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16 Best Conditioners For All Hair Types & Needs

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Photo by Piotr Marcinski / EyeEm/Getty Images

As far as essential hair care products go, shampoo tends to get all the love. But in our opinion, you can't get great hair without a great conditioner. Whether it's with an in-shower conditioner or a leave-in conditioner, conditioning products are key to keeping your hair hydrated, frizz-free, and protected from heat damage. With the right conditioning routine, your hair can look shiny, strong, and soft (and what more could we really ask for?). Healthy, hydrated hair is also less prone to breakage, which is better for volume and hair growth.

Below, we're highlighting 16 of the best leave-in conditioners, post-wash conditioners, and traditional conditioners for curly hair, straight hair, and more. Pick your favorite and discover just how soft that hair of yours can be.

Best Conditioners, According to Hair Need

1. Best Hydrating Conditioner:

FOXYBAE Flaminglow Leave In Conditioner

FOXYBAE Flaminglow Leave In Conditioner

For a quick but powerful boost of hydration post-shower, spritz on this luxurious leave-in conditioner that smells like a dream and leaves hair feeling silky smooth. Apply it to your towel-dried hair to detangle, moisturize, tame frizz, and protect against split ends. The formula even includes biotin, which can promote hair growth. Use it on healthy hair for an extra-smooth finish, or work into damaged hair to nourish and heal. "This is the most amazing leave-in conditioner I've used in a long time," one Ipster writes. "My hair is smooth but still light and bouncy. A little bit goes a LONG way!"

2. Best Smelling Conditioner:

OUAI Leave-In Conditioner

OUAI Leave-In Conditioner

This cult-fave leave-in product comes straight from celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin to your beauty cabinet. It’s a multitasking, detangling, and ultra-moisturizing conditioner that hydrates, reduces frizz, and protects against damage from heat styling all at once.

Expect your hair to feel soft, manageable, and smell amazing (OUAI is known for its amazing fragrances!). "This product smells amazing," says one Ipster. "It made my hair so soft and my curls looked perfect after I used it."

3. Best PH-Balancing Conditioner:

BRIOGEO HAIR CARE Scalp Revival™ Charcoal + Peppermint Oil Cooling Jelly Conditioner

BRIOGEO HAIR CARE Scalp Revival™ Charcoal + Peppermint Oil Cooling Jelly Conditioner

Great hair starts at the scalp. While we often focus on conditioning the ends of your hair and the hair shaft, for truly healthy hair, you need to also pay attention to your roots. This refreshing conditioner uses antioxidant-packed extracts and vitamin-rich oils that nourish and hydrate the scalp.

It also uses coconut oil and a blend of peppermint, spearmint, and tea tree oil to reduce irritation, fight germs, and balance your scalp’s pH levels. If your hair and scalp are feeling dry and irritated, this is the perfect reset. "I have severely damaged hair and I have been trying products to help my scalp so my hair can grow faster and this product is perfect," writes one Ipster.

4. Best Frizz-Fighting Conditioner:

MARC ANTHONY Bye Bye Frizz Heat Protectant Leave-in Conditioner

MARC ANTHONY Bye Bye Frizz Heat Protectant Leave-in Conditioner

If your hair is feeling brittle and dry with more breakage than normal, it could be the result of using hot tools like blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons. Overdoing it with these hair tools can do serious damage to the strength and hydration of your hair—but we know how hard it is to say goodbye to heat styling. The best course of action? Air dry as much as possible, and if you do use heat-styling tools, always prep your hair with a heat protectant like this leave-in conditioner.

This lightweight formula uses nourishing coconut oil and Abyssinian oil to moisturize your strands and boost shine, while keratin proteins strengthen and smooth your hair cuticle. You’ll get smooth, frizz-free hair that’s expertly shielded from heat. "I have fine hair and this product works well," one Ipster writes. "It keeps it soft with some frizz-free volume."

5. Best for Split Ends:

CURL KEEPER® Leave-In Conditioner

CURL KEEPER® Leave-In Conditioner

This deep conditioner works by smoothing and sealing the hair cuticle for long-lasting hydration that's protected from humidity—aka the enemy of curly hair. It also doubles as a heat protectant to keep your hair strong and moisturized even after heat styling with a hair dryer or hot tool. This all-in-one solution is also free of silicone, which is great news for curly hair types, as silicone can weigh down your hair, making curls appear limp and lifeless. "I love this product," one Ipster writes. "I have wavy/curly hair and this worked great. It wasn't heavy like a lot of leave-in conditioners I find. It also kept my curls defined with no frizz and didn't leave my hair feeling greasy."

6. Best for Air Drying:

TRISSOLA Leave-In Conditioner

TRISSOLA Leave-In Conditioner

You can skip the styling tools if you run this through your strands in the a.m. It leaves an instantly smoother, frizz-free effect on the hair that makes it simple to air dry and then get on with your day. Vitamins B5, A, and E also help prevent and seal in split ends. This formula is color-safe and is made without sulfates, phosphates, or parabens, so it won’t weigh down your hair as you use it throughout the week.

7. Best Custom Conditioner:

FUNCTION OF BEAUTY Custom Leave-In Treatment

FUNCTION OF BEAUTY Custom Leave-In Treatment
Courtesy of FUNCTION OF BEAUTY

This lightweight conditioning cream helps dried-out hair look like it just got a fresh blowout, even if all you did was step out of the shower. You can create a custom potion that’s tailored to your specific hair texture and your product needs. Whether your hair is straight, wavy, curly, or coily, there’s a match for you that’ll help moisturize your strands all the way to the root and help prevent future breakage. Even better: You can customize the scent as well, from scentless to floral and more.

8. Best Cannabis-Infused Conditioner:

SHEA MOISTURE Cannabis Sativa Hemp Seed Oil Lush Length Conditioner

SHEA MOISTURE Cannabis Sativa Hemp Seed Oil Lush Length Conditioner
Courtesy of SHEA MOISTURE

This CBD- and THC-free conditioner is made with cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil instead, which is known for its natural vitamin E properties. Combined with ginseng root and horsetail extract, this moisturizing formula will help encourage the growth of thicker, longer hair, without weighing it down. This formula is great for hair types 1A, 2A, 3A, 1B, 2B, 3B, 1C, 2C, 3C, 4A, 4B, and 4C.

9. Best for Blondes:

KÉRASTASE Cicaflash Conditioner

KÉRASTASE Cicaflash Conditioner
Courtesy of KÉRASTASE

You already use hyaluronic acid in your skincare routine, why not add it to your hair care routine for a boost of locked-in hydration? If you have a bright blonde color job you need to keep up with, breakage and dried out strands is one of the biggest things you have to worry about. Thankfully, this formula instantly restores nourishment in the hair and helps protect against future breakage—so that this summer, you can have your fun and do it blonde, too. All without having to worry about snapping strands!

10. Best for Curly Hair:

CHRISTOPHE ROBIN Luscious Curl Cream with Flaxseed Oil

CHRISTOPHE ROBIN Luscious Curl Cream with Flaxseed Oil
Courtesy of CHRISTOPHE ROBIN

This concentrated leave-in formula is composed of 99% natural ingredients so you don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals coming in and wrecking your hair care routine. The non-greasy texture allows for a shiny finish and curls will be defined and even able to withstand the summer heat (and up to 440℉ on your hot styling tools), while flaxseed oil protects hair by using nutrients and fatty acids to help hair appear healthier and brighter.

11. Best for Brunettes:

JOHN FRIEDA Brilliant Brunette® Multi-Tone Revealing Colour Protecting Conditioner

JOHN FRIEDA Brilliant Brunette® Multi-Tone Revealing Colour Protecting Conditioner
Courtesy of JOHN FRIEDA

Sweet almond oil and crushed pearls are the secret ingredients in this color-protecting conditioner that helps reveal richer brunette tones and seal in color (even highlights and lowlights!) in color-treated hair. This formula is safe to use in your daily routine and helps brunette strands look richer and shine brighter in the sun—because sun-kissed hair isn’t just for blondes, you know.

12. Best for Coily Hair:

FLAWLESS by Gabrielle Union Hydrating Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner

FLAWLESS by Gabrielle Union Hydrating Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
Courtesy of FLAWLESS by Gabrielle Union

This powerhouse formula is infused with coconut oil, castor seed oil, acai palm oil, shea butter, and marshmallow extract to hydrate hair while conditioning and detangling at the same time. What’s amazing about this particular FLAWLESS product is that it’s great for natural, color-treated, or relaxed hair, so you don’t have to switch up products if you just got back from the salon. Plus, since it removes product build up, your scalp will breathe easier after a few washes, especially during the hot, sticky summer.

13. Best Conditioning Bar:

AURORA BEAUTY Bounce Caffeine Hair Conditioner & Shaving Cream Bar

AURORA BEAUTY Bounce Caffeine Hair Conditioner & Shaving Cream Bar
Courtesy of AURORA BEAUTY

Once you’re done running this eco-friendly bar through your hair, you can even use it as a conditioning shaving cream for your legs. A bar formula not only helps cut down on packaging waste but it also lasts longer than your typical conditioner, since formulas are usually composed of 90% water. This ultra-concentrated product bar is made from 100% biodegradable hair conditioners and is completely water-activated, and it even includes apple cider vinegar to help cut down flakes and dandruff.

14. Best Anti-Aging Conditioner:

ALTERNA Caviar Restructuring Bond Repair Conditioner

ALTERNA Caviar Restructuring Bond Repair Conditioner
Courtesy of ALTERNA

If breakage is your biggest hair concern, this formula will be your saving grace. It helps reduce breakage by up to 99% and rebuilds and strengthens already damaged hair. Caviar is the superstar ingredient here: Caviar extract is rich in omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, which helps protect hair against environmental factors like UV rays and pollution—all of which make hair look older and dried out. The caviar restructuring bond repair technology restores, nurtures, and strengthens hair.

15. Best Volumizing Conditioner:

DESIGN.ME Puff.Me Volumizing Conditioner

DESIGN.ME Puff.Me Volumizing Conditioner
Courtesy of DESIGN.ME

Need a bit of help in the hair department? A good volumizing conditioner can help clarify your strands by removing excess oils and product buildup that weighs down hair over time, contributing to its overall body and lift. Next time you’re in the shower, reach for this color-safe formula that bumps up volume while also detangling and nourishing hair. Bonus: It’s also formulated without sulfates or parabens.

16. Best Keratin Formula:

IT HAIR CARE It Essentials No. 12 Amazing Keratin Leave-In Treatment

IT HAIR CARE It Essentials No. 12 Amazing Keratin Leave-In Treatment
Courtesy of IT HAIR CARE

Keratin is a protein naturally found in hair, skin, and nails, and adding it to your hair care routine can help strengthen strands, creating an overall sleeker look and create a barrier to prevent future breakage. IT HAIR CARE took this star ingredient and then added amino acids, sunflower seed oil, and abyssinian oil to create a formula that truly moisturizes and revives dry, dull hair—all while being cruelty-free, lightweight, non-greasy, and paraben-free.

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About the author
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Brittany Leitner
Brittany is an award winning beauty, health, and lifestyle writer and author of the poetry book "23 Emotions." She has eight years of experience writing for brands like Elite Daily, The. Dr. Oz Show, Shape, Stylecaster, Bustle, and more.
About the author
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Cortney Clift
Cortney is a New York-based freelance writer who has written about beauty and wellness for more than six years. She was previously the senior writer and special projects editor at Brit + Co where she covered a wide range of news and lifestyle topics.
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Article Last Updated July 24, 2023 12:00 AM