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Why You Really Need Leave-in Conditioner

Why You Really Need Leave-in Conditioner

Updated January 21, 2024:

Are you wondering about the differences between types of conditioners?

There is a big difference between leave-in conditioner (usually a spray), daily conditioner you are meant to rinse out in the shower and deep conditioner.

Leave-in conditioner is not just an up sell. It is meant to function differently than a conditioner that you rinse out. Daily and deep conditioners can be swapped as needed depending on your hair type and what is going on with it.

Leave-In Conditioner

Leave In Conditioner is typically more of a liquid consistency that is sprayed on hair post shower. If your hair needs some extra help detangling or you want to us it as a styling product to refresh or combat frizz, this is what will do it. Usually, leave in conditioner contains ingredients like:

  • Hydrating and humectant ingredients but in a higher water content ratio. Humectants draw moisture and are beneficial, but in a large amount can tend to be sticky. So you can use more when you are rinsing them out, less when you are leaving it on.
  • Botanicals that have beneficial qualities for your hair
  • Vitamins such as panthenol which add shine and body

These sprays are meant to detangle, add shine, eliminate frizz, protect from heat and work for restyling hair.

For who: All hair types

Daily Conditioner:

The conditioner you use in the shower is typically made up of detangling ingredients that are ionically charged. This gives the conditioner it’s lotiony consistency and helps the product to cling to the hair smoothing down the cuticle and protecting the strands.

  • hydrating or humectant ingredients such as aloe vera, glycerin, honey
  • botanicals that have beneficial qualities for your hair
  • vitamins such as panthenol which add shine and body
  • fatty alcohols which help to detangle and smooth the hair. These alcohols feel more like a wax before being melted into the conditioner formula and you are applying the formula to wet hair- which gives it and additional slippery quality.

This is a thicker consistency that is meant to be rinsed out. The humectant ingredients and the fatty alcohol component are the real reasons why daily conditioner is meant to be rinsed. Conditioner is thick but liquid in the bottle and you are adding more moisture by putting it on wet hair. If you leave it to air dry it will harden as moisture evaporates. Leaving sticky or waxy textures on your hair can cause buildup leading to dull, matte hair. Dust and pollution will tend to cling. Hair that is already damaged will tend to attract the waxiness to those areas and if allowed to remain indefinitely it will begin to smother and weaken the strands (in a similar way that silicones do) eventually causing breakage.

Combing conditioner through your hair in the shower is the best way to detangle. Conditioner is meant to make hair more slippery so coated strands will let go of their tangles easily. Combing also helps to coat up to 50% more of each strand.

For who:  All hair types benefit from detangling and smoothing-except baby fine.

So what to do if you find your hair needs extra conditioning help?

Deep Conditioning Creme: 

Deep conditioning means you are giving super concentrated nutrition to your hair. These mega doses may be too much and feel too heavy to use all the time, but extra moisture and a touch of oil to seal the cuticle and add shine can be the perfect solution for both dry and dehydrated hair. You can use it once a week to give your hair that little bit of extra help. 

For who: Coarse hair, dry hair (lacking enough oil to stay flexible), dehydrated hair (lacking enough moisture/feeling brittle), curly hair needing extra bounce.

To summarize:

  • If you want continuous moisture and manageability throughout the day, go for a leave-in conditioner.
  • For regular maintenance and hydration, a daily conditioner is suitable.
  • If your hair needs intensive repair or extra moisture, incorporate a deep conditioner into your routine on a less frequent basis.

Another solution:

Try the Protected Cleanse method of shampooing for thick+ dehydrated hair. It is essentially reverse washing. Wet your hair, apply a generous amount of conditioner all over your hair+scalp, comb through to be sure that you’ve removed tangles and also coated each strand of hair. Use a small amount of shampoo, rub between your hands to spread and activate the lather  and then apply underneath your hair onto your scalp working up to the top of your head. Rub gently to cleanse close to the hairline where more of the oil has accumulated and when you feel you’ve massaged enough, rinse it all out. The shampoo will have done it’s work at the roots and the rest of your hair has been protected by the conditioner. 

If you feel you need more detangling or slip, spray on a leave in conditioner while your hair is still damp. You can also layer on an finishing oil for more protection.


Here is where you can find our daily conditioners, deep conditioning creme and leave in conditioners.

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