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Curly Nikki

Characteristics of A Good Conditioner

By January 27th, 202113 Comments

Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics

Ask almost any natural woman about the top concern about their mane and most will tell you moisture retention. Textured hair has unique challenges in that it craves moisture as if its life depends on it and truth be told, it does. Conditioners are every curly girl’s answer to combating dryness but here’s the thing, not all conditioners are created equal. Here are a few attributes that separate the men from the boys.

Read On!>>>

*Keep in mind your hair experiences and your specific needs that need to be addressed. What is the current state of your hair, what ingredients does your mane respond positively to, are you ingredient conscious?

  • Premium moisture – Really that should be #nuff said but I won’t leave it at that. The inherent quality that must exist is the conditioner must provide maximum moisture. It should be super hydrating and restore natural oils removed from hair from daily styling and shampooing. Emollients and humectants will provide moisture and shine.
  • Slip baby- In addition to moisture, a good conditioner will provide slip and thus have detangling ability. Slip is imperative to length retention and effective detangling. Usually silicone laced conditioners provide the ultimate detangling experience, however, they will eventually build up on the hair. A clarifying shampoo will need to be incorporated into the hair care regimen.
  • Consistency- I am partial to rich, thick and creamy conditioners. The conditioner must be able to absorb and protect at a high level, which means it needs to penetrate the hair shaft. This can be achieved by using a water based conditioner.
  • Good Ingredients- If you are partial to all natural ingredients, reading the ingredients is essential. Once you identify what your hair responds positively to, this will aid in your selection process.
  • Leaves hair feeling uber soft- A conditioner that leaves your hair feeling like cotton has done its job. If you suddenly have hand in hair syndrome, you can add the conditioner to your hair care rotation.
What do you look for in a good conditioner?

Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.


  • Naturalgirl says:

    What I look for in my conditioner is silicone and sodium free, thanks to you Nikki I now know that these ingredients will dry the hair out.

  • freddy says:

    cause im so fussy with what i put in my hair, (chemicals!) it takes me a while to find something. I just got forestmoisture, (my first branded condish!!) ive just had a rather dramatic climate change and my hair seems to be rebelling against it :/ but im really happy with this condish, if i didnt have it….. i dont know what id do! i like somthing thats gives me really nice n soft hair.

  • Netta says:

    I look at incgredients it shouldn't have all those horrible chemicals, but other than that I like something thick and it has to smell great.

  • Anonymous says:

    Giovanni Smooth as Silk is good.

  • makeareplica says:

    my conditioners need to be thick and have maximum slip. I have combination hair(4a/4b/4c), and I really try to avoid combing through my hair after detangling. The best name-brand everyday/week conditioner for me is the pantene curly conditioner. i generally use it in the summer time, when my hair retains more moisture. but in the winter and when i deep condition, i use Sweet Nature by Eddie (I do not know her last name)– the conditioner is called "love". My mom has been using her products for years, and her hair is long and always soft. The only "downside" is that you have to order online bc it is not available in nyc stores.

  • gorgeousgab says:

    i notice the thick creamy conditioners do not really treat my hair the way I hope. it's the looser watery conditioners that actually quench my hairs thirst. the loose runny ones typically have the slip i'm looking for, and creates shine. Thats all i want in a conditioner. The thick ones are so hard to comb through my hair.. ugh

  • mangomadness says:

    I use conditioner to detangle and pre-poo before shampooing. In a conditioner I look for slip, lots of moisture, fatty alcohols, oils/butters, glycerin, absence of no-nos (silicones, mineral, parabens, protein, etc.)

    Right now, I'm loving Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Conditioner. It's great for my Afro-textured hair.

  • Jasmine Rose says:

    Love my homemade conditioner: Shea butter, mayo, honey, castor oil and evoo! It keeps my head manageable and my curls are easy to detangle. Plus it's cheap! lol

    Check out my blog! Featuring items for sale! Always at a reasonable price 🙂 Follow me.

  • Anonymous says:

    I look for ingredients that either mimic the natual oil (sebum) produced by the human body or compliment it.

    I also refuse to buy a full size of any new product I am interested in trying. I either ask of samples, buy samples, buy the smallest size possible or get a bit from a frined to try first.
    There are so many wonderful products available!

  • Si KinkierThanMost says:

    This is a great articule. I have just recently (yesterday) made a homemade avocado, coconut milk, honey and olive oil deep conditioner.
    It was fantastic, my hair felt super soft and detangling was so easy afterward!
    I now realise what a good conditioner does. I have been natural for just over a year and my hair has never felt so soft.

    You can check it out here, I had to do a video!

  • Anonymous says:

    great info!

    i am so happy that my current conditioner, TLC NATURALS Hibiscus Rose Conditioner meets all these conditions

  • Nikki3C says:

    This is my first comment!!! Nikki, I love your website, and decided to give it a go!!! I must say that I've been trying to find a great conditioner, so far, Tresemme Naturals work really well (provides softness & slip).

  • λουσιμο says:

    great and useful tips!! thanks for sharing!

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