The conditioner hunt



 one, two, three, four, five

My hair has been pretty dry. I do a lot of work to it, so it’s not like this fact surprises me, but I’ve been looking for a new conditioner to help restore my ends to good condition.

Up until this search commenced, I was using Pureology Hydrate conditioner. I still really like that conditioner, but I was itching for a change and wondered if something different would help my ends stay a bit healthier.

I asked for suggestions on Instagram, hopped into my car, and sped off to Ulta. I left with these three and a gut instinct that I needed to give the very suggested Aussie 3 Minute Miracle a try too.

What do I look for in conditioner?

1. The ability to run my hands through my hair while the conditioner is applied. If you can’t do this, I’d argue that the conditioner is not as smoothing and hydrating for you as it should be.

2. No waxy residue. There is nothing more obnoxious that finishing your blow dry only to realize your hair still feels dirty with a layer of “too heavy” conditioner on it.

3. An actual difference in the away my hair feels. I want to feel the conditioner working by smoothing out my hair and helping it feel hydrated.

There are a few directions you can go with conditioners. You can aim for softness, repair, protein, hydration, or smoothness. Some conditioners claim to do all that I just listed and more.

Here are the high and low points of the conditioners that I tried:

1. Oscar Blandi Instant Volumizing Conditioner: It’s hydrating and thick, without feeling too heavy on the hair. Not the best for very dry hair, but a great “normal” conditioner.

2. Sebastian Drench Conditioner: It was my favorite of the new group that I tried. It left my hair feeling fantastic with zero weight. I could tell that a deep conditioner would be helpful to add in to my routine since it wasn’t overly hydrating, but it was a great, nourishing conditioner.

3. Pureology Hydrate Conditioner: This has been an all time favorite of mine. It’s softening, rich, nourishing, and makes me hair feel fantastic.

4. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist: This deep conditioner came highly recommended on Instagram, and at $2.99/bottle I had to grab it to give it a try. No one was more skeptical than me about it living up to the hype, but I will say if softened my hair really well. I did find that it built up a waxy residue after a few uses, and that’s probably just due to the quality of components in it. So, I wouldn’t recommend using it daily. Instead, if you like a super heavy daily conditioner, look into Redken All Soft. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle is okay for periodic use if you need something cheap!

5.Ojon Damage Restorative Conditioner*: My least favorite of the bunch by far. It smelled of paint thinner and no part of it impressed me.

*pictured is the deep conditioner. I used the regular conditioner linked above but simply grabbed the wrong image.

My favorite, like I mentioned, is Sebastian’s Drench. I find myself alternating between that and Pureology Hydrate throughout the week.

If you are looking for a new conditioner, I’d give a few of these a try!

Leave a Comment

Comments (70)

  1. Posted September 25, 2014

    I love your hair product posts! My daughters and I have loved the Aussie to help repair our hair from pool and sun damage/drying.

  2. Cindy says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Kate, have you ever tried any of the Wen products and if so what do you think? I’m currently trying out the conditioner and I like it. My hair is thick, curly/wavy, course and tends to be very frizzy. Any recommendations I would greatly appreciate.

  3. Jade says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Great post Kate! I checked out the pureology brand you mentioned, but they’re all for color treated hair. I have straight hair that isn’t thick but isn’t thin. What conditioner would you recommend?

    • Stephanie says
      Posted September 25, 2014

      My hair sounds very similar to your description. I also do not color treat my hair and have still had amazing results with the Pureology products.

  4. Katrina says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Happy Thursday! Do you know if the Pureology Hydrate Conditioner is good for hair that is not colored (just natural)? Thanks!

    • Stephanie says
      Posted September 25, 2014

      I don’t have color treated hair and have had great results with the Pureology line!

    • Kelsey L says
      Posted September 25, 2014


  5. Angela says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    I am always on the hunt for the perfect conditioner for my processed, dry and damaged hair. I have not tried that particular Pureology formula but I have tried the Redken all soft and really liked it. I recently decided to try a more natural product from lush and was actually quite impressed with their Veganese conditioner.

  6. Posted September 25, 2014

    I literally just went back to the 3 min miracle for these exact reason. Pureology wasnt cutting it! And I ran out ha. I will definitly try out the redken!

  7. Kristen V. says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    I don’t have problem with dry hair, but with dry scalp! Ive tried dandruff shampoos and whatnot but still always have dry, itchy scalp. Any suggestions? (Tried head & shoulders and also the paul Mitchell tea tree shampoo/conditioner with no luck)

    • Amber says
      Posted September 25, 2014

      Have you tried the shampoo and conditioner from Ava Anderson. Others have had success getting rid of the itchy scalp by switching.

    • elise richardson says
      Posted September 25, 2014

      I really like Redken’s Dandruff Shampoo and I swear by Selsun Blue.

    • April M says
      Posted September 25, 2014

      Have you tried Selsun Blue Moisturizing Shampoo? I really like that one and I’m prone to dandruff.

    • Celsey says
      Posted October 30, 2014

      I have dry skin and I think that’s why I have a dry scalp, but to no alas haven’t quite found anything to help with my scalp. I have tried Selsum Blue, but that doesn’t really help with my dryness. I think because the ingredients are made for treating dandruff, which is a different process for your body than just having dry skin. 😐
      Would love to find a solution though!

    • Jackie says
      Posted December 6, 2014

      Don’t assume you have dry scalp! I used to think that, then find out I have eczema on my scalp. Different problem – different treatment!

  8. Kate says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    When you switch conditioners, do you switch shampoos as well? Or would you continue to use, say Pureology shampoo with the Sebastian conditioner?

    Also, what are your thoughts about purchasing salon brands on Amazon versus the salon?

  9. Sophie says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Great suggestions! I recently got this in my LuxeBox (canadian version)… AMAZING hydration!!!

  10. Carly Blogs Here says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    I loved all of these reviews! I’ve always wondered if the Aussie one can be THAT good because it is so cheap, so it was nice to get an unbiased opinion on it. The Sebastian Drench conditioner sounds really nice!!

  11. Kacie says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    I use the Aussie 3-minute miracle moist once every couple weeks, and love it. I definitely agree that it’s not an every day use conditioner. My ends have been awful the last year, so I have been experimenting with new conditioners… and will have to give some of these a try.
    Currently, I switch between an Herbal Essence Honey, I’m Strong and Redken’s Extreme (which was not good for my hair in the winter).

  12. Rachel says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Aussie is always a staple in my deep conditioner routine! It’s hard to find good drugstore options. Thanks for sharing these!

  13. Melissa says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    I have had very dry and damaged ends from coloring and having tape in hair extensions. Once I took out my extensions, I took a long romantic stroll to the shampoo and conditioner isle at my salon. I started using Sebastian Drench Shampoo and Conditioner (In love) and also TIgi Smoothing Texture Refine Masque once a week. HUGE difference in my hair. I can definitely tell my hair is getting healthy again.

  14. Sarah C says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    This is great. What I use when I find myself feeling like my hair has just too much build up I use the Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo…it’s the BEST THING EVER! It makes your hair feel so soft, even though you just wash with that, and put no conditioner in…it’s amazing, seriously, you have to try it!

  15. Brandy Graff says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Hi! I was having issues with my hair and it was very very dry and I tried everything. The best thing I found (which I cannot live without) is the macadamia oil deep repair mask. I just use it every time I was my hair as a conditioner. Its amazing. Its sold at Ulta and CVS and I recently found it at Marshalls for 19.99 instead of the regular $32 but not sure if they always have it. One bottle lasts really long, you only need a teeny tiny bit and its a miracle worker!

  16. Rachel says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    I just switched both shampoo and conditioner after using Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi for months. It was great at first and smells wonderful, but the shampoo really left my hair a tangled mess and so I found myself using the deep conditioner at every wash (which you aren’t supposed to). I gave up and decided I just wanted something that made my hair feeling clean, soft, and de-tangled at every use. After using Bumble & Bumble samples a few times and really liking them, I decided to give its Seaweed shampoo and conditioner a try due to its claims of making your hair more manageable. While I’ve only used them for a couple weeks now, I would highly recommend them for daily use. It’s a pricey pair, but I can already see the difference its made. I’m very happy with my B&B purchase.

  17. Kristine D says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    I’m also interested to know what shampoos you were using with these. I tend to match them up all the time, which I know isn’t necessary… Do you find them hydrating enough to pair with a volumizing shampoo or do they need to be used with hydrating shampoos to get good results? Thanks!

  18. Christy says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    I recently started using Pureology Shampoo & Hydrate Conditioner and it’s a total game changer for my hair.

  19. Rebecca says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    My hair has been really tangly – I stopped in a salon to see what they would recommend and they said give the Redken Extreme conditioner a try. I like it, actually! I’m not a huge Redken fan, but using that after the Pureology volume shampoo seems to be working!

  20. Posted September 25, 2014

    Thanks for the tips! I have very thick, textured/wavy hair that only needs washing every 3 days or so. I’m considering changing over to just co-washing (conditioner only). I’d love to get your thoughts on co-washing! 🙂

  21. Lauren says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Kate, would you still recommend the Amika as a deep conditioner or would you recommend using one of these instead if your “normal” conditioner is leaving your hair just a bit dry now that the weather has changed?


  22. Lara says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    After you posted about the Aussie 3-Minute miracle on Instagram, I literally RAN to Target to buy a bottle. I was days away from getting a trim but I had a birthday party to go that evening and my ends were toasted and gross. This stuff gave new life to my hair and my hairstylist even said “I think we could go a little longer between trims!” I agree that it’s not an every day conditioner but I use it once a week on my ends to keep them looking fresh. I also have issues with my hair near my scalp getting dry but this conditioner made my scalp itch so I can’t use it anywhere but my ends. But for $3, I will take it!

    I’ve also been using Say Yes to Blueberries along with coconut oil treatments and it is really helping with the dryness issue.

  23. fran says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Have you ever tried the “Sojourn” brand? Per my hairdresser-she really likes the ph and a few other things about the line, And i am very happy with it here at home.

  24. elise richardson says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    i tried the 3 minute miracle as well and thought that it actually made my hair more dry after continued use.

    The most effective method I’ve found to keeping my hair soft and smooth over the years has been morrocan oil. I use it every time after the shower and occasionally on frizzy days. As it can be pricey – I’ve recently switched to Loma’s hair tonic and LOVE it. After 2 weeks of use I can feel a huge difference. I also just switched to DevaCurl’s No Poo shampoo as well and would also recommend that if you’re looking for a great hydrating conditioning cleanser.

    just my 2 cents. thanks for reviewing all these products for us Kate!!


  25. Katie says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    So, I have a related question. I’ve been using Kerastase at the suggestion of my stylist and I love it, but (yikes!) it’s so pricey. Any opinion on whether the pricey brands really work best? And is there a sub that I could use?

    • Natalie says
      Posted September 27, 2014

      I too have been trying to get a high quality product without the high price, since I go thru a lot of conditioner. I had seen a suave commercial for products that ate knockoffs of the high end brands, so I bought one that is supposed to be like Kerafix. I have to say it passes the test for how it immediately slides through the hair. It has a sticker on it for getting an allure best of beauty award. I’ve been meaning to do a side by side comparison of ingredients but haven’t yet. I would be interested to get Kate’s opinion of these Suave products that are comparisons to others. I think they may have one for pureology too

    • Natalie says
      Posted September 27, 2014

      I looked at the bottle again, and it’s a sub for kerastase, which is what you are using, not Kerafix that I said previously. When I bought it it was on sale at Harris teeter for $3!

  26. Samantha Kitchen says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    I really recommend Arbonne. Maybe you have tried it before but they have a color safe line called pure vibrance. There is a conditioning treatment that is safe to use up to twice a week. It’s fabulous. I can tell a difference immediately in how my hair looks and feels. The conditioning treatment doesn’t leave a build up either. It’s definitely worth a try. I would love to send samples if interested!

  27. Nicole says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Have you tried Pureology Nano Works? It’s SO worth the money!

  28. Tanya says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Hi Kate,

    I read this post and thought I would leave a suggestion.

    A conditioner I’ve been using for years, literally maybe over five years…is Biolage ULTRA-Hydrating Balm. It’s meant as a deep conditioner but I’ve always used it as a regular conditioner. It really is amazing. I have semi-thick naturally wavy-curly hair that I style almost every day and this product really nourishes it. The best part is is that I’ve never found it’s lost it’s ability to work wonders. Many products seem to lose their wow factor over time but this one is still as good as when I started to use it.

    Last thing I’ll say is make sure to purchase this from a reputable source (ie not Walmart or other drug store)…I’ve heard of counterfeit products.

    Take care!

    • Celsey says
      Posted October 30, 2014

      Love that conditioner too! Use it the same way too.

  29. Jennifer says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Hi Kate,

    Do you know anything about Kerastase products? I got a sample in my birchbox a while back, and I like it, but it’s expensive!


  30. Amy says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Hi Kate
    Do you have any recommendations on a shampoo
    For blondes that keeps away the brassiness that
    Often comes after a while of coloring? Or maybe
    Any other suggestions you find helpful?

  31. Shurie says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    If you want a really good conditioner, I highly recommend Enjoy Luxury Conditioner. It’s like $25, but it’s super thick and creamy and all of my clients LOVE it.

  32. Natalie says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    I can’t believe no one has reccomended Eva NYC’s Therapy Session Hair Mask yet! It’s marketed as either a deep conditioner or an everyday conditioner. Either way, it is fantastic and leaves my hair smooth, conditioned, and soft. I have color treated, thin, damaged hair.

  33. Molly says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Hi Kate! Have you ever tried Organix Coconut Milk shampoo and conditioner or just the Organix brand in general? I just love it! It weightless and hydrates like a charm!!

  34. Posted September 25, 2014

    I absolutely love Aussie’s 3 minute miracle! It’s definitely not for every day use, I use it maybe once a week. I’m currently not using conditioner because with the hard water in my shower I find it best to minimize the amount of time my hair is in the water. I use it’s a 10 leave in conditioner for all my hair smoothing needs!

    Michaela || The Monogrammed Midwesterner

  35. Brittney says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    I will TOTALLY second the Eva NYC Therapy Session! You get a giant tub for a really reasonable price, and it’s in the drugstore hair section at Ulta. I’ve literally never had my hair softer than when using that, probably because of the added protein. It also leaves no build up or weight.

    I honestly think it would make a great review for your readers that like a mix of prices in their products. It’s not $3 but not $25 and produces amazing results.

  36. Joyce says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Hi Kate!! I use Sebastian Volupt. It is great for fine hair if you want volume but I wouldn’t call it a deep conditioner. I use the shampoo as well. I have tried sooooo many and this is the best for fine hair in my opinion. For a deep conditioner, I use Redken Real Control Intense Renewal mask. It seems to do the trick for me.

    Off topic, but I seem to be having some sensitivity to my eye make-up. I have used the same thing forever and suddenly I’m having issues. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  37. Posted September 25, 2014

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve been looking for a new conditioner too.

  38. Meredith says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Aussie 3 minute miracle has COMPLETELY changed the quality of my hair. I used to not use conditioner at all because I thought it took all the volume out, but I’ve been using it daily for about 6 months and love it so much.

  39. Abby says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Have you ever tried Joico’s deep conditioner? That and their K-pak after what I recommend to my clients and they work even in the dry dry Colorado air!

  40. Sara says
    Posted September 25, 2014

    Kate, could you PLEASE do a review of mascara?! I would love to know which ones you have found successful. Thanks so much!

  41. Sara w says
    Posted September 26, 2014

    I love bumble’s invisible oil line and the new shampoo and conditioner and primer that go with it are awesome!

  42. Amanda says
    Posted September 26, 2014

    I’ve always loved the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, but like you said it should only be used every few days. I’ve found that it builds up that waxy residue as well.

    This post gave me some things to think about when looking for good conditioners!

  43. Martie says
    Posted September 26, 2014

    Conditioner is a toughie! I actually can´t stand a tough smell on a product, Aussie is a no-go for me. I do like Paul Mitchell´s Detangler and Hair Repair mask and as soon as I run out of it, I am tempted to try John Masters Organics products!

    • Denise says
      Posted September 29, 2014

      Hi Martie,
      I just happen to see your post about strong smelling products. I couldn’t agree with you more! Arbonne has a really nice conditioning hair mask with a very light scent. It’s called Pure Vibrance Fortifying Crème Conditioner & Hair Revitalizing Masque. If you are interested in trying it I could get you a sample! My email in [email protected].

  44. Juliet says
    Posted September 26, 2014

    I love a good hair product post! I just did one myself with a giveaway make sure you check it out 🙂

    Awesome hair product giveaway at

  45. Posted September 26, 2014

    have you ever tried the EUFORA BEAUTIFYING ELIXIRS BODIFYING CONDITIONER? I know it’s quite pricey which is why I use it only once a week and still my hair feels and looks so much healthier and more hydrated. xoxo

  46. Amanda says
    Posted September 27, 2014

    Have you tried the Kerastase Resistance line? It is by L’OREAL, but only available online, and in select salons. I love it!! It literally reconstructs hair! I recommend The Complexe Ciment-Cylane (after shampoo and conditioner) it is a double serum for dry hair, and split ends. For shampoo the Vita-Ciment Advance, and Vita-Ciment Top Seal for conditioner. They are on the pricy side, but are concentrated so you do not need much for each use. Worth trying if you have dry color treated hair because it works wonders!

  47. Posted September 28, 2014

    I have been having similar issues with my hair lately! I have found that Right now I am using Ogx’s Moroccan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. I have found that it as made a huge difference with my hair. However, it is still not quite where I would like it to be,

  48. Riley says
    Posted November 5, 2014

    Hi Kate! I love all of your posts! I have fine, color treated hair that tends to get greasy pretty quickly! Would you recommend the Sebastian Drench? Have you tried the Drench shampoo? Thanks!!

  49. Jessica says
    Posted November 8, 2014

    For a long time I have been suffering from hairloss and split ends. Hairloss occured seasonally, but my hair did not have enough time for regrowth. Therefore, I had to cut my hair again and again, and could not grow it as long as I wanted. Home made recipes, as well as specials shampoos could provide only temporary results. The thought that crossed my mind is that the issue cannot be tackled externally. So I started googling up pills and dietary supplements for hair loss conditions. There are at least 30 products sold on the Internet that are designated as hair loss products. Their price range is also very diverse: from very cheap to very expensive. The product that caught my attention was called Hairgain formula (90 capsules) by Military Grade Nutritionals. This product is the only nutraceutical which possesses prostaglandin D2 blocking properties. In about three weeks of using it, I noticed that my hair got back its natural shine and hair strands got thicker. I also started detecting less split ends. So, now I am on my way to the hair of my dreams!

  50. Lauren says
    Posted November 13, 2014

    What do you do with all the bottles of conditioner (and other products) that you don’t like enough to keep using? I can’t stand to throw that kind of stuff away but it also makes me insane to keep partially used bottles sitting around forever!!!

  51. Jackie says
    Posted December 6, 2014

    I hate to be the naysayer here, but WHO can afford a $40 conditioner (Sebastian Drench)?

    Kate – PLEASE review affordable products (under $10)!

  52. Tiana Moore says
    Posted October 13, 2016

    Thank you for such a wonderful article dear and from my side I want to say that i am using moisturizer conditioner from long for my hairs and its really effective This Hair Treatment is perfection in a bottle. Its unique formula is made with raw Shea butter that deeply penetrates while restoring dry scalp and hair.