Is Leave In Conditioner Necessary: The Truth?

When doing research on how to best care for your hair, chances are you were bombarded with a ton of products you “need” to make your hair thrive. Some products are non-negotiable, like shampoo and conditioner. Others, like leave-in conditioner, sit in a grey area between necessary and unnecessary. If you want to know whether leave-in conditioners are necessary, this is the article for you. In it, we’ll tell you without a shadow of a doubt whether you need a leave-in in your hair care routine. 

Leave-ins are Nice to Have

We’ll spill the beans here - leave-ins are not always necessary. But they can take your hair care routine to the next level. When compared to always-necessary products like shampoos and conditioners, leave-ins are nice to have. 

The Benefits of Leave-in Conditioners

Leave-in conditioners have made their way into millions of hair product stashes for good reason. Here are some of the main benefits of leave-in conditioners for all hair types: 

  • They contain smoothers and emollients to make your hair sleeker and reduce frizz. 

  • They often have fatty alcohols, which lubricate the hair shaft and increase overall manageability. 

  • They hydrate the hair in between wash days to stave off dryness and the brittleness that often comes along with it. 

  • They aid in styling, often saving busy users time and effort before walking out the door. 

  • They protect the hair from environmental influences, like UV rays, wind, and extreme temperatures. 

With the above benefits and more, leave-in conditioners can be looked at as all-in-one hair life-savers. If you want these benefits, you need a good leave-in conditioner in your life. 

How Often Should You Use a Leave-in Conditioner?

One great thing about leave-in conditioner is that you can use it at a frequency that works for you. Most arrive at their ideal frequency by considering how often they wash their hair. 

If you wash your hair daily, you can use your leave-in every day to give your hair an extra dose of hydration. For those who wash a few times a week, using the leave-in conditioner every couple of days will likely work best. And so on, and so forth.

If you use your leave in multiple times between washes, be on the lookout for buildup and use a clarifying shampoo here and there to keep your strands free from caked-on gunk. 

How to Use Leave in Conditioner

The way you’ll use your leave-in conditioner will depend on which leave-in conditioner you picked up. But, in most cases, you’ll go through the following steps for the best results: 

  1. Apply the leave-in to your damp or dry hair. Don’t get the leave-in on your roots if you can help it. 

  2. Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to distribute the product through your strands. 

  3. Leave the leave-in conditioner on your hair until your next wash. 

Take a look at the instructions on your specific leave-in conditioner for the best instructions. But in a pinch, you can follow the steps above. 

So, there you have it - leave-in conditioner is not necessary in all cases, but it is so great for the hair that most would benefit from using it on a regular basis. We hope that the information in this article was helpful to you and we wish you the best with 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.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published