Even when using a great shampoo and conditioner, it’s hard to keep hair moisturized no matter the season. With drying heating systems in the winter and sun damage in the summer, it is essential to create a moisturizing barrier between your hair and the elements.
Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem — leave-in conditioner. This breakthrough product detangles hair, prevents split ends, and adds an extra boost of moisture. Keep reading to learn about the best leave-in conditioner products and pick the one to suit your hair type the most.
What Is the Difference Between Wash-Out and Leave-In Conditioners?
Regular wash-out conditioners are made to replenish moisture that may have been lost from shampooing and add proteins, keratins or silicons for hair smoothing and strengthening. The essential purpose of a rinse-out conditioner is to coat and fill in the hair cuticle making locks thicker, stronger, and more manageable.
Leave-in conditioner is a moisturizing hair care product you don’t need to rinse out. It can be liquid, creamy, or oily depending on the ingredients and hair problems it was designed to solve. Leave-in conditioners are applied both to dry and damp hair whenever your mane needs a quick pick-me-up.
The main difference between these two hair care products is concentration and weight. While regular conditioners have a thick texture, leave-ins tend to be lightweight and airy. Thus, leave-in conditioners are easier to use, as in most cases, you just need to spray the product on your tresses. Note that while both types of products work better on wet hair, leave-ins can be used on dry or second-day hair, making the styling routine easier.
The Best Leave-In Conditioners to Choose From
The best leave-in conditioners do a double duty of detangling and smoothing your hair. Besides, it works for all hair types, being especially helpful for damaged, curly, afro, and colored hair that all suffer from increased porosity.
There are dozens of products to choose from, however, after much research, we have narrowed the list to the 7 best leave-in conditioners on the market today. Whether your hair is curly, relaxed, tangled, or fine, you are sure to find the best leave-in conditioner for your hair type.
#1: Gisou Honey Infused Leave-In Conditioner — Best for Fine Hair
The Gisou Honey Infused Leave-In Conditioner is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants to strengthen hair and protect it from UV damage and breakage. Enriched with Mirsalehi Honey, the spray perfectly hydrates and smooths locks in just a few spritzes of the product, so it can become a truly indispensable thing in your makeup bag.
This lightweight leave-in conditioner is a real find for those having thinner hair types. Ladies with fine hair usually avoid such products as they can make hair strands heavy and greasy. Yet, with this leave-in mist, your hair will become smooth, soft, and nourished as never before.
#2: Sexy Hair Healthy Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner — Best for Thick Hair
This leave-in conditioner by Sexy Hair is fortified with Mimosa Flower Extract, soy, and proteins to penetrate the hair and give it the strength and moisture it’s been lacking. No matter your hair type, this detangling lightweight mist works wonders on damp strands and never weighs hair down. It’s especially great for thick hair because its silk-like qualities let any comb or brush glide through with ease.
Try Sexy Hair Tri-Wheat Leave-In hair conditioner if you’re looking for a decent after-shower detangler that makes color treated hair look and feel much healthier. It is deeply moisturizing with a mild protein reconstructor for taming frizziness, flyaways, and dry split ends. It is absolutely safe for color-treated and extremely damaged manes. No heavy residue, no sticky feeling, and you can easily layer this leave-in spray with other styling products.
#3: Davines Oi All One Milk Leave-In Conditioner — Best for Curly Hair
If you have coily or curly hair, you probably know that moisturizing and conditioning must be an integral part of your routine, especially if you’re addicted to heat styling. Here’s where Davines Oi All One Milk Leave-In Conditioner comes in handy.
This milky spray works as a detangler, moisturizer, frizz eliminator and protects hair throughout the day. Its lightweight formula allows you to use it daily without making hair greasy or weighing it down. Besides, the leave-in conditioner is designed to add shine to curly hair strands, giving them a stunning, glossy look as if you had just left a celebrity stylist.
#4: It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin — Best for Extra Treatment
When it comes to the best drugstore leave-in conditioner, look no further than It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin. This spray remains one of the top leave-in conditioners for tangled hair, as it doesn’t leave a heavy residue. You may also use it for high porosity hair that requires extra treatment and moisturizing.
It’s a 10 Leave-in Plus Keratin that specifically targets and maintains hair that has been through a keratin treatment. If you’ve never used such products before, you need to know that keratin shampoos and conditioners always work wonders for frizzy hair, make hair smoother, softer and stronger, and act as great detanglers. Spray a pea-sized amount of conditioner and apply throughout the entire length of your towel dried hair to effectively moisturize the locks.
#5: CHI Keratin Leave-In Conditioner — for Damaged Hair
The CHI brand is synonymous with quality, luxurious ingredients, and delicious fragrances, and this Keratin Leave-In Conditioner is no exception. This leave-in treatment is a superior product that delivers salon-like quality results for dry, damaged hair. Use to treat dry, split ends while you’re growing out your hair (all we have those moments!). It works as a multifunctional leave-in treatment, and you’ll notice the difference after the very first use.
The leave-in conditioner spray from CHI makes hair look and feel much healthier, softer, and more manageable. Its lightweight formula won’t weigh down fine and delicate hair. This product is also a perfect leave-in conditioner for color treated hair. Natural keratin rebuilds each hair’s cuticle, while argan oil and jojoba oil help prevent breakage and dehydration.
#6: Ouai Leave-In Conditioner — Best for Wavy Hair
OUAI Leave-In Conditioner is a light, multi-tasking spray and heat protectant, made to smooth, condition, and detangle textured hair. The formula includes ingredients like amino acids, tamarind seed extract, and vitamin E, which eases hair styling and helps to get the desired look.
OUAI Leave-In Conditioner allows you to make tighter curl patterns. Use it on damp hair to create sexy beach waves without curling devices and solve your hair dryness issue once and forever.
#7: UNITE 7 Seconds Detangler Leave-In — Best for All Hair Types
If you suffer from knots and tangles every day, this leave-in conditioner was created for you. UNITE is a professional salon system designed for the most discerning of stylists and top salon owners. The ingredient list isn’t all-natural, but its formula works like magic, so we can live with it.
UNITE is the detangler professional stylists swear by. But it doesn’t just detangle hair. This product repairs, strengthens, protects, and nourishes the hair making it look and feel softer, healthier, and shinier from the first use. The UNITE leave=in conditioner feels absolutely weightless and doesn’t leave any crunchy or sticky residue, even on fine and flat hair. Applying to damp hair provides excellent UV and heat protection.
Should You Use a Leave-In Conditioner Every Day?
For some, daily hair conditioning may sound like an excellent idea, but the truth is that the regular usage of leave-in conditioners can do more harm than good. If you apply conditioning spray or lotion every day, it can create nasty buildup. Besides, the hair over-conditioning can make it dry, brittle, unmanageable, and greasy.
To get the best results, use proper leave-in conditioner once or twice a week. If you also use coconut oil as part of your routine, also limit the use of other moisturizing products to avoid protein overload.
How to Apply a Leave-In Conditioner?
To get the best results with your hair moisturizing, you better use the leave-in conditioner on soaking wet hair before you blow-dry or style it. However, you are free to apply the conditioning product to dry hair to moisturize and seal your locks and protect hair from heat damage.
Incorporating a leave-in conditioner into your hair routine may be just the thing your locks need. Try one of these products today to detangle, moisturize, and style your hair.