all hair types 10 Conditioner Mistakes You Could Be Making

In order for this must-have product to be effective you’ll want to avoid these major no-nos.

March 25, 2022
Conditioner Mistakes To Avoid

While we’ve all had to learn how to manage our own hair to some degree in the past few years, there’s still nothing quite like how it looks and feels when it’s been done by a professional. Sure, they’ve got tricks up their sleeves that we just don’t have in our knowledge arsenal, but it could be much more than that.

You may be surprised to find that you don’t even have the basics as down pat as you thought you did and that you’re not using one hair care product — conditioner — as effectively as you could be. In fact, not everyone realizes how to use conditioner the right way — some may not even truly know what conditioner does but they use it because they think they should. 

Well, that stops today, because we’re breaking down some of the most common mistakes you might be making with your conditioner and what to do instead. Cheers to happier hair washing days ahead!

1. You Skip It Altogether

Just as you shouldn’t skip out on moisturizing after cleansing your skin, you shouldn’t complete your hair care routine without using conditioner. But if you find yourself wondering, “What does conditioner do?” then it’s understandable why you may not be all-in when it comes to adding one to your regular hair care routine

Since shampoo cleans your hair and helps remove any buildup of product, oils and impurities, conditioning is important for adding moisture back into the hair. Conditioner restores hydration to your strands — particularly your ends, which tend to get the most dry — as well as smooth your mane. Whether you have color-treated hair, frizzy hair, or find yourself heat styling your hair often, using conditioner is a must. 

2. You Use Way Too Much

Before you go squirting half a bottle of conditioner into your hands post-shampooing, hear us out: When it comes to conditioner, less is definitely more — especially if you have fine hair. When you use too much, it can potentially make your hair look weighed down. A good rule of thumb is to use one or two quarter-sized dollops of conditioner, depending on the thickness and length of your hair. 

3. You Put It On Your Roots

It’s a good idea to apply conditioner only where it’s needed the most, for example, your mid-lengths to your ends since this part of your hair tends to be drier. Applying conditioner at your roots can weigh down your hair and cause your roots to appear greasy, even right after you’ve washed your hair. To avoid both of these dilemmas, it’s best to only apply conditioner on your lengths and ends.

4. You Don’t Leave It On Long Enough

If you apply your conditioner only to rinse it off immediately, you may not be reaping all of its benefits. Typically, you’ll want to leave the conditioner on for the amount of time listed in the directions on the packaging, which is usually between one and three minutes — just enough time to wash your face. 

5. You Don’t Rinse It All Out

That being said, when you finally do rinse out your conditioner, make sure you rinse it out completely before you move on. Leaving conditioner residue behind is all too common, and it can weigh down your strands and make them appear greasy and limp. 

6. You Skip Leave-In Conditioner

Conditioning the hair doesn’t stop once you wash out your conditioner. If you have thick, curly, damaged, or frizzy hair, incorporating a leave-in conditioner into your routine could do wonders for your strands. This type of conditioner allows your hair to reap its hydrating benefits for a longer period of time and many leave-in conditioners also act as a heat protectant, which is essential if you’re going to be using hot tools on your hair.

We love the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths No Haircut Cream Leave In Conditioner and the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner. They’re both formulated with castor oil to strengthen hair while they hydrate. 

7. You Don’t Deep Condition

Chances are if you’re skipping leave-in conditioner, deep conditioner isn’t on your radar either. Think of deep conditioner as an amped up version of regular conditioner — it provides an extra boost of softening to your strands. 

The L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner and L'Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner both work in just one minute. Yes, you read that right — one minute. So, on days when your hair needs something a little more potent than your standard conditioner, reach for a deep conditioner and know that it won’t add any extra time onto your routine.

8. You’re Not Pairing It With the Right Shampoo

You may technically know how to use conditioner, as in you apply it correctly, but there are plenty of other mistakes you can make. A major one we see is not matching your conditioner to your shampoo. The truth is, your conditioner really will work best when paired with the coordinating shampoo, as that’s what the product developers had in mind when formulating it.

If you deal with excess oil and scalp buildup, try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Scalp Care + Detox Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Scalp Care + Detox Conditioner, which were formulated to deeply purify the scalp while not stripping the hair of necessary moisture.

9. You’re Not Matching It to Your Hair’s Needs

Choosing a system of shampoo and conditioner can be tricky. But really, it’s all about finding hair care products that are right for your hair type and needs. Think about it: You wouldn’t use products formulated for dry skin if you had oily skin, would you? Not sure where to start for the right shampoo and conditioner duo? Here are a few of our best shampoo and conditioner systems for different hair types.

For a cleansing experience that feels like a daily luxury, reach for the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Shampoo with Essential Oil and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Conditioner with Essential Oil. The dye-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, vegan formula of both is perfect for all hair types and textures.

If you have processed or damaged hair try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Strengthening Color Care Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Strengthening Conditioner which are formulated to strengthen damaged hair bonds as a result of bleaching and heat styling. 

If you have color-treated hair try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Protecting Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Protecting Conditioner which are formulated with UV filters to protect hair color from fading.

If you have wavy or curly hair try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Push Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner, which re-nourish and redefine curls while adding moisture with hydrating hyaluronic acid.   

10. You Put Your Hair Down While It’s In

Conditioning your strands can get messy, especially if you have a lot of hair. In fact, having conditioner-soaked strands rest against your shoulders and back can cause irritation to skin and may even lead to breakouts

Instead, if you’re planning to leave your conditioner on for a couple of minutes while you’re in the shower or during your wash day — as you should — fasten your hair with a claw clip or banana clip to keep it out of your face and off your neck and back.

Next: 7 Common DIY Hair Color Mistakes 一 and How to Fix Them

Edited by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn