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4 Types of Hair Conditioners and When to Use Them

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5 min read

Apr 9, 2019

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Hair conditioners improve the feel, look, and manageability of the hair. Their purpose is to replace the natural oils and moisture that are stripped from the hair during the shampooing process and to reduce the amount of friction between hair strands so that it becomes easier to manipulate (i.e. brush and comb) the hair. Reducing friction between the hair strands means that tangles can be undone and prevented, which is particularly important for people with curly hair. There are different types of conditioners. Some are made for daily use while others are more like treatments to be used as needed. There are also conditioners that are intended to be left on the hair instead of being rinsed away after a few minutes. Let us look at some of the more common types of conditioners and when and how you should use them.

Instant/Rinse- out Conditioners

When you think of a conditioner, an instant conditioner is probably the first thing that comes to mind. These conditioners are very accessible and line the aisles of our grocery and beauty supply stores. In many cases, these are the only conditioners people have been exposed to. Instant conditioners are used after shampooing and are usually very helpful for getting rid of tangles. They coat the hair strand and smooth the hair, which helps control frizz and increase the hair’s shine. Instant conditioners are intended for use following every shampoo, even if that’s daily. They usually have great slip or slippage which makes it easier to comb through the hair and remove knots and tangles. Instant conditioners are sometimes labeled as moisturizing, volumizing, or even strengthening. This is sometimes just marketing, but in the best cases, these conditioners may provide additional benefits, but the way to use them in these instances remains the same.

How to Use

It is always important to follow the instructions on the label and apply an amount of conditioner commiserate to your hair’s length, density, and texture. While we focus shampoo on our scalp, we should focus the conditioner on the actual hair and avoid the scalp as the scalp can become itchy and flaky from the residue left behind by the conditioner. After the conditioner is applied, but before it is rinsed away, you may use your fingers or wide tooth comb to remove any knots or tangles that might be present. These types of conditioners do not require heat nor do they need to be left on the hair for extended periods of time. They only need to be left on for as long as it takes to comb through and detangle your hair. Rinse hair and proceed to style as normal.

Leave-in Conditioners

As the name suggests, leave-in conditioners are meant to be left on the hair. They may be very runny or extremely creamy and thick depending on the formulation. Leave-in conditioners are meant to moisturize the hair and enhance its manageability. They are particularly beneficial to curly and textured hair types, especially in cases where the hair is prone to being dry.

How to Use

Apply to hair that has been freshly washed and conditioned, focusing the product on the ends of the hair and then working up towards the scalp. Adding a light layer of oil to the hair after application of a leave-in conditioner, helps the hair to stay moisturized for longer periods of time. Style hair as usual after application.

Deep Conditioners

Deep conditioners go where instant conditioners don’t. As pointed out above, regular conditioners coat the hair strands, they do not penetrate the hair shaft. Deep conditioners, on the other hand, do. Deep conditioners work best when the heat is applied to aid in the penetration of the product into the hair shaft, and are beneficial to all hair types, particularly those experiencing dryness. Curly hair types and color-treated hair are also targeted hair types for deep conditioners.

Conventional wisdom suggests that those with oily hair should avoid deep conditioners, however, moisture and oil are not the same things. All hair types need moisture. If you have hair that becomes greasy and weighed down easily, then a lightweight deep conditioner would work best for you. The truth is, hair care and skincare are a lot alike. There is not one facial cleanser or moisturizer that works for every skin type, nor is there one deep conditioner that works for all hair types. The key is to find a deep conditioner that will and does work for you, instead of denying your hair deep conditioning for all time.

How to Use

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Most deep conditioners need to be allowed to sit on the hair for 15 to 30 minutes for the ingredients to have time to penetrate the hair shaft. There are no additional benefits to be had by exceeding the time suggested by the manufacturer, however, so do not feel compelled to let the deep conditioner sit on your hair for hours. Once the recommended time has passed, rinse hair and style as usual. Deep conditioning should be done at least once per month and in the case of very textured natural hair and color-treated hair, it may be beneficial to deep condition hair more frequently in order to keep hair moisturized, elastic, manageable, and to prevent breakage.

Protein Conditioners/Treatments/Re-constructors

Hair is made from protein and truly healthy hair is hair that has an optimum balance of moisture and protein. Too much moisture or too much protein and hair will look unattractive, become unmanageable, likely break and not hold styles as well as it used to. Protein conditioners are deep conditioner-like treatments that are formulated to provide the hair with protein to help rebuild the hair’s structure, thereby strengthening the hair. Relaxed and color-treated hair have had their protein structures altered during these chemical processes and greatly benefit from protein treatments. There are different types or strengths of protein treatments and which you use depends on the extent to which your hair has been damaged. For hair that is otherwise healthy, light protein treatments are only necessary two or three times a year. More damaged hair may need a couple of strong treatments each year and then lighter treatments every couple of months until the hair has been nurtured back to health. It is extremely important to follow the instructions of protein treatments, as any wrong moves may make damaged hair much, much worse. Choose a protein treatment that will target the specific issues you are experiencing, such as excessive split ends or extreme breakage.

How to Use

Like moisturizing deep conditioners but may have multiple steps. You should generally follow protein treatments with moisturizing deep conditioners, as protein treatments tend to make hair hard and stiff and need moisture to make hair pliable again. Using a protein treatment without following up with a deep conditioner can result in dry, brittle hair and breakage.

The 4 types of conditioners discussed should be a part of every haircare arsenal and used appropriately. None of these conditioner types are meant to replace each other, but rather all work together to help create and maintain healthy hair.

info88622256

5 min read

Apr 9, 2019

21

0

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