L’Oreal EverSleek Sulfate-Free Intense Smoothing Conditioner

Sleek hair? Yes, please!

My Experience

This is decently performing conditioner. My hair was not overwhelmingly sleeker for using the entire line, which I did while trying this conditioner. You can read my experiences with the rest of the line here.

If your hair is not overly damaged by heat styling, chemical straightening, or color this will help you maintain its integrity, but will not give you a texture you don’t naturally have or have lost due to damage.

Ultimately, I was underwhelmed by this as a product option for successfully achieving sleek straightened hairstyles and natural, curly hair (my everyday look).

T H E   G O O D

  • Melts into strands
  • NO build up
  • Rinses cleanly
  • Leaves hair supple

It has an unexciting generic floral scent, that while boring, is not unpleasant. Note: The scent of this conditioner lingers in your hair after rinsing.

T H E   B A D

  • Highly-textured hair types may find this unsuitable for detangling
  • Cannot reverse extreme damage
  • Minimal frizz reduction


In a word: underwhelming; but, if your hair is in relatively decent shape, this conditioner can certainly help you keep it that way.



L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Restoring Conditioner

Damaged hair? You’re in luck: L’Oreal set the drugstore hair care standard with this line. This is one of a handful of lines that directly—and successfully–competed with salon products I’ve used in the past.

My Experience

Want to try a drugstore conditioner that will forever change the way you experience drugstore conditioners–for the better? Look no further. This conditioner noticeably improved my hair’s appearance–after the first use!

Psst: The balm of this line is the real star, and I used it as my daily conditioner for months! Read my experience with it here.

It doesn’t “erase” damaged hair, but–yes–you will notice a positive change.

T H E   G O O D

  • Silky, “slippy” texture
  • Glides over hair
  • Melts tangles
  • Sinks into hair right away
  • Rinses away cleanly
  • Under $10 at your local drugstore, Target, and Walmart

Whether my hair was dyed, chemically straightened, or virgin–this left it soft to the touch, every time. It has served me well over the years.

T H E   B A D

  • The scent

It has a sickeningly sweet scent that is so viciously synthetic-honey-plus-cream-plus-floral it produces a wince. And…it lingers. Thankfully, it is less obtrusive in your hair, post rinse, and fades in a couple of hours.


Damaged hair? This is your drugstore HG BFF. It won’t make your damage disappear entirely, but it will noticeably improve your hair’s texture for less than $10.

Ingredient: 1067691 Pt Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Amodimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Behentrimonium Chloride, Parfum/ Fragrance, Dipropylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Trideceth-6, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Potassium Hydroxide, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal,Arginine, Glutamic Acid, Benzyl Salicylate, Serine, Cetrimonium Chloride, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Amyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, 2-Oleamido- 1,3-Octadecanediol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone. F.I.L. D54574/1 Us Patents: 5,619,523 5,679,357 6,039,962, 7,223,385 7,485,289


L’Oreal Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm

Damage? Not any more! Beloved readers, this is one of the drugstore products that is going on my “Products I Cannot Live Without List.” This has Holy Grail potential!

I’ve repurchased it over five times. I actually like it that much!

Initially, when I read its “Repair one year’s worth of damage in one use!” claim, I snickered mightily. (I work in marketing-with-a-capital-M and this claim still prompted an eye-roll, I must admit.)

No, L’Oreal, you mean this hides one year’s worth of damage, to the naked eye, with heavy smoothing and moisture-attracting ingredients.

This will not magically meld split ends, or give you a new head of hair. #Nope

What it will do is give you achingly soft, smooth, shinier hair in one use; and yes, it gets better with every use, especially if you use this whole system for this line, which I did.

(Seriously, beloved readers–run–do not walk to try this one!

My Experience

My 3c/4a curly hair that at the first time I used this was bleached and colored, in one use my hair was instantly softer, frizz was diminished, and my curl-pattern gained back the bit of definition that was lost, as a matter of bleaching it twice within the same week. (I was platinum for a weekend. I lifted my hair 10 full levels–without loosing it or regretting having done so. #IDidThat)

On my virgin hair I enjoy soft, shiny, defined curls–all signs of properly moisturized dense, curly hair.

This performs excellently because of the first set of bolded ingredients, as you can see below, each of these are moisturizing POWER HOUSES. They are the reason this is comparable to many salon-exclusive brands, for a fraction of the price.

T H E   G O O D

  • Perfect amount of slip for detangling
  • Silky, custard texture
  • Melts tangles
  • Sinks into hair immediately
  • Rinses cleanly
  • No build up
  • Under $10
  • Available at your local drugstore, Target, and Walmart

This pleasantly butter-yellow balm is custard-thick, but spreads with a silky feel. It melts into your hair right away and leaves a PERFECT amount of slip behind for detangling. It rinses cleanly, as though it was never there.

T H E   B A D

  • Fragrance

This is so sickeningly sweet it actually…well…(kind of) stinks. It smells of super-dee-duper-synthetic-honey and super-dee-duper-sweet-cream and super-dee-duper heady florals all combined into a tenacious wave of all-things-stereotypically-feminine.

It does linger after rinsing, but at an acceptable level–you’ll be far less likely to wretch when you catch wind of it (and you will).

L’Oreal, please do something about this! (Please.)

That con aside, this is a DRUGSTORE HOLY GRAIL product for seven bucks!



Holy. Grail. Drugstore. Damage. Eraser. Run–don’t walk–to try this seven dollar drugstore powerhouse conditioner. (You’re welcome, in advance.)

Ingredients: Water , Cetearyl Alcohol , Behentrimonium Chloride , Amodimethicone , Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla Cera) Wax , Cetyl Esters , Glycerin , Isopropyl Alcohol , Fragrance , Phenoxyethanol , Trideceth 6 , Hydroxypropyl Guar , Arginine , Glutamic Acid , Linalool , Hexyl Cinnamal , Cetrimonium Chloride , Serine , Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride , Benzyl Salicylate , Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein , Benzyl Alcohol , Limonene , Amyl Cinnamal , Citronellol , 2 Oleamido 1,3 Octadecanediol , Alpha Isomethyl Ionone , Yellow 5CI 19140 , Yellow 6CI 15985, D54157/1


Shea Moisture African Black Soap Purification Masque

Beloved readers, this is a new Holy Grail deep conditioner for the times my scalp is enraged.

This is now a part of my Scalp First Aid Kit and it single-handedly propelled my scalp back into good health after two chemical disasters that left my scalp raw, weeping, dry, flakey, red, and generally furious with me. Keeping a healthy scalp is a priority for me–and this is one of my secret weapons.

This is battle-tested and AML approved!

My Experience

What did this glorious masque do for my tortured scalp, you ask?

Balanced my scalp

Soothed my scalp (Deeply, as in, my follicles rejoiced!)

Eliminated Flakes

(And I kid you not, my scalp healed twice as fast as it normally does, when my chemical whims overtake my common sense. Healthy scalp for the win, beloved readers!)

If you’d like to read more of my experiences with this line, click here.

T H E   G O O D

  • Quality, effective ingredients
  • $10
  • Light, dove gray, mousse-like texture
  • Fresh, soft, slightly-sweet scent that lingers unobtrusively
  • Melts into hair
  • Does not weight hair down
  • Spreads easily
  • No build up
  • Rinses cleanly

As mentioned above, this made a massive difference in the health of my scalp.

I noticed this one help my scalp return to a state of balance–no irritation, (the usual) level of oil production, and a supple, smooth texture.

T H E   B A D

  • Package design
  • Low slip

This is so thin it could be in a container with a pump, which I’d prefer as I don’t care for tubs. (Hint, hint design team!)

You can detangle with this, but if you have highly textured hair, don’t rely on this just for dealing with tangles (with the intention of a bit of scalp therapy in the process). Consider alternating with a “slippy” conditioner for major detangling sessions.




Ingredients: Deionized Water , Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut) , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) , Mangfera Indica Seed Butter (Mango) , Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado) , African Black Soap Extract , Sea Salt , Cetyl Esters , Kaolin Clay , Grapeseed Oil , Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba) , Behentrimonium Chloride (Conditioner) , Salicylic Acid , Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract , Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil (Neem) , Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil , Sorbitol Esters , Aloe Vera Leaf Juice , Tocopherol (Vitamin E) , Rosemary Extract , Salvia Officinalis Extract (Sage) , Plantain Extract

A-Modern-Lady-shea-moisture-african-black-soap-balancing-conditioner-Review This is a Holy Grail conditioner for scalp issues

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Balancing Conditioner

Beloved readers, this conditioner came in wonderfully handy for helping me heal my scalp after stepping away from chemical hair straighteners. (Grrr, Brazilian Keratin treatments!)

My Experience

Much like its accompanying shampoo and masque, this soothed my scalp and left my hair supple.

I have also used this after my scalp was irritated by hair dye and enjoyed a quicker route to recovery. Whatever your scalp issues are, chronic or otherwise, this is a great product option.

Curious about my other experiences with this line (and brand)? Read them here. (Enjoy!)

T H E   G O O D

  • Quality ingredients
  • $10
  • Widely available at your local drugstore and/or Ulta
  • Softens hair and scalp
  • Gently exfoliates
  • Soothes and calms
  • Soft, slightly sweet scent (lingers in hair unobtrusively)
  • No build up
  • Rinses cleanly
  • Does not weight down hair
  • Nixes flakes
  • Spreads easily

It also has an additional beauty hack: Less inflammation when used for shaving! Huzzah!

This conditioner will allow highly-textured beloved readers to detangle, but it does not have enough slip for a major detangling sessions. If you have coily, tightly curled, or kinky tresses, have your preferred detangling conditioner handy to alternate with this one.

T H E   B A D

  • Low-to-medium slip

I overused this on occasion, to make up for its lack of slip. This did not stop me from repurchasing it several times, but it’s worth nothing if you have highly, textured, dense/thick hair as I do. Looser wavy/straight hair textures with significant length may also want to be aware of this as well.


Whether you actually have chronic scalp issues or not, this is fantastic for those times when your scalp is thrown off balance and needs extra TLC. This’ll always be one of my go-tos for future scalp woes. Her’s to healthy scalps and healthy hair.

Ingredients: Deionized Water , Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*Certified Oraganic Ingredient , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*Certified Oraganic Ingredient , Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter*Certified Oraganic Ingredient , Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil , African Black Soap Extract , Behentrimonium Chloride , Salicylic Acid , Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract , Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Oil , Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil , Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba) , Sorbitol Esters , Aloe Vera Leaf Juice , Vitamin E , Rosemary Extract , Plantain Extract , Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower , Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract



Living Proof Restore Conditioner

I used this on my virgin hair and chemically-battered hair to magnificent result.

My Experience

This restored my hair–literally–restored it. After three or four uses my hair was softer, less frizzy, and breakage was noticeably curbed. Consider that the first time I used this, I had chemically-straightened, dyed hair that I heat styled frequently–yes, this stuff is amazing. Out of curiosity I used it again on virgin hair and it perfected my God-given curly texture. I was shocked.

This left my hair soft and silky without added weight and a fresh, clean scent.

Read my experience with the other products from this line here.

T H E   G O O D

  • It WORKS
  • No build up
  • Fresh, clean scent (lingers slightly)
  • Melts into strands
  • Spreads easily through hair (slightly runny texture)
  • No build up (when used with the coordinating products)

T H E   B A D

  • Price

This may be(come) pricey depending on your hair’s thickness and length. I found it utterly worth it’s price while my hair was at a shorter length.

I must be honest: you can enjoy similar results with other products–other products under the $28.00 price point of this product.


This. Stuff. Works. All textures will benefit mightily from this.

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Glycol Distearate, Lactamide MEA, Fragrance/Parfum, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Octafluoropentyl Methacrylate (PolyfluoroEster), Creatine, Laureth-23, Tetrasodium EDTA, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Polyquaternium-47, Behenyl Alcohol, Laureth-16, Laureth-4, Polyquaternium-52, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glyceride, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional.

a-modern-lady-aveda-shampure-shampoo and conditioner-product-review

Aveda Shampure Conditioner

Beloved readers, if you would like an entry product into the world of Aveda (or you posses a virgin mane) this should definitely be on your “Ask For A Sample List.”

This product is also a great entry product to Aveda prices ($22) and Aveda quality. (Fantastic!) I say the same of it’s coordinating shampoo, which I used in conjunction with this conditioner to get a better idea of how the two work together. Curious about my experience with Shampure Shampoo? Read my experience here.

My Experience

This conditioner alone will not “rescue” severely damaged hair. It can help maintain your damage reversal efforts, after you’ve done all you can to rescue your strands, or to not loose progress between hair treatments. This is a great staple product in a regimen to aid virgin or minimally processed hair in maintaining its current level of structural integrity.

  • T H E   G O O D
  • The off-white, thin mixture spreads easily
  • Leaves hair slightly more supple
  • Leaves scalp refreshed and lightly moisturized
  • No build up

T H E   B A D

  • Does not provide enough slip for detangling for coily, kinky, or tightly waved textures
  • Runny texture (spreads easily, but can be easy to overuse for this reason)
  • Earthy, herbal “Aveda” scent (personal preference)


It left my hair a bit softer and slightly (slightly!) less frizzy. You will still need a deep conditioner in your regimen, and it will not rescue severely damaged hair.


Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Elixir

Beloved readers, to say that I “LOVE” this hair oil blend would be an understatement worthy of scorn.

I’ve repurchased this SEVEN TIMES! Yes, you read that correctly:







seven times.

I’ve also gifted it to family members, I enjoyed it that thoroughly.

My Experience

This product comes with a slew of beauty boosting options! You can use it as:

Shaving aid

Hair Treatment

Hair Leave-In

Scalp Massage Oil

Shine spray

Body Oil

Make Up Remover

And here is the most wondrous thing: it does it all beautifully!

Some of you may be thinking, “Gee, that’s lovely, Rachel, but this is a spray bottle of oils.


I bleed DIY.

I did not chose the #DIYLIFE it chose me.

I could #DIY my own hair oil blend.”

That’s true.

You can.

However, you cannot throw this particular blend of oils in a bottle for $10.00 dollars, plus sea kelp extract and a sumptuous fragrance, that is properly preserved–again, all for $10.00.

(Honestly, this is just blasted convenient.)

T H E   G O O D

  • Melts into skin
  • Softens and smooth hair and skin
  • Adds glow and highlight to bare skin
  • Sweet, floral fragrance lingers on skin and hair
  • Silky, luxurious feel
  • Multitasks
  • $10
  • Available at your local drugtore, Target, Walmart, or Ulta

I am sure you want to know about that sumptuous fragrance I mentioned!

It is terribly sweet–Honeysuckle is the word here. I am not fond of terribly sweet scents, but I make an exception for this. This is not “little girl sweet” or “candy cutie” sweet. This is luscious.

T H E   B A D

  • Product packaging (label slips off, prone to leaks, small amount released per spray

This could do for a re-designed spray bottle. Either way, this is still one to try.

PSST: Put it in another bottle, once you decide your favorite uses for it. (I do.)


This is a powerhouse product. A multitasking, luxurious blend of silky oils that will keep your skin and hair #onfleek for $10.

Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii Oil (Shea Butter) , Argan Oil , Vegetable Squalane , Carrot (Daucus Carota) Oil , Macadamia Ternifolia (Nut) Oil , Isopropyl Myristate , Avocado Oil , Castor Oil , Sebacic Acid , Sea Kelp Extract , Essential Oil Blend , Tocopherol (Vitamin E)


Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner

Beloved readers, I actually prefer this product to the Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque (read my experience here) of the same line, mainly due to this product’s greater ease of use.

The ingredients are the same in quality and formula, for the most part, so they are easily interchanged in my regimen.

My Experience

My hair has a love/hate relationship with raw shea butter (or refined shea butter, for that matter). My mane enjoys it as a deep conditioner and hates it as a leave-in or styling product.  I tried using it as a leave-in. The result? My coils and curls were well-defined and enjoyed less frizz, but it eventually began to dry out. Used as a deep conditioner my hair was supple and pleased.

Again, this has more to do with my particular mane’s preferences than the product’s quality or performance.

 T H E   G O O D

  • Custard-thick, rich texture
  • Melts into hair
  • Can be used as a leave-in (your milage will vary)
  • $10
  • High quality, natural ingredients
  • A little goes a long way
  • Multi-tasks

I gained the most from this by leaving this in for 30-60 minutes under a shower cap. This is lovely for the quality, and it can replace several things in your beauty arsenal:

  • Shaving aid
  • (If your hair likes Shea butter) Leave-in
  • Braid-out/twist-out setting aid (Use a light touch, though!)

T H E   B A D

  • Small pump
  • Super-sweet fragrance (personal preference)

I appreciate the handy-dandy pump. It’s so much more hygienic. Unfortunately, it doles out a teeny amount of conditioner each time–this requires a larger pump to be truly efficient, but this is still an improvement.

My only caveat, besides the small amount each pump produces, is the fragrance. It’s a luscious, sweet fragrance that lingers subtly in the hair. I personally do not care for super-sweet scents that do not have a grounding, earthy musk/herbal note.


This rich conditioner melts into hair softening it in the first use while imparting a luscious, sweet fragrance. It’s power packed with natural butters and oils to pamper your precious locks.

Ingredients: Deionized Water , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) , Argan Oil , Vegetable Glycerin , Emulsifying Wax , Sea Kelp Extract , Panthenol (Vitamin B-5) , Essential Oil Blend , Avocado Oil , Lonicera Caprifolium Flower and Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle) , Tocopherol (Vitamin E) , Hyssopus Officinalis Extract , Salvia Officinalis Leaf and Equisetum Arvense Extract (Sage) , Soybean Oil , Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot)


DevaCurl One Condition

Beloved readers, DevaCurl says right on the bottle: “Ultra Creamy Daily Conditioner.” With a tagline like that you had better deliver. Thankfully, they do.

My Experience

This opaque white, creamy conditioner spreads easily through your hair, wrapping it from root to tip in yummy, nourishing, lusciousness!

This left my hair so utterly soft and smooth I was hooked! It won’t give you a texture you do not have, but it will help your texture be as defined as it can be.

This makes detangling fairly easy, but truly kinky-curly hair types will have to use a lot of it to detangle with ease, which could make this expensive quickly.

You can read my experience with the coordinating no-poo here.

T H E   G O O D

  • Softens
  • Aids in detangling
  • Reduces frizz
  • Adds curl definition
  • Smooths
  • Rinses cleanly
  • Refreshes and moisturizes scalp

T H E   B A D

  • Price

This can become pricey quickly if you have very long and/or thick hair.


This left my hair supple, smooth, and moist. I had lovely, plump, happy hair!

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Glycol Distearate, Cetyl Esters, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Oleo Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricia) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Propylene Glycol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance (Parfum)