Most people use conditioner as part of their haircare routine, whether it’s every other day or once a week. However, many are unaware of the fact that there are different conditioners that are more suitable for different hair types. Considering the myriad of available options, so choosing a conditioner without doing your research, and you can end up with a conditioner that doesn’t work with your hair.
Conditioner is generally used right after washing with shampoo. It is meant to replace the moisture your hair has lost from shampooing, which is drying. It also smooths hair cuticles and evens out pH, which reduces tangling and makes hair shiny and manageable. While conditioner is important for all hair types, there are certain types that are more suitable than others depending on texture and hair health. Read on for more information on choosing a conditioner that works best for your hair.
Types of Conditioner
You’ll often see words like “volumizing” and “fortifying” on labels, but what does that really mean when it comes to hair? Knowing which category of conditioners to look for is a great place to start when choosing a conditioner for your specific hair care needs.
Conditioners with these words on the bottle are likely formulated with the intention of adding moisture and smoothing the hair. That may seem obvious, since conditioners are moisturizing agents made up of oils, emollients, and silicones that replenish hair’s moisture after some of it is stripped away by shampoo. However, some conditioners add more concentrated hydration to hair than others. Products that provide extra moisture are usually best for thick, course, and curly hair.
A volumizing conditioner can keep hair healthy and tangle free without weighing it down with excess moisture. This is an especially good choice for those with thinner hair. Volumizing conditioners are lighter in weight and are formulated to improve the texture of fine hair by rehydrating with a lighter coating than other conditioners provide. Some work by swelling the hair shaft temporarily while adding shine and hydration.
A conditioner formulated to strengthen and fortify hair is best for those with damaged, brittle, or color treated hair. They work by nourishing and strengthening the hair shaft to improve elasticity and increase natural luster.
A balancing conditioner is not too moisturizing, and not too drying. They are designed to work on most hair types and usually contain low pH levels.
Choosing a Conditioner by Hair Texture
As with most hair products, it is important to consider your hair type before choosing a conditioner. There are lots of products available that can help you maintain the health and hydration of your hair and achieve your specific hair goals. Using the wrong conditioner for your hair texture can actually have a detrimental effect, depending on how much added hydration your scalp actually needs.
Fine or thin
Conditioners tend to weigh fine hair down by adding more moisture than the hair needs. It also tends to frizz due to slim hair shaft diameter. A thickening or volumizing conditioner is a great choice to give hair the appearance of fullness. If your hair is thinning or you are experiencing hair loss, a repairing conditioner with restorative properties can help.
Thicker hair usually needs some extra hydration. Moisture comes naturally from the scalp, and the ends of thick hair usually become dry more easily. Thick hair needs strong, hydrated cuticles in order to grow and remain healthy. Conditioners that supply extra moisture to hair are a good choice for thick-haired people.
Curly hair is usually the driest. Those with curly hair can benefit tremendously from using a deep-hydrating conditioner to make up for the lack of oils making their way from the scalp to the tips of hair strands. Strands that lack natural oil tend to be frizzy and dull, so it is extra important for curly-haired people to choose conditioning products that emphasize moisture. Leave-in conditioners are also a good idea for maintaining health hydration levels.
Choosing a Conditioner by Hair Health
There are different conditioners available that can be used to help strengthen and restore hair based on the specific issues you are encountering. Choosing the right conditioner can make a world of difference in improving overall hair health and appearance.
Damaged or Frizzy
Damage repair conditioners and treatments can help bring life back to damaged hair. These formulas are usually more intensive and provide deep, concentrated hydration. If your hair is frizzy and dry, it’s important to condition regularly to avoid splitting up the shaft. Look for conditioners that are marketed as “reparative,” “mending,” and “strengthening.”
Limp or Oily
If your hair is usually greasy or oily, you might occasionally skip conditioner. However, there are actually conditioners available that can help reduce excess oil in the hair and on the scalp. Try to avoid conditioners with words like “hydrating,” “smoothing,” and “moisturizing” on the label. These conditioning products tend to pack in too much moisture for those with naturally oily hair. This can cause even more limpness. Instead, look for conditioners with words such as “light,” “strengthening,” and “volumizing” on the bottle. These conditioners usually contain added protein, which is good for oily hair. They also tend to be less moisturizing and more effective for removing extra oil. You can also try using conditioner before using shampoo.
Dying hair can cause serious damage and dryness. Washing color-treated hair can also cause the color to fade faster. Fortunately, you can use conditioners and other hydrating products to safeguard your hair from color fade and provide deep moisture for thirsty color-treated hair.
The process of chemically straightening hair tends to cause dryness. To combat this, it is very important to deep condition and use leave-in masks as often as possible. Masks should be left in for 10-15 minutes before rinsing in order for it to fully hydrate the hair. Try coating your damp hair with deep conditioner and leaving it on for 30 minutes to an hour.