This Conditioner Transformed My Oily Hair — But There's A Catch

Face mists that cure insomnia. Jade eggs that cultivate sexual energy. Eye creams that work like Botox. Beauty product claims are notoriously misleading; a 2015 study even found that only 18 percent of them actually hold up to their promises. So, when a hair care founder promised that his $166 conditioner would cure the oily hair issues that have plagued me for years, I laughed out loud. I've tried everything — prescription scrubs, clarifying shampoos, supplements — and conditioner is the last thing I would ever put even close to my head. But he pushed the product into my hands insisting I give it a go. So I decided, what the hell?
During my next shower, I combed a pea-sized amount of the conditioner from roots to ends. The warm amber scent made my bathroom smell like a fancy spa and lingered long after I rinsed my hair. I went to bed, expecting to wake up with my oily hair matted to my head, like it usually is. Typically, it takes multiple dry shampoos to even salvage my hair for work — and yes, that's after washing it the night before.
But when I woke up this time, the strangest thing happened: My hair was... fine. Better than fine, actually. The lengths looked healthy, my scalp wasn't an oil spill, my frizz was gone, and my jaw was on the floor. This couldn't be right, I thought, and instead chalked it up to my sleeping position. But then the next day, the same thing happened. And for three straight weeks, my hair looked the best it ever has. I was thrilled, but also pretty annoyed: The last thing I wanted was to get hooked on a $166 conditioner.
So what makes this conditioner different than the hundreds of others that are 20 times less expensive? The brand claims the secret is in the botanicals and L-Amino Acids which detangle, add shine, boost volume and thickness, and balance the hair's pH. (Granted, a rinse with apple cider vinegar might help most people with that last one — unless your hair has frustratingly expensive taste, like mine.)
But for results this great and a cure to a struggle that's lasted from puberty, I'm willing to shell it out. After all, I was going through so many bottles of dry shampoo that it practically makes up for the ridiculous price. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.
Philip B. Russian Amber Conditioner, $166, available at Philip B.