Introduction – Top Ten Best Leave-in Conditioners
Hair care products which offer post-shampoo moisturizing, smoothing and conditioning are often referred to as leave-in conditioners, whether they’re specifically labeled as such.
Finding the top ten best leave-in conditioners may be a bit challenging because some products which provide the features of leave-in conditioners are not specifically tagged as such.
Keep in mind not all leave-in conditioners will work the same for all people. Select a product based upon your hair type, texture, condition, length and special needs. Listed below are some of the top ten best leave-in conditioners based upon years of user feedback and ongoing reviews.
#1 – Phyto 9 – Daily Ultra Nourishing Cream
As an example, my #1 pick for top ten best leave-in conditioners is Phyto 9 – Daily Ultra Nourishing Cream. The product’s instructions specifically states the product should be applied to newly washed, towel dried and damp hair. After detangling completely it’s recommended the product be rinsed from the hair.
For people with fine or thin hair, this is advisable or else the product may leave your hair looking or feeling greasy.
Most leave-in conditioners are specifically designed to be left in the hair after washing. Leave-in conditioners are not usually rinsed out. Under traditional leave-in conditioner parameters the Rene Furterer – Karite No Rinse Nutritive Concentrate doesn’t fit into the leave-in category.
The reality? I apply the Fioravanti Shine Enhancing Conditioner to my newly washed and towel dried hair. I detangle with the product in my naturally wurly (wavy + curly) hair, but never ever rinse the product from my tresses. My hair soaks up the product which leaves my hair looking soft, silky and frizz free.
It’s by far the very best leave-in conditioning product I’ve ever used on my hair. I would be lost without it. Furthermore I would never dream of rinsing the great product out of my hair.
Not Marketed As Leave-in But Works As Such
Although not marketed specifically as a leave-in product, Rene Furterer – Karite No Rinse Nutritive Concentrate is one of the top ten best leave-in conditioners I’ve ever used. I would recommend this product to those with naturally textured, medium to thick or chemically damage hair.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Vinegar (Acetum), SD Alcohol 38B (Alcohol Denat), Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Amodimethicone, Malpighia Glabra Fruit Extract (Acerola), Polyquaternium 37, Butylphenyl Methypropional, Cetrimonium Chloride, Citral, Fragrance (Parfum), Hexylcinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Trideceth 12.
#2 – Phyto 9 – Daily Ultra Nourishing Cream
While I love all of the Rene Furterer products, the Fioravanti line is by far my favorite. This detangling spray was designed for use on unmanageable hair. Extract of Fioravanti was used as an ancient preparation to add shine to the hair. It helps to detangle easy and instantaneously. Its conditioning and styling agents add elasticity and shine.
Marketed as a leave-in detangling spray, the Rene Furterer – Carthame Day Time Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner which is one of the top ten best leave-in conditioners, can be used on wet or dry hair. Spray onto hair covering from the roots to the ends. Avoid spraying near eyes. Do not rinse. Style hair as usual.
Ingredients: Water, Alcohol Denat, Amodimethicone, Cetrimonium Chloride, Fragrance, Malpighia Glabra Fruit Extract, PEG-5 Ethylhexanoate, Trideceth-12, Trideceth-9.
#3 - Rene Furterer – Karite No Rinse Nutritive Concentrate
A true classic leave-in conditioner, Phyto 7 is aso one of my own personal favorite. It’s the first leave-in conditioner of its kind. Phyto 7 is 100% natural and still retains its original 1968 formula of 7 botanical extracts.
It eliminates static electricity and light frizziness without weighing hair down or making it oily. Many beauty editors would agreed it’s one of the top ten best leave-in conditioners. Phyto 7 is the company’s #1 bestseller worldwide and many would agree, It’s one of the top ten best leave-in conditioners I’ve ever used. Some might even rank it as #1.
Like all hair products, what works fabulously for some might not work well at all for others. This product may be applied to damp or dry hair. A tiny bit goes a very long way. Apply every day to damp or dry hair. Squeeze product (the size of a dime) into the palm of the hand and spread evenly throughout hair, concentrating on the ends. Do not rinse out. Style as usual. It can also be used to moisturize a dry scalp.
Ingredients: Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root Extract (Botanical Origin), Lecithin (Soja)(Botanical Origin), Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil (Apricot)(Botanical Origin), Glycerin (Botanical Origin), Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract (Botanical Origin), Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) Flower Extract (Botanical Origin), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract (Rosemary)(Botanical Origin), Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract (Willow)(Botanical Origin), Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract (Sage)(Botanical Origin), Propylene Glycol, Parabens (Ethyl, Butyl), Phenoxyethanol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sodium Benzoate
# 4 - Phyto 9 – Daily Ultra Nourishing Cream
Phyto 9 is a rich botanical hydrating cream which can be used as a leave-in conditioner for very dry, porous hair. The product, which wins kudos from professional stylists and consumers contains nine special plant ingredients designed to soften, hydrate and strengthen hair. A little bit can also be used daily on dry hair.
Phyto 9 may not work as well for anyone with fine or thin hair because it is so rich. With Phyto 9 a tiny amount goes a very long way.
Many users rave about this product which is often ranked by beauty editors as one of the top ten best leave-in conditioners for naturally textured, medium to thick, chemically damaged or very dry tresses.
Ingredients: Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root Extract (Botanical Origin), Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract (Botanical Origin), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract (Botanical Origin), Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract (Botanical Origin), Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) Flower Extract (Botanical Origin), Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract (Botanical Origin), Hypercium Perforatum Extract (millepertuis) (Botanical Origin), Lecithin (Soybean) (Botanical Origin), Macadamia Ternifolia (Nut) Seed Oil (Botanical Origin), Sodium Dehydroacetate (Preservative), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Parabens (Ethyl, Butyl) (Preservative)
#5 – Rene Furterer – Carthame Day Time Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner
This product provides optimal hydration on a daily basis. It contains a combo of 2 innovative active ingredients: Carthame oil & Cimentrio.
As a result, hair is immediately moisturized. The pleasure of this light, enjoyable products imparts immediate softness, suppleness & lightness to hair.
The Carthame Day Time Moisturizing Leave-in Conditioner protects hair, detangles while providing volume and shine. Key ingredients including carthame oil based on safflower, essential oils of orange and verbena. This product is regularly mentioned as one of the top ten best leave-in conditioners.
Ingredients: Water, Cyclomethicone, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acrylodimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalene, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Caprylyl Glycol, Citral, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Diphenyl Dimethicone Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glycine Soja Sterols, Glycolipids, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Limonene, Linalool, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Phospholipids, Polysorbate 60.
#6 – Rene Furterer – Karite No Rinse Nutritive Concentrate
Karite No Rinse Nutritive Concentrate is great for very dry, frizzy and rebellious hair. This amazing product is rich in Karite oil which is highly nourishing and restructuring. It also contains vitamin B5 which is a natural moisturizer.
Karite Nutritive Concentrate deeply acts to repair and protect the driest hair and to make it exceptionally soft and shiny. Its conditioning agents straighten and softly control frizzy rebellious hair. Hair becomes easy to style, with exceptional shine and sheer.
This product which comes in at number six on the list of top ten best leave-in conditioners can be used on dry, damp, or newly washed hair. Apply a small amount of nutritive concentrate on dry ends and style as usual.
Ingredients: Water, Cyclomethicone, Shea Butter, Castor Seed Oil, Dimethiconol, Butylparaben, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, C13-14 Isoparaffin, C14-22 Alcohol, Orange Oil, Ethylparaben, Fragrance, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Isobutylparaben, Laureth-7, Methylparaben, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Propylene Glycol, Propylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate, Yellow 10, Yellow 6.
#7 - Rene Furterer – Myrrhea – Anti-Frizz No Rinse Silkening Fluid
One of the recognized top ten best leave-in conditioners was designed to help with blow-drying.
Rich in natural Myrrh extract, a precious resin with anti-frizz properties and in Avocado oil which has outstanding nourishing properties, helps to get perfect smoothing results when blow-drying.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cyclomethicone, SD Alcohol 39-C (Alcohol Denat), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Sodium Chloride, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Coco-Glucoside, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citric Acid, Citronellol, Commphora Myrrha Resin Extract (Commphora Myrrha Extract), Coumarin, Dimethicone, Fragrance (Parfum), Hexyl Cinnamal, Lactose, Limonene, Linalool, Methylisothiazolinone, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil (Persea Gratissima Oil), Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum.
This product which is definitely a noteworthy in the top ten best leave-in conditioners list nourishes and repairs hair while revealing the brilliance of highlights. A UV filter prevents fading and ensures brightness. Hair is soft, shiny and luminous.
Okara extract works to repair hair from deep within. Honey extract nourishes and antioxidants prevent fading and yellowing.
Although the directions suggest that the product be rinsed from the hair after completely distributing it from the roots to the ends, like Rene Furterer – Karite No Rinse Nutritive Concentrate this product can double as a leave-in. Keep in mind that it may be too heavy for those with thin or fine strands.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua) Propyene Glycol,Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Phenyl Trimethicone, Isohexadecane, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein (Glycine Soja Protein), Amy Cinnamal BHT, Caprylyl Glycol, Citral, Citronellol, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Fragrance (ParfuM), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract (Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract), Hexyl Cinnamal, Honey (Mel), Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylparaben, Polysorbate 60, Propylparaben, Sorbitan Isostearate, Tocopherol.
This serum based leave-in conditioning product is designed to help temporarily repair split ends and adds shine. Phytokeratine Reparative Serum acts like a capillary bandage for your hair. It’s formulated with silk peptides and a complex of Brazilian palm oils to restore silkiness and shine.
This leave-in product should be focused on the sections of the hair which are damaged or contain split ends. Like all Phyto products, a little bit goes a very long way.
Ingredients: Viola Tricolor Extract, Orbignya Speciosa Kernel Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Water/Aqua/Eau, Gossypium Herbaceium (Cotton) Seed Oil, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Polyquaternium 37, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glycerin, Punica Granatum: Pomegranate Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Astrocaryum Murumuru (Palm Tree) Seed Butter, Hydrolyzed Sericin, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Atelocollagen, Potassium Sorbate, Chitosan, Tocopherol, Sphingolipids, Cyclodextrin, Dextrin, Chlorphenesin, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol.
# 10 – JF Lazartigue – Essential Orange Oil Leave-in Conditioner – 100% Botanical
This leave-in conditioner is great for a wide range of hair types and textures. It has great hydrating properties and makes hair easier to detangle.
Created from a 100% botanical base, this traditional leave-in conditioner is created with luscious ingredients including fig and cider vinegars, hibiscus AHA and wheat proteins which make hair shiny and smooth.
Honorable Mention – Top Ten Best Leave-in Conditioners
Listed below are some leave-in conditioners which consistently receive great reviews from hair professionals and consumers. Each of the leave-in conditioners in our list of honorable mention may or may not work for your hair type, texture or condition. Be sure to do your own homework.
#1. Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-in/Detangler This silicone, sulfate free product is also organic, protein and glycerin free.
It contains mango fruit extract, slippery elm, marshmallow root, lemongrass, cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium methosulfate (made from rapeseed oil), citric acid, phenoxyethanol and natural fragrance. This leave-in wins rave reviews from those with naturally textured, dry, medium to thick hair which may have sustained chemical damage.
#2. Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch Leave-In Cream – One of the very best benefits of this leave-in cream is that is it’s affordability.
Unlike many of the other leave-in conditioning products on the shelf, this product can be purchased for approximately $6.00 at a variety of drugstores or online retailers like Amazon.com.
It may not be chock full of all the amazing (and pricey) ingredients you might find in top notch lines such as Rene Furterer, Phyto, JF Lazartique or similar, but this product will work for most hair types in a pinch.
Ingredients Water (aqua), cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, behenyl alcohol, glycerin, ethylhexyl isononanoate, polyquaternium 37, cetrimonium chloride, behentrimonium chloride, propylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate, cyclohexasiloxane, meadowfoam seed oil, limnanthes alba, olive fruit oil, olea europaea, sweet almond oil prunus amygdalus dulcis, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, ppg-1 trideceth-6, phenyl trimethicone, methylparaben, propylparaben, sodium hydroxide, fragrance.
#3 – Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner – Although this product line developed by scientists receives consistently mixed reviews, the No Frizz Leave-in Conditioner receive kudos for it’s hydrating, anti-frizzing and smoothing properties.
While it might be too heavy for some with fine or thin strands, it works well for those with medium to thick hair as well as those with natural texture or chemical damage.
Ingredients:Water, Emulsifying Wax NF, PolyfluoroEster, Ethoxydiglycol Oleate, Behentrimonium, Methosulfate, Glycerin, Fragrance, Glycol Stearate,Cetyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Lauryl Methyl Gluceth-10 Hydroxypropyldimonium Chloride, Polyacrylate-1 Crosspolymer, Methylisothiazolinone, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citral, Geraniol.
Leave-in Hair Conditioning Challenges
Leave-in conditioning hair products, whether specifically marketed as such, provide a wide range of benefits such as moisturizing, smoothing, defrizzing and detangling. In some cases they also create challenges.
While some leave-in conditioners contain a glycerin base, others may be built upon a rich oil base which may weigh down strands which are thin or fine. Leave-in conditioners which are dense or heavy may also leave strands feeling greasy, oily or difficult to wash out.
Be sure to read the ingredients before you select a leave-in conditioner to make sure it will work for your hair type, texture and needs.
Summary – Top Ten Best Leave-in Conditioners
Unlike rinse-out conditioners used in the showers, leave-in conditioners are generally defined as hair care products which are applied after the hair has been cleansed, rinsed and lightly towel blotted. Leave-in conditioners, whether marketed as such, are usually left in the hair until the next wash cycle.
Most leave-in conditioners are designed to provide detangling, smoothing and hydrating properties. In some cases leave-in conditioners also provide frizz fighting properties as well as heat or environmental protectants. Some leave-in conditioners also double as styling agents eliminating the need for mousse, gel, creams or similar.
Leave-in conditioners can range from very light to very dense. Depending upon your hair type, texture, current condition and length a leave-in conditioner may leave your hair feeling oily, greasy or weighed down. Leave-in conditioners are available in spray, cream and serum formulas.
Remember, always do your own homework to make sure any leave-in conditioning product you select works best for you and your hair type, texture and condition. Be willing to experiment with any product you purchase to find the best application method possible.