What is a leave in conditioner and what are its benefits?
Leave in conditioners can be applied on wash day and can also be used to detangle your hair.
A good leave in conditioner can be left in to provide moisture and protection throughout the day.
It’s important to use one specifically designed for 4c black hair, as this type often needs extra hydration.
A good leave in conditioner can add shine, minimize breakage and tangles, and provide a barrier against damage from daily styling or environmental factors.
Read more: Natural hair breakage at the crown: Why does it happen and how to fix it?
The importance of using a leave in conditioner
When it comes to hair care, it’s easy to get caught up in the latest fad products and trendy hairstyles.
But one thing that often gets overlooked is leave-in conditioner.
While many people use a regular conditioner in the shower, a leave-in conditioner helps provide extra moisture and protection for your hair after washing.
Applying just a small amount evenly throughout damp hair before styling can leave your hair feeling soft and smooth on non-wash days.
The best leave in conditioner for 4c hair
A good leave in conditioner usually contains some of these key ingredients:
- Aloe Vera Juice
- Green tea
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin E
- Coconut milk
It’s not easy to get these ingredients to play nice together in a formulation with water, so bonding agents called “emulsifiers” are needed to make sure the oils and water work together for the most hair benefits.
Cetearyl alcohol is just such an emulsifier and is found in many hair and skin care products.
Read more: Natural Hair Care Myths Debunked: The Truth About Ingredients
To make things simple, we’ve compiled a list of the best leave-in conditioners for your 4c hair:
It’s okay to experiment with different products to see which ones work the best for your natural curls.
Healthy hair growth, especially on a natural hair journey, is often trial and error.
Don’t get discouraged if one product doesn’t work well for you.
We’re all different and each of our strands has different needs.
How to use a leave in conditioner for 4c hair
A leave-in conditioner could be just the solution if you’ve been suffering from dry, brittle hair that just won’t retain moisture.
Start by sectioning off your hair and spritzing it with a water bottle to ensure it’s damp but not soaking wet.
Next, apply a dime-sized amount of leave-in conditioner to each section, focusing on the ends of your hair.
Your ends are typically the oldest and driest part of your hair, so they will benefit the most from the extra hydration.
Finally, use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to evenly distribute the product throughout your strands before styling as usual.
And voila – say goodbye to dry, damaged hair and hello to soft, bouncy locks!
Just remember not to overuse leave-in conditioner as using it every day can weigh down your hair and lead to buildup.
Stick to once or twice a week for best results.
Once you’ve applied your leave in, don’t forget to seal for added moisture retention.
Some common sealants you can use are:
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Argan oil
- Cocoa butter
- Babassu oil
- Olive oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Shea butter
- Avocado oil
Dry 4c hair needs oils or butters (depending on your hair type) to lock in the moisture.
Our zig-zaggy coils don’t make it easy for our scalp’s natural oils to coat each strand, so we have to give them a little help with sealing.
Read more: The Ultimate Best Oils for Coily Hair
Moisture loss is one of the biggest culprits in having dry hair.
Be careful if you have low porosity hair, though, as using heavy butters or applying too much product can leave your hair strands with build up.
For low porosity hair, the best products have a lightweight formula.
The best moisturizing leave in conditioners have emollient ingredients listed first in the ingredients list.
Look for natural ingredients like water or aloe vera.
If a good detangling agent is what you need, look for ingredients that contain slippery elm, marshmallow root and/or aloe vera gel.
For high porosity hair, moisturizers won’t help much without sealing in each time.
Since your hair cuticle stays open, or is missing altogether, this also causes frizzy hair.
Sealing your wet hair with oils or butter does the best for your type of curly hair.
Protein treatments may also be helpful and there are some leave in conditioners with protein added.
If you don’t know whether you have high or low porosity hair, this article from Healthline helps break it down.
For either hair porosity type, experiment with different variations of the loc method (liquid, oil, cream) for maximum benefit.
Read more: What should I do after washing my natural hair?
How to make your own leave in conditioner at home
If you’re a DIY type of gal, and still want shiny, healthy hair without breaking the bank on pricey leave in conditioners, making your own leave in conditioner might be worth a try.
One of my favorite YouTuber’s has a DIY leave in conditioner that I absolutely love:
Add all of your star ingredients into a spray bottle and you have created just the right leave-in conditioner for you!
Leave in conditioners are a must for 4c hair types.
They help to detangle, moisturize and protect your hair from the sun and other environmental elements.
There are many leave in conditioners on the market that work well for 4c hair. However, you can also make your own at home with simple ingredients.
By using a leave in conditioner regularly, you will see a big difference in the health and appearance of your hair.
Til next time!
Your favorite Kurlie Gurlie,