You can never get that salon-like hair wash at home no matter how hard you try. Your hair appears flat and lacks the oomph you desperately want.
Is there something you are doing wrong when you wash your hair in the shower at home? Lifeless hair results from using too little or too much conditioner and not washing it off properly.
Hair conditioners help reduce friction and frizz in the hair; it detangles it and allows smooth combing.
In addition, hair conditioners work by neutralizing the negative electric charge caused by the hair fibers with a positive charge and by efficiently lubricating the hair cuticle to lower fiber hydrophilicity. (1)
Common Mistakes When Using Hair Conditioners
Check out these top mistakes you may be making when using hair conditioners:
Mistake 1 – Using too much conditioner
Most people with dry and thin hair think that using lots of conditioner can make their hair silky and smooth, but that thinking can backfire and weigh down the hair.
Many shampoos sold nowadays already contain conditioning agents; however, consumers prefer to apply conditioners separately after shampooing the hair to reduce hair frizz and increase hair manageability and shine.
Conditioners are used to lessen the trauma to the hair caused by chemical or mechanical reactions, for example, hair bleaching, permanent dyes, and brisk combing. Thus, it should be used according to the need of your hair. (2)
Use just two-quarters of hair conditioners if you have thin hair, and add more if your hair is thick and absorbs the conditioner quickly.
Mistake 2 – You are putting conditioner on the scalp
Apply hair conditioner only to the hair strands, and avoid applying it to the scalp as it can lead to greasiness and product buildup. Ensure it is thoroughly rinsed out thereafter.
After shampooing, using conditioner on the hair reduces fiber friction and eases out the combing process.
Mistake 3 – You don’t leave the conditioner on long enough
Firstly, you must apply conditioner on wet hair to absorb the product well. Allowing the conditioner to remain in the hair for 3–4 minutes before rinsing is enough for it to hydrate your hair strands. (3)
Then, while still in the shower, comb your hair and ensure the product is distributed from the mid-lengths to the tips.
Mistake 4 – You are not rinsing all the conditioner off
Make sure that you are rinsing your hair well with water to eliminate all the conditioner in your hair.
Rinsing your hair well to get rid of any trace of conditioner will help your hair reap the maximum benefit of the conditioner and not leave you with flat or greasy-looking hair.
Mistake 5 – Rinsing the conditioner off your hair immediately
Most people lead busy lives, where they have to run off for a meeting, college, office, etc., that it becomes the norm to race through their shampoo-conditioner routine, which is terrible.
Using a conditioner is like moisturizing your hair, and so rinsing it off too soon will not allow it to work its magic.
Mistake 6 – Skipping out on conditioner completely
If you think your hair does not need a conditioner, you might want to think again. Imagine if you don’t apply moisturizer to your skin.
Don’t skip on using conditioners for your hair as they add moisture and nourishment to your strands. The hair feels silky smooth after using conditioner and is much easier to comb out and detangle when wet or dry.
Conditioners are also a boon for people with split hair as they temporarily seal the split ends. (4)
Mistake 7 – Not using a deep conditioner or hair mask
Deep conditioners or intensive hair conditioners work like instant conditioners – the difference is deep conditioners are highly concentrated and need to be left on the hair for 20–30 minutes.
People with extremely dry hair and those that get chemical treatments such as coloring and waving should opt for these types of hair conditioners. (4)
You must treat your hair the same way you treat your skin. For example, a deep conditioner or a hair mask adds rich nourishment to your hair the same way a face mask or skin treatment provides TLC (tender loving care) to your skin.
Mistake 8 – Not using a conditioner with its matching shampoo
Not using the conditioner that matches the shampoo for your hair type will not give you the results you are looking for.
Using the conditioner paired with your shampoo will work best because that’s what the makers of the products intended when they formulated them.
For example, using a shampoo with onion juice and pairing it with a conditioner with onion juice will lead to fast hair growth and bouncy, soft hair.
Mistake 9 – Not using a conditioner according to your hair type
Many active agents have to be combined to produce a hair conditioner for a specific hair type. Check out the best conditioner for your hair type; the market is teeming with several shampoos and conditioners.
Many new products claim to give magical results, but what really works is products suitable for your hair type and needs.
For example, you should use a hair conditioner formulated for dry hair if you have dry hair. If you have an oily scalp, buy a conditioner that says it helps get rid of excess oil and sebum.
Similarly, use a conditioner specially formulated for colored hair, damaged hair, curly hair, and straight hair, as there are so many varieties available nowadays.
Mistake 10 – Letting your hair down while the conditioner is in
It’s common to let the hair hang while applying the conditioner to the strands. But doing so could create problems because the conditioner-soaked strands resting on your back and shoulders can cause skin breakouts and irritation.
Instead, use a shower cap or fasten it with a clip to keep it off your body while conditioning your hair.
General Queries Related to Hair Conditioners
Should I comb my hair while conditioning in the shower?
You can comb your hair using a wide-toothed comb while conditioning it in the shower to work the product into the hair strands well.
Does a conditioner work better on dry or wet hair?
Conditioners work best when applied to wet hair as it is easier to spread and get adequately absorbed by the strands.
Can I use a hair conditioner every day?
Unlike shampoos, you can condition your hair every day since it hydrates the hair and restores the lost nutrients.
Hair conditioners work the same way moisturizers do for your skin.
For really healthy and bouncy hair, the secret is to condition it well with a hair conditioner meant for your hair type and concern.
Then, apply it to the strands the correct way, and leave it on for some time before rinsing it off thoroughly to get the hair you’ve always wanted.
- Gavazzoni Dias MFR. Hair cosmetics: An overview. International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/. Published 2015.
- Alessandrini A, Piraccini BM. Essential of hair care cosmetics. MDPI. https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9284/3/4/34/htm. Published September 27, 2016.
- Gavazzoni Dias MFR. Pro and Contra of cleansing conditioners. Skin appendage disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6489037/. Published April 2019.
- D’Souza P, Rathi SK. Shampoo and conditioners: What a dermatologist should know? Indian journal of dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4458934/. Published 2015.