The best hair conditioner for your hair type – your one-way ticket to silky hair

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  • Helloooooo, soft hair

    I’d guess that at least half of all women go through their best hair conditioner twice as fast as shampoo. And considering that conditioner is usually a little bit pricier, you want to be sure it’s a formula that’s doing the job right for your hair type.

    Read on as the Marie Claire beauty editors chart the best hair conditioner formulas that money can buy, by hair type.

    How does hair conditoner work?

    ‘Conditioner is a moisturising agent which helps replenish the hair’s moisture post-cleansing,’ explains Antony Rawlings, Creative Director of Redken salon Lockonego London. ‘It is worth noting that conditioner alone will not improve the health of the hair – only the appearance and manageability. Conditioners help to close the cuticle.

    ‘A tip when using is to brush through, as this will further aid the closing of the cuticle and thus improve manageability. Conditioners focus on the appearance too, leaving hair soft and shiny.’

    How to choose a conditioner for your hair type

    ‘Quite simply, you need to choose a conditioner based on the weight and thickness of your hair,’ says Antony. ‘Prescriptive conditioners help to improve manageability and offer solutions. If you suffer from frizz, for example, you will want to use a conditioner that specifically tackles this, such as the Redken Frizz Dismiss Conditioner.

    ‘If you find your hair is dry and undernourished – a result of the cold weather, or overuse of heat styling tools during party season – then you will want to use a conditioner that is packed full of protein and moisturising agents like argan oil. I would suggest Redken All Soft Conditioner for this.’

    Best leave in conditioner

    OUAI Leave In Conditioner, £22, Lookfantastic

    best conditioner leave-in Ouai

    While you can leave one of the best hair masks in overnight and wash it out the next day, sometimes you need a quicker route to softer hair. Enter leave-in conditioner. Founded by Jen Atkin, hair stylist and BFF to the Kardashian-Jenner clan, OUAI’s Leave In Conditioner (formerly Smooth Spray) flattens frizz and revives second day hair that’s got a bit dry and unhappy, as well as being a great moisture hit for damp hair pre-blow drying. For medium to thick or coarse hair types, try the best hair oil for another leave in moisturising option.

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    Best conditioner for dry hair

    Aveda Sap Moss Weightless Hydration Conditoner, £23.50, Fabled

    best conditioner for dry hair Aveda

    Aveda’s newest launch is the perfect antidote to a dry and thirsty haystack of hair. It may look a little like mayonnaise, but it’s a dreamy conditioner; it infuses your hair with lightweight moisture, keeping it soft and frizz-free, and detangles perfectly for bouncy and knot-free hair. And of course, it has that signature Aveda ‘pure-fume’ scent, so you’ll spend a lot of time resisting the urge to sniff your freshly-washed hair.

    Buy now

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    Best conditioner for bleached hair

    Davines Alchemic Conditioner, £19.80, Cult Beauty

    best hair conditioner Davines Alchemic Conditioner

    As well as damage repair, the number one priority for bleach blonde hair is to keep it silvery fresh and not brassy-looking. Aura Friedman, the hair colorist extraordinaire behind Leighton Meester’s platinum blonde hair, recommended this very formula for those wanting to nourish bleach locks, so you know it’s a winner.

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    Best conditioner for curly hair

    Sachajuan Curl Conditioner, £22, Fabled

    best hair conditioner Sachajuan Curl Conditioner

    This conditioner is up there with the best of the best for curly hair. With curls, the hair’s structure mean that it’s harder for the natural oils to make their way down the lengths of the hair shaft, usually rendering the ends a bit dead and brittle. Sachajuan’s Curl Conditioner puts the moisture back into the full length of your hair, maximising its shine and bounce. Plus the Ocean Silk Complex scent is incredible; I really wish they’d turn it into a perfume.

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    Best conditioner for damaged hair

    Oribe Gold Lust Repair and Restore Conditioner, £48, Space NK

    best conditioner hair Oribe

    I know, I know, this is a LOT for one bottle of conditioner, but if you are prepared to invest the silken sheen it gives your hair really is to die for – even if it’s saved for treat days. Packed with hair loving ingredients like argan, passion fruit and cypress, it also contains a UV filter to help protect your hair against environmental factors post-wash.

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    Need more hair-spiration? Read on for more of Team MC‘s hero formulas for every budget…

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