7 leave-in conditioners to transform your hair from meh to magical
The missing step that may just be what your lacklustre hair needs
By Delaney Loane
Digital Beauty Editor / August 16 2021
We don't mean to be dramatic, but we truly believe there’s a good chance that leave-in conditioner could be the missing link between having good hair and great hair.
Because while we understand that any extra step is a bit of a stretch with the low-maintenance mindsets we've all been embracing as of late, this is one step that does a whole lot more than one thing.
Your hair will reap the benefits of added nourishment, reparative nutrients and protection from further damage, while also experiencing a serious glow-up in the softness, silkiness and shine departments.
Every hair type can use a leave-in conditioner, too; the trick is to choose the right formula. Oils may be too heavy for fine hair, so try a conditioning spray instead.
On the other end of the spectrum, thick hair often calls for a richer cream. For damaged hair, look for formulas that contain keratin or other proteins to rebuild the hair structure, or if frizz is your biggest woe, look for treatments with cuticle-smoothing silicone. See? There's something for everyone.
Keen to give leave-in conditioners a go? We’ve tracked down the best options for every hair type, concern and budget...
Hask Argan Oil Repairing 5-in-1 Leave-In Conditioner Spray
We cannot rave about this frizz-controlling, thermal-protecting and detangling superstar enough; it's practically spritz-able silkiness. And because it’s a spray formula, it won't weigh down your hair in the slightest.
$12.99 at Chemist Warehouse
Virtue Labs Refresh Purifying Leave-in Conditioner
If humidity is wreaking havoc with your curls, this conditioning cream can help. It'll finesse your curl shape while also hydrating hair and whipping frustratingly persistent flyaways back into shape.
$49 at Sephora
Sexy Hair Healthy Soy Tri Wheat Leave In Conditioner
This leave-in spray works like a protein-packed pick-me-up for stressed strands (coloured hair, that's you). The tropical scent also happens to be as heavenly as the shiny finish it imparts.
$25 at Strawberry Net
Kérastase Paris Fluidissime Spray
You may not think a spray will do much for sealing up split ends, but this one uses fancy surface-morphing polymers to coat the hair fibre, smoothing out its surface and adding some serious shine.
$48 at Adore Beauty
L’Oréal Professionnel Color 10 in 1 Perfecting Multipurpose Spray
Need heavy-hitting hydration that doesn't feel heavy? This nourishing milky formula not only offers all the glorious shine, softness and smoothness we all need from a moisturising leave-in, but it also doubles as a heat protectant.
$31 at Adore Beauty
Eleven Australia Miracle Hair Treatment
If detangling takes you an eternity, recruit this guy ASAP. Working a little through hair both pre and post-brush will allow you to nix knots and leave your style looking luxuriously smooth.
$24.95 at Oz Hair & Beauty
Ouai Leave-in Conditioner
This cult-classic leave-in conditioner is the perfect styling primer for giving you sleek but voluminous hair to work with, and the musk and rose scent just sends it over the top.
$40 at Sephora