Using hair conditioners on your hair guarantees softness, a silkier and shinier appearance, and an easier time when styling your hair, no matter if you have short hair or long hair. You don’t have to use a million styling products or hair care products to get manageable, tangle-proof hair… you only need to use a good hair conditioner and to make sure that you apply the product correctly. Plus, it can be argued that not using hair conditioner regularly actually damages hair! This is because it can add protection to guard your hair against external damage. Some of the ingredients present can act as an extra layer that can help defend your hair from damage coming from heating tools like hair dryers or flat irons (Hello, heat protection!).
It can also protect against external agents like the weather that can damage hair. Ultimately, conditioned hair will always look way shinier than its counterpart. This is because hair conditioners are made with ingredients such as oils that are deposited into your hair strands. The enhanced shine is a result of the improved alignment of the hair fibers caused by using conditioner. You’ve also probably noticed it yourself that it’s much easier to detangle hair after applying conditioner than hair that has only been shampooed. Easier detangling also comes with an added bonus: less tugging at knots means less breakage (this also means stronger hair!).
Hair conditioner also provides your hair with the moisture it needs to prevent it from getting frizzy and ruining your hairdo, whether it’s a ponytail, beach waves, or whatever hairstyle you choose to use. So you can also stop spending on unnecessary hair styling products when a good conditioner does the trick just as well (or even better, let’s be honest!).
What is a hair conditioner?
Almost all hair care tips will constantly recommend using hair conditioner because it affects it in so many positive ways. There are different types of conditioners that affect hair differently. Hair masking is a type of deep conditioning hair treatments that are usually used to repair damaged hair and is meant to be applied onto hair for a longer period, ranging from a few minutes to overnight.
Leavein conditioners are also meant to be used for longer durations when applying, and they are mainly recommended for those that suffer from severely damaged and dry hair. These two affect your hair by deeply repairing and replenishing moisture by using emollients and natural oils to soften and hydrate it. Regular hair conditioners are meant to be used for a shorter period of application, meaning that they’re faster and easier to use than hair masks, deep conditioner, and leave-in conditioners.
All of these products, as well as regular conditioners target different hair concerns depending on the ingredients they have. For example, those that are made with coconut oil or argan oil are usually best suited for those with dry, frizzy hair since they work well replenishing necessary moisture.
What does conditioner do?
Conditioners have ingredients that are specifically used to coat your hair and reduce its porosity, this way the moisture that the conditioner provides is sealed into each hair fiber successfully. Scientifically speaking, hair conditioner is usually made up of a few ingredients, but there are key ingredients that do most of the work. They’re called cationic surfactants, and at one end of each molecule, there is a positive charge that binds to the negatively charged molecules present in each hair strand.
The resulting bond is so strong that the rest of the ingredients in the conditioner surround each strand and cover the hair cuticle, like an envelope. This means that each hair strand is now straighter, more aligned to each of the others, moisturized, and has a smoother and shinier appearance. Hair conditioner can also repair and protect your hair from past and future damage by creating a protective barrier between your hair and the elements.
How to Use Hair Conditioner?
The first thing you should keep in mind is the amount of conditioner you should use. If you use too much conditioner, then you’ll be left with dull hair (and your pockets will not be happy about you using up all of the hair conditioners so fast!). The amount of hair conditioner you should use depends on your hair texture (whether you have thick, coarse hair or thin, fine hair) and length. Of course, if you have long hair that goes down to your waist, you’re going to need more product than someone that has short hair that barely touches their shoulders.
A good rule of thumb is to use a quarter-sized dollop if you have short to medium thin hair and to use two of those if you have medium to long thick hair. The more common order is to use conditioner after you shampoo your hair, but some people like to apply it before using shampoo. When applying, you first need to wet your hair with warm water if it isn’t already wet enough. Then, apply the product by using the right amount of hair conditioner into the ends of your hair. If you have longer hair, you can work it in a little bit upwards, but always steer clear of applying conditioner close to your scalp (this will cause buildup and oily residue).
You can also use a wide-toothed comb to make sure that the product is dispersed evenly throughout your hair. Leave it in your hair for a few minutes (3 minutes is usually best). Then, use warm water to rinse thoroughly, making sure that there is no leftover product in your hair. This last step is very important because it will avoid any product buildup that can cause oily, dull hair.
How often should you use conditioner on your hair?
Different hair types and textures have different needs. Everyone should be using hair conditioner. If you have thick hair, frizzy hair, textured hair, coloured hair, wavy hair, dry hair, curly hair, and/or natural hair, then you should be using conditioner very often (as in, every time you wash your hair). This is because your hair type tends to get frizzy and lose definition easily (especially if you have chemically or color treated hair!), so by using hair conditioner, the necessary moisture your hair needs to look and feel its best is locked into each hair strand.
If you have thin hair, oily hair, fine hair, and/or thinning hair, then you might think to shy away from conditioner because of fear that it will make it oilier or dull, but that might be a big mistake! Hair conditioner is necessary for every hair type and hair concern, and if you are not getting the results you want then either you are using the wrong product (certain ingredients in certain conditioners might not work well for you) or you are applying it incorrectly!
Using hair conditioner regularly will prevent hair breakage and protect your hair. This leads to strong hair that results in faster hair growth. It’s also a good idea to find a good set of shampoo and conditioner formulas that work well together, this will take your hair care routine to the next level and leave you with a soft, silky hair feel.
Negative or side effects of using a hair conditioner
Applying hair conditioners will nurture it, moisturize it, and have tons of beneficial effects on your hair. That doesn’t mean that all conditioners will work for you, and it doesn’t mean that some can have the opposite effect on your hair. This is because not all conditioners are created equal, and the presence (or absence) of certain ingredients can make a huge difference.
Some conditioners can contain harmful chemicals that can damage hair in the long run. It’s really important to take time and read the labels on the products you use on your hair because there are some ingredients that you should actively try to avoid. There may also be ingredients that you are allergic or sensitive to, and you should stop using these ASAP! Two of the most commonly found harmful ingredients in hair conditioners are sodium Laureth sulfate and sodium laurel sulfate, and they have been proven to be irritating ingredients, especially for those that have more sensitive skin types. If you’re not seeing the desired effects of hair conditioner, and instead are facing hair loss or shedding, then you may be using it wrong.
If you’re using a hair conditioner that does not have harmful ingredients but you’re not rinsing it off correctly, then the product buildup might have some undesirable effects on your hair. It’s important to read the product’s label carefully and follow the application instructions correctly. You also might be using an amount of conditioner that is too small or too large, and this might affect the results as well. Try out different products until you find the right one that leaves your hair soft and healthy!