I'm 53 and never used conditioner until I started beauty school at the age of 17. We used Jay's Coconut Oil Shampoo and Prell. I've learned that some people are/were heavy handed with grease. In the early 90's I found out about Vitale Hair and Scalp Conditioner. It is a water based 'grease' and does not contain any petroleum. It does contain mineral oil. I traded traditional hair grease for this.
There were girls I remember there did have damaged hair and it seemed to never grow. I don't know what they were doing to their hair. My grandmother never allow me to do anything beyond daily styling. I was send to the neighbor press and curl lady once a month. She never burned my hair, it never broke off, it was never dry, I didn't have dandruff. This is what worked for me as a child.