If you haven’t already noticed, humidity isn’t your hair’s best friend.
Couple that with the vigorous styling techniques you’ve been experimenting with, and the lack of proper haircare (tips here) — it’s little wonder that our hair is damaged in one way or the other. But the simple truth is that it’s much easier to keep your hair in good condition than to repair it once the damage is already done.
For this, we have the tried-and-true MVPs of the haircare world: Leave-in conditioners. A good leave-in conditioner does more than make your distressed tresses look good again. Over time, this underrated hair product also moisturises to prevent further breakage while smoothing frizz and adding shine. Many have detangling properties (so you stop yanking strands out while styling) and some even provide heat protection.
Leave-in conditioners of the past might have garnered a reputation for weighing down hair, but the trick lies in choosing the right one for your hair type. If you have fine hair, avoid those that are creamy in texture and choose fine mists instead. Likewise, those with curly and frizzy hair should pick more richly-formulated options with conditioning oils and butters to combat the humidity.
Whichever end of the texture spectrum you belong to, just remember that a little goes a long way. Here are our favourite leave-in conditioners that will satisfy even the thirstiest of strands.
This luxe reinvention of leave-in conditioner promises to not only calm frizz, but also lend shine and supernatural softness, especially for medium-to-thick and extra-long hair. The fancy cream also doubles as a heat protectant if you’re looking to attempt a salon-worthy blowout at home and sleekens split ends while you’re at it, lending extra finesse and tameability to even the most humidity-wrecked hair. Work a small amount into damp or wet hair from mid-shaft to ends before drying your hair.
(Available at online and at select salons in Singapore)
Creamy leave-in conditioners have a reputation for weighing down fine hair so for that, there’s Sachajuan’s spray version. The extremely lightweight and oil-free formula from the cult Stockholm-based salon is packed with Ocean Silk Technology to deliver moisture, shine and body, and detangling benefits — all as a fine mist. Spray on washed and towel-dried hair for best effects.
Formulated with strand-strengthening coconut milk and infused with ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid (the darling of the skincare world), IGK’s cheekily-named leave-in conditioner softens hair and controls frizz for up to 24 hours. It also contains murumuru butter, which goes to town on fragile, over-worked hair with its vitamins and minerals. Besides, we can’t stress enough how its divine fragrance immediately transports you to any exotic beach destination of your choice.
A godsend for those looking to fight the humidity without any added build-up — especially for those with fine hair — this lightweight detangling mist is formulated with the brand’s revolutionary Alpha Keratin 60ku® protein, a complete, human keratin protein that binds directly and repairs damaged areas effectively. Its blend of amino acids and Benzophenone-4 also nourishes the hair while protecting it against damage from UV light.
Specifically formulated for unruly, frizzy hair, this multifunctional product incorporates the same ingredients from its best-selling Moroccanoil products to fight frizz, facilitate easier styling and impart shine. Best applied before a blow-dry, the conditioner keeps hair luxuriously smooth even in the humidity with its blend of argan oil, argan butter, vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Expect medium hold and definition if you style your hair with this.
Named after the code name for the formula’s winning test sample during development, Formula 133 is a thin, free-flowing conditioner that detangles and moisturises to leave hair soft and manageable, but not greasy. There’s a reason why it’s been a bathroom shelf favourite for over 40 years; hydrolyzed soy protein and phyto peptides lend smoothing and conditioning benefits to hair in need of extra TLC. While usually used as a traditional conditioner, Formula 133 can also be applied again after rinsing as a leave-in conditioner and grooming aid if needed.
With a genuine, unpaid endorsement by Kim Kardashian in its resume, Olaplex continues its reign as one of the best haircare products out there with its namesake ingredient Olaplex, its proprietary Bond Building Technology that’s designed to repair and protect even the most damaged and over-processed hair. The leave-in conditioner doubles as a styling cream before your DIY blowout or curling adventure too, promising smooth, shiny hair by the end of it.