What Does a Conditioner Do?

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Conditioning your hair is the often skipped step of your hair routine, especially when you’re on a time crunch! We don’t blame you. How can you maximize your shower time to get all your hair care needs in? Why do you need a conditioner anyways? Let’s put it this way, sealing in your hard work with essential moisture can fix many of your hair woes. Ready to change your hair game? 

What Is Conditioner?

Let’s start with what a hair conditioner is and does for you. It is “generally made up of ingredients such as silicones, oils, and emollients” to hydrate the ends of your hair shafts. Since shampooing strips away your natural oils, this brings back the moisture your hair is missing. 

Who Needs to Use Conditioner?

If you use shampoo, you definitely need a conditioner. Our skin and hair rely on our body’s naturally producing oils to maintain a healthy level of moisture. It’s crucial to bring back the natural oils that were stripped away from shampooing. Depending on your hair type or amount of damage done, your hair could be severely lacking in hydration. 

To find your perfect hair routine, check out how to use conditioner based on your hair type:  

  • Dry/Damaged Hair - If your locks have been fried from over-processing with hair dye, heat styling, chemical treatments, pollution, and more, conditioning is critical to repair the damage that’s been done. Boosting your hair with as much moisture as you can provide will transform frizzy, dry hair into luscious locks in no time. Look for deep conditioners that contain ultra-nourishing oils like Black Seed Oil or Moroccan Argan Oil. After shampooing, (preferably 2 to 3 times a week) leave your conditioner in for a few extra minutes to allow the nourishing moisture to truly soak in. Additionally, a weekly or bi-weekly hair mask can help restore your damaged strands.

  • Oily Hair - While it may seem strange to add moisture to already oily hair, it's the key to balancing your over-productive sebaceous glands. If your hair gets oily build-up quickly, your oil glands may be overcompensating for the lack of moisture. Since oil is produced at the scalp, it doesn’t always transfer down to the rest of your hair. Meaning, products like WOW's Coconut & Avocado Natural Hair Conditioner is your new BFF!

  • Thick Hair - You may assume that thick hair = healthy hair, but that’s not always the case. The thicker hair strands can mask the dirt and oil build-up on your scalp. This makes it even more difficult for your natural oils to travel down to the rest of your strands. To prevent this dryness, conditioning with nourishing ingredients like WOW's Coconut Milk Conditioner after a clarifying shampoo is important to maintain optimal hair health.  

  • Tight Curly Hair - Moisture is a curly girl’s best friend to get sleek, defined, and bouncy curls. Similar to thick and oily hair, your natural oils get trapped on your scalp, never making it down the strands for complete hydration. Try conditioning after shampooing 1-2 times a week, and using weekly hair treatments like a nourishing mask or hair oil to seal the moisture in the hair follicle. 

Even the healthiest of hair is no match for the elements. Chilling winter temperatures and dryness are a huge culprit in depriving hair follicles of the necessary moisture needed to prevent breakage. Even arid dessert temperatures yield a similar outcome. The right conditioner will provide much-needed nutrients that make up for this lack of moisture. Sealing and smoothing your strands by conditioning leaves you with fewer tangles, aka less breakage! 

Natural conditioning agents derived from plants, flowers, and fruit are much healthier than many modern-day products with chemical-laden sulfates, parabens, and synthetic preservatives. We have come far with our understanding of Mother Nature’s bounty, and what we know now that the best ingredients for optimal health have always been at our fingertips.    

Condition on your schedule

Want to know a secret?  You don’t have to shampoo to condition your hair! That’s right, there’s no right or wrong combination, only what is best for your hair type. Shampoo and conditioner go hand in hand, but don’t let that stop you from conditioning on your schedule. If you know your locks could benefit from a boost of hydration between washings, then give it what it craves! 

If hair washing was like getting a car wash, then shampooing would be the component of sudsing up to remove dirt, bringing it back to its near-original state.  But over time too much washing slowly erodes the paint’s protective coating, leaving your car susceptible to scratches, nicks, and other damage.  This is where waxing comes into play or conditioning in hair washing terms.  Waxing can restore scratches and provides a barrier of shine and protectant to the car.  A conditioner does exactly the same job for your hair.  Can you keep your hair clean without it?  Sure.  Does it help to restore and maintain healthy locks? Absolutely. Simply stated, it does what it should and there’s no real reason not to make conditioning part of your regular washing routine.  

Key Tips For Conditioning

Are there any concerns to be aware of when using a conditioner? If you’re worried about weighing your hair down with extra weight, moderation is key. Using conditioners can make our hair feel so silky and smooth but if you find yourself with greasier feeling hair, reduce the amount to just a small dollop.  

A serious cause for worry is if you happen to have a severe sensitivity or allergy to any particular ingredient in the product being used. If you know that you generally have skin sensitivity, consult with your dermatologist first before using or try a simple allergy test on your forearm to see if any reaction occurs. If you fall into this category of sensitivity, be sure to look for brands that focus on giving you natural, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and vegan haircare. The less chemically enhanced or synthetic ingredients used, the easier it is to determine if there are any irritants to worry about. 

The moral of the story is that conditioner is the key to achieve the beautiful, silky smooth, and shiny strands that you see on the red carpet. Our hair needs this extra step to bring back the moisture that it’s missing. Give your hair the care it craves with conditioner! 

Sources:

  1. https://www.home-water-works.org/indoor-use/showers
  2. https://www.allure.com/story/what-does-a-conditioner-do-why-should-you-use-it

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