Why use a leave-in?

What is the reason for using a leave-in? Is it to protect from the styling products, add moisture, add weight, all of the above maybe? What does it do for the curls exactly? I have always skipped this part because I really never understood the purpose exactly. The more I read the different posts, I see just about everyone uses one. If it's for moisture and overall healthy hair, then getting the right one must be important. Hope this question doesn't seem too dumb, but I just want to know if I need to start using one. I definitely don't want my curls to " come out", but I do want more defintion and moisture. If this is an essential part, please let me know?


  • knotnotknottodayknotnotknottoday Posts: 51Registered Users
    i avoided leave-ins for a long, long time because i have fine hair that gets weighed down easily, but once i finally caved and decided to try it, it made a HUGE difference in my hair. the main thing i noticed is that it cut way down on frizz. i had always had frizz, even when my hair was wet. then i started to notice that the only time the frizz wasn't there was when my hair was wet and had conditioner on it in the shower, so i figured moisture really was the problem. i rinse out all of my conditioner in the shower, then rake in a small amount (from a pea-sized dollop to about a dime-sized one, depending on how my hair feels that day) through the length of my hair (leaving the roots alone), then scrunch it in really well. i use the same conditioner as a rinse-out and a leave-in. i'd definitely recommend trying it.
  • Laura LeeLaura Lee Posts: 1,828Registered Users
    Depends on the ingredients of the leave in as to whether it will weigh someone down. I use a leave in to 1) add moisture, 2) provide a "base" layer for my routine (super a search for super soak and you can find the thread talking about that method), 3) enhance clumping/definition, 4) slip, 5) I think it gives my other products something to grab hold of and get into the hair cuticle because I'm low porosity, so getting the products into the hair is the challenge

    Choosing the right leave in is definitely hard. You've got to find a balance of moisture, protein if you want it/need it, weight, and slip (some people don't like leave ins with slip, others do). Some of the most popular around here are any of the Curl Junkie leave ins. I like them, but my current favorite is Jasmine's Babassu Butter Cream (which you can get by the half gallon for $18 here or buy at non wholesale prices but smaller amounts here)
  • kathymackkathymack Posts: 9,999Registered Users
    Totally agree with Laura Lee on the how's and whys. I rotate products, seldom using any one product more then twice a week. I wet and style every day.
    3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
    SE PA

    HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix
  • TiaSimoneTiaSimone Posts: 58Registered Users
    My hair can be super dry so the added moisture has vastly improved my curls. I used to use a spray leave in but found that thicker procucts work best for my hair.
  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users
    Moisture, moisture, moisture.
  • FrizzBgoneFrizzBgone Posts: 2,678Registered Users
    I rotate my products as well - never use the same thing 2 days in a row.

    A LI is very important to my hair; the most obvious reason is adding moisture ... but ... it also acts as a foundation for my styling products. None of my styling products work as well if I don't have a LI conditioner in my hair.
    Type: 3a fine & dense,with normal porosity, terrible product junkie
    ROUTINE: LI, enhancer, gel, plop with Curlease towel, serum product (either CIAB or Gel-les'c), clip & diffuse.
    Too many favourite products to list ... I finally have my routine that works and alot of products to choose from. My product stash is huge, but well loved !!!
  • Gemini13Gemini13 Posts: 5,000Registered Users
    I only use a leave-in during the winter, because I need it for the moisture.
    Brooklyn, NY

    Hair: 3A/B, Underlayer of 2B
    HG products:
    Winter- Giovanni Tea Tree (co-wash) & 50/50 (condish); Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Leave-In; Curls Milkshake & Quenched Curls; Re:coil; BRHG
    Summer: DevaCurl No Poo & OneC; CK; Re:coil; BRHG; Honey!!!

    fotki pw= crrrls
  • lindykatlindykat Posts: 90Registered Users
    I like to equate it to lotion for your hands. Maybe you don't need it year round but in the winter I doubt any of us put lotion on our hands and then rinse it all off in the sink.

    Same with hair. Sometimes it just needs the leave in or it's too dry and unhappy.
  • xcptnlxcptnl Posts: 15,678Registered Users
    I am one that does not use a leave in a regular basis. I am one of the few curlies whose hair does not need added moisture. I find that I get overmoisturized very easily. I depend upon my rinse out conditioner or my styling products to add moisture. If we get really dry air(low dew points) I will use one.

    I thought I had to use one because so many do but found that I was getting overconditioned and lank looking hair.

    So there is a different opinion.
    Central Massachusetts

    One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim. ~George Carlin~

    In regards to Vagazzling: They just want to get into the goods without worrying about getting scratched up by fake crystals. ~spring1onu~
  • MVP_MVP_ Posts: 213Registered Users
    Leave-ins dont work well for me! I rather have nothing in my hair! Clean and fresh feel :thumbright: