Should I use Leave-in Conditioner? Yes! Here’s Why It’s Crucial

A leave-in conditioner is one of those things that we know we should be using regularly, but it can seem like an unnecessary step. It doesn’t affect the styling, so why bother?

The thing is, it does affect styling.

A great leave-in conditioner will retain moisture and provide the perfect base for styling products. It can also help prevent friction and breakage caused by styling as well as protect the hair from other external stresses.

What should we look for in a great leave-in conditioner?

  • Conditioning ingredients – ‘good’ alcohols like Cetearyl alcohol and oils which are able to penetrate your hair’s cuticle such as argan oil, coconut oil or avocado oil.
  • It’s also a good idea to have humectants in your leave-in conditioner. These help to retain moisture. Great examples are glycerine or propylene glycol. 
  • Heat protection – this is an amazing bonus to have in any product. Even hairdryers on low heat can dry out your hair, so it’s always a good idea to provide a degree of protection. Silicones work well, but other ingredients such as hydrolyzed wheat protein can also provide heat protection. Don’t worry about searching the ingredients, heat protection should be listed clearly on the bottle as it’s a great selling point!
  • UV Protection – another great way to protect your hair. UV can be very damaging and cause a loss of moisture. We protect our skin from UV rays so we should do at least the same for our hair if we can. 
  • Some leave-in conditioners may contain protein, too. This can help replace protein lost to damage.


You can, of course, use your usual conditioner as a leave-in and employ the ‘squish to condish method’.

This means you don’t have to buy an additional hair product, but personally, I like to buy a separate leave-in.

Specific leave-in conditioners can have added benefits. Many of the above properties won’t be present in a regular conditioner – you are unlikely o find heat protection or UV protection, for example. 

Which Leave-In Should You Try?

Leave-in conditioners tend to be creams or sprays. You can use this tip to make a cream leave-in conditioner a little lighter.

Here are my favourite 3 leave-in conditioners, I rotate which I use depending on how I’m planning on styling my hair and whether I’m using heat.

Noughty Intensive Care Leave-In Conditioner (UK only)

noughty intensive care leave in conditioner


  • Moisturising
  • Adds protein
  • Affordable
  • CGM-approved

A thick cream that isn’t heavy but moisturises exceptionally well and is easy to apply.Great price, too!

Cetearyl alcohol and argan oil moisturise, glycerine retains moisture and shea butter seals it in. This product also contains wheat amino acids to add protein.

Buy Noughty Intensive Care Leave-In Conditioner on Amazon.

Umberto Giannini Salon Smooth Wonder Glosser (UK only)

umberto giannini salon smooth wonder glosser leave in conditioner


  • Moisturising
  • Adds protein
  • Protects from heat

A light cream that is easy to apply and gives great, consistent results. It moisturises hair, contains protein AND protects from heat, too.

Buy Umberto Giannini Salon Smooth Wonder Glosser on Amazon

Aveda Nutri-Plenish Leave-in Conditioner

aveda nutri-plenish leave in conditioner


  • Moisturising
  • Protects from heat
  • UV filters
  • CGM approved

A fantastic lightweight, moisturising spray that suits all hair types. If you are styling for volume, this is a great option. It is the most expensive of the 3, but a high level of thermal protection and UV filters make this a great product.

Buy Aveda Nutri-Plenish Leave-in Conditioner on Amazon.

Whichever you choose, use your leave-in conditioner every time you wash your hair. Skipping this product is missing a crucial opportunity to moisturise your hair and prep it for your styling products.

Speak soon,

Lauren xx