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.
The Best Leave-In Conditioners to Choose From
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, bleached, or fine, you are sure to find the perfect leave-in for your hair type.
|It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin - Editor’s Choice||Detangling, heat protection, anti-frizz, hydration|
|Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Conditioning Spray||Detangling, moisturizing, anti-frizz, soothes scalp, prevents lice|
|Sexy Hair Soy-Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner||Detangling, nourishing, moisturizing|
|Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-In Cream||Anti-frizz, moisturizing, smoothing, split-end treatment|
|Renpure Coconut Whipped Creme Leave-In Conditioner||Deep moisturizing, nourishing, smoothing|
|CHI Keratin Leave-In Conditioner||Prevents breakage, nourishing, shine, intense hydration, detangling|
|UNITE 7 Seconds Detangler Leave In||Detangling, hydration, UV and thermal protection|
#1: It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin — The Right Hairstyles’ Choice
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 with an affordable price tag. It’s a 10 Leave-in Plus Keratin specifically targets and maintains hair that has been through a keratin treatment, but there is also a keratin-free leave-in conditioner option available if you don’t need the extra treatment. However, remember that keratin shampoos and conditioners always work wonders for frizzy hair, make hair softer and stronger, and act as great detanglers.
Why it’s worth your attention: This leave-in conditioner is rated very highly within the Amazon community. It has 78% of 5-star reviews — very rare when combined with over 3000 comments. Customers adore It’s a 10 Plus Keratin, because this product is the ultimate all-in-one salon-quality conditioner with an affordable price tag. If you need a moisturizer, detangler, frizz protection, heat protection, smooth and shiny hair, and want to make your keratin treatment last longer, It’s a 10 will do it for you.
First impressions: The packaging is typical of the It’s a 10 brand. Classy, minimalistic design with a blue plastic bottle and an orange spray nozzle. The conditioner’s texture feels slightly oily on fingers, but it doesn’t weigh hair down or make it greasy. This product has a pretty, neutral scent, good for both sensitive noses and sophisticated tastes.
Tips on usage: Use this product every time you shampoo. Towel dry hair to 70% dry, spray a pea-sized amount of conditioner and apply throughout the entire length of hair (or spray 3 to 5 times directly on the hair). Concentrate product on dry, split ends, not on roots. You can also spray It’s a 10 on your locks every time you feel the lack of moisture – it doesn’t leave a heavy residue.
#2: Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Conditioning Spray — Detangling and Lice Prevention
Fairy Tales conditioning spray is a tried-and-true product that has been an Amazon bestseller for years and has thousands of positive reviews. Infused with citronella, rosemary, and tea tree oil, it solves a number of hair problems, from frizziness and lack of moisture to terribly tangled hair and even lice. Whether hair is baby fine or impossibly long, this detangler works wonders on damp strands and never leaves hair feeling or looking greasy.
Why it’s worth your attention: Fairy Tales products are free from toxins and harsh chemicals such as sulfates and parabens. It’s also free from dairy, nut oils, soy, and gluten, and all active ingredients are naturally derived. This product works as a detangler, moisturizer, frizz eliminator, and protects hair throughout the day. It’s light enough to use every day without making hair greasy or weighing it down. This powerful, yet light, formula also repels hair lice and nits.
First impressions: The pretty, 9.6-ounce bottle is white with a red cap. The spray nozzle is economical — it doesn’t dispense a lot of a product at once, which makes each bottle last a long time even if the whole family uses it. Fairy Tales leave-in conditioner has a strong herbal smell that may seem unpleasant to some, but it lasts only a few minutes.
Tips on usage: You can use Fairy Tales conditioning spray daily on wet, towel-dried, and completely dry hair, or as frequently as needed. If you use this product to fight or prevent lice and nits, be sure to focus on hard-to-reach areas, such as roots, behind the ears, and the back of the neck.
#3: Sexy Hair Soy-Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner — Best Option for Color Treated Hair
This leave-in conditioner by Sexy Hair is fortified with a Soy-Tri-Wheat complex and proteins to penetrate hair and give it the strength and moisture it’s been lacking. No matter your hair type, this detangler works wonders on damp strands and never weighs hair down. It’s especially great for damaged hair because its silk-like qualities let any comb or brush glide through with ease.
Why it’s worth your attention: Try Sexy Hair Soy-Tri-Wheat Leave-In hair conditioner if you’re looking for a decent after-shower detangler that makes 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.
First impressions: The product comes in a nice 10.1-ounce, blue bottle with an easy-to-use spray nozzle and a transparent cap. The light mist smells absolutely delicious, with hints of cacao and coconut. The bottle is a little large for travelling, so we recommend buying the travel-friendly mini version because it is a must-have while on vacation.
Tips on usage: Use this product on towel-dried hair each time you shampoo. Depending on the length of your hair, you will need about 5 to 10 pumps of liquid. Evenly apply throughout hair and lightly massage it in. Avoid roots if your hair tends to be very greasy. Some reviewers use Healthy Sexy Hair’s leave-in spray daily.
#4: Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-In Cream — The Best Inexpensive Leave-In
Garnier has been our favorite mass market brand for years, and this product is one of the best products they’ve ever made. If you’re looking for an inexpensive but effective leave-in for all hair types, Garnier Fructis Leave-In Cream does it all for an incredibly affordable price. The formula’s foundation includes Moroccan argan oil and apricot extract. Didn’t know how to keep hair straight in humidity? Here is your savior! The label promises 10x smoother hair for up to 3 days even in 97% humidity.
Why it’s worth your attention: Just like other decent all-in-one leave-in conditioners, Garnier Fructis fights frizziness, tames flyaway, heals split ends, works as a detangler, and as a deep moisturizer for dry hair. This leave-in conditioner also has a curl defining feature for keeping all types of curls shiny and lustrous. This affordable product will make your hair soft, sleek, shiny, and healthy.
First impressions: The 11.2-ounce bottle lasts a long time but probably isn’t the most travel-friendly option. The packaging is similar to most of Garnier Fructis products. The scent is strong, but pleasant enough. The cream itself is white, thick, creamy, and doesn’t leave a sticky feeling on fingers.
Tips on usage: Apply to damp hair after showering or refresh dry ends whenever they need a moisture boost. This product works for all hair types, but apply sparingly until you get the desired effect. Too much product can leave an unpleasant residue. Consumers recommend ordering on this product on Amazon rather than buying it at the drugstore, especially if it’s on sale or you have a promo code.
#5: Renpure Coconut Whipped Creme — Deep Moisturizer Without Harsh Chemicals
Another good leave-in conditioner that won’t break the bank is Renpure’s Coconut Whipped Creme. If you’re in doubt as to whether this paraben- and sulfate-free product is the best cream leave-in conditioner, look no further than its hundreds of stellar Amazon reviews. If you’re looking for the icing on this whipped-crème cake, Renpure’s products are natural, not tested on animals, and contain zero harsh salts, drying sodium chloride, or gluten.
Why it’s worth your attention: This creamy, after-shower conditioner uses natural coconut oils to condition the inner cuticle of the hair without weighing it down. Renpure leaves hair super-healthy and shiny due to its deeply moisturizing properties that smooth dry locks and split ends. It’s especially effective for curly, frizzy, coarse, relaxed and for wavy hair. It’s great during the winter when all hair types tend to be dehydrated.
First impressions: Renpure’s leave-in conditioner comes in a 16 ounce, amber-colored bottle with a reliable pump mechanism. Its size is ideal for at-home use, but it’s definitely not travel-friendly. Once you open the pump mechanism, you can’t close it again. This leave-in conditioner smells amazing and the subtle notes of coconut and cacao will stay in your hair all day. Real aromatherapy!
Tips on usage: Use Renpure Coconut Whipped Creme on wet hair after every shampoo. If you have greasy roots, apply this leave-in conditioner from the mid-shaft to the tips and start with smaller amounts of product. Or simply switch to a special shampoo for oily roots. YouTube beauty gurus with natural hair types sincerely advise using this conditioner together with other products from the Renpure’s Coconut line.
#6: CHI Keratin Leave-In Conditioner — Salon Quality Leave-In with Keratin
The CHI brand is synonymous with quality, luxurious ingredients, and delicious fragrances and this Keratin Leave-In Conditioner is no exception. This leave-in hair 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.
Why it’s worth your attention: Leave-in conditioner 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 colored hair and for bleached hair. Natural keratin rebuilds each hair’s cuticle while argan and jojoba oils help prevent breakage and dehydration.
First impressions: CHI’s products are well thought-out, from the cute packaging and comfortable spray nozzle that doesn’t get clogged, to the luxurious scent that unfortunately dissipates very quickly. At only 8 ounces, the bottle is small but the product is quite economical. You only need to use it after shampooing and one bottle can last from 2 to 5 months depending on your hair length. CHI is also the most travel-friendly option on this list.
Tips on usage: Spray on towel-dried or slightly damp hair every time you wash. It doesn’t work on completely dry hair. If your scalp tends to become greasy between washes, use this product conservatively and avoid the root area. Some reviewers recommend spraying the product in your hands and then running them through your hair. Use CHI after salon keratin treatments to significantly prolong the effect.
#7: UNITE 7 Seconds Detangler Leave In — Professional Detangler Hair Stylists Swear By
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. Thanks to Amazon, you can also enjoy this salon-quality product at home. The ingredient list isn’t all-natural, but its formula works like magic, so we can live with it.
Why it’s worth your attention: UNITE is the detangler professional stylists swear by. But it doesn’t just detangle hair, this product repairs, strengthens, protects and nourishes hair making it look and feel softer, healthier, and shinier from the first use. You can use it as often as you want and mix with all other styling and care products. It feels absolutely weightless and doesn’t leave any crunchy or sticky residue, even on fine and flat hair. Applying to wet hair protects from UV rays, heat damage, and other elements.
First impressions: UNITE’s white, matte, 8-ounce bottle looks stylish. Its fresh scent is pleasant even for sensitive noses and its nozzle mechanism never breaks or get clogged. Great for traveling too.
Tips on usage: Shake and spray on towel-dried hair, directly on knots and tangles or throughout the whole length. Do not rinse out. Brush through. Feel free to layer with other products. If you don’t like to use a lot of products, you can say goodbye to your conditioner, because UNITE detangler is also good at making hair soft, moisturized, and silky.
Buyer’s Guide to Leave-In Conditioners
Here’s a handy guide to choosing and using leave-in conditioners.
What Is Leave-In Conditioner?
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 the problem or problems it was designed to solve.
Is Leave-In Conditioner Good For Your Hair?
Absolutely. This step can perfect your hair care routine and make your locks feel and look much healthier. Usually, a good leave-in conditioner will:
- detangle knots;
- moisturize extremely dry hair;
- nourish hair with vitamins and essential oils;
- have UV and heat protection function;
- make hair silky and shiny;
- tame frizziness, etc.
Leave-in formulas are much lighter compared to rinse-out conditioners. They won’t weigh hair down and can be layered with other products.
How to Choose a Leave-In Conditioner?
When choosing a leave-in conditioner, keep your hair type in mind, as well as its main needs and problems. We recommend light sprays for fine hair and if your main problem is knotted, unmanageable hair.
Natural, curly, and/or relaxed hair will benefit from creamy and even oily leave-ins. They are good for curl defining, deep moisturizing, and softening split ends.
Color-treated and chemically processed hair requires more natural ingredients without harsh chemicals.
Most of leave-in conditioners were designed to satisfy all hair types, but you will need to control the amount of product you use. Carefully read the product description to choose the leave-in that is right for your hair type.
How to Use Leave-In Conditioner?
Leave-in conditioners are easy to use. Spritz or massage leave-in conditioner on damp or towel-dried hair after your normal washing routine. Focus on dry and damaged areas and avoid the roots if your scalp tends to be greasy. Don’t rinse out. If the consistency of your product is light enough, you can also use it on dry hair between washes to refresh split ends, comb through knots, and restore moisture.
If your leave-in conditioner contains harsh chemicals like silicones, sulfates or chlorides, be sure to use a good clarifying shampoo. Some people prefer to use lightweight leave-ins instead of rinse-out options, because they pretty much do the same job. Everything is individual, so you really need to experiment with your hair type.
How to Dry Hair After Using Leave-In Conditioner?
Most of leave-in conditioners’ formulas don’t need heat to be activated, which means you don’t have to necessarily blow dry your hair after applying your leave-in product. If your hair is fine and flat and you use a very creamy and oily conditioner, you may need a few seconds of blow drying to make sure your locks look and feel how you want them to, without sticky residue or greasiness. Anyway, you’ll have to experiment with diferrent products and methods to find your go to hair care formula.
Incorporating a leave-in conditioner to your routine may be just the thing your locks need. Try one of these products today to detangle, moisturize, and style your hair.