Every man has heard of hair conditioner before. Many of us use it frequently. We know that conditioner gives our hair that soft, smooth feeling and shine. A product that some men might not be too familiar with is leave-in conditioner.
If the thought of leave-in conditioner is something that leaves you scratching your head (pun intended), relax. Leave-in conditioners for men are common and what’s more, they can really help with a variety of hair types as well as styles.
Quick List: The Best Leave-in Conditioners for Men
Leave-In Conditioner for Men: Who Uses it and Why?
We hope every man reading this has taken a shower before. If so, you know the drill with regular conditioner. You use it after you shampoo, rinse, and you’re done. Leave-In conditioner is similar to regular conditioner except with one major difference. Are you ready for this? You leave it in.
Leave-in conditioner for men is widely used for scalp and hair help, but it can also be used for facial hair as well. With many men experiencing split end, frizzy or unmanageable beards, leave-in conditioner can double as a facial hair product.
Any conditioner can be used to soften and moisturize the hair. Leave-in conditioner is used primarily for men who want a greater level of manageability as well as protection for their hair. If you have thicker hair, you’ve no doubt seen what heat, humidity, and sweat can do to your hair. This is where leave-in conditioner comes in.
In many cases, leave-in conditioner offers the same benefits as a traditional conditioner, however, there are a few differences.
Sealing in Moisture
One of the main reasons to use any conditioner is to moisturize your hair. When using regular conditioner, the effects are not as long-lasting due to rinsing. Leave-in conditioner locks in moisture on every strand of hair and last much longer. In fact, many leave-in conditioners can afford long-lasting effects.
Leave-in conditioner helps keep your hair soft and retain elasticity. The compounds within the product help to nourish and revitalize the hair, which in turn helps to strengthen the air and improve the overall life as well as elasticity.
A great benefit of leave-in conditioner is the detangling effect. For men with thick or curly hair, this is a common and sometimes embarrassing problem. Many conditioners also double as detanglers which offer this added benefit in addition to the above.
All Day Protection
One of the best benefits of leave-in conditioner is simply in the name. By leaving the conditioner in, you are locking in the moisture, healing, detangling, and softening properties. These benefits, which are why we use conditioner in the first place, are diminished when you rinse the conditioner off minutes after applying.
Leave-in conditioner affords all day protection. It offers the user consistent protection even in humid conditions that would otherwise cause frizzing.
Traditional conditioners have a tendency to build up on the hair with repeated use. Since you rinse off traditional conditioner, they are designed with this in mind. Rinsing off the conditioner can limit the effectiveness of it, however, they are made specifically so that it is very difficult to rinse it all off. Over time this can cause unwanted build-up on your hair and scalp.
Leave-in conditioner is designed specifically to rinse off thoroughly. This means you can enjoy the benefits after application, and fully rinse your hair at the end of the day.
A Wide Variety to Choose From
There are literally hundreds of conditioners on the market. If you're a man who's new to the game, it can be overwhelming. They may all seem the same, however, some are made with inferior ingredients which actually do more harm than good. There are a number of things to consider when selecting a leave-in conditioner for men:
If you scour the hair care aisle at your local store you will see literally dozens of conditioners to choose from. It is important to note that most of these will not be leave-in conditioners although some may be able to be used in that way if desired.
Leave-in conditioners tend to come in smaller quantities than you may be used to. This is because leave-in conditioner goes a long way. The other side of that is they tend to cost a little more as well.
Not all conditioners are made equal, and if you’ve never taken the time to learn which ones your scalp need, you should start with this video, which briefly explains what to look for when purchasing any conditioner.
Your hair type, style, and scalp condition will all factor into the decision. Some conditioners are formulated for dry, itchy scalps, while others work better for long, thick hair. Knowing your specific needs and what you’re trying to accomplish will go a long way towards helping your decision.
Like many products, leave-in conditioners come in many forms and with a variety of ingredients. Some are more natural while others contain a lot of chemicals. In both cases, everyone’s skin and hair type are different and your needs will vary.
It is important to note the natural ingredients as many conditioners will contain allergens such as fruit or nut extracts and oils. Chemicals, for their part, can also cause irritation if you have sensitive skin or hair. It is always best to test a small amount of any product so you know how it will affect you.
All set now? Here are five leave-in conditioners for men that we recommend. A little trial and error may be in order as everyone’s hair is different.
Top 5 Leave-In Conditioners For Men
Redken for Men - Chill Blast
Redken is a true multi-purpose product that conditions and softens hair while injecting moisture. It is made with a variety of great, energizing ingredients such as citrus, rosemary, and mind.
Yes, “chill blast” isn’t just a name, it also produces a cooling effect. This product is definitely a plus if you have problems with dry scalp including dandruff as it is also formulated to combat these issues and alleviate the symptoms as well.
- A combination of botanical ingredients makes for a mostly (but not all) natural product that helps condition, soften, and cool.
- Great for all types of hair and age of men.
- Holds hair in place without leaving behind a greasy residue
- Also great for eliminating dandruff as well as treating the symptoms (redness, flaking, itching)
- One of the costlier options
- The “chill blast” produces a sensation similar to menthol, may be irritating for some scalp types
Paul Mitchell's The Conditioner
If you don't want to sacrifice light-weight conditioners for control over hair, this is going to be a new favorite of yours.
The tea tree leaves your hair and scalp feeling cool and healthy while leaving it shiny and strong. What makes this conditioner unique is it concentrates on your skin as much as it does your hair. This means it truly does heal your scalp when other conditioners simply make it tingle.
- A combination of tea tree and peppermint heals and strengthens your scalp, skin, and hair naturally.
- Great for all types of hair and age of men.
- Holds hair in place without leaving behind grease or residue.
- Can be used as a body moisturizer as well as a leave-in conditioner.
- The product may not work as well for some users’ scalps as it does for others.
- The oil combination may irritate sensitive scalps and skin.
- Works best on straight, thick hair.
- Some hair types become oily with use.
Paul Mitchell's The Detangler
Another one from Paul Mitchell, and for good reason. Paul Mitchell is a trusted brand and puts out a lot of great products. This one is no different. This classic detangling leave-in conditioner tames wild hair and leaves it feeling smooth and soft.
With a blend of Hawaiian awapuhi, chamomile, henna, rosemary, aloe vera and jojoba, your hair is left healthy, happy, and free of frizz and tangles. It offers all-day protection and restores damaged hair to its full shine. This is a great product if you’re an “on the go” kind of guy who needs lasting protection.
- Made specifically with frizzy and dry hair types in mind.
- Safe for color treated hairs.
- Works for all hair types, including ethnic hair types.
- Safe for children’s hair as well as women.
- Not as natural as other products.
- Contains aloe. While this is a common ingredient in many hair and skin care products, it is also known to be an allergen so use caution.
- Fragrance leaves a little to be desired and may smell a bit strong to some.
Morn Aroma Deep Conditioner for Men
For severely dry and damaged hair, Morn Aroma’s argan oil hair mask is said to dig down deep with superior hydration. Free of both sulfates and paraben oil, this product is safe for all hair types.
Not only will it leave your hair soft and smooth, but it even protects it from heat, making this ideal for hotter, drier climates. Argan oil is a popular oil for hair care products and is at the forefront of this product.
- The mix of argan, shea butter, and coconut oil helps soothe and heal even the driest and damaged hair types.
- Great for curly and frizzy hair types that need help gaining control.
- Gives hair a little extra bounce and body.
- Argan oil is great for conditioning your facial hair as well
- The fragrance is bold, which is a plus for some
- The product is very thick, making it difficult to work through, especially with thinner hair types.
- The fragrance is bold… which can be a negative for some
- The ingredients used may be harsh for some users.
Bed Head Men Leave-in Conditioner
When it comes to great leave-in conditioner for men, bed head wrote the book with this multi-purpose product. It uses rainforest botanicals to not only help condition and moisturize but also promote a healthy scalp.
This product is best used by men who travel frequently but want to take the ability to manage their hair with them. The small, spray bottle fits perfectly into luggage, gym bags, or even your glove compartment.
- Small, spray-on bottle is great for on the go
- Offers great protection from frizzing in heat and humidity
- Strong aroma may take some getting used to
- Spray-on application means you may have a tendency to use more than needed and run out more quickly than is necessary.
Who Comes Out On Top?
While all of these are strong contenders, only one product stands out as a clear winner. Paul Mitchell’s The Detangler. This product does a bit of everything. It softens and moisturizes the hair while offering the added benefit of detangling. The detangling properties help it to stand out above the rest and are especially useful for thick, frizz-prone hair.
The Detangler is also s a better value for your money and does exactly what it says it’s going to. Great for anyone of any age and any hair type, it’s hard to beat the versatility and affordability of this leave-in conditioner for men.