These Are the Must-Have Benefits of Leave-In Conditioner
Does your hair still look or feel dry, frizzy or lackluster after shampooing and conditioning? If so, leave-in conditioner could be just the boost your hair needs to look its best.
What is a lent from regular conditioner? How does one effectively use leave-in conditioners? Keep reading to understand how a leave-in conditioner benefits hair — plus, discover the best new hydrating leave-in conditioner.
How Is Leave-In Conditioner Different From Regular Conditioner?
Leave-in conditioners (also known as no-rinse conditioners) seem pretty self-explanatory, right? It’s a conditioner that you leave in your hair, rather than rinsing it off in the shower. But this simple distinction means that a leave-in conditioner is very different from rinse-out conditioner.
The conditioners used after shampooing—that is, conditioners that are meant to be rinsed out—are formulated to coat and adhere to hair while withstanding rinsing. This means that “regular conditioners” are generally thicker, heavier and more rich than leave-in conditioners.
Leave-in conditioners, on the other hand, are generally lighter than other conditioners, since they are meant to be applied after showering. “Leave-in conditioner moisturizes while the hair follicles are still open, allowing the moisture to penetrate deeply and firmly adhere to the core of our hair,” said Dr. Anna Chacon, a board-certified dermatologist with MyPsoriasisTeam.
Regular and leave-in conditioners share many of the same benefits for softening, hydrating, detangling and protecting hair—but if you’re noticing frizzy and dry hair even after using a post-shampoo conditioner, then you might need a little extra moisture and a leave-in might be just the addition you need.
“Think of it as a lotion of sorts,” said Madison Dufour, a licensed and practicing barber and cosmetologist at The Exquisite Find Hair Blog. “You put lotion on your skin after you shower to keep it soft, and leave-in conditioner is a moisturizer that you don't rinse out. The leave-in conditioner seals in the moisture in the hair and gives the hair a smooth finish and keeps the hair hydrated even after it's dry.”
Benefits of Leave-In Conditioner
Leave-in conditioners can be used on most hair types and textures, offering lightweight moisture that is meant to supplement your existing hair care routine. “Almost all hair types, whether curly or straight, natural or color-treated, can benefit from the use of leave-in conditioners,” said Dr. Chacon. “But those with dry, damaged, frizzy or thick hair may find them to be especially helpful.”
Some of the main benefits of leave-in conditioners include:
- Enhanced Hydration: Since these moisturizing agents aren’t rinsed off, they boost the hydration of your hair.
- Improved Manageability: Hydrated hair is easier to comb and style.
- Protection: Increased hydration can promote elasticity of the hair, which in turn could lead to less hair breakage or split ends. Depending on the formulation and ingredients, leave-in conditioners may also protect from damage caused by UV, heat styling or other chemical and environmental stressors.
“As a professional hairstylist, I can confirm that leave-in conditioner does indeed work,” said Khamis Maiouf, founder of The Book of Barbering. With that said, not all leave-in conditioners are created equal. Formulation, ingredients and application methods can all affect how well leave-in conditioner works for you.
How To Use Leave-In Conditioner
So what is the best way to use leave-in conditioner? It shouldn’t replace your regular conditioner or any hydrating hair masks you might use. Leave-in conditioner is just another player you can add to your team—it brings moisture when and where it's needed.
Here are four expert-backed tips for effectively adding leave-in conditioner to your routine.
Choose the Right Formulation
There are many different types of leave-in conditioner out there, tailored to different hair textures, conditions, needs and budgets. Whether your hair is parched, frizzy or simply lacking in shine and vitality, there is a leave-in conditioner that can help. Be sure to read the ingredients before buying and choose something that is right for your needs.
VEGAMOUR's HYDR-8 Leave-In Conditioner is perfect for dry hair suffering from heat damage. This vegan conditioner's heat-protectant properties withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees, so if your hair care routine includes blow drying and/or heat styling tools, HYDR-8 will be your new best friend.
Towel Dry Hair First
When using a leave-in conditioner, start with damp hair. The benefits of applying leave-in conditioner to towel-dried hair are twofold: you can take advantage of the more porous state of damp strands while also making even application a little easier. Very wet hair might make even application more challenging.
Focus on Your Ends
The ends of our hair tend to be the most dry and damaged, so it’s helpful to make sure the ends get the moisture boost they need. Plus, if your roots tend to get weighed down with extra product, keeping the leave-in away from the top of your head avoids unwanted heaviness. Another way to avoid excess heaviness: err on the side of less product.
“Avoid over-applying, as it may weigh your hair down,” said Maiouf. Some hair types, such as fine hair, may be especially susceptible to being weighed down.
With somewhere around 90,000-150,000 strands of hair on your head, it can be hard to make sure each hair shaft gets the hydrating love it needs. While you can work product through your hair with your hands, tools like a paddle brush or a wide-tooth comb might expedite the process while more evenly distributing the conditioner.
That's it! Once you've applied the leave-in conditioner, you can air dry, blow dry or otherwise style as normal.
Holistic Care for Healthy Hair
Here at VEGAMOUR, we believe in a holistic approach to hair care. Using high-quality, non-irritating products formulated to support hair health is an important part of your hair care regimen, but healthy hair starts at the root—your hair follicles—and there are several ways to support the health of your follicles.
- Diet: Our hair follicles need a wide range of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. A healthy diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes and healthy proteins, while minimizing foods and eating habits that could contribute to hair loss, is a foundational way to support hair health.
- Supplements: For those life moments when your diet isn’t quite what you’d like it to be, or if you think you need a boost, consider adding a supplement formulated for hair health to your routine. GRO+ Advanced Gummies can provide essential vitamins and nutrients to beautify hair strands and soothe your scalp with the added bonus of hemp-derived CBD.
- Stress Management: Stress can have a big impact on hair health, too. In fact, stress is a contributor to several hair loss conditions. Finding ways to manage stress, whether it be through new relaxation techniques or exercise, is another great way to help your body grow healthy hair.
- Hair Products: Another way you can support optimal hair and scalp health is by avoiding synthetic and potentially irritating ingredients that could irritate your scalp or strip away natural oils.
Leave-in conditioners are conditioners that are meant to be applied to clean hair after washing and left on to provide added hydration and protection throughout the day. Most hair care experts recommend adding a leave-in conditioner to your typical shampoo and conditioning routine, and they are available in a variety of formulations tailored to hair type, texture or need.
Leave-in conditioners can benefit most hair types, textures and conditions—from curly hair to coily hair, frizzy hair, damaged hair and even color-treated hair. If your hair is dry, frizzy or dull after shampooing and conditioning, a leave-in conditioner adds shine and helps improve the look and feel of your hair.
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