These top-rated sprays, mists, and creams are the key to shinier, healthier hair.

By Rebecca Dancer
Updated Jan 03, 2020 @ 3:15 pm
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Leave-in conditioner doesn't get the attention of dry shampoo, but it's a true staple in everyone’s haircare arsenal. A quality leave-in formula will strengthen strands, smooth the outer cuticle, prevent frizz in the face of humidity and make for overall silkier, healthier hair. Basically, leave-in conditioner is the post-wash, pre-styling step that should never be skipped.

And if you’re worried about weigh down, think again; Today’s leave-in conditioners promise all of the aforementioned benefits without leaving strands greasy or bogged down — if you use the right fit for your hair type and concerns.

Not sure how to find the perfect leave-in conditioner for you? From sprays to mists to creams, here are the best leave-in conditioners for every hair type and concern.

Best Leave-In Conditioner for Damaged Hair: Kerastase Resistance Blow-Dry Primer for Damaged Hair

Courtesy Sephora

Suitable for all hair types, from pin-straight to tightly coiled, this leave-in primer-slash-conditioner provides thermal heat protection (up to 450 degrees) to promote stronger, healthier strands. In other words, it mends damage while also preventing future damage. Apply a quarter-sized amount onto damp or dry lengths and ends before you pick up your blow dryer or hot tool of choice.

Shop now: $37; sephora.com

Best Leave-In Conditioner for Frizz: Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioning Spray

Courtesy Sephora

Perhaps the top all-time reason to use a leave-in conditioner: Frizz. This leave-in conditioning spray from Briogeo is formulated with three oils — rosehip, coconut, and argan — to hydrate hair and stave off frizz, sans any greasy residue. Spritz it onto damp strands, post washing, then style as usual.

Shop now: $20; sephora.com

Best Leave-In Conditioner for Silky Strands: Ouai Leave-In Conditioner

Courtesy Nordstrom

This leave-in hydrating hair mist has earned praise from industry experts and beauty consumers alike for good reason. Not only is it super moisturizing while still being lightweight, it’s also made with clean ingredients and smells like you stepped straight into a high-end salon.

Shop now: $26; nordstrom.com

Best All-in-One Leave-In Conditioner: It’a A 10 Miracle Leave-in Product

Courtesy Ulta

Another legendary strand strengthener: It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product. Formulated with a blend of amino acids, sunflower seed extract, and green tea leaf, this gel-slash-cream helps repair breakage, smooth the cuticle, control frizz, boost shine, and protect color.

Shop now: $38; ulta.com

Best Leave-In Conditioner for Curls: Devacurl Leave-In Decadence Ultra Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner

Curls of all shapes and sizes need to stay hydrated in order to remain healthy and look their very best — and using a leave-in conditioner is one of the best ways to ensure all of the above. This cult-favorite option from Devacurl absorbs quickly and quenches curls without weighing them down.

Shop now: $26; sephora.com

Best Leave-In Conditioner for Split Ends: Virtue Purifying Leave-In Conditioner

Courtesy Amazon

Split ends; Nobody wants them, but we all get them. This leave-in conditioner, however, promises to repair split hairs after just five applications, courtesy of the brand’s proprietary Alpha Keratin 60ku(R) blend. Equally important is what you won’t find inside: The clean formula doesn’t include any sulfates, parabens, phthalates or synthetic colors or dyes.

Shop now: $30; amazon.com

Best Leave-In Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair: Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother

Courtesy Sephora

The newest addition to Olaplex’s coveted hair care line is the No. 6 Bond Smoother, a leave-in styling cream that hydrates, protects and, you guessed it, helps smooth and repair hair’s structural bonds. All you need is a pea-sized amount, applied onto lengths and ends, to moisturize, strengthen and smooth frizz for up to 72 hours.

Shop now: $28; sephora.com

Best Leave-In Conditioner for Simultaneous Scalp Care: Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner

Courtesy Target

Formulated with Jamaican black castor oil, peppermint, and shea butter, this ultra-rich leave-in conditioner nourishes, moisturizes and detangles strands while also stimulating the scalp. It’s ideal for those who regularly heat-style or color their strands, as well as coily, kinky, or natural hair.

Shop now: $10; target.com

Best Bargain Leave-In Conditioner: Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Intensely Smooth Leave-In Conditioning Cream

Courtesy Target

At just $4 a bottle, you might not be expecting much, but this consistently top-rated leave-in conditioner from Garnier definitely performs. Suitable for all hair types, the argan oil-infused formula promises frizz control, even in humid climates, for up to three days straight.

Shop now: $4; target.com

Best Leave-In Conditioner for Dry Hair: Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner

Courtesy Ulta

The prickly pear cactus extract in Ouidad’s Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner draws moisture from the surrounding air and helps retain it in each individual strand, making for an ultra-hydrating formula. Other notable ingredients that help quench dry locks include vitamin B5, which also protects hair and boosts shine, and arnica, a homeopathic extract known for its healing properties.

Shop now: $26; ulta.com

Best Leave-In Conditioner for Detangling: Pantene Gold Series Leave-On Detangling Milk

Courtesy Target

For damp strands that somehow get tangled after every wash, reach for this leave-in conditioning milk from Pantene, which detangles and softens hairs. Apply a few pumps through ends, then detangle slowly with a wide-tooth comb.

Shop now: $8; target.com