Best Hair Conditioners Reviewed, Compared & Rated
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When it comes to washing and keeping your hair in clean and perfect condition, there can admittedly be a lot of steps taken in order to achieve that goal. Especially if you have a lot of hair, then you are probably likely to invest in hair products that will help you contain that huge head of dead skin follicles, all the while stylizing it to look good, or at least representable. With all of the huge amounts of hair products out there on the market, it can be a challenging process in deciding just which hair products are the ideal ones to get.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Amino Acids
From shampoo to hair gel to everything in between, there are many products to decide from to have healthy, beautiful hair. That said, hair conditioners are no exception, especially when it comes to that smooth, glossy glow at the end of your showers. Again, there are a ton of different brands of hair conditioners to consider—some good, some less than ideal. It is a matter of being savvy and choosing the best hair conditioner for your particular type of hair.
Hence, the purpose of this article is to give you an extensive guide to choosing the best hair conditioners out there. We will break it down for you through several sections, from your frequently-asked questions to the criteria for choosing a good one for you. We will also feature our top-10 picks for hair conditioners that are currently on the market, so that you have a good idea of what to expect once you decide to go for it. In the end, we guarantee that you will pick the best one for you, and that will yield some of the healthiest and shiniest hair for you! With all that said and done, let’s get started.
10 Best Hair Conditioners
1. Nexxus Humectress
Nexxus’ Humectress moisture conditioner is ideal for people with relatively moist to dry hair, so as to enhance smoothness in the hair itself. The deep hydrating process works to add moisture to the hair, and last up to 24 hours. Some people with already moist hair might have problems with dried-out hair, but otherwise, it is worth the splurge.
Price Range: $$
Has deep hydrating properties
Contains caviar and protein complex for up to 24 hours
Maintains natural hair movement
Can dry out your hair
Depending on your type of hair, Silk 18’s hair conditioner might work well for thinner hair rather than thicker ones. However, it certainly does a good job of containing frizzy hair and static fly aways, so that you can be ensured to have smooth, shiny-looking hair.
Price Range: $$
Has many amino acids to repair dry and damaged hair
Consists of no artificial fragrances
Might leave the hair dry and brittle
3. Hairgenics Pronexa
For those with thinning hair, you might want to consider Pronexa’s hair loss therapy conditioner. For some, it can be a hit or a miss, but generally speaking, it does a good job of being organic and sulfate-free for environmental purposes, along with containing Biotin for elasticity and strength, should you end up retaining your hair follicles. In the end, it does not hurt at all to try out, and you just might yield some good results.
Price Range: $$
Is organic and sulfate-free
Prevents hair loss
Contains Biotin for elasticity and strength
Does not guarantee hair growth
TRESemmé’s hair conditioner is excellent for thick hair that tangles easily, along with the fact that it can help with frizzy hair and flyaways. It is a reputable brand that many users seek after, and it offers that lustrous, professional glow that will make you photo ready for the next photo shoot, whenever it takes place. Some users might find that it makes the hair too greasy, but it really depends on whether one’s hair is naturally moisturized to begin with. Overall, it is not a bad item to have on hand.
Price Range: $
Detangles knots and tangles in the hair
Tames frizzy hair and flyaways
Offers a professional glow
Can make the hair overly greasy
If you are willing to accept, even appreciate, the smell of argan oil, then the rest should be beneficial to you. OGX’s hair conditioner is perfect for offering that smooth, shiny afterglow after a nice, hot shower, all the while adding nutrients to the mix. It provides protection, too, able to withstand high heat and UV damage for a solid, long-lasting beauty appearance.
Price Range: $
Smooths out frizz and flyaways
Rejuvenates the hair with nutrients
Protects the hair from high heat and UV damage
Scent might be too cloying for some users
6. L'Oréal Paris Hair Expert
L’Oréal’s oil-based hair conditioner is ideal for hair that is naturally dry and limp, as it does a good job of lifting it up through volume, all within a single wash. It is lightweight, so you will not feel weighed down in the process. Some might find the fragrance overwhelming, but if you like strong scents, then l’Oréal’s hair conditioner will be the best for you.
Price Range: $
Eliminates dry, limp hair within a single wash
Deep-nourishes the hair for long-term moisture retention
Fragrance can be overwhelming for some users
7. Pantene Smooth and Sleek
Pantene is known for its frizz control, and this particular bottle is no exception. Even further, it rejuvenates your hair to offer that gorgeous and sleek look afterwards. For some people, it might offer too much volume, even those with thick hair who do not need the extra waviness or puffiness once the hair dries. Otherwise, it is worth the purchase.
Price Range: $
Controls frizz for up to 24 hours
Revitalizes your hair after showering
Offers a smooth and sleek afterglow
Can make the hair puffy and wavy
8. Pantene Pro-V
This other product from Pantene consists of nutrients and antioxidants that are essentially like food for the hair, giving it a healthy shine to it in the process. Its micro-moisturizers are distinctive for moisturizing and offering softness to the overall head of hair. Granted, it might make the scalp dry and itchy if not rinsed thoroughly, but otherwise, this hair conditioner from Pantene should do the trick for any type of hairstyle out there.
Price Range: $
Fuels hair with a blend of Pro-V nutrients and antioxidants
Contains micro-moisturizers for softness and protection
Nourishes the hair for long-term healthiness
Can make the scalp dry and itchy
9. Herbal Essences
Herbal Essences’ moisturizing hair conditioner is famous for its amazing smell, which many people will be attracted to. Utility-wise, it does an excellent job of hydrating and replenishing dry hair, all the while making it manageable to comb through without any sort of knots and tangles that you might otherwise be accustomed to. Some people might find that Herbal Essence’s conditioner leaves the hair feeling greasy and heavy afterwards, but it will depend on the hair type at hand.
Price Range: $
Offers a blended scent of Hawaiian coconut and orchid for a delicious smell
Hydrates and replenishes dry hair for a manageable, silky, and smooth glow
Provides rich hydration
Can make the hair feel heavy afterwards
10. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle
Aussie prides itself on making silky-smooth and voluminous hair a reality. It is ideal for dry hair, although it might not do the best job on improving the volume of thin hair, should that be the case for some users.
Price Range: $
Offers three times the amount of moisture compared with other brands
Repairs dry hair easily
Revives dry hair within three minutes a
Thin hair might not work so well
Criteria for Evaluation
Before you go ahead and grab the first hair conditioner that you see in the hair product aisle of your local store, it is necessary to take a step back and consider just a few ideas when it comes to finding the right hair conditioner for you. Granted, there are a lot of things to think about before selecting the best one, and really, it can be quite daunting.
However, we will break down the categories to consider when it comes to criteria evaluation for hair conditioners. Here are just a few to look into the next time you go about searching for the right hair conditioner for you. The same criteria was applied by our team when looking for products to include in our top 10 list!
1. Types of hair conditioner
Now, this is an overwhelmingly broad category to consider, as it will depend on just what kind of hair conditioner you will need for your hair. In total, there are at least eleven different types of hair conditioner, which we will list down below:
a. Pre-shampoo conditioner. This particular type of hair conditioner is best used for hair types which are incredibly damaged, tangles easily, or susceptible to damage. More specifically, pre-shampoo conditioners are best used for hair that is naturally curly or kinky, or subjected to a lot of chemical treatments (e.g. perms, dyeing).
b. Moisture-enriching formulas. For repair split ends or dried-out hair, conditioners with moisture-enriching properties are ideal for doing so. Perhaps they contain a lot of oils and softening elements, but in either case they are useful to ensure smoother, silkier hair.
c. Instant conditioners. This specific conditioner is also known as rinse-out conditioners or finishing rinses; in either case, it refers to the conditioners that you apply after, literally, rinsing out all of the shampoo from your hair. It is the final step to make sure that helps to soften and detangle hair. It works best on limp, untreated hair.
d. Deep conditioning. Especially if your hair has been highly damaged, the deep conditioning product can work to repair some of the damage, if not all of it. It can last anywhere from two minutes to an hour, depending on the type of hair you have. Better yet, it offers intense treatment, so that hopefully, you can get smooth, healthy hair again.
e. Leave-in conditioners. As the name suggests, leave-in conditioners are ones that you apply and retain in your hair until the next washing. While it is being left in the hair, it helps to detangle knots and snags, all the while keeping moisture inside and otherwise softening the hair. Some leave-in conditioners even have sun protection in them, to prevent the hair from getting damaged from the sun’s rays.
f. Reconstructors. Very similarly, reconstructors are like leave-in conditioners in that they retain moisture in the hair while kept in until the next hair wash. They also do an excellent job of reforming the hair after it has been damaged by smoothing out and otherwise eliminating any frizzy or damaged hair to the mix.
g. Acid rinses. Consisting of mildly acidic ingredients such as citrus juice and vinegar, acid rinses are used to improve smoothness in the hair, as well as add a lustrous shine to make it aesthetically-pleasing for your hair.
h. Conditioning detanglers. As the name implies, conditioning detanglers are meant to sift through the knots and tangles of the hair, especially if you have thick, wild hair. It protects the hair from light and heat damage, and just like with leave-in conditioner, conditioning detanglers are also left in the hair until it is washed out the next cleaning session.
i. Mousse. This particular item is best for light to medium hair thickness, helping to seal in moisture despite any possible blow drying, curling iron, or high-heat application to the hair.
j. Sculpting sprays. Similar to mousse, sculpting sprays work to protect the hair from high heat by sealing in the moisture, thereby preventing the hair from drying out. In addition, they can be left in to protect the hair from possible sun damage when exposed outside.
k. In-between shampoo conditioners. This refers to other conditioner-based products, such as oils, moisturizers, and butters which are applied afterwards to the hair. Besides giving a smooth shine to the hair, they also help dried or damaged hair become rejuvenated again. On the other hand, if your hair is prone to greasiness, then this product might not be for you.
2. Hair type
As previously mentioned in the section above, hair type is an extremely important aspect to choosing just which kind of hair conditioner you will need. For instance, if your hair is naturally very fine, then using a conditioner with volume properties is the way to go—that is, if you are aiming for some height and depth to your otherwise limp hair.
On the other hand, if your hair is thick, curly, or kinky, then hair conditioners with smoothing properties are the best to consider for the job. Having some oil-based conditioners are great for keeping it moisturized so that it does not get too frizzed out.
3. Chemical treatments or not
This point will depend on whether you are prone to dyeing your hair or getting a perm often, all of which requires chemical treatment. That said, if you do any of these certain activities, then a special kind of hair conditioner should be considered to use. This is to make sure that the chemicals from the hair dye or perm do not mix with the conditioner’s chemicals and cause a reaction to occur, which might otherwise make your hair turn out strange or funky—and not in an ideal manner.
Now, one of the two important aspects to consider when narrowing down choices for hair conditioner products is to look at the reviews online. More specifically, 5-star ratings are the first thing to look at; usually, a good-quality hair conditioner is at least a 3.5 star or above, and the more reviews there are, the more legitimate the product is.
5. Product reviews
On the other hand, it is not just a matter of looking at the star ratings for the products, but also the user reviews as well. In fact, they offer more qualitative insight into the products themselves, so as to point out any advantages or disadvantages to each product in detail, so you can ensure that you are spending good money on a well-invested hair conditioner.
Hair Conditioner Benefits
Although we already did mention a few of the benefits in the previous sections above, we have yet to go into detail about just what makes hair conditioner so valuable to the hair. That is why we list just a few of the advantages of using hair conditioner down below:
1. Softens the hair.
Aside from the fact that soft hair feels good to the touch, there is a reason as to why soft hair is ideal for the body. In essence, using hair conditioner to soften the hair prepares for it to be treated more easily, i.e. make it easier for it to get clean.
Having dry, coarse hair is actually difficult to clean, since the lack of moisture makes it difficult to retain moisture in the hair. That said, softer hair means better hair!
2. Detangles the hair.
You probably know just how frustrating it can be to untangle the knots and snags from your hair, especially if you have wild locks that are difficult to tame. That said, hair conditioner can be a huge lifesaver for your hair, as its oily, lubricant properties help to smooth out the strands one-by-one, so that eventually, you can ensure a tangle-free head of hair. Instead of taking minutes to brush through your hair, all you need are seconds!
3. Strengthens the hair.
What makes hair conditioner distinctive from shampoo is its acidifiers, a common ingredient found in the product itself. The acidifiers are, of course, acidic with a pH of 3.5, thereby using hydrogen bonds to solidify keratin molecules within the hair follicle strands. Especially if your hair is prone to brittleness, using hair conditioner helps to strengthen the hair to prevent it from breaking easily and to maintain its strengthen over the course of time.
4. Keeps the hair healthy.
Generic as this sounds, hair conditioner has a ton of ingredients (e.g. acidifiers, surfactants, moisturizers) which all work together to keep the hair healthy. Overall, it comes down to making the hair follicles strong and sturdy, even against the worst of weather conditions. It also makes the hair smooth and impervious to knots and tangles, which can otherwise create that infamous “bad hair day:” certainly, no one wants that!
5. Refreshes the hair.
This is similar to the idea of the hair being dry and brittle: by incorporating hair conditioner into your shower routine, it offers moisture into the mix, thereby refreshing and otherwise rejuvenating your hair. It offers the simulation of sebum production, which is a naturally-occurring oil in the body, particularly in the hair follicles, and it can help turn otherwise dry, weak hair into a moisturized, full, and luscious locks that you will be proud to call your own.
6. Repairs the hair.
Once more, this is a matter of reviving your hair back to life, especially if it has been significantly damaged due to a plethora of reasons, e.g. straight-ironing, curlers, bleaching or dyeing the hair too often, etc. While it cannot solve all problems, hair conditioner nevertheless can repair your hair to some certain extent and, in a way, restore your hair to its original condition, even if it is not perfect.
7. It soothes the hair.
Subjective as this sounds, hair conditioner nevertheless does feel good when you apply it to your hair while taking a shower. Especially after a few days of dirt and grime inside of the hair, it is such a huge relief to finally rinse all of that from your system, thereby leaving you with squeaky-clean hair that you are happy to call your own.
8. Offers an aesthetic glow.
In the end, it all comes down to the aesthetics of your hair. Especially in today’s day and age of appearances and looking good, having hair conditioner on hand to support your hair’s health and glow will certainly make a huge difference not only to your looks, but also your confidence. This is due to the fact that hair conditioner makes your hair smoother, less-tangled, moisturized, and overall fit and healthy. Soon enough, you will be ready to show off those gorgeous locks to your family, friends, and peers, all the while be proud of doing so!
With so much information out there about different hair products and ideas of how to use them, it can be guaranteed to cause a lot of confusion and doubt when it comes to choosing the right one for you. However, there is no need to fret: we will be answering some of your most frequently-asked questions (FAQs) concerning hair conditioners and all that you need to know about them.
Without further ado, here they are:
What do hair conditioners do for my hair?
Although the obvious answer is that hair conditioner gets rid of any dirt and debris in your hair, thereby making it clean, there is actually so much more to hair conditioner that it is necessary to explain the subtleties behind its various functions.
To start, one of its most useful functions is said so right in the name: hair conditioner. By applying the product to your hair, you are conditioning your hair to become smooth and shiny again. This is achieved by the hair conditioner interacting with the dead skin cells throughout the hair follicles, glossing over them in order to get that lovely, healthy glow again.
By doing so, your hair not only looks good, but also it maintains its healthiness by preventing dry hair or split ends from occurring, all of which can be quite irritating to people who usually have difficult hair to manage. Your hair might even get stronger, for the conditioner creates a sort of shield around each hair follicle, thereby forming a barrier that can be unbreakable for future wear and tear.
How much should I put in my hair?
There is no exact answer to this question, as it will really depend on your type of hair. First things first, it is necessary to consider just what your hair type is: essentially, it comes down to whether or not your hair tends to dry out or be extremely greasy.
As a rule of thumb, it is best to apply more conditioner to dried-out hair to make up for the lack of moisture, while on the other hand it is better to tone down the amount for greasy hair, so that it will not get overly oily. A good amount to start out with is about a quarter size on your palm, and then you can either add or keep at that quantity.
How many times should I use hair conditioner in a week?
Once again, there is no exact amount of times that we recommend you to do on a weekly basis—as we had answered in the previous question, it will depend on your type of hair, whether or not it is dry or greasy and whether or not you need less or more of the hair conditioner, respectively.
Generally speaking, it is recommended to use hair conditioner a couple of times per week, although there is no problem at all in using it every day, should you need it (and especially if you tend to dirty your hair often). Overall, it is ideal to condition less if you have greasy hair (perhaps no more than three times per week) and more so if your hair dries out easily (at least four to five times a week). In the end, it will be up to your discretion.
What ingredients should I look for in hair conditioner?
With the variety of different hair conditioners out there on the market, no two kinds are the same, let alone have the exact same ingredients. However, many hair conditioners share at least a few common ingredients, so it is a good idea to take into consideration the following ones when searching for your next hair conditioner:
1. Moisturizers. First off, a good hair conditioner needs to have moisturizing properties, often found in chemical humectants, which essentially “humidify” the hair. Especially if you are prone to dry hair, adding some moisture can reenergize the hair follicles.
2. Acidifiers. Hair conditioner is normally acidic, at around a pH level of 3.5. Having an acidic product is beneficial when it comes to solidifying hydrogen bonds between keratin molecules, thereby creating stronger, unbreakable hair follicles. Even more importantly, acidifiers also come with detanglers, as means of smoothing out your hair and otherwise preventing knots, as well as glossers, which add that lovely shine to your hair afterward.
3. Oils. Naturally, the hair produces an oil known as sebum, which is used to keep the hair from drying out. However, if your body does not create enough of it, then it is prone to drying out. Hence, having oils in hair conditioners work to simulate the natural process of sebum, so that it can rejuvenate your hair once more.
4. Lubricants. Similar to oils, lubricants work to make the hair soft and supple, all the while making it smooth and manageable to comb through, especially after a nice, hot shower.
5. Surfactants. Just like with soap, surfactants are a type of ingredient also found in hair conditioner which work to clean your hair. Rather than washing away like shampoo after a shower, hair conditioner actually partly stays in place, due to the surfactants’ hydrophobic ends binding to keratin to form a new coating on the hair follicles. Again, this action makes the hair stronger and healthier.
When should I apply hair conditioner during the shower?
Hair conditioner can be used after using the shampoo, once the shampoo has gotten rid of most of the dirt from the hair: all you have to do now is solidify the keratin for that extra-strong coating in the hair.
On the other hand, many people choose to use hair conditioner on its own, without any sort of shampoo. While it might not be as effective in getting rid of debris as shampoo can, hair conditioner is nevertheless at least decently efficient in making the hair strong, shiny, and overall healthy.
Overall, there is much to be learned about hair conditioners and how to use them. By investing the time and effort into finding the best one in terms of moisturizing, detangling, and so forth, you can ensure a lovely head of hair in the long term.