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Leave in conditioner vs conditioner – which do you need?

Most people use an in-shower conditioner for stronger, glossier hair, but what’s the deal with throwing a leave-in version into the mix? Should one always follow the other, or is it an unnecessary step?

We shampoo our hair, we rinse it out. We condition our hair, we rinse it out. So, what’s the difference between leave-in conditioner and conditioner, and do we need both? According to the experts, it all comes down to hair type. For those with coils, curls, or hair prone to flyaways, consider this additional product a conditioner-styling hybrid for fighting frizz and defining curl pattern.

Leave in conditioner vs conditioner

You only have to compare the textures of your regular and leave-in conditioners to know they serve a different purpose. In-shower conditioners are much thicker in consistency, enveloping strands and targeting cuticle damage before ending up down the plug hole. Ever stepped out of the shower and found a sticky, unwashed section of hair still coated in conditioner? Exactly, they’re just not designed to be left in. The lighter, more fluid consistency of a leave-in conditioner creates an invisible film over the strands, boosting moisture levels as well as providing an added layer of protection, without feeling sticky or greasy.

How do I choose my conditioners?

Take a look at your hair type and the level of damage or dehydration you think it’s displaying. Dove Amplified Textures Moisture-Lock Leave-In Conditioner is infused with jojoba oil and designed specifically for curly and coily hair types in need of extra hydration and curl-pattern definition. If you have severely-damaged hair (say, through regular chemical coloring or heat styling), Dove Breakage Remedy Leave-On Treatment might be better suited to you. It promises thicker-looking, stronger hair with 97% less breakage* when used alongside Dove Breakage Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner.

So, can I choose just one?

Before you stop buying your regular conditioner, let us explain how wash-off and leave-in conditioners can work in tandem. Experts don’t recommend skipping regular rinse-off conditioner. Why? Because it helps to detangle hair ready for the leave-in conditioner – enabling it to spread more evenly through the hair. That said, if you have fine, grease-prone hair, both might not be necessary, at least not every day. It’s all down to how your hair feels when you use both. You might decide a conditioning, damage-repairing duo such as Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner is enough for your level of dehydration and damage. Just make sure you use an alternative heat-protection product before styling with tools, such as Dove Smooth and Shine Heat Protection Spray.

*vs non-conditioning shampoo

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