One thing all women covet is soft, manageable, shiny hair, and we spend hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds a year on hair-care products that promise to turn our unruly locks into picture-perfect tresses. There are many factors to take into consideration if your hair is dry or damaged. Harsh chemicals, for instance, either from consistent dyeing or overshampooing can lead to a frizzy mane. Excessive styling with hot irons, curlers or blow dryers also tends to deplete hair of its natural moisture and shine. No matter if you are paying £6 for the chemists shop brand or £65 for the expensive salon brands, the best conditioners contain protein to repair damage to the hair shaft, oils to provide moisture and extracts to provide shine. Homemade conditioners using the ingredients from your refrigerator are also a viable option to help your hair look and feel its best.
Going down the conditioner aisle in the chemists can be a daunting experience -- there are just so many to choose from and all promise to "tame fly-aways" or "smooth the frizzies" or "pump up the volume." The chemist shop brand that really shines in customer reviews at Totalbeauty.com is Pantene (specifically, Pantene Always Smooth Conditioner), which reviewers said did wonders for long hair that tends to tangle. Pantene has also won the Best of Beauty Award from Allure magazine for the past seven years. The other chemists brands that women love for dry and damaged hair are Herbal Essences, Dove and Sunsilk. Specifically, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, Dove Intense Damage Therapy and Sunsilk Damage Repair Intensive Conditioner, which uses olive oil to nourish and condition your hair.
Salon brands are often considered to be better for your hair than drugstore brands, but for considerably more money. There are some salon brands, however, that have managed to cross over and are available in drugstores for less money than you would normally find them. Redken is one of these brands, which received Glam's 2008 Beauty Award, along with chemists brand, Herbal Essences. Redken's All Soft Conditioner has garnered rave reviews from the online review site Epinions.com, with reviews saying that it is particularly amazing for dry hair. Users rated it a 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. The Ladies' Home Journal voted Nexxus as the best salon brand conditioner for damaged hair, which uses keratin as the protein to build up the shaft and safflower oil to soften and provide moisture.
Hot oil treatments
Hot oil treatments condition the hair by repairing, softening and lubricating the hair follicle. Chemist shop hot oil treatments like Alberta VO5 Weekly Intense Conditioning Treatment have a long list of ingredients that includes hydrolyzed soy protein, keratin amino acids and aloe leaf juice. Product reviews for the VO5 treatment were either very high or very low, but out of 23 reviews, it received 4 out of 5 stars. People who like to take a more natural route simply use pure oil such as coconut oil. To use coconut oil, first warm it up and then massage it into the scalp and hair.
Hair masques are another conditioning solution to combat overprocessed, brittle hair that is prone to split ends and breakage. These intensive moisturisers use concentrated ingredients to pack in the moisture and shine, such as shea butter, wild mango, meadowfoam seed oil, cherry bark and chamomile. Ladies' Home Journal named Aussie 3 Minute Miracle hair masque the very best conditioner for damaged hair. Buzzillions.com, a site based on product reviews, found Neutrogena's Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask to be number one, with 174 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 stars. Kerastase Oleo Relax Masque uses the Nutri-Huile Complex (a combination of shorea and palm oils) to smooth and hydrate hair, while Kerastase Masquintense has been called the holy grail of hair treatments.
If you are low on cash or simply would like to skip all the chemicals that come with your shop-bought brand, then homemade conditioners are definitely the way to go. You can find all the important ingredients of a well-made conditioner in your fridge. Egg yolks are packed with protein, and they work by smoothing the hair shaft and repairing damage. An egg-based protein treatment for hair consists of 60 g (1/4 cup) of plain yoghurt and one egg yolk, which you mix in a bowl and then apply to your hair, letting it sit for about 15 minutes. For that matter, mayonnaise by itself is an excellent conditioner: eggs provide protein, oil locks in moisture and vinegar helps to remove build-up and provide shine. Other ingredients found in homemade conditioners are avocados, bananas, oils like sweet almond oil, essential oils, honey, lemon juice and aloe vera leaf.