Ethnic hair, due to its coarser structure, needs protein to strengthen the hair and it needs moisture to prevent hair from looking dull. The treatment? Conditioner, of course! ORS Hair Care gives us the lowdown on why this is such an important product.
Why should I use it?
It is essential to include conditioner in your weekly cleansing regime because using only shampoo results in draining moisture from the hair and scalp leaving hair brittle and exposed to the elements. Conditioner holds many benefits for the health of your hair: it restores moisture and makes hair smoother; it improves the elasticity of your hair and thereby making it stronger; it stops shedding and breakage, it ensure that hair is manageable and easy to style; and overall it promotes healthy hair growth.
How often should I use it?
Conditioner should be applied after each shampoo. Whether your hair is natural, chemically treated or worn in a protective style it is recommended to wash and condition every week. If your hair is excessively dry it is recommended that you alternate with a co-wash (conditioner only) every other week.
What should I look for?
With so many conditioners to choose from it is easy to get lost between all the ingredients on the shelf. In choosing a good conditioner look out for the following ingredients:
Plant oils such as olive oil, argan oil and monoï oil
Amino acids (adds strength)
Panthanol (a vitamin that promotes hair growth)
Polymers (moisturizing agents)
Apart from the various ingredients one has the further choice between normal conditioner, leave-in conditioner and conditioning treatments. The rule of thumb is that a normal conditioner is oil-based, a leave-in conditioner is water-based and a conditioning treatment contains additional protein.
But which one should I use?
Slightly dry hair— Normal conditioner. Because it is oil-based it should be rinsed out of the hair after two or three minutes to prevent hair from becoming heavy.
Very dry hair— Water-based leave-in conditioner. Due to its water-base it easily penetrates the hair shaft without making hair heavy. It is best applied before styling and will leave hair with an extra gloss.
Chemically treated, damaged hair— Deep conditioning treatment. The additional protein is deeply absorbed due to the longer leave-in time, usually 15-20 minutes, thereby repairing hair and restoring the moisture-balance of the hair.