Leave In Conditioner is my go-to-product for Prepping Hair before Styling
Leave in conditioner works on all hair types; from fine to frizzy, dry to damaged and curly hair. The best leave in conditioners detangle, reduce static and frizz, whilst speeding up drying time and leave hair with shine.
Do you have a leave in hair conditioner in your styling kit? If not, now is the time to find out more.
The best leave in conditioners should do 3 things:
- Detangle your freshly washed hair; it’s best not to fight with your hair, especially when wet. Because wet hair is vulnerable to breakage, a good leave in conditioner should do a lot of the detangling work for you.
- Add moisture; if you are a regular reader of my blogs, you will know that the number one priority for your hair is moisture. Keeping hair hydrated is an absolute must to get rid of static and frizz. Not to mention, essential for adding shine too.
- Get hair ready to style; after shampooing and conditioning, hair generally needs support to make it more manageable and responsive when styling. Nourishing ingredients in a leave in conditioner offer a gentle option, especially if your hair is prone dryness.
I am a fan of leave in conditioners for hair styling. That’s because, during my time in hairdressing, I’ve found that many styling products are too drying for hair.
Leave in conditioners offer a great alternative. That’s because, multitasking leave in conditioners can be the difference between dull hair and shiny hair. Additionally, I love how they leave hair with natural movement.
Table of Contents
- What is the purpose of a leave in conditioner?
- What is a good leave in hair conditioner?
- How often should you use a leave in conditioner?
- Can I use a leave in conditioner every day?
- What’s the best leave in conditioner for curly hair?
- Why choose a natural leave in conditioner?
- What’s the best leave in conditioner for bleached hair?
- What’s the best leave in conditioner for natural hair?
- How is a leave in hair conditioner different to a regular conditioner?
- How to use Leave In Conditioner
- Why choose a leave in conditioner?
- Why choose a leave in conditioner spray?
- Will leave in conditioner work for my hair type?
- Leave in Conditioner for Fine Hair
- Leave in Conditioner for Frizzy Hair
- Leave in Conditioner for Dry Hair
- Leave in Conditioner for Damaged Hair
- Styling Mist for Natural Hold and Volume
- Styling Mist for Natural Hold and a Glossy Finish
- About the Author
What is the purpose of a leave in conditioner?
I’ve been working with hair for over 35 years. As a result, I’ve know hair products have come a long way since I started working in hairdressing. None more so than leave in conditioners.
I see the purpose of leave in conditioner as two-fold.
First up, they are an effective way of getting hair prepped for styling. As I’ve mentioned, hair is more vulnerable when wet. So, a leave in conditioner that quickly and effectively detangles and adds moisture to the hair gives you a better foundation for styling.
Secondly, there are some clever leave in conditioner formulations out there that can offer additional styling benefits. For instance, my leave in conditioners reduce drying time.
That’s not just a time-saving benefit, but it also reduces the time heat is applied to hair. Reducing exposure to heat is beneficial because it reduces the damage to hair.
So, the purpose of leave in conditioners extends beyond conditioning the hair; they also help with styling.
What is a good leave in hair conditioner?
Having worked for years in a salon, I expect a lot from my products; I think you should too. When you ask me, ‘what’s a good leave in hair conditioner?’, my first response is that it needs to condition the hair. Simply put, when hair is well-conditioned, it has a good foundation for styling.
I have some favourite conditioning ingredients that give me the best results when I’m working with hair; Pro Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E are at the top of the list. Pro Vitamin B5 get adds moisture to the core of the hair.
That is vital when styling; when hair holds moisture, it’s more responsive and easier to style. Vitamin E nourishes, helping to prevent damage to the hair.
Similarly, you’ll find these conditioning ingredients across my haircare range. I’ve blended Pro Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E in my styling range. But, that’s only part of the story. A good leave in conditioner needs to do more.
For my styling range, I’ve blended Argan Oil and Keratin. Argan Oil and Keratin smooth the hair and temporarily seal split ends to give a silky smooth, professional finish when you blow-dry your hair.
How often should you use a leave in conditioner?
It depends on your hair. As a general rule, I’d say, every time you wash and style your hair. Having said that, if you want to give your hair a moisture boost, there’s nothing to stop you using a leave in conditioner in between washes. So, I encourage you to experiment. See what works for your hair. My only note of caution is not to overdo it. My mantra is less is more.
Can I use a leave in conditioner every day?
As with my response to the question, ‘How often should you use a leave in conditioner?’, it depends on your hair. If your hair is fine or excessively oily, you may choose to wash your hair every day. In that case, I would recommend a light volumising leave in conditioner as preparation for styling. Using a leave in hair conditioner little and often can work for finer hair types. Try it out; see what works for your hair. If it does, great. If not, adapt. No one knows your hair better than you so work with it and get the best results for your hair.
What’s the best leave in conditioner for curly hair?
Curly hair can benefit from leave in conditioners. As one of the driest hair types, curly hair responds well to additional moisture, whether it’s from a deep conditioner, a conditioner or a leave in conditioner. When choosing the best leave in conditioner for curly hair, I recommend, you look for products that will boost moisture and smooth the hair.
I like to distinguish between adding moisture and smoothing the hair.
Both are vital and, if you have one without the other, it can leave hair looking and feeling dry. For instance, I’ve seen clients who have used oil to treat their hair but still find their hair is dry. That’s because the oil sits on the hair. So, it smooths the outer layer of the hair. But if the cortex (the hair’s core) has no moisture, the hair is dry.
Choose leave in conditioners that contain conditioning ingredients, not just smoothing ingredients; this will give you the best results for curly hair.
Why choose a natural leave in conditioner?
When I’m working with hair, the texture is my primary focus. I like the hair texture to feel supple; you can style supple or hair that has elasticity with ease, and it holds the style for longer. Similarly, I love hair to have plenty of movement.
Hair, like our skin, is a protein. Naturally-derived ingredients are an excellent choice for nourishing and feeding the hair.
Natural leave in conditioners add moisture and leave your hair with a soft, silky texture. It’s the kind of finish I like; hair looking styled but not overly-styled.
That’s why I would always choose a natural leave in conditioner over conventional styling products.
For me, it’s all about giving the hair control but at the same time allowing it to move naturally.
The Beauty Bible tested my styling products, and they understood what I was aiming for with natural movement. Here’s what they said about my Styling Mist for Volume.
“We are never, ever short of recommendations for luscious 100% pure hair masks. There are more and more excellent natural shampoos around, too. But natural styling options? Rarer than hen’s teeth. Hats off, then, to Ogario London* for this lightweight styling mist, which makes for increased hold and volume while making your hair smell fresh, citrusy and downright gorgeous. (It’s infused with lemon zest.)
Other ingredients include antioxidant vitamin E, strengthening pro-vitamin B5, oats (for hydration and strength) and honey (not sticky, by the way, but just a touch to prevent static).
The result? Shiny, swingy hair that holds its shape. And while this formula may never rival the industrial strength styling aids from mainstream haircare brands, it’s going to make for very happy hair days for natural beauties.”
* Ogario’s hair masks are hugely popular with Beauty Bible testers. And with us.
What’s the best leave in conditioner for bleached hair?
If your hair is bleached, the cuticle is open so that your hair can absorb the colour. When it comes to styling, a leave in conditioner is the best choice for bleached hair. Here’s why:
- The process of bleaching hair (i.e. opening of the cuticle) leaves it dry. The priority when caring for bleached hair is to add moisture and smooth the cuticle.
- Styling products without conditioning ingredients can exacerbate the dryness. Choose a leave in conditioner as, it can be used for styling, whilst conditioning your hair.
- Choosing a product that both conditions and styles has the added benefit of reducing the number of products we use on our hair. It helps avoid product build-up, which can leave hair feeling dry and flat.
- By adding moisture to bleached hair, the cuticle becomes plump and gives hair more body.
- A common complaint of people with bleached hair is that their hair looks dull. By using a product that smoothes the cuticle, hair reflects light and has more shine.
What’s the best leave in conditioner for natural hair?
When I get a question about natural hair, it’s usually from someone with afro hair who has decided to stop chemical treatments or braids and has chosen to wear their hair naturally.
If you’ve been braiding your hair or using chemical treatments, styling your natural hair can feel a bit daunting.
Once you go natural, you’ll get the best from your hair if it has plenty of moisture. Leave in conditioners are a fabulous choice for styling natural hair, and I encourage you to use it alongside your conditioner and deep conditioner.
I’ve shared a few thoughts below on the best leave in conditioners for natural hair.
Identifying leave in conditioners which will give your hair the most amount of moisture is vital.
I know oils are a popular choice for treating natural afro hair but, in my experience, they don’t give the hair everything that it needs.
Argan oil is rich in essential fatty acids to nourish and condition natural hair. However, the oils don’t penetrate the hair follicle.
That means the cuticle (the outer layer of the hair) benefits from the conditioning properties of argan oil, but the core of the hair still needs moisture.
Leave in Conditioner for Natural Hair
The answer, then, is to combine ingredients that add moisture to outer and inner layers of your hair in a single formulation.
As a leave in conditioner, Styling Mist for Glossy Finish combines naturally derived ingredients that add moisture to the inner and outer layers of your hair. I’ve listed them below.
- Pro Vitamin B5 – gets moisture to the core of the hair
- Vitamin E – Smooths and nourishes the hair
- Keratin and Argan Oil – combined to smooth hair and temporarily seal split ends
- Sugar Beet – improves the water retention capacity of the hair for strength and softness
- Tamarind – adds moisture to the scalp and hair
- Honey – for smoothness and shine
I recommend you treat natural hair with Styling Mist for Glossy Finish after washing and conditioning your hair. You can also give your hair a spritz of this natural leave in conditioner in-between wash days, giving your hair regular moisture.
How is a leave in hair conditioner different to a regular conditioner?
A leave in conditioner can come in a couple of different formats. It might be a cream. Creams tend to be lighter than a regular conditioner, and they are formulated, as the name suggests, to be left in the hair.
That means they shouldn’t leave any build-up. If you find you are getting a build-up from your leave in conditioner, look for a lighter option.
Leave in conditioners can also be applied to the hair with a spray. A leave in conditioner spray is excellent for lots of different hair types and has the benefit of making application easier.
When I was developing our Glossy Mist (leave in conditioner), I experimented with different spray heads to find the best application.
I opted for a spray head that gave a fine mist, as that delivered the most even spread on the hair. I also found that a fine mist was best for delivering the right amount of leave in conditioner to the hair without overloading it.
How to use Leave In Conditioner
- Shampoo and condition hair.
- Once hair is rinsed, use your towel to squeeze out the water. Be gentle with our hair at this stage to prevent breakage. You can also wrap your hair in a microfibre towel to soak up any excess water.
- Once hair is no longer dripping wet, you can apply the leave in conditioner. Hair should be damp, not dripping wet when you apply a styling product or leave in conditioner to your hair. It’s the same for leave in conditioner.
- If you are using a cream, put a small amount in your palm and work the product in your hands. That warms the product, making it easier to apply. Focus on putting in on the ends and mid-lengths of the hair. Unless, your hair is very thick, its best to avoid the roots.
- Less is more. When working with a new product, it’s a good idea to layer on a small amount first to see how your hair responds and then add more if needed.
- If you are using a leave in conditioner spray, follow steps 1 to 3 and then follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I recommend just 2 to 3 spritzes of our Glossy Mist. You can spray a couple of inches above the head and let the fine mist settle on your hair. If you have longer hair, you might want to use a couple of extra spritzes directly on the lengths of the hair.
- Once you’ve applied your leave in conditioner, you can use a wide-tooth comb to help with any remaining tangles. It’s important to work up from the ends of the hair being careful not to put any tension on the roots.
- Style as normal.
Salon Know How: Leave in Hair Conditioner Tips
You can use leave in conditioners on dry hair. I recommend checking the manufacturer’s instructions beforehand. If you are using a leave in conditioner cream, use a little to smooth the hair on the days when you are not washing your hair. Or give hair a spritz with our Glossy Mist to give your hair a pick-me-up.
Why choose a leave in conditioner?
Leave in conditioners are a versatile option, not just for conditioning your hair but also for styling. There’s nothing I like more than a multi-tasking product.
That’s what I love about leave in conditioners and, with the right product, you don’t need any other styling products.
Similarly, the best leave in conditioners should condition your hair and work as styling products at the same time. That reduces the number of products you need to use on your hair.
I love the natural finish that hair gets from leave in conditioner.
Whilst you can get styling products that promise shine, I like a leave in conditioner that goes right to the heart of the matter.
As I’ve mentioned, pro vitamin b5 is a favourite moisture-boosting ingredient. I use it across the range and, in our leave in hair conditioners, because it gets moisture right to the hair’s core.
When hair has moisture, and the cuticle is smooth, hair reflects the light giving it a natural shine.
Why choose a leave in conditioner spray?
Application matters. I believe the way you apply a product to your hair is just as important as the product you are using.
The truth is for most of us when applying products to our own hair, we use too much product.
When I developed this range, I spent time with my customers discussing how they styled their hair.
A common complaint was that it was difficult to find products that would give a light application.
I find the spray application for leave in conditioner makes it easier to apply the right amount of product. I believe that using less product will give you better results. That is particularly true when it comes to styling.
For instance, a leave in conditioner with a spray application works by controlling the amount of product you use. It makes it easier to get an even spread of leave in conditioner on the hair.
I chose a fine mist spray head for my styling range as it ensures a light application. That means when you use it, you can avoid overloading any one area of the hair. If you have fine hair, you’ll understand how vital this is.
Will leave in conditioner work for my hair type?
Leave in conditioners work for all hair types; from fine to frizzy, dry to damaged and curly hair.
Whatever your type, leave in conditioner is an excellent choice for your hair.
Leave in Conditioner for Fine Hair
My fine-haired clients have one thing in common. They’ve had bad experiences with conditioners and styling products, often, because those products are too heavy for the hair.
If you have fine hair and you’ve had a bad experience with conditioners, styling products or even leave in conditioners, chances are you avoid using them. But the thing about fine hair is that, as with any hair type, it needs moisture.
Working with hair gives you insights into different hair types, but that’s not all. Over the years of working with clients, I’ve had the opportunity to understand the challenges people have with different hair types.
For fine hair, a leave in conditioner or styling product should do two things; it should add moisture to the hair and add volume. Get those two things right, and you are half-way there. I say half-way, because, as I’ve said before, application matters too.
For instance, I’ve used an ultra-fine spray application for Styling Mist for Volume. That gives the lightweight application that fine hair needs.
Leave in Conditioner for Frizzy Hair
Frizz is a sign that hair needs additional moisture. If you are experiencing frizzy hair, leave in conditioner is a perfect choice. Smoothing, hydrating and protecting the hair, leave in conditioners can work alongside conditioners and deep conditioners to give your hair all the moisture it needs. I’ve written a blog about frizzy hair so, if you’d like some specific tips to stop frizz, please take a look.
Leave in Conditioner for Dry Hair
Leave in conditioners are the right choice for dry hair. Your hair may be dry naturally, or, maybe it’s dry due to excessive heat or chemical treatments. Either way, leave in conditioner is a step in the right direction.
For instance, when I’m working with drier hair types, I love that my styling mists reduce drying time. That means less heat damage for the hair. Plus, my Glossy Mist adds moisture and helps the hair to retain that moisture for longer.
If you are looking for tips on how to add moisture to dry hair, take a look at my blog for further advice.
Leave in Conditioner for Damaged Hair
Generally, damaged hair is as a result of too much heat or chemical treatments. It may be a combination of both. Either way, if your hair is dull, if it’s lost that slippery, silky texture if it feels rough to the touch, it’s time to take action.
Once hair is damaged, it’s time to rethink your approach to your hair. For example, you’ll need to make sure it gets plenty of additional moisture. So, choosing a leave in conditioner to support styling can help.
For tips and advice on repairing damaged hair, go to our blog.
Styling Mist for Natural Hold and Volume
This leave in conditioner contains pro-vitamin b5 for moisture, Argan Oil to nourish hair, alongside Keratin and Vitamin E for a smooth finish. Works for all hair types but, we particularly love using it for fine hair because it gives good volume!
The light mist application makes it perfect for fine hair types. It’s a volume styling product will not weigh your hair down. You need just 2 to 3 pumps.
How to use to add volume to fine hair:
Application on damp hair:
- Spray a couple of inches above the head and watch as the light mist falls on to your hair. Leave to settle and style as normal.
- Turn your head upside down and spray underneath the hair to give your hair a lift from the bottom up.
- Spraying directly on to the roots is no problem. It is that light. Remember our mantra is that less is more. One spritz at the roots is plenty.
Salon Know How:
If you are not in the mood for washing your hair, and you want to add volume, you can use it on dry hair.
Use a couple of pumps to give hair a lift.
For example, you can turn your head upside down, spray and use your hands to gently push hair into place, or give hair a spritz and use a fine toothcomb to backcomb the roots for volume.
Get more styling tips and ideas from our blog How to Look after Fine Hair.
Styling Mist for Natural Hold and a Glossy Finish
The Glossy Mist is all about getting adding moisture to the hair. Suitable for dry, damaged, bleached or curly hair, this leave in conditioner spray adds moisture, smoothes the cuticle, detangles and defrizzes.
It speeds up drying time to reduce heat damage and gives heat protection.
Use on damp hair and, on dry hair, in between washes.
About the Author
Norris Ogario is founder and Creative Director of Ogario London. Developed in his London salon, the Ogario London haircare products reflect his belief that hydration is the key to fixing most hair problems. You can style hydrated hair with ease. Plus, hydration leaves hair shiny and healthy. Norris has over 35 years of hair know-how. With expertise in all hair types; from dry hair to fine or grey hair, from frizzy to damaged or bleached hair, curly hair and afro hair, Norris offers his expert advice.
Over the years, I’ve talked to and helped a lot of customers with dry hair concerns. I write about all aspects of healthy hair, from tackling frizz to getting rid of split ends and share salon tips and techniques for looking after all hair types.
I’ve suggested some further reading below, but please look at our Healthy Hair Blog to find more articles.
The way we style and care for our hair is not the only factor determining hair health and shine. Good nutrition is vital.
If you want to delve deeper into how you can improve your healthy hair diet, take a look at our blog, Healthy Hair: Choose the Best Foods for Hair Growth.
Colour treatments have a significant impact on reducing moisture in the hair, particularly if you bleach your hair. If you are a bleached beauty and want to regain your shine, you might want to look at our blog, How to take care of Bleached Hair. You can also take a look at my case study on elasticity in bleached hair.
For further reading on dry hair, Salon Know How: How to Moisturise Dry Hair is a must-read.
Ogario London is a salon developed, natural hair care range. We are passionate about our products, and, delivering the best results is at the heart of what we do. Do you have questions about our products? Or, would you like advice on the best products for your hair type? Or, do you have another question about how to look after your hair? If you do, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.