When it comes to looking after your hair, conditioner is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal for maintaining a marvellous mane. Check out our full guide on what is conditioner, what it does and why you should be using it.
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Why Do You Need Hair Conditioner?
So why do we condition hair, and what exactly does conditioner do? In short; conditioner treats your hair with nutrients, thus improving its condition. By adding conditioner to your shower routine, you will quickly notice the improved look and feel of your hair. Not only does conditioner leave a great smell, but you will find styling a lot more manageable too.
Over time, the tiny cells that cover each hair will become damaged through brushing, adverse weather and blow-drying. While shampoo does a great job of cleaning these hairs, it doesn’t lock in any moisture, often leaving hair looking and feeling dry, split and a bit scraggly.
Shampoo opens the hair’s cuticle to clean it, but won’t close it back up. This is why conditioner is so important, as it locks in the nutrients and locks out the pollutants. If you only ever use shampoo, you’ll notice breakage and even hair loss as a result of the neglect.
What Conditioner Should I Be Using?
You should be looking for a thickening conditioner as this will help to strengthen your weaker hair by depositing moisture where needed.
The last thing you probably want to do to thick hair is to add any more volume, David Luiz comes to mind, so a hydrating conditioner will be much more beneficial. Keeping it nourished will help to mend any split ends, while strengthening and protecting you from further breakage.
Dry hair will benefit from using conditioners the most. Adding a vitamin-enriched conditioner into your routine will give your hair the love and care it needs by replenishing your hair cuticles, boosting the shine and locking in moisture. Only use conditioners specific for dry hair if you really do suffer from dry hair, otherwise it will just weigh your hair down.
Oily hair is the trickiest to master as you don’t want to overload it and add extra moisture, but you also want to look after it. Conditioners with tea tree oil or menthol will help to remove excess oil without damaging your scalp.
Will Conditioner Help Thinning Hair?
Noticing your hair is thinning is a quick way to ruin anyone’s day, but there are things you can do to help fight against a receding hairline. Too much shampooing can leave your hair stripped of essential oils so it’s probably a good idea to ditch the shampoo a few times a week and use a cleansing conditioner instead.
‘Why am I suffering from thinning hair?’ I hear you ask; A number of things can contribute. Stress can play a massive part and it’s that age old tale of the vicious circle. Feel stressed = your hair will fall out. Notice your hair is falling out = get stressed about it.
The one that no one wants to hear is genetics. Unfortunately, male pattern baldness in your family will usually mean your fate has already been decided.
A quick win when it comes to looking after your hair is to keep check on what you are eating. Foods high in protein, Vitamin C, Zinc, Potassium and Iron are extremely important for strength, growth and keeping those follicles healthy.
How to Use Conditioner
Shampoo and conditioner, for maximum benefit, should be kept separate. To use, put a small amount into your palm and apply directly to your hair after shampooing. If you naturally have quite greasy hair, you might wanna avoid massaging too much into your scalp and focus on the ends instead.
Instructions on the bottle will recommend leaving the product on for a few minutes. While it is important to follow these instructions as closely as possible and you’ll see the best results by leaving it to work its magic for slightly longer, if you are in a rush, feel free to wash it off as soon as you have massaged it into your scalp. Most good conditioners get to work straight away so it doesn’t have to be as time-consuming.
If you get bored waiting for the two to three minutes to pass while your conditioner works in, time it so you can shave your beard, wash your body or do anything else that is part of your normal routine.
Different Types of Hair Conditioning
There are four different types of hair conditioning treatments:
- Regular Conditioner
- Leave-in Conditioner
- Hair Repair
- Deep Conditioners
Each type carries its own benefits and will suit different hair types better, but regular conditioning should apply to everyone.
How Often Should I Condition My Hair?
These are just your everyday, rinse-out conditioners that you’ll probably buy from the supermarket. The benefits these carry tend to focus on moisturising the scalp and strengthening the hair. Ideally you would use it every time you shampoo. You will start to notice a change in the look and texture of your hair after around two weeks of continuous use.
While the benefits of a leave-in are pretty much the same as a regular conditioner, it does have its pros. The main difference is that instead of applying and rinsing out, you leave it on your hair until your next wash. For greasy hair, this may not be the best option but for any other hair types, you’ll probably find it's a bit less maintenance.
The great thing about a leave-in is that it doubles up as a styling product. It will help to control your mane, de-frizz and give a more textured finish. Not convinced? Well you can still add your normal product on top of a leave-in for more oomph.
Although it’s almost impossible to ever achieve damage-free hair, there are a number of products out there that promise to get you pretty close. Hair repair products will usually be in the form of a cream or mask and are a necessity for badly damaged hair. The advantage of using a hair mask is that you can use it as often as you like, purely depending on how quickly you expect results.
Don’t have damaged hair? It’s never too early to start. Using hair masks or repairing creams will build the strength of your hair, making it harder to damage in the long run.
A deep conditioner is completely focused on strengthening your hair. Designed for use just once or twice a month, a deep conditioner will help seal those ends and repair any damage caused by heat, weather or brushing. You will need to keep this on your hair for up to 15 minutes and then rinse off, but make sure you follow the individual product label.
Do I Still Need to Use Shampoo?
Yes. Even if you don’t always use them together, you should still be using both. If you’d rather not veer too far from your normal routine, add conditioner every other time to give it the boost it needs.
Each hair is covered in tiny cells that stand out when damaged. Conditioner helps to smooth it down and look healthier. Dandruff sufferers will reap the benefits of using conditioner as it moisturises the scalp and prevents flaking. It’s also great for men with thinning hair as it prevents the hair standing up and breaking so easily, leaving the hair lying flat instead.
- Tracey Veitch, Hairdresser
Key Conditioning Products
Looking after your hair shouldn’t only be necessary for those with long, shiny locks, it’s important for anyone who wants to keep their hair for a long time. If the thought of one day shaving it all off scares you, it’s time to re-think your routine.
Should Men Condition Their Hair?
- Conditioner treats your hair with nutrients, improving its condition.
- Not only does conditioner leave a great smell, but you will find styling a lot more manageable too.
- While shampoo does a great job of cleaning hair, it doesn’t lock in any moisture, leaving hair looking and feeling dry, split and a bit scraggly.
On That Note
And there you have it, to summarise - yes, you should be using conditioner. It'll not only make your hair healthier and easier to manage on a day-to-day basis, but strengthen your hair and prevent future thinning; and if the promise of a better looking barnet and prevention of balding isn't enough reasons for you, then I don't know what is!
Author: Sophie Bishop