What is a Hair Conditioner
A hair conditioner has substances that moisturize and nourish hair. Other than improving the moisture content of the hair, it smooths out the cuticles to prevent them from lifting up from the shaft. A conditioner can improve the characteristics of hair such as texture and softness. When it is massaged on hair, conditioners replenish the moisture and nutrients lost due to cleansing.
Conditioners prevent hair concerns such as dryness and brittleness from happening. Dry and brittle hair happens when the moisture escapes from the shaft. When hair gets brittle, it is more prone to breakage. Conditioners improve the ability of hair to retain moisture while strengthening the strands. Strong hair is more resilient against damage.
Natural oils are the oldest types of hair conditioner that provide moisture, nutrients, and therapeutic effects. Today, there are different types of conditioners made to give tresses the care it needs and fight various hair concerns.
Different Types of Hair Conditioner
There are many different types of hair conditioners available in the market today. They differ in ingredients, viscosity, and effects on hair. The price varies depending on the formula and brand as well. Learn more about the different types of conditioners below.
Pack or Deep Conditioner
Pack or deep conditioners are heavy moisturizers for hair. They contain high levels of surfactants, which are substances that make the hair cuticles lay flat. When hair cuticles are flat, they are able to reflect light better and hair appears shinier. Deep conditioners are not often used on a regular basis since they are applied longer than normal conditioners. Pack or deep conditioners have a thick viscosity.
A leave-in conditioner has a lighter weight and viscosity compared to other types of conditioner. It works like hair oil in moisturizing and detangling hair. As its name suggests, leave-in conditioners do not require rinsing.
Since they are light on hair, they do not leave an oily residue. Instead, leave-in conditioners make hair shiny and smooth. They are great for curly and kinky hair, which often experience extreme dryness and roughness.
Regular conditioners moisturizes without leaving hair feeling oily. They are easy to use and do not need a long time to apply unlike pack conditioners. They are rinsed off hair after a few minutes. The light viscosity of a regular conditioner makes them efficient in penetrating hair shaft.
Your regular shampoo is usually paired up with a conditioner with similar ingredients and effects on hair. Find out the different kinds of shampoos for various hair types in this guide.
Hold conditioners provide long-lasting moisture while holding hair in place. They work like a mousse or a hair gel that shapes hair while providing benefits such as hydration and nourishment. They are best for styling dry and damaged hair. Hold conditioners help repair damaged strands by keeping hair cuticles flat.
Most Preferable Conditioner Formulas
When choosing hair conditioners some ingredients and formulas are better than others. You must choose the right one that suits your hair type and needs. Some of the best conditioner formulas are listed here.
Conditioner without Sulfates
Sulfates are substances often found in cleansers. It has drying properties that can make hair dry, rough, and brittle. Sulfates can counter the moisturizing effects that conditioners provide and can make moisture evaporate faster. It makes the hair cuticles lift up from the strand. When this happens, moisture inside your hair evaporates faster. Sulfate-free conditioners keep hair cuticles flat so moisture does not escape.
Conditioner with Protein
Your hair is made up of protein, which makes it a necessary nutrient in hair care. Conditioners with protein nourish each hair strand to make it stronger and more resilient against breakage. Formulas with protein are good for chemical and color-treated hair. They improve limp, frizzy, sticky, and weak tresses by making hair more elastic.
Conditioner with Natural Oils
Natural essential oils are good for hair since they penetrate deep into the hair shaft easily. These oils provide vitamins and minerals that are good for the hair. They also moisturize and keep hair from becoming dry and lifeless. Natural oils are safe for all hair types and are non-irritating.
Conditioner with Sunscreen
Sunscreen protects hair from harmful UV rays. UV rays can make hair drier and coarser. In some cases, it can make hair color fade. Too much exposure to harmful UV rays can make hair more brittle and break easily. Conditioners with SPF coats each strand to prevent hair damage such as color fading, hair breakage, and dullness. A conditioning formula that contains sunscreen helps lock in your hair’s moisture so your tresses do not look and feel dry.
How to Use a Hair Conditioner
Each type of hair conditioner works differently. There are proper ways of using and applying these products to hair. You can get conditioners that need rinsing and conditioners that you can leave on hair. There are products that you can apply before using a shampoo as well. Here are the various ways of using a conditioner.
Conditioner Before Shampoo
Conditioners do not only replenish moisture after shampooing. Some of them treat hair damage and bring back hair’s smoother and softer texture when you apply them before you shampoo. Examples of conditioners that you apply prior to shampoo are deep conditioners.
Deep conditioners have heavier consistency than regular conditioners. They don’t wash off easily with water so you need to rinse them off with shampoo. Not to worry though because rinsing them with shampoo does not remove the moisture and nutrients that they have deposited into your hair strands. Here’s how you use deep conditioners:
- Apply deep conditioners to dry or damp hair. Massage it on scalp and hair. Start from the roots of the hair to the tips.
- Use a shower cap to cover hair and leave it on for 1-3 hours.
- Use a damp, warm towel and wrap around hair covered with shower cap. This step is optional. The heat from the towel will help the nutrients absorb better into the strands.
- Wash off conditioner with your favorite shampoo and rinse with warm water.
Conditioner After Shampoo
The more familiar use of conditioner is using it after you shampoo. Ordinary conditioners often come in sets with shampoos. The complementing formulas work well together to give your hair the care it needs. Here’s how to condition hair after using a shampoo:
- Wring out excess water from hair. Put a dime-sized amount of conditioner on your palms.
- Massage the conditioner from the mid-length portion of your hair and work your way to the tips. Do not apply the conditioner to the scalp. When the scalp is not rinsed properly, residue from the conditioner can be left behind and result to excess oil buildup. This can cause dandruff.
- Leave the conditioner on hair for 2-3 minutes for maximum absorption.
- Rinse with warm water until hair no longer feels slippery.
Conditioner In-Between Shampoos
For hair types prone to dryness, shampooing hair should be limited to three times at most every week. On days when you don’t shampoo, you can use conditioner to cleanse your hair. This process is called co-washing. It is mostly used for curly and kinky hair.
The small amount of surfactant that conditioner contains is the key ingredient that helps cleanse hair. The difference is that it does not cause drying and it conditions hair for long-lasting moisture. Using conditioners in between washing hair with shampoo protects textured hair from dryness and brittleness.
Similar to conditioners, shampoos also have varied uses. Read more on how to use them effectively with this shampoo guide.
How to Find the Best Conditioner
Find the best conditioner that gives your hair a softer and smoother texture. Choose a formula that complements the shampoo that you’re using and get it from the best brands. These tips in finding the best conditioner for your hair should help you out.
Look for the Best Conditioner Brands
There are as many conditioner brands as there are hair issues. The best brands are those that use the high-quality ingredients. They often have the most positive testimonials from their users and have a proven success rate.
The best conditioner brands don’t have to come from big commercial brands. Some of them are independent conditioner manufacturers. Do your research and look for reviews about a particular brand you are interested in. Find out what customers are saying about the brand.
Look for the Best Shampoo and Conditioner Pair Ups
Pair your conditioner with the shampoo that you’re using. It’s important that these two formulas work together to ensure hair health. Shampoo and conditioner often come in sets and are made to complement each other. Products from the same brand target the same concern. You can find sets of shampoo and conditioner for hair loss, dandruff, and dry hair.
Pair-ups do not mean a shampoo and conditioner in one bottle. There’s a reason the best conditioners are created separate from shampoo. Regular conditioners are meant to seal in moisture after shampooing. Putting them in the same bottle negates their effectiveness.
Look for Conditioners with Hair Caring Ingredients
Conditioners that contain natural ingredients such as essential oils, plant extracts, and non-synthetic formulas are often the best conditioners for your hair. These natural ingredients don’t harm hair the way chemical-based conditioners do.
Look for Conditioners that Fits your Hair’s Needs
If you have dandruff, there’s no reason to get a conditioner that can make your hair and scalp drier. You must look for conditioners that target your hair’s issues and fit your hair type. If you have flat hair go for conditioners that provide extra volume.
The same goes with shampoo. You should find shampoos that fit your hair’s specific needs. Learn more about the different shampoo products and how they handle various hair concerns in this simple guide from All Shampoo Review.
Finding the right conditioner to pair with your shampoo should be easy now that you know what to look for. This simple guide should help point you to the right direction. Don’t just use any conditioner just because it is inexpensive and readily available. The best conditioners are the ones that complement your shampoo and provide your hair’s needs. Keep this in mind next time you shop for a conditioner.