The best leave-in conditioners for every hair type in 2022

Hair feeling a little frazzled, coarse or tangled? The best leave-in conditioners are here to save the day

best leave in conditioner

Hair feeling a little frazzled, coarse or tangled? The best leave-in conditioners are here to save the day

Having a good conditioner in your beauty arsenal is a must – that much goes without saying. But it's also common knowledge that the longer you allow your conditioner to soak into your hair before washing it out, the more effective it will be. And while this is a nice idea in theory, sometimes dunking your head back under the tap after you've gone through the rest of your beauty routine just takes too much time. Enter the best leave-in conditioner.

A great leave-in conditioner will work overtime to protect your tresses from damage – be that at the hands of your hairbrush, environmental factors like pollution, or your hot tools (yes, even the best hair straighteners can take their toll on your locks) – while adding a glossy, frizz-free finish to your look.

But as with all beauty buys, it's about finding a leave-in conditioner that works for your hair type. Ideally, you want one that moisturises hair and helps to untangle unruly strands, without weighing it down. (Particularly important if you have finer hair.)

Here's how to find your perfect match.

What's the best leave-in conditioner for my hair type?

With regular use, a leave-in conditioner will leave hair more resilient in the long run – especially important if you have a daily straightener habit you just can't seem to break. If you hair is prone to bouts of breakage, we recommend opting for a formula that's rich in ceramides, proteins and lipids – like Redken's Extreme Anti-Snap Treatment. (It also protects against heat, so is a great damage control product to use pre-blow dry for smoother styles.)

As with skincare, hyaluronic acid is also a bit of a wonder ingredient when it comes to dehydrated hair – and these days, can be found in everything from the best shampoo for dry hair, to leave-in treatments like The Inkey List's Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Hair Treatment.

If your hair is finer and tends to get overloaded with product easily, finding the best leave-in conditioner can feel like a trickier task. Yes, you want your hair to look and feel hydrated, but no, you don't want your roots looking like you haven't bothered washing them at all. Finer hair types should steer clear of heavy, creamy formulas, and opt for something lighter – like a detangling mist or serum.

Grow Gorgeous's Volume Bodifying Leave-in Serum has been formulated to boost volume and bring some life back into limp hair while conditioning – and we reckon it's one of the best there is for finer tresses.

But there are lots more where those came from. Scroll down for our pick of the best leave-in conditioners for every hair type.

Great hair days right this way...

Katie Thomas

Katie Thomas is the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK. With over 10 years of experience on women's luxury lifestyle titles, she covers everything from the best beauty looks from the red carpet and stand out trends from the catwalk, to colonic irrigation and to the best mascaras on the market. She started her career on fashion desks across the industry - from The Telegraph to Brides - but found her calling in the Tatler beauty department. From there she moved to Instyle, before joining the Marie Claire digital team in 2018. She’s made it her own personal mission to find the best concealer in the world to cover her tenacious dark circles. She’s obsessed with skincare that makes her skin bouncy and glowy, low-maintenance hair that doesn’t require brushing and a cracking good manicure. Oh and she wears more jewellery than the Queen.