The squeaky-clean feeling of freshly shampooed hair can be wonderful, but it can also mean the beginning of trouble if a conditioner isn’t used as a follow up. Although shampoos can be very good at cleansing the oils, grime and built-up residue from the hair and scalp, they can sometimes be a little too efficient at cleansing. In addition to the contaminants and foreign particles, shampoos can also strip away the natural oils that hair needs to be flexible, glossy and full of body. A complete beauty regimen should include conditioners to help restore, correct, strengthen and protect the strands. read more about all conditioners »
find answers to your hair care questions »
Some conditioners provide general care, helping to maintain hair by restoring what shampoo may have removed. However, for people with hair that has specific challenges, there is a wide variety of conditioners that are formulated to provide a particular set of benefits. Thick or curly hair may be chronically dry, since the profile of the strand doesn’t allow the natural oils to be easily distributed. On the other hand, fine hair may be too oily and lack body. To address these challenges, and other problems, conditioners provide additional care and ingredients for hair when it is at its most receptive – immediately after shampooing.
Choosing the right conditioner is a matter of matching hair needs to the specific conditioner. Many conditioners are designed to offer one or more of these benefits: · Moisture · Strength · Detangling · Shine · Body · pH Regulation · Static Control · UV Protection · Color Protection Depending upon hair type, how it is styled and the specifics of your beauty regimen, more than one conditioner may be used in the course of your shampooing schedule. Needs can also change over time, either because of the seasons, different styles or frequency of hair coloring.
There are different techniques used by conditioners to achieve their goals. Some conditioners are used in an instant wash-and-rise method, while deep conditioners and creme rinses are left on for up to 30 minutes before rinsing: this allows time for the ingredients to be absorbed by the hair. Pack style conditioners act in a method much like face masks, allowing for longer contact with the strands and scalp. Styling gels and mousse conditioners are meant to be left in, providing continuous benefits throughout the day.
Some hair care providers offer a complete line of products, with shampoos, conditioners and styling formulas created to compliment and support each other. This coordinated approach is often offered as part of a philosophy of care, providing a specific approach to hair health and beauty. Other people prefer a mix-and-match approach, using a shampoo from one line and a conditioner from another.
In the end, it’s a practical decision. The “right” conditioner is the one – or several – that works for you. With patience and attention to how each selection works under your specific conditions, you can find the right combination that helps to achieve your goals of beautiful, healthy hair.