Get to know your conditioners

So I’m pretty sure everyone has at least some kind of conditioner in their product stash but I just thought I’d do a post on getting to know your conditioner.

During the wash process, positive and negative charges are released. For example when you shampoo especially with a sulfate shampoo, it passes negative charges through the hair and because the hair is dead (as per it has no living cells), it can not automatically remedy this state: it can’t pass the message to the cells to start a healing process (as opposed to the skin’s reaction to an injury).

Yea, so this negative charge has to be corrected, hence the need for a conditioner. Conditioners help to reintroduce the positive charge and get your hair back to that happy place.

Now to the conditioners. Conditioners come in many forms and consistencies, thick to thin, creamy to light and they coat the cuticle of the hair.

My initial prompting for doing this post was to classify them into.

1. Leave-in and rinse-out conditioners; AND

2. Deep conditioners: moisturizing and protein deep conditioners.

* Protein deep conditioners could have a sub-section (where there’s heavy and light protein deep conditioners) but my research made me understand that most people know of this periphery knowledge on conditioners.



Rinse-out conditioners, as the name implies are the conditioners you apply after shampooing. You rinse it out after a couple of minutes: they’re usually thick and creamy in consistency.

Leave-in conditioners, also as the name implies, are the ones you apply after the entire wash process to keep your strands moisturized and hopefully tangle-free. They contain moisturizing and protective ingredients.

Deep conditioners on the other hand, though you rinse them out eventually, you ought to keep them in longer than you do your rinse-out conditioners as they always have a positive effect on the hair especially if the moisture or protein balance in the hair has been altered.

Depending on the case, a moisturizing deep conditioner introduces moisture and creates a balance. Ingredients to look out for in a moisturizing deep conditioner include water, glycerin etc

You would probably spot some proteins like hydrolysed wheat, egg protein, silk protein etc in a protein deep conditioner. Their position in the ingredients list and the frequency of protein ingredients should help you determine whether or not it is a heavy or light protein deep conditioner. If the protein is in the first five ingredients, it is probably a heavy protein. If it is in the next five, a moderate and if it is way at the bottom, it is probably a light protein conditioner.

Read more

Moisture vs protein conditioners

Fight for balance: moisture vs protein

Suggested deep conditioners

Whew, that was a lot. Yup. That was my idea of knowing your conditioners but research led me to some places that had to do with pH values, antistatic agents and many more interesting things that I’ll have to do more study on to be able to talk about but I hope this is a good start…

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