Chances are you know how to use your shampoo and rinse-out conditioner correctly. But are you using your leave-in conditioner to its full potential? Are you even using the right leave-in? You may be surprised to find out the answers to these questions. Keep reading to find out more!
Leave-In Conditioner and Hair Type
Not every leave-in conditioner is right for all hair types. Moreover, the way you use your leave-in conditioner will depend on the kind of hair you have. In the following sections, we will discuss how different hair characteristics determine how you should use your leave-in.
Leave-ins for Different Curl Patterns
Your curl pattern is the best-known aspect of your hair type, and it has a lot to do with how you use leave-in conditioner.
It can affect:
- How often you need to use a leave-in
- How much of the product you should use at a time
- The type of leave-in conditioner you should use
Type 1 Hair
Type 1 hair is bone straight and has no natural curl pattern. Most people with this curl pattern don’t have much trouble with hair dryness, as the scalp’s oils can easily travel down the hair strands and keep them moisturized.
However, this doesn’t mean that your hair never needs a pick-me-up. Whenever your hair is feeling a bit dry, you can easily get by with a lightweight moisturizing leave-in spray. Don’t apply much leave-in conditioner, though, or you could end up with weighed down, oily-looking strands.
When applying a leave-in, start by spraying it at the ends of your hair and gradually moving up to the roots. If you start at the roots, your roots could end up limp. If you prefer a cream leave-in, begin with a dime-sized amount at the ends. Be careful not to apply too much – this is to avoid weighed down hair. Don’t forget to comb through your hair to distribute the product.
Type 2 Hair
Type 2 hair has a subtle to apparent wave. It is similar to type 1 hair in that scalp oils lubricate the hair pretty efficiently. But this hair type may get drier than type 1 hair, especially if you frequently heat style, color, or bleach it.
A good leave-in conditioner for someone with this hair type is a lightweight one that doesn’t leave behind an oily residue.
Apply your leave-in cream or spray at the ends and slowly move up to the roots. Start with a small amount and add more if necessary. If you want to encourage wave formation, scrunch the product into your hair with your hands.
Type 3 Hair
Type 3 hair is curly and may be chronically dry because natural scalp oils can’t travel down the strands efficiently. This problem makes a moisturizing leave-in conditioner an essential part of hair maintenance.
If you have this hair type, you may need to apply a leave-in conditioner after washing your hair or at the start of every morning. The right leave-in conditioner will keep your hair moisturized, smooth, and healthy-looking all day long. You can use a leave-in spray or cream, whichever one you find works best.
When applying a leave-in to type 3 hair, make sure that you apply the product to all of your strands. You may need to section your hair to apply the product evenly. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of leave-in conditioner, especially if your hair is thick- the goal is to saturate all of your curls. Distribute the product with your fingers or a comb, and then style your hair as usual.
Type 4 Hair
Type 4 hair is curly, coily, and ziggy (composed of zig-zags). It’s the most textured hair type of all and is inherently dry. After using your conditioner and moisturizer, you may also need a leave-in conditioner for an extra dose of moisture.
A cream leave-in conditioner or ultra-moisturizing leave-in spray would be best for type 4 hair. Lightweight leave-ins may not be substantial enough to keep type 4 hair moisturized. Depending on your normal hair routine, you could benefit from using your leave-in every day.
Section your hair into at least four sections and begin spraying your hair down until it is fully saturated. If you’re using a cream-based leave-in conditioner, apply enough to cover all of your strands. Use your fingers or a comb to distribute the product. Style your hair as usual.
The Right Leave-in For Your Hair Porosity
Porosity is one of the least known, but most important, hair characteristics to know about. The porosity of your hair refers to the rate at which it absorbs and releases moisture. In the following list, we will examine how your hair’s porosity affects how you should use a leave-in conditioner.
- Low Porosity – Low porosity hair is not receptive to moisture and oils, as the hair cuticles are tightly closed. To combat this, reach for a leave-in conditioner that is water-based and not very thick. This way, it can penetrate your hair strands.
- Medium Porosity – Medium porosity hair is receptive to moisture and does not generally require you to choose a specific leave-in conditioner type. Both a cream-based leave-in and a water-based one are great options for medium porosity hair.
- High Porosity – High porosity hair takes in moisture quickly but loses it just as fast. To keep your hair as moisturized as possible, use a heavier leave-in.
Leave-in Conditioner and Your Regimen
Your regimen has a lot to do with how you should use your leave-in conditioner. If you wash your hair daily, you can use your leave-in conditioner every day to replenish moisture lost during the washing process.
Whenever you style your hair, you can add some leave-in conditioner to your hair for an extra dose of moisture and protection from heat.
Note: Not every leave-in conditioner can be used as a heat protectant.
Using Different Types of Leave-Ins
You can use water-based leave-in conditioners every day, as they are not likely to cause buildup on the hair and scalp. Cream-based leave-in conditioners can build up on the hair and scalp relatively quickly and cause many problems. So, if you regularly use a cream-based conditioner, make sure that you’re watching out for buildup and that you use a clarifying shampoo every once in a while.
Pros and Cons of Leave-In Conditioner
When it comes to leave-in conditioners, there are several advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of. We’ll talk about both the pros and cons in the sections below.
Leave-in conditioner is indispensable because of the following pros:
- Hair that is moisturized all day.
- Reduced frizz due to smoothing ingredients.
- Protection from outside elements (sun’s rays, debris, etc.)
- Effortless detangling due to ingredients that reduce friction and add slip.
No hair care product or tool is without its disadvantages. Here are the cons associated with leave-in conditioner:
- Some leave-ins can weigh fine hair down.
- Over moisturized hair can become limp and difficult to style.
You can avoid these cons if you choose the right leave-in conditioner for your hair type and only use it when your hair needs extra moisture.
What Leave-In Conditioner to Use
It can be challenging to choose the right leave-in conditioner for you, and that’s why we’ll help you out by telling you about the best all-around leave-in conditioner that works on all hair types.
Daily Dose will impart lasting moisture to your hair, whether it's type 1, 2, 3, or 4. Its natural water-based formula will enhance your hair’s manageability, reduce frizz, and loosen up tangles. With just one dose of this leave-in, you’ll finally be able to experience your best hair.
Author: Andrea Reyes
Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of NaturallyTextured.com, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.