As someone who has been dyeing their hair blonde since seventh grade, I've learned the importance of adding hydration back into your strands. From moisturising masks to hair oils to leave-in treatments, finding a method that works for your hair type is vital to keep your hair from drying out and breaking. It's important for everyone to keep their hair nourished, but especially those of us with damaged or processed hair.
My hairdresser highly recommended adding a leave-in conditioner to my routine in my most recent hair appointment, so afterwards I went on a hunt for the best options. I always turn to reviews when trying to decide on a product because I find personal experience more helpful than a brand's marketing description, and figure that thousands of positive reviews means it's worth trying out. And although you sadly can't shop from Sephora in the UK, the sheer number of useful reviews from customers in the US means that it still acts as a truly valuable resource for deciding what to spend your money on elsewhere.
So after a total of almost six hours comparing reviews, I had created a list of the best leave-in conditioners for damaged hair. Below I'm sharing my findings in case you, too, are in the market for a new leave-in product.
"This stuff is a total score and forever purchase. It makes my hair feel healthy and full. Not fragile and breaking. I had bleached my hair several times and not being able to get a proper trim during COVID has left my hair brittle. This formula is the bees knees. Smells fantastic. Absolutely awesome purchase. The spray nozzle is controlled and fanned out so over applying in one spot is next to impossible," writes one Sephora reviewer. With over 1800 positive reviews, this Moroccanoil option is a no-brainer.
"Okay, so I NEVER leave reviews but this product warrants one. This is literally the best leave-in I have ever bought for my hair. It leaves my hair so soft and smooth, and I really enjoy the scent! I would recommend this product to anyone with frizzy/dry hair. The problem I've had with leave-in conditioners, in the past, is that it either makes my hair really oily or doesn't work at all. 10/10 on this product for sure," says a Sephora reviewer. This Ouai option has over 1000 positive reviews on Sephora, and with glowing reviews like this one, I feel confident giving it a try.
One Sephora review says, "I recently got my hair done and it got damaged quite a bit so I’ve been trying to nourish my hair back to life with a variety of products along with products for colour treated hair and one of the products I’ve been using is this spray!! I love it! I use every time after I wash my hair to detangle my hair because my hair is so dry now that it gets super knotted after a shower and this makes it less painful and less dreadful to detangle/brush my hair after a shower! It also adds a bit of shine not a lot but just enough and it smells amazing!! Get it!"
"This leave-in conditioner smells amazing! And I have noticed a difference when I put it in my hair, definitely smooths it out and makes it super soft. Briogeo is a favourite of mine, and this product is one of the best!" writes one reviewer.
If you're looking for a vegan option, this one is a great choice. According to one review, "Amazing! I buy only vegan products and this one is by far the best!!! Smells great, works even better. I have thin (chemically treated hair), as I started using it my friends and family noticed that my hair looked shinier, slicker just healthier! Would recommend it to everybody, especially to people that blow dry a lot!"
"Bought it on sale on a whim and I am so glad that I took the chance because this stuff is incredible! My naturally curly, highlighted blonde hair hasn’t had a natural shine to it since the bleach hit the foils and if you’re a blonde, you know how hard it can be to get shine in your hair without using silicone products. Not to mention it’s stopped my hair from snapping off when I comb it out when wet! It’s restored my hair’s vitality, shine and it leave my hair soft and manageable, plus it smells great...like a light floral bouquet. It’s all a girl could hope for in one product!" says one Sephora review.
This IGK leave-in is highly ranked. One reviewer says "I absolutely love this product! I have thick, semi-coarse, dry, wavy textured hair and this stuff really makes me soft and smooth. I highly recommend this for anyone who has dry hair. I especially love this in the winter (I live in Denver) when it’s super cold and dry."
"In love with this leave-in detangler. I have VERY long straight hair and it tangles so easily regardless of what products I use. I’ve spent hundreds on detanglers and this by far is the most effective and luxurious one! The smell is distinct yet subtle and the results are immediate. You feel like you just left the salon after applying this," says one glowing review.
"I’ve been bleaching my hair for 15 years so I work hard to keep it hydrated. This is definitely my new favourite leave in product!" writes another fellow hair dyer.
"I have dry, wavy hair that's damaged from so much blow drying and straightening. This product makes my hair feel smooth and gets rid of that straw feeling. It also makes my hair super shiny! I like how light this stuff is so my hair doesn't feel weighed down. Plus it smells really good! I will repurchase this" writes a Sephora reviewer.
"Smells nice, controls frizz, adds shine. I have thick, wavy, chemically treated hair. This stuff works great! Smells very nice, and really works well. Also lasts, I've had the same bottle for 4 months and seems to have a lot left" says one review.
For fine hair, this Alterna option seems like the way to go. One reviewer says "I have fine blonde hair and this is the best leave-in I’ve ever found. Everything else I’ve tried has been too heavy."
"I love Sun Catcher. I have think wavy hair and this is the perfect conditioner for air drying my hair. I also use it when blow drying, which, let's face it, doesn't happen all too often. Sun Catcher goes a long way and is the perfect weight and leaves my hair soft, my waves smooth and not frizzy, and it smells sooooo good" says one happy reviewer.
"I've been on the hunt for a great leave-in for a while now, and this is it! It smells great, totally detangles my hair, and leaves it smooth and far less frizzy. I've only used it a few times and my hair feels much healthier. It doesn't weigh my hair down at all, which is fantastic for how hydrating it is" writes a Sephora reviewer. Other reviews note the fresh citrus smell as a highlight.
Reviewers all note the scalp benefits they see from this Oribe formula. One reviewer writes "THIS PRODUCT IS AMAZING. I have fine hair and an oily, itchy, flaky scalp. I use this immediately after coloring my hair to soothe my scalp as well as after every time I shampoo and condition my hair. It has helped so much with the itchiness of my scalp between washes."
One Dermstore reviewer writes "Smell is incredible and makes my hair feel super smooth and detangled, just the product i have been searching for, doesn't weigh down hair either."
"This is an excellent product. You will notice a big difference in hair shedding almost instantly. It grows your hair and makes it feel thicker. I love this product! It is well worth the price!" says an Amazon reviewer.
For colour treated hair, this Bumble & Bumble formula is a winner. One Sephora reviewer says "I'm obsessed! I've tried many different products to add some extra bounce, and pretty curls to my wavy hair, and this stuff got the job done. It adds curls, without frizz, and doesn't weigh my hair down at all. Plus it has a very clean scent, not overpowering at all. For reference, I bleach and dye my hair, and it works well with my colour treated hair."
"This is hand downs one of the best spray in hair healthy products. It conditions, softens, moisturizes, adds shine and controls frizz. When you look in the mirror and see only dry, damaged, frizzy hair grab hold of this Redkin product and spray away. You will see an instant improvement in both your hair and your mood" says one happy Amazon review.