Of all the beauty essentials out there, your hair conditioner is one of the most subjective. Fine, thick, textured and oily hair all need entirely different treatment, so your best friend’s holy-grail bottle almost certainly won’t turn out to be the love of your life.
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Today’s best hair conditioners are packed with clever ingredients that do so much more than help you get a comb through the tangles with minimal stress. Feather-light hydrators are ready to smooth flyways without weighing down fine hair, whilst argan oil has been usurped by a host of deep-hydrating Amazonian oils. Advanced antioxidants can shield your hair from city smog, and all-natural extracts will nourish parched ends in an instant.
Naturally, in the quest to find our own perfect hair-conditioner matches, we’ve tried a serious number of bottles. Below, discover the ones we won’t be parting with any time soon.
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Best for coloured hair
Serie Expert Vitamino Colour Conditioner
Loréal is, of course, a go-to for salon-standard conditioners without the insane price tags. This brilliant conditioner contains resveratrol (last seen in your fave face serum), which may help shield your strands from dulling pollution particles in the air. We definitely noticed our balayage looking brighter for longer.
Best for fine hair
Weightless Wonder Conditioner
Fine hair can be frizzy too, but many conditioners only cater for one of the two. Enter John Frieda’s ultra-lightweight new launch, which is specifically designed to stop flyaways and fluffiness without making your slender strands feel flat and overloaded. The aloe water inside means it’ll be a cooling treat after a long day, too.
Best for brittle hair
Tough Cookie Strengthening Shampoo
The natural extracts in Noughty’s new launch might sound like potential A-list baby names, but they’re actually strand-fortifying powerhouses. Bilberry, sea buckthorn and cloudberry all work together to look after your scalp and shield strands from ‘urban aggressors’ (translation: smoggy pollution). It’s satisfyingly thick, and you’ll really feel the benefits after the first use. We’re sold.
Best for bleached hair
Clean Blonde Damage Rewind Conditioner
An especially hard-working formula, Fudge’s Clean Blonde purple conditioner will tone your colour while simultaneously re-building those worn-out bonds, leaving you with hair that looks brighter and feels stronger. Leave it on for ten minutes, so the violet pigments can get to work on neutralising any brassy areas.
Best for textured hair
Manketti Oil Conditioner
Whether you’ve been wearing your natural texture for years or are slowly reverting back to your curls, it’s likely your lengths demand more moisture than your average conditioner can deliver.
Formulated by award-winning hairdresser Charlotte Mensah, (who knows everything there is to know about styling natural hair), this decadent formula is one of the richest options out there, thanks to the African manketti nut oil inside. Team it with the line’s matching shampoo and styling oil for your most hydrated hair ever.
Best for frizzy hair
No Frizz Conditioner
Many frizz-fighting conditioners rely on heavy silicones to physically coat the hair, making it look smoother and shinier – until you next wash your hair, that is. Taking a different tack, Living Proof’s protein-packed No Frizz conditioner works by blocking humidity from penetrating each strand, leading to smoother hair that actually gets healthier the more you use it. (Oh, and the citrussy scent is dreamy, too.)
Best for curly hair
Moroccanoil Curl Cleansing Conditioner
Curly hair is perhaps the most demanding of all the textures, but this clever co-wash makes it easy to get kinks and coils looking their natural best.
By using just this one product, you side-step the moisture-sapping issues that so many shampoos come with. The lightweight, creamy texture will cleanse impurities from your scalp without pulling all the bounce out of your curls.
Best for breaking hair
No 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner
If you’re no stranger to the peroxide, you’re likely already familiar with Olaplex, aka the ultimate antidote to bleach-induced breakage. In what is quite possibly the best news of this entire year (for your hair, at least), the brains behind this iconic treatment have launched an at-home conditioner, so you can strengthen those poor broken strands every time wash day rolls around. Trust us – this is one you really need to try.
Best for thick hair
All of Davines’s cult conditioners are brilliant, but this iconic tub is undoubtedly the best for anyone with thicker-than-average hair. It’s formulated with Amazonian roucou oil, derived from the fruit of the ‘lipstick’ tree, which neutralises free radicals and keeps your colour bright – all while delivering the deepest hydration in the land.
Make it your regular go-to, switching in the even thicker OI Hair Butter as a weekly deep treat.
Best for greasy hair
Christophe Robin Volumising Conditioner
It’s tempting to over-wash greasy hair to prolong that super-clean scalp feeling, but doing so will actually only make your roots greasier in the long run. Christophe Robin’s gentle conditioner uses rose extracts to hydrate your strands (and make them smell incredible) without overloading oil-prone roots.
Best for travelling
The Guardian Conditioner Bar
Solid beauty products are the obvious choice for anyone wanting to cut down on their plastic waste, but that’s not the only reason you need to give Ethique’s paper-wrapped conditioner a try – it’s also one of the most brilliant hair hydrators around.
This solid, citrus-scented bar is infused with lime oil for a seriously deep moisture boost. Take it with you on your next holiday, then give one a permanent spot on your bathroom shelf at home.
Best for polluted cities
This new lavender-scented launch is great for hair that never quite gains that swishy, super-clean feeling, whether it’s due to hard water or smoggy city pollution. Regular use will make your colour brighter, as minerals and free radicals are blocked from settling on your strands.
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