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 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