Shampooing isn’t enough. Read on to know why hair conditioner is important for your hair. There are several different types of conditioners in the market suited to your hair type.
A conditioner can make our life easy and our hair manageable, especially for those with dry hair. Although it consumes a little time off our daily shower, it is so worth the time.
It is a staple in almost everyone’s hair care routine. Some people with fine, oily hair tend to skip the conditioner since it has a tendency to make your hair look flat and weighed down.
Usually, a conditioner has a thick, mask-like consistency and the main goal is to make sure that your hair is hydrated and smooth.
It is a moisturising agent and the main ingredients in any conditioner include oils, emollients, silicones, cationic surfactants etc.
Shampoos can strip some amount of the natural oils on our hair after a wash, and a conditioner is necessary to replenish it to make sure that the hair is not dry and brittle.
Related: Best Conditioner For Gray Hair
Why Hair Conditioner Is Important
A hair conditioner helps seal in moisture in your hair after taking a shower. Some shampoos might strip hair of its natural oils, so a conditioner is essential to maintain hydration levels. Also, using a conditioner helps detangle your hair, preventing knots and breakage. Some products also help repair damage and frizz which is important for soft, healthy hair.
A Conditioner Helps In Hydrating Your Hair
Sure, drinking water can hydrate your hair to an extent but it is equally important to provide some sort of external hydration to make sure that your hair is healthy.
Oils are a common source of hydration for the hair but in most cases, it is way more hectic and time-consuming than conditioners.
Our hair can be adversely affected by various stressors such as chemical treatments, hair colouring, sun damage, wind, humidity, dryness etc.
It is, therefore, essential to use some form of conditioner to provide much-needed support to your hair shafts.
If your hair is dry, it can make your hair more vulnerable to breakage, split ends, breakage and other scalp issues.
Our hair is basically dead cells and they need external hydration and nourishment to make sure that they are of high quality.
Hydrated hair radiates the quality with improved texture, shine and smoothness. It also becomes much easier to manage and style.
It Protects Hair From Environmental Damage
A good conditioner not just hydrated your hair but also offers some level of protection. We make our hair go through numerous citations that cause short-term as well as long-term damage.
Some of the most common processes that damage our hair are the use of heated hair styling products, sun damage, excessive styling, chemical treatments etc.
A lot of conditioners offer nourishment and repairing to your hair with the help of numerous beneficial ingredients infused in it.
Ingredients like aloe vera can give intense nourishment to your dry and damaged hair with its amazing properties. It also helps in soothing an inflamed and itchy scalp.
Another excellent ingredient is Moroccan Argan oil, which contains nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamin E, fatty acids etc.
These help in repairing damaged hair, taming frizz and relieving scalp issues. And they also make your hair smoother and shinier.
According to a study done in 2015, conditioners, especially protein rich conditioners can temporarily seal split ends.
It Helps In Removing Frizz and Tangles From Hair
If you are someone struggling with frizzy hair or knots and tangles on your hair, a conditioner might be your holy grail. It becomes much easier to detangle your hair and remove knots on your hair using a conditioner while in the shower.
In fact, for those with curly hair, it is advised to follow this method to detangle your hair. This prevents any cuticle damage that may occur during the process.
This makes sure that there is minimum breakage after removing the knots and tangles. It is also advised to gently use your fingers to remove them rather than using a comb.
If you are using a comb, make sure to use a wide-toothed comb to make the process easier for you. You can easily style your hair after detangling and removing frizz.
A Conditioner Increases Hair Elasticity
Hair elasticity is basically how much we can stretch a single strand of our hair before it goes back to its normal position.
You can do a simple elasticity test at home to check your hair elasticity. Simply wet a strand of your hair and try stretching it as much as you can. You can now determine the elasticity level of your hair.
Hair feels brittle? It likely has low elasticity. This type of hair also snaps quickly after stretching.
If your hair has stretched partially before breaking off during the hair elasticity test, you might have medium elasticity. This is also the most common level of elasticity found in the general population.
You have highly elastic hair if your hair stretches way more than the rest before breaking off. This type of hair also appears very healthy with a lustrous shine and smoothness.
A conditioner can really help in improving the elasticity of your hair by providing nourishment and hydration.
Different Types Of Hair Conditioner
Like every other hair care product, a conditioner should be chosen according to your hair type so you can reap maximum benefits from it.
There are a variety of conditioners available in the market that are suitable for different hair types. They also perform slightly varied tasks according to the needs of your hair.
Some of the most popular types of conditioners available in the market are:
A deep conditioner does the job of the conditioner intensely than a regular conditioner. As the name suggests, it provides intense hydration to your strands.
These types of conditioners are suggested for those with extremely dry and brittle hair. People with hair which are chemically treated or coloured can benefit from these conditioners.
It contains ingredients such as waxes, emulsifiers and oils that are incorporated with other natural ingredients such as shea butter, Moroccan oil etc that helps in reversing the damages caused to your hair.
These types of conditioners are, however, not suited for fine and oily hair since they could weigh them down and make them look greasy.
Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Mask
This deep conditioning treatment is enriched with the goodness of shea butter which is an excellent natural moisturiser.
This is also a sulfate, silicone, paraben and cruelty-free product that helps to reverse the damages caused by chemical treatment and colouring.
Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Hair Mask
This is another popular hair mask that contains Moroccan Oil for deep hydration. It is ideal for medium to thick hair and it helps in making your hair smooth and manageable.
This hair mask also contains Argan oil and other nourishing ingredients that improve the elasticity of your hair.
A leave-in conditioner can be applied to both dry hair and wet hair. It usually comes in a spray bottle. They are lighter, have a thinner consistency and lower viscosity than their counterparts. But they help in easily smoothing and managing your hair.
It acts as a moisturiser to your strands and creates a conditioning layer on your shaft to soften and smoothen your hair.
A leave-in conditioner also helps in removing frizz and detangling your hair without causing breakage and damage.
If you are someone with dry, brittle hair, a leave-in conditioner can be of great help to you. This is also an amazing product that helps in styling your hair.
OUAI Leave-in Conditioner
This leave-in conditioner also helps in protecting your hair from heat damage caused by styling and environmental stressors such as sun damage, wind etc.
Paul Mitchell The Original Leave-In Conditioner
This is a colour safe conditioner that is vegan, paraben-free and gluten-free.
Rinse Out Conditioner
This is the most common type of conditioner and is a staple in many people’s hair care routine. All you have to do is take an adequate amount of the rinse-out conditioner and apply it to your hair post shampooing.
You can immediately rinse it off, and it will give you effective results. This type of conditioner can be used on any hair type.
OGX Hydrating Mint Conditioner
The tea tree oil infused in the conditioner leaves your hair feeling fresh and squeaky clean.
Harmful Effects of Hair Conditioner
So is using a conditioner always beneficial? Or are there any hidden drawbacks to this product you should know about? Here are some hidden harmful effects of a conditioner on your hair.
Product Build-up: Some conditioners contains polymers in the form of dimethicone, which is a form of silicone. While in itself this ingredient is harmless if not cleansed properly it can form build up on hair.
An excess of buildup on hair can weigh hair down and reduce volume and bounce. It can even cause other hair products from permeating hair strands and prevent them from working properly.
Alcohol and Added Fragrances: Some brands add alcohol to conditioner as a preservative. This ingredient can dry out hair in the long run and actually contribute to more frizz.
Similarly, perfumes are added to give conditioners a nice fragrance. These can also dry out hair and in some cases irritate sensitive scalps.
Clogged Pores: Well technically this isn’t a harmful effect of conditioner rather how you use it. If you apply conditioners to the scalp, the rich ingredients in there might clog hair follicles. This can lead to scalp acne, irritation and also hair fall as nutrients do not reach hair root.
A conditioner can improve the overall health of your hair by smoothening the hair cuticles. But it is important to select the right conditioner according to your hair type to get the best of it.
It is also essential to select hair conditioners that do not harm our hair in the long term.
Ingredients such as Sulfates, Parabens, SLS’s, Alcohol, artificial fragrance, artificial colours, Selenium Sulfide, etc. should be avoided at any cost.
These can cause health issues as well as long-term hair damage like dryness, breakage, thinning etc.
Some of the ingredients are not just harmful to the body but also damage the planet. So it’s best to make the right, clean choices that do not cause any harm.
Leah LOVES hair. So much so, she dedicated an entire website to it! One of the founders of Hair Everyday and Chief Editor, Leah enjoys reviewing all the hair products and showcasing the best. She believes her most underrated articles are her hair care tips!