How Should I Not Use Leave-In

Using a leave-in conditioner seems pretty basic, right? Well, it’s not as simple as you may think. People often make mistakes when they use their favorite leave-in, and these mistakes can cause problems ranging from dryness and frizz to build-up and breakage. If you’re wondering what not to do with your leave-in, this article is exactly what you need.

5 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Leave-In

If you want to maintain your hair’s health and make styling effortless, it’s essential to avoid these 5 leave-in mistakes:

Using it on Dry Hair

When your hair is wet, the cuticle opens up and is ready to receive moisture. As it dries, the cuticle closes, reducing its ability to take in moisture. When you apply leave-in conditioner to dry hair, your hair will not absorb as much of the nutrients as it would if your hair was damp.

Applying Too Much

There are instructions on every container of leave-in conditioner you buy, and some of them indicate how much you should use. If that’s the case, follow those instructions. 

Using too much leave-in may create a greasy feel that makes your hair limp and difficult to style. It can also lead to product buildup, which causes chronic dryness and reduces the effectiveness of all of the products you use.

Not Using Enough

If you don’t use enough leave-in conditioner, you won’t reap the product's full benefits. You may also miss some parts of your hair and experience frizz and dryness as a result. Always apply enough leave-in conditioner to coat all of your hair strands. 

Rinsing it Out

In contrast to your usual rinse-out conditioner, leave-in conditioner is meant to remain in your hair. If you rinse out your leave-in, you’re rinsing out all of the hydration and nutrients it contains. So, leave it on your hair where it belongs.

Focusing it on Your Roots

The scalp is where the natural hair oils, called sebum, are produced. This makes your roots the healthiest, most hydrated part of your hair. Rather than focusing your leave-in on the roots, focus on the tips of the hair where your hair is the driest.

How To Use Leave-in Conditioner Correctly

To use leave-in conditioner correctly, follow the steps we’ve outlined below:

  • Wash your hair with your usual shampoo, apply your conditioner, and rinse. This gives you a clean hair canvas to work with.

  • Pat or squeeze the excess moisture from your hair. It should be damp. 

  • Apply the leave-in conditioner to your hair. Make sure that all of your hair is covered in the leave-in conditioner but focus on the ends. Apply it in sections if your hair is thick. 

  • Comb or finger-detangle your hair. Start at the ends, gently working out the tangles before moving up the hair shaft. This also distributes the leave-in conditioner throughout the hair.

  • Let your hair dry on its own or style it as usual. You can use any of your regular products or heat styling tools after applying the leave-in conditioner.

Leave-in conditioners are ideal for fixing hair problems like dryness, frizz, or damage from coloring or heat styling. But it’s so important to use them correctly to get the best results. We hope that this article is helpful to you as you care for your hair. 


Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.

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