Surprisingly, many people do not know that you need to use a conditioner for the best-looking hair. When you shampoo your hair you strip the hair of moisture and oils that give it its beautiful sheen. When you condition your hair you restore the moisture and oils that help your hair look cleaner, stronger, fuller, and have more volume.
How Does Hair Conditioner Work?
Shampoos, by definition, remove oil and debris from hair using surfactants and detergents. While shampoos leave hair feeling squeaky clean, it is the oils naturally present in hair that makes it look shinier, fuller, and full of volume. Look for conditioners containing argan oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil since it mimics natural human hair oils best. These oils protect the scalp and prevent it from getting dry and irritated, minimizing hair loss and supporting hair growth. These oils also smooth down the cuticles on the hair stands’ outer layers and has several beneficial effects on hair including:
- Sealing in moisture and the hair’s natural protective oils
- Reflecting more light and making hair appear more lustrous
- Improving the hair’s elasticity and reducing its tendency to break
- Protecting the hair from damaging UV rays
- Preventing the hair from tangling by leaving hair feeling smoother
Other Types of Conditioners
- Weekly Deep Conditioners: If your hair is severely damaged, then you should try a weekly deep conditioner. Unlike regular conditioners, deep conditioners are left on the hair for around ten minutes. These conditioners are designed to treat severely damaged hair and do so by enhancing the hair’s moisture.
- Leave-in conditioners are also beneficial for damaged hair. This type of conditioner provides moisture, it also continues working to protect your hair from other elements, like the environment (UV rays or the chlorine in swimming pools) or styling tools, such as hair dryers. You can apply leave-ins on a daily basis to help prevent further damage from daily grooming,
Conditioners for Different Hair Types
When it comes to conditioner, it’s not a “one size fits all” situation—you need to take your hair type into consideration.
- Oily Hair: In this instance, you should choose your type of shampoo and conditioner carefully and adjust the frequency of use. You may think that people with oily hair should avoid conditioner altogether but that is incorrect. Using a quality conditioner will signal to your scalp that your hair already has enough oils and that it does not need to produce more oils. A conditioner containing jojoba oil is the best for oily hair because jojoba oil is the one oil that mimics human sebum and oils the best.
- Dry/Damaged Hair: If your hair is dry or damaged from using styling tools such as a hairdryer, curling wand, or flat iron, or from harsh chemical treatments such as colors and perms, you should weak conditioners lacking oils and proteins. Choose products with oils for added hydration and proteins to repair damaged hair. They will also prevent frizz without making it too limp. Conditioners containing protein such as keratin or soy protein - either rinse-out or leave-in – are beneficial as they can restore damaged hair and help prevent hair breakage.
- Coarse or Rough Hair: If you have hair that is rough or course, then the best type of conditioner is a moisturizing conditioner that will coat and smooth your hair, leaving it thick and shiny but manageable. You can also use a weekly deep conditioner.
- Color Treated Hair: If you color your hair, the best conditioner is one that will keep your color true and help it last. Sometimes color-treated hair is difficult to manage because it can be dry or damaged. Look for a conditioner that has a restorative conditioning treatment. This will extend the life of your color and protect your hair from heat and styling If the restorative conditioning treatment is not moisturizing enough consider adding a 2-in-1 shampoo containing silicone (the most common being dimethicone) that conditions as well as cleanses.
- Curly/wavy and African hair: African and curly hair is structurally different than straight hair and does not transport oil as well as smooth, straight hair. Because of this, curly hair tends to be drier and has a greater risk of breakage. Curly hair loses moisture quicker than straight hair, so choose a hydrating conditioner. Look for conditioners that will tame frizz with ingredients like coconut or argan oil. These oils can also be applied directly to the scalp to lubricate, moisturize, and make sure that curly hair is flexible and doesn’t break. Leave-in conditioners are also great for this type of hair.
Now that you’ve read about the benefits of conditioning your hair, you can see that it’s definitely worth the time and money to protect your hair. Remember to choose a conditioner that best suits your hair type and your hair treatment needs. You can find out more about hair health and regular updates about natural hair care at our blog.