The leave-in conditioner is, as its name implies, a conditioning product that is used on freshly cleansed hair. you should use it as the 3rd step of your hair care routine, right after washing and conditioning your hair.
The main difference between the leave-in conditioner and the regular conditioner is that you’re going to leave it in your hair, until the next washing. The regular conditioner is rinsed after a couple of minutes.
- Buying Guide for Leave-in Conditioners
- TOP 7 Reviews of Leave-In Conditioners for Natural Hair
- Best leave-in conditioner for 4c natural hair
- Best leave-in conditioner for natural hair for African American
- Best leave-in conditioner for natural black hair
- Best leave-in conditioner for natural curly hair
- Best leave-in conditioner for dry natural hair
- Best spray leave-in conditioner for natural hair
Buying Guide for Leave-in Conditioners
When and how to use a leave-in conditioner?
You’re going to want to use a leave-in conditioner for adding more cushioning to your hair and to moisture your curls, for impressive softness.
There are many shapes of leave-in conditioners: liquids, thick creams and sprays. You may spread it on your hair with your fingers just like any other regular conditioner or get it done easier with a leave-in conditioner spray. Only a couple of pumps are going to be enough for leaving your hair silky glow and well nourished.
The lightweight formulas may work also on dry hair, between washes, restoring the moisture and making the hair a lot easier to manage.
What are the main benefits of leave-in conditioner?
Any leave-in conditioner (a good one, anyway) is going to do plenty of good things for your hair. without any farther ado, let’s see the benefits of leave-in conditioner:
- It detangles the hair
A good leave-in conditioner is going to be loaded with ingredients that give unruly hair a lot of softness and slip, easing up the detangling process. If your hair is prone to tangle and knots, a leave-in conditioner is going to remove the knots, allowing you an easy and smooth brushing afterwards. A leave-in conditioner helps your hair resist to breakage, eliminating the split ends and maintaining the length of your hair.
- It moisturizes dry hair
Leave-in conditioners are going to maintain your hair hydrated and moisturized. They’re a reliable solution for kinky hair types that need a bit more moisture. The formulas include humectants that hydrate and soften the strands, increasing their elasticity and strength. A water-based leave-in conditioner is going to go deep into the hair strand, nourishing and hydrating your hair for plenty of time.
- It makes your hair easier to style and to handle
A good leave-in conditioner is going to make your hair easier to handle and to style later on. As it’s made with ingredients that soften the hair, the leave-in conditioner may actually improve the results of the styling process. It ensures a flexible hold which is great for the curly hair when an extra oomph is in the plan. In addition, you may re-apply it throughout the whole day for refreshing your style.
- It protects the hair against heat
No matter which type of heat styling tool you’re going to use, applying a leave-in conditioner first is going to protect your strands from the heat damage. It actually works as a heat protectant, creating another layer of protection for your hair during the heat-styling. You should always use on before using your hot iron (or any other heat styling tool) so that you lock in moisture and eliminate the risk of your hair getting all crunchy.
- It also protects from environmental damage
Swimming and enjoying a sunny day by the beach is all nice and fun until your hair gets damaged from the chlorine and salt water. They may dehydrate your hair, leading to faded color, split ends and brittleness. You should use a leave-in conditioner before jumping into the pool so that chlorine and salt don’t damage it. Dry heat indoors and extreme winter cold outside may also leave your hair all dry and rough. Get a leave-in conditioner that is going to coat your hair, protecting it from the unwanted effects of environmental factors.
- It eliminates frizz
Dry and frizzy hair isn’t easy to handle and a good leave-in conditioner is going to improve your hair’s softness, giving you more frizz control and locking in moisture. In order to maintain the frizz at bay, you should use a rinse out conditioner with humectants and only afterwards apply the leave-in conditioner to dry/damp hair.
- It gives luster to color-treated hair
A leave-in conditioner is going to bring back to life a color-treated and damaged hair, protecting it from the UVA/UVB rays and damaging environmental factors that cause the discoloration of the hair. using a leave-in conditioner is going to help your hair look shinier and more vibrant too. It gives your hair a nice glow, slowing down the fading of the color. You can find leave-in conditioners especially formulated for the colored hair which are going to help the color last longer.
What’s the best way to use a leave-in hair conditioner?
You should apply the leave-in conditioner when you’re completing the hair washing routine. Your hair should be damp when applying so that it can take in all the benefits of leave-in conditioner. you’re only going to need a small amount, paying extra attention on the ends/dry areas.
You may also spray the leave-in conditioner onto toweled dry hair, combing it through to the ends. Only a nickle-sized amount should be used on really fine hair, and only on the ends.
A lightweight leave-in spray is made for application on dry hair between washes, reviving your hair style and restoring moisture.
When you’re using a leave-in treatment with silicones, it’s best that you use a clarifying shampoo from time to time, for removing all the unpleasant residues and build ups.
TOP 7 Reviews of Leave-In Conditioners for Natural Hair
1. Probably the most effective and, definitely the most popular, choice out there is the Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner.
Formulated especially for the curly and thick hair, the Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave in Conditioner/Detangle is going to eliminate knots and tangle, making your hair a lot easier to manage.
The natural formula of the leave-in conditioner includes organic mango extract, organic marshmallow root, organic lemongrass, and slippery elm which is why the leave-in conditioner is so effective when it comes to detangling and moisturizing.
The leave-in conditioner has a rather a creamy consistency so you’re going to need to go through some trial-and error until you find out the right amount that your hair needs. It may weigh down a really thin hair, but it’s all about how much you’re using. The best part is that a little goes a long way so you’re going to use it for plenty of time.
Leaving your hair soft and silky, the leave-in conditioner is going to glide through your strands, making the curly and coarse hair easier to style, bouncy and soft.
Your curls are going to be defined better and the frizz is going to vanish. Apply it after washing, using a nice and wide comb for removing the knots in your hair.
The formula doesn’t include phthalates, parabens and the natural ingredients give it a nice fruity scent that dissipates rather fast.
Here’s what we like the most about it:
- It eliminates the knots and detangles the hair
- It softens the hair, leaving it smoother and easier to style
- The formula includes natural ingredients
- It’s an amazing choice for the thick, coarse and curly hair
The downsides aren’t major:
- You need to use just the right amount for not getting a greasy look
- Some expect better smoothening abilities
All in all, the leave-in conditioner is a sure choice for most out there and quite a bang for the buck too.
2. Addressing all sorts of types of hair, the Giovanni Cosmetics – Eco Chic Direct Leave-In Conditioner is going to strengthen your hair and give it a nice shine.
Made in our USA with organic botanical extracts, the leave-in conditioner is going to repair and moisturize your hair, even if it’s relaxed hair. the list of ingredients is long and it includes nettle oil, birch leaf oil, purifies water with rosemary oil, lavender, mallow, horsetail oil, citric acid, yarrow oil, chamomile, nettle oil and even grapefruit seed.
Not only that the leave-in conditioner is going to strengthen and moisturize the strands, but it’s also going to detangle them and protect them from heat damage during styling.
The formula sits on the thicker side, but it doesn’t add weight to your tresses, but only protein and moisture. It boosts the curls and gives them a defined and attractive bounce.
Due to its efficient formula, the leave-in conditioner is also going to eliminate frizz and reduce the risk for split ends. It’s safe to use on color-treated hair as well.
You only need to use a bit for your hair so it’s going to last you for a good amount of time. Its pleasant smell doesn’t linger for long and the slippery texture is really nice.
Here are the best parts about it:
- It strengthens, softens and detangles the hair
- It makes the hair shiny and easier to style
- It protects the hair from heat styling damage
- It’s safe to use on many types of hair
The minor issues aren’t deal breakers:
- It may not combine very well with all cosmetic products
- You need to use just the right amount in order to avoid a waxy coating
Regardless of the minor flaws, the leave-in conditioner is a reliable choice for the whole family, any given day.
3. If you’re determined to get bouncy and soft curls, the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk is a solid choice to take under consideration.
The curl&style milk works as a leave-in conditioner, hydrating and protecting your hair against damage of environmental factors. It reduces the risk for breakage and eliminates the knots and tangles efficiently. It’s a useful option for the dry, damaged and over-processed hair conditioning the curls and giving them back a healthy shine.
The formula is the reason behind its performance and the leave-in conditioner is made with neem oil, coconut oil, hibiscus and silk protein. It smooths out the wavy curls, softening the hair and giving them a pleasant silky feel. It makes them easier to manage and to style too.
A little goes a long way and the creamy formula doesn’t weigh down the strands. The attractive scent isn’t strong nor durable.
You may include it in your daily hair care routine for softer, shinier, tangle-free curls.
The most important good things are the following:
- It hydrates and protects the hair against environmental damage
- It gives the curls a nice bounce and softness
- It detangles the hair
- It’s for daily use
The minor flaws don’t make us change our mind:
- One may not like the creamy consistency
- Some expected better performance in terms of frizz control
Even if the leave-in conditioner isn’t all roses and rainbows, it’s still a great and reliable option for everyday use.
4. Locking in moisture and boosting the hair growth, the Tgin Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer for Natural Hair is going to be a solid option for many out there. Formulated with shea butter and vitamin E, the leave-in conditioner softens and smooths out your hair, leaving it shiny and nice smelling.
It doesn’t weigh down your hair, nor leave a greasy residue. It’s also great as it puts frizz and flyaways under control.
Its list of ingredients includes not only shea butter and vitamin E, but also coconut oil, cocoa butter, olive fruit oils, sweet almond oil, wheat germ oil, aloe leaf juice, hydrogenated castor oil and so many more. It smells amazing, even though some may find the scent too strong.
Smoothing the hair’s cuticle, the leave-in conditioner seals in moisture from the roots to the tips of your strands. It improves the blood flow to the scalp, which reduces the risk for hair loss. It’s amazing for shrinkage and makes your hair easier to handle.
The formula doesn’t include parabens.
Let’s take a quick look at the main pros:
- It locks in moisture
- It improves the blood flow to the scalp, sustaining hair growth
- It eliminates the frizz and flyways
- It softens the hair and gives it a nice shine
The minor flaws don’t undermine its overall quality:
- Some think that the smell is too strong
- It may feel sticky on hair when used too much of it
Nevertheless, as it smooths out, softens and moisturizes the hair, putting frizz under control, the leave-in conditioner does deserves the chance for proving its abilities.
5. Creating a balanced and breathable moisture base for your curls, the Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner is going to define your curls, without leaving a greasy feel or any sort of residue.
The leave-in conditioner reduces the dryness and detangles your hair, helping you style and manage it a lot easier. It deeply hydrates the strands with no risk for greasy residue nor buildup later on.
The formula is really breathable and seals in nourishment into every single strand. The leave-in conditioner is going to seal in the hair’s cuticle layer, removing frizz and flyways.
The combination of ingredients (arnica flower extract, hydrogenated castor oil, green tea leaf extract, provitamin B5 and many more)) makes the leave-in conditioner an amazing option for smoothing and hydrating the curly hair.
Creating a slippery moisture for your hair, the leave-in conditioner comes with many good things:
- It has a breathable formula, creating a nice moisture base for your curls
- It defines the curls and leaves them bouncy and soft
- It hydrates the curls without leaving a greasy feel
- It nourishes and moisturizes the hair, eliminating frizz
The flaws are minor:
- Not everyone goes for the smell
- Some think it’s too runny
Regardless of the minor problems, as it hydrates, moisturizes and defines the curls without leaving them greasy, the leave-in conditioner is going to make happy so many customers out there.
6. Even if the amazing smell is going to be the first thing to notice on the Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream, the leave-in conditioner is much more than just a pretty smell.
The leave-in conditioner repair cream is going to penetrate your strands deeply, repairing the split ends and giving your hair a nice shine. It also detangles and smooths out your hair, easing your managing and styling processes.
Made with pure shea butter and many other natural oils, the leave-in conditioner protects your hair, reduce the risk for damage and puts frizz under control. It eliminates the knots and tangles, no matter if your natural hair is thin, curly or coarse thick.
You may confidently use it daily, helping your hair get stronger, shinier and better looking. Despite its effective formula, it doesn’t add weight to your hair and actually spreads nice and easy. A little goes a long way and scooping from the jar is quite a breeze.
The pleasant scent and the versatility seal the deal, whereas the price is a selling point for many.
Here are the best parts about it:
- It protects the hair and reduce the risk for damage
- It eliminates the frizz and split ends
- It gives a nice shine without weighing down the hair
- It’s affordable and nice smelling
The cons aren’t major:
- It doesn’t mix very well with other products
- Some noticed a white residue afterwards, but it depends a lot on what kind of other hair care products one has used
Detangling, softening and giving a pleasant smell and shine to your strands, the leave-in conditioner is a reliable option and a great bang for your buck too.
7. One of the main reasons for which your hair may be tangling is the damaged hair cuticle. The CHI Keratin Leave-in Conditioner stands out as it’s formula is loaded with natural keratin. The keratin is going to infuse the damaged strands, rebuilding the hair’s cuticle.
But the leave-in conditioner isn’t made only with keratin, but also with jojoba and argon oils which are going to nourish the hair, improving its elasticity on the side. The leave-in conditioner creates a protective coat on your hair, lowering the risk for future breakage. It also hydrates the strands, leaving them softer and shiny.
A little goes a long way and the leave-in conditioner is going to get you through a nice amount of time. It works for many types of hair, bleached hair including. It smells amazing, but you can combine it with other hair care products as the smell fades away after some time.
It comes as a spray so it’s very easy to use.
Let’s have another look at the pros:
- It’s loaded with natural keratin, rebuilding the hair’s cuticle
- It hydrates and softens the hair
- It works for many types of hair, bleached hair including
- It protects the hair from future damage
The downsides are anything but major:
- You should avoid the scalp
- Some think the smell is strong
Rebuilding the hair’s cuticle, softening and hydrating the strands, the leave-in conditioner is always going to be a sure buy and a wise investment of your money.
Best leave-in conditioner for 4c natural hair
8. The amazing formula of the Shea Moisture Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner is explaining why the leave-in conditioner makes it as an amazing choice for the 4c natural hair.
Hydrating and nourishing the 4c natural hair (prone to dryness and breakage), the leave-in conditioner is going to smooth out the strands, eliminating split ends, frizz and flyaways.
The leave-in conditioner gives the 4c natural hair the moisture it needs and nourishes it at the same time. The formula includes coconut oil, castor seed oil, jojoba seed oil, yeast extract, hydrolyzed rice protein, hydrolyzed keratin and plenty more.
It detangles the curls and gives them a nice bounce. It softens and gives an attractive shine, creating a protective layer. It doesn’t weigh down the hair nor leave an annoying residue. It smells nice and works for relaxed hair as well.
Coming in a large recipient, the leave-in conditioner is going to get you good for plenty of time.
Let’s take another look at the good things:
- It nourishes and hydrates the 4c natural hair
- It works also for relaxed hair
- Its formula includes many natural ingredients
- It softens the curls and gives them a shiny bounce
The flaws aren’t major:
- Some think it’s a bit too watery
- Pay attention on the amount you’re using as you don’t want to end up with a film on your strands
It goes without saying that, for the amazing formula, the hydrating and nourishing abilities and more, the leave-in conditioner is always going to make your 4c hair feel healthier, shinier and better looking.
Best leave-in conditioner for natural hair for African American
9. When it comes to frizz control of your natural African-American hair, the Suave Professionals Leave-in Conditioner Keratin Infusion is always a winning choice.
The leave-in conditioner is made with Keralock Technology, managing to moisturize your hair for 48 hours. It puts the frizz and the split ends under control, whereas the detangling abilities are pretty amazing too. It softens and smooths out the strands, helping you get in control over your curls.
The lightweight formula is made with keratin which is going to penetrate the hair’s fiber, for better efficiency. The leave-in conditioner is also going to protect from heat damage so you should apply it before heat styling your hair.
The consistency sits rather on the thicker side, but the leave-in conditioner doesn’t weigh down your hair (as long as you’re using the right amount). The formula is an effective choice for the thick and coarse hair. it doesn’t leave a residue, but only a pretty smell and easier to manage curls or hair.
Summarizing the main good things:
- It softens and smooths out the hair
- It detangles and makes the strands easier to style
- It protects the hair from heat damage
- It leaves a pleasant smell and no residue
The downsides aren’t a reason for one to back down:
- Some think the smell is a tad off-putting
- One may think it’s rather thick
No matter the minor problems, the leave-in conditioner is going to be a solid choice for natural African-American hair as it delivers exactly what it needs the most: frizz-control, detangling, softening and hydrating.
Best leave-in conditioner for natural black hair
10. Great for the wavy, curly, kinky, tight curly or transitioning hair, the Miss Jessie’s Leave in Condish-8 is going to make combing a breeze.
The leave-in conditioner is going to put down the frizz and moisturize the curls efficiently. It softens the natural black hair and gives it a pleasant shine, with no risk for greasy buildup.
Coating the curls for protection and locking in the extra layer of moisture, the leave in conditioner detangles all sorts of curls and hair types. Its formula includes soybean and aloe, but also pumpkin seed extract and citric acid.
You can use it right after your conditioner and before your hair styling product for more softness and suppleness. It defines the curls and doesn’t build up. Its smell is amazing and the leave-in conditioner brings many good things to the table.
Let’s have another look at the main qualities:
- The leave-in conditioner works as a reliable frizz fighter
- It moisturizes the curly, tight curly, wavy or transitioning hair
- It softens the hair without leaving an oily residue or feel
- It’s made with soybean and aloe
We’re not complaining much over the minor flaws:
- One may find the bottle difficult to open with wet hands
- There’s not enough slip for some as it’s on the thicker side
Wrapping it all up, we can only assume that many are going to see it for what it is: a dependable leave-in conditioner that smooths, softens the hair and controls the frizz, leaving only but nice bouncy curls and attractive smell.
Best leave-in conditioner for natural curly hair
11. The Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk is going to define your curls, giving them a nice oomph and a healthy shine. The leave-in conditioner is going to nurture your curls and lower the risk for breakage, shedding or styling damage.
Despite its efficiency, it doesn’t add any weight to your hair. it eliminates the frizz and helps you tame the curls, for easier styling throughout the day. You don’t need to use it daily, even though its amazing cupcake smell is something you’d want to have every single day.
The formula includes rosehip seed oil, rice bran oil, rice milk, castor seed oil, avocado oil, green tea and many more. The leave-in conditioner is going to offer your curls protective anti-oxidants and a healthy shine, moisturizing it for a long time.
Your curls are going to drink it up in no time and the leave-in conditioner makes wonders for curls:
- It defines the curls and tames them
- It softens and smooths out the curls
- It moisturizes and nourishes the curls
- It has the most amazing smell
The cons are no reason to change your mind:
- Some would love for the smell to last longer
- It may build up when used too much
Managing to put your curls under control, without sacrificing the nourishing or the moisturizing abilities, the leave-in conditioner is one choice not to skip on when shopping for your curls.
Best leave-in conditioner for dry natural hair
12. Moisturizing and hydrating the dry natural hair, the Alikay Naturals – Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner isn’t the leave-in conditioner to miss out on when shopping.
The leave-in conditioner has a creamy consistency, but it sprays rather easy and evenly on your strands. It seals in moisture and doesn’t add unnecessary weight to your strands. The formula includes plenty of essential oils (aloe Vera, sweet almond oil, lemongrass oil extract), silk amino acids and other ingredients that explain its benefits for the dry natural hair.
Softening and hydrating the dry hair, the leave-in conditioner is 100% natural and 90% organic. It comes in a large bottle so you’re going to use if for a lot of time. Its lemon zest fragrance is refreshing and pleasant too.
Let’s sum it all up for the main pros:
- It hydrates and moisturizes the dry natural hair
- It detangles and nourishes the hair
- It doesn’t weigh down the strands
- It has a refreshing smell
We’re not really concern about the downsides:
- It has a rather weird yellow color
- Pay attention when using it as you don’t want to overdo it
The good outweighs the bad and the leave-in conditioner is going to give a dry natural hair what it craves the most: hydration and moisture, with a nice cherry on top: a refreshing scent.
Best spray leave-in conditioner for natural hair
13. If you’re looking for a spray leave-in conditioner, the Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner is going to be money well spent for sure.
The leave-in conditioner is very easy to use and it spreads evenly on the strands. It protects your natural hair from heat damage when styling it. You may use it as a rehydrator every day or as a roller setting for the fine hair.
The formula contains aloe Vera, myrrh, watercress, horsetail, nettle, rosemary, hops, henna, chamomile, comfrey and plenty of organic essential oils: vanilla extra, lemon and some other ingredients. The combination of ingredients softens the hair and eliminates the frizz. The leave-in conditioner leaves your hair silky smooth, but doesn’t leave an oily feel or any kind of residue.
Lightweight and protective, the leave-in conditioner has an amazing smell and may be used from the roots to the ends. It’s environmentally-friendly and paraben free.
Let’s have another look at the good things:
- It detangles and softens the hair
- It eliminates the frizz and leaves the hair silky smooth
- It protects the hair before heat styling
- It has an amazing scent
The downsides are no deal breakers:
- One may think the smell is too sweet, but this is a matter of personal taste
- Some expected better protection before heat styling the hair
All things considered, the leave-in conditioner sprays nicely, smells amazing and puts the frizz under control. What’s not to like?