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The Best Leave-in Conditioners for Hair That Just Can’t Anymore

Photo: Courtesy of the Retailers

If your hair isn’t cooperating lately, there’s a good chance it just really wants a quality leave-in conditioner in its life. Leave-in conditioners may sound extra, (especially if you’re already using a rinse-out one), but that’s because they are, and in the best way possible. Consider everything your hair endures once you step out of the shower: Rough towels, rough pillows, combing, brushing, heat-styling, twirling, tying, possible bleaching — it’s the perfect recipe for dryness and damage, and leave-in conditioners are one of the easiest ways to shield your hair from it all. Here, ten helpful leave-in conditioners that will leave your hair smoother, shinier, healthier, and happier in the long run.

Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner
$10 at Amazon

This leave-in treatment from the curl experts at Ouidad is on the lightweight side, making it well-suited for looser curls and waves that have a hard time living up to their potential, especially when annoying things like humidity are involved.

Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray
$20 at Sephora

Ever wish you could evenly spritz coconut oil into your hair instead of smoothing, rubbing, or slathering it on? This natural leave-in spray is the perfect way to lightly distribute the moisturizing and repairing benefits of it without weighing hair down in the process. Bonus: it also contains rose hip oil to protect from UV damage if big hats aren’t your thing.

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product
$37 at ULTA

This leave-in ascended to cult-favorite status thanks to its ability to do a million things (smooth, detangle, add shine, color protect, heat protect) in very convenient spray form. Great for on-the-go, this conditioner can be spritzed on damp or dry hair to quickly deliver benefits, especially in dire times of need. Case in point: Multiple cool surfer girls credit it for saving their hair from sun, wind, and salt damage once they’re back on land.

Bumble and Bumble Tonic Lotion
$25 at Sephora

I’m very pro-scalp when it comes to healthy hair-care routines, and this leave-in conditioner aligns with that sentiment. If your hair is struggling, there’s a good chance your scalp is too. Tea tree oil and rosemary and peppermint extracts make this tonic a tingly treat for your head that also tames painful tangles and encourages hair growth in the process. So many wins for all involved.

Sachajuan Leave-In Conditioner
$31 at Dermstore

If additional product translates to “greasy grease” on your hair, try Sachajuan’s spray. It’s extremely lightweight, making it a great option for fine to very fine hair that needs some help in the breakage, manageability, or color-retention department. And rest assured; the chic packaging comes with an equally chic, unisex scent that’s usually reserved for very expensive candles.

Davines OI All In One Milk
$34 at Amazon

As weird as “hair milk” sounds, this one contains shine-boosting roucou oil (a plant oil some say is even better than argan oil), and hair loves it. If a silky, commercial slo-mo hair shake situation is what you seek, regular use of this smoothing leave-in spray will help get you there.

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner
$14 at ULTA

Anyone with curly hair will tell you that a leave-in conditioner is a non-negotiable. This rich blend is loaded with ample moisturizers, including perennial favorite shea butter, so tighter curl patterns, thicker textures, and heat-styled hair can fight frizz and breakage — without having to go through an entire bottle of product in one use.

Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream
$52 at Oribe

Leave-in conditioners get a lot of credit for hydrating and repairing, but they’re also great for styling. This fancy cream doubles as a glossy heat protectant and disguiser of split ends, making it the perfect prep for an at-home blowout that could use some finessing.

Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner
$26 at Sephora

No hair type is safe from frizz, especially in this weather. This leave-in helps naturally straight or wavy air-dried hair look more polished with minimal styling.

Pantene Smoothing Combing Cream
$5 at Amazon

Gwen Stefani has had this product in her hair every day of her platinum life. Technically, it’s called a “Combing Creme” but it’s more like a “Smooth and Super Soft Hair Cream”. Her hairstylist, Danilo, uses it as a styling and conditioning cream, dabbing a little on each strand before he curls it.

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The 10 Best Leave-in Conditioners for Dry and Damaged Hair