I say “a product” because I’m not quite sure how to describe it. It’s not a conditioner, but you do use it in place of one in the shower. To call it a “treatment” doesn’t feel quite right — it only stays on your strands for a matter of seconds. It isn’t even technically correct to classify it as a water, like its name implies.
Huh? Yep — Wonder Water doesn’t even contain any water. It is, in fact, a lamellar fluid. What’s “lamellar” mean, you ask? It’s within the answer that you’ll find out what makes this formula so special.
Lamellars are anything comprised of thin, flat layers of alternating materials, cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson tells Allure. Here, those materials are amino acids and lipids. In this “lamellar” form, those positively-charged materials are highly unstable and ready to cling to whatever they can — like the negatively-charged spots where your hair is damaged, says Wilson. The cosmetic result is that your hair is shinier, softer, and silkier without being weighed down. And if like me, your strands are ultra-fine, that last caveat makes all the difference.
But this formula is an Allure Best of Beauty Breakthrough winner — and the fact that it works on all hair types is one of the reasons why. Our testers with thick curls and frayed ends now swear by this stuff, too.
Applying it is easy: After you’ve shampooed your hair, reach for Wonder Water instead of your conditioner. Noting the recommended dosage measure on the side of the bottle, coat your strands with the formula and then massage it in for eight seconds. And just like that, you can rinse it away.
Rest assured, the benefits last far longer. My hair has stayed shiny and soft for four or five days after a single application. The best way I can describe the overall effect is to say that it gives my hair that fresh-from-the-salon feeling. You know, the one that helps you justify spending $40 or more on a blowout. However (and I admit I’ve buried the lede here), a bottle of this clocks in at under $10. Yep, really.
So while it’s true I may not know exactly how to categorically store them (probably next to hair masks, I’ve decided), you can bet I’ll never be without a few bottles of this truly wonderful “water.”
Check out the full list of Allure’s 2020 Best of Beauty winners.