SOS: Deep Conditioners


I use a lot of heat on my hair.  Every day I blow it dry, curl it with hot rollers and touch it up with an iron.  So my hair takes quite a bit of abuse.  I need a deep conditioner that works without weighing my hair down.

Goodness knows, the D.C. humidity can squash it just fine on its own.

I’ve written about both of these conditioners before, but I wanted to re-review and compare them.  Because sometimes it’s important to know whether you should spend the money to get the best or whether the cheaper option is just as good.

Splurge.  I received this bottle of Lumiere d’Hiver Reconstructing Masque ($58) in my Birchox earlier this year.  And I have to say,  It revives my dried out locks like no product that I have ever tried.  With jojoba, shea butter and sunflower oil, this conditioner gives me the smoothest, silkiest locks I could ever imagine.

I only have two complaints when it comes to this conditioner.  First, it’s scented.  The fragrance isn’t heavy, but it is a floral, and I loathe floral fragrance.

Secondly, this is a heavy-duty reconstructing masque, so I can only use it once a week or once every two weeks.  If I try to use it any more frequently, my hair becomes limp and a touch greasy.  So this product is best enjoyed in small quantities.

Save.  A reader recommended Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner ($4) to me ages ago and it still has a place in my medicine cabinet.  This conditioner is pH balanced with tea tree oil and mint extract to moisturize your hair.  If my hair gets a little dried out from being in the pool or the sun, this product can really bring it back to life.

The Aussie conditioner also has no fragrance for those who are sensitive to scent or prefer not to have the smell of their $4 conditioner competing with the aroma of their $60 perfume.  And unlike the Lumiere, this product can be used every couple of days without weighing down your hair.  I like to apply a little to my ends every day just to keep them from becoming dry and brittle.

Verdict.  This is a confident recommendation that you and buy the Aussie conditioner.  It costs under-$5 and really moisturizes hair that’s stressed, dry and/or color-treated.  However, if your hair is on the verge of follicular breakdown and needs serious intervention, I would not hesitate to buy the Lumiere.



  1. Jennifer says:

    Great tip on the Aussie! I just started using the Kerastase Ciment Thermique leave-in conditioner and it's been magical (although closer to the Lumier price than the Aussie one!) You just need a small amount and it's heat activated, so the hairdryer and curling iron are a plus. And it has a very light citrus-y scent – pleasant, but not overwhelming.

    July 9, 2012/Reply
  2. A says:

    Thanks for this post! It could not have been more perfectly timed for the state of my hair at this point in the summer!

    July 9, 2012/Reply
  3. Jill B. says:

    I need to try the Aussie 3-Minute again. It's been several years since I used it. I recently received a sample of “Macadamia Natural Oil” (sold at Ulta) Deep Repair Masque. It did have a fragrance, though not floral. It was nice.

    July 9, 2012/Reply
  4. Summerlocks says:

    Hi Belle,

    I am in awe of your hair routine, especially in this heat and humidity. I have incredibly think curly hair and tend to wear it up during the summer months. It takes me about an hour start to finish if I blow dry and smooth out my hair so I give my hair a break during the summer months. I was wondering if your hair type does not allow you to go without blowing dry and using curlers or a flat iron? I'm always looking for ways to improve my hair routine. Thanks!

    July 9, 2012/Reply
  5. SmallFry says:

    Hi Belle,

    I received a sample of Number 4 Lumiere d'hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect in my Birchbox and I have to say it works wonders for protecting my hair! I have super thick, super curly hair and it takes about 1-2 hrs to blow dry and flatiron (if I do both). The spray is scented (which I hated) but after I was done with my hair, I couldn't smell it at all. Best of all my hair stays super soft and shiny. Just wanted to give you my opinion on another of their products which worked wonders for me!

    July 9, 2012/Reply
  6. Rachel says:

    I swear by the Aussie! I also really like their “cleanse and mend” shampoo which i use daily without conditioner. My hair holds in moisture and product like crazy, so i combat not regularly using conditioner with the aussie 3 minute repair once per week–keeps my hair in great shape! ps. love your blog!

    July 9, 2012/Reply
  7. Dules says:

    Thanks to your tip, I’ve worked the Aussie into my weekly routine. Who knew a $3 product would work such wonders! My sister is a hairstylist so I get lots of product samples that don’t do nearly the job.

    Thank you for your nudge to “rediscover” drugstore products. They’re certainly easier to keep in stock.

    April 2, 2013/Reply