Tuesday, July 12, 2011

HHCB: Conditioner

Decades ago hair conditioner was developed by a well known perfumer to soften men's hair, mustaches, and beards. Decades later silicone was added to this product and it became what we now have and know as modern hair conditioners.

The benefits derived from hair conditioners depend on the type of hair conditioner that is used. It is important to know that all hair conditioners are not created equally. There are thick conditioners, leave-in, ordinary, and hold conditioners. Thick conditioners are typically what many refer to as your deep conditioner. Ordinary conditioners are less thick and work well for many as a cowashing conditioner. Leave-in conditioners are even lighter and are applied and left on the hair after the washing process. Hold conditioners, not use often by many naturals, are conditioner the act like gels by which they are used to hold and set styles.

Conditioner and Natural Hair
For natural hair, conditioners can enable the detangling process to be easier by giving the hair some "slip." If your hair is ever extremely tangled, try applying a lot of conditioner and finger detangling first before using a detangling comb/brush. One of the biggest debates that you may notice in the natural hair community is the -cone vs non -cone conditioner. This is a decision that you will need to make for yourself as to which conditioner you prefer. Some individuals do just fine with silicone conditioners while others hate the way that their hair responds to the -cones in those conditioners. -Cones are ingredients used in some conditioners that can leave a plastic-like coating on the hair and may prevent the hair from absorbing moisture. Note: I said "may." I personally use -cone conditioners with no problem.

Co-washing is frequently mentioned with the topic of conditioners. Co-washing stands for Conditioner washing and it simply means to use conditioner as you would a shampoo for washing your hair. -Cone free conditioners are typically favored for this hair care technique. I prefer to co-wash by applying my deep conditioner to dry hair and then rinsing thoroughly.

What conditioner is best for you?
Choosing a conditioner can be overwhelming when you don't know your hair's needs. So the first step is to access your hair. Choosing a moisturizing conditioner for dry hair. Choose a protein-enriched conditioner for weak hair or choose a reconstructing conditioner for damaged hair. It is important to keep in mind that not all conditioners will work the same for all people and just because the bottle says it will do something does not mean that it is true. When selecting a conditioner to try, look for some samples. Save your hard earn dollars and avoid buying full sized products that may not work for you.

Get the Most Out of Your Conditioner
If your hair is thick, apply the conditioner in small sections. You will actually use up more product by just slapping on the conditioner in any kind of way. Read reviews and ratings, make your purchase decision based on what is important to you. I live by the "5-ingredient" rule before I purchase something new. Once you figure out which ingredients your hair loves, purchasing products will become easier.

Some Helpful Links
-Cone free conditioners
Chlorine fighting Conditioners
Deep Conditioning Tips

My Favorite conditioners: My Regimen

Read the other Healthy Hair Care Basics posts.

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