10 Best Conditioners for Active People Tested and Compared
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
100% naturally derived ingredients
Pleasant Vanilla-Maple scent
Combats frizz and adds shine
- Sun Bum 3-in-1 Leave-In
- Maple Holistics Shampoo
- Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioning Treatment
- Briogeo Rosarco Reparative Leave In Conditioning Spray
- Mixed Chicks Leave In
- Babo Botanicals
- Old Spice 2 in 1
- It’s a 10 Miracle Deep Conditioner Plus Keratin
- Fekkai Brilliant Glossing
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Top 10 Best Conditioners for Active People
100% naturally derived ingredients
Pleasant Vanilla-Maple scent
Combats frizz and adds shine
Small bottle for price
This conditioning treatment is 100% derived from natural ingredients and has a comforting vanilla-maple scent. It is perfect for combatting frizz and damage and will leave hair feeling soft and silky. This treatment is slightly more expensive but a little goes a long way.Read more
This conditioner gets its name from the 18 silk amino acids (naturally derived from silkworms) that work alongside Keratin and Aloe Vera to promote hair strength and health. Shea Butter, Argan Oil, and Jojoba Oil moisturize hair and scalp while Pomegranate and Hibiscus lock in moisture to prevent future damage.
The conditioner itself is very thick and a little goes a long way. Most users recommend letting it sit on hair for a few minutes in the shower to get the most benefit.
Cost and Value
A little of this thick conditioner goes a long way. However, some users feel the size of the bottle is a bit small for the price.
2. Sun Bum 3-in-1 Leave-In
Convenient Spray On
Does not protect the scalp from sun
Soaking up the sun is a perfect perk of running outside but while you are absorbing all that great Vitamin D you are also exposing yourself to damaging UV rays. Most people are learning to protect skin by using sunscreen or covering up with long clothing, but have you ever considered the damage it could be doing to your hair? This 3-in-1 leave-in conditioning spray provides UV protection for hair and is ideal for detangling and moisturizing on the go.Read more
Tangled tresses of any type! Anyone running outside can benefit from the UV protection in this 3-in-1 treatment. This versatile option has something for everyone as it works wonders for moisturizing, detangling, and preventing fading color without compromising volume.
This spray on leave in conditioner is great for detangling after the shower or a swim. If sprayed on while hair is wet it dries leaving hair soft and moisturized without any of that crunchy texture typical of most sprays. It also helps with frizz when air drying.
Cost and Value
The price is reasonable for a cruelty-free product and is about mid-range for leave-in sprays. You can certainly find cheaper options but could also spend a great deal more on hair products. The bottle is a bit small but the fine mist coats hair well with fewer sprays.
3. Maple Holistics Shampoo
Results after one use
Paraben, Sulfate, and cruelty-free
A little goes a long way
Contains artificial dyes
Whether you have thick course hair of thin fine hair, you can keep it looking healthy and clean after your runs and workout sessions with Maple Holistics Shampoo! It is formulated to clean while also replenishing healthy oils and nutrients to your hair so it stays healthy and strong.Read more
Maple Holistics Shampoo and Conditioners feature a natural oil formula that contains numerous natural ingredients, like aloe, jojoba, argan oil, and silk proteins, for healthier, shinier hair.
It is made to be used often without causing hair to become heavy and oily and the balanced formula is silicone free, paraben free & sulfate free. It is designed for people with sensitive skin and who are prone to allergies and is made with no artificial colors.
The Maple Holistics Shampoo is an all in one hair care treatment that utilizes conditioning agents naturally occurring in its holistic ingredients to protect hair follicles, improve hair growth and health, and reduce shedding and hair loss.
While this product might seem a bit high for a bottle it is a great product that delivers amazing results. Get a bottle of Maple Holistics Shampoo for yourself and see how great your hair looks and feels afterward!
4. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioning Treatment
Easy and quick conditioning treatment
Instant moisture and softness
Great fruity smell
Dimethicone may weigh down hair
An affordable fan-favorite for infusing your hair with a ton of moisture in just 3 minutes. This classic deep conditioning treatment will save you time and money when compared to other deep conditioning options and it works wonders for making hair instantly softer and shinier. If you can find a few extra dollars and 3 minutes once a week, you can have softer and more luscious locks.Read more
This thick and creamy conditioning treatment should be applied in the shower and, as the name suggests, should be left on for three minutes before rinsing.
Jojoba oil and dimethicone create instant softness while Australian Aloe and Sea Kelp work to strengthen and promote hair growth in the long term.
Cost and Value
Price is a huge perk of this conditioning treatment. It is very affordable and each bottle will last a while if you are sticking to once a week usage.
5. Briogeo Rosarco Reparative Leave In Conditioning Spray
Convenient Leave-In Spray
Conditions and protects from further damage
Made in the U.S.
Cruelty Free and Vegan
A natural and effective leave-in spray that strengthens hair and provides protection. This spray improves hair health and prevents further damage with a quick spray after the shower. This small bottle is a great and easy option for tossing in a gym bag.Read more
Moisturizing dry or brittle hair and controlling frizz. It works great for thick hair but the lightweight, non-greasy formula is highly appreciated by those with thinner hair.
The conditioner is made in the U.S., Cruelty-Free and Vegan. 98% Naturally derived. No Sulfates, Silicones, Phthalates, Parabens, DEA or Artificial Dyes.
Cost and Value
It may not be cheap but you are investing in a product made in the U.S. with natural ingredients. A 5 oz bottle should last a few months of daily use.
6. Mixed Chicks Leave In
Moisturizing formula great for curls
Great for a wide variety of hair types
May be too heavy for some
A nice lightweight leave-in conditioner that reduces frizz and defines curls and waves for a wide variety of hair types. Apply in the shower after washing and leave in to soften hair and improve bounce.Read more
Some artificial colors people may choose to avoid due to possible links to cancer. Again, these are still considered safe by the FDA, particularly in cosmetics.
This gel-like leave-in conditioner should be applied to wet hair after washing. The texture is a bit thick but not greasy or waxy. A few people notice some stiffening or residue when using too much.
Cost and Value
The conditioner's price is slightly more expensive than others on this list. It is low on odor, not too sweet.
7. Babo Botanicals
Soothing natural ingredients promote hair growth
Makes hair appear fuller and thicker
Prevents further damage
Safe and cruelty-free
Smaller container size
A bit costly
Keeping hair clean and looking great after a hard run or an intense workout is a big job. Thankfully having a great conditioner to use in the shower makes a hard job much easier and the Babo Botanicals shampoo is a great option for runners with all types of hair!Read more
Babo Botanicals shampoo replenishes, hydrates and purifies hair, scalp, and skin after spending time at the pool, playground or beach or when you are sweaty and dirty after a long run. It can remove oil and dirt, salt and chlorine, and also nourishes the hair to keep it soft and healthy.
This natural based shampoo lathers up quite nicely and works well with any type and style of hair you may have- long or short, straight or curly, fine or course. It is a good choice for those who want to avoid some of the harsh chemicals commonly used in other shampoo and conditioner products.
Aloe, cucumber, meadowsweet flower, watercress, and other natural ingredients combine with essential oils, vitamins, and nutrients to crat a product that takes care of your hair as nothing else can. Babo Botanicals shampoo is certified cruelty-free, uses organic ingredients, and is a Certified B Corporation for excellence in product and environmental practices.
While this is one of the pricey products on this list for those who want something safe, natural, organic, and environmentally friendly, there is no better choice than Babo Botanicals shampoo!
8. Old Spice 2 in 1
Great for many hair types
Pleasant fresh scent
Nourishes hair and scalp
Quite on the higher side in pricing
One thing active individuals always battle is the effects of sweat and dirt. Hair often takes a beating as the sweat runs down the face and gets soaked into hat, caps, and helmets. Keeping hair clean and looking great is a big job but this Old Spice Pure Sports Men's 2in1 Shampoo and Conditioner make it a quick and easy job!Read more
Pure Sport Men's 2in1 Shampoo and Conditioner, you can go through each day feeling clean and smelling great – didn’t know confidence could come in a shampoo bottle did you? Get it now and see how clean and great your hair will look, feel, and smell!
With the convenience of a 2 in 1 formulation, it is easy to lather up and wash away all the dirt and grime after a hard run of an intense workout. Quick and easy work lets you get back to your busy day without having to take the extra time to lather and rinse twice.
The Pure Sport Men's 2in1 Shampoo and Conditioner by Old Spice has a great formulation and the backing of a known and trusted brand so you know you are getting a great product of high quality and ideal formulation.
Investing in the Old Spice 2 in 1 shampoo is a great choice for men who want to find a quick and efficient way to keep their hair clean and great looking so try it for yourself today!
9. It’s a 10 Miracle Deep Conditioner Plus Keratin
Keratin improves strength and hair health
Protects from further damage
Makes hair smooth and soft
Needs to be left on the hair for 5-10 minutes
This keratin-infused deep conditioning mask adds strength to hair and protects from damage. Keratin is an essential protein for hair growth and is frequently used in spendy smoothing treatments for hair. For a fraction of the price, you can get a boost of keratin and strength for your strands.Read more
This white condition is easy to apply throughout hair at the end of your shower. The bottle recommends letting it sit on hair for 2-5 minutes however many users prefer to leave it on for 5-10 minutes for maximum benefit.
This product improves hair health over time. The key ingredient Keratin builds over time working to coat and smooth hair follicles to repair past damage and protect from future harm.
Cost and Value
This conditioner is quite affordable to most and suitable for any hair type but works particularly well for color treated or damaged hair.
10. Fekkai Brilliant Glossing
Leaves hair looking polished and soft
Pleasant clean scent
Strengthens damaged hair
Has natural olive oil
Parabens and Artificial Colors
This high-end conditioner is worth the investment as it leaves hair glossy, shiny and smooth with just a few washes. Users note regular use helps hair appear very clean, polished and styled with less effort or additional products. Not a bad perk, if you are squeezing in a run and shower before heading to work.Read more
Leaves hair feeling smooth, soft and very shiny without weighing down curls or giving a greasy appearance. Users love the glossy and polished look of a professional blowout with no additional products.
This conditioner features natural olive oil which is rich in vitamins and antioxidants that add strength and shine to hair as well as lock in moisture.
Cost and Value
The Fekkai line features higher-end products that carry a hefty price tag for the salon-quality finish they provide.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Like shampoos, conditioners can target different problem areas and hair types. Generally speaking, a person with thick, curly hair is going to require more moisture in a conditioner than someone with limp, thin hair. The conditioner that perfectly moisturizes curls will weigh down that limp hair and worsen the issue. Similarly, a lightweight volumizing conditioner will revitalize that thin hair and may not do enough for thicker hair.
Here we focused on how the conditioner feels during application and how easy it is to use. Regardless of the consistency, we wanted to make sure that it is easy to work through hair and will not add too much time to any washing routine.
Like many cosmetic products, conditioners can include a variety of natural and chemical ingredients some of which are controversial. In this section, we noted whether products were labeled as cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, free of drying alcohols, etc to help you find the product that fits with your concerns.
We attempted to find a variety of natural options but did not completely rule out conditioners with parabens, silicones, alcohol or artificial colors. These ingredients are all considered safe by the FDA but some people choose to avoid them due to the possible risks associated.
Parabens are preservatives that prevent microbial growth in a variety of products. This improves shelf life and can be very beneficial for the longevity of any given product, some studies have suggested a link with breast cancer and many people choose not to take the risk. Artificial colors are also somewhat controversial and are actually banned in the European Union as the European Classification and Labeling considers it to be a human carcinogen. Again, extensive testing by the FDA continues to consider it safe in cosmetic products.
Alcohol free and silicone free products have been hitting the markets widely and are somewhat more complicated to discern the risks of. Certain alcohols are known as short chain alcohols such as Isopropyl Alcohol, and Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) are all used to add volume or sheen immediately after use but can cause damage, breakage, and dryness in the long run. On the other hand, some other alcohols are known as fatty alcohols such as Cetyl alcohol and Stearyl alcohol actually do help give hair a smooth and soft feeling without drying it out.
The only downside is that when these fatty alcohols do coat the hair they have the potential to build up and cause a greasy appearance. Similarly, silicones provide wonderful smoothing and softening properties but have the same potential to build up in hair. So people who struggle with limp hair may choose to avoid products with any alcohol or silicone while those who are fighting frizz and have enough volume to go around need not worry.
For each item we consider the price per ounce of each product compared to others on the market as well as how long it may last and how significant the difference it will make to hair.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Try to purchase products that contain more natural ingredients. With toxic ingredients found in many health and beauty care products, it's good to be conscious of what goes on, and inevitably in, our bodies.
Perhaps you've washed your hair too much and now it's becoming dry and brittle. A great treatment could be using your everyday conditioner as a leave-in product for up to 10 or more minutes.
Other Factors to Consider
It can be hard to wait around for results, especially if your hair needs the relief now. We favored products that seemed to make a substantial difference to users after only one use.
Many conditioners use ingredients to produce shine or softness immediately after use but can actually be damaging or drying in the long term. We looked for conditioners that featured nourishing ingredients that will improve hair health and prevent damage over time. The goal of conditioner should be to build stronger hair rather than just covering up damage.
Scent can be important, both in considering conditioners that have pleasant fragrances and in looking for conditioners that will have no scent at all. If you’re using a leave-in conditioner or condition regularly, you may want a conditioner that smells great and has a long-lasting fragrance. If you have sensitive airways, difficulties with strong smells, or spend a lot of time in an enclosed space with others (at an office for example) you may want to look for that lacks a fragrance altogether.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many people choose to avoid shampoos with parabens (preservatives) and artificial colors as there is a possible link to cancer. Another common ingredient to avoid is anything with “fragrance” listed. “Fragrance” is used to protect the company’s privacy to their recipe for a particular scent so it does not list out the specific ingredients. If you find yourself having skin sensitivities to many products you may consider steering clear of these mysterious fragrances.
Short chain alcohols are another group of ingredients you may consider avoiding. These alcohols such as Isopropyl or Polyethylene Glycol may be drying to hair in the long term. Finally, those struggling with product build up or hair that is weighed down may skip conditioners that use silicones or fatty alcohols as these are common culprits.
Yes! Conditioner helps restore hair’s moisture and essential oils for maximum hair health. If you want healthy hair that recovers well and won’t become brittle or damaged, definitely invest in a good conditioner (and a good shampoo, too)!
This mostly depends on your hair type and the type of conditioner you’re using. If you have hair that is dry and damaged you may need to condition every time you wash. Thicker hair that gets oily easily may only need conditioning once a week. If you have a light conditioner you can probably use it more often without having overly heavy or greasy hair, but if you’re using a deep conditioner or a hair mask you probably will only want to use it occasionally.
Also consider that cheap shampoos can easily strip your hair, making it retain grease and grime easier and damaging it. Some people skip shampoo altogether, opting to only condition their hair to minimize the damage shampoo can do. Not washing your hair every time you shower can also help with damage, but isn’t always an option, especially for athletes who work up a sweat. You can look up different options for different hair types and methods of washing and experiment a little so you can find a solution that works best for your hair.
In general, it is best to focus conditioner at the ends of hair and avoid rubbing it into the scalp as it can clog pores and prevent hair growth. However, some cleansing conditioners are intended to be used closer to roots in order to help with volume. Read the instructions on your bottle to determine how to best apply your conditioner for maximum benefit.
First and foremost, protect your hair from the sun! Consider wearing a hat or leave-in sun spray to prevent damage from UV rays. The second piece of advice from hair stylists is to mix up your running hairstyle. Oftentimes with running, we throw our hair up in a convenient and reliable ponytail to get it out of our face and off our neck. However, using an elastic in the same spot every day can cause hair to break off. Consider switching up your style with a bun or braid occasionally to keep hair healthy and breakage-free. Don’t worry too much about sweat–it doesn’t actually cause any damage to your hair directly, but it will definitely make you feel dirtier because sweating increases the amount of oil you’ll produce.
Yes, conditioner can clog pores and cause breakouts, particularly on the back or around the hairline. If you are experiencing this issue make sure to wash your body after all the conditioner is fully rinsed out. Another, less common issue when using conditioner is skin sensitivity. If this is a concern, look for a conditioner that does not use fragrance and features natural and soothing ingredients such as tea tree oil.
- 10 Toxic Beauty Ingredients to Avoid, Web page, Jan 23, 2015 ,
- The Truth About Propylene Glycol, According to a Chemist, Web Page, Jan 12, 2016 ,
- Alcohols and Your Hair, What You Should Know, Web Page, Jun 19, 2015 ,
- How Often Should You Really Wash Your Hair?, Web Page, Oct 16, 2016 ,