3 Moisturizing DIY Leave-In Conditioners for Natural Hair August 17 2018

Using a moisturizing DIY leave-in conditioner for natural hair is one of the best things you can do for your mane.

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DIY hair recipes are ideal because they’re fun, affordable, and you control the ingredients. That means you can avoid chemicals and keep some coins in your purse by buying and blending a few high-quality ingredients yourself.

This is not to say that you can’t benefit from using store-bought leave-in conditioners. It’s just that it’s good to experiment with both purchased and homemade products for your natural curls. That way, you can see what your hair likes best.

 Snappee DIY Leave in conditioners for natural hair

Why Use a Leave-In Conditioner?

At first glance, a leave-in conditioner may seem pointless because you’re applying a conditioner after you’d already used one in the shower. And in fact, you may go months or years before you realize that it’s a good idea.

Adding a leave-in conditioner into your regimen will help to give you the soft, moisturized curls you want.

Here are five benefits of leave-in conditioners:

Eases Detangling Process. Trying to detangle your hair on wash day? A leave-in conditioner almost always doubles as a good detangler. A good leave-in will make your detangling session much smoother. In fact, you could even detangle mid-week if you have a quality water-based leave-in conditioner.

Adds Moisture. Most leave-in conditioners use water as a base, and other ingredients to lock in hydration. It’s the locking-in that provides long-lasting moisture to your hair.

Softens Hair. Leave-in conditioners work to further soften your hair after stepping from the shower. You’ll find that your hair looks healthier and shinier if you use a leave-in on wash day.

Saves Time Mid-Week. You don’t always have to get your hair soaking wet to detangle and style. A good water-based leave-in will allow you to dampen the hair enough to style it for a wash and go or to set it for twist-outs.

Protects from Damage. Leave-in conditioners add an extra layer of protection onto your curls. The protection will guard it from UV and frictional damage. However, DIY leave-ins are usually not strong enough to protect from flat irons and blow dryers. If you’re using these heat tools, you should purchase a silicone-based heat protectant. You can still use a leave-in conditioner, but then you’ll want to follow with a heat protectant before heat-styling.

Ready to try making your own leave-in conditioner? The first thing you’ll need is a clean plastic spray bottle. See below for three easy leave-in conditioner recipes!


Easy Leave-In Conditioner

The simplest DIY leave-in conditioner is one that makes use of your favorite store-bought conditioner.

Making a leave-in conditioner out of your regular conditioner is super easy and very affordable. You just need a clean spray bottle and a bottle of your favorite conditioner. It’s important to get the measurements right, otherwise you’ll end up with hair that is filmy or flaky.


1 cup distilled water
4 tablespoons conditioner

1. Pour the distilled water into a clean spray bottle.
2. Add your favorite conditioner.
3. Close the bottle and shake vigorously to mix.
4. Apply this spray after washing your hair or as a mid-week refresher.


DIY Leave-In Conditioner with Aloe

Aloe vera is one of the most hydrating ingredients for hair and you may find that it does more for your hair than plain water.

Aloe vera juice contains several key vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids--all of which are ideal for hair. Purchase an aloe vera juice that is distilled and that does not require refrigeration. This will allow you to store your leave-in conditioner in your bathroom cabinet.

Avocado oil is one of the best oils for hair, and you’ll find the texture creamier than olive oil. However, you can still use olive oil if you have trouble finding avocado oil.

Keep in mind that this DIY mixture contains no emulsifier. Emulsifiers are usually added to store products to make the texture consistent. Because your DIY mixture contains no emulsifier, you’ll need to shake the bottle well each time you use it.

1 cup distilled aloe vera juice
2 tablespoons favorite conditioner
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin (optional)
5-15 drops lavender or other pleasant-smelling essential oil

1. Pour the distilled aloe vera juice into a clean spray bottle
2. Add your favorite conditioner and avocado oil.
3. Add glycerin and lavender or another favorite essential oil.
4. Close spray bottle and shake vigorously.
5. Voila! Your leave-in conditioner is ready to use.


Marshmallow Leave-In Conditioner and Detangler

The Marshmallow Leave-in Conditioner and Detangler is a little more complicated than the first two recipes because you need to use a stove to boil the marshmallow root.


boiling marshmallow root on stove


However, marshmallow root contains great slip, making this recipe very valuable for any natural who experiences dry, tangled hair.

This mixture must be stored in the refrigerator to prevent mold, but will last 4-6 weeks.

1 ½ cups water
3 tablespoons marshmallow root
1 ½ tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
5 drops lavender or other aromatic essential oil
1 teaspoon glycerin
Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer

1. Place the marshmallow root with the water in a saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
3. Strain with a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a Pyrex cup or other heat-resistant container.
4. Let cool.
5. Pour into a spray bottle and add all other ingredients.
6. Shake before each use.

DIY leave-in conditioners are great for naturals because they’re less irritating for the scalp than the average store brand and they help to detangle curly strands.

Plus, they’re a big money saver. Purchasing a big bottle of each active ingredient and mixing it on your own will take an initial investment, but your price becomes more economical in the long run.

The toxicity level is much lower when you make your own hair supplies too. Your body will enjoy a break from inhaling chemical sprays, and your curls will be all the more natural.

What about you? Which DIY leave-in conditioners for natural hair have you tried and what were the results?