14 Best Leave-In Conditioners for Fine Hair in 2019

Updated 5 years ago

For those dealing with fine and limp hair, we’ve got your back. You may have delicate hair but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with its struggles.

Fine-haired gals are no stranger to endless tangles and knots that never seem to smooth out. On humid days, untamable flyaways and frizziness can be a real damper. It’s not like you can pick up a conditioners at random. Most heavy oils and creams will just make it look greasy and flat. Luckily, we have pulled together a list of the best leave-in conditioners that will bring your fine strands back to life. These ultra-hydrating, frizz-fighting conditioners leave your hair silky smooth while their lightweight formula promises no gunky residue left behind.

Fine Hair Favorites: Leave-In Conditioners

it's a 10 Miracle Leave-In

Just like its name, this product is a miracle in a bottle for fine and damaged hair types. The Panthenol in it strengthens your hair shaft while Silk Amino Acids restore the inner moisture levels so that your hair becomes healthy and soft. As it’s also fortified with Sunflower Seed Extract to prevent color fading, this leave in is ideal for those who currently have color-treated hair. Users prefer this over the Keratin version as this is lighter and does not make your hair feel overly greasy. Just spritz a few times over your hair and voila! Tangles and frizzies will become a thing of the past. Your hair will also feel fluffier after brushing it so this is great if you want to add a bit more volume to lanky strands.  

Oribe Supershine Light Moisturizing Crème

Imbibed with Oribe’s Signature Complex - Watermelon, Lychee, and Edelweiss Flower Extracts, this high-gloss conditioner will protect your hair from split ends, environmental stressors, and chemical treatments. Users loved how it combats frizz without any gunk, thanks to the infusion of Soy Protein Biopolymer which is the antithesis to hair frizz but minus the buildup. To do justice to the name of ‘Supershine’, the leave in contains Moringa Seed Extract and Wheat Amino Acids to bring back your hair’s healthy sheen. And rounding it up is the Keratin and Hydrolyzed Keratin to repair heat damage. Try this if you happen to have fine, colored or damaged hair types.

Phyto 7 Daily Hydrating Cream with 7 Plant Extracts

A botanical-based hair product, this leave in is infused with Burdock and Calendula to prevent split ends and hair breakage. Mallow, Willow, Rosemary, Sage, and Soybean have also been added to soften your locks while restoring them to their natural healthy state. If you are looking for a conditioner that will prevent that dreaded frizz and brittleness, this one will be your best bet. Reviewers also commented on how a small amount of this is enough to coat your hair evenly and maintain it before the next salon visit. It also keeps the tangles out while smoothing down flyaways for a more manageable look.

Macadamia Professional Weightless Moisture Conditioning Mist

If you are dealing with fine, greasy hair and want a conditioner that doesn’t exacerbate the oiliness, this leave in will be perfect for you. Its lightweight formula sinks into the hair shaft quickly and leaves your hair shiny with a healthy bounce. This is due to the key ingredients Macadamia and Argan Oils which are rich in omega fatty acids to promote hair health. The conditioner is further fortified with Quinoa Extract and Collagen to replenish your hair’s moisture balance. As it does not leave behind any gunk, you won’t have to worry about an oily scalp or product buildup.

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner

Recommended by professional hair stylists, this spray-on conditioner will leave your locks luscious and tangle-free. Infused with Soy and Tri-Wheat Proteins, this leave in rehydrates wilted strands to their original glory. It keeps your hair static-free so you never have to worry about humidity doing a number on your ‘do again. It also does an impressive job of keeping long hair free from knots and snarls so that you’ll be able to comb through effortlessly without hitting any painful snags. Try this for fuss-free hair maintenance after your shower.

John Masters Organics Citrus & Neroli Detangler

For a silicone-free alternative, try this leave in which promises no scalp sensitivity or greasy buildup to leach the shine from your locks. It’s so light that your tresses will drink up the conditioner immediately. For those with fine but extremely curly or kinky hair (think types 3 and 4), this will be a lifesaver for you. Its ultra-moisturizing formula lasts all day to soften and smoothen the hair shaft to keep fuzzy hair texture away. With lesser tangles, you can now wave goodbye to those pesky split ends while maintaining your gorgeous curls. The refreshing Citrus and Neroli scent also works as a mood-lifter after a long day at work. Time to keep those curls beautiful and shiny with this detangler.

Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray

To the ones who have previously used keratin treatments or hair relaxers and are now looking for a restorative leave in, this conditioner will be your top choice. Containing a potent blend of Rosehip, Argan, and Coconut Oils, this product will put the moisture back into damaged hair instantly. If you’re afraid that it’s too oily for your fine strands, rest assured that the conditioning formula is non-greasy so that it doesn’t drag your locks down and make them appear lanky. Use it daily to restore your hair back to the luscious state it once was. You will also be happy to know that this leave in contains no gluten, silicones, DEA, and artificial dyes to spark irritation.

Living Proof No Frizz Leave-in Conditioner

This leave in does live up to its namesake of eliminating frizz from your hair for a more manageable style. Using the brand’s patented healthy hair molecule (OFPMA) and conditioning agents, the leave in fights off frizz-causing humidity while leaving your hair smoother than ever before. It’s also suitable for those with color and chemically treated hair. In fact, a reviewer mentioned that it has helped her hair to air dry faster, minus the frizz and flyaways. Plus, the conditioning formula is so lightweight that it leaves no residue behind. Users’ hair was also kept looking clean between washes, thanks to the clarifying Glycolic Acid in the product.

Nexxus Diametress Headress Leave-In Conditioning Crème

The ingenious part of this conditioner is that it thickens fine hair by increasing the diameter of each strand by up to 17%! So, if you are looking to add substantial volume to your fine hair, you should definitely give this one a try. It also works for normal hair types. The leave in contains nourishing Green Tea Extract and Concentrated Elastin Protein to stimulate healthy hair growth, all good news for those who are looking to add the oomph! factor back into dry and lifeless strands. Fans of this product have witnessed an amazing change in the form of thicker hair growth, more bounce and body in their hair, and an easier time during styling.

Kevin.Murphy Un.Tangled

This leave-in boosts the hydration levels in your hair using a nourishing blend of Australian Fruit Extracts. It also doubles up as an impressive de-tangler so that you can easily run your fingers through your fine tresses without wincing in pain. Plus, it doubles up as a heat protectant to give you adequate shield against hot styling tools. Users liked it for revitalizing their dry, straw-like strands without making fine hair look flat or greasy. An added benefit of this conditioner is that it’s completely free of sulfates and parabens.

Verb Leave-In Mist

Who doesn’t love a multitasker that does it all for your hair? Verb’s Leave-In is formulated to detangle, moisturize, nourish, and provide thermal protection during styling. The end result is stronger and healthier hair without any frizz to mess up your ‘do for the day. The spray nozzle also emits a fine mist that penetrates the hair shaft completely without making your hair feel sticky or weighed down. The cherry on top has got to be the added nourishing Bamboo and Green Tea Extracts which combat brittleness so that you never have to worry about breakage and split ends again.

R+Co High Dive Moisture & Shine Créme

For those who love to blow dry or flat iron their fine hair on a daily basis, go for this leave in for its hair-restoring benefits. It contains Vitamin E to prevent damage and Sunflower Seed Extract to protect your hair from environmental aggressors. And to maintain your hair’s natural moisture and shine, Sodium PCA and Provitamin B5 have also been added. This is why reviewers have noticed a huge improvement in their hair texture after daily usage. The product also leaves their hair thoroughly moisturized and soft, even after exposure to heat styling and humidity.

Bumble and Bumble Bb. Curl (Care) Conditioner

Specifically formulated for CG individuals with fine hair, this conditioner can be used in a multitude of ways - wash-out, leave in, or co-wash. Infused with Bumble’s HydraSculpt Blend™, it hydrates and detangles your locks so that styling your curls just got a whole lot easier. Using it as a leave in ensures your curls stay soft and bouncy after blow drying or flat ironing. And if you feel like your scalp needs a cleanser, use this as a co-wash to get rid of the buildup. It saves you precious shelf space as you can cover your entire hair routine with just a single product.

IGK Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave In Conditioner

If you are in serious need of a cure for your dry and damaged hair, go for IGK’s conditioner. This leave in is sure to quench even the thirstiest of hair strands with its super-moisturizing blend of Coconut Milk and Murumuru Butter to give your hair a much-needed nutrient boost. Leveraging on a patented Hyaluronic Acid technology, it protects your hair from frizz-causing humidity and pore-clogging pollutants. Users loved how this conditioner instantly soothes and smoothens their hair to the point that they can run through tangle-free locks effortlessly.

Using the right leave in conditioner will transform your fine strands into their best selves. Most importantly, the right product won’t cause you to emulate Professor Snape’s unwanted greasy locks.

The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Fine Hair

Fine hair can be hard to deal with. Too light a product and the frizz and flyaways will make a comeback. But if the product is too heavy, it can easily leave those delicate strands greasy-looking and limp. Not exactly what you had in mine for conditioning. And the headache doesn’t end there. Even after choosing the right hair products, you still have to make sure you are caring for your hair correctly to prevent it from fully resembling a messy bird’s nest.  

To help you navigate this labyrinth-like maze of fine hair issues, we have pulled together a guide based on advice from hair experts and professional stylists. This will help keep your hair looking healthy and sublime.

The Basics: Fine Hair vs. Thin Hair

First, and foremost, there is a common misunderstanding between fine and thin hair types. Some assume they are one and the same when they are not. Fine and thin hair have distinctive physiological structures which is why both hair types require different types of care and maintenance.

Fine hair types have a small hair diameter which accounts for the fragile strands. Due to the extremely dainty size, you can’t really feel anything when holding a strand of fine hair between your fingertips. Conversely, medium hair strands have more of a substantial touch while coarse hair types feel rough and thick.

Thin hair types are categorized according to hair density. This refers to the number of strands on your scalp. People with thin hair will have lesser strands per square inch while those with thick hair normally have higher hair densities. If you are somewhere in the middle, you are probably of the medium hair type.

As such, it is completely possible for a person to have fine hair that looks thick due to a high hair density but small diameter. Alternatively, the possibility of having coarse but thin hair is not unlikely either. Knowing which hair type you are will save you a lot of trouble by focusing on products that are suitable for you while veering away from the ones that don’t.

How to Care for Fine Hair

Now that we have learned how to recognize fine hair correctly, let’s move on to how you should care for them in the right way too. Like we’ve said earlier, fine hair can be tricky, but with the right products and lifestyle changes, nothing is impossible:

  • Clarifying Shampoo: we all know that fine hair accumulates oils, dirt, and product more often than other hair types. You can blame this on the delicate hair shaft which is smoother and more porous, thereby allowing these substances to cling on far easier. To prevent your hair from looking overly-greasy and lanky, use a clarifying shampoo once a month to cut through all that gunk. But remember, don’t over-use your clarifier as doing so could over-dry your hair and lead to more frizz and dullness.

  • Volumizing Shampoo: if you’ve always lamented about the flatness of your fine strands, switch up to a volumizing shampoo from time to time. A good volumizer will add back volume to your hair so that it looks more airy than usual. Moreover, it does the work of giving your hair that coveted fullness without having to pile on more styling products after your blow dry.

    • Focus Areas for Conditioning: using a conditioning product (be it a regular conditioner, leave in, deep conditioner, or hair mask) is a must, even for fine hair types. But there is a secret to prevent your hair from looking greasy - apply the product from the mid-length of your tresses and down towards the ends where it tends to be drier.
    • Microfiber Towels: instead of using cotton towels to dry your hair, switch to a microfiber towel. Cotton can cause serious friction to the cuticle layer of the hair shaft, which raises the cuticle and leads to frizz. Microfiber fabric is ultra-absorbent when compared to the standard cotton. As such, you only need to wrap the microfiber towel around your hair to dry it without the abrasive rubbing motion.
    • Brushing: if you’ve been guilty of brushing your hair when it’s wet, now is really the time to stop. Combing through damp strands create added friction and is the fastest way to bring back the unwanted frizz and split ends. Also, make sure to use a wide-toothed comb as this can reduce hair breakage and fall-out while simultaneously getting rid of the nasty tangles.

  • Air-dry Over Blowdry: avoid blow drying as much as possible. We all know that the constant exposure to high heat will dry your hair out faster which can lead to a slew of complications like dullness, breakage, and knots.

  • Silk is Your BFF: when sleeping, opt for silk pillowcases to eliminate frizz-causing friction when you toss and turn at night. In addition, you can choose to wrap your hair with a silk scarf to help manage the frizz so that you don’t wake up with a lion’s mane in the morning.

  • Go for Regular Trims: because the ends of fine hair tend to be drier, this also means a greater likelihood of unhealthy split ends. It’s advisable to go for a trim once every two to three months to keep your tresses looking neat and healthy.

Remembering these nifty tricks is sure to benefit your fine hair greatly in the long run. After all, great-looking hair begins with great effort.

Wrap Up

If you’ve been skipping conditioning products because you assumed they will make your hair look greasy and limp, think again. Leave in conditioners work for all hair types, including fine hair. The trick is to find the right formula for your dainty strands. With the correct match, you get to reduce flyaways, eliminate frizz, and enjoy soft, ultra-moisturized hair. And the best part is, you can have all these hair benefits, minus the grease.