Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Are you well conditioned?

It's very important to make sure that your hair is conditioned well. It's one of the best things you can do for your hair. Conditioner strengthens your hair by adding a protective layer to it. This is important if you spend a lot of time in the sun, use heated styling tools, wear hats, live where winters are rough, use dyes, wear pony tails, or do anything that causes manipulation of your hair daily.

Smoothes the cuticle- this locks in moisture, decreases the amounts of tangling, minimizes frizz, and adds shine to the hair. Hair appears shinier, and healthier, because with smoothed cuticles light is reflected more evenly.

Green: raised cuticle of strand #1
Pink: raised cuticle of strand #2
In a way the cuticle of your hair acts as a gateway for moisture. If it's raised, then moisture can escape easily leaving the hair vulnerable. The raised cuticles can get caught on each other causing snags, tangles, and breakage. If the cuticle is sealed, then the hair is protected, moisture is locked in and less tangling occurs. 

TIP: If you have dry hair you may want to use conditioner in place of shampoo about every other time you wash your hair. This will help your hair retain moisture without stripping it too much.

There are different types of conditioner available and it's important that you choose the right one for your hair type or texture. Just like there's different facial products for different skin types (oily, dry, combination) the same applies for hair.

Type of Conditioner:
  1. Conditioning Pack- usually thick, heavy and full of fatty acids; typically keep on hair for a long period before rinsing; leave thick layer on cuticle tightly sealing the cuticle
  2. Regular Conditioner- usually applied after shampooing; helps seal and smooth cuticle
  3. Leave In Conditioner- lighter conditioner that leaves a thin coating on the hair; helps with detangling; typically don't contain many oils


Which conditioner should you use?

Fine Hair- heavy conditioners will weigh it down and make it appear dull and limp. Try a volumizing conditioner that's light and will add volume!

Thick Hair- has similarities to curly hair; often it's dry and appears dull. Thick deep conditioner is needed. Ones with fatty acids (jojoba oil, coconut oil, etc) work best!

Curly Hair- almost always is dry, because the natural oils in the scalp aren't able to reach the full length of the strands. Deep conditioners and ultra moisturizing conditioners are needed to moisturize, shine, and smooth the best!

Color Treated Hair- permanent dye lasts, because it penetrates the hair shaft and can replace your hairs natural keratin protein. This is why dyed hair can be dry and brittle. Protein conditioners are a must for color treated hair!

TIP: When applying conditioner, start at the tips of your hair and work your way to your scalp! It'll allow more time for the ends to benefit from the treatment.

Random Fact:
Essential and carrier oils were used for years as hair conditioners. Some were left greasy residue behind if touched. To prevent furniture from being stained antimacassars were created. The name comes from one specific oil used; macassar oil.

Remember these on Granny's couch??

How often do you condition your hair?
What are your go to products?
Do you prefer deep conditioning to leave in conditioning? Why?

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