Without conditioner, where would we be in our naturally curly lives? Seriously...
Textured hair LOVES moisture. And we need it.
Using a regular conditioning treatment (or conditioner) within your shower routine can help improve your hair's appearance, shine, bounce, and volume. Without conditioning treatments, hair can break, becoming more damaged and prone to the dreaded frizz halo. This also makes conditioners great detanglers for textured hair types.
So how exactly does it work?
The outer layer of our hair--known as a coating called sebum--protects the cuticle by keeping bacteria out and preventing water loss. With this, hair remains full of shine and luster throughout the day.
When we have mistreated our hair via heat styling tools, overdoing it on product, color, bleach, or relaxing, the sebum is removed, thus increasing the risk of damage to our hair. Here’s where our friend conditioner comes to the rescue. Because shampoo can remove the layers of protective coating from the cuticles that are much needed, conditioner helps to replenish the oily coating by clinging to areas that are dry and in need of protection.
Most hair conditioners are made of only a few ingredients but the cationic surfactants do most of the work.
At one end of every cationic surfactant molecule is a positive charge that binds to the negative charge of a hair strand. The attraction is so strong that the surfactants completely surround the strand and cover the cuticle flakes, protecting and coating them.
Silicones, panthenol, detergents
- Conditioners that contain silicones may not just coat the hair but will also help to give the illusion that hair is healthier by leaving it with more shine.
- Some conditioner ingredients are able to penetrate the cuticle, entering the cortex. An example of one is panthenol, not only readily binds to the hair shaft, it is able to enter the hair and increase hair strength.
- Better conditioners will not contain detergents (which would have adverse effects on our hair) and will use quality ingredients.