We all know how important it is to wash our hair (and in case you forget, your day 3 greasy scalp is seemingly always there to remind you). But there’s one part of the process that doesn’t get quite enough credit when we talk about your standard lather and rinse: Your conditioner.
Regularly conditioning your hair is just as important as scrubbing it clean, yet many people opt out of the process—usually for the sake of time or for fear of weighing down their finished look. But the step is critical for giving your strands the moisture and nourishment they need, and ultimately, for keeping them healthy. So what does a conditioner do, and why should you use it? Read on for everything you need to know.
What Is Hair Conditioner?
While it’s your shampoo’s job to cleanse your scalp from dirt and grime, conditioner plays the supporting role of keeping strands soft and manageable. These types of products are made up of hydrating ingredients that lock in moisture to prevent breakage and keep your hair shiny and strong. “Conditioner is something that will nourish the parts of your hair that might feel dry after cleansing it with a shampoo,” says Redken Artist Blake Reed Evans. “It’s an important step because this is where you can really help your hair repair and ultimately, feel better.” Conditioner is like a tasty, hydrating treat for your strands and ends, and should be used regularly. As for what happens when you don’t use it at all? “Your ends might be stripped of too much moisture from shampooing,” says Evans. And no one wants that.
Who Needs Hair Conditioner?
To put it simply: Everyone! This step in your routine includes important nourishing elements for any hair type (depending on what product you choose), and should be used any time you shampoo. “If you are someone that struggles with frizz, dryness, split ends, or has color treated hair, you need conditioner,” says Evans. If you’ve got fine or greasy hair, or are generally just concerned that conditioning will weigh down your hair or make your roots look greasy, Evans suggests keeping your conditioner focused on the tips of your hair and avoiding your scalp altogether.
What's The Right Way To Use Hair Conditioner?
Now that you know you need to be using a conditioner on the regular, it’s important that you do it right. Evans suggests following up every shampoo with a conditioner, and primarily focusing the product on your hair ends (where most of the damage and dryness occurs). “People think hair conditioner can weigh your hair down or make it ‘greasy,’ but you just need to select the right conditioner for your texture or density of hair,” says Evans. If your hair is super dry or needs some additional moisture, he suggests opting for a leave-in conditioner instead of a rinse-out conditioner for extra hydration.
What Type Of Hair Conditioner Should You Be Using?
For Bleached and Highlighted Hair: Extreme Bleach Recovery Lamellar Water
Think of this conditioning treatment as “a liquid bandage for your hair.” “This conditioner is great for anyone who needs an instant result for shiny, hydrated hair,” says Evans. The rinse-out formula was designed to treat hair that’s been bleached or lightened, and instantly penetrates the hair cuticle to fill in damaged areas of the hair and keep strands strong. It’s made with cica, a soothing ingredient, and will leave even the driest, most brittle hair looking smooth, soft and shiny.
For Blonde Hair That Needs Toning and Moisture: Blondage Express Anti-Brass Purple Hair Mask
Nip brassiness in the bud with this ultra-pigmented purple hair mask, which will keep blonde hair looking toned for as long as possible. According to Evans, this is the perfect pick for anyone who likes to keep their blonde cool and icy, or who has experienced their blonde hair fading from the sun or chlorine. In 5 minutes flat, it will correct any unwanted yellow and orange undertones to neutralize brassiness and leave your blonde hair looking cool and bright. What’s more? In addition to keeping your color in check, this deep conditioning hair mask has got hydrating and nourishing ingredients to help hair stay healthy and strong in between salon appointments.
For Curly Wavy Hair That Is Prone To Frizz: Frizz Dismiss Conditioner
The best way to fight frizzy hair starts in the shower. Tame any sort of frizz with Frizz Dismiss Conditioner. This sodium-chloride free formula is formulated with Babassu Oil to increase smoothness and enhance shine. Since frizz is often a side-effect of dry strands, this product will help to fend it off in the long run by infusing hair with moisture, while — bonus — making them look softer and smoother than ever.
For Those Looking To Grow Hair Long and Strong: Extreme Length Leave-In Treatment
Damaged hair and split ends can be a major block for anyone trying to grow out their hair, and this conditioning leave-in treatment helps to hydrate and repair damaged hair. According to Evans, this Extreme Length Leave-In Treatment is great for anyone who wants to keep their hair as long as possible, and who wants their next haircut to include only a minimal trim on their ends. Thanks to biotin as a key ingredient in this nourishing formula, Extreme Length leave-in treatment strengthens strands from root to tip (but won’t weigh them down). Long hair, here you come.
If You're Looking For The Perfect Multi-Benefit Leave-In Conditioner: One United
No matter the type of hair you have or the hair concern you’re dealing with, anyone can benefit from spritzing their strands with One United leave in conditioner spray. This multi-benefit leave-in conditioner moisturizes hair, increases hair manageability and adds protection while leaving it looking beautiful. On the manageability front, it conditions and nourishes, helps even porosity, reduces dryness, detangles, and helps with strengthening. It also protects hair by priming hair for styling and preventing breakage and split ends from hot tools and brushing. And when it comes to beautifying, it gives hair a smooth, silky touch with no frizz, static, or flyaways in sight.