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For people with dry hair (like yours truly), styling with heat tools is much more than time-consuming. I’m not being dramatic when I say straightening my hair just once will all but leech the moisture out of my strands. My hair might look good for a day or two, but soon after, the texture becomes brittle, frizz erupts everywhere, and split ends become the norm.
For years, whenever this happened, I'd try everything to revive my strands—from moisturizing shampoo to applying a more-than-recommended amount of conditioner—but nothing really helped until I met my hero product: leave-in conditioner. Seriously, adding this one step to my haircare routine is the reason my strands look and feel healthier—which is why I researched the best options out there so you can benefit, too.
Keep reading to see the best leave-in conditioners for dry hair.
Best Overall: Davines Oi Oil
Alisha Cheney from Bomane Salon in Beverly Hills swears by this oil leave-in formula. "I'm obsessed with what it does to the hair," she says. It's "infused with Roucou Oil from the Amazon. The hair becomes shiny, hydrated, and luscious! I love to pair my clients with Davines Oi All In One Milk. It's lightweight and a great detangler that protects the hair from frizzing."
Best Drugstore: Carol's Daughter Almond Milk Leave-in Conditioner
Reach for this drugstore pick if you have extremely-damaged and heat-processed hair. It's formulated with aloe butter, shea oil, and, yes, almond milk to fortify your strands with strengthening vitamins and minerals. (It also shields the hair from future damage.)
Best Mist: Leonor Greyl Tonique Hydratant Leave-In Treatment Mist
Celeb hairstylist Kristin Heitkotter has worked with Gina Rodriguez, Camilla Alves, and Molly Sims. "One of the biggest benefits of using leave-in conditioner after your regular shampoo and conditioning routine is adding longer-lasting moisture. Leave-ins can also help soften the hair strand, making your hair easier to style—which is a great added bonus!"
She likes this hydrating leave-in mist from Parisian brand Leonor Greyl. It "noticeably hydrates and silkens even the driest of hair," she says. It's also incredibly lightweight, which is why she loves "to use on clients with fine hair."
Best for All Hair Types: Reverie Milk Anti-Frizz Leave-In Nourishing Treatment
We like this oil-cream formula that softens, moisturizes, and tames unruly hair. Its natural formula is all thanks to olives, coconuts, and almonds and a blend of 16 essential oils. Basically, use this to see and feel instant results.
Best for Textured Hair: Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream
The feel of this repair cream is thick and luxurious, yet it soaks right into the hair strand (how this sorcery works, we don't know). For really intense moisture, we like to use this as a hair mask, running it heavily through strands before bed. Once we rinse out in the morning, our hair is noticeably softer, bouncier, and less, well, dead-looking.
Best for Shine: Orlando Pita Play High Spirited Weightless Leave-In Conditioner
"Leave-ins get a semi-bad wrap because people think they will make hair flat," says Heitkotter, but this under-the-radar product is her go-to since it does "quite the opposite." It "helps seal in shine and also increases body while it's nourishing your hair."