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While we’ve all likely had to learn how to manage our hair on our own over the past year and a half, there’s still nothing quite like how it looks and feels when it’s been done by a professional. Why is that? Well, it could be 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. Here, learn about 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!
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 daily hair care regimen. Since shampoo cleans your hair and helps remove any buildup of 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.
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, 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.
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 the roots can weigh down your hair and cause your roots to appear greasy, even right after you’ve washed them. To avoid both of these dilemmas, it’s best to only apply conditioner on your lengths and ends.
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 conditioning product into your routine could do wonders for your strands. This type of conditioner allows your hair to reap the 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.
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 for different hair types.
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 Color Care 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 Extraordinary Oil Curls Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Curls Conditioner which re-nourish and redefine curls.
If you have frizzy hair try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Frizz-Defy Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Frizz-Defy Conditioner which help to combat frizz even in humid climates.
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 & the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Scalp Care + Detox Conditioner duo which were formulated to deeply purify the scalp while not stripping the hair of necessary moisture.
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.
You can think of deep conditioner as an amped up version of regular conditioner—they provide 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 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 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 clip or banana clip.
When using hair conditioner, make sure you rinse it out completely before you move on. Leaving conditioner residue behind is all too common, and it can weigh your strands down and make them appear greasy and dirty.
Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn
Next: Why Dry Conditioner Is A Hair Care Must-Have
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