The holy grail of conditioner for fine hair: uncompromised hydration with a lightweight feel.
Fine hair has both its advantages and disadvantages. Pros: It’s easier to manage and upstyle, and takes to a good blowout rather obediently. Cons: It also tends to get greasier quicker than other types, appears thinner and sparser, and falls flat sooner than other hair types. This last downside is what makes finding the best conditioner for fine hair quite the challenge, as the quest for a conditioner that nourishes while maintaining that bounce can certainly be a Catch-22 for the average, reasonable (and frustrated) consumer.
The Best Conditioner for Thin Hair
Perhaps one of the best ways to approach this conundrum is to rethink how we’ve always thought about conditioner. Modern innovations have now broken the standard mold, and nowadays conditioners can come in different consistencies and formulations.
1. New and improved volumizing conditioners
Volumizing conditioners, or conditioners that offer lightweight hydration without compromising slip and lift, were a huge thing when they first hit the scene. They’ve become a fast favorite among those with fine or thinning hair, or even aging hair in need of some fullness. First-generation volumizing conditioners oftentimes left strands with a somewhat rougher, crunchier feel. Suffice to say that today’s offerings have perfected straddling that thin line between sleek and fuller-looking: Dove Oxygen Moisture Conditioner, in particular, when used in tandem with the Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo, delivers up to 95% more body and fullness after just one wash, all the while keeping hair moisturized and infusing strands full of natural volume. Other notables: Suave Professionals Volumizing Conditioner, TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Conditioner.
2. The spray-on
Another paradigm shift to consider? The spray-on conditioner for fine hair. Leave-in conditioners, by definition, aren’t rinsed away in the shower and therefore let hair retain all the moisture they promise in their formulas—for better or worse. To minimize the risk of weigh-down (commonly encountered with heavier cream or serum versions), opt for a spray. Not only do these provide hair with hydration and slip, they also do a good job of detangling locks after shampooing and reducing the risk of breakage and split ends—all in an aerated, easy-to-calibrate formula. S Factor by TIGI Papaya Leave-In Moisture Spray is a lightweight spray that gives an extra moisture boost to parched hair (along with that scrumptious smell..!), while detangling and fighting frizz as well. Those who want a bit of a more tactile, mousse-y experience—as well as want to minimize their routines—can go for Nexxus New York Salon Care Hydra-Light Leave-In Conditioning Foam, a nurturing infusion that gives softer, smoother hair as well as an all-day style.
3. The pre-wash conditioner
We’ve all heard of co-washing with cleansing conditioners by now, and are familiar with the benefits that such a regimen bestows on damaged hair, not to mention to our hectic mornings. But another revolutionary concept making waves in the arena of best conditioners for fine hair is the pre-wash conditioner, which flips the script on your normal wash-and-care routine entirely. Now conditioner comes first to give hair smoothness, and is followed by a shampoo to leave hair with bounce and body (what a time to be alive!). TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Pre-Wash Conditioner, when followed with the TRESemme Beauty-Full Volume Shampoo, does just that: It polishes the strand beforehand, and then washes off any weight afterwards. Genius.
Want more hairstyling inspo for fine hair? Check out these fine-haired looks we’re obsessing over.