Turn Your Rinse-out Conditioner into a Leave-in

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Recipe Card - Leave-in Conditioner

  1. In an empty bottle, add 3 oz. (6 tablespoons) of your favorite moisturizing conditioner. 
    • I used VO5 Moisture Milksan affordable cheapie conditioner that is highly moisturizing.
    • I placed the conditioner in a spray bottle with ounce line measurements that I got at Walmart for only 92 cents in the lawn and garden section! This spray bottle provides easy measuring and even easier application.
  2. Add 9 oz. of warm distilled water (1⅛ cups).
    • Leave-in conditioners are generally diluted conditioners. Please make sure you add at least 3 times more water than conditioner. Otherwise, the leave-in will weigh down your hair.
    • Try to use distilled/bottled water because the minerals in tap water can build up in your hair, making it hard to manage.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of glycerin (a natural humectant) to make an extra moisturizing leave-in.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of vitamin e oil (an antioxidant that helps to extend shelf life). 
    • You can add 1 or 2 teaspoons of castor, olive, or coconut oil for extra nourishment, or to make this mixture double as a daily moisturizer.
    • You can add two teaspoons of MSM powder (about nine 1500mg tablets) or two teaspoons (about six 500mg tablets) of Vitamin C for an extra strengthening hair formula. Just be sure to dissolve the MSM and Vitamin C powder in three to four tablespoons of warm water. The mixture must dissolve fully before it can be incorporated into the rest of the leave-in.
    • You can add 10-15 drops of an essential oil for further hair benefits (i.e., peppermint, tea tree, or rosemary) or for a scent boost.
  6. Shake before each use, and enjoy your new leave-in!

NOTE: This is a general formula. You can play around with the concentration to determine what will best suit your needs, but always remember to listen to your hair.


Filed under Science Lab

14 responses to “Turn Your Rinse-out Conditioner into a Leave-in

  1. Beryl

    Hi! Can I use an anti-dandruff conditioner for this technique?

    • I would not suggest doing that. Most dandruff shampoos contain additives (i.e., zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, etc). These ingredients are considered “mild irritants” and so should only be used in rinse-off products. If you decide to try it anyway, I would only make a small batch that you can test out over the course of a week or two to see if you develop any sensitivities to it. However, I would NOT recommend it. Over the long term, it would likely agitate your scalp, especially if you have a sensitive one like I do! Instead, use a regular conditioner you love and add essential oils like tea tree to combat any bacterial growth (one of the top contributors to dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis) and help balance the moisture levels of your scalp. Hope that helps …

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  6. Jennifer

    hi there. i have a question or two. i have been searching forever for a good leave in conditioner, store bought or otherwise. i have seen the recipes on how to turn conditioner and water in a spray bottle into a leave in for hair, which is good, but basically that is all a regular store bought detangler is. great idea, but i need something more, like a leave in MOUSSE, which is where you come in. if you or anyone else could help, is it possible to say take some conditioner and make a tub to use and re-use for AFTER showering, where you could whip it up into a mousse consistency and just rub into hair and leave it to air dry? sorry if it sounds a bit complicated. i am horrible at DIY stuff for hair lol. but my hair is long, thick, dry and damaged, and a lil wavy, so in addition to deep shower conditioning and a good trim (ok more like i needed five inches off months ago and got lazy lol), i need major TLC to prep for winter. if anyone can help, please email. thanks 🙂

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  8. Love4Hair

    Thank you much. This helps alot, especially the water. I’m unable to find any distilled water. Either the store is out or it cost wayyyyy too much. I’m just praying that I get decent results with the boiled then cooled water. Also praying I find a small bottle of vitamin E in my arsenal…lol. Take care.

  9. Love4Hair


    You have some great info here. Glad I found you. I’ll be trying out this recipe soon but I have a couple of ?s. Instead of using distilled water, could I use boiled then cooled water? And, could I substitute wheatgerm oil for the vitamin E? Thanx for your help.

    • Thanks, hon! Yes, if you don’t have any filtered or distilled water on hand, you could use boiled water that has been cooled.

      However, I would not substitute wheatgerm oil for the vitamin e oil. Just add it instead. The vitamin e oil is an antioxidant that helps to extend the shelf life of the mix, so it’s important to keep it as an ingredient. Hope that helps!

  10. Hi! It’s truly an amazing post. I have got a much clearer idea from this piece of writing. Very good advice. 🙂 Love your blog.

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