My hair, as low maintenance as it is, needs a cocktail of emollient shampoos, conditioners, and leave-ins to maintain the perfect amount of volume. For a while, I had been on the hunt for new additions to my hair regimen that would simultaneously soften my waves, but also give them fullness and bounce, until my coworker and friend, Jess Chia, showed me a screen grab of her during a Facebook Live for Allure. “Look at my hair!” she said, (it was full, wavy, and not at all frizzy). “It was after using this conditioner!” That’s when I knew I had to try it.
When I pressed down on the dispenser, out came something completely unexpected. This hair conditioner looks — and feels — as frothy and airy as shaving cream. This explains two things: 1) How my boyfriend ended up smearing this conditioner all over his face and 2) Why I was skeptical that it would do anything for my hair’s dry, fried-looking ends. It wasn’t the rich, creamy conditioner that I usually use, and I was convinced that my hair would just feel the same way it did prior to me jumping in the shower.
Well, my hair definitely didn't feel like it did prior to jumping in the shower, and that's a very good thing. The foam melted into my hair but didn’t have the slickness you feel when you run a rich conditioner through your strands, and it smelled like candy (some of my fellow Allure staffers described it as smelling like Jolly Ranchers). I had to use a lot of it, like, we're talking multiple handfuls, to cover my thick, medium-coarse hair from root to tip, the way the can instructed. Despite the frothy, airy formula, I felt my waves detangle and separate as they became saturated with the foam (similar to the way they would with a regular old conditioner).
After it air-dried, my hair had a level of volume and bounce that I've never gotten with cream conditioners (awesome), and I had waves at the roots that I had to flatiron (less awesome). My waves looked like they do after a day at the beach, just without any of the grit or salty smell. Instead, my hair felt soft, the way it would if I used a creamier conditioner.
And it all made sense after I called cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson. In addition to isobutane and propane (gases that turn liquid conditioning ingredients into foam), the conditioner (available in October) also contains polyvinylpyrrolidone, which smooths hair and helps define curls and waves. I will say this: My once-dry ends looked healthy and fantastic.