Do you really need conditioner?
Let’s be honest, this is a question we have all asked ourselves at one time or another. Considering how much time women alone take when styling and cleansing their hair, it is no wonder that this is a question that comes up often, but there is one simple answer glaring back at everyone woman or man who has ever asked this question:
YES! Conditioner isn’t just a second step to cleaning, it is moisturizing and restoring lost essential oils that your hair produces to keep it healthy, soft, and free from dirt or damage.
The only group of people who may not understand this line of questioning are those who suffer from chronically dry hair. For those, they may not be asking why condition, but which conditioner? After battling dry hair myself, I have found that finding the right cocktail to moisturize my curly locks is as difficult, or potentially even more difficult, than finding the right regime to treat my acne. There are hundreds of conditioners out there, all promising silky hydration that will last you from 12 hours to 48, but how do you search through the mess to find one that is perfect for you?
Below I discuss some of the most frequently asked conditioning questions and offer up answers and advice from personal experience:
“Is conditioner bad for you hair?”
- Only if you are using the wrong one. Your hair has a certain level of natural oils that moisturize and preserve the health of your hair; but similarly to your skin, your hair is going to need a pick me up every once in a while. The most important step when looking into conditioners is to first examine your hair care routine.
How often are you shampooing your hair? If you answer is between 5-7+ times a week, this is where you need to make your first adjustments. Over shampooing can be one of the most damaging things you can do that can strip your hair of the natural oils, dehydrating your hair even faster. For me personally - I have curly hair - I shampoo my hair 2-3x a week in the winter and 4-5x a week in the summer; depending on my workout schedule and what I get into during the week that would cause the need for a complete cleanse of my hair.
If you are noticing a significant change in your hair’s texture, first check to see how often you cleanse your hair and alter that before you look into conditioning options.
“Is conditioner necessary?”
- Once again, the answer here is yes, but you need to be sure that you are using the right conditioner for your hair. When you are looking into conditioners, look into companies that specialize with your specific natural hair. If you have any wave or curl in your hair, look into DevaCurl. If you have sleek, straight hair, look into Tresemme. If you have no idea what your hair does because even it doesn’t know, stick with L’Oreal. Each of these companies have other lines for all hair care, but after talking with my friends who have different hair types to myself, I found that these were the favorites among my sample.
“Even for my wig/extensions?”
- ESPECIALLY FOR YOUR WIG/EXTENSIONS! There is a big misconception in the world of hair pieces that you don’t need to care for it the same way you care for the hair growing out of your scalp. I have worn several wigs in recent years in musicals or theater shows, and they were a mess very early on in the production. By the end of the run, we ended up chucking them because they had become such a mess that it didn’t seem to make any sense even to attempt to salvage them. Now that I work for the theater in a backstage position, I have researched different options for cleaning wigs in order to save money in the future, and I have come across a product that seems perfect for the job:
BeautiMark Hydrating Conditioner prides itself in being “a conditioner [that] specifically addresses the needs of human hair extensions and wigs so they look gorgeous and last longer. Focusing on toxin-free care products and eliminating parabens and sulfates, BeautiMark Paraben-Free and Sulfate-Free care products are revolutionizing alternative hair care.” For those of you looking for an inexpensive, high-quality conditioner for your hair pieces, this is my recommendation.
Some final thoughts…
Styling and grooming hair is a battle many of us face on a daily basis. But if you find the right basics, you may find a regime that preps your hair in such a way that your style time gets cut in half. Much like makeup, you have to start with your foundation care with your hair. If you have a good foundation, you will have a much easier time perfecting your desired look.
Whether you need a lot of moisture, or just wish to recapture that youthful shine, conditioner is the first place I will advise anyone to search.
What are your favorite ways to condition your hair?