Can you put leave in conditioner on dry hair?

If you have curly hair, then you know how it can feel dry and frizzy if you don’t give it enough moisture after washing it.

But on days when you’re rushing out the door, you can sometimes jumble up your hair routine and forget that you haven’t applied leave-in conditioner in the right order. 

So now you’re conflicted on whether you should brave out the elements without a moisturizing product or apply it on completely dry hair.

To help you solve your conundrum, this article will explore whether you can apply a leave-in conditioner to dry hair. 

What is a leave-in conditioner?

A leave-in conditioner is a type of moisturizing hair product that you don’t need to rinse out after. It locks in moisture in your hair strands to improve detangling and protects against frizz

Depending on the formula, it can also help repair and nourish dry and damaged hair to help you achieve naturally healthy strands.

Though you shouldn’t replace your conditioner with a leave-in conditioner, it’s still considered an underrated product because many take it for granted. 

Although curly, wavy, and thick hair can greatly benefit from using it, all hair types should take advantage of adding a boost of moisture.

If you also have the habit of styling your hair by blow-drying, curling, or straightening it daily, applying a leave-in conditioner can help protect it from damage by acting as an extra barrier against the heat.

How often should you use a leave-in conditioner?

Applying leave-in conditioner on your hair every day isn’t necessary, but it’s advised that you use it every time you wash it. The porosity of your strands can also play a part, so it’s essential to determine it.

For instance, low-porosity hair has trouble absorbing moisture since it has tightly packed cuticles. 

While high-porosity hair has the ability to absorb moisture, it can also release it just as quickly because of its open cuticles. 

Consider yourself lucky if you have medium porosity hair because it can absorb and hold onto moisture to maintain healthy strands.

To know how often you should apply a leave-in conditioner, refer to the quick guide below:

  • Low-porosity hair – you can get away with applying it 1-2 times a month. But make sure to wet your hair with warm water to help open up your cuticles.
  • Medium porosity hair – you can apply it on damp hair after cleansing or whenever it needs an extra boost of moisture.
  • High porosity hair – apply on wet hair whenever you cleanse with shampoo and conditioner.

Is it better to put leave-in conditioner on wet or dry hair?

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of using a leave-in conditioner, you might be wondering about the proper way to apply it.

It’s recommended that you use it on damp hair to allow your strands to absorb its hydrating benefits and prevent moisture from escaping.

To apply, towel-dry clean hair until it’s damp, and dab a pea-sized amount of product. 

Make sure to distribute the conditioner evenly on your hair, and use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to detangle any knots. Once satisfied, you can let your hair air dry or use a blow dryer to style it.

Can you put leave-in conditioner on dry hair every day?

Although it’s best to apply a leave-in conditioner on damp hair, there is an exception where you can use it on dry hair

If you don’t like the greasy feeling that some hair serums or oils can leave on your hair, you can use a small amount of leave-in conditioner instead to smooth out any flyaways or frizz from appearing.

But the question is, can you put leave-in conditioner on dry hair every day?

As discussed above, the frequency of applying a leave-in conditioner can depend on the porosity of your hair. So if you use the product to dry low-porosity hair daily, your strands will feel heavy and greasy because it won’t absorb it. 

Although most leave-in conditioners have a lightweight formula, if you keep adding it to dry hair, it will only accumulate on the surface, and your hair won’t get any of its hydrating benefits. 

Ultimately, you’ll only be wasting product and go through each day feeling like you’re having a bad hair day.

Can you put leave-in conditioner on dry hair overnight?

If you want to get the most out of your leave-in conditioner by applying it overnight, it’s best to use it on damp hair instead of dry. 

Wash your hair a few hours before bedtime, apply your favorite leave-in conditioner, and let your hair air dry.

This way, your strands can absorb the product, and you’ll wake up with soft and shiny hair the next day! 

Bonus points if you tie your hair loosely or wrap it inside a bonnet since this will keep it away from tangles and friction while you sleep.

Can you use a leave-in conditioner without washing your hair?

Your hair may feel its best after cleansing it with shampoo and conditioner. But if you want to freshen it up in between washes, you can also apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner.

To ensure your strands absorb the product, you can spray your hair with water to dampen it before applying it. 

But if you want to use it on dry strands, opt for a leave-in spray since this will be lighter on your hair. Just check its label to see if it’s applicable for dry hair since every leave-in conditioner has a different formula.

Can you put Cantu leave-in conditioner on dry hair?

Cantu is one of the top go-to brands when it comes to maintaining and repairing curly hair because they have an impressive line-up of nourishing and hydrating products.

Many adore their Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream because of how well it can make your hair soft and manageable. If you want to try their leave-in conditioner, Cantu recommends applying it on damp hair. 

But, out of curiosity, this user experimented using it on mostly dry hair. Although she usually applies it on wet hair, she was happy with how hydrated her strands turned out while still maintaining their shape and structure.

Can you put Shea Moisture leave-in conditioner on dry hair?

Shea Moisture is another note-worthy curly hair care brand because it focuses on creating natural ingredients and nourishing products.

Their Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In Conditioner is one of their best-selling products, and Shea Moisture recommends applying it on clean and towel-dried hair. 

But this user tried using it on dry strands and immediately noticed how soft her hair turned out. If you want to get rid of the white cast, applying the product on damp hair would be best since it’s more absorbent.

Can you put Aussie leave-in conditioner on dry hair?

Aussie is an established Australian haircare brand known for its 3-Minute Miracle line. But their Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner is also proven to show results on all hair types.

Aussie recommends using their product on damp hair, but this user finds it also effective on dry hair when you’re in between washes. 

Since their leave-in conditioner is in spray form, you don’t have to worry about it weighing down your hair, even if you have fine or thin strands. It will make your hair silky and soft and leave a lasting sweet and flowery scent.

Final thoughts

Leave-in conditioner can be an underrated product because many tend to skip this step in their hair care routine. 

Even though you’ll still need to apply conditioner, adding a good quality product to your process can give your hair a noticeable boost in hydration. 

If you have curly, wavy, thick, or dry hair, a leave-in conditioner is essential since it will help lock moisture inside your strands, so it’s softer and more manageable.

Most brands recommend you apply their leave-in conditioner on damp hair. But if you’re in between showers and want to refresh your strands, using a small amount on dry hair can be effective. 

Results will also depend on your hair type, so the best way to find out is to try it on your own hair. If your strands feel weighed down and greasy, it’s best to use only it on freshly-washed hair.

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