How to find the best conditioner for your hair
Shampoo may get the most buzz, but without its conditioning counterpart, our hair would never be able to look its best. In fact, one of the most important tools in your hair care arsenal is conditioner. Formulated to help replenish dry hair with the moisture it needs to look its best, conditioner is a must-have hair care product that should always—always—be used after each and every shampoo. And while most of us know that this hair care product is a non-negotiable, it can be hard to find the right conditioner for your specific hair type. Simply put, the best conditioner for your hair is the one that hydrates your hair without weighing it down. And, to help you find the best conditioner for your hair care routine, we’ve outlined a few hair care tips below.
Why You Need Conditioner
As stated above, conditioner is a non-negotiable in your hair care routine. This is because shampoo—while needed to cleanse your hair and remove hair build up and excess hair oils—can strip your hair of the natural oils that help keep it moisturized. Skipping conditioner could result in your hair looking dull, dry, and damaged—no thank you!
Conditioners are formulated to help replenish that lost hydration, which is why you should use a conditioner after each and every shampoo. While it’s a good idea to use a conditioner that’s formulated for your hair type and concerns, you’ll also want to make sure you’re using one that is formulated to complement how-to-find-the-best-shampoo-for-your-hair-type. This is because shampoos and conditioners are often created to work together to give you the desired results for your hair.
What to Look for in Conditioner
While all conditioners are used for the same purpose—replenishing moisture for hair—their formulas can (and should) vary depending on your hair type and specific concerns. For example, if you have thick, coarse, or curly hair, it’s likely your hair needs more moisture than those who have fine, straight hair. If you need that extra moisture you should look for deep hair conditioning formulas with oils and thick, rich textures. Butters, such as shea butter, are great ingredients to look for when you have hair that needs that extra hydration.
Alternatively, you may have fine hair, which is more prone to excess oil and falling limp. In this case, you should stay away from the rich, heavy conditioners and instead pick one that boasts a hair volumizing or strengthening formula. These formulas are less likely to weigh your hair down with excess moisture and instead will offer the lightweight hydration fine hair needs. For fine hair, look for weightless oils in your conditioner formula.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that if you have color-treated hair you are using a formula that is suited to your needs. Colored hair needs a special touch and formulas that won’t strip or fade the hair color. Plus, since hair coloring can cause hair to feel dry, you’ll want to use formulas that can replenish that lost hair moisture.
How to Use Conditioner
Now that you’ve picked out your hair care products, it’s important to use them the right way to get the best results. Unless the instructions on your shampoo and conditioner system say otherwise, you’ll first want to wash your hair with shampoo to cleanse any hair build up and excess oil and then follow up with conditioner to replenish any lost moisture.
If you worry about weighing your hair down, instead of conditioning hair from scalp to ends, you should instead massage the hair care product onto your hair from the mid-shaft to the ends. Use a wide-tooth comb to gently distribute the hair product evenly through your hair strands. Wide-tooth combs are easy on your hair and can help you detangle without causing hair breakage.
Be sure you follow the directions on the pack regarding the amount of time you should leave the conditioner on your hair before rinsing away and be sure to rinse thoroughly once it’s time. Most conditioners instruct you to leave them on for 1-3 minutes before washing your hair. When you do rinse, turn the water down to cool—or even icy cold temperatures. This helps to seal up the cuticle on your hair strands and can help your hair look shinier post wash.
After rinsing off, use your towel to gently pat or squeeze excess water from your hair. Reach for a leave-in conditioner, distribute throughout damp hair strands, and allow your hair to air dry or style as usual. By letting your hair air dry, you give it a break from the hair damaging effects of heat styling and thereby get even more benefits from the conditioning hair products you’re using. Pro Tip: An air dry hair cream like Garnier Fructis Smooth Air Dry can help with frizz control while you dry sans hot hair styling tools.