The 6 Best Conditioners We’ve Ever Tried

And we try a lot.

By: Katie Becker

Between conditioner and shampoo, conditioner might come with the most emotional baggage. It’s the first step in styling, it’s responsible for helping repair hair damage from color and styling, and, for women with fine hair, they’ll often skip it entirely out of fear it will weigh down their potential volume. But the right conditioner can solve a lot of problems: define curls, smooth frizz, seal split ends, and, for those who want volume, actually fill strands to make them thicker. It’s just a matter of finding the right one. Here, Coveteur editors—who test enough conditioners to be know-it-alls (see below)—share their top picks.

Living Proof Restore Conditioner

“I have a ton of long, curly, bleached hair. In other words, my hair is so dry that when I sit in any hairdresser’s chair, the first thing they always ask me is: ‘When did you last do a hair mask, young lady?’ But instead of caking my head in a mask every time I wash (I leave that for weekly), I’m using this Living Proof conditioner, which is made with high-tech molecules developed by MIT scientists. It’s been proven to make hair more moisturized and 20x stronger. And if the last month is any testament, not a single hairdresser has nagged me.” —Katie Becker

Virtue Recovery Conditioner

“My hair and I have a pretty decent relationship—I’m blessed that it’s still super healthy after I dyed it blonde time and time again for a good six years straight. Now that I’m over the whole dying process (who knew I would love my natural color so much?), I’m putting all of my energy into making sure it stays super shiny and healthy, which can sometimes be tough when my dry scalp comes out to play. This Virtue conditioner promises to ‘restore softness, shine, and manageability,’ and let me tell you, it does just that and then some. My hair feels so lightweight (no easy feat for someone with insanely thick hair) and even healthier than before.” —Jodi Taylor

Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Conditioner

“I baby my blonde hair with a yet-to-be-released 99% organic conditioner, and mask at least once a week to maintain my highlights, but I have a soft spot for this drugstore staple. I’ve loved this line since high school, and it makes my naturally wavy hair hold its shape for at least three days after a wash—essential for my fragile texture. The smell is such a throwback to those legendary ’00s commercials, I can never let it go.” —Hannah Baxter

Deva Curl Ultra Creamy One Conditioner

“I have very curly hair that can get dry and frizzy pretty quickly if I am not diligent with moisturizing it. So every time I do wet my hair, which is almost daily, because I generally try to do something that makes me sweaty most mornings, I must use a conditioner. And this is my go-to because it moisturizes without weighing down my curls, and usually shortens my in-shower detangling time by almost half (which is no small feat and, to me, worth its weight in gold!). Even if I am trying out other conditioners, this one is always close at hand.” —Caryn Prime

Tela Beauty Organics Curly Conditioner

“I, too, have very curly, very dry hair. I’ve also been on a mission to green my beauty routine lately, and this stuff is incredible. Really, seriously, it’s the best. My hair is highlighted and really fluffy, but this stuff just has the most fabulous, velvety texture, and always makes my hair feel soft and super shiny. I’ll stray and test out random formulas, but I always come back to this one. In addition to being pretty clean, it really works.” —Laurel Pantin

Christophe Robin Moisturizing Hair Oil with Lavender

“I recently decided to lighten my hair, and it became frighteningly brittle and dry. While I sometimes sleep with Christophe Robin’s Lavender Hair Oil, it’s also just as effective when used post-shampoo in the shower and left on for a few minutes. It’s honestly hair salvation.” —Stephanie Mark

×