Hair Experts Agree: Conditioner for the Hair is a NO-BRAINER!
Hair Experts Agree: Conditioner for the Hair is a NO-BRAINER
There is a lot of controversy on this subject. HairConditioner…To
Use Or Not Use…That is the question! Okay, I am pretty sure that
Shakespeare had more to worry about than if the hair was conditioned or not,
but you get the point. Many people are in a quandary about whether or not to
use conditioners on their hair after shampooing.
Let’s find out a little more about what hair conditioner
actually does. To do that, we need to learn first what shampoo does to the hair
and what the hair shaft is made of. Shampoo, when formulated right (meaning
without harsh chemicals) makes dirt and sebum attach to it. Then when you rinse
it out with water. the dirt and sebum get washed down the drain. With good
ingredients, it will not strip away your natural healthy oil but only the dirt.
Each strand of hair is made up of dead cells that turn into a
protein called keratin. This keratin is pushed out of your scalp and that is
hair as we know it. . There are three layers of the hair shaft:
● The cuticle; is the outer layer. A
colorless, thin, protective layer to the cortex which is directly underneath.
● The cortex is where the hair
shafts strength, color and texture reside. This is the thickest part of the
● Finally, there is the medulla,
only found in the center of thick, coarse hair.
Your scalp naturally produces sebum. Sebum protects the cuticle
of the hair shaft from weather effects and creates a healthy shine. When sebum
accumulates, it can create a greasy feeling and make your hair shafts to stick
together. Sebum is waterproof, so no matter how much water you rinse your hair
with, the sebum isn’t going anywhere.
That is where shampoo comes in. Shampoo contains surfactants
that have two types of molecules. One that attracts sebum and oily
residue from products and one that attaches to water. Thus, when rinsed out the
dirt and oil get rinsed out with water and shampoo.
Not all surfactants are built the same. There are harsh
surfactants that can strip the hair, leaving it unprotected and susceptible to
damage. We’ve all seen hair that looks like straw. Or we have even experienced
it ourselves. When looking for shampoos you want a shampoo that uses
surfactants that are milder. Cocamidopropyl Betaine, (I know, it’s
a mouthful) is made from coconut oil. It is a mild surfactant
that will be able to get rid of the excess sebum and any dirt and pollen that
has attached itself to your sebum. Many modern product creators are using this
surfactant in lieu of sodium lauryl sulfate which is a more intense surfactant
that can be very irritating. They have come to the realization that they can
use alternatives in nature. These alternatives will give them the result they
want without the bad side effects.
When using hot water and surfactants the hair shafts cuticle
layer can lift slightly. This is normal so that the sebum can get off of the
hair shaft. Conditioner is what will make the cuticle layer lay back down to
create smooth and shiny shafts. It fills in any holes (damage) in
the cuticle from weather, hot tools, and exposure to chemicals. (Pools,
products that contain chemical components, and environmental chemicals )
One of the best agents comes from rapeseed oil, its scientific
name being Behentrimonium methosulfate (in this case, I’d
rather use the scientific name than the layman's name, I mean who came up with
that!). It does NOT coat the scalp or build upon the hair shaft. It’s a
non-sulfate agent (even though you think it is, due to the end of its name, but
because of how it’s made closes the cuticle, due to its cationic nature). This
gives slip to the hair so that the hair shafts do not stick together but can be
easy-breezy, in the wind, all by themselves.
Another ingredient in high-quality conditioners for hair is Cetearyl
Alcohol. WHAT? Alcohol is in a conditioner and it’s good for it? What kind
of gummies are you eating? Nope, no gummies, just pure scientific facts.
Cetearyl Alcohol is a high-molecule alcohol that makes it a fatty alcohol. It
is an ingredient that is derived naturally from plants like palm oil or coconut
oil. This penetrates the cuticle layer and helps smooth it down. At the same
time hydrating and moisturizing the hair shaft, according to SpecialChem S.A.
One more ingredient that sounds bad but is in effect awesome for
your hair shaft is, DL-Panthenol or commonly known as the provitamin
B5. This compound helps elasticity in your hair shaft improve which then
gives you that bouncy hair we all see in those commercials. This compound
improves the overall health of your scalp and hair while protecting your hair
from pollution and environmental aggressors.
When you shampoo and do not condition after, you are exposing
your hair shafts cuticle to environmental damage. The air is full of pollen,
dirt, and aggressive radicals that will damage the cuticle and even the cortex
underneath. And not to mention, if you blow dry your hair and use any kind of
hot tools on it.
Conditioner for curly hair is even more vital. Curly hair is
already more susceptible to damage. According to the Smithsonian Magazine on the study of hair textures, the curlier the hair, the
more likely it is to have weak cross-sectional points that make it vulnerable
to breakage and heat damage. Think of a straight wooden board compared to a
curly type of tall grass. The tall grass will not be able to withstand the heat,
wind, and hard rain as well as a solid oak board. The same is true of curly
hair compared to straight as a board hair.
The answer to the million-dollar question is this:
It is essential to protect and improve the
condition of the hair shaft. Although, not all hair conditioners are created
equal. Savvy consumers have started reading the backs of labels. They want to
make sure what they are putting on their hair is helpful, not harmful. The
conditioner will not weigh down or create a greasy head if it is made up of the
right ingredients. What would those be?
Well, definitely the above-mentioned. As well as sunflower oil.
Sunflower oil is said to:
● treat dandruff
● prevent hair loss
● Improve hair and scalp cleanliness
● Increase hair smoothness.
Sunflower oil has been a long tradition of Native Americans in
their haircare and for good reason. It has Antimicrobial Properties,
anti-inflammatory properties, and anti-oxidant properties, moisturizes hair
with its polyunsaturated fatty acids, and protects the hair with its omega-6
fatty acids compounds.
Sweet Almond Oil is another oil that ancient cultures used
to strengthen their hair. It’s an emollient which means it can affect the hair
shaft on a cellular level. It doesn’t just sit on the top of the hair shaft but
goes deeper into the hair shaft to improve the shaft not just make it look
pretty. Almond oil can make hair stronger and less prone to split ends
according to healthline.com.
After much research on the conditioning issue, the facts of the
matter is: Conditioning is Vital. It matters though what kind of conditioner
you put on your hair and scalp. It needs to have ingredients that won’t coat
the hair or scalp and provide active results in improving hair texture and
Whether you have fine, thick, thin, coarse, or a little of both
types of hair, please consider conditioning the hair after you shampoo. And if
your hair is damaged and dry then you will need to baby that hair and get some
treatments to bring your hair shafts back to their original luster.
I have faith in all of you!
As always, feel free to email us if you would like your own
customized product recommendations. Your hair is depending on you to protect it
and nourish it. Let’s all try to be better hair mommies and daddies and take
care of something that has been with us from the beginning.