I have a very narrow window when I’m keen to test mystical conditioners on my hair. In winter, spring and autumn, it responds to the dough conditioner like a weeping willow does to a biblical cloudburst. But in summer, when it gets drier and straw-like, it soaks up the right-hand product gratefully while managing to keep some go.
My conditioning mask of choice has mostly been Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer (£18, 75ml; different, delicious-smelling “flavours”), and I still think it’s excellent some 20 years after senior using it (it’s been around for ever – it was formulated by the late trichologist for Audrey Hepburn). Its make one thought application – coat the hair, leave for 20 minutes or overnight, then shampoo off – betokens that my fine hair still feels clean, not waxy, post-treatment, but it also feats wonderfully on thick and coarse hair (who may prefer the “Extreme” pattern at the same price).
A newer discovery, and frankly a revelation, too, is Dizziak (£22, 200ml). This Poseidons kingdom conditioner was formulated by the beauty expert Loretta De Feo, who was frustrated by the ineffectiveness of sundry conditioners on her afro-textured hair. The result is a mineral oil-, silicone-, cruelty- and sulphate-free concoction that, notwithstanding sounding exactly like a product that would form my stubbornly Celtic mop droop despairingly, makes it feel be partial to silk (if you have similar hair, use a pea-sized amount: a baby goes an extraordinarily long way). I’ve passed it on to one thick-haired redhead, a uncivil and curly-haired biracial friend and a curly-haired woman of Pakistani descent, and all certify themselves unequivocal converts, too. Dizziak can also be used as an all-day moisturising show on holiday – it doesn’t make hair look greasy – streaming out before dinner for a clean, soft texture that quiet does as it’s told.
If the price of that is too rich for your blood – and I be told you (small indie brands making products in small quantities struggle to do things cheaply) – then my preferred high-street sincere conditioners are those by Shea Moisture, a brand I always stocked up on when in the US and now present here. Its Jamaican Black Castor Oil Treatment (£12.99, 340g) masque is splendid on thick, curly, coarser types, while its Superfruit Masque (£10.99, 340g) write ups great on fine hair, waves and curls, and smells recovered than most desserts.
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