dynamic duos (Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Shaq and Kobe, Will and Jada), curly hair is great on its own, but is even better when paired with the right conditioner. No matter the pattern, length, or texture of your hair, the right formula will bring out the ultimate trifecta: shine, definition, and moisture. But, before you go purchasing just any bottle, it's important to know that d ifferent curl types need different ingredients. For example, tight coils can benefit from a buttery mask, while fine hair would be better served by an airy foam. To make your next hair haul easier, we broke down the best conditioners for every type of curl — from Afros to waves — so you can find your perfect match, you know, the Stedman to your Oprah. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Best For:
Tightly coiled hair is drier by nature — it's harder for the natural oils at the scalp to travel down the spiraling hair shaft — so an extra-hydrating conditioner is a key part of an effective routine. Look for nourishing ingredients (like coconut milk and mango butter) when shopping for a conditioner to quench dry curls. This Carol's Daughter formula will give your hair both shine and slip.
Coco Crème Creamy Conditioner, $, available at
Carol's Daughter More Best For:
People with wavy hair should scope out formulas that will define waves without weighing them down. This Briogeo bottle has rice amino acids and almond oil to keep your hair soft and smooth. Once you rinse, you'll be left with pillow-soft waves without that greasy feeling.
Rice Amino + Shea Curl Defining Conditioner, $, available at
Sephora More Best For:
For scalp that's dry and curls that need moisture, reach for this steam-activated Mizani mask. It's packed with coconut and marula oils, which deliver lightweight moisture to dull hair and scalp. Use it under a dryer or hot towel to soothe itchy, irritated follicles.
True Textures Moroccan Clay Steam Curl Mask, $, available at
Ulta Beauty More — PAID — Best For:
Thick, Curly Hair
Thick hair (aka, individual strands that are larger in diameter) craves more heavy-duty hydration. Do your curls a favor and grab a moisture-rich option like SheaMoisture’s softening, shine-enhancing conditioner. Made with natural ingredients like coconut, hibiscus flower extract, silk protein, and neem oil, it’s just what the doctor ordered for softer, shinier curls.
Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner, $, available at
Walmart More Best For:
Color can suck the life out of your curls, but this treatment puts it right back. It's formulated with rice bran oil to give hair a hydrating slip. Vitamin E also adds shine, and UV filters make sure your
don't change color in the sun.
Reflection Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair, $, available at
Sephora More Best For:
Whether you're trying to resuscitate your curls after the flat iron or you don't plan on ditching your blowout anytime soon, you can benefit from this formula. It has keratin protein and black rice to strengthen damaged hair from the inside out. With every use, you'll see a noticeable change in the strength and bounce of your curls.
Keraphix Conditioner for Damaged Hair, $, available at
Ulta Beauty More Best For:
Formulas that are too heavy can make fine hair flat (and greasy) — which is a no-no. Instead, reach for a conditioner that lightly hydrates and defines your curls without making them limp. This Dove foam is a great option because it delivers moisture and shine to fine strands in a featherweight mousse formula that won't coat the hair and make it heavy.
Ultracare Conditioner Foam, $, available at
Walmart More Best For:
is widely known as a magical treatment for color-treated hair, but it's a miracle worker for all types of damage. For curls that are brittle by nature or have taken a hit from chemical treatments, heat, and color, add this conditioner to your routine. It has the same benefits of the salon-only treatment, rebuilding damaged bonds with every use.
No 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, $, available at
Cult Beauty More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? These Are The Best Conditioners For Natural Hair Cleansing Conditioners That'll Upgrade Wash Day The Best Cheap Shampoos & Conditioners