What Does Hair Conditioner Actually Do, and Why Is It So Important?
By Renee Butler
Shampoo and conditioner go together like peanut butter and jelly — the two exist on their own but work way better together. And while it's common knowledge that shampoo keeps your hair clean, what exactly does conditioner do? And why is it so important in maintaining a healthy head of hair?
Read on to learn all about conditioner and why it's a crucial step in your hair care routine.
What Is Hair Conditioner?
Hair conditioner is made of various oils, botanicals, and extracts that work together to seal in moisture and smooth down any frizz. While shampoo cleanses your hair, conditioner coats it, protecting it from future damage, promoting hair growth, and keeping everything as smooth and soft as possible.
Every strand of hair on your head has a protective outer layer called the cuticle. The cuticle is made up of overlapping panels of keratin, a kind of protein, and these panels can be lifted and damaged by day-to-day life, which then leads to breakage, frizz, dry strands, and even hair loss. When hair is conditioned, however, conditioner seals those cuticles and prevents damage.
Why Is Hair Conditioning Important?
Believe it or not, oil is extremely important for the health and appearance of hair. Even the best shampoos can strip important oils and moisture from your hair, so using conditioner after shampooing reintroduces that moisture to your hair cuticles. Conditioner also helps to smooth strands, making your hair harder to tangle and easier to comb — which reduces hair breakage and hair loss.
Conditioner also helps reverse and reduce the damage done to your hair — whether that damage is from dye and bleach, sun damage, or wearing tight hairstyles, for example. Friction and heat are two day-to-day dangers to the health of your cuticle, so having a quality hair conditioner is especially important if you style it often.
When the cuticle is damaged, those overlapping keratin panels raise instead of lying flat and remaining smooth. Conditioner smooths those panels back down and fills in any cracks caused by damage while introducing moisture and sealing the strand.
How Do You Condition Your Hair?
There's a reason shampoo and conditioner are always a pair — the two work together in a balanced hair care routine. After shampooing, gently squeeze excess water from your hair and work the conditioner into your strands, focusing on the ends of your hair and working your way up to the scalp. Using a wide-toothed comb, very gently comb through your hair to detangle it and evenly distribute the product (be sure to be as gentle as possible since our hair is most fragile when wet!).
Let the conditioner do its job for at least one minute, using the time to finish your shower routine or to give yourself a relaxing scalp massage. Then, rinse thoroughly. For an extra boost of hair protection, rinse your conditioner out with cold water rather than warm — this seals the cuticle and doesn't dissolve all the crucial oils you've reintroduced to your strands.
Which Hair Conditioner Should You Use?
Choosing the right hair conditioner can make all the difference. Neutriderm Hair Enhancer Conditioner contains botanical extracts and nourishing avocado oil to restore life to hair and prevent hair breakage and loss.
Sabal extract anchors the hair, slowing hair loss and modulating dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that has been shown to contribute to hair loss across all genders. Hydrolysed wheat protein improves the tensile properties of hair, which leads to less breakage, and avocado oil contains vitamin E and many other nutrients that moisturise and nourish the scalp and hair. Other key ingredients include zinc picolinate, diaminopyrimidine oxide, and panthenol, which work together to promote hair growth and defend the hair strands.
Neutriderm Hair Enhancer Conditioner reduces hair fall and shedding, enriches the hair, hydrates your cuticles, and increases shine — and it's safe for coloured hair.