Best Natural Conditioners for the Healthiest Looking Hair
When it comes to washing your hair, shampoo tends to get all the glory, with hair conditioner being an afterthought. It's the best supporting actor nominee of your shower, the funny, unassuming sidekick to the high wattage leading role. Another analogy—and one that's slightly more fitting since we're talking about manes—is that it's the workhorse of your haircare routine, compared to other products that could be considered show ponies, at least in terms of the attention they get in pop culture (see: Shampoo and Hairspray), and in our conversations about the products we can't live without. Have you ever heard a must-have hair conditioner name checked by a celebrity or model sharing their top shelf faves? Same. Sometimes a hair mask makes it on the list, but rather than hair care, it's almost always more high profile items: a lipstick, liquid liner, perfume, or anti-aging serum they swear by before any red carpet appearance.
We get it. A list of the best natural hair conditioners probably won't beat a list of the best red lipsticks in clicks, because like other beauty underdogs, hair conditioner isn't sexy, but it is essential hair care. Here's why natural hair conditioners are a key step: First of all they feature healing ingredients like essential oils, aloe vera, argan oil, coconut milk, shea butter, olive oil and hemp seed oil. Next: Not only do they return moisture to the hair and scalp after shampooing, they set the stage for manageable hair, making it much easier to brush. (No bicep strength required, and no breakage, which means no hair loss). They also protect the hair shaft, soften brittle hair, and leave all hair types—we're talking dull hair, dyed hair, frizzy hair and oily hair—looking shiny and healthy no matter how much heat styling you do. That's no small feat. So let's pull back the shower curtain, and shine a spotlight on this hair washing hero.
We'll start by sharing some of the best natural conditioners without any harmful chemicals, synthetic fragrances or ingredients that cause skin irritation, and that do everything from make the hair feel soft to sort out dandruff and an itchy scalp. There are plenty to choose from, but we've narrowed it down to a few of our faves in various categories to help you find the right one. In other words, just like there is a shampoo for every organic conditioner, there is a natural hair conditioner for every hair texture, hair length and hair concern (fyi, oily hair types, you need conditioner just as much as dry hair types), including options formulated especially for natural hair and color-treated hair, whether you go to the salon, or DIY with hair dye at home. It doesn't matter if you're looking for a conditioner that leaves hair soft, one that doesn't irritate sensitive skin, or one that addresses dry and damaged hair or textured hair, our picks below will leave hair healthier over all, so read on to find your best match.
- Best All Natural Conditioner: Innersense - Pure Inspiration Daily Conditioner
- Best Natural Conditioner for Dry Hair: EVOLVh - UltraShine Moisture Conditioner
- Best Natural Conditioner for Curly Hair: Holy Curls - Conditioner
- Best Natural Conditioner for Fine Hair: John Masters Organics - Conditioner for Fine Hair - Rosemary and Peppermint
- Best Natural Conditioner for Dry Scalp: Josh Rosebrook - Nourish Conditioner
- Best Natural Conditioner for Men's Hair: Ursa Major - Go Easy Daily Conditioner
- Best Natural Conditioner for Damaged Hair: Captain Blankenship - Hydrate Conditioner
- Best Natural Conditioner for Color Treated : Rahua - Color Full Conditioner
Best All Natural Conditioner
Inspiration often strikes in the shower, so first off we love this product's name. It reminds us that some of our most creative ideas have popped into our head while under the tap. Did inspiration for Innersense Organic Beauty line strike founders and hairstylists Greg and Joanne Starkman in the shower? That would be a fun origin story. But we digress. Innersense was one of the first natural haircare lines on the market back in 2005 when it launched, and this lightweight daily conditioner with natural ingredients is one of the brand's best sellers, and one of the best natural hair conditioners we've tried. A moisturizer and detangler for dry to normal hair, it's made with rice bran oil and aloe vera. These two ingredients work together to strengthen and smooth, while orange flower oil imparts a shampoo-commercial shine that makes hair look and feel healthy. As an organic hair conditioner, it also tames frizzy and dry hair without using silicone, a human-made plastic polymer that is often found in conventional hair-smoothing products. And if you're like us and you go through a lot of shampoo and conditioner, it's available in a refillable format to cut down on waste.
Best Natural Conditioner for Dry Hair
If glossy, hydrated hair with natural shine is what you're after, this vegan, paraben-free conditioner delivers both, along with a glorious grapefruit scent that peps up a morning shower, to help you rise and shine. The formula softens hair and features wild pansy, sweet clover and apricot extracts. It's also packed with nourishing amino and fatty acids, and antioxidants to help moisturize hair and protect it from environmental bullies that age us, such as pollution and UV rays. (Many of us forget, but like our skin, our hair is out there absorbing all the very same things.) It's also versatile, giving a healthy dose of moisture to all hair types, from gloriously thick curls to baby fine straight strands, and everything in between, including color-treated hair.
Best Natural Conditioner for Curly Hair
Formulated with all ranges of natural curl patterns in mind—spiral, tight, kinky et al.—this line was shaped by its founder Badria Ahmed's experience with her own hair growing up after spending years trying to straighten her natural curls. The brand has been getting rave reviews from media outlets like Vogue and ELLE, celebrities and influencers, for their chic packaging, high-performance formulas and luxurious textures. The Curl Conditioner features star moisturizing ingredients Baobab oil and Cupuaçu butter. The former comes from the fruit of the Baobab tree, and is rich in omega fatty acids and vitamins. It also absorbs quickly, leaving hair soft and moisturized—fast. And the latter is extracted from the Amazonian super fruit, which helps to lock in moisture. The results? Curls with major shine and bounce, that aren’t weighed down with product, thanks to the hydrating-but-very-light formula.
Best Natural Conditioner for Fine Hair
If you have fine hair, the key is to find a conditioner that won't weigh it down. That can mean testing out several before you find the right one, and as a result, plenty of droopy hair days, and leaning on dry shampoo to fluff strands and add body while you search. This lightweight conditioner will not only soften hair, it will also add volume, which is a major bonus. Rosemary oil helps detoxify and creates optimal conditions for the natural cycle of hair growth, while peppermint oil addresses something else that weighs down hair: product build up. It removes residue, and its minty extract boosts circulation, and makes your scalp feel refreshed. Plus, hair gets a dose of hydration and is left looking shiny thanks to ingredients like rice extract and sea buckthorn. This brand also has some major clean beauty cred: In the mid 90s, hairstylist John Masters opened what he called the world's first clean air salon, where hair color, chemical treatments and even hairspray were off the menu so that clients didn't need to worry about breathing in any toxic fumes.
Best Natural Conditioner for Dry Scalp
Like the neck and décolletage, our scalp needs the same treatment as the rest of our skin. If you have dry, sensitive skin, you get a super hydrating and gentle face cream. If your scalp has the same issues, this conditioner will do the trick. If you’ve ever opened a vegan cookbook, you know how nutrient-dense seed oil and nuts are, and why they are added to nearly every dish to drive up the health factor. It’s no wonder then, that this conditioner is packed with healthy nut and seed oil which are rich in fatty acids to nourish and deliver natural moisture to the scalp, and leave hair feeling soft and healthy. Botanical extracts, a Josh Rosebrook specialty—the hairstylist developed his own plant-based formulas at home and shared them with clients before starting his own line—stimulate circulation to help encourage hair growth, amp up shine and volume.
Best Natural Conditioner for Men's Hair
In the 80s and 90s, hair commercials featuring men with thick hair playing squash or riding motorcycles were a thing. The messaging was the same: they didn't want oily hair, brittle hair or frizzy hair. They wanted healthy, shiny hair, but didn’t want to mess around too long to get it. Fair. But also, everyone wants that. Ursa Major conditioner rinses out easily for when time is of the essence, and is an excellent detangling strategy for knot prone hair, which can also devour precious minutes of the day. Ingredients like jojoba oil and hydrolyzed soy protein deliver hydration and help make hair feel smooth, while aloe strengthens strands and helps with dandruff. Even if you’re in a rush, the scent—orange, bergamot, sandalwood and patchouli—will make you want to pause.
Best Natural Conditioner for Damaged Hair
Whether it’s heat styling, home hair dye or regular trips to the salon for a date with some pretty harsh chemicals, we put our strands through a lot, resulting in dry and damaged hair. This creamy, plant-based hair healer—the natural conditioner equivalent of wrapping yourself in a cozy cashmere blanket and lighting a vanilla and coconut milk-scented candle—is an easy way to get chemically treated hair back to healthy hair. The creaminess comes from natural ingredients like Nilotica shea butter sourced from a women’s cooperative in Uganda, which helps to lock in moisture, while a blend of organic seaweed extracts infuse hair with a smoothie’s worth of vitamins and other nutrients. Hair strands and scalp will also drink up hydrating aloe vera that imparts a healthy shine. Housed in an infinitely recyclable aluminum bottle, the conditioner's packaging is taking care of the planet, while its formula is taking care of your damaged hair.
Best Natural Conditioner for Color Treated
Maintaining the hair color you paid for—or were born with—starts in the shower, since something as simple as washing your hair can compromise your color. In fact excessive washing is one of the top causes of salon color fading. Washing colored hair less frequently helps. So does the shampoo and conditioner you use. The complement to Rahua’s Color Full Shampoo, Color Full Conditioner features a protection complex to fight the fade and keep color going strong. It’s designed to work for all shades of color-treated, highlighted, as well as natural-colored hair, especially blonde, silver and grey. Its gardenia-scented, creamy and super rich formula is infused with natural ingredients like Amazonian lilac clay, which helps to reduce brassiness. Meanwhile, the brand’s namesake, an oil that comes from a tree nut, not only strengthens weak and damaged hair, amps up natural shine, and boosts hair and scalp health, it also drives pigment deep into the shaft of the hair follicles to help extend the life of your color.