Conditioners are an often overlooked part of hair care. Conditioners not only provide gentle conditioning to the hair but also protect it from damage and improve manageability. They’re a must-have for any hair type! This article will explore how to use conditioner, how much to use depending on your type of hair, and what you need to know for best results with your conditioner usage.
What is a conditioner, and what does it do for your hair?
To understand what conditioner is, it is important to know what shampoo does. Shampoo cleanses your hair by removing dead skin cells and dirt from the scalp and hair strands; whereas, conditioner moisturizes the hair using oils or butter (typically derived from plant products) to soften, smooth, and hydrate the hair. Conditioners typically contain humectants (water-binding agents), emollients (softeners or smoothing agents), and lubricants (that make combing easier).
How often should you use a conditioner?
You should use a conditioner after shampooing or washing your hair. Even if you do not use shampoo, you should still apply the conditioner to your hair. The less you wash your hair, the more conditioner you should use. On average, you should use a dime-sized portion of conditioner for short hair, a quarter-sized portion of conditioner for medium length hair, and a nickel-sized portion of conditioner for long hair because long hair typically has more damage.
What are the different types of conditioners?
There are five basic types of conditioners. They are rinse-off (which you wash out after leaving it on for a short period of time), leave-in (typically sold in mousses, gels, or sprays that do not require rinsing out), deep conditioning treatment (leave on the hair without washing off), moisturizing conditioner (used along with shampoo to add moisture to hair), and anti-frizz conditioner (protects hair from heat styling).
How to properly use a conditioner?
The following steps will guide you a proper way to use a conditioner:
Step 1: Apply a small amount of conditioner to wet hair, and thoroughly massage it into the scalp and down the length of your strands
Step 2: Leave the conditioner for 1-3 minutes (2 minutes is ideal), depending on how damaged your hair is. Conditioners with humectants such as glycerin can take longer to be absorbed into the hair
Step 3: rinse the conditioner out of your hair with cold water. Coldwater is best because it closes the hair cuticle, making your hair shiny and less likely to frizz.
If you have particularly dry or damaged hair, you should apply a deep conditioning treatment weekly instead of using a regular conditioner daily. A deep conditioning treatment can help prevent split ends and damage from heat styling, coloring, and environmental factors like sun and wind. Every time you wash your hair, using a conditioner is an easy way to keep it healthy and manageable!