Using a quality leave-in conditioner can be a hair game-changer. Nobody likes to fight with a comb to get those tangles out. Without proper conditioning, hair can become brittle and break, especially when heat styling. Plus, if you’re regularly using hair dye or bleach, that too can damage those locks. Using one of the best leave-in conditioners leaves your hair hydrated, protected and shiny.
There are several ways that hair can become damaged. One of the most common causes is excessive heat styling, such as blow-drying, flat ironing, or curling. This can cause the hair cuticle to become damaged, leading to split ends, breakage, and dullness. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays, as well as harsh chemicals from hair dyes and styling products, can also damage the hair. Additionally, over-washing or using hot water can strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. Finally, brushing or combing hair too roughly or aggressively can cause damage to the hair shaft. To prevent hair damage, it’s essential to use heat protectant products, which commonly double as a leave-in.
Using a leave-in conditioner on your hair is an excellent way to keep your hair healthy, moisturized, and tangle-free. It can be especially beneficial for people with dry, damaged, or color-treated hair. Leave-in conditioners are typically formulated with nourishing ingredients like oils, vitamins, and proteins, which can help to strengthen and protect your hair from environmental stressors like heat, sun, and pollution. They can also help to seal the cuticle, which can make your hair smoother, shinier, and more manageable. By incorporating a leave-in conditioner into your hair care routine, you can help to maintain the health and appearance of your hair while also making it easier to style and manage.
No matter what style or color your hair is, you need to take note of the unique haircare routine it needs. StudyFinds compiled a list of the top five best leave-in conditioners from ten expert websites to find the perfect hydrating products for your hair. As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!
The List: Best Leave-In Conditioners, According to Reviews
This frizz-busting conditioning spray from Briogeo scores high marks from reviewers. According to Real Simple, it “tames frizz on all hair types, plus increases shine and hydration for the ultimate conditioning treatment. By using a triple-oil blend of argan, coconut, and rosehip, this vegan and gluten-free treatment leaves hair visibly silky and smooth.”
“This natural leave-in spray is the perfect way to lightly and evenly distribute the moisturizing and repairing benefits of coconut oil without greasing your hands up or weighing your hair down in the process,” adds The Cut.
While InStyle notes, “due to its lightweight structure, this product also doesn’t build up on your hair or weigh it down.” However, some reviewers did point out, if you use too much your hair can get a sticky feeling.
My personal favorite is this wallet-friendly option. It works really well on those humid, poofy-hair days. “It’s A 10 has the formulation of a high-end leave-in with a drugstore price. In addition to nourishing silk amino acids, the brand’s Miracle spray contains keratin, which makes hair smoother, glossier, and easier to style,” according to Byrdie.
Suitable for all hair types, Marie Claire adds, “this lightweight leave-in is great for taming frizz and flyaways.” You can also find it at many drug stores.
“The nourishing spray helps protect against split ends and breakage, which aids with eliminating frizz and restoring shine. It can be used on wet hair after a shower or as a styling cream on dry hair in between washes,” points out Today. It has a pleasant scent, however some reviewers did note the spray nozzle isn’t the easiest to deal with.
This formula by actress Tracee Ellis Ross’ company, is fabulous for curly or kinky hair. “This leave-in contains jojoba oil, honey, and biotin to strengthen, moisturize, and provide soft curl definition,” according to Prevention.
It’s also great for year-round use. “Add a few pumps of this to your tight curls during the cold winter months to prevent knots, tangles and brittleness caused by the freezing cold temps,” notes Good Housekeeping.
Mane Addicts adds, “anyone with textured hair needs to invest in a good leave-in conditioner. This one from Pattern Beauty is the absolute holy grail mixed with the sweet fragrance of neroli, rose, and patchouli.” Although some reviewers point out, it can be a little heavy on straighter hair types.
If you want a conditioner that can help protect your hair from heat-styling damage, check out this product from Ouai. However, this may not be the best choice if you aren’t a fan of scented products. “Ingredients like tamarind seed extract bump up the hair’s hydration levels while panthenol and vitamin E condition strands, leaving them feeling silky and smooth. It also includes proteins to help fortify hair from damage caused by heat styling, and protects hair from heat damage up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit,” according to Real Simple.
The Cut adds, use it “through damp hair and proceed to heat-style to your heart’s desire. Once you unplug, you’ll end up with the touchable softness, high shine, and, most important, expensive smell you expect to carry with you every time you step out of the salon.”
Byrdie also praises the scent, noting “it draws on the brand’s North Bondi fragrance: a soft, light white floral that perfectly captures the Australian coastal paradise. Think fresh bergamot, violet, and warm white musk. Your hair will smell sweet and salty (without the crunch).”
“In addition to smoothing flyaways, it detangles and makes dry ends look like new,” points out Allure.
Rounding out our list is this offering from Davines. It’s a triple threat, helping to protect your hair from frizz, knots and heat. “The citrus-scented formula is a multitasker, helping to detangle, protect hair from heat damage and reduce frizz. It delivers softness and shine with just a few pumps,” according to Today.
“It’s ideal for frizzy hair because it can be sprayed on wet or dry strands, then antioxidant-packed roucou oil does its magic. It also acts as a detangler and heat protectant, and leaves behind a vibrant shine,” notes Prevention.
Want to look like you just left the salon? “If a silky, commercial slo-mo hair shake situation is what you seek, regular use of this smoothing leave-in spray will help get you there,” suggests The Cut.
You might also be interested in:
- Best 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner
- Best Natural Shampoos
- Best Hair Dryers
- Best Hair Gels
- Best Dry Shampoo
- Real Simple
- The Cut
- Marie Claire
- Good Housekeeping
- Mane Addicts
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.