Does Leave in Conditioner Curl Your Hair?

Leave-in conditioner can do many things - moisturize parched strands, smooth unruly hair, and even protect against heat damage. But can it curl your hair? That’s what we’ll focus on in this article. By the end, you’ll know with 100% certainty whether leave-in conditioner can curl your hair. 

Leave-in Conditioner Can Make Your Hair Curlier

Though leave-in conditioner does not curl your hair like a curling wand or curling iron would, it can certainly help to enhance your natural curl pattern. A leave-in’s ability to bring out your curls is not only dependent on its formula, but it’s also dependent on how you manipulate your hair after applying the product. 

Why Leave-in Conditioner Enhances Curls

The main reason why leave-in conditioner enhances curls is that it increases the hair’s moisture levels. When the hair is adequately moisturized, it draws up more and shows more of its natural texture. The more hydrating your leave-in conditioner is, the more it’ll bring out your curls. 

How to Get More Defined Curls Using Leave-in Conditioner

We alluded earlier to the fact that you play a part in how curly your leave-in will make your hair. If you don’t want it to make your hair curly, just apply it and go forward with your regular hair routine. But if you want to enhance your hair’s curl definition, use one of the methods below: 

  • Scrunching. Scrunching your hair is one of the best ways to encourage curl definition. To do so with a leave-in, you’ll simply apply the leave-in to all of your hair, cup small sections of hair in your hands, and squeeze and push up simultaneously. Do this hand motion repeatedly all over your hair. Be generous with the leave-in conditioner and add more as needed to encourage curl definition. After you’re done scrunching your leave-in into your curls, air dry. Scrunching will be most beneficial for wavy and loosely curled hair types - type 2 and type 3. Type 4 hair rarely needs to be scrunched. 

  • Shingling. Shingling is a micro-defining method that’s gaining more and more attention in the hair world. You can use shingling along with your favorite leave-in to get the curliest hair you’ve ever had. To shingle, you’ll part out a horizontal section of hair at the nape of your neck, apply your leave-in generously, and then wrap small subsections of hair around your fingers one at a time. After shingling all of your hair, you’ll allow it to air dry. Use this method on all wavy and curly hair types - type 2, type 3, and type 4. 

  • Use a Denman Brush. If you have type 4 hair that lacks clear definition, pull out your Denman brush, apply your leave-in conditioner, and gently brush through your curls. The brush, in addition to the hydration and smoothing ability of the leave-in, will cause the curls to clump together and appear more defined. 

So, there you have it - leave-in conditioner can definitely make your hair curlier. But you should know that your specific leave-in matters. The best overall option for this is a leave-in that’s ultra-hydrating, slippery, and protective - Daily Dose checks all of those boxes. We hope that you found all the information you were looking for, and we wish you the best with your hair!




Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.

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