The One Thing: Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner

Rachel Nussbaum

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We remember the first time we used coconut oil as a hair treatment. The next day, we didn’t recognize our dry, frizzy, winter-weary locks: our hair was silky, smooth, even, we dare say, glossy. It was every curly, wavy or just hair-having girl’s dream. Ever since then, we’ve done a coconut oil treatment before our big days, when we need our hair to look major with minor effort. Come hell or high humidity, coconut oil keeps our hair looking good. But for all of its pros, coconut oil’s a commitment: it needs to sit for at least half an hour to really sink it, and if you’re using the right amount, it drips like an old air conditioner. Not the most convenient, and planning ahead’s not one of our strong suits.

Which is why we love Desert Essence’s Coconut Conditioner. With almost all the benefits of coconut oil, it takes conditioner to a whole new level, leaving our curls bouncy and poof-free even on high humidity days. Best of all, it doesn’t take forever—letting it sit for a little over five minutes is usually enough to see a difference, and really, we’ll take any excuse we can get to stay in the shower for five extra minutes.

What Makes it Different:

  • Most conditioners rely on silicones or other artificial ingredients to give hair slip, but this one, like coconut oil, actually penetrates the hair shaft to moisturize, while coating the cuticle to smooth it. It’s a deeper, more long-lasting kind of moisture.
  • Coconut oil is especially great for those with high-porosity strands (those that are especially vulnerable to breakage), as the protein in it helps to strengthen and guard strands from future damage. ­
  • It smells so good. We normally don’t care that much about shower product scents (they never last), but seriously, it smells like coconut icing. In a good way.

What Makes it The One Thing:

We can feel the difference as soon as we step out of the shower. Hair is noticeably smoother, even wet, and that’s something we can’t say about most smoothing products. Almost any conditioner can get the detangling job done, but this one is like a light mask – it hasn’t completely replaced coconut oil for us, but it’s the next best thing when we can’t work it in. The only negative is how much of it we need to use, but for the price and results, we aren’t even mad.

Where to Buy: Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner, $8.99,

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