Hydrated hair is healthy hair! But if your hair is already damaged, don’t worry. The best leave-in conditioners can also help to repair dry and damaged locks.
Unfortunately, most people skip this crucial step in their hair care routine! Are you one of them? Keep reading to learn what leave-in conditioner is, why you should use it, and how to incorporate it into your hair care routine.
What is a Leave-In Conditioner?
A leave-in conditioner is a moisturizing treatment that you apply to your hair and “leave in” until your next hair wash (hence the name!). You typically apply leave-in conditioners to clean, towel-dried hair before styling. Leave-in conditioners come in both spray and cream formulas. Both types of formulas provide light-weight moisture that hydrates and protects your hair without weighing it down.
Rinse-Out vs. Leave-In Conditioner
You already use conditioner after you shampoo your hair, so why use a leave-in conditioner? While both rinse-out and leave-in conditioners moisturize and nourish hair for softer, easier-to style strands, they are actually quite different.
Rinse-out conditioners tend to have a thicker consistency than leave-in conditioners. They are used to rehydrate hair and smooth down the cuticle after shampooing. But since you rinse out this type of conditioner, those positive effects aren’t as long-lasting.
Leave-in conditioners, on the other hand, provide more long-lasting moisture and protection than regular rinse-out formulas. Think of a leave-in conditioner as extending the benefits of your rinse-out conditioner.
Plus, the best leave-in conditioners are more multi-functional than rinse-out conditioners. In addition to providing moisture and shine, they can also protect your hair from damage, make detangling easier, prevent frizz, reduce color fade, and improve manageability.
Using both products together will ensure that your hair is healthy, hydrated, and protected. To learn more about the benefits of using a leave-in conditioner for dry hair, keep reading!
7 Reasons to Use a Leave-In Conditioner Spray
Not convinced yet? Here are just a few reasons to add a leave-in conditioner spray to your routine:
1. Adds Extra Moisture
Adequate moisture is critical for maintaining healthy hair. Leave-in conditioners for dry hair are formulated with hydrating ingredients like aloe vera extract and oils that moisturize thirsty hair from the outside in. And since you don’t wash off the leave-in conditioner spray, your hair stays hydrated longer than if you had just used a regular conditioner.
2. Aids in Detangling
Leave-in conditioners provide “slip” to strands, which makes the detangling process a whole lot easier. By working to loosen any knots and tame unruliness, leave-in conditioners allow you to detangle your hair more quickly and with less breakage (especially when you use a Wet Hair Detangler Brush).
3. Combats Frizz
Broken hair strands lead to frizz. Since leave-in conditioners make detangling your hair without breakage so much easier, that also means that they help to reduce frizziness in the long run.
Best leave-in conditioners can also help to smooth frizzy hair right now. Frizz happens when dry hair absorbs environmental humidity, which swells the hair strand and makes it unruly. Because leave-in conditioner sprays moisturize the hair, they keep dry hair from frizzing up in humid weather.
And all that added hydration can also help to prevent static hair in the winter!
4. Helps the Look and Feel of Damaged Locks
Damaged hair has a significantly different texture than healthy hair. When you touch your hair, does it feel dry and rough? Yeah, that’s damage. Leave-in conditioners provide parched hair with much-needed moisture, which can make hair look and feel much softer. Say goodbye to straw-like strands!
5. Preps Hair for Styling
A good leave-in conditioning spray also contains ingredients that defend hair against damage from styling tools. Think of the leave-in conditioning spray as a protective barrier between your strands and your flat iron. If you’re not using a heat-protecting leave-in conditioner spray, you’re basically frying your hair every time you style it, and that’s a recipe for a hair disaster!
Not only do leave-in conditioner sprays protect your hair, but they also soften hair and improve its manageability, which makes it much easier to style. And in our opinion, less time spent styling your hair is always a good thing!
6. Protects Hair from Environmental Damage
Environmental factors can wreak havoc on your strands. Air pollution, UV rays, hard water minerals, and even frigid winter air can dry out and damage your strands. Antioxidant-rich leave-in conditioners combat free radicals from these environmental aggressors, helping to protect your hair and keep it healthy.
7. Maintains Color-Treated Hair
Those environmental factors we mentioned before? Well, if you have color-treated hair, those pesky aggressors can also cause your hair color to fade more quickly. We all know that having your hair professionally colored isn’t exactly cheap, so protect your color investment by using a leave-in conditioner. Remember to use a color safe shampoo and conditioner too!
Who Should Use a Leave-In Conditioner?
Every type of hair can benefit from using a leave-in conditioner. Dry, frizzy, and damaged hair types should definitely be using a leave-in conditioner spray after every wash, as well as a deep moisturizing treatment like Split Fix™ Hair Mask at least once per week.
Curly and textured hair has a natural tendency towards dryness, so these hair types can also benefit from regular use of a leave-in conditioner for dry hair. It is a great product for refreshing your curls in between wash days too! Tip: mix some water and leave-in conditioner in a fine mist spray bottle and mist it on your curls to provide the optimal level of hydration and rejuvenate your curl pattern.
Even fine and thin hair can benefit from a leave-in conditioner spray with heat protectant qualities, since this hair type is very susceptible to damage from heat styling.
4 Best Leave-in Hair Conditioning Products
So, which conditioner is right for you? These are my top leave-in conditioning product recommendations.
Best Leave-in Spray: Split Fix™ Leave-in Conditioner
This leave-in conditioner spray is formulated with a healthy dose of plant derived ingredients like organic aloe vera, oat kernel extract, apple extract and coconut water to transform dry, damaged, and frizzy hair with a boost of hydration, nutrients, and antioxidants.
As an added benefit, this leave-in conditioner spray also protects your hair against breakage to encourage longer lengths. Do split ends always prevent your hair from growing past a certain length? Then this leave-in conditioner spray is for you!
Best Hair Oil for Damaged Hair: Split Fix™ Hair Oil
If your hair is very dry and damaged, a richer hair oil might actually be a better alternative to more lightweight leave-in conditioner sprays to provide your hair all the nourishment it craves. For an extra deep conditioning treatment you can also apply both at the same time!
Split Fix™ Hair Oil is a multifunctional product formulated with four organic oils that smooth out split ends, nourish hair and add a beautiful sheen to your hair. This is a great product for those who prefer a shiny and smooth look.
Best Hydrating Hair Oil: Moisture Hero™ Hair Oil
For frizzy, coarse and curly hair, hydration is key to hair health. If you’re looking for a hydrating leave-in treatment, this hair oil packs a punch! Moisture Hero™ Hair Oil is a 100% natural hair oil formulated with six nutrient-rich oils, as well as shea butter esters. It helps reduce frizz, hydrate, nourish, soften, and lock in moisture without creating a greasy feeling.
Best UV-Protective Leave-in Spray: Sun Defense Hair Mist
Especially during the summer months it’s important to not forget protecting both your skin and hair from the sun. Sun Defense Hair Mist forms an invisible screen on hair and scalp to protect against damage from sun exposure. This ultra-nourishing leave-in hair sun protection spray is ideal for dry, damaged, frizzy, curly or other compromised hair types because it adds an extra boost of hydration, shine and protection. It's basically a leave-in conditioner and hair sunscreen in one!
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How to Use a Leave-In Conditioner
Ready to get started using a leave-in conditioner? Here’s how to incorporate one into your hair care routine.
1. Wash Your Hair
Take a shower and wash your hair with a shampoo and conditioner formulated for your hair type. Remember: a leave-in conditioner works together with your rinse-out conditioner, so it’s important that you do not skip your rinse-out conditioner when washing your hair. When you step out of the shower, wrap your hair in a Bamboo Hair Towel, which dries your hair faster and more gently than a traditional cotton hair towel.
2. Apply a Leave-in Conditioner Spray
Mist your choice of leave-in conditioner onto damp hair from roots to ends. Focus product on the lengths or wherever your hair is most damaged and dry. If your hair tends to be oily, avoid spraying the product directly onto your roots.
3. Comb Your Hair
Your hair is more fragile when it’s wet, which is why it’s so important to use a gentle brush or comb designed specifically for managing wet hair, like this Wet Hair Detangler Brush or Bamboo Comb. Starting at the ends of your hair and working your way towards your roots, gently remove any knots from your hair.
4. Style Your Hair
Style your hair however you like, whether that means blow drying or air drying. While blow drying is certainly faster, air drying is actually better for your hair’s health. To maximize the benefits of using a leave-in conditioner, choose air drying over blow drying whenever possible!
Apply on Dry Hair for Extra Nourishment
If your hair is extra dry, you can also apply a leave-in conditioner for dry hair to your ends and braid hair into a protective hairstyle before bed. That way, the conditioner will protect your strands from drying out overnight and you’ll wake up with softer, hydrated hair in the morning!
Hint: you can use leave-in conditioner spray any time your hair feels like it needs a little extra moisture. You don’t need to wait for your next hair wash! Just spritz your hair with a leave-in conditioner spray and comb to evenly distribute.
What About Deep Conditioning Treatments?
For some, using a restorative leave-in conditioner spray alone isn’t enough to reverse damage, hydrate parched strands and revive your hair. That’s where deep conditioning hair masks come in! To figure out what type of hair mask your hair would benefit from, keep reading.
Damaged, Chemically Treated or Lifeless Hair?
Hair is made out of several layers of a protein called keratin. Damaged hair is actually hair that has lost some of this protein, which leaves hair fragile and frayed. If your hair is seriously damaged, you should also consider adding a deep conditioning protein treatment to your hair care routine. The Protein Repair™ Hair Mask is formulated with two types of active micro-protein blends that rebuild damaged hair to leave it softer, stronger, and more manageable. Depending on your level of hair damage, use a protein treatment one to three times per month.
Frizzy, Dry or Coarse Hair?
If your hair is very dry and prone to frizz, using even the best leave-in conditioner alone might not cut it. To hydrate and nourish parched hair strands without the greasy feeling, try a pre-shampoo treatment formulated for use on dry and frizzy hair before washing. Moisture Hero™ Pre-Shampoo Balm effectively restores the moisture balance of hair and battles frizz. Let it do its magic for at least 10 minutes before your hair wash routine. And don’t forget to finish off with a leave-in conditioner for dry hair after washing your hair!
Dry Hair Prone to Breakage and Split Ends?
If your goal is to grow longer hair, it’s important to pay special attention to your ends. So besides the best leave-in conditioner, use a deep conditioner developed for damaged and fragile hair, such as Split Fix™ Hair Mask. This deep conditioning treatment transforms and repairs parched, damaged locks by nourishing with organic plant extracts like aloe vera, acai berry, and oatmeal.
Dry and Frizzy Curls In Need of Nourishment?
Curly hair often needs much more hydration and nourishment that a conditioner only can offer. I recommend introducing a weekly hair mask developed specifically for dry curls into your hair care routine. Just watch how your curls will transform in the long run!
To sum up: If you want smooth, silky, healthy hair, using a leave-in conditioner spray is a critical step in your hair care routine. Unfortunately, it’s one that too many people skip! To protect, strengthen, and hydrate your hair, make sure you use a leave-in conditioner after every hair wash.