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 amateur 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 how to use conditioner in order to make it a worthy hair care must-have — not just an extra cost in your beauty regimen. Cheers to happier hair washing days ahead!
What Is the Proper Way to Use Conditioner?
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 key to healthy hair. But using it right is just as important as having the right formula for your hair needs. Adopt these tips below to ensure that you are making the most of your conditioner.
1. Apply It to Your Lengths and Ends Only
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, it’s best to only apply conditioner on your lengths and ends.
2. Leave It On Long Enough to Be Effective
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.
3. Apply the Recommended Amount
Before you go squirting half a bottle of conditioner into your hands post-shampoo, 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. When in doubt, check the product packaging for recommended usage amount before you get started.
Is It Best to Put Conditioner on Wet or Dry Hair?
Since most conditioners will be applied following your shampoo, conditioner is mainly put on wet hair, left for a few minutes and then rinsed out. If you’re applying a leave-in conditioner like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner or L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Protein Recharge Leave-In Conditioner Treatment, you could be applying it to damp or dry strands.
While this is an important factor, one major point not to overlook when it comes to conditioner is pairing it with a coordinating shampoo. Chances are, your conditioner was meant to be used in conjunction with a shampoo that allows it to do its best work. For example, 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 are formulated to deeply purify the scalp while not stripping the hair of necessary moisture.
Do You Use Conditioner Before or After Shampoo?
Choosing a system of shampoo and conditioner can be tricky, and knowing which order they should go in all the time could be even trickier. Sure, you know the order is often shampoo then conditioner, but a reverse hair washing method could also be beneficial. There are times when you may want to use conditioner before shampoo — giving your hair much-needed hydration before you cleanse and avoiding any product weigh-down from your conditioner.
Whether or not you adopt this method will come down to your hair type and hair needs. It’s the same concept of looking for the right shampoo and conditioner formula. Think about it: You wouldn’t use products formulated for dry skin if you had oily skin, would you? The same goes for your cleansing techniques and product choices. If you’re not sure where to start with picking the right shampoo and conditioner for you, let us introduce you to a few of our favorite 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.
Should I Wash My Hair After Conditioner?
As we mentioned, conditioner is typically used after shampoo to smooth and moisturize the hair. Once you give your strands a wash with shampoo, apply your conditioner as the second step in the cleansing system. Most conditioners are made to follow their shampoo counterpart.
That being said, you should rinse out the conditioner and when you do, 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.
Edited by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn
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