What Do Leave-In Conditioners Really Do? Here's What We Know


Cook, Motivationist and Nutritionist.

There are many kinds of leave-in conditioners, including sprays for finer hair, and serums, creams, and oils for thicker hair. For curly or textured hair, SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Leave-In Treatment is designed to keep the moisture in without feeling heavy or pulling out your curls. Color-treated hair can use something like Verb Leave-In Mist, which helps prevent fading. (Look for color-safe and sulfate-free options.) For fine hair, try Luseta Rose Oil Leave in Conditioner. Additionally, if your product has silicone close to the top of the ingredients list, it’s not the best choice for those who wash less than three times a week, as it can attract dirt after a while.

Your leave-in conditioner should be used in addition to your regular conditioner. You should still shampoo (or wash in whatever way works best for you) and condition as usual. Towel dry your hair and then grab your leave-in. Adam Federico, vice president of technical education at R+Co told Byrdie, “Work the product through with a wide tooth comb, part the hair, and allow to air-dry completely. Use fingers to break hair up for a smooth yet tousled texture.” You’ll want to concentrate on the ends first (this protects them from heat and styling damage), then move up toward the scalp. If your scalp tends to be oily, just keep the leave-in on the ends. For short hair, go with a dime-sized amount or a single or double spritz.


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