Is Detangler a Leave-in Conditioner?

Detangler and leave-in conditioners - are they the same? This is what a lot of people want to know. The answer is a bit more complicated than you may think. So, in this article, we'll introduce you to both detanglers and leave-in conditioners, tell you what the differences are between the two, and let you know whether you can use a detangler as a leave-in conditioner.

What is a Detangler?

A detangler is a styling product specifically designed to remove knots and tangles from the hair. Most detanglers work in a similar fashion - they lubricate the hair shaft and make it slippery so that the hair strands can easily glide past each other. You'll find detanglers in many varieties, some with volumizing properties and others with enhanced smoothing capabilities.

What is a Leave-in Conditioner? 

A leave-in conditioner is a hair care product designed to moisturize and protect your hair strands. Most leave-in conditioners contain moisturizing ingredients, humectants, oils, and silicones to keep your hair looking its best. 

Similarities Between Detanglers and Leave-in Conditioners

Although leave-in conditioners and detanglers are fundamentally different, they have a few things in common. Both of them are available in spray and cream varieties, giving you the option to choose the best type for your hair texture and routine. In addition, both leave-ins and detanglers are packed with hair-loving ingredients (in most cases). Lastly, both leave-in conditioners and detanglers are designed to be left in your hair rather than rinsed out.

A Detangler Can Be a Leave-in

Now that we understand the similarities and differences between leave-in conditioners and detanglers, let's move on to the million-dollar question: Is a detangler a leave-in conditioner? The answer to this question is technically "no," being that they are different products. However, some detanglers can act as leave-in conditioners and vice versa. The ingredients in the product determine whether a detangler can be used as a leave-in conditioner.

If your detangler has moisturizing ingredients, penetrating oils, fatty alcohols, and protective ingredients, then you can also use it as your leave-in. On the other hand, if your leave-in conditioner makes your hair feel slippery, making it easier to detangle, feel free to use it as your detangler.

Tips for Using a Detangler as a Leave-in

When using a detangler as a leave-in, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Be careful if your detangler is thick. Unless your hair is extremely thick or textured, the detangler could end up weighing your hair down. 
  • If your detangler only contains silicones and other chemicals, it won't work as a leave-in conditioner. Since leave-in conditioners are supposed to nourish your hair, a detangler needs moisturizing ingredients in order to double as a good leave-in conditioner.

Daily Dose is a great leave-in conditioner that can also be used as a detangler. It has a hair-loving formula that not only supports hair health but makes detangling sessions a breeze. We encourage you to give it a try. Nevertheless, we hope you have found this article useful in determining whether a detangler can be used as a leave-in conditioner.


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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