Here’s a surprise: men, too, should use conditioner. In fact, I now use it three or four times as often as shampoo, and I don’t even have long hair—maybe a few inches at most. Conditioner is also a lifesaver for me. It maintains my hair healthily and works significantly more effectively than shampoo.
If you aren’t convinced that you need conditioner yet, I hope you will consider the points in its favor. (Though, to be honest, there aren’t many arguments against it…) Oh, and I hope you never use one of those 2-in-1 shampoo conditioners. Continue reading to learn why conditioner should be used alone—and why it should always come after shampoo, never before it.
I sought advice from two distinct sorts of hair professionals. First, trichologist Bridgette Hill of New York and Palm Beach, and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Corey L. Hartman of Palm Beach. We also discussed the best conditioners for each variety of hair, including short, long, straight, curly, thick, thinning, and everything in between.
GET TO KNOW THE EXPERT
- Bridgette Hill is a prominent trichologist known as “The Scalp Therapist” in the business.
- Dr. Corey L. Hartman, the founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, AL, is a board-certified dermatologist.
What Is Conditioner?
In essence, conditioner maintains your hair silky, strong and nourished. It contains hair-strengthening vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other elements that penetrate each strand of hair to nourish it while reversing damage and moisture loss.
“Using a conditioner keeps hair from being too dry and strengthens the cuticle, preventing damage and hair breakage,” adds Hartman. “Conditioner also protects the outer layers of the hair shaft, giving the hair gloss and a thicker look.” It is very vital to use after shampooing (especially if your hair, like your skin, is prone to dryness).”
Do Men Need Conditioner?
Men should, without a doubt, utilize conditioners. If you have short hair, you may not need to apply it as frequently as persons with longer hair. However, men with all hair types might benefit from utilizing a conditioner. Conditioner is essential for men with hair of any length, thickness, or curl, as well as those whose hair is losing fast and at danger of irreversible loss. Conditioners can help each of these hair types be the healthiest, strongest, and most style-ready.
Most significantly, if you misuse shampoo—that is, if you shampoo more than 2-3 times per week—then you absolutely, positively want conditioner, potentially even daily.
How to Use Conditioner Correctly?
Conditioner can be used after shampooing or on its own. If it’s after a wash, Hartman recommends using conditioner immediately—but never before or at the same time. “Most shampoos include chemicals that are damaging to hair follicles,” he explains.
Conditioners use a variety of rejuvenating and healing substances to counteract the moisture-sucking shampoo. “To make hair smooth, flexible, and less prone to static [or damage], conditioners employ fatty alcohols (derived from natural fats/oils), as well as humectants and oils.”
You can also use it as a stand-alone boost for hair on non-shower days, and it helps to flush out any product or dirt buildup, albeit not as thoroughly as a shampoo. (This is why you should still shampoo at least twice a week.)
“Just because shampoo isn’t used every day doesn’t mean the hair can’t benefit from extra hydration and moisturization [given by a conditioner],” explains Hartman. “It’s completely normal to use a conditioner every day or every other day, even if you haven’t used shampoo.”
Here’s how to correctly apply conditioner, whether you use it after shampooing or on its own: To begin, rub a nickel-sized quantity into your palms and fingers. “Apply the conditioner evenly to the ends of the hair,” explains Hartman. “Apply conditioner from the root to the tip if your scalp is also dry.” Allow it to sit on your hair for a few moments, usually approximately a minute, before washing.”
Conditioners and Scalp Treatment
What function do conditioners play in keeping the scalp healthy and balanced? “Conditioners aren’t always necessary for a healthy scalp,” Hill explains. “In reality, conditioners should be avoided in some instances with problems scalps that are severely flaky, dry, or prone to ingrown hairs without a comprehensive knowledge of the underlying reasons causing the problematic scalp.”
Your board-certified dermatologist can assist you in determining this (or which might be a quick fix with some good dandruff-fighting shampoo).
“That being said, a suitable conditioner may help maintain adequate moisture levels on the scalp, as well as foster the scalp’s flora and aid in hair loss.”
While you can always find a wonderful scalp conditioning product or a scalp-targeting conditioner, it’s more crucial to look for conditioners that match your hair type and texture, according to Hill.
As a bonus, an excellent conditioner will most likely provide nourishment and hydration to the scalp. Paul Labrecque Daily Conditioner, $32, is a scalp-targeted conditioner that Hill really likes.