Finding a good leave in can be frustrating for some. A good leave in has the ability to condition as well as moisturize the hair and with that said, the leave in should allow you to style your hair or maintain a style already installed. The first approach is to carefully consider both your hair type and lifestyle.
If your hair is naturally dry or becomes dry frequently then you definitely need a leave in that will thoroughly moisturize your hair and have the ability to keep it moisturized for at least several days. The level of moisture in your hair is definitely affected by your hair type but also by the environment.
One should expect to need more moisture during winter and summer. Cold and hot climates can deplete the hair of its moisture levels.
The wind and direct sun can also dry out both your hair and scalp. Ideally you want to implement a regular routine of applying a leave in so that your hair maintains a healthy state.
Leave-ins are very much like deep conditioners in that they contain many of the same ingredients and as such, prior to choosing your leave in, you must consider the needs of your hair in general. Is your hair weak or breaking? Is your hair normal but your scalp and ends get dry?
To choose a good leave-in start by focusing on what your hair really needs. This is the best rule of thumb when choosing all of your hair products, especially if you do not want to end up purchasing everything in the store.
All leave-ins are not meant for all hair types! They all start with water but there is a long list of other ingredients to consider. The focus when reading the labels should be on the first five ingredients.
The entire list of ingredients is dependent on what is listed among the top five ingredients for those five are what you will use to judge the quality and usefulness of the product, meaning that the first five ingredients make up the bulk of the contents.
Many companies will highlight one or more ingredients on the front of the bottle to grab your attention but unfortunately those ingredients can be last on the list! Look for oils* and vitamins* that penetrate the hair to fall high on the list.
Herbal extracts also provide nutrients and some boost moisture, providing slip for manageability while styling or detangling the hair. Herbs to look for are: Marsh Mallow Root, Burdock Root, Flaxseed, Hibiscus*, Rosemary* and Fenugreek.
Choosing a leave in that contains both herbs and penetrating oils* will allow you to moisturize and treat your hair as needed between shampoos. Those of us with coarser hair or hair that is tolerable to glycerin should also look for glycerin as one of the top five ingredients.