If you’re not already using a leave-in conditioner, you probably should be. Why, you ask? The stress we put on our hair – from bleaching to heat styling, and even washing it too frequently – are all huge factors in why your locks can look dull and dry from time-to-time.
Think about it, you moisturise your face every day – why not treat your locks with the same care? A leave-in conditioner means you can inject your lengths with some much-needed nourishment, without the leg work.
If this all sounds tempting but you’re not sure what formula to pick, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve done some digging to find the very best leave-in conditioners to keep your hair looking silky smooth all year round – no matter what your hair type.
Best for frizz-prone locks
Aussie SOS Humidity Saviour Spray, buy it here for £6.99
A superfruit formula containing Tasmanian pepper leaf which is meant to smooth and protect hair from turning frizzy, even in humid conditions.
Tester says: “I have that kind of frizzy hair that looks amazing when straightened, but as soon as I leave the house it gradually turns into a poof ball. It’s also quite fine and I was happy this didn’t leave it looking greasy. I liked how much easier it made my hair to comb, but the frizz-fighting lacked on particularly humid days.”
Best for tangly types
Shrub Collection Instant Detangling Spray, buy it here for £10
This vegan conditioning spray is made using sustainably sourced ingredients and recyclable packaging. It’s also formulated to loosen knots, tease away tangles and reduce styling-related damage.
Tester says: “I get highlights and I often find in the few weeks after getting my hair bleached, it gets incredibly difficult to comb through after I wash it. This really has made my life a lot easier as my brush now glides through my hair without any struggle. It makes my hair a little greasier than usual on day two but nothing too noticeable.”
Best for curly girls
It’s a 10 Miracle Silk Leave In Keratin Spray, buy it here for £18
Those wanting to reduce frizz and define curls would benefit from this keratin-infused spritz. It gives curls a soft (not crunchy) feel, detangles, adds shine and restores hydration balance.
Tester says: “I really love how soft this made my hair feel, and it’s a nice change to be able to run my fingers through my curls without feeling like they’re stuck together. It smells incredible as well, and a little bit goes a long way. I’m really happy with the results so I’d buy this again.”
Best for dried-out lengths
Aveda Nutriplenish Leave-In Conditioner, buy it here for £27.50
A lightweight conditioning spray that can be used on wet or dry hair, or even as a pre-wash treatment. It also contains heat protection, a UV filter and Aveda’s Pure-Fume fragrance of cocoa, ginger and cardamom.
Tester says: “With long, fine hair that turns into rope-like knots at the first drop of water, a detangling spray is an essential part of my haircare routine, and a few liberal spritzes of this makes the comb glide through without leaving my hair feeling weighed down. The fragrance is subtle but spa-like, and I swear it stopped my lengths from looking too frazzled during lockdown.”
Best for afro and tight curls
Imbue Curl Inspiring Conditioning Leave-In Spray, buy it here for £7.99
This is made for those with type 3A-4C curls (that means everything from well defined curls to springy coils). It’s enriched with coconut and camellia extracts and helps to condition and improve styling manageability.
Tester says: “This was great for refreshing my curls and giving my hair a dose of hydration. The spray is very lightweight, and I used it before applying my other styling products – as I found I still needed a bit of additional support in the way of oils and heat protection.”
Best for stopping split ends
L’Oréal Paris Elvive Full Resist Brush Resist Leave-In Cream, buy it here for £8
Biotin and vitamin B work to protect and strengthen hair while also reinforcing the follicles against further styling and environmental-related damage. It also gives heat protection up to 230°C.
Tester says: “Whenever I use any kind of conditioner that doesn’t need rinsing out, my hair gets greasy within a day – but this one doesn’t cause that. I have straight hair that looks straggly if I don’t use straighteners on it, but when I comb this cream through, my ends look so smooth without any styling needed!”
Best for fixing flyaways
Pantene Waterless Mist Behaving Dry Conditioner Mist, buy it here for £9.99
With a coconut and peach scent, this fine mist battles flyaways and frizzy with an omega, aloe vera and jojoba oil formula. It’s also meant to be used on dry hair, so you can use it in-between washes.
Tester says: “This smells absolutely divine and my hair looked instantly healthier and less fluffy and frizzy when I spritzed it on my mid-lengths and ends. It’s designed for fine hair (which I have) and it didn’t leave me weighed down or greasy.”
DODGE THE DAMAGE
Suffering from brittle ends or damage from heat styling? Here’s how to fix it.
*Go for the chop (if you can get an appointment). It sounds simple but get rid of the dead ends and opt for an on-trend chop or shoulder-length bob. Think of it like a post-lockdown hair reinvention!
*Always use a leave-in conditioner with heat protection if you use heated tools on your hair. It’s not enough to just do your ends, either – you need to coat root to tips to stop lengths from snapping.
*Make sure you’re using the right kind of hair brush. Tugging at tangles with any old brush when your hair is wet will likely cause breakage. Gently tease out knots by applying a conditioning cream or spray, then use a wide tooth comb or a specialist Tangle Teezer or Wet Brush to smooth out strands.
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