As a curly lady, if there’s anything I look forward to on wash day, it’s detangling. In the days after cleansing my hair, I get all kinds of fairy knots and tangles from weird sleeping positions and how my finicky ringlets behave in general. So when it’s time to detangle, it’s such a relief. It’s also a great experience when I’m using what I believe is the best leave-in detangler for curly hair.
The thing is, detangling makes you feel great because you can finally get rid of those knots that prevent your hair from moving freely.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
There’s always the risk of your hair snapping and your scalp being scratched too harshly when you detangle roughly.
It’s important never to rush things as you detangle.
Do it section by section without pulling hard, and always take your time.
If you tug on your hair too roughly, you can end up damaging your hair cuticles and cause them to look frizzy and dull, which is the complete opposite of what you want as you detangle.
Best Leave-In Detangler For Curly Hair
You can make detangling a rather easy process by using a leave-in detangler.
What I love about leave-in detanglers is that while their primary purpose is making your hair smooth and knot-free, they more often than not have moisturizing benefits too.
So as it detangles your hair, it simultaneously adds some bounce and shine.
Need help picking one out? I’ve got you!
Here are my top picks for the best leave-in detangler for curly hair:
Pantene Leave-On Detangling Milk Hair Treatment
Who says mainstream brands can’t cater to curly ladies?
Pantene’s detangling milk is designed specifically for curls, be it loose waves or kinky coils.
This leave-in contains argan oil, which is one of the most luxurious oils you can use on your hair.
So it’s no surprise that it provides tremendous moisture and shine, and most importantly, ample slip to help you comb out your hair without tugging at it roughly.
It can smooth down your hair cuticle to tame those pesky, frizzy flyaways that keep your hair from looking sleek.
The end result is soft and defined curls because of the utmost level of moisture and care.
- Contains argan oil that adds slip, moisture, and shine
- Detangles and softens your curls
- Great for relaxed and transitioning curly hair
- Doesn’t have any sulfates and dyes
- Will smooth down the hair cuticle to tame flyaways and frizz
- Gives you more defined curls
- It’s quite runny
Creme of Nature Knot Away Leave-In Detangler
One whiff of the sweet and creamy honey scent, and you’ll be all over this detangler!
If you love the smell of sweet honey, you’re going to find this leave-in irresistible!
Crème of Nature’s leave-in detangler is made with moisturizing and hydrating ingredients like pure honey, organic coconut oil, and creamy shea butter to make it easy for you to detangle your hair.
The nourishing ingredients don’t weigh down the hair, which is a plus to maintain volume.
It also smooths down the hair cuticle to prevent any frizz.
It can also repair split ends, so you don’t get flyaways.
The best part is on top of leaving you knot-free, it also replenishes the moisture your hair needs to be springy and shiny.
- Contains pure honey, coconut oil, and shea butter for moisture
- Instantly detangles knotty hair with slippery ingredients
- Doesn’t weigh down the hair
- Helps repair split ends and prevents breakage
- Smooths down the hair cuticle for less frizz
- Has an amazing creamy honey fragrance
- Contains no mineral oils or petrolatum
- Contains silicones
Oribe Priming Lotion Leave-In Conditioning Detangler
The best primer for styling your curls is a leave-in that will detangle and moisturize your hair with emollient ingredients it’s going to love.
So if you have dry and thick hair in desperate need of moisture and detangling, this Oribe detangler is for you.
This ultra-hydrating formula is made with oils and butters that your dehydrated hair will soak up.
It has murumuru, mango seed, and cupuacu butters to condition and soften the hair.
In addition, it also has jojoba, avocado, and olive oils for easy slip and a healthy sheen to the hair.
It’s also infused with Oribe’s signature fruit combo of watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss extract to protect your hair from damage by environmental stressors.
- Ultra-hydrating so your locks are left shiny and bouncy
- Made with murumuru, mango, and cupuacu butters for conditioning
- Has a blend of rich oils to aid in providing slip for detangling
- Contains Oribe’s signature superfruits for damage protection
- Leaves the hair silky and easy to style afterward
- Provides heat protection to prep for styling
- The smell isn’t appealing to some users
Unite 7Seconds Leave-In Detangler
Make a great impression in as fast as seven seconds when you have smooth, tangle-free ringlets with this leave-in by Unite.
It does an awesome job detangling the hair with little to no effort.
Moreover, it’s also great at strengthening the hair.
It contains hydrolyzed rice proteins to repair your damaged hair and fortify it to make it resilient to environmental aggressors.
It’s also infused with pro-vitamin B, which adds volume and shine to the hair.
The detangler also protects the hair from heat and UV rays.
If you’re trying to be silicone-free, you’ll appreciate how the silicones in this are water-soluble.
That means they can easily be washed off with water so that it won’t cause buildup.
- Detangles instantly with just a few sprays
- Rice protein repairs and fortifies the hair
- Pro-vitamin B provides volume and shine
- Protects your hair from heat and UV damage
- Locks in color
- Made with water-soluble silicone
- Has an outstanding balance of moisture and proteins
- Clean and fresh scent
- Can leave fine hair looking greasy if too much product is used
Verb Leave-in Mist – Detangle + Defrizz + Conditioning
This powerhouse leave-in mist by Verb practically does it all for easy manageability and styling – it detangles, defrizzes, and conditions, just like the name suggests.
It’s formulated with argan and moringa seed oil for deep nourishment, shine, and easy detangling when you’re about to style your hair.
It also tames frizz to make sure your hair is looking sleek and smooth.
This leave-in has bamboo and green tea extracts to strengthen the hair and protect it from free radical damage.
It is fantastic at softening the hair in mere seconds.
Additionally, it enhances your curls’ elasticity to make sure they’re bouncy, springy, and are less prone to breaking or snapping.
- Detangles the hair with argan and moringa seed oil
- Fights frizz to keep your hair smooth and tame
- Softens the hair and keeps it hydrated
- Bamboo and green tea strengthen the hair and protect it from damage
- Enhances elasticity so strands are less prone to breakage
- Vegan formula with no gluten or parabens
- The formula is so thick that it’s difficult to spray out of the bottle
R+Co Pinstripe Intense Detangling Spray
Don’t let this “intense” spray scare you off!
This spray by R+Co is both incredibly good at detangling knotty hair and making sure your curls aren’t weighed down.
Because it’s lightweight, it leaves the curls bouncy and easy to manage.
Abyssinica seed oil moisturizes the hair and adds natural shine.
It’s also formulated with ginger root and cinnamon bark extracts to tighten the hair cuticles, which seals in and retains moisture.
This product has panthenol (or pro-vitamin B5) which adds volume and body, giving your curls a neat look.
It also has a beautiful scent that you’ll love if you’re a fan of nature
. It has fresh, crisp, and fruity notes, reminiscent of lemon, tangerine, green tea, eucalyptus, and amber.
It’s a unisex scent that anyone will enjoy.
- Detangles unmanageable and knotty hair
- Gives you optimal hydration without weighing curls down
- Has ginger root and cinnamon bark extracts to tighten the hair cuticles
- Abyssinica seed oil hydrates the hair and adds shine
- Has panthenol to add volume and body to your curls
- Smells of lemon, tangerine, green tea, and mint
- Vegan and doesn’t have any gluten, parabens, and sulfates
- It’s not moisturizing enough for thicker hair
Leonor Greyl Paris Lait Luminescence Biphase Detangling and Heat Protecting Spray
If you’re looking for a more luxe and upscale option, this detangling spray by Leonor Greyl is for you.
It has unique and hard-to-find nourishing oils and botanicals to keep even the thickest curls moisturized, strong, protected from heat, and tangle-free.
Some of the exotic and nutrient-rich oils in this spray include karanja and mongongo oils.
It also has sweet almond oil, which is a lightweight oil with great moisturizing power.
The product also has wheat and soy amino acids to fortify and strengthen the hair shaft.
All these ingredients provide a luminous shine to the hair that is super glossy, so if you’re after that salon-level glow, this is definitely the spray for you.
This spray also doubles as a heat protectant, so be sure to use this before blow-drying your hair to keep damage at bay.
- Detangles the hair with nourishing plant extracts and oils
- Karanja, mongongo, and sweet almond oils moisturize deeply
- Has wheat and soy amino acids to strengthen the hair
- Protects the hair from heat styling damage
- Gives the curls a glossy and luminous shine
- Made with natural ingredients and botanicals
- Doesn’t contain any sulfates, silicones, and parabens
- Can leave the hair feeling heavy if too much is used
Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Leave-in Detangling Treatment
If your curls are looking a little dry and spongey, you have a couple of problems on your hands.
First, they’re very dehydrated.
Second, it might be incredibly difficult to detangle.
Luckily, this coconut water detangler by Camille Rose can address both of those.
You get maximum moisture levels with this leave-in because of its nourishing ingredients.
Coconut water is the first ingredient, which softens and conditions the hair along with other fruit extracts.
Coconut also lends a tropical scent.
It has intensely moisturizing ingredients like flax, hemp, sunflower, and grapeseed oils, as well as shea butter and marshmallow root.
These are known to have a superior slip, so they make detangling a walk in the park.
- Coconut water and fruit extracts soften the hair
- Flax, grape, sunflower, and hemp oils provide slip for detangling
- Prevents crunchiness from your stylers
- Leaves your hair feeling lightweight
- Great for moisturizing dehydrated, coily curls
- Has a sweet tropical coconut fragrance
- It can leave a residue if too much product is used
SheaMoisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein Free Leave-In Detangler
Any curly girl knows that SheaMoisture is the gold standard for rich and ethically-sourced shea butter.
And shea butter is amazing for detangling the hair.
One that is both nourishing and fresh is this protein-free one made with baobab and tea tree oils.
Baobab is an African superfruit that is packed with vitamins and antioxidants that are fantastic for hair health.
Meanwhile, tea tree oil soothes the scalp and stimulates it too.
Spearmint extract gives a minty fragrance for you to enjoy in your shower.
This leave-in detangler will resolve all the knots in your hair, even if you have particularly finicky type 4 curls.
It moisturizes your hair for a long time without leaving a greasy, heavy feeling.
- Made with African baobab oil for many hair vitamins and nutrients
- Tea tree oil soothes and stimulates the scalp
- Spearmint extract gives a fresh and minty fragrance
- Has shea butter for rich and deep nourishment
- Will resolve knotting even in coily hair
- Moisturizes your hair for longer without leaving a greasy residue
- Has no protein, so it’s suitable for low porosity hair
- The smell isn’t appealing to some users
Detangling can be a daunting and tedious task for us curly girls, but it’s incredibly rewarding in the end.
There’s really nothing quite like the feeling of running your brush or fingers effortlessly through your hair with no knots and matted areas blocking the way.
All you have to do is spritz your fave leave-in detangler onto the hair and detangle slowly but surely with your fingers or a brush you’re comfortable with (I recommend a paddle brush or a wide-toothed comb).
You’ll be left with silky smooth and tangle-free hair.