Hair Skin Care Hair Conditioners

Hair conditioners restore moisture and nutrients to our hair, making it shiny and more manageable. While conditioners can help make our hair look its best, using the wrong conditioner or applying conditioner improperly can leave your hair looking limp, greasy and dirty.

Choosing a Hair Conditioner

Simply strolling through the aisles of your local drug store or beauty supply store can leave the average person confused. With so many hair conditioners on the market, how do you know which one is right for your hair type?

If you don’t know your hair type, talk to your stylist. She’ll be able to tell you if your hair is dry, oily, limp, etc., and will be able to point you to a conditioner that won’t weight it down or cause other problems.

Rinse-off hair conditioners are creamy formulas that exist to correct a number of common hair problems. You’ll likely find these types of conditioners on the shelves of your local store:

  • basic conditioners for so-called normal hair (hair that is healthy and neither dry or oily)
  • color-protecting conditioners for color-treated hair
  • moisture-rich conditioners for dry hair
  • thermal-protecting conditioners for hair that is styled using heat
  • volumizing conditioners for limp or fine hair.

In addition to these conditioners, you’ll also find deep conditioners. Deep conditioners are good for people who have extremely dry hair or damaged hair. These conditioners, however, should be used only once a week. Using them too frequently can weigh down your hair and make it look limp.

Leave-in conditioners are lightweight conditioners that are ideal for people with very dry hair (when used in conjunction with a rinse-off formula) and for people who want to condition their hair without weighing it down. Leave-in conditioners are also great for people who want to condition only problem areas (such as the hair ends). They can also be used to detangle dry hair.

Shampoo and Conditioner in One

If your hair is naturally oily or very short, a two-in-one shampoo (one that contains both shampoo and conditioner) will likely work well for you. If you hair is dry or long, however, you will need to use a separate shampoo and conditioner to get more conditioning.

Applying a Hair Conditioner

Once you’ve found the right conditioner for your hair type, you need to know how to properly apply it. Follow these simple steps:

  1. After shampooing your hair, gently squeeze the excess water from your hair. This will allow your hair to better absorb the conditioner.
  2. Apply the conditioner to the palm of your hand. The amount of conditioner you need will vary depending on the length and thickness of your hair. If your hair is long and thick, you will likely need at least a quarter-sized dollop of conditioner. If your hair is thin and short, you’ll need to use significantly less. Using too much conditioner can weigh down your hair and cause it to look oily or limp.
  3. Rub your palms together to distribute the conditioner.
  4. Using your fingers, gently coat your hair with the conditioner. If your hair is very dry, coat your hair a few inches from your scalp to the ends. If your hair is oily, concentrate just on the ends. Let the conditioner sit for a few seconds.
  5. With your fingers or a wide-toothed comb, gently pull the conditioner through your hair, carefully working to remove tangles.
  6. Using warm water, completely rinse the conditioner from your hair. Do not use hot water, as it can cause excessive drying of the hair. Rinse for at least one minute to ensure all the conditioner is removed from your hair.
  7. After rinsing, gently squeeze the excess water from your hair. Use a towel to gently blot moisture from your hair. To prevent breakage, do not rub your hair vigorously with the towel.

If your hair is very dry, follow with a lightweight leave-in conditioner.

Making Homemade Hair Conditioners

>Some people are allergic to many of the hair conditioners on the market. These people, and others who simply want an organic hair conditioner, might consider making their own homemade hair conditioner.

Try this easy-to-make hair conditioner:

  1. Mix one egg yolk with 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil and one cup warm water.
  2. After shampooing, apply the mixture to your hair, making sure to avoid applying it to your scalp and hair roots.
  3. Run your fingers through your hair or use a wide-toothed comb to distribute the conditioner and remove any tangles.
  4. Rinse your hair under warm water, being sure to rinse all of the mixture from your hair.

To add a nice scent to your homemade conditioner, add a couple of drops of scented oil, such as vanilla oil.

Resources

Belle Mag (n.d.). Hair Resuce FAQs. Retrieved November 7, 2007, from the Belle Mag Web site: http://www.theworldwidegourmet.com/bellemag/hair/hair-rescue.htm.

eHow, Inc. (n.d.). How to Choose a Hair Conditioner. Retrieved November 7, 2007, from the eHow Web site: http://www.ehow.com/how_2830_choose-hair-conditioner.html.

salonweb.com (1997-2005). Hair Conditioners. Retrieved October 31, 2007, from the salonweb.com Web site: http://www.salonweb.com/pro/conditioner.htm.

WomensHealthBeauty.com (2006). Hair Conditioner