The Most Versatile Hair Product In My Bathroom

Certain beauty products — think NARS blush in Orgasm or Clinique's Black Honey lipstick — are so good, they're practically famous and have devoted, loyal followings. While we love many of these, we've been wondering why others have been quietly flying under the radar. With that in mind, meet our series, Cult Classics, in which we'll introduce you to the products you should really, truly know about (and try, like, right now). They're not brand-new, but trust us: They've got staying power.

Recently, I made a spontaneous decision to cut my medium-length, curly hair into a chin-grazing bob. It’s been an interesting adjustment — my face looks totally different — but mostly, it’s been a challenge learning how to style a new texture and shape. I've been accumulating and experimenting with a slew of products over the past few months, and I may have gone a little crazy trying to find the perfect formula to tame my shorter look. Thankfully, I ended up with Bumble and Bumble’s new Bb. Curl (Care) Custom Conditioner. It's part of the brand's most recent line, and it’s become a staple in my new-and-improved routine. Here’s what you’ve gotta know.
Most importantly, the multitasking conditioner is designed to be used a few different ways. There’s the old-fashioned method: lather with shampoo, rinse, and then work the conditioner from roots to ends. I step out of the shower with soft and squeaky-clean curls every time. But the formula also makes the ideal co-wash. So, for example, on days when I need to get rid of product buildup but my hair is feeling a little dry, I can skip the shampoo altogether and just use the conditioner for a quick, clean moisture boost. It does the job without creating suds that strip away oil and parch my scalp. And, finally, the conditioner doubles (triples?) as a leave-in styling cream. I apply it to damp hair just before I go to sleep, or when I know I’ve got to brave a windy New York day. It has just enough hold for super-soft, loose waves.

The other selling point for me is the fragrance. It smells fresh and indulgent, but not overwhelming. My boyfriend was happily sniffing my hair the other day, and I’m pretty sure he’s using the stuff when I’m not around to catch him.

While I know that the $34 price tag seems kind of steep for a conditioner, I actually ended up saving money by skipping out on purchasing hair masks and styling creams. The only downside is that it’s not heavy-duty enough for women with kinky-coily hair, and it might be too rich for those with fine strands. But it's earned a place on my tiny shower shelf, by helping me to make peace with a new styling routine and totally embrace my bob. Yes, it's short — but long on style.

Bumble and Bumble Bb.Curl custom conditioner, $34, available at Sephora.

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