So if you’re going to the beach, you need a leave-in conditioner. No debate there, right? After all, you have to protect your hair from all the drying, damaging effects of sand, sun, and salt water.

But, for some of us, this is where the trouble starts. Especially for those of us, who don’t usually use leave-in conditioner. Which is the best leave-in conditioner for the beach? How should I pick it? Does my hair type matter?

Don’t worry, you’ll learn everything here!

Related: How to do hair care on a beach vacation

Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

No time to read through all of this? This one* is the best all-rounder, eco-conscious leave-in conditioner for your beach vacation and any hair type!

What to look for in a leave-in conditioner for beach vacation?

First of all, we need to talk about the criteria for your leave-in conditioner.

A tad richer than “normal”

When it comes to protecting your hair from salt water and the other coastal elements, you want to pick a product that’s slightly “heavier” than your normal ones. After all, the stresses on your tresses are a little stronger, too!

Most leave-in conditioners for frizzy and/or curly hair focus on moisture – and you should too! Go for something moisturising. Yes, even if you have thin hair!

Neutral smelling

The point of a leave-in conditioner is, no surprise here, to “leave it in” your hair. This means, that whatever scent the product carries, you’ll walk around with it constantly.

For that reason, I really really recommend going for a rather neutral smelling product. Even the nicest scent can get old after a few days. And, it might really irritate your travel companions…

Environmentally friendly

We all know to take our trash with us when we leave the beach. But, what we’ve only become aware of in recent years is that we leave traces of our cosmetic products there, too!

Obviously, no one wants to accidentally damage the coral reefs with their sun screen… or their hair care products. So when picking the best leave in conditioner for salt water, the ingredients really matter!

Unfortunately, it’s not as common (yet!) to see hair care products labeled as “coral safe” as it is for sunscreen. But I have found some amazing examples for you!

Related: Zinc sunscreen: The good, the bad, and the recommendation

So which one is the best leave-in conditioner for the beach?

So now you know that your leave-in conditioner should help protect your hair from damage while you’re enjoying your outing at the seaside. And, at the same time it should be protecting the ocean from unnecessary pollution.

And, boy, do I have the perfect find for you!

Reef safe, biodegradable, and awesome for your hair!

This leave-in conditioner by Stream2Sea is the OG of reef safe products. In fact, I challenge you to find a product that is as thoroughly tested as this one.

The founder is a passionate scuba diver and chemist, who really put her knowledge to work to combine personal care with environmentally safe ingredients.

One amazing part of the product line is this conditioner. And if it works for scuba divers, you can be sure it works for your average beach trip. Diving puts even more stress on your hair than just plain splashing.

If it detangles scuba-hair, it will detangle yours!

And while it is not a curly girl-approved conditioner, strictly speaking, it will definitely also work for curly hair. Especially if your struggling with a frizzy mane at the beach, try this one out!

Lastly, the product is only lightly scented, so you won’t have to worry about being offended by strong perfumes.

Don’t you just love supporting small, women-owned businesses while also getting a really great product?

You can get the leave-in conditioner here!*

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"The best leave-in conditioner for the beach" written over an image of a woman at the beach

*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.