Even though hair routines may differ, there are a few common products that should see their way into all types: the right shampoo, heat protectant, stylers, and of course conditioner.
While conditioner is generally used to restore moisture and nourishment to your hair that can be lost in the process of cleansing, there are different kinds you can use depending on your hair type and needs — whether that means color protection, stronger nourishment for dry ends, or even repairing conditioner for hair that’s been chemically damaged. No matter what kind you do end up using, your conditioner should help to lock in moisture and shine, leaving you with healthy and protected strands. But if you’re noticing that your hair isn’t looking its best, your conditioner might be partially to blame. So let’s take a closer look at what conditioner does for your hair, as well as the different kinds you can use, to ensure that you’re choosing the right conditioner for your hair type.
What does conditioner actually do?
Before we can tackle the kinds of conditioner you can use, let’s start with the basics: what does conditioner do? One of the roles of sebum is to nourish the follicle and help the cuticle lie flat — this helps to protect your hair, keeping it shiny and moisturized. But everyday wear and tear, overly-frequent shampooing, and heat styling can strip away too many natural oils or raise the cuticle, which makes your hair look frizzy and dull. The science behind conditioner is that the negatively charged hair strand will bind with the positively charged surfactants (the main cleaning agents) in conditioner, helping to coat the hair, smooth the strands, fight tangles and help re-fortify the cuticle.
Here are some of the most common benefits to making conditioner a part of your hair routine:
- Restores moisture
- Detangles, making hair easier to comb
- Coats and protects the cuticle
- Makes hair smooth and manageable
- Reduces frizz
- Helps prevent split ends
- Boosts softness
How to choose the right type of conditioner based on hair type
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what conditioner can do for your hair, let’s talk about the main kinds you can choose from. While most people won’t have hair that falls into one solid category (you can have colored hair that’s also thin or dry), try to see which kind fits with your hair type the most, and consider rotating different kinds into your routine to see what your hair best responds to.