Thick Vs. Thin Hair: The Best Conditioners For Each

If you consider yourself hair-obsessed, join the club. It's pretty clear you love all things beauty, and taking care of your mane is high on your priority list. You love the idea of a nourishing, effective DIY at-home mask, whether mixed with hydrating honey and clarifying apple cider vinegar, or something really clean with egg whites and lemon (via Good Housekeeping). You love unexpected hacks, too, and are high-key obsessed with TikTok tips. As per Mane Addicts, these include using baby powder and cocoa powder as a makeshift dry shampoo blend, or using a balloon to calm pesky static. While you may be a fan of all kinds of tricks, you also believe in the power of a good store-bought product — and that includes conditioner, of course.

Finding your perfect, end-all conditioner is like trying to find treasure under the sea: The quest is difficult, illusive, and sometimes, seems like an impossible task. Even if you find a moisturizing conditioner, it might not be perfect for your hair type. If you have thick, "can't be tamed" hair (Miley Cyrus circa 2010 reference intended), then you've probably found yourself disappointed at conditioners that promise superb hydration, but just don't deliver. Similarly, fine hair needs a serious injection of volume and bounce, but some conditioners may end up leaving your locks oily or weighed-down. You should select your next conditioner based on your specific hair type for best results — that way you'll find the perfect happy medium between body and moisture that works for you.

Thick hair? Here are the best drugstore conditioners for you

First, we'll delve into the best conditioners for thick hair, whether straight, curly, wavy, or frizzy. As per 23andMe, a thick mane is caused by having wider follicles, but it can also just be due to having lots of hair. As celeb hairstylist Vernon François explained to InStyle, "one of the biggest myths about hair thickness that people make... is that their hair is thick." He continued, "[but] when they straighten their hair, you actually see it is quite fine." Check your individual strands to determine if you have thick hair. If you do, here are the absolute best cheapie drugstore conditioners for you.

OGX Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco Hydrating Hair Conditioner ($5.74) is an effective thick-hair-showstopper for the price of an on-the-run latte. As per Stylecraze, it is made to increase your locks' luster and hydration through high-quality argan oil. If you suffer from severely-tangled hair, this conditioner will smooth out your strands and make brushing a breeze. It also works as a heat protectant, and can shield your hair from the sun's harmful rays. Almost 7,000 Amazon reviews agree that this conditioner makes a "noticeable difference" and is the reason behind their "shiny, soft" hair.

You can also try Dove Amplified Textures Super Slip Detangling Conditioner ($6.98), another drugstore find that All Things Hair says is the absolute best for tangled locks. Coconut milk makes hair super-smooth, and shea butter and glycerin locks in moisture.

Luxe conditioners for taming your voluminous mane

While we can all appreciate a good deal, sometimes you want to go all-out with your beauty. High-end ingredients akin to fine jewels can take your mane to the next level, infusing your hair with deep hydration from within. Sure, these conditioners are pricey, but they work incredibly-well to smooth out thick hair.

Oribe's Intense Conditioner for Moisture & Control ($49) is a surefire winner in our eyes, combining an unbeatable thick hair formula with gorgeous packaging you'll love showing off on your shower's shelf. If you've found yourself complaining about dryness caused by heat damage or too much time at the beach, this conditioner is proven to heal strands with shea butter, olive oil, illipe butter, vegetable proteins and the keratin reinforcing Oribe Signature Complex. This will combat frizz in no time, and is free of parabens and sulfates for zero damage to chemically-processed hair. GQ recommends it wholeheartedly for "taming" hair, especially in a humid climate. It's also scented with bergamot, jasmine, and sandalwood to transport you to an über-relaxing spa retreat. Score!

Another option is Davines LOVE Smoothing Conditioner ($34), which works to balance and hydrate thick hair. Stylecraze says this product is great for frizz, and for preventing breakage. The key ingredients? Nourishing vitamin E and olive extract imported from Fiacre, Italy, which will inject hair with serious softness. The citrus scent is downright-exhilarating, while reviewers say this conditioner is "hands down" the best on the market and great for shine.

If you have unruly, dry locks, these conditioners are for you

Thick hair tends to suffer from dryness, and as per Allure, sometimes it feels like there "is not enough conditioner in the world" to hydrate it. That being said, hairstylist Mia Santiago explained to the outlet that you should choose "a highly concentrated conditioner" which "means you won't need gallons of product." While she says you should "avoid any conditioners that say 'volume' on the bottle," you should go for products that moisturize hair from the inside out. 

Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Conditioner ($6.97) has an unbeatable price tag and ingredient list, boasting aloe vera, shea butter, coconut water, macadamia oil, coconut oil, and a beachy scent. This is perfect for moisturizing and strengthening your mane, and is free of sulfates, parabens, and silicones, making it just right for chemically-processed hair. This conditioner is a fantastic option for thick, curly hair, but works great for the straight or wavy-haired, too. As per Headcurve, this product is a top thick hair contender, especially if dealing with brittleness from hot tools or color treatments.

When in doubt, go for Nexxus Moisturizing Conditioner for Dry Hair ($22.43). It's an end-all product that works for pretty much everyone, but especially those with thick, dry hair. GQ named it the best "ultra-hydrating" conditioner due to its unique green caviar and elastin-protein-imbued formula. This will strengthen and repair hair, and it gives you a whopping 33 ounces of product for just over $20.

Go with these conditioners if your hair is thick and chemically-treated

If you have thick or coarse hair, you might have treated your mane to some chemical processing in the past. Whether you took your hair from brown to a balayage-blonde recently or are an all-time lover of keratin treatments, chances are your locks are paying the price. While we'll never let go of our hairstyling appointments, it's important to complement them with a hydrating, strengthening conditioner that won't mess with expensive salon chair visits.

If you love keratin treatments more than puppies and rainbows, you're not alone. They're on the rise with hairstylist Jerome Lordet explaining to Byrdie that the process is "for smoothing and frizz control," while still retaining volume. Still, as per Harper's Bazaar, keratin processing can damage hair as well. That's why you need a moisturizing conditioner, and this is where It's a 10 Haircare Miracle Deep Conditioner Plus Keratin ($18.45) comes in. This conditioner blends sweet almond oil and sunflower seed extract with keratin amino acids. As recommended by Headcurve, this will make your hair look smooth and shiny, and like you just walked out of a fresh keratin appointment.

Beauty gurus love cool girl brand Ouai, and their Thick Conditioner ($28) is no exception. As per Stylecraze, this is perfect for processed hair strengthening and smoothing with shea butter, marshmallow root, avocado oil, and a dose of keratin. This is so hydrating and frizz-fighting that 1,000-plus reviews say it is the "best conditioner ever." The jasmine scent is incredible, too!

The best frizz-fighting conditioners for thick hair

The last thick hair concern on our list is frizz. While thin hair types can deal with this issue too, it's primarily an "untamed mane" kind of thing. As per Allure, the thick-haired deal with frizz from humidity on a daily basis, whether living in a sweltering climate or dealing with hair that takes hours to dry after showering. Not to fret, we found the best conditioners that get rid of frizz stat.

Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner ($27) is tailor-made for frizzy, thick hair, clinically proven to tame all those pesky baby hairs. The scientifically-tested formula shields against humidity, so you can be comfortable leaving the house with your hair wet. As per the brand, its "healthy hair molecule" plus glycolic acid seal your hair shaft, so your mane will be smoother and shinier with zero frizz. Headcurve says this is one of the best frizz-fighting conditioners for thick hair on the market, citing how it makes hair a cinch to style. Since it's a leave-in, you can skip your traditional shower conditioner and use this time-saving, rinse-free one instead.

A budget-friendly option that's just as good, Suave Lavender and Almond Oil Conditioner Paraben Free Conditioner Moisturizing Conditioner ($4.67) has it all. According to All Things Hair, this uses natural lavender and almond extracts to combat frizz while never weighing down your hair. Plus, it's free of dyes, parabens, and phthalates, so you can use it on chemically-treated hair too.

If you have thin hair, these are the best wallet-friendly conditioners

Now, it's time for our fine-haired mavens. If you have thin strands, you're probably in need of volume, body, and texture. While you'll never make hair thicker on a strand-by-strand basis, you can simulate big hair by using the right products. As hairstylist Brianna Colette told Self, "the most important step in getting volume for fine hair starts in the shower." You'll need a "lightweight" conditioner that will moisturize while never making your hair oily or stringy. If you want an ah-mazing drugstore find, we've rounded up our two must-haves.

First up, a major classic: L'Oréal Paris Elvive Volume Filler Thickening Conditioner ($6.99). This product has racked up thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon, raving about how it even accelerates hair growth and is the perfect formula for "nice, full hair." Stylecraze suggests this for anyone dealing with fine, lifeless strands, referring to the conditioner as a "good hair day" miracle-worker. This creates volume for up to 24 hours, using filloxane elixirs to "plump" your hair at the root.

We love OGX as a truly cost-effective brand, and their Thick & Full + Biotin & Collagen Extra Strength Volumizing Conditioner ($5.74) really works. Byrdie named this the best drugstore conditioner for fine hair, describing it as a "powerhouse" for a "fuller, better-looking" mane. This formula is made from vitamin B7 biotin, collagen, and hydrolyzed wheat protein to promote extra volume, strength, and hair growth with impressive results.

If you're feeling spendy, try these seriously-luscious finds

Sometimes, you're craving a super-luxurious buy to make a bad day better, whether your ice cream cone fell on the pavement or you just got into a fight with your partner. A little bit of shopping therapy never hurt anyone, or at least that's what Carrie from "Sex and the City" thought so we'll take it. If you want a high-end conditioner that's just the thing for your fine strands, we've found the absolute best.

Say no more than Oribe, the brand known to first "bring luxury hair-care products" directly to the consumer (via Allure). Their Conditioner for Magnificent Volume ($46) is a cult-fave in the beauty world, racking up countless devotees obsessed with the formula's Cote d'Azur scent and "body-building" magic. As one Who What Wear writer explains, it is sulfate-free, and includes "high-tech polymers" that make your hair look twice its size. Oribe Signature Complex injects hair with keratin, while vegetable proteins fortify the hair. Meanwhile, lupine protein, saw palmetto, cyperus esculentus oil, amber, and moringa all work to add volume to the hair while imbuing it with gentle moisture. Tons of five-star reviewers say this conditioner might be pricey, but "it works like a charm."

Another option is Christophe Robin Volume Conditioner with Rose Extracts ($39), which Byrdie named the "best overall" conditioner for fine hair. Including baobab leaf, rich omega-3 fatty acids, rice protein, sunflower seed oil, and rose, this is lightweight, hydrating, and very-much volumizing.

Conditioners for adding a serious dose of volume

Let's say your main concern is adding volume. Maybe you don't want to look exactly like Dolly Parton performing at the Grand Ole Opry, but you wouldn't mind some serious lift at the roots. Fine hair tends to wilt, falling flat even after countless products like mousse or dry shampoo. This problem can be attributed to using the wrong conditioner, so these options will make sure your hair has tons of body.

Is a refreshing scent just as important to you as volume? Then look no further than Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng Conditioner ($26), which blends an invigorating ginger fragrance with scientifically-proven results. Recommended by Who What Wear, this conditioner won't weigh down your mane, and is infused with biotin to stimulate hair growth at the scalp. As per the brand, ginseng and ginger "promote fullness," while maltodextrin wraps around each strand and makes hair look visibly thicker. An all-natural product, try this conditioner if your hair gets oily easily. It contains lemon and witch hazel as natural grease-fighting astringents. Plus, it's free of sulfates, silicones, and phthalates.

John Frieda Volume Lift Lightweight Conditioner ($6.79) is a superb wallet-friendly option that really works. Stylecraze says this conditioner's "air silk technology" is the best for moisturizing thin hair while keeping things lightweight. Perfect for tons of movement and body, it also strengthens strands. More than 13,000 reviewers agree that this conditioner "works great" on thinning hair and is "perfect" for a "lifeless" mane.

Is your hair brittle and fine? Try these strengthening conditioners

If you have fine hair, you might be suffering from lots of breakage. If you often find tons of hair on your bathroom floor, chances are your hair is feeling weak. Since fine strands are already much thinner than a thick mane, they're far more susceptible to damage. Here are favorite fine-hair conditioners for seriously-strengthened locks.

First up, a budget-friendly option that works just as good as its expensive counterparts. Renpure Plant-Based Beauty Biotin & Collagen Thicken + Strengthen Conditioner ($14.20) is plant-based while staying sulfate and paraben-free. Imbued with biotin, collagen, B complex vitamins, and amino acids, this conditioner will fortify your mane and make it grow faster, too. Hundreds of five-star ratings say this product has significantly reduced "hair loss and breakage," and makes strands look "thicker." As per Well + Good, this will never "weigh down" hair and is truly impressive.

Or, go for Virtue's Full Conditioner ($40) — a pricier option that uses an effective, first-of-its-kind "Alpha Keratin 60ku®" protein to inject strands with real keratin and repair your mane. With zero sulfates or parabens, this is great for processed hair, containing nourishing pink pomelo, strengthening artichoke leaf, and vitamins A, C, B1, and zinc. Who What Wear says this product is downright "buzzy" right now for a reason, bringing together unique ingredients that aren't found anywhere else. Byrdie also cites it as the "best nourishing" conditioner for thin hair, commenting on its heavenly scent, too.

If you suffer from hair loss, try these conditioners instead

Lastly, if you're dealing with fine strands and hair loss, you might think every conditioner under the sun will make your mane look greasy or limp. That's not necessarily the case, as long as you have the right products in your arsenal that will simulate volume while promoting hair growth. 

Tea Tree Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Conditioner ($22.50) is a must-have for anyone dealing with thinning hair, especially if you have fine strands to begin with. Recommended by Bustle, the outlet says this product is "clinically proven" to make hair look more voluminous, using a "Regeniplex blend" to create fuller locks and make hair grow faster. As per the brand, the blend includes clover flower, preventing follicles from shrinking, as well as akadu plum, pea peptides, turmeric and ginseng to stimulate more growth and moisturize on a strand-by-strand basis. Thousands of reviews that say it's a "miracle worker" show it's truly effective, while a study showed that 85% of participants noticed stronger hair after just two months. 

You can also try The Mane Choice Peach Black Tea Vitamin Fusion Conditioner ($18.30), enriched with biotin and vitamin E to lightly hydrate hair while promoting growth. Well + Good says this conditioner also contains caffeine from black tea, further stimulating the scalp. Reviews say this product leads to "unbelievable results," explaining it leads to hair that is "actually thicker" with ends "like silk" and tons of body. It also creates shine and smells "amazing."