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Why is it that when you hit up the salon for a blowout, your hair ends up looking absolutely fantastic—but when you shampoo, condition, and blow-dry your hair at home, things just aren’t the same? Ah, it’s the age-old question. Well, it could be that you’re not using one hair care product—conditioner—as best as you could be. In fact, not everyone realizes how to use conditioner the right way—let alone what conditioner does. For example, if you cover your roots in conditioner every time you wash your hair, or if you completely skip out on using it altogether (gasp!), then it’s time to make some changes to your hair care routine. Here, learn about some of the most common conditioner mistakes and what to do instead. Happier hair washing days ahead!
Find yourself wondering, “What does conditioner do?” If this is a question that’s popped into your head once or twice, we understand why you may not be all-in when it comes to adding one to your daily hair care regimen. The purpose of conditioner is to restore 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 locks often, using a conditioner is a must for everyone. Seriously!
Before you go squirting half a bottle of conditioner into your hands to slather on 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, this 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.
Hold it right there! It’s a good idea to apply conditioner only where it’s needed the most—i.e. your mid-lengths to your ends since this part of your hair tends to be drier. Also, for most hair types, applying conditioner at the roots can weigh down your hair and even cause your roots to appear greasy—right after you’ve washed them. To avoid both of these dilemmas, it’s best to only apply conditioner on your lengths and ends.
So, you don’t have a ton of time to get ready in the morning. You’ll just shampoo and go—nothing to it, right? Uh-uh. Just as you shouldn’t skip out on moisturizing after cleansing your skin, you shouldn’t leave the shower without using conditioner once you’re done shampooing. Since shampoo cleans your hair and helps remove any buildup of oils and impurities, conditioning can help add some much-needed moisture to your mane. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Did you know you don’t have to stick to a rinse-out conditioner? Yes, leave-in conditioner is a thing, and it’s particularly useful for those with thick, curly, damaged, or frizzy hair. This type of conditioner allows your strands to reap the benefits of conditioner for a longer period of time. Find out How to Use Leave-in Conditioner: A Step-by-Step Guide. (Quick tip: Using a leave-in conditioner doesn’t have to mean cutting out your regular one—you can use both!)
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 using a random shampoo and conditioner instead of 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.
We get it: 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 as far as shampoo and conditioner go? Here are a few of our best shampoo and conditioner systems.
If you have processed hair…try the L’Oréal Paris EverSleek Keratin Caring Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverSleek Keratin Caring Conditioner.
If you have thin hair…try the L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Thickening Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Thickening Conditioner.
If you have dry and damaged, color-treated hair…try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Conditioner.
If you have wavy or curly hair…try the L’Oréal Paris EverCurl HydraCharge Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverCurl HydraCharge Conditioner.
If you have frizzy hair…try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Frizz-Defy Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Frizz-Defy Conditioner.
Again, we know that your time is precious. But if you apply your conditioner only to rinse it off immediately, you may not be reaping all of its benefits. Typically, you’d want to leave 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.
Swapping out your regular conditioner for a hair mask once or twice a week could be a good idea—especially if your hair is dry or damaged, or just feels like it needs a little extra love. If you want to give hair masking a go and have color-treated hair, try using the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Repair and Protect Balm.
No, deep conditioners and hair masks aren’t the same things, although both provide your strands with an extra boost of hydration. You can think of deep conditioner as an amped up version of regular conditioner. The best part about them is, today’s deep conditioner formulas don’t take long at all to work their magic. 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 stronger than your standard conditioner, reach for a deep conditioner and know that it won’t tack any extra time onto your routine!
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 while you let the conditioner work its magic 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—as you should—fasten your hair up with a claw or banana clip. It’ll keep it off your back, literally, and free you up to do other things, like shaving your legs, while you wait to rinse.
When using hair conditioner, make certain that you rinse it out completely before you turn the shower faucet off. Leaving conditioner residue behind is all too common, and it can weigh your strands down and make them appear greasy and dirty. Since conditioning is often the last in-shower hair care step, take an extra few seconds to make sure you’ve rinsed all of it out completely.
Just as your skin can benefit from introducing new products into your regular routine, so can your hair. If you’ve been devoted to the same conditioner formula for the past few years, or even decades, it’s time to give something else a try.
Now that you have a better idea of how easy it is to make mistakes with your beauty routine, why not learn how to refine other parts of your regimen? With our article, 10 Face Mask Mistakes You Could Be Making, you’ll be able to do just that.
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