How To Use Leave In Conditioner Like The Pros |
Best Products for Healthy Hair

Are You Applying Leave-In Conditioner All Wrong?

09 August 2018
photo of stylist applying leave in conditioner spray to hair
photo of Jessie Amato

Jessie Amato

Junior Beauty Editor

When it comes to our hair care routines, we often rely on our regular conditioner to help make our strands look and feel soft and moisturized. For the days we feel our hair needs some extra attention, however, a leave-in conditioner is our go-to.

If you’ve been using a leave-in conditioner for years, applying the product may seem like a no-brainer. Could you be applying your leave-in conditioner all wrong? We’re breaking down a step-by-step on how to use a leave-in conditioner.

Begin with freshly shampooed hair.

Before you apply your leave-in conditioner, begin your hair care routine as you normally would by cleansing your hair with your regular shampoo and conditioner routine. For best results, we recommend using a system specifically formulated for your hair type. Since leave-in conditioner can leave your roots looking greasy, we recommend avoiding applying it to the top of your head.

Apply leave-in conditioner.

Whether you’re using a cream, spray, or mist formula, apply a generous amount of leave-in conditioner evenly throughout your entire head. Since your mid-lengths and ends tend to need the most care, focus the most on those areas when applying the product. Since leave-in conditioner can leave your roots looking greasy, we recommend avoiding applying it to the top of your head.

If you're not exactly sure how much leave-in conditioner your strands need, make an appointment with a hair care professional to learn what's best for your hair.

Comb your hair.

To ensure your leave-in conditioner is evenly distributed throughout your entire mane, comb the product through your hair using a wide tooth comb.

Pro tip: Since wet or damp hair can be more prone to damage, don’t use a regular bristle brush until your strands are completely dry. Once the leave-in conditioner is full applied, you’re ready to begin styling as usual.

Find the perfect leave-in conditioner for your hair type.

If you’re looking to invest in a leave-in conditioner, you should be sure to find one that addresses your particular hair care needs. Luckily, there’s a leave-in conditioner formulated for just about any hair type and concern.

Looking to add the perfect one to your routine? See below for some of our top picks.

For fine hair: Matrix Miracle Creator Multi-Tasking Treatment

If you have fine hair, you’re going to need a lightweight spray formula that won’t weigh down your strands. The Matrix Miracle Creator Multi-Tasking Treatment has 20 beautifying benefits for your hair.

Matrix Miracle Creator Multi-Tasking Treatment, $17.00 MSRP

For curly hair: Mizani 25 Miracle Milk

Looking for an all-in-one leave-in product for your ringlets? For curly girls, we recommend Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk. This easy-to-use professional haircare product preps hair for styling, helps detangle with less breakage, moisturizes, protects against heat damage, and is free of parabens, sulfate, drying alcohols, and mineral oil.

Mizani 25 Miracle Milk, $30.00 MSRP

For color treated hair: Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-Benefit Leave-In Treatment

If you color your hair often, your strands could probably use a bit of replenishment. We recommend the Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-Benefit Leave-In Treatment. Created to prime, protect, and perfect, this leave-in hair treatment spray provides color-treated hair with 21 essential benefits in one bottle.

Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-Benefit Leave-In Treatment, $26.00 MSRP

For frizzy hair: L'Oréal Professionnel Liss Unlimited Double Serum

Looking to combat frizz? Try the L'Oréal Professionnel Liss Unlimited Double Serum with a formula enriched with Pro-Keratin, evening primrose oils, and kukui nut oils. The Liss Unlimited Double Serum works to give the hair a sleek and softened finish, while blocking humidity.

L'Oréal Professionnel Liss Unlimited Double Serum, $22.00 MSRP

For damaged hair: Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-In Treatment For Damaged Hair

Restore the look and feel of damaged hair with Redken’s Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-In Treatment For Damaged Hair. This award-winning, best-selling leave-in treatment for damaged hair and split ends repairs, strengthens, and protects hair shine. It fortifies hair to reduce breakage, split ends, and mechanical damage to hair from brushing.

Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-In Treatment For Damaged Hair, $27.00 MSRP

Looking for more expert product recommendations? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

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