We've read the ingredients labels for you so you can enjoy the luscious hair of your dreams.
Finding the right conditioner is a critical step to attaining shiny, hydrated, healthy hair—especially for those of us who shampoo regularly. Shampoo tends to strip your hair of its natural oils. Even natural shampoos without parabens or detergents can dry your hair in the absence of an effective conditioner. Enter our guide for the best natural conditioners out there that are truly nourishing and also complement your favorite natural shampoos.
Why use a natural conditioner?
Conventional conditioner brands and salon brands alike often contain chemicals that can absorb through our skin and build up in our body. Even the fragrances in most conditioners can cause immunotoxicity and organ system toxicity when accumulated in the body over time. In contrast, our favorite natural brands steer clear of toxic chemicals and artificial fragrances. Instead, they rely on natural oils and plant extracts to heal hair damage, soften and strengthen hair, and promote healthy hair growth.
Finding the right natural conditioner for your hair isn’t always easy, though. For one thing, not all products are equally effective. For another, the beauty industry is almost completely unregulated, so it’s easy for companies to make unfounded claims about their products. That’s why we’ve tracked down the top natural conditioners for all hair types, and done our research on their ingredients and reviews.
Best natural conditioners
Citrus and Neroli Detangler from John Masters Organics
This lightweight formula hydrates, detangles, and conditions hair without leaving behind a flattening residue. It features grapefruit oil to reduce frizz and detangle, neroli flower oil to heal split ends, and coconut oil to help hair seal in hydration. The formula is made mostly of plant extracts and oils, and each bottle contains at least 70% organic contents. Although it’s intended for normal hair, the lightweight, nourishing properties of this conditioner make it an excellent option for anyone with fine or thin hair. The product has positive reviews from buyers with different hair types. They were all happy with the way it delivered moisture without weighing down their locks.
Honey & Virgin Coconut Conditioner from 100% Pure
This gentle, restorative conditioner is a strong option for color-treated and/or damaged hair. 100% Pure’s formula features coconut oil for long-lasting hydration, and honey to moisturize and nourish the hair. It also contains healing vitamin E, smoothing avocado butter, and replenishing aloe leaf juice. The creators have steered clear from artificial fragrances, chemical sulfates, detergents, and synthetic chemicals. You’ll know that you’re giving your hair a healthy treat. This conditioner has dozens of positive reviews from loyal buyers, who love its deep moisturizing effects as well as its natural coconut scent.
Curiously Clarifying Conditioner from Acure
Acure’s formula includes argan oil and argan stem cells to nourish hair strands and follicles alike. These key ingredients both moisturize your hair and help to strengthen the connection between the hair and the follicle, preventing overshedding. Meanwhile, the antioxidant CoQ10 supports keratin production, and organic cocoa butter delivers vital moisture to the hair. This product is free of parabens, sulfates, silicones, sodium chloride, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. Reviewers love the way it tames frizz without causing any oily buildup.
Smooth Shine Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner from Avalon Organics
If you want to boost hair shine while reducing flyaways, this smoothing conditioner is a great option for you. This formula uses vitamin and mineral-rich apple cider vinegar along with nettle extract to deeply nourish hair. (Not only does nettle extract condition hair, it’s also known to stimulate hair growth and prevent overshedding.) It also features argan oil and babassu oil to moisturize your hair and seal the hair cuticle, protecting it from damage caused by heat treatments. This product is formulated without parabens, artificial dyes, or synthetic fragrances. It’s also highly rated EWG, so it’s a healthy option for the planet as well as for your hair! (Sources: 1)
Argan Oil Conditioner from Tree to Tub
Tree to Tub have done their research and created a product that heals long-term damage to the hair and scalp. The formula uses soapberry to rebalance your hair and scalp’s pH. Skin pH which can often get thrown off by harsh hair products with chemical detergents, leading to dandruff, dry scalps, and unhappy hair follicles. It leverages the moisturizing powers of argan oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe vera. It also includes pomegranate extract to boost hair growth. This powerful blend will give your hair a lustrous, healthy look while helping to repair damage from harsh products.
Diamond Strong Conditioner from Laritelle
This formula works overtime to moisturize and condition hair, stimulate healthy hair growth, and repair damage from harsh products and heat treatments. Argan oil, babassu oil, and extra virgin olive oil moisturize and strengthen the hair. Silk protein adds shine and repairs damage. A blend of rosemary and other plant extracts stimulate circulation to the hair follicles, promoting hair growth. This conditioner is free of sulfates, parabens, alcohol, gluten, and phthalates, and contains 98% organic ingredients. It has strong reviews from customers, who note the healthy look their hair attained with this product.
Organic Conditioner from Christina Moss Naturals
This is another great product for your hair and the environment, without an intimidating price tag. The formula features soothing aloe, moisturizing olive oil, and shea butter. In addition, there’s circulation-boosting peppermint oil and rosemary leaf extract, and nourishing acai fruit oil. Christina Moss Naturals is dedicated to formulating salon-quality products without using any harmful chemicals, including anesthetizing agents and petrochemicals. This product has dozens of reviews from loyal buyers, who swear by its effectiveness for sensitive scalps and damaged hair. Reviewers also note the shininess, bounciness, and silkiness they noticed after using this conditioner.
Silk 18 Natural Hair Conditioner from Maple Holistics
Maple Holistics’ formula features silk amino acids to strengthen and repair your hair. It also includes aloe leaf juice and shea butter to moisturize. Pomegranate, green tea, and hibiscus stimulate hair growth and boost hair strength. This powerful blend of ingredients makes the conditioner a great option for all hair types, including color-treated hair. This product has thousands of positive reviews on Amazon. Buyers should note that it does contain a few synthetic preservatives that can pose low to moderate health risks.
Feed Your Ends Leave-In Conditioner from Yarok
Cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free
Leave-in conditioners are a must-have for anyone with long hair or particularly dry hair. This product can be sprayed into your hair after showering (and/or before styling) to add a nourishing, conditioning boost. The formula includes a blend of moisturizing and vitamin-rich oils: olive, grapeseed, apricot, and primrose. It also features a blend of essential oils to stimulate scalp circulation. Yarok Hair is dedicated to sourcing their ingredients naturally. Even their preservatives are sourced from plants, and never created synthetically. This product has been featured in magazines including Natural Health, and even won a Vinnare Organic Beauty Award in 2017.
Ingredients to avoid in a conditioner
When shopping for a natural conditioner, it’s important to know which ingredients you should avoid, so that you can make the most informed decision possible. Most of us know to look for products that are free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and petrochemicals. Most product labels will clearly state that they are free of these ingredients. Here are some lesser-known ingredients to steer clear of:
The word sounds innocuous enough, but fragrance can often be the most dangerous ingredient in a beauty product. For one thing, it’s impossible to actually know what a manufacturer means by the word “fragrance.” It can stand in for thousands of different ingredients. These chemicals may smell delicious. But research shows that they can cause allergies and irritate your respiratory system, disrupt your endocrine system and immune system, and cause organ toxicity. Many of them are also neurotoxins. To avoid these harmful effects, look for a product that has a specifically identified, natural fragrance ingredient.
Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone
These preservatives are commonly found in hair care products, and are important ingredients to avoid due to concerns regarding irritation and neurotoxicity. One study found that exposure to methylisothiazolinone damaged rats’ brain cells (yikes).
Benzyl alcohol and other alcohols
Alcohols are often used by cosmetics companies as fragrances, preservatives, and solvents. They have a high risk of irritation, as well as a low risk of immunotoxicity and a moderate risk of organ system toxicity. Alcohols can also be extremely drying for the hair and scalp.
Best natural conditioner ingredients
The good news is that nature has given us plenty of ingredients that are great for the hair (and the rest of the body). You don’t need to compromise when it comes to taking care of your hair. We’ve listed some of the best natural conditioner ingredients below:
Argan oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and olive oil are all excellent moisturizers packed with nutrients and other beneficial properties. For example, argan oil helps to strengthen the hair’s connection to the follicle, reducing hair loss. These ingredients are also great for soothing itchy, irritated, dry scalps.
Natural circulation boosters
Rosemary oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil, and tea tree oil are essential oils that boost circulation. When they’re included in hair products, they help to stimulate blood circulation in your scalp. This increases the delivery of key nutrients to your hair follicles. This improves follicle health to encourage healthy hair growth.
Natural pH balancers
When your scalp’s pH becomes unbalanced, you can suffer from dry scalp, oily hair, and other uncomfortable conditions as a result. It’s always smart to seek out pH-balanced products that will help restore your scalp’s natural pH level. Some great ingredients for balancing pH include soapberry, aloe vera gel, and apple cider vinegar.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing the best natural conditioner for hair. This guide should help you to make an educated decision for your locks! Find that your hair needs an extra boost? Try mixing up a DIY hair mask with nourishing ingredients like egg white, jojoba oil, and essential oils.
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