As someone who has been dyeing their hair blonde since seventh grade, I've learned the importance of adding hydration back into your strands. From moisturizing masks to hair oils to leave-in treatments, finding a method that works for your hair type is vital to keep your hair from drying out and breaking. It's important for everyone to keep their hair nourished, but especially those of us with damaged or processed hair.
My hair dresser highly recommended adding a leave-in conditioner to my routine in my most recent hair appointment, so afterwards I went on a hunt for the best options. I always turn to reviews when trying to decide on a product because I find personal experience more helpful than a brand's marketing description, and figure that thousands of positive reviews means it's worth trying out. I also check out how many Loves products have on Sephora's website for the same reason. So after a total of almost six hours comparing reviews, I had created a list of the best leave-in conditioners for damaged hair. Below I'm sharing my findings in case you, too, are in the market for a new leave-in product.
"This stuff is a total score and forever purchase. It makes my hair feel healthy and full. Not fragile and breaking. I had bleached my hair several times and not being able to get a proper trim during COVID has left my hair brittle. This formula is the bees knees. Smells fantastic. Absolutely awesome purchase. The spray nozzle is controlled and fanned out so over applying in one spot is next to impossible," writes one Sephora reviewer. With over 1800 positive reviews and 19.1k loves on Sephora, this Moroccanoil option is a no-brainer.
"Okay, so I NEVER leave reviews but this product warrants one. This is literally the best leave-in I have ever bought for my hair. It leaves my hair so soft and smooth, and I really enjoy the scent! I would recommend this product to anyone with frizzy/dry hair. The problem I've had with leave-in conditioners, in the past, is that it either makes my hair really oily or doesn't work at all. 10/10 on this product for sure," says a Sephora reviewer. This Ouai option has over 1000 positive reviews and 54.3k loves on Sephora, and with glowing reviews like this one, I feel confident giving it a try.
One Sephora review says, "I recently got my hair done and it got damaged quite a bit so I’ve been trying to nourish my hair back to life with a variety of products along with products for color treated hair and one of the products I’ve been using is this spray!! I love it! I use every time after I wash my hair to detangle my hair because my hair is so dry now that it gets super knotted after a shower and this makes it less painful and less dreadful to detangle/brush my hair after a shower! It also adds a bit of shine not a lot but just enough and it smells amazing!! Get it!"
"This leave-in conditioner smells amazing! And I have noticed a difference when I put it in my hair, definitely smooths it out and makes it super soft. Briogeo is a favorite of mine, and this product is one of the best!" writes one reviewer. This one has over 83.8k loves on Sephora, which is saying a lot.
If you're looking for a vegan option, this one is a great choice. According to one review, "Amazing! I buy only vegan products and this one is by far the best!!! Smells great, works even better. I have thin (chemically treated hair), as I started using it my friends and family noticed that my hair looked shinier, slicker just healthier! Would recommend it to everybody, especially to people that blow dry a lot!"
"Bought it on sale on a whim and I am so glad that I took the chance because this stuff is incredible! My naturally curly, highlighted blonde hair hasn’t had a natural shine to it since the bleach hit the foils and if you’re a blonde, you know how hard it can be to get shine in your hair without using silicone products. Not to mention it’s stopped my hair from snapping off when I comb it out when wet! It’s restored my hair’s vitality, shine and it leave my hair soft and manageable, plus it smells great...like a light floral bouquet. It’s all a girl could hope for in one product!" says one Sephora review.
With 29.5k loves on Sephora, this IGK leave-in is highly ranked. One reviewer says "I absolutely love this product! I have thick, semi-coarse, dry, wavy textured hair and this stuff really makes me soft and smooth. I highly recommend this for anyone who has dry hair. I especially love this in the winter (I live in Denver) when it’s super cold and dry."
"In love with this leave-in detangler. I have VERY long straight hair and it tangles so easily regardless of what products I use. I’ve spent hundreds on detanglers and this by far is the most effective and luxurious one! The smell is distinct yet subtle and the results are immediate. You feel like you just left the salon after applying this. I purchased two additional bottles during the VIB sale this year (2021)" says one glowing review.
With 17.3k loves on Sephora, one reviewer crowned this one as "the best leave in conditioner I have used".
"I’ve been bleaching my hair for 15 years so I work hard to keep it hydrated. This is definitely my new favorite leave in product!" writes another fellow hair dyer.
For those looking to clean up their haircare routine, Playa products are amazing. One reviewer says "I have curly hair and it’s really tricky for me to find products I really like, the milk leave in is amazing. the smell is great and it doesn’t give a heavy look on the hair. I recommend 10/10."
"I have dry, wavy hair that's damaged from so much blow drying and straightening. This product makes my hair feel smooth and gets rid of that straw feeling. It also makes my hair super shiny! I like how light this stuff is so my hair doesn't feel weighed down. Plus it smells really good! I will repurchase this" writes a Sephora reviewer.
"Hands down best leave in hair conditioner I’ve ever used, and I’ve used many! I mix it with my Kerastase Chronologiste blow dry primer and my blow outs have been amazing, even in the Houston humidity. My overall hair quality has also dramatically improved. So happy with this product" says one happy Sephora review. With 9.8k loves on their site, this one definitely ranks high.
One review says "Mr. Incredible has been an absolute game changer for my fine, wavy hair with damaged ends! When I say this has absolutely revitalized my ends, I cannot express enough how this has not only saved my ends but also repaired and made them healthy again!"
"Smells nice, controls frizz, adds shine. I have thick, wavy, chemically treated hair. This stuff works great! Smells very nice, and really works well. Also lasts, I've had the same bottle for 4 months and seems to have a lot left" says one review. IGK's Thirsty Girl Leave-In has over 12.1k loves on Sephora, which has me feeling confident about purchasing.
For fine hair, this Alterna option seems like the way to go. One reviewer says "I have fine blonde hair and this is the best leave-in I’ve ever found. Everything else I’ve tried has been too heavy."
"I love Sun Catcher. I have think wavy hair and this is the perfect conditioner for air drying my hair. I also use it when blow drying, which, let's face it, doesn't happen all too often. Sun Catcher goes a long way and is the perfect weight and leaves my hair soft, my waves smooth and not frizzy, and it smells sooooo good" says one happy reviewer.
"I've been on the hunt for a great leave-in for a while now, and this is it! It smells great, totally detangles my hair, and leaves it smooth and far less frizzy. I've only used it a few times and my hair feels much healthier. It doesn't weigh my hair down at all, which is fantastic for how hydrating it is" writes a Sephora reviewer. Other reviews note the fresh citrus smell as a highlight.
Reviewers all note the scalp benefits they see from this Oribe formula. One reviewer writes "THIS PRODUCT IS AMAZING. I have fine hair and an oily, itchy, flaky scalp. I use this immediately after coloring my hair to soothe my scalp as well as after every time I shampoo and condition my hair. It has helped so much with the itchiness of my scalp between washes."
One Dermstore reviewer writes "Smell is incredible and makes my hair feel super smooth and detangled, just the product i have been searching for, doesn't weigh down hair either."
"This is an excellent product. You will notice a big difference in hair shedding almost instantly. It grows your hair and makes it feel thicker. I love this product! It is well worth the price!" says an Amazon reviewer.
For color treated hair, this Bumble & Bumble formula is a winner. One Sephora reviewer says "I'm obsessed! I've tried many different products to add some extra bounce, and pretty curls to my wavy hair, and this stuff got the job done. It adds curls, without frizz, and doesn't weigh my hair down at all. Plus it has a very clean scent, not overpowering at all. For reference, I bleach and dye my hair, and it works well with my color treated hair."
If you're looking for a product that doesn't weigh your hair down, look no further. One reviewer says "Wow. I love this product. It’s cheap and it actually works. Not only is it a great prewash, but it creates beautiful curls. I put this in and leave it for about an hour or two and my fair feels so soft and light. I have a problem with a lot of products that weigh my hair down and this gets rid of it all!"
"This is hand downs one of the best spray in hair healthy products. It conditions, softens, moisturizes, adds shine and controls frizz. When you look in the mirror and see only dry, damaged, frizzy hair grab hold of this Redkin product and spray away. You will see an instant improvement in both your hair and your mood" says one happy Amazon review.