Before I recommend any conditioner here, it goes through several tests. The first is that I check out all the ingredients, and research any unfamiliar ones with the most objective sources I’ve been able to find to date. Then I use it for at least a week. If it combs well, keeps my curls clumped, smooth and moisturized, even at the end of the week, then I recommend the conditioner for combing and leaving in. These are the conditioners to comb your hair with and leave in.
*Please note that though I try to be as careful as possible on these recommendations, many times the same products overseas have different ingredients than those in the states (for some reason it’s often sodium chloride that’s added). Also know that the ingredients in a product can change without any warning or indication on the package that it’s happened. Therefore, it’s always a great practice to be paranoid like me when it comes to your pretty curls, and to always check the label of any product before purchasing.
To me, combing conditioners are the most important product with my combing method. They make it possible for the comb to glide through thick curls, help those curls clump nicely together, add weight and protection, and keep your lovely coils weatherproof. But in order for one product to do all this, you have to be very very picky about what’s in that product. You can use the Ingredients Dictionary to look up ingredients of products, or you can just go with what I have here. However, I recommend always skimming over the ingredients of any product, even those I recommend, because manufacturers seem to constantly change their ingredients without warning.
I go into way more details on the site itself, but for the conditioners to work, you need to comb them into your hair, define your curls, and then *leave to conditioner in*. Many other sites have tons of great recommendations for good rinse out products. These recommendations are for the conditioners that you can leave in your hair.
Leaving conditioner in your hair has been catching on lately. However, you can’t leave just any old conditioner in your hair and expect everything to go okay. There are certain ingredients that just make those products unsuitable for what we’re trying to do here with our curls. Our hair is not your average, easily squelched and defeated hair. So we need products that can work with our hair without making it crunchy or greasy, or drying it out.
Also, most conditioners all have about the same ingredients, whatever the front of the bottle tells you. Most deep conditioners have nearly identical ingredients to their conditioner counterpart, and some brands have nearly identical ingredients in every single conditioner in their line, maybe reversing a couple ingredients, or adding one thing, or just changing the fragrance, no matter what the front of the bottle may tell you. Often, the difference between a conditioner labeled as rinse out, and one labeled as a leave in, is that the “leave in” has lots more water, or watery tea-like ingredients. That’s why I usually go with conditioners often labeled as “rinse out”– same ingredients, just less water, so you get more product in your hair doing its job. Because we don’t have wimpy, ordinary hair, and so we don’t need products that are little more than water. Go for the full strength products.
***Here is my most up to date list of combing conditioners I’ve found so far.***
P.S. I’m not using “rinsing conditioners” anymore. I shampoo with either one of the recommended shampoos or just use the combing conditioner as a shampoo. Then I use the combing conditioner one more time and rinse it out. Then I heap more into my hair and comb in, separate my curls, and leave my hair to dry (no rinsing the last time).0