The 9 Best Leave-In Conditioners for Absolutely Every Hair Type
Getting smooth, soft hair requires more than simply using the right shampoo and conditioner combination for your hair type or safe hot tool practices. It also involves establishing an effective post-wash hair care routine—which should center on applying a leave-in conditioner. Different from regular conditioners (you wash those off in the shower after you shampoo) and hair mask treatments (which are ultimately rinsed out), leave-in conditioners are multitasking products that make hydrating your strands a breeze.
- Damaged Hair: Virtue Labs Refresh Purifying Leave-In Conditioner, $32
- Dry Hair: IGK Mistress Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner Hair Balm, $29
- Curly Hair: Camille Rose Naturals Moisture Milk, $15.49
- Fine, Thin Hair: Gisou Honey Infused Leave-In Conditioner, $34
- Best Overall: Kérastase Discipline Anti Frizz Smoothing Spray, $39
How does a leave-in conditioner benefit your hair?
"They're designed to nourish the hair and provide detangling benefits," says Chris Jones, a Virtue Labs ambassador and the founder of Salon Bugatti. "When the hair is wet, it's in its most fragile state. A leave-in conditioner will provide slip and protect the hair when brushing out tangles," as well as improve manageability, reduce flyaways, and protect against UV damage. These formulas can also deliver essential nutrients to you hair, adds Nai'vasha, a celebrity curl expert and the founder of Curl Queen. For best results, look for formulas with nourishing amino acids, advises Jones.
How often should you use a leave-in conditioner?
Nai'vasha recommends applying a leave-in conditioner once or twice a week, on the days you wash your hair. After towel drying and before styling, either spritz on or work in the product—and you should be all set (it's that easy). While this product does add another step to your routine, it is a simple, straightforward, and effective one.
How can you choose the right leave-in conditioner for your hair type?
While some affiliate this type of product with specific hair types (like thick, coarse, and curly), anyone can use a leave-in conditioner. It simply comes down to choosing the right formula for your strands. To help you get started, both Nai'vasha and Jones shared several of the best options to consider for every hair type and concern. See their picks, as well as some of our own, below.