Conditioner is one of those tricky beauty products that make it hard to find the perfect balance for your hair. Even when you think you’ve mastered the art of conditioning (or not conditioning), environmental factors or physical changes can come out of nowhere and change everything.
Of course, there are plenty of moving parts here, such as the texture of your hair, whether or not it’s been color-treated, and the conditioner you’re using. Still, there are a few things you should know about shampoo’s BFF that apply to everyone’s’ locks.
Read on to discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about conditioner, including how long you should leave it in and whether or not your hair even needs it!
Can Not Use Conditioner Cause Hair Loss?
Eventually, yes. Conditioner covers hair follicles with a protective coating, which enables the hair to grow long and strong without breakage. In the complete absence of conditioner, hair becomes lifeless, tangled, and brittle, making it more apt to break or fall out.
I tried going without it for a month, and I’m telling you, it wasn’t pretty. What saved my hair was finding a conditioner that doesn’t contain silicone since it tends to make the hair feel heavier and more greasy.
I know, I know – you’re all like, “but what about my super fine, oily hair?” The answer is the same! There’s no need to be conditioner-phobic. You just need to find the right one for your hair type and believe me, it’s out there!
Is Conditioner Good For Your Hair?
You may have heard people buzzing recently about “co-washing.” It’s becoming all the rage among those with dry or color-treated hair as a way to avoid the harsh effects of shampoo.
Co-washing is pretty much just using conditioner to cleanse your hair and omitting shampoo altogether. As a person with heavily color-treated hair, I must say this method has made my hair very happy on several occasions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good long-term.
I was super excited to find out there’s some science to back up this hair care phenomenon. Surfactants are what make shampoo so good at cleaning and removing oil from the hair, and to my surprise, conditioners also contain them. While most shampoos contain 10-15% of various surfactants, conditioners only have between 1-5%, making it a more gentle way to clean your hair.
Now, I’m not saying this method will work for everyone, but you’ll never know until you give it a whirl. If you’re dealing with a total hair catastrophe, I’d recommend breaking out the big guns and applying some shampoo, otherwise, you may be able to get away with using conditioner alone!
How Often Should You Use Hair Conditioner?
There’s a simple rule of thumb to follow when it comes to conditioning frequency: Anytime you use shampoo, you should always condition. I know from personal experience that when I use shampoo alone, my hair is borderline impossible to comb through and I always end up with breakage.
Use conditioner to soften and detangle your hair anytime it needs a proper cleansing, that way you won’t start looking at your comb as a weapon in the battle against your knotty tresses.
Can You Use Conditioner As A Hair Mask?
The simple answer: yes.
If spending extra money isn’t a passion of yours, try using your regular conditioner as a hair mask. Simply apply to wet hair and let it sit for as long as you can stand it, overnight if possible. Rinse thoroughly, and behold your shiny, healthy locks!
It might not be the same magical experience that you have with a more expensive hair mask, but it does the trick in a pinch!
Does Conditioner Make Hair Greasy?
If you’re someone who puts a massive glob of conditioner in their hair every time you shower, then yes, you might develop greasy hair over time. This is also the case for people with fine hair using conditioners that contain a high concentration of oils and emollients.
Avoid weighing your hair down by finding a conditioner that suits your unique needs and following the golden rules of conditioning:
- You should always condition before you shampoo. I know, when I first heard this I felt like the world had been flipped upside down, but trust me, it works.
- Only apply a small dollop to the ends of your hair, and leave your roots alone. They don’t appreciate conditioner like the rest of your hair does.