The Best Conditioner for Every Hair Type, According to Customer Reviews

Not all conditioners are created equal. Here's what to consider when buying the best conditioners for your hair type.

woman with red hair who uses one of the best hair conditioners
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

While shampoo's job is to get hair clean, conditioner plays a bigger role — not only in how hair feels, but also how it styles and looks when it's dry. You might be the type to go for proximity (read: grabbing the first bottle you see on the shelf) or you diligently read every label trying to decipher which one is the best.

Whichever method you identify with, it might be time to re-evaluate whether the conditioner you're using is the right formula for your hair type. Here, hairstylists break down conditioner myths and help you find the best one for your hair.

Conditioner is typically used after shampoo and restores moisture to the hair, but it has an even more important job: It helps detangle, seal the cuticle, and leaves hair manageable and smooth, says Bradley Leake, a celebrity hairstylist based in Los Angeles. Conditioner helps lower your hair strands' pH, which is part of what helps keep your hair cuticle layer sealed shut, locking in moisture, strength, and shine, says Maria Elizabeth, hairstylist and owner of Salon deZen in Alexandria, Virginia. All of this helps to keep hair looking and feeling healthy by repairing damage. Also, hair isn't always the same texture from root to tip, and conditioner can give it a more consistent texture throughout, says Clariss Rubenstein, a celebrity hairstylist based in Los Angeles. (See also: The Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo, According to Experts)

If you've avoided conditioner in the past because it made your hair limp or greasy, there are two potential culprits: "You're either using a conditioner that is too heavy for your hair or you're not rinsing the conditioner thoroughly out of your hair," says Elizabeth. When rinsing, be sure the water is getting all the way to your scalp; lift and move your hair around until all the conditioner is out, she adds. And avoid applying conditioner right to the scalp, and instead, smooth it from the mid-shaft to the ends, says Leake.

While every hair type should use conditioner and use it every time you shampoo, not every conditioner is made for every hair type. A good rule of thumb: Pick a shampoo for cleaning your hair and scalp and a conditioner to actually treat your hair's needs versus just buying one that smells good or is a part of a matching set.

When browsing for a conditioner, think about how your hair currently feels — dry, oily, damaged? — as well as the texture you naturally have — fine, thick, curly? — to find the best conditioner for your hair type.

Best Conditioner for Curly or Coarse Hair: Davines Love Curl Conditioner


Curly and coarse hair tends to be on the dry side and craves extra hydration, says Leake. Conditioners that contain natural oils help give that moisture boost and the heavier texture leaves hair soft and smooth, he adds. Almond extract is the hero ingredient in this conditioner for curly hair.

Amazon reviews sing its praises, calling it "a MUST HAVE, every-time-you-wash-your-epically-stupid-curly-hair conditioner." And don't let the jar deceive you, "this small tub will last me six months! It is thick, so you just take a small dab, rub on palms and then massage into the length of your hair," one reviewer explained. (See more options: The Best Conditioners for Curly Hair)

Buy It: Davines Love Curl Conditioner, $14,

Best Conditioner for Wavy or Straight Hair: Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Conditioner


Straight or wavy hair generally doesn't require a specific conditioner, says Rubenstein. Instead look at the consistency of your hair or your hair needs (volume? dry? thin?) and then pick one that fits that concern (for example, one of the other options on this list). A neutral, great-for-lots-of-hair-types product is this one from Bumble and bumble, she recommends. With an almost five star rating on, it's also loved by consumers. "Leaves my hair so soft and shiny," and "gives my hair new life without weighing it down," are just a few ways devotees described its effects.

Buy It: Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Conditioner, $34,

Best Conditioner for Dry Hair: Redken All Soft Argan Oil Conditioner


Two words to describe what dry hair needs: Moisture and oils, says Rubenstein. Look for ultra-moisturizing ingredients like botanical oils, such as argan, jojoba, or coconut, shea butter, or glycerin. This locks down the hair shaft so moisture can't escape, which is great for fighting dryness, frizz, and damage, she explains.

"One of my favorite conditioners for dry hair is the Redken All Soft," says Rubenstein. In the shower, the argan oil-based conditioner moisturizes and helps to detangle, and once dry, your hair will be softer and less brittle. (See also: The Best Conditioners for Dry Hair)

Buy It: Redken All Soft Argan Oil Conditioner, $28,

Best Conditioner for Oily Hair: Kevin Murphy Angel.Rinse for Fine Coloured Hair


People with oily hair need to strike a delicate balance between soft and manageable (thanks to conditioner) and overly greasy from a product that's too heavy. One way to identify the right consistency is to look for a conditioner for volume, which often contain less ingredients that could weigh hair down, says Elizabeth. "I recommend a light conditioner, like Kevin Murphy Angel.Rinse for oily hair," she says. Also make sure to avoid mineral oils, which can be too heavy and make hair look flat or greasy. This conditioner uses mango and cocoa butters to nourish strands and deliver a perfect balance of hydration without over saturating the hair with moisture, she adds. (

Buy It: Kevin Murphy Angel.Rinse for Fine Coloured Hair, $36,

Best Conditioner for Damaged Hair: Joico K-PAK Reconstructing Conditioner


One too many blowouts or a fight with a box of hair dye left your hair damaged? Hair that's fried from heat styling or coloring needs a little extra TLC to bring it back to its healthy state. Ingredients like keratin and collagen can repair breakage, dryness, or brittle ends, says Leake. "Find a moisturizing conditioner that provides the nutrients for strong, healthy hair, while sealing the cuticle for a smoother and softer end result," he adds. "Conditioners containing protein can also help restore the keratin structure and repair damaged locks." This Joico K-PAK reconstructing conditioner uses keratin, which strengthens by replacing lost proteins, evening primrose oil, which nourishes, and guava fruit extract, an antioxidant, which protects against fading and damage from UV rays.

Buy It: Joico K-PAK Reconstructing Conditioner, $19,

Best Conditioner for Fine Hair: L'Oreal Paris EverStrong Thickening Conditioner


Fine describes the width of your hair strands, whereas thin describes the density, or how many strands you have. Conditioners for fine hair often contain thickening fibers to help swell skinny strands and create a thicker appearance, without weighing them down with product, says Leake. If you're wanting a formula will less filler ingredients, the L'Oreal Paris thickening one is dye-, paraben-, and sulfate-free with rosemary leaf that helps make hair appear fuller. Plus, the anti-breakage formula is also ideal for fragile hair.

The 2,700 Amazon reviews don't lie: "This is the nicest shampoo I have ever used on my fine hair. It has made my hair much more silky and so fluffy!" And if that doesn't convince you, take a look at this pro list one consumer made: "gives me the moisture I need without feeling greasy (leave in about two mins and rinse well) and love the scent. [Gives me] stronger hair—I use product and a blow dryer, both of which can dry [out] my hair and this helps keep it soft, yet adds strength and thickness. This is great for the money, but I would pay more!" (Customers are also obsessed with these other best shampoos for thinning hair.)

Buy It: L'Oreal Paris EverStrong Thickening Conditioner, $7,

Best Conditioner for Thick Hair: Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Conditioner


Most hair types are worried about conditioners being too heavy and taking away volume; however, thick hair needs a bit of weight in its conditioner, says Rubenstein. "If the label says things like 'dry, thick or course, processed or smoothing,' it is most likely on the heavier side. If the label says 'fine, thin, volumizing, or oily,' it is most likely a lighter weight conditioner," she explains. A heavier conditioner will also often have plant-based oils like coconut, avocado, jojoba, avocado, or almond. While marketed for dry hair, Pantene Pro-V conditioner is also great for thick hair because of its deeply nourishing properties that lock in moisture.

It's also a workhorse conditioner with over 1,000 Amazon reviews and a nearly five-star rating. "I have very long hair, and it's really prone to breakage and split ends. When I use this Pantene daily, I find my hair is significantly less dry, and I have a lot less breakage. My hairdresser can tell the difference too when I stray from Pantene, she tells me it's much softer when I've been using the Daily Moisture conditioner," one customer wrote. And a great post-summer tip: "I leave this in my hair all day for several days after swimming. I am a Black person with long (past shoulder length) hair and this conditions my hair leaving it soft," another reviewer shared.

Buy It: Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Conditioner, $8,

Best Conditioner for Thin or Thinning Hair: Aveda Rosemary Mint Weightless Conditioner


Thin or thinning hair is especially susceptible to being weighed down by a too-thick conditioner, making it look limp and stringy. Look for words like hydrating as opposed to moisturizing, which usually means it has a thinner, sheer feel to the product, says Rubenstein. Hydration refers to the process of adding water, humectants, proteins, or vitamins that penetrate into the hair shaft, whereas moisturizing adds oils to coat the outer surface of the hair, she explains.

"I also recommend something invigorating. I love Aveda Rosemary Mint," she recommends. One Amazon reviewer wrote, "Aveda Rosemary mint is always a good buy. Makes my fine hair smooth and manageable!"

Buy It: Aveda Rosemary Mint Weightless Conditioner, $20,

Best Conditioner for Smoothness: Drybar Liquid Glass Smoothing Conditioner


One of the best things to come from a salon blowout is the high shine, bouncy quality. And with work from home putting a damper on budgets or reasons to splurge, you might be craving the effect without the trip to a stylist. Luckily, your conditioner can help! "Conditioners work to soften the hair and seal down the cuticle layer, creating more shine, strength, and silkiness," says Elizabeth.

Fan-favorite brand Drybar sells their iconic products for home use. Their liquid glass conditioner hydrates with murumuru butter and neroli oil to keep hair soft and frizz-free. One Sephora reviewer described it as the holy grail of haircare, saying "my hair was so soft & shiny, even on day 2. Gorgeous, bouncy hair without the need for 32 other styling products?! And complete strangers commenting on how shiny my hair was on Day 2?!!" 'Nuff said.

Buy It: Drybar Liquid Glass Smoothing Conditioner, $26,

Best Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair: Color Wow Color Security Conditioner


While you can always opt for a conditioner for your hair texture, if you're most concerned about keeping your dye-job looking fresh, choose a conditioner developed specifically for color-treated hair. Elizabeth is a huge fan of the Color Wow Color Security Conditioners, which has versions for thin or thick hair. She loves this conditioner because it uses translucent moisturizing ingredients that won't dull or darken your color and forms a protective shield for a glossy finish. (See: How to Refresh Faded Hair Color At Home)

Either version also delivers nutrients to strands without weighing down your natural texture. And both are formulated without sulfates or parabens and are cruelty-free. A five-star review describes it as having a "nice scent that gives my hair great shine and maintains the color." Sold!

Buy It: Color Wow Color Security Conditioner for Fine to Normal Hair or Color Wow Color Security Conditioner for Normal to Thick Hair, $24,

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