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The best leave-in conditioners

Dry ends and frizz can become the bane of our lives - for both women and men- but thanks to the influx of leave-in conditioners that have entered the market over the years, there’s now a solution to our hair woes. Turn unwanted afros into sleek, smooth styles and split ends into hydrated tips and even discover leave-in conditioners that help to combat conditions such as psoriasis and dandruff. 

Aside from targeting specific problems, leave-in conditioners are also great for detangling, styling, heat protecting and acting as barriers to harsh environmental conditions including the heavily chlorinated pool at your local leisure centre. 

But what should you be looking for when you’re faced with the equivalent of all the shelves of your local Boots store whenever you dare to take a glimpse at the online market? Firstly, note the condition of your hair. What do you need from the product? A moisturising or hydrating product won’t necessarily be the best thing for hair that is naturally oily but if you suffer from dry, frizzy hair, it could be the solution. Those with skin conditions may want to look for a gentle, therapeutic leave-in conditioner that could help to alleviate their troubles.

Leave-in conditioners also come in a variety of consistencies. While a cream may be okay for thicker locks, it could weigh down fine strands of hair. For those who have thin or fine hair, there are light sprays available that should work without taking the volume or bounce away from your hair. Also consider how much you’re willing to spend on the product. We’ve got cheap leave-in conditioners and fairly expensive ones too. So take a look and discover which one’s best for you. 

1. Aloe Vera Gel

Let nature alleviate your scalp and make your hair shine

Specifications

Best for: Alleviating scalp conditions
Size: 237ml
Hair type: All types

Reasons to buy

+
99.75% natural aloe vera
+
Great value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best for taming frizz

If you’re tired of flaky hair or that bothersome itch, Aloe Vera is one of mother nature’s masterful remedies. With natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, Amara Organics promises the product will work wonders on irritated scalps. The brand also suggests that the Aloe Vera gel  works well as a leave-in conditioner. Thinly applied to the ends of your hair, it’ll leave it stronger and healthier. Its ability to improve and alleviate all manner of conditions associated with the scalp and hair is the reason why this Aloe Vera gel has claimed the number one spot. 

2. It's a 10 Miracle Leave In Product 295 ml

A great all-round product that helps with all manner of hair-hangups

Specifications

Best for: Repairing and protecting
Size: 295ml
Hair type: All types

Reasons to buy

+
Repairs and protects hair
+
Uni-sex bottle for both men and women

Reasons to avoid

-
Most expensive on our list  

There isn’t much that this product can’t help to alleviate. The interestingly named 'It’s a 10' brand specify that it repairs dry hair, prevents split ends, makes your hair shiny and silky, detangles, reduces frizz, enhances body - are we still going? They weren’t lying when they labelled this product a ‘miracle leave-in’! The majority of the reviews commend the fact that the product works by doing what it says on the tin, just don’t expect it to have healing properties like a our number one product. 

3. Living Proof No Frizz Leave In Conditioner, 118ml

A slightly heavier product created to combat frizz

Specifications

Best for: Combating frizz
Size: 118ml
Hair type: All types

Reasons to buy

+
Smooths and detangles
+
Free of oils and silicones

Reasons to avoid

-
Too heavy for fine hair 

If the moisture level in the air dares to peak above a certain amount, for many of us it means one thing - poof - the afro is out. This leave-in conditioner has been specially formulated using patented molecules to help those who can’t leave the house without frizz giving hair a life of its own. The people behind the product say that its formula wraps itself around each strand, repelling dirt and oil and fighting humidity. Many of the reviewers compliment the fact that the product tames their naturally curly hair into shiny locks - a sure-fire sign that this product works. 

4. milk_shake Conditioning Whipped Cream 200ml

A hydrating hair product that uses the powers of milk and wheat proteins

Specifications

Best for: Hydrating hair
Size: 200ml
Hair type: Dry hair

Reasons to buy

+
For deep and long-lasting hydration 
+
Helps colours last longer

Reasons to avoid

-
Playful fragrance not for everyone

When the brand is called milk_shake, you should expect some playfulness and it’s right there in the smell, which reviewers say is a little like cupcakes. In all seriousness though, the brand have really focussed in on creating a product that provides long-lasting hydration - that means including proteins that restructure the hair cortex and cuticle. The overwhelming opinion from the reviewers is the product works, leaving hair soft and tamed, even on overly bleached and dyed hair. 

5. Paul Mitchell Original The Conditioner™ Leave-in Moisturizer 500ml

A balancing leave-in that evens moisture and prevents dryness

Specifications

Best for: Balancing hair
Size: 500ml
Hair type: All types

Reasons to buy

+
Improves the surface texture of your hair
+
Reduces static and flyaways

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best for remedying frizz

If you find that your hair is either too oily or too dry, Paul Mitchell aims to balance out the condition of your hair with this product. There’s a bunch of natural products included in the ingredients of this conditioner, which the brand says helps with hydration and shine. The wheat derived conditioners also help to smooth the surface of your hair and reduce those annoying flyaways. The natural ingredients of this leave-in conditioner make it a great cream for the skin as well as the hair - a solid investment.

6. Smooth Viking Beard Conditioner for Men

Let’s not ignore facial hair

Specifications

Best for: Beards
Size: 57ml
Hair type: Beard hair

Reasons to buy

+
Softens and repairs beard strands
+
Soothes skin

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the nicest smell

Featuring olive oil, avocado oil, argan oil and sweet almond oil to name just a few, Smooth Viking have certainly gone out of their way to find the perfect combination of oils to repair, soften and soothe beards. The brand even claim that it makes your beard so silky, you won’t need a brush! Although just a small pot, only a small amount is recommended, so it should see you through. The only complaint is the smell - while some reviewers don’t notice it, others say they do- so there’s only one thing to do - try it and see for yourself!

7. Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Strengthening Leave in Conditioner 250ml

The natural properties of the coconut come to the rescue again

Specifications

Best for: Budget buy**Size:**250ml
Hair type: All types

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastically priced
+
Strengthens and shines

Reasons to avoid

-
Too much can make hair greasy

If you’re looking for product to help improve the ends of your hair, this one is a good one to invest in. Acting as a detangler, strengthener, frizz controller and split end reducer, there isn’t much the coconut cannot do! Depending on the type of hair you have will probably influence how much you can get away with using before the hair turns greasy. While Palmers say to apply it to your whole head, for those who are prone to greasy hair, a little on the ends should more than suffice.