With all of the shampoos, conditioners and stylers geared toward textured hair, one may wonder if one more thing is even necessary. Before you completely rule out leave-in conditioners, check out why it may be good to use.
Familiar with the L.O.C. method of moisturizing the hair? Well, whether you know that “L” to stand for liquid or leave-in conditioner, it’s usually the first step in making sure the hair is as moisturized as possible.
The idea is to begin with damp hair (water being the ultimate moisturizer) and then add more moisture with a water-based product. Leave-in conditioners are just that. Read more about the L.O.C Method
While textured hair as a whole may need help with moisture, those of us with kinkier strands may crave it even more. Here is where a good leave-in comes into play as it helps to hydrate and soften the hair.
Although you may use a regular rinse-out conditioner following your shampoo, a leave-in conditioner takes things a step further. In addition to providing further moisture, many if not all leave-ins usually contain some type of protein to help strengthen your strands. Because its left in the hair, the nutrients will continue to work throughout the days to follow.
Protects When Using Heat
When using heat, you need all the help you can get to protect your hair from possible damage. A leave-in conditioner can provide an extra layer of protection to the hair as you prepare to heat style. Used along with your heat protectant of choice (I like grapeseed oil), a good leave-in will help keep your hair from getting too dry and straw-like once it’s blow dried.
When mid-week rolls around and I need to freshen up my look but wash day isn’t for a few days, I like to use my leave-in to perk my hair up a bit. Because they contain water and oils, they have just the right balance I need to refresh my style and re-moisturize my hair without having to start from scratch. For twist-outs or braid-outs, I usually just apply the leave-in a section at a time and re-twist or re-braid. The next day, the style looks just as fresh as it did on day one.
Can Assist Stylers
The ingredients in your leave-in can help to smooth the hair strands which may help your stylers be more effective. When used just before your favorite butters, puddings or gels, it’ll add just the right amount of moisture to give those products an extra kick. Your hair will have great shine and your curls will pop!
Awesome for Detangling
Of course, with all of the goodness we find in leave-in conditioners, they are great detanglers! The water, oils, butters, etc contained in our faves help give the hair extra slip and help us work through tangles with ease.
Do You Really Need It?
Well, the short answer is… maybe not. But, here’s the thing. There may be products that are labeled something else entirely but basically have the same makeup and act as a leave-in. As long as it’s water-based and contains nourishing oils and other goodness, I will use it in place of an actual leave-in conditioner. So, consider what products you’re using on wash day. You may very well not need a leave-in conditioner if you’re using a water-based cream or hair milk after cleansing and conditioning your hair. Also, consider the condition of your hair. If it’s already super soft and manageable right out of the shower, then maybe you won’t feel the extra step in necessary. Your damp hair may be enough for you to proceed with the other steps in the L.O.C. method. It’s totally up to you!
Do you use a leave-in conditioner in your regimen? Do you notice a difference when you don’t use one?