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Rachel’s Review: Top 15 Drugstore Conditioners continued! Picks 9 through 7!

• Sep 11, 2009

For part 1 of this review featuring picks 13 through 15, click here.
For part 2 of this review featuring picks 10 through 12, .

Beloved readers, we’re getting to the mid-way point of my Top 15 Drugstore Conditioners Countdown.

You’re going to start seeing a lot more “natural” products on the the count down after this post. As I’ve said previously, I haven’t tried EVERYTHING. You may not see your favorite here. I’m not shunning your Holy Grail line. I simply may not have tried it yet or reviewed a product from it that benefited my mane, to date.

Also, as mentioned in my previous posts, I don’t shy away from silicones, parabens and the like. Some products on this list do not have these ingredients. The majority do.

Now, for this week’s conditioners:

9. John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Liquid Shine Illuminating Conditioner

Cue the sounds of Latin choruses everywhere, beloved readers! This was my first “Holy Grail” co-wash and DC base. This is now my fall back anytime I need to reach for something I KNOW will make me shine. No pun intended.

Let’s begin lovelies! You’re in for a treat!

The packaging…well, it does fail a bit here. If they changed everything that is brown on this to more bronze or shiny chocolate color it would be perfect. I loved how the shiny silver areas shouted at me from the shelves. It doesn’t make me feel pretty seeing it in my shower, but I know like an oyster and its pearl the true treasure lay inside. It has cute font, though it is a bit crowded at the top.

The fragrance? Lovely. Strong. Perfumy. Floral. Robust. It lingers for an hour or so. If you don’t like strong scents you won’t like this.

The product itself is gorgeous! It’s like liquid pearls. You can SEE the mica in it. Why do I gush about being able to see the mica? Read on!

Ingredients: THIS IS WHY I BOUGHT THIS. Not only does it have good oils, conditioners and yes, a dab of strong silicone (so my no-cone darlings this isn’t for you) but it has MICA in LARGE amounts. Why am I so happy about that? It’s like BODY SHIMMER FOR YOUR HAIR. LITERALLY! It leaves beautiful bits of shimmer ‑NOT GLITTER- shimmer. It’s like well applied blush. You CANNOT see the blush…only the EFFECT! The glow it brings to the face! This is the same, in the most wonderful way!

What I love even more about this, is that on my jet black hair most “brunette” products make it look dusty as my hair IS NOT BRUNETTE IN THE SLIGHTEST. I am raven haired my dears, raven like the starry night. Which my hair looks like after a co-wash with this. It looks like the night sky itself is on my head. I was shocked. I REALLY hope everyone who uses it gets the same result.

The performance is AMAZING as it gives instant slip. My hair detangled itself. It was startling, I just ran my fingers through it. No doubt the dimethiconol did this. You need a poo with coco-betaine to remove it. There are natural poos that can do this. You don’t need an ALS or SLS-based (sulphate based) poo. My hair felt lush and supple ‑NOT COATED, despite the admittedly heavy cones. No, you cannot not feel or see the shimmery goodness. Well…you see the effect, but no large bits. ^_^

Shaving aid (leaving glimmering legs in its wake!)
Curly pudding base

Relaxed ladies: Be prepared to shine! Your straight strands will see the most “bling” from this.
Natural ladies: This is an easy way to get near “straight-hair” shine, without oil-sheen or shine serums or sprays. I’m not at all assuming that this is an aspiration of all my lovely natural ladies…but if you want your waves, kinks, curls, clouds, napps and corkscrews to sparkle make this your co-wash or curly pudding base. If you use it as a base for a curly pudding, be light handed to avoid post-drying-flakies. Be light handed with it as a leave-in to avoid flakies as well.
Texlaxed ladies: Depending on how much you texlax you’ll get the benefits of either the relaxed or natural ladies…or both! ^_^


Caveat: This can get expensive monthly, if you go through about a tube a week like I can. However…this is worth it! ^__^

Ingredients: I had to type this by hand for you ladies. Please excuse any typos…I did this out of my love for you darlings. ^_~
Water, glycerin, cyclopentasilosane, behentrimonium chloride, dimenthiconol, fragrance, PEG-14M, amodimethicone, mica, titanium dioxide, glycine, tricedeth-12, malic acid, cetrimonium chloride, methylchloroisothiazolinone, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, tin oxide, methylisothiazolinone, hydrolyzed silk.

8. John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Lustrous Touch Smoothing Conditioner

They say: “See and feel your hair’s true beauty. Healthy strands reflect multi – tonal color and natural shine. Brunette strands need a perfectly smooth surface to reflect their richest color and multi – dimensional shine.”

What I say: I

What I loved was the fact it has actually decent amounts of coconut oil AND glycerin AND silk amino acids AND fatty alcohols AND Behentrimonium Chloride AND aloe. Yes…it has a bit of mineral oil, which worried me as my hair HATES, HATES, HATES it. I had no problems with this! Amazing! This is also non-color depositing. So, no PPD or any dyes that may cause irritation.

The packaging is cute. I must say…while I don’t like tubes for packages, especially for something you tend to use in the shower I

Fragrance! It is perfumy. It doesn’t linger, but it does smell like a sexy, Victoria Secret perfume. Not overwhelming, but enough to make you feel pampered. I loved it! If you don’t like strong perfumes this may not be for you.

Product: It’s white and THICK, THICK, THICK. It spreads wonderfully and your hair really feels satiny soft. You honestly FEEL a difference. A product that DOES what it SAYS makes my day. Now, let me clarify…it does not make you feel “coated” in that: “OMGosh, silicone-over-load way.” Your hair just feels…satiny, a smoothness is apparent that at first seems like too much product until you realize your hair IS so soft and the cuticle so smooth it feels that much better to the touch. This LASTS until your next poo! I’m very impressed. I have not had any build up with this. Granted I wash daily, but using it as a leave-in presented little issue ‑be LIGHT handed. I would suggest washing every three days or at least once a week, at the very least if you use copious amounts of this as a leave-in.

Uses: A fabulous co-wash. Great leave-in.Great for touching up/smoothing down edges. Tames fly-aways. Keeps ends moist. It is a Fantastic shaving aid, as well.

My ONE caveat: I go through a LOT of conditioner…this tube…may last a week or two if I don’t go overboard. If I use as much as I REALLY want to of this…it’d last a week. So it can be pricey at $7–9.

Relaxed ladies: It will make your hair so, so, so smooth! Which also adds shine. Use this to tame fly-aways, lay down edges, and keep ends moist without reverting!
Natural ladies: Great leave-in. Great Co-wash. You may need a lot of this…or like to use a lot and it could get pricey. It won’t give you curls you don’t have but helps with definition.
Texlaxed/texturized ladies: You may get the uses of the relaxed AND natural ladies depending on your texture! Though…depending on your texture you may need a lot and it could get a bit pricey.

Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Esters, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Silk Amino Acids, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, BIS Methoxyproplamido Isodocosane, Malic Acid, Dimethiconol, Polyquatermium‑7, Benzyl Alcohol, Mineral Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium Citrate, Glycine, Fragrance, Caramel

7. Organix Hydrating TeaTree Mint Conditioner

Beloved readers, this is a fantastic product. Organix is one of my top three drugstore brands. I know I can use ANY ONE of their shampoos or conditioners and my hair will be better for it. I used their shampoos EXCLUSIVELY for my hair at one point. I moved on out of boredom, but it is one of my fail safe brands.

My only caveat with this…is the packaging. Such an ugly color and gaudy gold cap! I like bottles with curves but this one is a pain to squeeze and hold with soapy hands. I hate flip-top lids and this is no exception. Boring font. Cluttered font placement. It’s just a mess. Good thing the product INSIDE is so wonderful!

The product itself is a light minty-green color. So thick it sticks to an inverted palm. This spreads easily enough, but you may be using GLOBS of this depending on how thick or long your hair is. It can be worked into a delightful froth to aid in coverage. It rinses away cleanly. I didn’t experience build up with this. I DO wash daily. When I shampoo weekly, using this as a leave-in I had no build up issues. I’d dare say I could have squeaked by 12 days between washes.


Relaxed ladies ‑can we say baggy-aid? ^_^
Naturals, try this as a leave-in! Same for lightly texlaxed ladies. It also makes a good curly pudding base.

This left my hair, supple, smooth, plump and sheeny. The scent doesn’t linger for very long if you rinse it out. It may last for a few hours if used as a leave-in. This is not advertised as treating dandruff, I might add. Organix…a brand you’ll come to

Dl Water – Aqua , Cetyl Alcohol , Behentrimonium , Cetearyl Alcohol , Cetearyl Glucoside , Glyceryl Stearate , Glycerin , Cyclomethicone , Dimethicone , Jojoba Oil , Panthenol , Silk Amino Complex , Australian Tea Tree Oils , Soy Milk Proteins , Peppermint Oils , Shea Butter , Tocopheryl Acetate – Vitamin E , Tetrasodium EDTA , Fragrance , DMDM Hydantoin , Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone

I’ll see you next week. Baa. Baa. Baa.

Stay tuned next Friday for the next three items in the countdown. And if you can’t wait till next week to see more of Rachel, check her out at her blog:

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12 years ago

I love the Organix tea tree mint, I bought it maybe two weeks ago for co-washing. The scent, the tingle, and the softness of my hair is great. When I get bored I switch to the coconut milk ‘flavor’

12 years ago

Wow, I just used that Organix tea tree mint and on the contrary I found it to be thin, not thick. I do love their coconut milk one though, if not for the smell alone!

12 years ago

I love this series! You’ve sold me on the the illuminating conditioner!

The Fashionstar
The Fashionstar
12 years ago

I tried the Organix Coconut conditioner which is basically the same as their other conditioners. Love the scent, but it really made my hair hard and tangly, I liked it as a leave-in in though when I used it with water.

12 years ago

The organix range did nothing for my 4a hair. Great smell though but for cheaper conditioners I would still go with Herbal essences.

12 years ago

I have to agree with a few of the reviewers. I also bought the Organix Coconut and TeaTree Mint and it didn’t wow me at all. I like the scent of the mint but it didn’t make my head tingle and it was too thin for my liking. I like a very heavy thick conditioner that will weigh down my curls (when I’m cowashing). I’ll stick to my tried and true HE Totally Twisted. Nothing beats it’s for me and I have 10 bottles of conditioner from 7 different makers at home. Yes, I’m a total PJ lol.

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