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My Favorite Leave-Ins and Curl Creams for Natural Curls

A good leave-in conditioner and curl cream is essential if you want strong healthy hair. It's also a key step to achieving the style you want, whether it be curly and defined or smooth and straight. The goal is finding the right products that work with the texture of your hair. It should provide the nutrients  you need while guarding your hair from damage.

As you know, I'm always trying new products but I've found a few that I love and always have around. These leave-ins are the first step to my favorite styles, like wash and go, shingling, raking, twists, etc.

Revlons Unique One All-in-One Hair Treatment (Type 3a to 3c)

This one is my all time favorite leave-in. I discovered it years ago, when I use to have relaxed (permed/chemically straightened) hair. The first time I tried it, my blowout turned out silky with a ton of movement. Although, I regularly attacked my hair with my blow dryer and flat iron, UniqOne reduced my breakage almost instantly.
It was just a few months ago that I decided to use it for my wash and go. I ran it through, just before applying a bit of  Marc Anthony's Curl Envy Curl Cream (my favorite) and I couldn't believe how amazing my curls looked. Since then, I sometimes skip the curl cream and finish it off with some Eco Styler gel (with argan oil).

Uniq One delivers the moisture my Type 3b-c hair has been thirsting for. My curls turn in to shiny springs and the definition lasts up two days. Revlon boasts that it has 10 benefits, including repair for dry and damaged hair, shine and frizz control, split ends prevention, and heat protection. I'm convinced, my hair is getting fuller, shinier, and longer with every use. I love the smell, a mix of floral, fruity and a touch of patchouli.

This leave-in comes in three fragrances, and my new favourite is lotus flower. Just a word of caution,  if you're sensitive to scents, this may not be for you.

I love the fact that it comes in a spray bottle and has a light creamy consistency that sticks to the hair shaft, without being thick and heavy. If the texture of your hair is a tighter curl than Type 3c, this leave-in may not be enough. You may need to add another product for more hold and definition.

Give this one a try whether you have straight or curly hair.

Marc Anthony's Curl Envy Curl Cream 

Marc Anthony's Strictly Curls Curl Envy Perfect Curl Cream is my go-to over everything else I've tried and trust me I've tried many.

This award winning styling cream delivers shine, definition, and just enough hold my hair needs. But the reason this product wins over other curl creams is that it delivers a ton of moisture without leaving your hair sticky. The moisture and shine lasts all day.

I use this curl cream along with a small amount of Eco gel around the hairline. I'm left with just right level of definition and movement for my Type 3c curls. I've used other products but this one is very reliable.

Curl Envy leaves your hair soft and shiny and makes your curls pop for the entire day. Sometimes, I can stretch my wash-and-go to two days just by spraying in some water and and adding a little more curl cream. Marc Anthony Curl Cream is by far my favorite curl defining cream.

Pantene Pro-V Curl Perfection Conditioner (Type 3c-4c for detangling and 3a to 4a as leave-in styler)

When I do my wash and go, the only place I comb out my hair is when I'm in the shower with conditioner in my hair. To prevent breakage and pain, you need slickness, and this is my go-to conditioner. The comb slides right through the knots.

Every so often, I use this as my leave-in. I got the idea from a friend who was visiting one day. We were both on the natural hair journey, trying to find the right styling products...and ready to give up. Her curls were shiny and defined. I could've sworn she used a mousse or curl cream. Nope, she used Pantene Pro-V conditioner made for curly hair.

Next wash and go, I used it as my leave-in and the results were and still are amazing.

Pantene Pro-V Ultimate 10 BB Conditioner (Type 3a-4a)

This one isn't one of my favorite conditioners but it is a great leave-in and curl cream. I top it up with gel and the results are shiny, defined curls. Conditioners as leave-ins work for me and I truly believe they make my hair a little stronger and healthier.

Shea Moisture Strengthen, Grow and Restore Leave-In Conditioner   (for 3c to 4c curls)

This leave-in has a thin consistency but is a little heavier than Uniq One. It's packed with organic nutrients like shea butter, peppermint, keratin, Jamaican black castor oil and it's sulfate free. I highly recommend Shea Moisture's leave-in, especially if your hair is in dire need of revival and repair.

It's slickness is perfect for detangling because the comb glides right through the knots. It's absolutely perfect for natural styles, like shingling and twists and gives my style longevity by lasting for a couple more days than my normal wash and go.

I love it for my curls, but it's super for blowouts, straightening and other styles that call for heat protection. This leave-in is a "reparative" conditioner that can help to turn your hair around and provide the elasticity to resist breakage.

I highly recommend this leave-in for both the natural (curls/coils) or processed (color/relaxed) ladies. I was originally going to tell you that Shea Moisture Strengthen, Grow and Restore Leave-In Conditioner is for 3c to 4c curls. I changed my mind after trying it on my daughter's 3b curls. Women of diverse backgrounds with anywhere from 2a type to 4c type curls seem to love it!

Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream (with Shea Butter or Argon oil) (Type 3a-4c)

The first time I tried Cantu, I absolutely loved it. My hair felt like I gave it the love it was begging for, the hydration was instant and the comb glided right through. Now I'm a loyal fan and always have a tub of it lying around.

It revives dry, damaged hair and gives it the strength it needs to stay on your head. It truly helped me through my transition from relaxed to natural hair. I didn't do the big chop, instead I chose to grow out my relaxed hair. This meant paying special attention to the weakest point of the hair shaft, and that's the point at which the processed hair meets the natural hair.

A key tip to remember is to avoid mixing Cantu Leave-in with other curl creams or gels, or you may end up with a clumpy mess. For some reason, it just doesn't work well other products. I usually just add some oil to get a good shiny finish and to seal moisture in to the hair shaft.

This product is just the right consistency for Type 3c-4c hair but a little too heavy for thinner, less curly textures. I have to say that I've noticed a change in Cantu's formula. It also includes ingredients that many natural ladies try to avoid, like rubbing alcohol. If you can find the old formula, the one that lists shea butter as it's second ingredient (after water), grab it, you won't be sorry.

Well, that's it for now. I'll keep updating this page as I try new leave-ins and stylers. Hopefully, I can help you find ones that work for you.

By the way, if you have curly hair, you should know your curl Type. If you don't know, make sure you go to where they provide a very thorough overview.

I would love it if you reached out to let me know what leave-ins work for you, which ones you love, and why you love them!

Now go pamper yourself!

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