Updated: Feb 4, 2020
Conditioner: Daily, Leave-In, Deep...Seriously, What's the Difference? Just as there is a difference in your favorite cup of Joe, there is a big difference in what conditions your hair.
Why is it that every time I go to my stylist she recommends a deep conditioning treatment when I am at the shampoo bowl? I mean, I use conditioner every time I shampoo my hair, and now she is talking about a leave-in conditioner. Seriously, what is the difference and do I really need all of that?
Conditioner is an important step in keeping your hair healthy and beautiful. There is definitely a difference in the types of conditioners, when to use each type, the correct amount of conditioner, and proper application. This can be key to getting the most benefits from your conditioning regimen.
Before we get into the differences in conditioner, let's talk some conditioning basics. The amount of conditioner you use depends on the length of your hair, hair type, and what condition your hair is in. Too much conditioner can weigh your hair down or alter your hair texture. But going too light or skipping conditioner all together means you will not get the hydration and protection these products are intended to give.
As a general rule of thumb for any type of conditioner:
* If you have short hair, you should use about the size of a pea or blueberry.
*If you have shoulder-length hair, you should use about the size of a dime to a nickel.
*If you have longer hair, you should use about the size of a quarter.
Keep in mind that this is only a guide and you may need more if you are not covering every hair, or you may need less if you have excess conditioner.
As a stylist, placement of conditioners is one of the biggest problems I see in guests.
When applying conditioner, wring your hair out before applying product. If you apply conditioner to hair that is too wet if will just rinse off and you will need more product. Focus your application on the hair from the eyes down to the ends. For most of us our scalps oil balance is sufficient on its own and there is no need to condition the hair above the eyes as we have just shampooed the hair to remove the oils and debris from the scalp. Putting conditioner on your scalp or hair above the eyes can have the adverse effect and cause your scalp and hair to become oily and weighted. This will coat the scalp and cause buildup that in return could cause more problems such as dandruff, hair loss, etc.
Okay, now that we are all on the same page for how to condition and how much to use, let's get down to why you decided to read this blog anyway.
DAILY CONDITIONER, also known as a rinse out conditioner is considered a surface conditioner. They only moderately absorb into the hair strand and are meant to be left on the hair for 1 to 5 minutes. Because shampoo is designed to clean the scalp and hair, it tends to be drying. Using a daily conditioner after shampooing will rehydrate, strengthen, and protect strands from daily environmental stressors. These types of conditioners help to detangle, smooth the cuticle, and tame frizz. Always rinse out your conditioner with cool water to help retain the maximum amount of conditioner in your hair. Not all conditioners are the same, I recommend a conditioner that is naturally derived and plant based to best prevent buildup in the hair. AR Signature Line has a complete selection of naturally derived and plant based conditioners that are perfect for any hair type.
LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER, is a light-weight version of a daily conditioner that is applied to towel dried hair and is not rinsed out. Hair is most vulnerable when it is wet, meaning most of your hairs damage such as breakage from stretching the hair too far, tangles, or rough brushing that happens after we get out of the shower and before we blow-dry.
Leave in conditioner can be used by almost anyone with any hair texture. Have fine or thin hair? Don't worry, the right leave in conditioner is not only lightweight but also free of oils. This can help detangle, keep your hair soft and shiny, make hairstyles more manageable, and help prevent static and frizz.
Have thicker or dry hair? Leave in conditioner can be great for added hydration between shampoos, added shine to dull hair, and make your hair easier to style.
AR Signature Line EMT is perfect for all hair types and even has added benefits such as UV filters to protect your hair and color from the sun, silk protein to nourish, repair, seal, and add shine to the hair.
DEEP CONDITIONER, when used as an at-home treatment is applied and removed like a daily conditioner but left on for a longer amount of time and penetrated deeper into the hair and provides the most nourishment for your hair cuticle. Depending on your hair type, texture, and condition you should be deep conditioning two times a month to two times a week. Deep conditioner should be used in place of your daily conditioner as there is no need to use both in the same sitting. Deep conditioner should applied from eyes down, and left to penetrate for 5 to 30 minutes; rinse with cool water. Deep conditioning improves elasticity by strengthening hair that is color treated, fragile, and helps hair to grow by preventing breakage.
If you color your hair, I recommend that you use deep conditioner in place of your daily conditioner two times the week BEFORE your scheduled color appointment. This will help to even your hair's porosity that will not only help to keep the hair healthier but aid in even color absorption.
In salon deep conditioning treatments vary from at-home deep conditioning treatments. They tend to be more concentrated, longer lasting, and stylists uniquely blended them for your specific hair needs. I recommend these treatments depending on your hair type, texture, and condition a minimum of three times a year.
It's important to know and understand the difference in conditioners and how to best work them into your haircare routine. Talk to your stylist and experiment with the different kinds of daily, leave-in, and deep conditioners in order to find the best results for healthy, well nourished hair. After all, age is only a number your hair doesn't have to show.