All Hair Types
The Essential Role of Conditioner for Hair Health
Discover the vital role of conditioner, how to choose it, and maximize its benefits. Insights from three hair care experts.
Present in many bathrooms and essential for hair care, conditioner plays a crucial role in the beauty and health of our strands. But is it truly indispensable?
This product became part of our hair care routines about forty years ago!
Understanding the Fundamental Role of Conditioner
"A conditioner should detangle, nourish, and add shine to the hair. The best ones also work deeply, restructuring the strands to make them more resistant," explains Caroline Bottigliero, production head at Hair Rituel by Sisley Paris.
It is an "express" product, with an exposure time usually not exceeding a few minutes, unlike masks or longer treatments (even overnight under a towel).
There are conditioners for all hair types: straight, colored, dry, damaged, long, curly, fine, dull, and brittle. To make the right choice, it is essential to identify the nature of your hair.
A complementary treatment for your hair care routine, Jean-Claude Barbotte-Goralski, training manager at Schwarzkopf Professional, recommends regular use of conditioner. "It's like a day cream. Useful, even necessary in some cases, especially for long and very curly hair, integrating well into the routine." To clarify: "A conditioner should not be used alone but combines very well with other products, such as a good shampoo and a treatment mask."
The expert emphasizes that not all hair types need a conditioner. "Short hair, for example, does not need to be detangled, while dry hair appreciates nourishment with hyaluronic acid. Mature hair prefers the regenerating action of Q10, and damaged hair can benefit from collagen."
Beware of Silicones in Conditioners!
For Christophe Robin, hairdresser and colorist, conditioner is far from a miraculous product. On the contrary, according to the specialist, this type of treatment can encourage a "lazy routine." He is against these products and highlights silicones, common components in these products, which can cause buildup and suffocate the scalp, preventing the entry of moisture and essential nutrients.
The specialist recommends a more profound care, such as applying a vegetable oil before shampooing, followed by a silicone-free mask after shampooing.
An effective ritual, although not always suitable for those in a hurry.
Application Tips for Better Results
The conditioner, whatever type, should be applied to the ends, unlike shampoo, which is emulsified throughout the hair, including the scalp. Therefore, it is the fiber, the visible part of the hair, that benefits from the effects of the conditioner. Some "exceptional" conditioners can also be applied from root to tip, offering a soothing effect on the scalp. As for the amount, it should be sufficient to cover the fiber. Regarding frequency, it varies according to the hair type. The important thing is to rinse well to avoid buildup and suffocation of the strands, emphasizes Caroline Bottigliero.
To prevent the hair from getting used to a single product, our experts recommend trying different brands and ranges instead of using the same one all the time. Currently, there are alternatives to traditional conditioner, such as pomades, balms, and sprays, applicable to clean and damp hair. It's up to each person to find the product and routine that best suits their hair and lifestyle.