I've tried my share of leave-ins over the years. But nothing can compare to this current line up. I'm looking for products that can bring heavy moisture, detangle like no one's business, and protect the hair during the heavy manipulation that occurs post wash. Here are my faves.
It's a 10 Leave In
Due to my own neglect, I'm often plagued with these massive, destructive knots which require lots of manpower to rectify. When this happens, the man for the job is It's a 10! Whenever I get an email from some poor soul who's contemplating chopping off her hair because of the sheer amount of knots she has to contend with, I instruct her to go out and by this leave-in. It's like the go-to leave in whenever emergencies arise. It's a 10 boast of giving the hair 10 benefits but, to me, the detangling power is unmatched.
Biolage Keratin Dose.
Well, almost unmatched. Biolage stepped up it's game in a major way when it launched the Keratindose leave in. This stuff had me signing it's praises. Detangling and conditioning all in one magnificent package. The actual product has the consistency of a creamy, hydrating conditioner but is applied using a spray bottle just like any other run of the mill leave-in. I also give it extra points for being a powerful product on wet or dry hair. I can literally use it as a moisturizer in the L.C.O process. Oh, I should also mention that I'm picking up a box of the Biolage Keratindose concentrate. It comes in little tubes that is applied to the hair like an intensive treatment. It's formulated with silk amino acids and a "professional level of keratin." Lookout for a review in the future.
Biolage Daily Leave-In Tonic
Although Keratindose is absolute perfection, I still love and will always reach for the daily leave in tonic when I rollerset. In my humble opinion, Biolage Daily Leave in is the most moisturizing, watery leave in, I can get my hands on. Just like the Keratindose, the actual product looks like a conditioner but in a lighter consistency. There's nothing bad I can say about this leave-in. It's absolutely the best light, conditioning leave-in that I've ever tried.
Grund Tiger Protein Reconstructor Leave-In Spray
I had a leave-in that softened the hair, and a couple that detangled, but I had nothing to reinforce my hair with additional strength. I searched and searched until I somehow stumbled on Grund Tiger Protein Reconstructor. Although I'd never heard of the brand before, I relied on the glowing reviews and the high price point as a sign that this could be a solid product. And boy was I right. What I love about this spray is that it does strengthen and reinforce the hair but without out none of the unwanted stiffness one might expect from spraying a protein laden product on the hair. To me, Grund's protien spray is worth every single cent. I don't use it all over but instead focus on weaker areas and on the ends. It's darn good stuff. They also have a protein moisture mist which also received great reviews from the people who've tried it. I don't need another moisture leave-in but I'm so tempted to try it. If it's as good as their protein spray with a boost of moisture, I'm sure I won't be disappointed.
Nexxus' Pro Mend Split End Binding Leave-In
Honorable mention goes to Nexxus' Pro Mend Split End Binding Leave-In Creme. It's the heaviest of all the leave-ins I own. I like a thicker product for when I'm deep into my stretch and need something a little heartier to manage my mane. All though it's meant for split end repair, I use it all over. I mean, the active ingredient alone should make you want to try it. Seeing video of split ends sealing back up still brings chills down my spine. Make sure to apply a watery leave-in underneath to add moisture then layer on the leave-in cream to seal it in. This stuff will have your ends on point! If frizzy, unruly ends are your issue, give this baby a try. I also like how it provides a bit more sleekness to my hair, almost like it's sealing my cuticle layer while taking care of my damaged ends.
One realization I've made while writing this post is how I've neglected the proper use of leave-ins the last several months. My plan is to organize them all together so I have the entire crew with me on wash day making sure I use the right one for the job depending on my hair's needs. I've experimented with a post wash L.C.O using Aveda moisturizer on dripping wet hair (just out of the shower) and layering with oil. This time, I'll utilize these leave-in moisturizers and layer with oil. I suspect I'll get an even better result since these products are made for moisturizing already damp hair.
These are my absolute faves. If you have a leave in that works magic on your hair, leave a comment below.