Decoding Your Conditioners

You probably use a hair conditioner when you shower and wash your hair, and you’ve probably heard some chatter about other types of conditioner, but you may not be entirely sure what their purposes are.  Because there are a few different types of conditioners, we wanted to eliminate any confusion and help you with decoding your conditioners so you’re fully informed.  Conditioners are an essential part of your hair care routine, so it’s definitely something you want to make sure  you’re informed about so you can be sure that you’re using the types of conditioners your hair needs in order to be healthy and gorgeous.

woman washing hair

Regular Conditioner
Like we said, you’re likely using a regular conditioner every time you wash your hair.  The great thing about the regular conditioners is that they’re great for adding and locking in moisture for the hair.  They’re designed to be used on a pretty regular basis, so they’re not super heavy (or they shouldn’t be) and they don’t add TOO much moisture to your hair where it could leave you looking or feeling like your hair is oily.  This is the type of conditioner that you apply and rinse out basically right after you’ve applied and moisturized your hair with it.

Leave-In Conditioner
Generally speaking, leave in conditioners are very lightweight and thin in their consistency.  Leave in conditioners can be used in a few different ways, you can apply it to your hair after you’ve showered to add additional moisture to your hair.  OR you can use leave in conditioners to act as a detangler of sorts to help you with making combing your hair a little easier and not causing damage with knots.  In both cases, leave in conditioners are really being used to add moisture and hydration to the hair to keep it healthy.  Because you’re not actually rinsing out this type of conditioner it’s very light and you want to make sure you’re not applying too much – as it can make your hair heavy and almost look greasy if you apply too much of it.

Deep Conditioner
You may have heard your hair stylist or other hair experts mention deep conditioners.  Basically, deep conditioners are used to give your hair a, well…deeper condition.  Because the other two conditioning formulas are lighter and just giving you a little added moisture/hydration boost, it can be really beneficial to give your hair a deep conditioning treatment once in awhile.  Typically with a deep conditioner it’s an actual treatment, so you apply it to your hair, let it sit for a certain period of time and then wash it out.  Depending on your hair and the deep conditioner that you use, you can use a deep conditioning treatment on a weekly or monthly basis to get the results you’re looking for from the treatment.

One thing is for sure, all three types of conditioners have their benefits and definitely do wonders for those that use them on a regular basis.

Do you use all of these types of conditioners?

Hair Strengthening Masks

Woman getting a hair treatment

Hair masks are a severely underrated product in the beauty and hair care market today. Of course, it goes without mentioning that there are more than a few products out there that don’t exactly keep their promises, so it’s understandable why people aren’t exactly the biggest believers in the claims of hair strengthening masks. Well, it’s time for all the nonbelievers to start believing in all of the super strengthening powers that the ultra-dense conditioning masks have to offer.

Lather… Rinse… Repeat
Believe it or not, hair masks are at the very least as powerful as your typical conditioner, but more than often they are much more mighty. The conditioner that you lather, rinse, and repeat with every morning typically works by resting on the outermost layer of your hair. Assuming that you leave the moisturizing compound on your hair for the recommended amount of time, it will give your hair a rather semi-transformation by replacing the natural oils that are stripped away by your shampoo. Think of this conditioner somewhat like a smoothing primer that would be used prior to putting on the foundation; when someone has rough or dry patches, they may apply a smoothing primer to coat their dry skin so that their makeup goes on easier. However, it’s important to remember that the primer is not actually fixing, helping, or healing the dry patches on your skin.

Lather… Relax… Rinse
Unlike your typical conditioner, which just simply coats the dry, damaged outer cuticle, hair strengthening masks actually strengthen the inner and outer cuticle by totally immersing into each and every strand. This means that instead of the temporary fix provided by a regular conditioner, the hair strengthening mask will provide nourishment to your hair, ultimately leaving it with a natural luster and better than ever manageability.

That being said, a hair strengthening mask is not exactly going to fix split ends, as if they’ve never happened (the only way to do that is to make an appointment for a trim), but it will make them less noticeable. Think of it as the school glue you use to adhere two pieces of paper together: no matter what, it is still two separate sides, but the glue works as a compound to hold it all together, right? That’s exactly what the hair strengthening mask will do; it will hide the noticeable damage by “packing” or “insulating” the hair with as much moisture as possible, giving it added thickness and strength.

Woman applying hair oil

Should Everyone Use a Mask?
The answer here is yes! Although there are different hair strengthening masks tailored to different hair types (fine, frizzy, curly, ethnic) that cater to different needs (color protection, keratin safe, growth promoting), everyone should try to use the hair treatment at least once per week. When choosing the mask that is best for you, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for a few ingredients that can ensure the treatment will keep its promises.

  • Almond Oil: An ultra-hydrating, yet ultra lightweight emollient that is ideal for those with thin or fine hair.
  • Argan Oil: Coined by experts as “liquid gold,” argan oil is known for its powerful nourishing abilities, and will leave your hair smooth and shiny.
  • Bamboo Extract: This plant-based ingredient works to structure the hair by implementing strength.
  • Keravis: A must-have for those who use heat tools regularly, keravis is a double threat that works strengthen heat-wreaked, while protecting it from further heat damage.
  • Panthenol: A vitamin B5 derivative, this element works as a magnet, pulling in water to give dehydrated hair the moisture it longs for.
  • Wheat Proteins: A potent ingredient, wheat proteins encourage the saturation of other nurturing products while working to prevent future breakage.

Keep Hair Hydrated from Winter Dry Out Dangers

Keeping hair hydrated

Are you one of those women who just naturally enjoy healthy, bouncy, shiny hair that you never really have to do that much to keep it looking great? If so, congratulations! You landed in a significantly small percentage of women in the world. Even if you have such wonderful genes, there are certain elements associated with winter weather that can turn even the most resilient tresses into a split end prone, dried out mess. There is one particular group of people who would not be interested in learning the proven methods of protecting their hair during the winter’s worst, and that would be the baldies–the ones who are bald, for any number of reasons. That leaves everyone else who has hair. No matter where anyone with hair ranks on the vast scale of hair health status, it would be highly unlikely to encounter someone who would not want to take advantage of some easy protective measures for their best hair health.

Winter Calls For Special Hair Care
With each season, there are certain characteristic changes to expect. By knowing what these are, you can prepare for and prevent most if not all of the typical damage certain seasonal elements can produce to prevent your hair from being its best. When winter rolls around, even people who live in areas with less harsh winter effects like sub zero temps and blistering winds should take certain precautions that coincide with the dip in temperature which heralds the beginning of winter.

  • Cover Up: While protecting your hair from the elements by wearing hats is good, the constant friction that the materials of most hats can cause to your hair can result in damage. Don’t ditch the hat idea, but just wrap a thin scarf around your hair prior to putting that hat on, and your locks will be truly protected.
  • Condition for the Season: With all of the time you spend indoors during the winter, your hair is constantly being robbed of its natural moisture. This is just a byproduct of how indoor heating operates. Because of the excessively dry atmosphere, fortify your hair’s natural moisture with regular deep conditioning hair masks. These do more to hydrate and replenish resiliency your hair loses from being too dried out. Applied at least once a week, look for products that impart vitamin E, hydrolyzed protein, keratin and stay away from mineral oil in products. Deep conditioners work great, but stop working as soon as you wash them out. This is because what they do is effectively seal in all the beneficial hair elements. Make sure your conditioner has one of the following: Phenyl Trimethicone, and of the good hair conditioner oils there are olive, jojoba, soybean, coconut and then there’s shea butter. All are good.

Woman touching her hair

Other Key Practices
Stop washing your hair every day. Wait as long as possible between winter washings and when you do wash your hair, avoid hot water. The hotter temps will dry out your hair of the natural oils so go for a cooler wash and rinse water. Your efforts to keep your hair moist and hydrated don’t stop with what’s on the outside. Just how hydrated your hair is also depends on the hydration status of your insides. Ramp up your water consumption to at least 6-8 full glasses a day. You’ll be amazed at something as simple as drinking more water will add bounce and shine to your winter hair.