damaged areas of your hair. Second, you can use it as a rinse-out conditioner, just as you would use any off-the-shelf conditioner that you rinse out after shampooing your hair.
Finally, you can use as a leave-in treatment that absorbs into your hair, giving you all-day moisture and shine. In addition to being great for treated hair, I love this Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Hair Cream for its versatility. When I used this product as a leave-in, I got deep conditioning results. I noticed less frizz, more moisture, higher shine, and improved strength.
You will love the sweet, luxurious vanilla fragrance in Maui Moisture Smooth & Repair Vanilla Bean Hair Butter. I, for one, could not get enough of it. This product boasts vanilla planifolia fruit (or vanilla seed) and coconut oil extract among its top 15 ingredients, giving it the best scent of all the leave-in conditioners I tried.
Vanilla planifolia extract is good for more than making your hair smell like heaven. It is also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants can improve your hair’s growth because they help maintain collagen in your body and hair follicle connective tissue.
Indeed, there are lots of things I love about this product besides its delectable fragrance. It is great for frizzy or unmanageable hair, giving you a smooth, stylable finish for any ‘do you desire. It is also great for hair that reacts to weather, especially heat and humidity.
This may be due to the use of kukui nut oil in this rich, leave-in conditioner blend. Maui Moisture claims that kukui nut oil is a secret ingredient known for centuries among native Hawaiians for its ability to resist humidity and the frizziness it causes. If this ingredient is a secret, I am so happy Maui Moisture let the cat out of the bag.
Add to kukui nut oil rich ingredients like creamy cocoa butter, coconut oil and ultra-hydrating aloe vera leaf juice and you end up with a product sure to give your hair the highest degree of moisture and strength.
You can use this product on wet hair, as a rinse-out or leave-in conditioner. If using as a rinse-out conditioner, after shampooing your hair, rub a small amount between the palms of your hands. Work the hair butter from roots to ends and leave on for at least 5-minutes, giving the shower steam a chance to permeate your hair. After five or more minutes, rinse the product out of your hair.
If you want to use Maui Moisture Smooth & Repair Vanilla Bean Hair Butter as a leave-in product, you still want to apply it while your hair is wet. Scoop a small amount from the tub and work it through the length of your hair. Use a comb, pick, or your fingers to rake the product through your hair, being sure to work through any tangles as you go.
When it comes to fragrance, Maui Moisture Smooth & Repair Vanilla Bean Hair Butter is the leader in the leave-in conditioner pack. If pleasantly fragrant 4C hair is a priority, you want to consider this product.
If you’re seeking a leave-in conditioner because you want rich, deep moisture throughout your hair, look no further than As I Am Double Butter Cream. I found this product to be the deepest moisturizing, luxe cream on the market for 4C hair.
What makes this product so rich in moisture? It features a variety of oils and natural kinds of butter that work together to hydrate dry, damaged, or brittle hair. Moisturizing ingredients include cocoa butter, shea butter, castor oil, jojoba oil, wheat germ oil, and lanolin (or sheep wool oil).
In addition to these ultra-moisturizing ingredients, you will find a couple more unique and beneficial ingredients in this product. First, As I Am Double Butter Cream contains sugar beet root. Sugar beet derivatives protect hair from mineral deposits like calcium and magnesium salts which can accumulate in the hair over time, causing you to lose shine, lift, and bounce.
Second, this product features Panthenol, also known as pro-vitamin B5. Panthenol strengthens hair, reduces breakage, and helps to repair split ends that can leave hair looking damaged and unkempt.
To use As I am Double Butter Cream, dispense some into your hands. You can use a lot or a little dependent on the moisture retention you are going for with your hair. I wanted deep moisture, so I used a large dollop. Rub the cream between your palms, then gently work down the hair cuticle of your coily hair.
We all use leave-on conditioners for different reasons. For those with 4c natural hair, battling dry natural hair is a frequent problem. If hair growth and improved hair moisture are the goals, give As I Am Double Butter Cream a try.
You may be looking for a leave-in conditioner to apply before your next appointment to style and set your 4C hair. If that describes you, I encourage you to try Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream.
When I tried this product, I noticed the softness and stylability immediately. My stylist even commented on how soft and easy to style my hair was. This is because Moroccanoil designs this product as an all-in-one treatment for curly or kinky hair. This Curl Defining Cream replaces the need for multiple setting or styling products, functioning as a leave-in conditioner, setting cream, and styling formula combined.
Besides making your hair easy to style, you will find that Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream nourishes your hair, giving it luxurious moisture, strength, and shine. I especially loved the shine I got from this product; it was perfect for making my style look beautiful and polished.
When using Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream, it is best to apply it to damp hair. All you need is 1-2 pumps to coat each strand. Rub the cream between your palms and fingers, then distribute it evenly throughout your hair. Then, you can style and set your hair as you normally would.
If you are seeking hair that is moist and hydrated while remaining highly stylable, I think this is the product for you. I loved the shine and hold I got from this product most of all.
When shopping for the best leave-in conditioner for 4C hair, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, look for products with natural ingredients you recognize, like shea butter, jojoba oil, wheat protein and argan oil. Avoid products with harsh or artificial ingredients like alcohol, sulfates, and parabens.
Second, do not be afraid to play trial and error. It didn’t take us long in our natural hair journey to realize that we would have to find the right product for our textured hair. Don’t be afraid to try several to find the right one for you.
Third, pay attention to value. You do not need to spend an arm and a leg to find the perfect leave-in conditioners to moisturize your hair.
Finally, pay attention to customer reviews. While we have done the work for you in this article, it is always worth the time to see what others have experienced in trying to find the right leave in conditioner.
Let’s take a look at some common questions regarding the best leave-in conditioner for 4c natural hair:
Do I need to use a leave-in conditioner?
No, no one NEEDS to use a leave-in conditioner (or deep conditioners). However, if your hair is dry, brittle, hard to style, coarse, or any of the other myriad problems that are common with 4C hair, leave-in conditioner is a good idea to assist with moisture retention. Consider combining with a protein treatment to help strengthen the hair.
Aren’t all leave-in conditioners the same?
No, leave-in conditioners vary widely in their ingredients, features, and results. Consider what I have learned by trying the products above to help you understand the distinctions among different leave-in conditioners.
What is 4C hair?
4C hair is hair in the four family that is tightly curled or kinked hair. 4C hair is the densest and kinkiest of all hair types and most often belongs to people of African descent.
What if my hair is still dry and brittle after using a leave-in conditioner?
This likely means you have not found the right product or combination of products for you. If you have tried one product and found it lacking, try another. Some people find they must use multiple leave-in conditioners with different benefits to achieving their ideal results.
The leave-in conditioner market is vast and can be hard to navigate for those of us with 4C hair. If you are struggling to identify the best leave-in conditioner for your 4C hair, consider what I have learned through testing and experience.
Whether your issue is dryness, permanent treatment, cost considerations, or stylability, the right product exists for you. Give the products on this list a try and see which one provides the maximum benefit for your 4C hair.
Overall, the best leave-in conditioner for 4C hair is Bumble and Bumble Grooming cream, but you will find many great products on this list. Determine your haircare goals to help you select the leave-in conditioner that is best for you.
Head to Amazon or your preferred retailer to purchase any of the leave-in conditioners on this list. You will be glad you did – finding the right moisturizing leave in conditioner can make a world of difference in stimulating hair growth and keeping your hair moisturized.
Check out this article for the best deep conditioner for 4C hair.