What Is The Difference Between A Leave In Conditioner And A Moisturizer?

Leave in conditioners vs moisturizers are they the same

Isn’t it weird how in different parts of the country or even opposite sides of the same city you can have different names for the same hair technique or hairstyle? Senegalese twists vs rope twists or tree braids vs lace braids or singles vs box braids. Same difference.

I received this question in my inbox recently “What is the difference between a leave in conditioner and a moisturizer? Can they be used interchangeably? Thanks, Keisha.”.

In simple terms the answer is yes, although it depends entirely on the context. Traditionally a leave in conditioner is used on damp hair straight after a wash so the products used will tend to be a watery while a moisturizer is used daily to keep the hair soft and supple until the next wash and as such they tend to be richer butters or lotions. Semantics? Perhaps but for the sake of clarity it’s probably important to note this minor difference.

Some moisturizers can be too ‘heavy’ to be used daily as they would leave your hair weighed down and greasy, yet the same can be said of some leave in conditioners. Still you will also find that the ingredients in leave ins and moisturizers are pretty similar. So in reply, you can definitely use a leave in conditioner daily to moisturize your hair and similarly you can use a moisturizer on your hair straight after your wash as a leave in conditioner.

I have written before about what you should look for when picking a moisturizer for your hair and the same should apply when looking for a good leave in conditioner.

A good moisturizer or leave in conditioner is one that contains water as it’s first ingredient and an oil or fatty alcohols to seal in the moisture. Silicones also serve the same purpose as oils and we have talked about the much maligned ‘cones’ before here but I will leave that up to you whether or not you wish to exclude them from your regimen.


Mineral and hydrogenated oils are probably best avoided in favor of natural oils like coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, jojoba etc. No point paying for cheap industiral ingredients when natural oils are able to do the same job. Also depending on your hair needs, you could also look for ingredients like hydrolyzed proteins to restore strength to your tresses daily and prevent breakage.

But without rambling too much, they are pretty much the same thing!

READ MORE

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

ENJOYED THIS POST? JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER!

Sign Up Now


MORE FROM BHI

4
Leave a Reply

avatar
4 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
London CityIfueko UhunmwanghoSharie ArthurShaniqua Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Shaniqua

I have struggled with these definitions basically since I went natural 3 years ago. My routine is always wash, condition, detanlge, seal, leave-in. So it’s kind of like the LOC method with the L being the water on my hair from washing, O being a homemade mix of oils, and C being my leave in conditioner. I knew that leave ins moisturize and moisturizers can condition, so I just didn’t see the point in trying to find products that fit firmly in each distinct category. I always say that they’re basically the same thing and now this post kind of confirms it. Thanks.

Sharie Arthur

Okay great i just need to pick up some castor oil.

Ifueko Uhunmwangho

Coconut oil , make it myself

London City

Worlds best fan