Conditioner is a staple in any woman’s bathroom. And if you love smooth, frizz-free hair, it’s likely one product you ensure never runs out in your house.
It’s something we reach for blindly after shampooing to glide into our hair. It’s a no-brainer.
We’re so used to it that we use conditioner without question every time we wash our hair.
That’s because a single use of any conditioner makes the hair softer and easier to detangle, and who wants to skip out on that?
It’s difficult to think of reasons why someone wouldn’t want to use conditioner as often as they do.
But could it be possible that you’re using it too much for your own good? Is daily conditioning somehow…bad for the hair?
In this post, I’ll be giving you the rundown on why conditioner is so important to any hair care routine, as well as whether or not it should be used on a daily basis.
Plus, I’ll take you through a few quick watch-outs for those obsessed with moisturizing their dry locks!
If they protect the hair against becoming brittle and are such great detanglers, can they be used on a daily basis?
Table of Contents
Benefits Of Using Hair Conditioners
The day I found the right conditioner for my hair is the day I saw a small glimpse of heaven.
You know that feeling when you get something right after a very long search?
With my texture, it took time to track down the exact product that complimented it.
Hair conditioners are very important in our hair regimen.
Our hair needs a good conditioner like you need air to breathe.
I know this too well because I have stories to tell about the days I couldn’t get a comb through my hair even when it had conditioner in it! Oh, the agony!
The importance of a good hair conditioner can’t be emphasized enough.
If your wish is to have beautiful and healthy hair, then it must be part of your regimen.
But what are the benefits of hair conditioners? Why must it be used regularly?
And should you use conditioner everyday?
Helps In Detangling
If you have thick and dense hair like mine that gets tangled easily, then you’ll appreciate how helpful a good conditioner is.
Hair prone to tangling can be a nightmare to comb out.
I simply condition my hair before I even put a comb through it because I know it’s easier to detangle it after a few minutes with the conditioner on.
After a short while, the comb can easily pass through the hair with less resistance and little breakage.
Failure to use a (good) conditioner is the perfect recipe for your hair to break as you struggle to detangle it.
Adds Moisture To The Hair
Conditioners are meant to moisturize and condition the hair.
They’re infused with smoothing ingredients like silicones and nourishing oils to smoothen and soften the locks, giving your tresses that gorgeous shine and silkiness.
They are usually used after the cleansing process since most types of shampoo can be really drying to your hair.
Specialists recommend adding conditioner to your hair care routine because it reduces the friction between hair strands and allows easier brushing or combing.
When you use a hair conditioner, it is possible to brush your hair without much struggle, and it does not cause any damage to your scalp.
Your hair has a better appearance and is easier to manage because the strands are well-hydrated.
My hair is the kind that’s prone to frequent drying because it’s naturally curly.
If I don’t moisturize it often, both hair and scalp become unbearably dry leading to a lot of breakage and an itchy scalp.
The ingredients in a good moisturizer coat the hair strands and seal in moisture.
This explains why conditioners are best applied to wet hair.
Oils – some of the ingredients contained in most conditioners – help to nourish both the hair strands and the scalp.
Additionally, they reverse the damage caused by dryness.
Softens The Hair
When I condition my hair, I really love how soft it feels.
A good conditioner softens the hair – making it more manageable and malleable in the process.
As a result, you can style your hair comfortably without having to deal with coarse hair.
After the detangling process mentioned above, there are no knots and tangles that can prevent combs and hairbrushes from moving smoothly along the hair shaft to give you the desired style.
The softer hair provides a flexible hold for your curly hair.
Add Shine To The Hair
I don’t like it when my hair is dull. I’m sure you don’t too.
Dull hair looks so unhealthy and doesn’t compliment my overall look.
I love it when it’s shiny and full of life.
I discovered that using a good conditioner adds more luster to my hair.
Can Help Repair Damage
Another great benefit of using conditioner is hair repair.
For instance, people who are transitioning from chemically-treated hair to natural hair have two hair textures.
The relaxed part of the hair and the line of demarcation can really get dry and eventually lead to breakage.
Conditioners come in handy to infuse some much-needed moisture, therefore softening and smoothing your hair.
This basically “revives” your hair and makes it shiny again.
Reduced Towel Damage
For some people, leaving the bathroom in a hurry means roughly running a towel through the hair to dry it.
This causes more harm than good because towels are a bit rough and can even break off hair strands.
Conditioning hair helps reduce the chances of such eventualities.
The strands are stronger and can stand the stress.
Alternatively, you can start drying your hair using T-shirts as I did.
I’ve reaped great benefits ever since I made the switch.
Types Of Hair Conditioners
Regular conditioners are most popularly used as a rinse-out product applied after shampooing.
Their main role is to replenish the hair with the moisture it lost during the shampooing process, which can be very drying for the hair (but more on that later).
However, that’s not the only type of conditioner out there.
There are the likes of deep conditioner – a weekly hair mask that replaces your regular conditioner in the shower to give your locks a more intense treatment.
There are also leave-in conditioners, which you apply any time your hair needs smoothening.
Whichever type of conditioner you gravitate toward, the benefits are more or less the same.
Why You Should Use Conditioner More Often Than Shampoo
A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to conditioning is that you should be doing it way more than shampooing.
The harsh surfactants and sulfates in shampoo that help get rid of dirt and oils in your hair are great for cleaning your locks, but they can strip the hair of healthy oils that keep it moisturized.
That’s where conditioner comes in.
It’s the product that helps bring all that moisture back to revitalize your hair again.
But that doesn’t mean you should only reach for conditioner when you shampoo your hair.
On the contrary, you should be conditioning more often than washing your hair.
Moisture is the lifeline of hair.
It gives it the elasticity and strength it needs to survive ever-changing hairstyles and environments.
So, to keep your hair hydrated and shiny, it’s important to wash less often and condition more – never the other way around.
These two simple rules preserve the health and moisture in your hair, keeping dehydration away.
Since many people are so used to the idea of shampoo and conditioner going hand in hand in the shower, you might be asking, how do you condition your hair without washing it first?
The answer is simple: co-washing.
What Is Co-Washing?
Co-washing, aka conditioner washing, is the process of cleansing your hair with conditioner only, which means you skip the shampoo.
This is an awesome way to refresh your hair after a long day without stripping it of the natural oils that keep it healthily moisturized.
Instead, you add even more hydration.
It’s very simple to do a co-wash.
Just take your conditioner and apply it directly to your hair in the shower as you would your shampoo.
Take note though, that it won’t lather up the same way shampoo gets all sudsy and foamy.
This is a method that plenty of curly-haired men and women use to keep their hair super moisturized but still feel clean and fresh each day.
Curls are notorious for being extra dry because the zig-zaggy curl pattern keeps moisture from the scalp from traveling down to the ends of the hair.
Those with relaxed or color-treated hair will also benefit greatly from it.
But those with fine hair might not enjoy it, since it tends to weigh down the hair.
One of my favorite products for co-washing is the As I Am Coconut CoWash – a conditioner designed specifically for “cleaning” and refreshing the hair while feeding it lots of moisture.
It’s filled to the brim with nourishing ingredients, such as coconut oil, castor oil, tangerine and camellia extracts, and more!
Why Co-Washing Is Not For Everybody
What matters most when doing co-washing is the type of hair that you have.
Is it oily or not?
For hair that is prone to dryness like mine, I find washing with a conditioner is the most ideal way to tackle the dryness.
I don’t have to worry about harsh shampoos drying out my hair even more with regular washing.
When I manage to stay consistent with my gym workouts, I wash my hair every other day with a conditioner and rinse it off.
This helps my hair retain its natural oils and moisture too.
My hair gets so dry when I don’t condition it often so I settled to using a leave-in conditioner daily in my LOC method of moisturizing my hair.
If you have oily hair that is mostly straight, co-washing works against you.
You already have natural oils on your hair and washing with a conditioner only (without shampoo) leads to oil build-up.
If you want to condition this type of hair regularly, then you have to wash it just as often.
Frequent washing of hair does more harm than good – you have to keep that in mind.
Shampooing helps to remove the excess oil before you add on a conditioner.
Remember conditioners have oils in them and it’s not wise to pile them onto your natural oils too.
Should You Use Conditioner Everyday?
The simple answer is yes, you can use conditioner every single day on your hair, as long as your hair needs it.
The frequency of your conditioning treatments should always depend on your hair type.
Everyone’s hair is different and therefore needs varying amounts of moisture from conditioners.
For example, those with dry, coarse, kinky curls might benefit from conditioning their hair in the shower every day because their locks are naturally very dry and parched.
They need extra moisture to help loosen their curls as well, so they aren’t too poofy, frizzy, and difficult to manage.
Those with extremely thick hair might also enjoy using conditioner daily, whether it’s through a co-wash or using a few spritzes of leave-in each morning.
This helps keep their lush locks moisturized until their next wash day.
On the flip side, people with fine, low-density hair probably shouldn’t condition their locks daily.
Their hair type is very prone to build-up.
It may also weigh down their locks, making their already fine and thin hair look even more limp and lifeless.
Those with very short hair might not see the need to condition every day either.
Since short hair is in close proximity to the scalp – where sebum is produced – it likely doesn’t have a shortage of moisture.
You can likely go days without shampooing or conditioning.
If you want to condition your hair daily but don’t have the time and patience to do a co-wash, you can do with leave-in conditioner.
It takes only a few seconds to apply before styling your hair.
Just make sure you don’t overdo your conditioning.
If you over-condition your hair, the end result won’t be pretty.
You’ll likely fall victim to one of three things:
When you condition your hair more than necessary, your hair will drop hints by how it looks and feels when you touch it.
The outer appearance of over-conditioned hair will go one of two ways: It will either be incredibly greasy, or hard and rough because of product build-up on the strands.
Let’s talk about the first one – greasiness.
This mostly happens when you condition fine and short hair way too much.
These hair types don’t usually have dehydration issues.
So, when you condition more than you should, heavy oils will end up making your scalp and hair look like a greasy mess.
Not only does a greasy mane look unkempt and feel uncomfortable, but it will also weigh your hair down, making it look flat and lacking volume.
To avoid greasiness when using conditioner, make sure you focus your application on the mid-lengths to the ends of your hair.
The ends are the most damaged and dehydrated part of your hair, so they need the most moisture.
Meanwhile, the roots are naturally the greasiest, so avoid applying conditioner there.
Now, let’s move on to the second thing you have to watch out for: product build-up.
This is something you should keep an eye on if you have low porosity and fine hair.
Heavy conditioner ingredients like silicones, coconut oil, and shea butter can sometimes sit on the hair without penetrating it.
This is because these ingredients have such big molecules that can’t be absorbed by the hair shaft.
In the long run, this will lead to a build-up of product around your hair.
When there’s build-up due to an overuse of conditioner, a thick layer of product will coat your strands.
This will make it stiff, hard, and prone to breakage.
So, if you have a hair type that is sensitive to product build-up, make sure you only use lightweight conditioners to refresh and moisturize your hair.
Use a silicone-free conditioner if you can, like the Aveda Rosemary Mint Weightless Conditioner.
This light and weightless conditioner is made with plant extracts that aren’t so heavy and rich, like oils from rosemary, peppermint, jojoba, and soybeans.
It also contains amino acids to strengthen the hair and make it feel silky soft.
The essential oils in this formula make the fragrance incredibly invigorating.
Notes of peppermint and spearmint will help calm down the senses after a long day.
Plus, this conditioner is free from potentially irritating ingredients, such as phthalates, parabens, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, and formaldehyde.
If you’re worried about product build-up in your hair even if you don’t intend on using conditioner daily, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo once a week.
This will help you get rid of any build-up you might have missed rinsing out throughout the week.
My favorite clarifying shampoo that I highly recommend is the Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo.
It’s awesome for getting rid of any build-up after a long week, but is also gentle enough for daily use if needed.
It’s 100% vegan and doesn’t contain harsh ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and mineral oil.
It also contains lemongrass to add shine to the hair and give it a fresh, citrusy scent.
Over-Moisturizing Without Protein To Balance It Out
One risk you need to be aware of when conditioning daily is over-moisturizing.
If your hair has too much moisture, it may feel overly stretchy, limp, and even “gummy” in texture, especially when it’s wet.
This will lead to breakage in the long run.
When you have too much moisture in your hair, it’s often a sign that you’ve messed with the balance of protein and moisture in your tresses.
Hair needs moisture for elasticity and smoothness, but also protein to keep it strong and structured.
So, if you use too much conditioner without feeding your hair protein, it’s going to end up too soft and mushy.
Instead of using the same ultra-nourishing conditioner made with rich oils every day, switch it up once or twice a week with one that is infused with protein.
Ingredients to look out for will be keratin, silk proteins, wheat proteins, and amino acids.
My Experience With Conditioners
As I mentioned earlier on, I have hair that tends to dry out very easily.
I’ve realized that using a leave-in conditioner daily helps keep my hair moisturized longer than when I don’t condition it.
Leave-in conditioners are either liquid or creamy.
You can choose either of these types depending on the weather, how you want to wear your hair, or the type of hair that you have.
From my personal experience, a leave-in conditioner is ideal for daily use because you can apply it on dry hair.
You don’t have to go through the process of washing your hair before you can get to apply a leave-in conditioner.
A good leave-in conditioner leaves hair looking shiny and feeling soft until the next time you have to wash it.
It’s the best gift you can give your hair to guard against damage caused by environmental factors.
Use it even when swimming regularly to protect your hair against the effects of chlorine.
Recommended Post: How To Protect Hair When Swimming Everyday
Chlorine strips your hair of moisture and oils leaving it dry and exposed.
If you’re using a conditioner that needs rinsing, then it’s not the best idea to use it every day.
You need to apply it to wet hair.
This tempts you to just wash it and then apply conditioner.
If you have Type 4 hair like me, then you know that daily shampooing causes the hair shaft to expand and contract, often leading to cracks forming on the outer layer of the cuticle.
This can weaken your hair.
Are You Supposed To Put Conditioner On Your Scalp?
Yes and No.
Yes, if you have naturally curly hair like mine, you know how much work it takes to keep it moisturized.
Curly hair tends to dry out faster because there are fewer natural moisturizing oils being produced to benefit the hair and scalp fully.
I enjoy conditioning my scalp because it gets dry easily and becomes too itchy, leading to irritation.
A good conditioner leaves my scalp itch-free and feels less tight.
On the other hand, if you have a very oily scalp, then it’s best to only condition the tip and mid-length of your hair.
Avoid the scalp as much as you can.
Conditioners contain essential oils that may result in a build-up on your scalp.
This is because most natural oils will be concentrated on the roots of the hair.
Adding more through conditioners can easily clog your pores and cause your hair to be greasy in the process.
Conditioners come in many different forms, from your usual rinse-out conditioner in the shower to a handy leave-in cream you keep in your purse in case your hair needs extra smoothness and shine during your day.
But they all do the same thing – they moisturize your hair to keep it healthy and pretty.
If you were asking: Should you use conditioner everyday? There you have it.
It all depends on your type of hair and the type of conditioner you’re planning to use (a leave-in conditioner or a rinse-out conditioner.)
Those with fine hair might not enjoy it and find that their hair gets greasy.
Meanwhile, thick, curly locks might benefit from it a lot.
You should also be careful not to use too much conditioner as there is such a thing as over-conditioning hair.
When your hair is in that state, it can be difficult to style.
The key is to listen to your hair and how it responds to your frequency of using conditioner.
It’s going to be different for everyone.
But as long as your hair is happy and healthy with it and doesn’t fall victim to greasiness, build-up, and protein-moisture imbalance, conditioning regularly should be stellar for your tresses.
Recommended Post: Best Conditioner For Low Porosity Hair