No matter the season, your natural texture, or your affinity for
trying new colors, hot tools can do a number on your hair. That's why leave-in conditioners are a godsend, particularly for natural, curly, and color-treated strands, because they can help save you from a world of damage. While liquid formulations typically get a bad rap during colder months because they can harden (making hair brittle and prone to breakage), they're perfect for the more hospitable seasons — so, whenever it's not freezing cold outside. The handy product won't make your overall routine any less time-consuming, but by making your hair more manageable, it will making getting out the door in the morning (even if you're just going to the grocery store) that much easier. Keep reading to see pro and staff picks for the leave-in conditioners and treatments that leave our hair soft as can be. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Strength + Moisture Leave-In Spray Hair Mask Best For Long Hair
Think soft and shiny, not greasy and weighed-down. According to Sephora reviewers, Briogeo's reparative leave-in spray is a must for reviving long lengths that suffer from dryness and breakage.
Don't Despair, Repair! Strength + Moisture Leave-In, $, available at
Sephora More Playa Monoi Milk Leave-in Conditioner Best For Lightweight Moisture
In addition to smelling like a tropical vacation (the name means "beach" in Spanish), Playa's leave-in conditioner detangles, de-frizzes, and hydrates in a matter of spritzes.
Monoi Milk Leave-in Conditioner, $, available at
Sephora More Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Anti-Breakage Leave-In Treatment Best For Breakage
Breakage is a pain, whether it's from split ends or heat damage. You can fight against it with this strengthening leave-in that has proteins, ceramides, and lipids. With a few spritzes, you can worry less about leaving hair behind on your pillow, in your shower, on the car headrest... er, everywhere.
Extreme Anti-Snap Anti-Breakage Leave-In Treatment, $, available at
Ulta Beauty More Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother Reparative Styling Creme Best For Long-Term Repair
It was only a matter of time before Olaplex put its
patented bonding technology
in a leave-in formula. Not only does this cream soften strands and eliminate frizz, but it also cuts drying time, which is a major win.
No. 6 Bond Smoother Reparative Styling Creme, $, available at
Sephora More Story continues Rene Furterer Volumea Volumizing Conditioning Spray Best For Thinning Hair
If you have thinning hair, it's best to look for a lightweight mist that won't weigh down your strands. This product adds natural-looking volume while giving hair a subtle shine that won't leave hair feeling greasy at 5 p.m.
VOLUMEA Volumizing Conditioning Spray, $, available at
DermStore More Not Your Mother's Royal Honey & Kalahari Desert Melon Leave-In Conditioner Best On A Budget
If you're currently working with dry,
spray is a must-have. Just spritz it through damp hair as a primer before adding your usual
, creams, or
for a boost of softness.
Not Your Mother's
Royal Honey Repair & Protect Leave-In Conditioner, $, available at
Ulta Beauty More Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Treatment Best For Coily Hair
There are some products that don't live up to their own names, and then there's Miracle Milk: a xylose and coconut oil-based formula that gives the driest curls a brand-new lease on life with a few spritzes all over. Naturalistas love it so much that Mizani upgraded the size to a jumbo 13.5 ounce bottle.
25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner, $, available at
Sephora More Taliah Waajid Bamboo and Coconut Milk Leave-in Conditioner Best For Dry Hair
If you forget to re-twist your hair on a late night, a few spritzes of this magic elixir will hydrate your curls instantly. Pro tip: Spray it directly into your hands then finger-comb it through for the best results.
Bamboo and Coconut Milk Leave-in Conditioner, $, available at
Amazon More Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream Best For Colored Hair
Leave it to argan oil to nourish and replenish curls even on your worst day. Safe for colored, relaxed, and textured hair, this repair cream penetrates deep to soften strands — without a ton of fuss. Our
editors swear by it
Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream, $, available at
Amazon More Leonor Greyl Tonique Hydratant Best For Thick Hair
"For thick hair, it's all about replenishing [lost] moisture,"
says hairstylist Adir Abergel
. He loves applying this treatment once a week.
LEONOR GREYL PARIS
Tonique Hydratant Leave-In Treatment Mist, $, available at
Nordstrom More Iles Formula Finishing Serum Best For Definition
"I love using Iles Forumla Hair Serum as a leave-in conditioner," says
, whose clients include Lily Collins, Nicole Richie, and Hailee Steinfeld. "It softens the hair without being heavy, provides a light amount of definition, and makes your hair feel hydrated. For coarser textures, be a little more liberal with the product."
Finishing Serum, $, available at
Neiman Marcus More SheaMoisture Strengthen & Grow Conditioning Shine Gel Best For Baby Hairs
A-list celeb hairstylist
Marcia Hamilton recommends
this castor oil-packed leave-in conditioner/shine gel hybrid for smoothing and adding definition. "I really love this gel for shaping all baby hairs," she says. "It's alcohol-free and sulfate-free, so it doesn’t cause dryness. Plus, it leaves a really nice shine."
Strengthen & Grow Conditioning Shine Gel, $, available at
Target More Unite Hair Care 7 Seconds Detangler Best For Blondes
"Three or four quick sprays into my hands is enough to make my dry, knotty hair far more manageable," says R29 senior beauty editor
. (Tip: Never mist leave-in sprays directly onto hair, which practically ensures an uneven application.) "Whether I air-dry overnight or blowdry, my hair is smoother, softer, and free of tangles. It's lightweight and never greasy, with a hit of protein for stronger hair. It's nothing like any detangler I've tried, because as soon as you apply it, it soaks in instead of coating strands or adding a heavy feeling."
7 Seconds Detangler Leave In, $, available at
Amazon More SheaMoisture Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner Best For Frizz
"My favorite leave-in is Shea Moisture's," says
, who works with Selena Gomez and several Victoria's Secret Angels. "I would only use this one if you're going to wear your hair curly to keep the frizz out. If you have thin, straight hair, it will make it look a bit greasy."
Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In Conditioner, $, available at
Ulta Beauty More Living Proof Restore Repair Leave-In Best For Second-Day Hair
This curl-friendly formula works wonders for vacation days you want to keep frizz at bay. While it works just as well on freshly-washed hair, if you need a second-day revival, just dampen curls with some water and you can reapply another pump of this — no added buildup included.
Restore Repair Leave-In, $, available at
DermStore More Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave In Conditioner Best For Dull Hair
"This spray is my life," celebrity stylist Kristin Ess said in a product description. "It creates completely weightless shine and detangles better than any other leave-in I've ever used. It seals in moisture and can bring dull hair back to life over time."
Weightless Shine Leave In Conditioner, $, available at
Target More Vernon François Leave-In Conditioner Best For Waves
Tight coils that suffer from an extreme case of dull frizz will benefit most from this leave-in formula. With a few pumps, your curls are revived to their shiniest form. Bonus: Continued use helps strengthen your hair so that, in the future, you might not have to worry so much about a dehydrated style.
Leave In Nourishing Conditioner, $, available at
HSN More DevaCurl SuperCream Best For Targeted Application
“Leave-in conditioner is to curly hair what gas is to a car. And finding a good leave-in that gives your curls definition without weighing the hair down is a task,"
, author, sexologist, and YouTuber tells us. "DevaCurl is my boo, but I only use it on the top pieces — I prefer the middle to have zero product, so I get frizzy volume goodness!”
SuperCream, $, available at
Sephora More Sachajuan Leave In Conditioner Best For Fine Hair
"It's super silky, but doesn't weigh your hair down," celeb stylist
says. "It's great for thinner hair that needs conditioning, but doesn't leave it feeling greasy."
Leave In Conditioner, $, available at
DermStore More Amika Silken Up Dry Conditioner For Color-Treated Hair
Ask any colorist how to best maintain your dye job and they'll just tell you to wash it less. Each wash can fade your color, but that doesn't mean you can't condition your hair between washes. This conditioner can be applied to dry hair to smooth, detangle, and moisturize.
Silken Up Dry Conditioner, $, available at
Revolve More Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner Best For Curls
Color-treated, damaged, and dehydrated hair can all reap the benefits of this lightweight leave-in. It's formulated with prickly pear extract and vitamin B5 to soften tangled strands and give them shine. It also has green tea to offer antioxidant protection.
Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner, $, available at
Ouidad More It's A 10 Miracle Leave-in Product Best For Heat-Damaged Hair
Consider this leave-in treatment a multivitamin for your hair. It's packed with bond-building amino acids that leaves any texture softer, smoother, and shiner after one use.
It's a 10
Miracle Leave-In Product, $, available at
Ulta Beauty More Kérastase Discipline Anti Frizz Smoothing Spray Best For Heat Styling
Engaging in unprotected heat sessions with your hair can end in a blow-fried disaster — especially if your strands are naturally curly. If you're giving up the heat to embrace your curls, using this leave-in will ensure that your hair is silky and frizz-free, even while it's in recovery mode. If you're not yet ready to give up the hot tools, you can also use some of this to protect your hair from heat up to 450 degrees.
Discipline Anti Frizz Smoothing Spray, $, available at
Sephora More Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer Best All-Around
Consider this Bumble & Bumble bottle the perfect one-size-fits-all spray for your hair. Apply it before you let your waves air-dry to reduce frizz and protect strands from UV rays. Or, use it as a detangler before you cocktail creams for a wash-and-go. And if you're heat styling, you can also spritz this on damp hair to get a silky blowout that doesn't feel greasy.
Bumble and bumble
Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer, $, available at
Sephora More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Products To Keep Your Hair Shiny In The Summer 13 Sulfate-Free Shampoos Top Hairstylists Love These Hair Products Consider Your Texture, Too