Hair Tips

How to Use Leave-in Conditioner

In this Article

Anyone with full, curly hair is probably well-acquainted with leave-in conditioner. After all, it’s almost impossible to get out thick tangles without it. But using a leave-in conditioner isn’t only for people with thicker strands. Leave-in conditioner can help detangle hair, supply strands with moisture, and even protect hair from heat and UV rays. 

It has many of the same properties as the hair conditioner you use in the shower; it’s moisturizing, de-frizzing, and detangling. However, it is more lightweight so that it can stay on your hair rather than need to be rinsed out, which allows your hair to soak up the moisturizing benefits. It can come with some other great styling benefits as well. When you learn the when, where, and how to use leave-in conditioner, you’ll be able to reap all of these benefits. 

When to use leave-in conditioner

Unlike rinse-out conditioner, leave-in conditioner is a post-shower product, typically used on damp hair. This means after you shampoo and condition, gently dry your hair, ideally with a microfiber towel, until it’s damp and then reach for your leave-in conditioner. Regular conditioner and leave-in conditioner serve different purposes for your hair’s health, so don’t hesitate to learn more about what hair conditioner does.

Where to apply leave-in conditioner


When using a lightweight leave-in conditioner in a spray bottle, you can typically apply the product in a light mist all over. However, it’s best to follow either of the below methods:

  1. Aim the nozzle at the mid-lengths and ends of the hair. 
  2. When using a pump or squeeze bottle, start by disbursing a small amount (think a dime size) of product into your hands and then distributing it evenly throughout the mid-lengths to ends of the hair. 

This is simply a starting point for how to apply leave-in conditioner; you can always build up to use more product depending on your hair type. For instance, if you have thicker hair or hair prone to knots, you may need to work more of the leave-in conditioner throughout your hair and target those tangled areas. You can also apply a leave-in conditioner in small doses to the roots or hairline to tame flyawaysfix dry hair, or achieve a desired style, such as a slicked-back bun. 

After applying your leave-in conditioner, use a wide-tooth comb or a brush that works well on wet hair to gently comb the product through and detangle your strands. That ease will also help reduce friction that can lead to breakage and thus keep your strands intact. Plus, by combing or brushing your hair thoroughly, you can distribute the great benefits to all of your hair too. 


How often to use leave-in conditioner 

Not all hair is created equal, so not all hair should receive the same treatment. This goes for how, when, and where to apply leave-in conditioner as well as any other hair care product. It’s always best to take an individualized approach to your hair care both with the specific products you use and how often you use them. Here, we break down how often to use leave-in conditioner. 

Fine Hair 

Fine hair is the most likely to be weighed down by any conditioning products, which is why it’s important to use them sparingly and to target them on the middle-to-ends of the hair when you do use them. Perhaps try to avoid conditioner everytime you shower. This will ensure your roots don’t end up looking heavy or greasy and instead retains its volume while looking soft and smooth. To achieve this, you may want to start with our Full Shampoo and Conditioner.  

Then, after you shower and towel-dry your hair, apply a dime-size of Repair Leave-In to your ends to detangle and smooth. If your hair is particularly dry or damaged, you may benefit from using more leave-in conditioner and using it more often. 

Medium Hair 

If you have hair with medium thickness, meaning your hair is neither wipsy or rough to touch, you can apply leave-in conditioner as often as you wash, or even whenever you step out of the shower. After shampooing and conditioning your hair, simply use the leave-in as directed, focusing on the areas of your hair that are prone to tangles and dryness. 

If your natural hair tends to be frizzy, we recommend our No Frizz Leave-in Conditioner, ​​a nourishing anti frizz leave-in conditioner that detangles and provides an extra boost of conditioning. 

Thick Hair

Thick hair or highly textured hair needs a lot of moisturizing products like leave-in conditioner, rinse-out conditioner, and deep conditioner, and typically needs a greater amount of these products than finer hair types because they are more prone to tangling and dryness. Both of these can be addressed with a leave-in conditioner.

If you have thick hair which looks full and feels more coarse, you’ll want to reach for leave-in conditioner often and use slightly more than the recommended amount to coat the end of your strands and ensure they receive the benefits. Whenever you exit the shower or want to detangle or style your strands, which could include after spritzing them with a spray bottle to refresh your style. 

Consider reaching for another moisturizing product on top of your leave-in. For instance, follow up No Frizz Leave-in Conditioner with a generous amount of Nourishing Styling Cream—your hair can handle it—to smooth, condition, and further eliminate frizz.

Can I use leave-in conditioner every day?

Yes, you can use leave-in conditioner every day! This is especially true if you wash your hair every day or if you struggle with dryness or damage, as a leave-in will help condition your hair throughout the day.

The benefits of leave-in conditioner

Here are the key benefits you can gain from using leave-in conditioner.


One of the benefits of leave-in conditioner is its ability to detangle strands. This not only makes brushing and styling the hair easier, but it also is less likely to cause hair damage. This is because wet hair is more fragile than dry hair. And friction caused by drying, brushing, and styling, can easily cause it to stretch and break. However, friction is greatly reduced and managing hair is much easier with leave-in conditioner.


Another great benefit of leave-in conditioner is its ability to reduce frizz because of the moisture that leave-in conditioner provides and keeps in your hair. This can help anyone with dry or frizz-prone hair achieve a smooth, finished look.  


Many leave-in conditioners also provide protection from heat or UV rays or both. This can come in handy when you plan to blowdry or heat-style your hair in any way. Check the label of your leave-in conditioner to see if it provides this benefit and can protect your hair from heat damage or UV damage.


Some leave-in conditioners, such as our Restore Repair Leave-in help support healthy hair by repairing damaged cuticles and moisturizing strands. It’s ideal for dry, damaged hair but can benefit all hair types. 

Are you ready to reap all those amazing benefits? Browse our hair products today.

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Living Proof Review Team

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