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17 Leave-In Conditioners You Need To Try This Winter

Hot tools can do a number on your hair — and that’s true no matter your texture, affinity for trying new colours, or the season. That’s why leave-in conditioners are a godsend, particularly for natural, curly, and colour-treated strands, because they can help save you from a world of damage.
While the handy product won’t make your overall routine any less time-consuming, by making your hair more manageable, it will make getting out the door in the morning that much easier.

Keep reading to see pro and staff picks for the leave-in conditioners and treatments that leave our hair soft as can be this winter.

Best For Tangled HairInspired by night serums, this wonder product works overnight to work miracles on dry, frizzy and damaged winter hair. Not having to comb out knots for half an hour (and having a longer lie in) is a real luxury.

Shu Uemura Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Essence Absolue Overnight Serum, $, available at Feel Unique

Best For Dry HairIf you forget to re-twist your hair on a late night, a few spritzes of this magic elixir will hydrate your curls instantly. Pro tip: Spray it directly into your hands then finger comb it through for the best results.

Taliah Waajid Shea-Coco Daily Leave In Conditioner, £7.96, available at HouseOfBeautyWorld.com.

Best For Coloured HairLeave it to Argan oil to nourish and replenish curls even on your worst day. Safe for coloured, relaxed, and textured hair, this repair cream penetrates deep to soften strands — without a ton of fuss. Our editors swear by it.

Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioner Repair Cream, £5.56, available at HouseOfBeautyWorld.com.

Best For Thick Hair“For thick hair, it’s all about replenishing [lost] moisture,” says hairstylist Adir Abergel. He loves applying this treatment once a week.

Leonor Greyl Tonique Hydrant Leave-In Moisturising Mist, £19.70, available at FeelUnique.com.

Best For Definition“I love using Iles Forumla Hair Serum as a leave-in conditioner,” says Gregory Russell, whose clients include Lily Collins, Nicole Richie, and Hailee Steinfeld. “It softens the hair without being heavy, provides a light amount of definition, and makes your hair feel hydrated. For coarser textures, be a little more liberal with the product.”

Iles Formula Haute Performance Finishing Serum, $44, available at Iles Formula.

Best For Blondes“Three or four quick sprays into my hands is enough to make my dry, knotty hair far more manageable,” says Lexy Lebsack, senior beauty editor at Refinery29. (Tip: Never mist leave-in sprays directly onto hair, which practically ensures an uneven application.) “Whether I air-dry overnight or blowdry, my hair is smoother, softer, and free of tangles. It’s lightweight and never greasy, with a hit of protein for stronger hair. It’s nothing like any detangler I’ve tried, because as soon as you apply it, it soaks in instead of coating strands or adding a heavy feeling.”

Unite 7seconds Condition Leave In Detangler, £24.99, available at Amazon.

Best For Frizz“My favourite leave-in is Shea Moisture’s,” says Danielle Priano, who works with Selena Gomez and several Victoria’s Secret Angels. “I would only use this one if you’re going to wear your hair curly to keep the frizz out. If you have thin, straight hair, it will make it look a bit greasy.”

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner, £10.99, available at Superdrug.

Best For Breakage: Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Anti-Breakage Leave-In Treatment

Breakage is a pain, whether it’s from split ends or heat damage. You can fight against it with this strengthening leave-in that has proteins, ceramides, and lipids. With a few spritzes, you can worry less about leaving hair behind on your pillow, in your shower, on the car headrest, … er, everywhere.

Redken Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Treatment, $, available at Look Fantastic

Best For Long-Term Repair: Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother Reparative Styling Creme

It was only a matter of time before Olaplex put its patented bonding technology in a leave-in formula. Not only does this cream soften strands and eliminate frizz, but it also cuts drying time, which is a major win.

Olaplex No 6 Bond Smoother, $, available at Cult Beauty

Best For Thinning Hair: Rene Furterer Volumea Volumising Conditioning Spray

If you have thinning hair, it’s best to look for a lightweight mist that won’t weigh down your strands. This product adds natural-looking volume while giving hair a subtle shine that won’t leave hair feeling greasy at 5 p.m.

Rene Furterer Volumising Conditioning Spray For Fine And Limp Hair, $, available at All Beauty

Best On A Budget: Not Your Mother’s Royal Honey & Kalahari Desert Melon Leave-In Conditioner

If you’re currently working with dry, over-processed curls, this £4 leave-in spray is a must-have. Just spritz it through damp hair as a primer before adding your usual curl-defining gels, creams, or oils for a boost of softness.

Not Your Mother’s Kalahari Desert Melon Leave In Conditioner, $, available at Paks

Best for coily hair: Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk

 

Perfect for coily, kinky and very thick hair types, this leave-in conditioner boasts hydrating rice milk, nourishing avocado and castor oil and glycerin to moisturise strands from root to tip.Camille Rose Naturals Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk, $, available at LookFantastic

Best For Dry Hair: Shea Moisture Hydrate & Repair Leave In Conditioner

If you forget to re-twist your hair on a late night, a few spritzes of this magic elixir will hydrate your curls instantly. Pro tip: Spray it directly into your hands then finger-comb it through for the best results.

Shea Moisture Hydrate & Repair Leave-In Conditioner, $, available at Superdrug

Best For Coloured Hair: Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream

Leave it to argan oil to nourish and replenish curls even on your worst day. Safe for coloured, relaxed, and textured hair, this repair cream penetrates deep to soften strands — without a ton of fuss. Our editors swear by it.

Cantu Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioning Repair Cream, $, available at Superdrug

Best For Thick Hair: Leonor Greyl Tonique Hydratant

“For thick hair, it’s all about replenishing [lost] moisture,” says hairstylist Adir Abergel. He loves applying this treatment once a week.

Leonor Greyl Leonor Greyl Tonique Hydratant, $, available at FeelUnique

Best For Definition: Iles Formula Finishing Serum

“I love using Iles Formula Hair Serum as a leave-in conditioner,” says Gregory Russell, whose clients include Lily Collins, Nicole Richie, and Hailee Steinfeld. “It softens the hair without being heavy, provides a light amount of definition, and makes your hair feel hydrated. For coarser textures, be a little more liberal with the product.”

Iles Formula Haute Performance Finishing Serum, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Best For Frizz: SheaMoisture Strengthen & Grow

A-list celeb hairstylist Marcia Hamilton recommends this castor oil-packed leave-in conditioner/shine gel hybrid for smoothing and adding definition. “I really love this gel for shaping all baby hairs,” she says. “It’s alcohol-free and sulphate-free, so it doesn’t cause dryness. Plus, it leaves a really nice shine.”

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In, $, available at Just My Look

Best For Blondes: Unite Hair Care 7 Seconds Detangler

“Three or four quick sprays into my hands is enough to make my dry, knotty hair far more manageable,” says R29 senior beauty editor Lexy Lebsack. (Tip: Never mist leave-in sprays directly onto hair, which practically ensures an uneven application.) “Whether I air-dry overnight or blowdry, my hair is smoother, softer, and free of tangles. It’s lightweight and never greasy, with a hit of protein for stronger hair. It’s nothing like any detangler I’ve tried, because as soon as you apply it, it soaks in instead of coating strands or adding a heavy feeling.”

Unite Unite 7Seconds Detangler , $, available at Strawberry Net

Best For Frizz: SheaMoisture Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner

“My favourite leave-in is Shea Moisture’s,” says Danielle Priano, who works with Selena Gomez and several Victoria’s Secret Angels. “I would only use this one if you’re going to wear your hair curly to keep the frizz out. If you have thin, straight hair, it will make it look a bit greasy.”

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In, $, available at Just My Look

Best For Second-Day Hair: Living Proof Restore Repair Leave-In

This curl-friendly formula works wonders for vacation days you want to keep frizz at bay. While it works just as well on freshly-washed hair, if you need a second-day revival, just dampen curls with some water and you can reapply another pump of this — no added buildup included.

Living Proof Restore Repair Leave In Conditioner, $, available at Cult Beauty

Best For Dull Hair: Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave In Conditioner

“This spray is my life,” celebrity stylist Kristin Ess said in a product description. “It creates completely weightless shine and detangles better than any other leave-in I’ve ever used. It seals in moisture and can bring dull hair back to life over time.”

Kristen Ess Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave-In Conditioner, $, available at Boots

Best For Waves: Vernon François Leave-In Conditioner

Tight coils that suffer from an extreme case of dull frizz will benefit most from this leave-in formula. With a few pumps, your curls are revived to their shiniest form. Bonus: Continued use helps strengthen your hair so that, in the future, you might not have to worry so much about a dehydrated style.

Vernon François Vernon Francois Leave In Conditioner, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Best For Curls: DevaCurl SuperCream

“Leave-in conditioner is to curly hair what gas is to a car. And finding a good leave-in that gives your curls definition without weighing the hair down is a task,” Shan Boodram, author, sexologist, and YouTuber tells us. “DevaCurl is my boo, but I only use it on the top pieces — I prefer the middle to have zero product, so I get frizzy volume goodness!”

DevaCurl Supercream, $, available at Naturalistic Products

Best For Fine Hair: Sachajuan Leave In Conditioner

“It’s super silky, but doesn’t weigh your hair down,” celeb stylist Jenny Cho says. “It’s great for thinner hair that needs conditioning but doesn’t leave it feeling greasy.”

Sachajuan Sachajuan Leave In Conditioner, $, available at Cult Beauty

For Colour-Treated Hair: Amika Silken Up Dry Conditioner

Ask any colourist how to best maintain your dye job and they’ll just tell you to wash it less. Each wash can fade your colour, but that doesn’t mean you can’t condition your hair between washes. This conditioner can be applied to dry hair to smooth, detangle, and moisturise.

Amika Silken Up Dry Conditioner, $, available at Revolve

Best For Curls: O&M Know Knott Conditioning Detangler

Colour-treated, damaged, and dehydrated hair can all reap the benefits of this lightweight leave-in. It’s formulated with macadamia oil and vitamin B5 to soften tangled strands and give them shine. It also has UV protectants to keep your colour from fading in the sunlight.

Original & Mineral Know Knott Detangling Spray, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Best For Heat-Damaged Hair: It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-in Product

Consider this leave-in treatment a multivitamin for your hair. It’s packed with bond-building amino acids that leaves any texture softer, smoother, and shiner after one use.

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Conditioner Plus Keratin, $, available at it’s a 10 haircare

Best For Heat Styling: Kérastase Discipline Anti Frizz Smoothing Spray

Engaging in unprotected heat sessions with your hair can end in a blow-fried disaster — especially if your strands are naturally curly. If you’re giving up the heat to embrace your curls, using this leave-in will ensure that your hair is silky and frizz-free, even while it’s in recovery mode. If you’re not yet ready to give up the hot tools, you can also use some of this to protect your hair from heat up to 450 degrees.

Kerastase Hair Kérastase Discipline Fluidissime Spray, $, available at Look Fantastic

Best All-Around: Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer

Consider this Bumble & Bumble bottle the perfect one-size-fits-all spray for your hair. Apply it before you let your waves air-dry to reduce frizz and protect strands from UV rays. Or, use it as a detangler before you cocktail creams for a wash-and-go. And if you’re heat styling, you can also spritz this on damp hair to get a silky blowout that doesn’t feel greasy.

Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer, $, available at Bumble and bumble

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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