Sorting through choices in conditioners

Conditioners are used to add moisture and shine to stripped, damaged, dry or otherwise dull hair. They can also detangle hair to make it easier to comb through and style. There are three basic types of conditioner: rinse-through, deep treatment and leave-in. Rinse-through conditioners come in many varieties for every hair type and are designed to be rinsed out immediately after applying them. Deep conditioning treatments are made for those with damaged, processed, dry, coarse or curly hair. They are made for more occasional use (one to two times a week or every other week) and should be left on hair for longer periods. Leave-in conditioners are lightweight formulas that provide additional moisture, shine and protection from heat-based styling.

Here are some things you should know about using conditioners so that you get the results you want:

  • Some don't need a conditioner. If your hair is healthy and sufficiently moisturized, experts say there is no need to use a rinse-through conditioner. You may, however, consider a leave-in conditioner for detangling purposes or for additional shine and protection from heat-based styling.
  • Dry, damaged and curly hair require special treatment. Most experts agree that those with dry, damaged, processed, curly or coarse hair need extra moisture. This can be achieved with deep and/or leave-in treatments on a regular basis (usually once or twice per week).
  • Apply it to the ends, not the crown. The scalp produces natural moisture in the form of sebum that doesn't always make it down to the ends of hair (especially if your hair is curly or damaged). Too much moisture on the crown of your head can make hair appear greasy and dirty.
  • Rinse thoroughly. If conditioner isn't rinsed out thoroughly, it will weigh hair down, making it appear limp and greasy.
  • Use a clarifying shampoo occasionally. Conditioners contain ingredients that coat the hair and remain in place after rinsing. These ingredients can build up over time, making hair appear dull and lifeless. Clarifying shampoos are capable or removing these ingredients. For product recommendations see our report on shampoos.

Sorting through choices in conditioners

Conditioners are used to add moisture and shine to stripped, damaged, dry or otherwise dull hair. They can also detangle hair to make it easier to comb through and style. There are three basic types of conditioner: rinse-through, deep treatment and leave-in. Rinse-through conditioners come in many varieties for every hair type and are designed to be rinsed out immediately after applying them. Deep conditioning treatments are made for those with damaged, processed, dry, coarse or curly hair. They are made for more occasional use (one to two times a week or every other week) and should be left on hair for longer periods. Leave-in conditioners are lightweight formulas that provide additional moisture, shine and protection from heat-based styling.

Here are some things you should know about using conditioners so that you get the results you want:

  • Some don't need a conditioner. If your hair is healthy and sufficiently moisturized, experts say there is no need to use a rinse-through conditioner. You may, however, consider a leave-in conditioner for detangling purposes or for additional shine and protection from heat-based styling.
  • Dry, damaged and curly hair require special treatment. Most experts agree that those with dry, damaged, processed, curly or coarse hair need extra moisture. This can be achieved with deep and/or leave-in treatments on a regular basis (usually once or twice per week).
  • Apply it to the ends, not the crown. The scalp produces natural moisture in the form of sebum that doesn't always make it down to the ends of hair (especially if your hair is curly or damaged). Too much moisture on the crown of your head can make hair appear greasy and dirty.
  • Rinse thoroughly. If conditioner isn't rinsed out thoroughly, it will weigh hair down, making it appear limp and greasy.
  • Use a clarifying shampoo occasionally. Conditioners contain ingredients that coat the hair and remain in place after rinsing. These ingredients can build up over time, making hair appear dull and lifeless. Clarifying shampoos are capable or removing these ingredients. For product recommendations see our report on shampoos.

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