A curly hair man’s best ally. Tecnically, leave in conditioners are nothing more than watered down versions of conventional conditioners (more or less). In an attempt to stick to the “no bullcrap” principle of our website in the name of all curly men (and to keep things simple), I will go through how leave-in conditioners are tools that every busy curly dude should have in his arsenal. It must be noted, however, that leave-in conditioners are only part of the equation of having great curls and they act to complement a solid curly hair grooming routine.
If you want to learn how to have some kickass curls like those of Timberlake, then you are in the right place!
Leave-in conditioners – How they work
Leave-ins, as they are also known as, allow the user to benefit from healthy-looking and bouncy curls. They are applied once you have shampooed and while the hair is being styled and damp (not soaking wet). Contrary to conventional hair conditioners, they are designed to be left on the hair and not rinsed, hence the practical benefit it offers as it cuts down grooming time. A good leave-in conditioner provides moisturising and sealing properties as well as good slip via lubricating the hair shafts. Unlike as claimed for some hair creams or gels, which are also used to style the hair, it is important to apply a leave-in when the hair is damp so as to maximise moisturizing results. I personally prefer the leave-in option as opposed to conventional gels for daily use as I prefer the bouncy look that leave-in conditioners offer. Similarly, leave-ins provide a day-long lubricating coverage which is magic for people like me whose hair has a tendency to tangle easily. The only drawback is that they do not offer as much of a conditioning bang as conventional conditioners but this would only be a problem if the user needs more moisturising than the one achieved by the leave-in (or if you don’t use conventional conditioners).
Leave-in hair conditioners are very useful for curly men
Leave-in conditioners – What to look for
Now, we know that conventional conditioners can have a wide array of ingredients that are catered for specific conditions. In the case of leave-ins, the purpose is to provide a styling product that provides hair with vigour and can be used daily. Moreover, leave-ins should satisfy the three aforementioned purposes: moisturising, sealing and lubricating. In essence, these purposes refer to the following:
Moisturising: this is the act of attracting moisture to the hair shaft. Moisturising is achieved via a blend of water and ingredients known as humectants. Their primary function is to attract moisture from the environment and hydrate the hair shaft. Moisturising is what counteracts dry hair, a commonality in curly hair, so it is imperative to have moisturised hair everyday. Names of humectants you should be looking for in the ingredient list of your leave-in include (but are not limited to): glycerol, propylene glycol, sodium lactate or glyceril stearate. I would recommend you stick to at least one of these humectants although most leave-ins these days contain their own blends which work to one extent or the other.
Sealing: moisture achieved by the humectant can only be retained for a short period of time without any aid (think of when hair dries on its own after taking a shower). Sealants are mainly composed of oils and act to emulate the waxy material that is naturally produced by the sebaceous glands in the scalp. They coat the hair and retain the moisture in the shaft, yielding a shiny and full-looking appearance. Oils you should be looking for in the product include those from coconut, olive and jojoba. Alternatively shea butter is a valid option. Most leave-ins these days carry a type of oil or butter, coconut being a popular one.
Lubricating: this is what is known informally as the “slip”. It means how well your fingers or comb (wide tooth, remember!) run down your hair. The lubricating ingredient allows for bounce and helps avoid the dreaded matting effect. Ingredients which should be in the list include several fatty alcohols, cetearyl alcohol being a popular one, as well as silicones (any ingredient in the label ending in -one) and panthenol (pro-vitamin B5).
When it comes to interpreting the ingredient label, do not sweat it. Most leave-in conditioners are designed with all this in mind although spotting these ingredients on the label will certainly ascertain a good product.
Which leave-in conditioner for men to buy?
If you have curly hair from loose waves to afro-textured hair, you certainly will benefit from a leave-in conditioner. Grab the following conditioners if:
- If your hair looks more wavy (i.e. wave-like shapes), then grab this leave in conditioner on Amazon!
- If your hair is more of ringlet-like looking (i.e. coils) and you can tell the coils from a distance, then grab this leave in conditioner on Amazon!
- You have afro-textured hair (aka Type V curls, kinky hair or African hair), then grab this leave-in conditioner on Amazon!
- If you have no idea what your curl type or hair texture is, then grab this leave-in conditioner on Amazon!
– Leave-in conditioners are a great daily use option for curly hair men
– Leave-ins provide conditioning without taking too of your much morning time
– Leave-ins should moisturise, seal the moisture and lubricate which yields great curls
All the best,