The experts reveal: Why a leave-in conditioner is your must-have during the cold snap
Hair feeling brittle, dry, or more frizzy than usual? In winter, our hair is exposed to ever-changing elements – rain, cold, hats and central heating – so it’s no surprise that our locks may not be looking as sleek as usual.
Leave-in conditioners are a great happy medium between a standard conditioner and full-on hair mask and can be easily added into your daily haircare regime to keep your mane in tip-top condition.
But how do they work? And how often should you use them…? Senior colourist and expert stylist, Stephane Ferreira, at top hair salon Live True London, answers the most-asked questions about leave-in conditioners, and why they should be your must-have hair product during the cold snap…
What are the benefits of using a leave-in conditioner?
A leave-in conditioner is the fastest way of treating your hair, to ensure that it receives enough moisture and protein, particularly if it is feeling dry or frazzled. Many people find using a mask too much of an effort, as it needs to stay on the hair for roughly 10 minutes depending on the product, whereas a leave-in conditioner is a quick and easy way to keep hair in top condition. Whilst using a leave-in conditioner should not replace a mask entirely, it will assist with the day-to-day process of detangling and protecting the hair from external factors, especially during the colder months when wearing hats and constantly changing from hot to cold environments.
How should leave-in conditioners vary between hair types and textures?
Leave-in conditioners come in different forms. In general, hair oils and creams will suit dry and thicker hair that needs extra care, while gels and sprays will suit dry thinner hair. If your hair is weakened, you probably need to add in some protein, so it’s best to look for a leave-in treatment that is protein-based. There will always be some exceptions to the rule, so it is recommended to speak to a hair specialist to assist with recommending a specific product.
How often should you use a leave-in conditioner?
The great thing about a leave-in conditioner is that it can be used every day! After you shampoo, after the gym, in the morning to detangle or restyle, while going to the beach or for a walk. The main rule (as with all conditioners) is to avoid the root area. Instead, re-layer the product gently on the mid-lengths and ends for optimal results.
Is there anyone you would recommend shouldn’t use a leave-in conditioner?
No – it’s one of those products that is great for everyone! However, it is important to choose the right product for your hair type and to only use it on the mid-lengths and ends. If your hair is naturally thin, use less product to avoid weighing down the hair. If your hair is very dry, remember to still use a mask at least once per week for that deeper nourishment. Even without any hair concerns, it is still a great product to use as a detangling lotion.
How can we identify a good leave-in conditioner?
Ideally you want to look for an all-rounder that will protect the hair from heat, offer anti-colour fading benefits, add moisture, and ideally some protein too. Always avoid products that are silicone based, as these coat the hair and can also weigh it down. Sprays are generally the easiest to use, as you can ensure a more even application.
Here are our favourite leave-in conditioner products your locks will love you for….
- A natural, leave-in conditioner that looks after your ends
- Made with natural oils like Jojoba and Olive Oil to hydrate hair
- Free from silicone-based ingredients that can build up and weigh hair down
- Milk Protein helps protect hair fibres and revitalizes its natural protective layer
- We use a phthalate-free fragrant oil so you can have beautiful smelling hair
- Piroctone Olamine helps maintain and control the microflora of the scalp
- this superfine mist, enriched with vitamins, tames unruly knots, locks in moisture and protects your hair from damage without weighing it down
- orange flower water, aloe vera and chamomile condition the hair and calm and soothe the scalp
- glycerin and panthenol help detangle and retain moisture, whilst vitamin E protects from sun damage
This bond-strengthener gets to work while you sleep, with a fortifying formula the hair mask delivers soft, shiny, healthy-looking hair come morning. Protective lipids act as a shield from damage, while antioxidant-rich moringa seed oil lends shine and softness. The brand’s SmartRelease Technology provides continuous release of rosehip oil, arginine and keratin to help support strong, resilient strands. This leave-in treatment protects and nourishes hair, complete with a unique vanilla and lavender fragrance. Available from LookFantastic RRP.£20.00.
Fudge Professional One Shot, Strengthening & Detangling Protein Hair Treatment. Helps strengthen and repair for strong and mighty hair. Ideal for coloured, damaged, or over-processed hair. A nourishing and repairing complex of creatine, guarana, wheat and silk proteins condition and smooth the surface of the cuticle, helping to reverse the signs of damage. Enhanced with a silicone complex that forms a shield along the length of the hair to help protect newly-coloured hair from unnecessary moisture so your hair colour looks fresher for longer. Stockist: hair salons nationwide.
A richly textured leave-in crème that reduces breakage from brushing and combing by 88%* while strengthening to protect and shield hair from thermal styling. Protect and shield from heat styling and environmental elements, nourish cuticles and soften and smooth hair for effortless detangling and styling. This richly textured leave-in crème reduces breakage and protects hair from future damage. Deeply conditioning leave-in crème treats, strengthens and conditions hair from the inside out. With hints of neroli and orange flower fragrances, it protects hair from heat styling and environmental elements whilst giving strands radiant shine.
OSMO®X.POSED is a collection of products with an environmental and social responsibility at its core. Being planet aware and ingredient focused, this new natural, vegan and cruelty-free hair collection is reaffirming a commitment to limit the impact hair products have on the environment. Made up of 97% naturally derived ingredients and packaging that contains 50% post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials also makes the new OSMO®X.POSED products fully recyclable. A highly nourishing 83% natural leave-in treatment formulated with extract of Prickly Pear, Pomegranate Seed, and Neem Oil to encourage repair and replenishes dry and damaged hair from the inside out. Lost moisture is restored leaving hair feeling nourished, smoother, and softer. Spray evenly over towel dried hair, comb through and style as normal.
The perfect way to purify and refresh hair while nourishing, detangling and gently conditioning, Virtue’s Refresh Purifying Leave-in Conditioner. A lightweight detangling mist, this nourishes strands with light conditioners to enhance manageability, reduce flyaways and shield against environmental damage, leaving your hair softer, shinier and healthier – all without any added build-up. An amino acid blend nourishes and strengthens hair, benzophenone-4 (a light stabiliser) helps to minimise the impact of UV light and white horehound extract has a detoxifying effect while neutralising the negative effects of pollutants.
A true innovation in hair care, Virtue’s advanced formulations are enriched with Alpha Keratin 60ku, a whole, human keratin born from regenerative medicine. Since this is identical to the keratin in your hair, the protein is instantly recognised, binding directly to areas of damage and filling them – not just coating strands or weighing them down.
Virtue Labs products are all free from sulphates, parabens, phthalates, synthetic colours and dyes – making them a revolutionary natural solution to female hair thinning and loss!