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Well-groomed guys have a new secret hair product — leave-in conditioner.
Most women have kept some in their bathroom armory for years, but guys have always dismissed leave-in conditioners and steered clear of them — until now. Most guys have a solid shampoo, a moisturizing conditioner, a body wash and plenty of body lotion in their bathroom repertoire.
These products get the bulk of the work done, but there’s always more you could do to look and feel your best. Leave-in conditioner can act as a stabilizer, a de-frizzer, a detangler and a moisturizer all in one go. It’s an amazing, low-maintenance product every guy should have on his bathroom counter.
What Does Leave-In Conditioner Do?
Unlike the regular rinse-out conditioner you use in the shower, the best leave-in conditioners for men add lightweight moisture and volume that lasts all day.
Leave-in conditioners also do extra work to nourish the scalp, as they have more time to penetrate the hair than their rinse-out counterparts. This makes leave-in conditioners ideal for guys with frizzy, damaged or curly hair that gets tangled easily.
However, everyone can benefit from the vitamins, minerals and other ‘do-upgrading ingredients found in our favorite leave-in conditioners for men.
What Are Leave-In Conditioners Made Of?
Almost all leave-in conditioners are going to contain ingredients like silicones and glycerin which add a protective coat around strands of hair without adding extra weight or greasiness.
Leave-in conditioner might also contain different moisturizing oils like jojoba oil, sunflower oil or shea butter. In addition, there’s a good chance they might also contain different vitamins as well as botanical extracts.
How To Use Leave-In Conditioner
If you’ve never used a leave-in conditioner before, it might seem intimidating, but trust us, it couldn’t be easier. We’ve got everything you’ll need to know to start using men’s leave-in conditioners.
- Read the product label. Seriously, people often skip the simplest step in determining how to apply a product to their hair and there’s no way to tell the best use of a product beyond reading how it was designed to be used.
- Don’t use too much product, especially at first. Brylcreem was on to something with its “a little dab’ll do ya” slogan. Don’t start with more than a quarter-sized portion. Some products recommend as little as a nickel-sized portion and you can always re-apply.
- If you’re dealing with a spray leave-in conditioner, it never hurts to give the bottle a good shake to ensure separated ingredients are mixed together properly.
- Only apply the product on damp or dry hair and make sure your hair is clean and product-free beforehand. Dry or damp hair will depend on the product. Some products work well for both, others recommend one or the other. If working with damp hair, make sure it’s sufficiently towel dried. You never want to apply leave-in conditioner, or any hair product for that matter, to dripping wet hair.
- When you’re ready to apply, rub the product between your hands a bit to warm it up. This will help you spread it through your hair. Run your hands through your hair and aim to spread the leave-in conditioner around as evenly as possible, focusing on the ends of your hair.
- Use a comb to help even things out and style as normal.
- And remember, don’t rinse the conditioner out!
That’s all there is to it, gents. You’re ready to hit the streets with hair that’s a bit healthier and certainly more stylish than it was before.
We searched the web to find the best leave-in conditioners money can buy to keep that head of hair of yours healthy and soft. Find all of our favorites below.
1. Davines OI All in One Milk
This all-in-one leave-in treatment is formulated to ease frizzy hair and provide heat protection from styling tools. It’s a lightweight milk spray that softens hair as it detangles, and provides moisture and shine as well. I
t’s great for a variety of hair types and can nourish curls, take care of wavy hair and keep straight hair from drying out or becoming permanently damaged by exposure to heat. You’ll get softer, more defined hair without anything too crunchy or sticky.
It comes in a travel size 1.69 fl. oz. bottle as well as a larger bottle for your bathroom counter, and it’s got Roucou oil in it that’s anti-inflammatory and anti-aging as well.
2. Hair Craft Co. Hair Moisturizer Daily Leave-In Conditioner
When it comes to excellent leave-in conditioners for men, Hair Craft Co.’s Hair Moisturizer is really making its way into the mainstream on Amazon. For those of you unfamiliar, this leave-in conditioner prioritizes softening and hydrating for an excellent day-to-day look.
Frizz? You can say goodbye to that. This lightweight blend is packed with haircare must-haves such as argan oil, omega-6 fatty acids and vitamins A, C and E. These properties work to diminish any and all frizz that appears throughout the day in addition to minimizing breakage, reviving the overall look and feel and creating moisture.
Each bottle is travel friendly for your convenience, so you can take it on any upcoming trip you might have.
3. Unite Hair Detangle Leave-In Conditioner
BEST FOR TANGLED HAIR
One of the best uses for leave-in conditioner is treating hair that’s perpetually tangled. After moisturizing and improving the volume of your hair, it’ll fall into place and look a whole lot better.
The best leave-in conditioner for successfully beating tangled hair is this Unite 7 Seconds conditioner, as it’s specifically formulated to detangle. Instead of spraying Unite on damp hair, spritz your dry ‘do four to six times and then comb your hair to even it out. It’s that simple.
4. Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Intensely Smooth Leave-In Conditioning Cream
If you’ve ever used your girlfriend’s Garnier Fructis conditioner, then you know Garnier Fructis doesn’t mess around when it comes to healthy hair.
The company’s Sleek & Shine Intensely Smooth Leave-In Conditioning Cream will tame the frizziest hair and rejuvenate dry hair with its argan oil-based formula, leaving your hair with added shine and softness.
Not only is it one of the most and best reviewed leave-in conditioners on Amazon, it’s also one of the best values per fluid ounce that money can buy.
5. Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream
Though you don’t need to break the bank to take good care of your hair, if you’ve got a little money to spend, you can’t do much better than Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream.
Best for medium-to-thick hair and long hair, this stuff is the Ferrari of leave-in conditioners. Rehydrates dry hair for extreme softness and repairs split ends? Check. Adds volume, moisture, shine and eliminates frizz? Check. A full breakdown of every ingredient and what each does to your hair? Check.
Yup, this leave-in conditioner does it all and then some, though it is far more expensive than similar products.
6. It’s a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In Product
While most leave-in conditioners have a clear strong suit (some are great for frizzy hair, others protect color-treated hair), this It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product does it all — and it does it well.
Utilizing natural ingredients such as vitamin C, linseed and aloe vera, the spray-on conditioner softens, rejuvenates and most importantly, defends hair of every type. And if over 10,000 5-star reviews on Amazon don’t convince you that it works, ask pro surfer Kelia Moniz who uses the conditioner to protect her locks from constant sun and seawater.
7. Paul Mitchell The Conditioner
Hairdresser Paul Mitchell pioneered the use of awapuhi in hair products in the 1980s and the product lines that retain his name have been go-to hair care products ever since. That’s why we recommend Paul Mitchell The Conditioner.
Unlike many other leave-in conditioners, this is designed only to be left in, not washed out, and will leave you with smoother, moisturized and more healthy-looking hair.
It contains, of course, Hawaiian awapuhi and wheat-derived conditioners to improve your hair’s texture while also balancing moisture, reducing static and preventing dryness. To use it, simply apply a small amount to your hair when it’s a little wet and comb it through to ensure an even spread.
This well-reviewed conditioner is also part of a range and works well with Paul Mitchell’s shampoo and detangler for complete hair treatment.
8. Aussie Leave-In Conditioner Spray
BEST FOR ALL HAIR TYPES
If you’re not quite sure what your hair type is, or it changes on a daily basis, this leave-in conditioner spray is a great option. It’s infused with Australian jojoba oil and sea kelp for moisture and protection. Tied together with a pleasing scent of citrus, florals and musk, it seems like there’s really not much to complain about.
It can be used at home or on the go to protect against heat damage and detangle. Additionally, it comes in an 8-ounce bottle that’ll last you a while.
9. Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer and Leave-in Conditioner
With more than 4,000 five-star reviews from happy Amazon customers, there’s little debate that the Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer will make you happy.
In addition to your hair, this versatile product can be used as a moisturizer for your skin as well as an after-shave cream. The multi-tasking product calms, moisturizes and absorbs quickly for a treatment that works for all hair and skin types. The tea tree, peppermint and lavender-containing formula also boasts a refreshing scent and is completely vegan-friendly and paraben-free.
10. Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner
BEST FOR CONTROLLING FRIZZ
If your problem is frizz or you live in an especially humid environment where the hair’s body is nearly uncontrollable, this leave-in treatment may do wonders for you. It’s extra hydrating so your hair won’t dry out and stick out, and it gives an extra conditioning boost for all hair types.
Living Proof No Frizz works for all hair types — from straight to coily — and all hair textures as well. It’s color-safe and safe for chemically-treated hair as well.
11. Aluram Coconut Water-Based Leave-in Conditioner
BEST COCONUT CONDITIONER
Coconut has got to be one of the most versatile fruits on the planet. (Yeah, coconut is a fruit, Google it). You can burn its shell, cook with its oil, eat its fruit, drink its water and of course, you can use it in your hair for its rejuvenating properties. Not only is coconut the key ingredient in one of the best shampoos for men, but it’s also key in one of the best leave-in conditioners for men.
Aluram’s Coconut Water-Based Leave-in Conditioner will bring the same hydration to your hair that coconut water can bring to your body. It’ll help detangle your hair and leave it with noticeable shine and bounce. It smells, unsurprisingly, of coconut, but the scent is light and doesn’t persist for too long after application, and it works well with most hair types, including frizzy or curly hair.
12. Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Leave-in Hair Conditioner
BEST OLIVE OIL CONDITIONER
Like the humble coconut, olive oil is extremely useful for its cleansing and moisturizing properties, making it a natural fit for skincare and hair care. That’s why we recommend Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Leave-in Hair Conditioner.
In addition to olive oil, this formula incorporates keratin to strengthen and repair dry hair and help get unwieldy frizz under control at a price point you can afford. And if you’re not sold already, this leave-in conditioner is Amazon’s Choice for olive oil-based leave-in conditioners.
13. Cantu Shea Butter Men’s Leave-In Conditioner
BEST SHEA BUTTER CONDITIONER
This Cantu Shea Butter Men’s Collection Leave-In Conditioner has been formulated to deal with the needs of men’s hair, specifically for the wavy, coarse and curly kinds. It contains hemp seed oil which helps improve your hair’s moisture levels and increases its elasticity levels to make breakages less likely. You’ll also find shea butter inside, which delivers a deeply moisturizing treatment for your hair.
Furthermore, this conditioner is free from mineral oil, paraben and sulfates and contains caffeine to promote hair growth and reduce shedding.
14. Royal Locks Curl Rescue Leave-In Conditioner
BEST FOR CURLY HAIR
Curly hair can be great (just ask Timothee Chalamet or Kit Harrington), but it takes some management. This leave-in curl rescue from Royal Locks allows you to control that mane and take it to movie-star level.
It uses ingredients such as vitamin B5 to moisturize, seal split-ends and thicken curls, allowing them to fall more softly and become more styleable. For best results, use it after shampooing, conditioning and towel-drying hair, rubbing a small amount into the hair and focusing on the ends.
15. Billy Jealousy Beard Control Leave-In Conditioner
BEST FOR BEARDS
As not all hair is found on top of your head, you may want to try the Billy Jealousy Beard Control Leave-In Men’s Styling Beard Conditioner. Long, thick beards can be hard to maintain, so having this beard-specific conditioner to deliver a light hold and a natural, well-groomed look provides the best of both worlds.
It’s made up of aloe leaf juice, jojoba seed oil and panthenol which combine to soften, hydrate and give your hair an appealing shine. In addition, the conditioner is completely vegan-friendly and free from parabens and phthalates.