When it comes to seeking out the best lightweight conditioners, look for products that are designed for fine or thin hair, or, scan the label for words like “weightless” or “volumizing” — those are indicators that the conditioner won’t make your hair feel heavy or greasy. Steer clear of conditioners that are designed for dry or damaged hair, as those are typically the opposite of lightweight. Even if your hair is on the dry side, the five, lightweight conditioners featured here will still provide plenty of moisture; just feel free to be generous with the product if you are dealing with dryness or damage.
Aside from using lightweight hair products in the shower, there are some other ways you can prevent your hair from feeling weighed-down or oily after conditioning. First, don’t apply your conditioner to your scalp; instead, focus on the ends of your hair. Also, be sure to rinse out your shampoo and conditioner thoroughly to avoid buildup. And, if you still find that your hair often feels heavy or greasy, try using a clarifying shampoo once every week or two to remove every trace of product buildup, which should help give it a volume boost as well as a deep clean.
Scroll on to shop five of the best lightweight conditioners out there; then, consider picking up one of the best shampoos for greasy hair, whether your hair is grease-prone or not. Like these conditioners, they’ll deliver nourishing benefits to your hair without being too moisturizing or rich.
1. The Overall Best Lightweight Conditioner
What’s so special about Pureology Hydrate Sheer Conditioner is that it gently hydrates even dry and damaged hair without weighing it down like so many other, nourishing conditioners tend to do. One of the reasons this is so lightweight is because it’s silicone-free; while there’s nothing wrong with silicones, they can make certain hair types feel weighed down. Like all Pureology products, this is an especially amazing choice for dyed or highlighted hair, since it contains the brand’s patented Antifade Complex to help your color last longer. It’s also free of sulfates and parabens, and is vegan as well.
2. The Best Lightweight Drugstore Conditioner
For an under-$10 pick, reach for this Aveeno Cotton Blend Conditioner. It’s a solid drugstore conditioner that offers lightweight moisture — like it says right on the bottle — so it does its job of conditioning wonderfully without being too rich or heavy. Pick up the shampoo and leave-in mist to complete the set; you can get all three products for less than $30.
3. The Best Lightweight Conditioner For Sensitive Scalps
There’s a reason Free & Clear is often suggested by dermatologists for their clients with sensitive skin, allergies, or conditions like eczema and psoriasis. The entire line, which includes this conditioner, is free of the most common potential irritants found in personal care products, like sulfates, fragrance, parabens, gluten, dyes, and lanolin, to name just a few. This unscented, oil-free formula does a good job at conditioning and detangling hair of all types without causing greasiness, and it rinses out really easily. You can buy the matching shampoo here.
4. The Best Lightweight Conditioner For Thinning Hair
This BosleyMD Volumizing Conditioner aims to promote thicker, fuller-looking hair and may also be able to help prevent and repair breakage. Key ingredients include biotin, which has long been used for its purported hair-boosting benefits (despite limited scientific evidence on the topic), and saw palmetto, another ingredient that’s commonly used in products designed for thinning hair. Whether your hair is thinning or not, this is a generally great choice for anyone who’s looking for an added boost of volume post-shampooing.
5. The Best Lightweight Leave-In Conditioner
Lots of leave-in conditioners can be too heavy for some, so a good tip is to go for a conditioning spray, rather than a lotion or cream, if you’re looking for a leave-in treatment that’s lightweight. Even better: Go with a leave-in conditioning spray that’s marketed for kids and babies, since these products are typically designed to be both extra gentle and simple. This one, from Sun Bum’s kids’ line, Baby Bum, is made with a water and aloe base, and contains coconut oil and glycerin for moisture, plus some delicious, tropical fruit extracts like gardenia and banana. Feel free to spritz it on liberally to wet or dry hair, either immediately post-shower or throughout the day.
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A new-ish launch from L’Oreal, their 8 Second Wonder Water works similarly to a hair mask, but it’s completely weightless, and it works in just eight seconds (hence its name). Fans of the product claim it makes their hair impossibly silky and soft, and since it doesn’t leave behind any sort of residue, it’s an ideal choice for people who hate the feeling of rich, heavy treatments. Use it about once a week if you have fine hair, or more often if your hair is on the thicker or curlier side.