Does anyone else care more about their conditioner than their shampoo? I’m a Leo so I’m particular about my haircare.
My hair is short yet dry and damaged, so I’m more focused on the nourishing and repairing elements in hair care than the array of impressive cleansing products. Over the years, I’ve learned (using the ‘co-wash method’ that was all the rage twenty years ago most definitely is a contributing factor) that I can get away easily with using *just* conditioner to wash my hair. I’m not saying this will work for everyone but it definitely works for me. The flip side, of course, is that when I discover a shampoo I want to try, I usually shampoo and follow with an oil (Ranavat makes one that is truly spectacular) on clean, damp hair. No conditioner. Are you confused yet?
Healthy, post-winter, post-pandemic hair, is our goal so I want to share my most reliable conditioners in rotation, those that have been working magic on my hair. Some have been staples for a while and some are recent discoveries, but all make my hair feel soft and nourished, never coated nor static, nor too fluffy.
About my hair: short, dry, thick, standard heat damage, NOT color treated, normal to dry scalp. Very ready for a post-winter, post-pandemic makeover.
Klorane Mask With Mango Butter
A French pharmacy darling, the Klorane range truly is all that. And while the Mango Butter collection already includes an actual conditioner AND a leave-in cream, the mask is my favorite. It’s an intense re-hydrating treatment for dry, damaged hair that brings a glossy shine back in just 5 minutes. I often leave it on for 20 while soaking in the tub and then rinse in the shower, which is my post-bath routine. This is probably my go-to hair mask during the summer months when I’m addressing all pool water and sun overexposure related hair damage. The juicy mango scent is also very much appreciated. $26 (5oz tub) at kloraneusa.com
Aesop Nurturing Conditioner
Aesop is one of my favorite treats in the body and hair care departments. The Nurturing Conditioner has a wonderfully lightweight cream texture yet is packed with Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, and Vitamin E. It’s a great daily option and doesn’t require a ton of product per application. It’s an all-around luxurious formula with soft herbal notes and a mild peppermint tingle that feels incredibly refreshing. I’ve used a tiny bit of the nurturing formula as a leave-in treatment (applied to wet hair) with great success. $45 (17oz) skinstore.com
Paul Labrecque Moisture Mud Instant Repair
After trying a sample included in my Biologique Recherche order, I bought a full-size bottle minutes after trying it out — no exaggeration. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this impressed with a hair conditioner. This daily solution has a lightweight, almost whipped, gel-like clay texture and is infused with mineral rich Marine mud and Seaweed Extract. In just two minutes, the formula delivers much needed moisture and hydration to both the hair and the scalp. It also rinses off like a dream and leaves me unable to stop touching my hair. I simply can’t rave about this one enough. $32 (8.5oz) paullabrecque.com
Fekkai CBD Scalp Calming Hydrating Conditioner
When my scalp feels dry or itchy, I consistently reach for my bottle of Fekkai CBD Scalp Calming Hydrating Conditioner. Aside from the delicate scent, which I absolutely adore, it soothes an irritated scalp and delivers much needed nourishment to my hair. The craftly formulated blend of plant oils and botanical extracts (including broad-spectrum CBD) leaves my hair smooth and shiny without ever making it feel or look weighed down. A huge fan of the brand for decades, I officially switched from the Brilliant Gloss range to the new CBD infused collection. $25 (8.5 oz) ulta.com
Christophe Robin Hydrating Melting Mask With Aloe Vera
If you prefer lighter textures, this Christophe Robin rinse-off mask is almost lotion-like but not exactly runny. It is one of my favorite formulas to reach for on days my hair feels oddly brittle and requires a quick shot of hydration. The blend of Aloe Vera and various plant oils delivers much needed minerals, amino acids, and vitamins to nourish weak, damaged strands. Try rinsing it off with cool water to lock in that moisture and prevent frizz — it really does work! The fact that it smells like a posh European spa is a mere perk. $37 (200ml) sephora.com
Get this Brush
This brilliant tool hasn’t left the shower shelf since landing in my hands months ago. Studded with soft, pointy bristles, this silicone brush helps to distribute shampoo or conditioner evenly while providing your scalp with a much needed massage. Why do we want to go this extra step? Because stimulated scalp leads to increased circulation, better product performance, and stronger hair. It also rinses clean with just water and I never once had any issues with growth of bacteria, etc. Just thought you’d like to know. $28 leonorgreyl-usa.com