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What Does a Hair Conditioner Do?
Conditioning your hair is the often-skipped step of your hair routine, especially when you're on a time crunch! We don't blame you. How can you maximize your shower time to get all your hair care needs in? Why do you need a hair conditioner anyways?
Let's put it this way - sealing in your hard work with essential moisture can fix many of your hair woes. Ready to change your hair game?
Table of contents:
- What Is a Hair Conditioner?
- Who Needs to Use a Hair Conditioner and What Does the Hair Conditioner Do
- Condition Your Hair on Your Schedule
- Key Tips For Hair Conditioning
What Is a Hair Conditioner?
Let's start with what a hair conditioner is and does for you. Most of the hair conditioners on shelves are made up of harmful ingredients such as silicones, sulfates, parabens, perfumes..." trying to hydrate the ends of your hair shafts.
But it doesn't always work.
There are more natural ingredients selected for hair conditioners. For example, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, organic and cold-pressed nurturing oils, keratin, and essential oils, can be great ingredients to look for in hair conditioners.
Let us explain why - shampooing strips away your natural oils. So, using a hair conditioner with natural, nurturing oils can be a game-changer because this is how the moisture is saved naturally, not blocked in by silicones.
Whether we use an after-shampoo-conditioner, leave-in conditioner, or deep conditioner, his main role is to coat our strands with healthy oils, which will make our tresses soft and easy to manage.
Who Needs to Use a Hair Conditioner and What Does the Hair Conditioner Do
If you use shampoo, you probably need a hair conditioner as your next step in hair care. Our skin and hair rely on our body's naturally producing oils to maintain a healthy level of moisture. It's crucial to bring back the natural oils to your hair shaft that were stripped away during shampooing. Depending on your hair type or amount of damage done, your hair could severely lack moisture.
To find your perfect hair routine, check out how to use hair conditioner based on your hair type:
Dry or Damaged Hair
If your locks have been severely damaged from over-processing with hair dye, heat styling tools, chemical treatments, pollution, and more, conditioning would be the essential step if you're looking to repair the damage that's been done.
Boosting your chemically treated hair with as much moisture as you can provide will transform frizzy, dry hair into luscious locks in no time. Look for deep conditioners that contain ultra-nourishing oils like Black Seed Oil or Moroccan Argan Oil.
After shampooing (wash your hair preferably 2 to 3 times a week), apply the conditioner and leave it on for a few extra minutes to truly let the nourishing moisture soak in. Additionally, a weekly or bi-weekly hair mask and a leave-in conditioner can help restore your damaged strands and prevent split ends.
While it may seem strange to add moisture to already oily hair, it's the key to balancing your over-productive sebaceous glands and making your hair look fresh and clean.
Picking out a product that will nurture your oily hair can be tricky. Your hair will be even more oily if you pick out the wrong product. The build-up will be there quickly after wash, and your oil glands might be working even harder. But, since oil is produced at the scalp, you might end up with a combination of greasy scalp and dry ends.
This is why you need time to choose the perfect hair conditioner for oily hair - natural-based, with no sulfates, parabens, silicones, and the one that won't affect your hair follicles and your oil glands with harsh chemicals.
You may assume that thick hair = healthy hair, but that's not always the case. The thicker hair strands can mask the dirt and oil build-up on your scalp. This makes it even more difficult for your natural oils to travel down to the rest of your strands, and once again, we end up with dry hair ends and oily scalp.
To prevent this dryness, try conditioning your hair ends only with nourishing ingredients like Coconut Milk after washing your hair with clarifying shampoo. This trick might be helpful to maintain optimal hair health.
Tight Curly Hair
Moisture is a curly girl's best friend to get sleek, defined, and bouncy curls. Unfortunately, like with thick and oily hair, natural oils from curly hair get trapped on the scalp, never making it down the strands for complete hydration.
Try conditioning after shampooing 1-2 times a week and using weekly hair treatments after you wash your hair. For example, a nourishing hair mask, a leave-in conditioner, or natural hair oil rich in nutrients to seal the moisture in the hair follicles.
Even the healthiest of hair needs conditioner. Chilling winter temperatures and dry air are huge culprits in depriving hair follicles and hair strands of the necessary moisture needed to prevent breakage. The right shampoo and conditioner will provide much-needed nutrients that will make up for the lack of moisture. Sealing and smoothing your strands by conditioning leaves you with fewer tangles and less breakage!
Just keep in mind that natural conditioning agents derived from plants, flowers, and fruit are much healthier than many modern-day products with chemical-laden sulfates, parabens, and synthetic preservatives.
We have come far with our understanding of Mother Nature's bounty, and what we know now is that the best ingredients for optimal health have always been at our fingertips.
Condition Your Hair on Your Schedule
Want to know a secret? You don't have to shampoo to condition your hair! That's right, there's no right or wrong combination, only what is best for your hair type.
Shampoo and conditioner go hand in hand, but don't let that stop you from conditioning on your schedule. If you know your locks could benefit from a boost of hydration with a leave-in conditioner between washings, then give it what it craves!
If hair washing was like getting a car wash, then shampooing would be the component of sudsing up to remove dirt, bringing it back to its near-original state. But over time, too much washing slowly erodes the paint's protective coating, leaving your car susceptible to scratches, nicks, and other damage.
This is where waxing comes into play or conditioning in hair washing terms.
Waxing can restore scratches, provide a barrier of shine and paint protection to the car. A deep conditioner does exactly the same job for your hair. Can you keep your hair clean without it? Sure. Does it help to restore and maintain healthy locks? Absolutely.
Simply stated, hair conditioning comes with so many benefits that there's no real reason not to make conditioning part of your regular washing routine.
Key Tips For Hair Conditioning
Are there any concerns to be aware of when using a conditioner? If you're worried about weighing your hair down with extra weight, moderation is key. Using hair conditioners can make our hair feel silky and smooth, but if you find you with greasier feeling hair, reduce the amount to a smaller dollop.
A serious cause for worry is if you happen to have a severe sensitivity or allergy to any particular ingredient in the product being used. If you know that you generally have skin sensitivity, consult with your dermatologist first before using any new products or conduct a simple allergy test on your forearm to see if any reaction occurs.
If you fall into this category of sensitivity, be sure to look for brands that focus on giving you natural, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and vegan haircare. The less chemically enhanced or synthetic ingredients used, the easier it is to determine if there are any irritants to worry about.
The moral of the story is that conditioner is the key to achieve the beautiful, silky smooth, and shiny strands that you see on the red carpet. Our hair needs this extra step to bring back the moisture that it's missing.
Give your hair the care it craves with the best shampoo and conditioner!