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Why And How To Use Conditioner For Healthier Hair

Posted on May 20 2020

Woman shampooing her hair

Ahh gorgeous, healthy locks! Everyone wants great hair, but the steps to get it can be confusing, especially when it comes to knowing how to use conditioner.

Why is conditioner a shower-time essential? How often should you do the conditioning ritual? And what’s the right way to apply it?

If you’ve been asking yourself these questions, you’re in the right place. We’ll cover all of it! First, let’s talk about why you need conditioner.

Why Conditioner Is Essential For Healthy Hair

Most people condition their hair without thinking twice about it. It’s just a part of their hygiene routine. But have you ever stopped to think about why conditioner is needed?

Believe it or not, shampoo is one of the main reasons that conditioner is essential. While shampoo is necessary to get the dirt, sweat, grime, and leftover hair products off of your scalp and hair, it also removes something called sebum.

Sebum is a good kind of oil that your scalp produces to keep your hair soft, strong, and shiny. In the process of getting your hair clean, your shampoo removes the sebum that hydrates your hair, which can make it dry.

woman flipping her hair after learning how to use conditioner

That’s where conditioner comes in! It replaces moisturization and provides a protective layer for your hair shaft, keeping your hair shiny, strong, healthy, and manageable.

There are a few different types of conditioners to meet different hair needs: rinse-out conditioner (what you normally use in the shower), leave-in conditioner (usually a spray that you use after the shower or on dry hair), and deep conditioners (a cream that sits in your hair for up to 30 minutes).

We’ll focus on rinse-out conditioner since it’s what most people use daily and where most of the confusion lies.

Now that you know why you need conditioner, the next question is how often to use it!

How Often Should You Use Conditioner?

Since conditioner provides the protection and moisturization that your hair needs after shampooing, the best guideline is this: you should condition your hair at least every time you shampoo.

As a general rule, you shouldn’t shampoo without conditioning, but you can condition your hair without shampooing it. Let us explain.

woman happy with freshly conditioned hair

Hair comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors: wavy, kinky, straight, thick, thin, dyed, and natural!

Each person’s head of hair is different and needs different care. Shampoo only as often as your hair and scalp need it since shampooing too often will just dry it out.

So, shampoo your hair only when it needs it, and use conditioner every time you shampoo. But, if your hair needs even more moisturization, give it what it wants!

In that case, you can condition your hair even on the days you don’t shampoo it.

If your hair is treated, damaged (from chlorine, for example), dry, curly, or thick, you may find that it needs to be conditioned in-between shampoo days.

You’re the best judge of whether or not that works for you. If using conditioner frequently makes you feel weighed down, stick with conditioning only when you wash your hair.

On the other hand, if you have thin, fine hair that tends to get oily, conditioning your hair left and right probably won’t serve you very well. You’ll probably only need to condition your hair when you shampoo.

woman in shower learned how to use conditioner

Speaking of cleaning your hair, keep in mind that shampoos filled with harsh, synthetic chemicals are especially drying on your hair.

Opt for a sulfate-free, hypoallergenic shampoo, like Babo Botanicals’s Smoothing Detangling Shampoo & Wash. It will gently but effectively cleanse your scalp without irritating and drying ingredients.

Keeping all of that in mind, here are our nine tips on how to use conditioner correctly!

How To Use Conditioner Correctly

1) Choose A Safe Conditioner

Your conditioner-applying technique can be flawless, but if your conditioner doesn’t jive with your skin and your hair, it’s no good.

Choose a conditioner that will detangle and smooth your hair naturally, without irritating your skin or layering on harmful chemicals.

Babo Botanicals’s Smoothing Detangling Conditioner contains evening primrose oil, provitamin B, and coconut oil to moisturize and soften your hair while increasing shine and calming flyaways.

Babo Botanicals’s Smoothing Detangling Conditioner

Plus, it’s free of most common allergens as well as sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances.

2) Try Conditioning First

If you’ve heard about women who condition their hair before shampooing, it’s true! Some are conditioning their hair first to protect it from the drying effects of their shampoo.

This method might be especially helpful for women with fine hair. If your hair is thicker, it may work well to prime your hair with conditioner, shampoo it, and then re-condition your hair after.

You won’t know what works best on your hair until you try it!

3) Wring Your Hair Out

After rinsing your shampoo out — or after wetting your hair if you’re conditioning first or skipping the shampoo altogether — carefully wring your hair out before applying conditioner.

If you don’t squeeze the excess water out of your hair, it will dilute your conditioner and allow it to run off your hair rather than staying put and doing its job!

4) Apply Conditioner To The Ends Only

Your hair, not your scalp, needs to be conditioned! Shampoo is for your scalp and conditioner is for your hair.

Regarding shampoo, the American Academy of Dermatology says to “concentrate on cleaning primarily the scalp, rather than washing the entire length of hair. Washing only your hair can create flyaway hair that is dull and coarse.”

And, since conditioner tends to weigh hair down (especially fine hair!), they recommend to only use it “on the tips of the hair and not on the scalp or length of the hair.”

If you have long hair, try conditioning the bottom half of it.

5) Work It Through Your Hair

With your fingers or a wide-toothed comb, work the conditioner through your hair to make sure there is no hair left behind. Be gentle when you do this — hair is more prone to breaking when it is wet.

Woman conditioning hair

6) Let It Sit

Good things take time, right? Letting your conditioner sit doesn’t take much time, but you do need to be patient enough to let it work its magic. Don’t cut corners here!

Check your conditioner bottle for the recommended time. Most rinse-out conditioners require between one and three minutes to do their job.

Maximize your time in the shower by scrubbing your body while you’re waiting on your conditioner. Make this shower routine skin-safe and earth friendly by using Babo Botanicals’s Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Hydra Therapy Face & Body Wash.

Our EWG-Verified formula is made with natural plant-based ingredients to cleanse and soothe your skin. With no fragrance, gluten, soy, dairy, parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or sulfates, this face and body wash is great for those with sensitive skin or eczema!

woman in bathtub

7) Rinse Your Hair

After your conditioner has had enough time to soak, rinse your hair thoroughly. Don’t rush this, either! Your conditioner has done its job and it’s time to rinse it away.

If you have thick, coarse hair, you can get away with leaving a bit of product in. But, if your hair is fine, you’ll want to rinse and rinse again!

8) Condition Your Hair Before Swimming

The chemicals in a swimming pool can be quite drying and irritating to your hair. Conditioner to the rescue!

Condition your hair before hopping into the pool. This provides your tresses with a protective coating, keeping moisture in and warding off the chemicals and dryness.

two woman laying out on rafts in the pool

9) Try Leave-In Conditioner

We’ve talked mostly about rinse-off conditioners, but earlier we mentioned another type that’s another great option: leave-in conditioner.

Leave-in conditioner can stand alone and serve as your only conditioner. Simply spray it in your hair as needed after showering.

Or, if your hair needs an extra boost of hydration, use a leave-in conditioner in addition to your routine of conditioning your hair in the shower.

Most leave-in conditioners come in an easy-to-apply spray, and Babo Botanicals’s is no different! Spray our Smoothing Detangling Spray on damp or dry hair to detangle and smooth your hair.

Consider using it after showering to work out the last tangles, in the morning to smooth bed head or cowlicks, and any time in-between to revive tired curls.

Say Hello To Smooth, Healthy Hair

Woman outside happy she learned how to use conditioner properly

Using conditioner on your hair isn’t just cosmetic. It keeps your locks shiny and smooth, but it also does the important work of hydrating your hair and providing a protective barrier after shampooing.

Get to know your hair and learn how often you need to shampoo, making sure that you condition every time. Start by choosing a good conditioner, like Babo Botanicals’s Smoothing Detangling Conditioner, then follow the tips above to get the most out of it!

Your hair will thank you, and in no time, you’ll start enjoying healthy, smooth, shiny hair!

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