Everyone wants soft, healthy hair and with so many hair care products on the market, it can be difficult to decide what products are needed to achieve it. Most individuals focus their attention on finding the perfect shampoo and conditioner. While shampooing and a rinse-out conditioner are important steps in a hair care regimen, the best leave in conditioner could help maximize the benefits of your other hair care products.
Why Use a Leave-In Conditioner?
A leave-in conditioner can help cultivate healthy hair by protecting and strengthening it. It works for detangling wet hair, leading to less breakage and longer locks of hair. Leave-in conditioners work throughout the day to keep hair moisturized and act as barrier, protecting against heat-based styling, such as blow-drying, straightening, or curling hair. Because it holds in moisture, leave-in conditioners can make other hair styling products, such as hair spray, gels, or pastes, more effective. It can also be used as a touch-up product on non-wash hair days to make styled hair last longer. Leave-in conditioner isn’t just for individuals looking to maintain a hairstyle. It also can be a great tool for low-maintenance individuals wanting to minimize their styling routine by embracing their natural hair texture. Leave-in conditioner can help to manage hair’s frizz and improve the softness and hold of waves/curls.
How To Choose The Best Leave In Conditioner
Choosing the right leave-in conditioner depends on your hair type. Leave-in conditioner usually comes in the form of a spray, cream, or gel. Thinner hair won’t be able to hold up the weight of a heavier product, so a spray may be the way to go. For thicker hair, sprays may not cover enough area, so creams are better. It’s worth looking at the ingredients in a product, because it’s going to stay on your hair for an extended period of time. Also, double-check the ingredients to ensure that the leave-in conditioner is adding a new element to your hair regimen and not utilizing the same ingredients as your rinse-out conditioner.
With so many leave-in conditioners on the market it can be difficult to find a place to start. The good news is that the hard work has been done for you. Listed below are reviews of the leading leave-in conditioners on the market today.
Ten Best Leave In Conditioner Reviews
The Mixed Chicks brand aims to provide a variety of products that will work with anyone’s hair texture, regardless of ethnicity. Their leave-In conditioner works to boost natural curls, lock moisture into dry hair, and prevent split ends. It also works to diminish the damage done by everyday styling tools and chemicals used on the hair. The conditioner includes natural botanicals, such as evening primrose oil, silk amino acid, and jojoba seed oil. Evening primrose treats the scalp and helps to create a fuller head of hair. Silk amino acid acts as a protectant on hair improving its health. Jojoba oil contains minerals and vitamins that give hair a radiant shine. While Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner can be used on all hair types, individuals with thicker, naturally curly hair seemed to experience the best results, making the most out of their purchase.
Ouidad call themselves “the curl experts” and for good reason; their products are designed to work with any type of curls, from loose to kinky. The brand’s founder Ouidad (who the company is named after) believes that “the best way to maintain your curls is to moisturize your hair two or three times a week with a leave-in conditioner.” The Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner creates a moisturized base for curls to naturally develop bounce, while leaving hair soft without a greasy finish. The conditioner is formulated with a combination of botanical extracts (prickly pear and arnica) and antioxidants (vitamin B5 and green tea) to ease frizz, leaving hair silky smooth. The only downside to this product is that it’s designed specifically for curly hair, making it a little too heavy of a product for individuals with slightly wavy or straight hair.
Tea42 believes that caffeine isn’t just for consumption, but can have powerful effects when applied topically to skin and hair. Caffeine can create younger looking skin through by promoting better circulation, and as an antioxidant, caffeine can protect hair from harsh elements. Unlike most hair products, which focus on treating already damaged ends, Tea42 products are designed to function proactively, treating the source of most hair problems…the roots and scalp. While most leave-in conditioners are a cream or paste, the Intensi-Tea Root Spray is a mist that works even on the thinnest of hair.
Individuals with thicker hair may have to use more of the product for it to have the same effectiveness as an individual with thinner hair. The root spray contains green tea for the caffeine and keratin and silk proteins to leave hair with a soft sheen. The Tea42 Root Spray is also organic infused, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and sulfate-free.
L’oreal is one of the most recognizable names in hair care and has been producing quality products since 1909. Their professional salon line Absolut Repair aims to repair severely damaged hair on a cellular level. The lightweight leave-in conditioner tames hair regardless of texture by restoring moisture and bonding split ends, leaving it soft and shiny. The conditioner has an instant effect on hair, which only improves with continuous use. The formula includes lactic acid to rebalance pH levels along with phyto-keratin and lipids to improve hair strength. This product is designed for individuals with already damaged hair and may not be the best for individuals needing preventative care. While this product is cruelty-free, it isn’t labeled as sulfate or paraben-free, so it might not be the best option for an individual wanting a natural hair care product.
A favorite of celebrities and models alike, Tony & Guy create products for long, everyday wear. This leave-in conditioner is ideal for individuals with any hair type. It controls frizz caused my humidity and is a great base product to prep hair for styling. Also, the conditioner has a silky consistency, which doesn’t leave hands feeling sticky like some leave-in conditioners. The conditioner includes ginseng, bergamot, ginger, juniper, vanilla, and mandarin orange to give hair moisture. Proteins, such as soy and wheat, keep hair smooth for an extended period of time and build hair’s overall strength. Oprah Magazine has even backed the conditioner, including it in their Circle of Friends monthly subscription beauty box. The conditioner does contain parabens and sulfates, so it might not be the right choice for an individual looking for natural hair products.
EVOLVh is committed to taking chemical ingredients out of hair care by making clean-ingredient products that produce the same results as other leading salon brands. All EVOLVh products are sulfate, paraben, and sodium chloride-free with ingredient content being at least 90% organic. The SmartVolume Leave-In Conditioner is gluten-free and vegan, making it a great option for individuals looking for natural hair care products. Derived from a water-based formula, this leave-in conditioner comes as a lightweight spray that thickens and protects hair. It also tames frizz and fly-aways while softening hair. Natural extracts, such as raw lecithin, flax, rice bran, and cumin see oil, work to strengthen hair and protect against heat/UV damage. The leave-in conditioner works best for people with thin hair, but may not provide the amount of moisture needed for thicker hair types.
This Spanish brand began in the 1970s with hair color, but as distribution quickly grew, their product offerings did as well. The company’s philosophy is to offer the highest quality product as the lowest price possible. The most popular product line from the brand is Salerm 21, which has a formula that uses silk proteins and liposomes to heal dry, over-processed, and damaged hair. One of the bestselling products from the line is the Silk Protein Leave-In Conditioner, which hydrates hair while protecting hair from environmental elements. It’s designed to be used on all hair types from straight to curly, thin to thick. An individual can use a small amount as a leave-in conditioner or use a larger amount as 5-minute mask for a more intense moisture treatment. The brand is cruelty-free, but not paraben and sulfate-free.
L’ANZA was one of the first professional hair care lines to utilize a keratin bonding system, giving their products the ability to effectively work on any hair type. Using the latest technology in hair care, L’ANZA was able to create their Keratin Healing System, a unique blend of amino acids, UV protection, and active healing properties. This system is now incorporated into all of their products, including their leave-in conditioner. The lightweight KB2 Leave-In Conditioner works to moisturize and make hair manageable by detangling and eliminating knots. The conditioner’s cream formula contains algae extract and shea butter, which softens the hair while creating a nice shine. Its formula is designed to work on colored and processed hair as well. The conditioner is sulfate and sodium chloride-free. While this product moisturizes, it may not give the volume that some individuals desire.
The Yarok brand was founded on the idea that the hair and salon industry could move away from chemicals by taking advantage of ingredients found in nature. All of their hair products are vegan in order to minimize the negative impact on the environment, while providing salon quality results. The Yarok brand also utilizes essential oils in their products for aromatherapy purposes, believing that true healing can start from the inside and work its way out. The Feed Your Ends Leave-In Conditioner is an organic spray that detangles, moisturizes, and protects from heat. The formula is paraben, sulfate, alcohol, and gluten-free. The spray contains botanical ingredients, such as primrose, grape seed, and jojoba oils that prevent hair loss and heal the scalp. This product is designed to keep hair healthy, but may not be the best option for individuals with severely damaged or dry hair.
Amika hair care was designed to help individuals embrace their unique beauty, rather than changing their hair to obtain the specific standard of beauty often portrayed in the salon world. The brand believes in using natural alternatives to replace popular chemicals found in mainstream salon products. Because of this effort, all of Amika’s products are free from artificial colors and sulfates. Their products are also cruelty-free and vegetarian. Amika’s Leave-In Conditioner uses a lightweight cream formula to calm frizz, protect from heat damage, and strengthen hair’s health. It’s an ideal product to use as a foundation before further styling.
A unique ingredient to this leave-in conditioner (and all of Amika’s products) is Sea Buckthorn Berry or Obliphica, which is composed of over 190 active compounds and vitamins. This product is not designed to work on curly hair, only straight and wavy. Amika has another leave-in cream specifically designed for curls.