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All You Need to Know About Natural Leave In Conditioner for Your Hair

6 mins

Andela Patrnogic

Leave-in conditioners are packed with benefits. Here is the lowdown on natural leave in conditioners, what they are, and some of the best products on the shelves.

"Pamper your hair with natural leave-in conditioners and watch your hair shine and bounce with health and vitality.” 

The importance of conditioning after shampooing your hair cannot be stressed enough. Shampoo cleans your hair of dirt, grime, and any buildup of oils, products, and impurities. 

During the process, some amount of moisture is stripped off your hair. Harsh shampoos can damage or cause hair to become brittle – especially if your hair is dry, rough, frizzy, or treated with color. 

A conditioner reverses all the harshness of shampoos. It restores lost moisture and hydrates every strand of your hair – particularly the midsection and ends that tend to easily and quickly get dry. It locks in nutrients and keeps out pollutants. Conditioners also lend smoothness to your hair and help tame your hair. 

Today, you can choose between wash-away conditioners and leave-in conditioners. You also have a choice between leave-in conditioners loaded with chemicals and natural leave-in conditioners.

Here’s all you need to know about conditioners – the difference between rinse-out and leave-in conditioners, the benefits of leave-in formulas, and more. 

Plus, we show you how to choose natural leave-in conditioners and some of the best natural leave-in formulas available in the market today.

Table of Contents:

  • What happens when you wash away your regular conditioner?
  • A short-term solution
  • Product buildup
  • Leaving it on too long
  • What is a leave-in conditioner?
  • The benefits of a leave-in conditioner
  • Benefits that last between washes
  • No discomfort or irritation
  • No worries about leaving on conditioner for too long
  • Use on damp or dry hair
  • Lighter, easy-to-rinse ingredients
  • Best for all hair types
  • Acts as a heat protectant
  • What is a natural leave in conditioner?
  • Natural leave in conditioner ingredients suitable for your hair
  • How to choose a natural leave-in conditioner
  • How should I use a leave-in conditioner?
  • Best Natural leave-in conditioners available today

What happens when you wash away your regular conditioner?

Hair conditioners are designed to moisturize and hydrate your hair, and they can also remove frizz and make your hair more manageable. Sadly, there are some disadvantages.

best hair conditioner, natural leave in conditioner

A short-term solution

Rinse-out conditioners don’t provide a long-term solution. While your hair might seem smooth post wash and condition, the effects are not long-lasting. 

So, if you don’t wash your hair for a couple of days, you will find your hair becomes greasy, dirty, and grimy well before your next wash.

Product buildup

Conditioners are made with heavier ingredients like silicones and waxy substances to smoothen hair. Unfortunately, these products are hard to rinse off. 

Some such ingredients in conditioners include dimethicone, behenoxy dimethicone, simethicone, trimethicone, polydimethylsiloxane, and dimethiconol.

Every type of hair deals with product buildup differently:

  • Dull, limp hair: If you don’t rinse your hair thoroughly after conditioning your hair, there is a chance of these ingredients building up in the scalp and hair. That will eventually make your hair dull and heavy.

  • Itchy scalp: A protein-rich rinse-out conditioner that is not thoroughly washed out can lead to irritation in the scalp.

  • Dusty residue: a rinse-out shampoo that dries on the hair leaves a residue of harmful ingredients (proteins and silicones).

Leaving it on too long

There is “too much of a good thing” when it comes to rinse-out shampoos. Leaving a rinse-out conditioner for too long on your hair (more than two or three minutes) can be counterproductive, leaving your hair oily and weighed down.

how to apply leave-in conditioner

It’s a catch-22 situation. When you rinse away your conditioner, you rinse away a lot of goodness. Unfortunately, you can’t afford not to rinse out your hair thoroughly because that would leave your hair dull and weighed down.

What is a leave-in conditioner?

As the name suggests, you won’t rinse out a leave-in conditioner after applying it to your hair. These types of conditioners are also known as leave-on conditioners or no-rinse conditioners. You would use the conditioner after shampooing, rinsing, towel-drying your hair, and then let it stay on until your next wash.

Leave on conditioners do precisely what regular conditioners do:

  • Reduce static electricity
  • Reduce friction between hair fibers
  • Help detangle hair
  • Give shine and bounce to hair
  • Bring out the color of colored hair
  • Seal split ends temporarily 

As well as all that, leave in conditioners have additional advantages.

The benefits of a leave-in conditioner

Leave-in conditioners are a popular choice among those who know how to take care of their tresses. These conditioners work just like wash-out conditioners, but they also possess many hard-to-ignore benefits that their rinse-off counterparts fail to provide.

Benefits that last between washes

If you don’t wash your hair every day and need lasting nourishment and hydration for your hair between washes, a leave-in conditioner is your best bet. 

The nutrients in leave-in conditioners protect hair from one wash to the next – by locking in moisture and sealing out pollutants.

Unlike wash-out conditioners, leave-in conditioners do not cause product buildup, and you can be sure that the product will wash away entirely during your next wash. 

beautiful hair, silky hair

No discomfort or irritation

Leave-in conditioners are made from milder and friendlier ingredients that will not cause buildup or itchiness. With no buildup or irritation, you can sport bouncy, smooth hair and a healthy scalp between washes.

No worries about leaving on conditioner for too long

Rinse-out conditioners must be thoroughly rinsed off within a few minutes, or they will leave your hair looking oily and limp. 

You won’t have to worry about leaving your leave-in conditioner on your hair for too long, and that means no more worries about oily or limp hair post conditioning.

Use on damp or dry hair

Forgot to use your leave-in conditioner on your towel-dried hair? 

No worries. 

A leave-in conditioner can also be used on dry hair. You can use it as a quick pick-me-up solution for your hair.

Lighter, easy-to-rinse ingredients

Unlike deep conditioners and wash-out conditioners, leave-in conditions are formulated with lighter ingredients. 

They are fantastic for hair that is soft, shiny, easy-to-style hair. These ingredients are more lightweight and can be rinsed off easily, meaning less product buildup.

light ingredients for hair, harmless hair ingredients

Best for all hair types

Leave-in conditioners are suitable for all hair types. Damaged, curly, dyed, afro, curly, straight, fine, wavy, thick, and even frizz-prone hair can benefit from a leave-in conditioner.

No matter your hair type, the conditioner can fight damage, seal in moisture and nutrients, and keep your hair deeply conditioned.

Acts as a heat protectant

Leave-in conditioners have ingredients (usually silicones, butter, oils, smoothers, and proteins) that work as heat protectants. 

These ingredients can rest heat from heating styling tools like blow dryers, curlers, and straighteners. When used after washing hair but before styling, they can save you tons of money that you would otherwise have to spend on heat protectant products.

If your leave-in conditioner can be used as a heat protectant, simply use it precisely as you would a regular heat protectant.

If you plan on straightening your hair, lightly mist your hair with the product, distribute it gently through your hair. Ensure all your hair is covered, and then follow your regular hair-straightening routine.

What is a natural leave in conditioner?

A natural leave in conditioner contains safe and natural ingredients and can be left in the hair until your next wash. 

These conditioners naturally bring back life to dull, brittle, and dry hair and should be a part of your daily hair routine.

Natural leave in conditioner ingredients suitable for your hair

Pure coconut water, aloe vera gel, honey, glycerin, avocado, olive and almond extracts, emollient oils, and some essential oils are all-natural ingredients that are often found in natural leave in conditioners.

Oils like jojoba oil, macadamia nut oil, and virgin palm oil are some natural oils that help soften, detangle, moisturize, and smoothen hair.

Shea butter and olive oil are great ingredients for thick, curly hair that need extra moisture and definition.

Blueberry extracts and nutrient-rich Manuka honey work as an excellent reparative.

For thinning hair, reach out for a leave in conditioner with castor oil.

If extra hydration is what you need, a leave in conditioner with virgin avocado and coconut oils is a good bet.

How to choose a natural leave-in conditioner

  • Natural leave-in conditioners have natural ingredients high on their list, while alcohol and mineral oils are relatively low or not present at all.
  • If you have color-treated hair, look for conditioners with color-preserving formulas.
  • Lightweight leave-in conditioners are best for thin or thinning hair as they add volume.
    How to choose a natural leave-in conditioner
  • Choose leave-in conditioners that target your hair type. For example, creamy leave-in formulas are best for curly hair as these are packed with natural oils.
  • If you use heating tools to style your hair after every wash, look for conditioners that offer heat protection.

How should I use a leave-in conditioner?

  1.   Wash your hair and then gently towel-dry your hair.
  2.   Follow the instructions on the conditioner bottle.
  3.   Avoid using large amounts of conditioner. Stick to what is recommended.
  4.   Don’t use the conditioner on the crown of your head. Use only on the mid-section and tips.
  5.   You can use a little more product on the hair tips as these are prone to damage.
  6.   Run your fingers gently through your hair to spread the product.
  7.   If using other styling products, use the leave-in conditioner before any other product.
  8.   Allow your hair to air-dry or style as you usually would.

Best Natural leave-in conditioners available today

WOW’s natural leave-in formulas are vegan and plant-based. You won’t find harsh chemicals or sticky ingredients.

WOW Skin Science 10in1 Active Hair Revitalizer is packed with natural active ingredients and essential nutrients, making it the perfect leave-in treatment for all hair types.

Safflower, Amla, and horse chestnut extract detox, soothe, and strengthen every strand, while rosemary, tea tree, and lemon extracts fight premature graying and flakes. Biotin and vitamins A, E, F, and B5 provide the volume and smooth your hair needs every day. But that’s not all.

This miracle formula also contains Moroccan argan oil, sweet almond oil, extra virgin oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, Bhringraj extract to tame frizzy hair, heal split ends, and make your hair roots stronger.

wow skin science Hair Revitalizer Spray

WOW Skin Care 10in1 Apple Cider Vinegar Mist Tonic is a handy moisturizing mist that works for all hair types. It can be used on your skin too! This miracle tonic provides nourishing hydration and tackles dandruff. The gentle mist combines raw apple cider vinegar to balance the hair’s pH for healthy hair and aloe vera leaf juice and rose extracts to hydrate.

Lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil, and glycerin are other natural ingredients that provide hydration and smoothness to hair.

Conditioners are fantastic to tame frizz and add bounce, health and vitality, and moisture to your hair. No matter your hair type or the condition of your hair, you can benefit from a natural leave in conditioner. 

When choosing a leave in conditioner, choose one packed with natural oils, essential oils, and plant-based ingredients that will soothe and hydrate your hair. 

Finally, not all leave-in conditioners are the same, and some formulas are designed to target specific hair issues and hair types. So, choosing the right conditioner is very important for healthy air.

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