And we try a lot.
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.
“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