A conditioner is the most underrated product in our community these days. We either want to focus on deep conditioners or stylers for results. What you don’t know is that the humble conditioner is one of the best weapons you have to nourish and train your curls into obedience! Read the whole article patiently to understand my perspective and method to get the most out fo your conditioner!

Why Curly Hair needs a LOT of conditioner

Although the primary function of a conditioner is to help you detangle and add moisture, it’s formulated to “condition” your hair.  What does that mean?

    • Improve feel and appearance
    • Boost manageability
    • Reduce friction between strands
  • Making it easier to brush/comb hair after

You see, after shampoo, and after washing ALL the deep conditioner (DC) out, your hair can dry out. Sure, you can argue to say then what is the deep conditioning for? Deep Conditioning functions mainly, to Strengthen hair, yes. But mostly, your DC repairs previous damage.

Using a conditioner helps you prevent future damage, use a conditioner at the end of your routine. This way, when your hair is exposed to damage like heat tools, sun damage, blow drying or even brushing, the conditioner pampers your hair making it far more resilient than without. Trust me.

Should you leave the conditioner in, though?

If you notice Laura’s routine with Not Your Mother’s Volume Conditioner, she uses it as a leave in too.  That means, after the shower and before using a hair gel (Devacurl Arc Angel is her favourite) Laura uses more of this volume conditioner as a leave-in conditioner. She can go 3-4 days with no refresh, by the way, so this method clearly works for her. We all have to do what works for our hair since every one of us is different and all.

Do I recommend leaving in regular conditioner? No.

Why? Because if you do this as a habit, the normal conditioner can build-up. Simply because conditioners are formulated differently than a proper leave in conditioner.

Conditioners are meant to be rinsed out.

Here’s the “working with your conditioner” Method

    • Rake-in conditioner for each section and keep raking a.k.a. “Working
    • Work a few minutes until you feel conditioner is evenly distributed.
    • Follow Squish to Condish method to rinse out (optional but effective)
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ➰Saving Curls Worldwide➰ (@honestlizhere) on

Best Hair brushes to help you!

Use your trusty hair brush to help you evenly distribute your conditioner. Just make sure you thoroughly clean them after every use to avoid unnecessary buildup on the brush. Buildup on the brush can affect your scalp causing fungal infection and things of that nature. Eww.

Buy Here

I prefer using the original Curl Keeper Flexy Brush. It has a see-through paddle which is easy to clean. The bristles are not plastic so we can be sure it won’t cause frizz later.  If you are in India, support my store and buy here or purchase directly from Curl Keeper, they ship US only.

The Tangle Tweezer is another option. It’s affordable too, use my Amazon link to buy here.

Your Hair, after Working with your conditioner!

… should resemble slimy wet noodles like this! It may or may not immediately look this but with practice and with the best conditioners, try to get these results. Eye on the prize, boo.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ➰Saving Curls Worldwide➰ (@honestlizhere) on

Benefits of working with your conditioner

This “raking” for a few minutes action helps your conditioner

    • Penetrate into hair
    • Enhance curl clumps!
    • Boost moisture

My favourite conditioners (BUY HERE)

  • Giovanni Deeper Moisture (budget)- This is a deep conditioner but I love using it just like a regular conditioner. It has protein so definitely follow with protein-free stylers to balance.
  • Only Curls Conditioner – Great ingredients like Jojoba, Coconut, Avocado, Kukui, Argan and Macadamia oils naturally moisturize hair. Helping to detangle, add shine and reduce frizz.
  • CurlyEllie Nourishing Conditioner –  Penetrates the hair shaft for powerful protection and repair leaving curly hair looking smoother and silkier.
  • Bounce Curl CleanseConditioner – Give this conditioner a minute to saturate and then start raking and working with it. Love this conditioner for its ingredients!
  • Flora Curl Leavein Detangler – Yes, it’s not a traditional rinse-out conditioner that we discussed so far, but I love using it after I use their Clay Wash Refresher (watch review here)
  • Jim+Henry TEN – Comprised of organic oils, I love working with this rich conditioner. It also doubles as a deep conditioner. I used the same conditioner with the flexy brush in the video above. Check it out again!
  • Jessicurl Too Shea Conditioner – It has shea butter (hence the adorable name), jojoba oil, avocado oil and tons of lovely herbs and spices that are all great for hair and scalp. Bonus? You can leave this in! I explain in my review video here!

If you struggle with curl clumping – which is, in other words, “organizing” curls in a specific pattern – then you’ve got to start “working” with your conditioner at the end of your cleansing routine. Let me know if you do, connect with me on instagram!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ➰Saving Curls Worldwide➰ (@honestlizhere) on

Author: Liz

Child of the King. Wife. Mother. Writer. Lover of all things sweet and honest.

2 Replies to “How to Work with Your Conditioner for BEST Results!

  1. Hey Liz,
    Thank you for the helpful article.

    I have a rather silly question. If the conditioner I use is CG friendly is it ok to leave it in or should I still wash it out? I do not remember where , but I read about sotc with the conditioner and then wash it off. Then we apply a small amount of the same conditioner praying hands as a leave in. Is build up the only reason conditioner is not recommended as a conditioner? Sometimes i leave in my conditioner and get a good cast and less frizz. I used a natural organic conditioner by an Indian brand Named Ayca.

    1. Hi Jaimie – I addressed this within the article. What you are saying is the “Squish to condish” method. I do it too but only with high-quality conditioners which I know don’t buildup or cause scalp issues for me. In the end, if something is working for you then you want to stick with it 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *