The Best Leave in Conditioner for Your Hair Type

Allison | 26 October 2016

Your ultimate guide to leave-in conditioners.

Picking out the best leave in conditioner is perhaps the most fun—yet underrated—part of cocktailing your wash and care regimen. It used to be that assessing your hair’s moisture needs after it’s already been conditioned takes a certain level of self-awareness, and, well, some product skepticism: How damaged were my locks to begin with? And how much was my original conditioner not doing its job? If a person’s strands are happy with a regular two-in-one shampoo but need some extra TLC on the weekends, there are proper ways to address that situation with a deep conditioning treatment. Same goes for the opposite end of the spectrum, where someone with extremely processed hair (#thirsty) might need an extra shot of daily moisture beyond what her everyday wash and care system can provide. Bottom line: It’s a matter of preference, and lucky you, we love breaking these things down, complete with a listing of some of the best drugstore deep conditioner products for your hair type! Read on to learn more about how to discover more about how to find a good leave in conditioner.

Best Drugstore Deep Conditioner for You

best leave in conditioner for natural hair
Different hair types have different deep conditioning needs.

1. Normal Hair
Frequency: Weekly

What is normal these days anyway? For those with no jarring hair needs, i.e. have strands that aren’t curly, dry, damaged, processed or oily, or who aren’t worried about hair fall, are probably in the “normal” category. In other words, nearly virgin hair, with little to no split ends or frizz (a.k.a. the unicorn category). As far as the best deep conditioners go, choose a lightweight hair mask, such as Suave Professionals Moisture Mask with Almond + Shea Butterthat you can use on a Sunday night just as a gentle shield for the week to come. Even non-damaged locks can experience some wear and tear from drying and styling, city aggressors like UV and pollution, and even hard water in the shower.

2. Fine or thinning hair
Frequency: Weekly

If you have super fine hair that doesn’t have a lot of damage, a super-rich deep conditioner might just make your hair flop. To keep from having limp strands, try a conditioning mist instead. Keep up that much-needed moisture by regularly misting on a lightweight nourishing spray, like Nexxus New York Salon Care Humectress Luxe Lightweight Conditioning Mist. It’s an editor favorite!

3. Dry and brittle hair
Frequency: Daily

If your hair is extra dry and feels like it could constantly do with a good moisture soak, look for a product with a botanical oil. You can always DIY with coconut oil as a deep conditioner, but using straight-up oil may be too heavy for your strands and may be harder to rinse out, which can be damaging for brittle hair. Using one of the best leave-ins for your hair type is the Suave Honey Suave Professionals Honey Infusion 10-in-1 Leave-in Conditioner that helps to nourish your hair without leaving it limp or lackluster.

4. Curly, Dry, Damaged Hair
Frequency: Twice a week

Just like how we need a full weekend to unwind, hair that’s been reasonably put through its paces needs to rest for a couple of days too. Daily blowdrying, a dip in the pool, the seasonal color job and bouts with a curling or flat iron have probably left some minor—yet manageable—creaks in your strands. Or maybe your hair is naturally curly, which renders it on the drier side. Fortunately, these hair types are the best candidates for the beneficial effects of a deep conditioner. Three minutes every three days. with a shower cap on in the shower, is sometimes all it takes to regain bounce and shine. Choose a silky crème variety like Nexxus New York Salon Care Humectress Restoring Masque to ensure an even application from root to tip.

5.Overprocessed, Severely Damaged
Frequency: Every other day 

Not gonna lie, you have your work cut out for you. All those procedures you had done to your strands—bleaching, chemical straightening, perming—may have cut down on your daily styling time, but there is a structural payoff. The more processed hair is, the more porous and consequently, the weaker it gets. Its cuticle is barely intact and is extremely vulnerable to breakage and split ends. Cushion locks against the trauma of daily washing, wetting and friction from styling with an potently emollient moisturizing weekly treatment such as Dove Quench Absolute Intense Restoration Mask.

Looking for more leave in love? Check out why we love leave in conditioner for rainy days.

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