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DIY Curly Hair Conditioner

DIY Curl Conditioner

We recently had someone email us about making a DIY version of her favorite curl conditioner. Well, since I’ve only had stick STRAIGHT and/or FRIZZY hair my entire life….I felt this subject was a little outside my comfort zone. There was nothing else to do but turn to my daughter-in-law Kaitlyn who is not only an expert at keeping her hair absolutely BEAUTIFUL…but who also has CURLY hair! (My daughter Britta inherited my stick straight hair and wasn’t a good candidate either.) My heartfelt thanks to Kaitlyn for tackling this tangled topic! :-)

Kaitlyn writes:

This post came about a bit by accident. Jill got an email from a lovely reader named Catalina asking if we might be able to come up with a DIY version of a product called Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls. The product is a whopping $22 a bottle! Catalina said she noticed that most of the products she’s seen for curly hair advertise coconut milk and coconut conditioners as ingredients. So I set out to find a DIY product using coconut milk.

I found an intriguing recipe for a Coconut Milk Deep Conditioner on Kinky. Curly. Couture. With a blog name like that I figured Tifani had to know what she was talking about! So I set to work modifying Tifani’s recipe a bit with things I had on hand. It wasn’t until about 10pm Wednesday night that I decided to reread Catalina’s email and realized I had come up with a DIY for the completely wrong product! Eeek! Miss Jessie’s is actually a leave-in conditioner that is supposed to create really soft curls instead of crunchy ones.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to create an actual DIY version of Miss Jessie’s before I needed to get this post done. So today you get a deep conditioner for curly hair and I’ll attempt a a leave-in conditioner sometime soon ;)

curly hair conditioner

DIY Deep Conditioner for Curly Hair

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (Make sure to mix up the coconut milk when you open the can so you don’t get a 1/4 cup of just the cream)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp greek yogurt 
  • 2-3 drops rosemary or lavender essential oil

Mix all of your ingredients together in a small bowl or blender. I threw mine in my Blendtec to insure they were mixed up really well but you can just as easily mix them by hand.

DIY Curl Conditioner

Now comes the application – I sort of just stuck my hand in the bowl and got some mixture on my hands. Then I rubbed it into my hair in sections. After my whole head was covered I ran a comb through to make sure the conditioner was spread out evenly.

Normally I would post step-by-step photos of this process but I looked like kind of a hot mess doing this and just couldn’t bring myself to post that on the internet, haha. So you’ll just have to imagine me in my bathroom at 10 o’clock at night with no make-up on and my hair covered in goopy conditioner. That’s a nice visual, right? ;)

DIY Curl Conditioner

I put my hair up in a shower cap and let the conditioner sit for about 45 minutes. I then showered as normal. I ended up washing my hair twice because it still felt a little greasy after one wash. I then let my hair air dry.

So the big question is…did it work? I could definitely feel a difference! My hair was softer and silkier than normal. I don’t have super curly hair, but the back is pretty wavy and tends to be kind of frizzy. One conditioning treatment definitely didn’t fix all the damage done by years of blow drying, flat irons, and curling irons but if I used this on a regular basis, I know I would see a very noticeable difference.

A few notes on why the particular ingredients in this conditioner are great for hair:

DIY Curl Conditioner

Coconut Milk: Stimulates growth, restores damaged hair, can sometimes loosen curls. I read on a couple of websites that homemade coconut milk works better than store bought. Jillee has directions for making your own here.

DIY Curl Conditioner

Honey: Softens and smooths hair, boosts hair growth, antibacterial, increases shine

DIY Curl Conditioner

Coconut Oil: Moisturizes and strengthens hair, helps fight dandruff

DIY Curl Conditioner

Greek Yogurt: Moisturizes and strengthens hairs, increases shine, helps fight dandruff

Rosemary Essential OilCleanses, strengthens and nourishes hair follicles and encourages growth

Lavender Essential Oil: Antibacterial and great for dandruff

Do you have a favorite DIY hair treatment?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I can’t wait to see the leave-in recipe! Also, I use to co-wash method (conditioner only, no shampoo) I have been using suave, but would prefer a more natural conditioner that I could make. Would love to see if you guys could come up with a DIY natural “suave like” conditioner. I’ve been searching and searching, with zero results that I could use on my medium curly Caucasian hair. Everything I’ve come across needs to be used with a shampoo.

  • This sounds incredible. I have dry curly/wavy hair. Do you put this on dry hair, or wet it first? Also what do you shampoo and condition with afterwards?

  • I actually have it on my hair right now, my question is that yours looks kind of creamy and like it made a lot with this recipe. Mine was kind of runny and just a was not a lot, did I do something wrong, plus I can feel it running down my neck lol. I basically started using a spoon then decided to dip my hair into it then finished pouring the remainder on my scalp. Combed it through. I’ll see the results in 40 min.

    • 45 minutes and a shower later, My hair feels amazing, I can feel the difference while shampooing and rinsing my hair. I didn’t even have to use Jillee’s detangler; yes this stuff works and is amazing too; I loved it Jillee and definitely will keep using it!!!

    • Hi Angelica! This is from Kaitlyn: That picture is probably a little deceiving…it looked creamy but was definitely runny. I didn’t put a ton on but if I had dipped my hair in it I’m sure it would have run down my neck like yours is. And that yellow bowl is pretty small – I purposefully made a small batch since I don’t think this recipe would keep for very long.

  • Thank you, Kaitlyn, for sharing this with us! I have a head of thick, curly, silver locks and I always need a good conditioning treatment. This sounds excellent. I’m looking forward to the leave-in condish too!

  • I use coconut oil on my hair EVERY time I shampoo. My hair us always soft and healthy, and I notice a huge difference when I go to the hairdresser and don’t have time to pretreat. Coconut oil soaks in really quickly and I’m sure I could apply before I go to bed, but I never think of it.

  • Can’t wait for the leave-in! If I don’t put gel in my hair my curls frizz into a poodle look (but very soft,) and if I do they are the “crunchy” state. :(

  • Hi Jillee,
    I so enjoy all your recipes, I have curly hair and have tried some of your recipes they are wonderful. I actually tell people you were the one that got me started into wanting to us all natural and not processed or chemical. I’m waiting to finish the shampoos and conditioners I have to make the your coconut ones. Anyway, this may seem like a dumb question but, I only have vanilla yogurt on hand right now, I’m sure it has to be plain. Do you think it will matter or make a difference?

  • Jillee,
    Thanks for the handy recipe! (And for all your late night work, experimenting for us!)

    I remember once you mentioned a mixture of essential oils that you had made up to replace an anti-friz product that you once purchased to use in your hair. I’d love to know the recipe and if you still use it/have had success with it. I have lots of fine wavy hair, and need something to add to my hair after I shampoo and dry. Florida heat and humidity has me looking like a fluff-ball but I am trying to stay away from chemicals and want to DIY!

  • I will definitely be trying this….looking forward to the leave in treatment! I have super curly, dry hair and I need all the help I can get…LOL. Thanks!

  • My daughter and her daughter have thick, curly hair that is just gorgeous, and they both learned the trick to caring for it. No shampoo. That’s right, no shampoo, only conditioner. Slather it on, leave it on while you shower, then rinse. Their hair smells fresh and clean, their scalps are clean too. We are from Hawaii, and I was a swimmer with fairly straight hair. I always used straight coconut oil on my hair before swimming, even every day, then just rinsing it out, not shampooing. Shampoo strips your hair of vital oils.

  • Is this for one treatment or multiple? My hair has a mind of its own, I spend weekends at the ballfield and days by the pool so I will be doing this soon and often this summer.

  • This post was perfectly timed. I am in the middle of re-vamping the care of my own curls. For now, I’ve stuck with my standard Suave conditioner but I have been itching to try something either homemade or just all-natural store-bought. Looking forward to trying this!

  • I have used oil olive in the past for my dry itchy scalp. I just put a little dab in a microwave safe container, heat for about 10-15 seconds, then
    I massage it into my scalp leave it on for 10-15 minutes then you just wash and condition your hair as usual.
    Apple cider vinegar is great for this too. My mom
    Just uses a paper towel to put it on the scalp. You can leave this in, no need to wash it out.

  • I love all things coconut for my hair. Between coconut oil, coconut milk and honey – my over-processed hair has been completely revitalized. Gonna try this version with the yogurt as my hair loves protein. Thanks for sharing.

  • I have a 6 year-old with super curly hair and it’s a hassle to find good, natural and not so expensive products. I’ll try this deep conditioning and looking forward to a leave-in products. Thanks so much.

  • I might have to use this on one of my natural spa days!

    Right now I’m doing an Apply Cider Vinegar rinse instead of conditioner and so far I LOVE it! I have curly/Wavey hair and I was very hesitant cause normally I can’t go w/o slathering conditioner on my head. But I’m trying to get more and more away from synthetic chemicals due to the fact my body cannot tolerate them.

    • My hair is insanely thick and curly ; I wear it past my shoulders. I have tried apple cider vinegar but it tangles my hair massively. Any insight on why? Any tips that may help?

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