A few months ago we gave you “The Lowdown” on how to figure out the best shampoo for you and how to use it the right way, with super-smart advice straight from our chief creative officer and in-house hair expert, Chelsea. Now we’re back with Part Two, focusing completely on the 5 things you need to know about conditioning your hair in a way that will make a difference.
- Everyone should use conditioner. Seriously.
Yes, that even goes for those of you with superfine or oily hair. That’s because the right one has the ability to make the difference between beautifully hydrated hair and brittle, damaged hair. It could even dictate whether your hair goes limp or looks voluminous. That’s because after a good shampoo, your hair can be stripped of many of the oils that keep it smooth. A good conditioner replenishes those oils, giving a moisturizing boost to your hair.
- The type of conditioner you use really does matter.
But the first step to figuring out what conditioner to use involves knowing your hair type. Read labels carefully and see which brand and ingredients complement your hair the best. Is it very fine and/or thinning? Then make sure your conditioner has panthenol and biotin. For dry hair, find products that include ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, Moroccan argan oil, and Vitamin E. Even though it may sound contradictory, certain oils like bergamot and tea tree oil are proven to actually help oily hair. Other ingredients that are good for treating oily hair are aloe vera and eucalyptus.
- Color-treated hair deserves special ingredients.
That means you need to pay serious attention to those labels! Soy, wheat, oats, quinoa, argan oil and coconut oil will help prevent your hair color from fading and more importantly, give your hair strength to prevent breakage because of their nourishing qualities. Ingredients like Vitamin C, Galanga root and Obliphica oil have also proven to be great at protecting and retaining hair color, putting a protective seal on your hair color to prevent fading. Also look for conditioners with UV protection to help prevent fading of your color from the sun.
- A little goes a long way.
The most common mistake women make with conditioner is using too much. Typically, a dollop about the size of a quarter, combed through hair from roots to ends, will do. However, if you have oily, thinning or fine hair, then just apply from mid-way down to the ends of your locks.
- Going deep can be worth it.
Think about deep conditioners or hair masks like facials—they should be a special treat. If you have extremely coarse, dry locks, that means you can massage one on quite frequently; even every few days. Most of us are good with once a week or twice a month. Look for ingredients that are chockful of protein, panthenol and fatty alcohols like cetearyl, stearyl or cetyl, which act as emollients or softeners, allowing your hair to get the hydration it needs to stay healthy and smooth.