Should You Use a Leave-in Conditioner: Yay or Nay?
The answer to this question is: it depends. There are different kinds of leave-ins out there, and which one you use really depends on your hair type. A good leave-in conditioner can help detangle strands, reduce flyaway, tame frizz and keep curls soft and smooth. One that’s too heavy can weigh it down or leave it looking greasy. Using a daily shampoo and conditioner is as automatic as brushing your teeth, but if your hair is still dry or frizzy post-blow-dry or if it’s limp and greasy because your regular conditioner is too heavy for your fine hair, then you should consider using a leave-in.
Regular conditioners are formulated to treat the hair cuticle with heavy moisturizing ingredients which are designed to be rinsed out. Without rinsing they can make your hair stringy and greasy, not a good look. Leave-in conditioners, however, are formulated with lighter moisturizers, silicones, protein, and other strengthening and moisturizing agents which are designed to be left in (hence the name, d’uh) without building up, leaving your hair softer and more manageable. They come in various forms including sprays, thick creams, and thin liquids.
A good leave-in also works as a detangler, which reduces breakage when combing wet tresses. If you have curly hair or are prone to tangles, a leave-in conditioner is definitely for you. Those on the curly end of the scale will have better luck with thicker, creamy leave-in conditioners while straight hair and wavy hair can do just fine with leave in sprays.
Now let’s talk about salon quality vs. drug store brands. Although leave-in products are great, your regular shampoo and conditioner are your foundation for your hair care routine. Don’t expect a detangler to work miracles on your mane if you’re using shampoo and conditioner from the $3.99 bin at Walmart. Invest in a good quality shampoo and conditioner from a professional line (we carry RedKen & EVO to name a few). Once you’ve got a good base going there, add a salon quality detangler to give you extra conditioning and watch your hair transform.
We love EVO, this Australian product line is sulfate, paraben, dea, tea and propylene glycol free as well as socially and environmentally friendly. All the ingredients in EVO formulations are active; nothing is added only to make claims on the label. They deliver professional quality results and are only available through professional salons. For dry, frizzy coloured hair we recommend EVO “The Therapist” calming shampoo & conditioner:
We also love the EVO “Day of Grace” leave-in conditioner, which is a favorite of our feature stylist for the month Jenna Johnson who describes it as her “must have” go-to product to detangle and prep hair before styling.
Let’s make the distinction between dry and damaged. Dry hair lacks the necessary moisture to retain a soft, smooth appearance while damaged hair is hair that is stripped of its natural oils from heat or chemical damage and consists of split ends or breakage from the roots. Its proteins are completely altered and need to be restored. We love Saryna Key Damage Repair products, they use natural keratin to create soft shiny hair while amino acids build the proteins needed to repair and replenish dry, damaged hair.
Another fantastic product for repairing the damage is Redken’s Extreme CAT Protein hairspray which reconstructs, reconditions and adds immediate strength without added weight. This product will also help prep hair before chemical services to prevent future damage.
You can always consult with your stylist about which products are right for your hair if you’re unsure. We are dedicated to giving our clients great hair not just when they are in the salon but at home in between appointments as well.