Professional hairstylists reveal their favorite leave-in conditioners to nourish the hair in all weathers.
10 best leave-in conditioners to keep your hair hydrated this winter
Finding the best leave-in conditioner can sometimes feel like a Goldilocks dilemma: finding a formula that is nourishing but lightweight, that is designed to detangle hair while also moisturizing it without weighing it down. The right product can be an important step in maintaining hair health, especially during the drier winter months, to restore balance after shampooing.
"Leave-in is an important basic step in styling or protection," explains Rachel Lee Brady, the hairstylist whose work on Rodarte's Summer / Spring 2021 collection can be seen on celebrity clients like Kat Graham. "If you start with the health of the hair, you will get better results no matter what your styling goals are." Leave-in conditioners range from silky creams and lotions to sprays and offer a variety of options depending on the desired effect. Brady himself reaches for Carol's Daughter's Black Vanilla Leave-in Spray and starts with dry, clean hair. Then she uses a richer cream and untangles the hair with a Tangle Teezer.
This spray with lavender, Japanese honeysuckle, and marigold is a nourishing leave-in and the perfect foundation before styling. "It gives me elasticity and shine and a little bit of hold," explains Rachel Lee Brady.
Celebrity hairstylist and hairdresser Nigella Miller, whose customers include Kerby Jean-Raymond and musicians Chloe and Halle, calls this her favorite treatment. "It's a multi styler. I apply it directly to towel-dried hair; it restores my curls and gives them the nutrients they need to keep their bounce and shine. Not to mention it smells amazing. "
This leave-in is a luxurious pleasure, equipped with red algae and strengthening proteins. Perfect for those who want extra shine and nutrients for their hair shaft and scalp.
Erinn Courtney, who has worked with stars like Willow Smith and Big Sean lately, says this is her favorite conditioner. "I love this conditioner for curly and frizzy hair because it detangles and moisturizes hair so well without making it greasy and weighted," she says.
The name of this leave-in says it all. With sunflower seed oil and rocket oil, it smooths the hair and protects it from heat damage.
Hairstylist Naeemah LaFond says this leave-in is the "perfect dose of moisture and protection for my damaged locks."
Thanks to keratin, amino acids, and Japanese bamboo, this leave-in strengthens the hair, provides shine, protects the hair from damage, and supplies it with moisture. It can be used on damp hair before blow-drying, but can also be used on protruding hair during the day.
This conditioner is used as heat protection, detangler, leave-in or to freshen up curls. Miller resorts to it when she's in a rush or when she runs out of products. "It's perfect for men too," she notes. "I'm just in love with this product and the feeling it gives my hair when I use it.
Mmsmith's hairdresser Mickiela Smith calls it "the multitasker for all hair types" and notes that it can be easily combined with other styling products. Smith praises its repairing and moisturizing properties, but adds that "one should choose the amount wisely based on hair density and condition".
This leave-in spray makes dry hair supple. It's extremely light and contains amino acids and enzymes that protect hair from damage, as well as vitamin B2 that strengthens hair.