Much like skincare, haircare isn’t universal. How you should care for your hair (and with what) depends on several factors, including your hair type, personal preferences, and even your lifestyle. That said, there are at least two products that should star in every person’s shower routine: Shampoo to keep your strands clean and conditioner to help keep your hair manageable, soft, and shiny.
While both are important, conditioner is the product we notice people skip more often, and thus, the one we want to focus on securing a spot in your routine for. But finding the best hair conditioner for your mane can be challenging if you’re not sure what to look for. To help, we’ve put together a guide to our best conditioners for all hair types. You’ll find our favorite formulas ahead, along with tips and tricks for making the most of your daily haircare routine. Read on for all the details.
First Things First: Determine Your Hair Type
It seems pretty obvious, but in order to figure out what type of conditioner is best for your hair, you need to first determine what type of hair you have. Though everyone’s hair is different, there are a few main types of hair: straight, wavy, and curly. Each category can be broken down into subtypes and further categorized by your hair’s condition (for example, is it thick and frizzy, or fine and brittle?). This is important because it will help you determine what your hair needs—frizzy hair, for example, needs ingredients that smooth, while dry hair benefits from ingredients that nourish and moisturize. If you’re unsure what type of hair you have, consider consulting your usual hairstylist—they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Which Kiehl’s Conditioner Is Best For Your Hair?
Once you know your hair type and your primary haircare concerns, you can get started on determining which conditioner suits your needs best. Below, we’ve broken down six common hair types and concerns and provided recommendations on our best hair conditioner for each. Keep reading to find your mane match.
Our Best Conditioner For Normal Hair:
Amino Acid Conditioner
In this context, normal hair refers to healthy hair with no major concerns like excessive dryness or damage. If you can step out of the shower, run a comb through your hair, and let it dry on its own without any styling products or techniques, you probably have what most would consider a normal hair type. Keep it looking healthy with our best-selling Amino Acid Conditioner, a Kiehl’s customer favorite. This gentle conditioner with coconut oil and amino acids helps maintain your hair’s natural moisture balance. It also helps strengthen your strands and improves manageability. The lightweight formula is mild enough for all hair types and can be used daily for shiny, healthy-looking hair.
Our Best Conditioner For Dry Hair:
Olive Fruit Oil Conditioner
When your hair feels dry or excessively frizzy, you’ll want to reach for a conditioner packed with nourishing, moisturizing ingredients. We recommend Nourishing Olive Fruit Oil Conditioner, which is formulated with a blend of plant oils, including olive oil, avocado oil, and lemon oil. The creamy yet lightweight conditioner helps moisturize dry, frizzy hair, leaving your strands smooth and supple. It also helps make dry hair more manageable, so it’s less prone to knots and tangles.
Our Best Conditioner For Oily Hair:
Hair Conditioner and Grooming Aid Formula 133
You may be tempted to skip conditioner if you have oily hair, but that would be a mistake—oily strands need moisture too. Oils from your scalp can make your hair appear greasy, especially if you have finer hair. Shampooing daily can help keep excessive oiliness to a minimum, but you’ll still want to condition your strands to help keep your hair soft and manageable. We recommend reaching for a lightweight conditioner, such as Hair Conditioner and Grooming Aid Formula 133. The fluid formula helps detangle hair and leaves it feeling soft but not greasy. You can use it as you would a normal conditioner (that is, apply it in the shower, then rinse) or use a small amount as a leave-in conditioner for smoother strands.
Our Best Conditioner For Damaged Hair:
Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Reparative Hair Mask
While damaged hair is often dry, dryness and damage aren’t the same thing. Dryness refers to a lack of moisture in the hair, while damage often results from external stresses, like friction from rough brushing and detangling. These stressors can weaken the hair cuticle, leaving the hair more prone to breakage.
Enter: Haircare products. Conditioners are one of the best things for tangled hair because they can help make it easier to comb, thereby limiting mechanical damage. While most conditioners help soften and detangle your strands, we also recommend incorporating a hair mask into your weekly routine for added benefits. Try Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Reparative Hair Mask. The olive oil-infused formula provides intensive moisture and helps restore hair’s healthy appearance. With continued use over time, it also strengthens weak hair and helps prevent future damage from external and environmental stressors. You can use it in place of conditioner once weekly or as needed for a little extra TLC when your hair feels fragile or damaged.
Our Best Conditioner For Fine Hair:
Rice and Wheat Volumizing Conditioner
Fine hair presents its own unique challenges, chief among them being a lack of volume. Straight, fine hair is easily weighed down by buildup, which can give your hair a flat (and sometimes greasy) look. That said, conditioning is still necessary, as it helps reduce friction and minimize breakage.
For thin strands, we recommend Rice and Wheat Volumizing Conditioning Rinse. This ultra-lightweight conditioner contains hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed rice protein, and honey. The volumizing formula evenly coats fine, lifeless strands to give flat hair more volume. It also helps smooth split ends and flyaways to give hair a healthier appearance.
Our Best Conditioner For Men:
Grooming Solutions Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner
Whether you choose to rock your hair close cropped or long and luscious, it’s important to keep it well-cared for. For guys, we recommend Grooming Solutions Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner. The multi-tasking shampoo and hair conditioner for men gently removes buildup while nourishing hair for a soft, healthy feel. It can be used on the scalp and the beard and leaves your hair with a subtle woodsy aroma, thanks to its blend of aromatic essential oils.
How To Condition Hair The Right Way
Anytime you shampoo, you should also condition your hair—whether that be daily, every other day, or a few times per week. Conditioning after shampooing helps make your hair more manageable and easier to comb. As for how to condition your hair, we recommend starting from the ends and working your way up toward your scalp. Try to avoid applying your conditioner directly to the scalp, as this can weigh it down. After working the formula through your hair, rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Kiehl’s Tip: Note that different conditioners may have different usage instructions: Some formulas are meant to be rinsed out right after application, while others can be left on the hair for several minutes. For the best results, we recommend following the directions on the package.
How To Condition Your Scalp
While you may not want to put conditioner on your scalp, that doesn’t mean your scalp should be left untouched—it, too, needs care. To help keep your scalp feeling healthy and hydrated, we recommend incorporating a scalp mask, like Amino Acid Moisture-Restoring Dry Scalp Treatment, into your usual haircare routine. This creamy mask with amino acids and coconut oil deeply moisturizes the scalp without weighing down your hair. The nourishing formula also helps protect the scalp against the potentially-harsh effects of stressors, such as hard water and heat styling. It’s suitable for all hair and scalp types and can be used once weekly or as needed to help comfort and moisturize the scalp.