Washing your hair isn’t as simple as it seems. A small drop of shampoo, followed by a squirt of conditioner and every now and then: a hair mask. For a lot of people this is their general approach to haircare. Still, there’s certain things you’re better off avoiding, according to hairdressers. According to them, a lot of people will make these five mistakes while conditioning their hair.
1. Applying conditioner to the roots
The most basic mistake we tend to make is applying conditioner to the roots of our hair. While shampoo keeps your scalp healthy, conditioner is meant to take care of the lengths of your hair. “In shampooing your hair, you’re cleaning your scalp’s skin, and removing oils and remnants of hairstyling products”, says celebrity hairstylist Michelle Cleveland. “If you were to put conditioner onto your scalp, you’d only be reintroducing those oils to your skin”, she explains to Well+ Good. And of course, that’s the opposite of what you’re trying to do. “This results in flat and less voluminous hair.” That’s why you should avoid applying conditioner to your scalp.
2. Applying it the wrong way
It’s not just important where you apply your conditioner, but also how you apply it. “Most people will just take a blob of the stuff and apply it all willy-nilly. That’s a no-no, because it’s important to apply it evenly across the parts of your hair where it’s most tangled, most damaged, and most stressed”, says Trey Gillen, artistic director of haircare brand Sachajuan. Proper application is easiest by applying tiny bits of conditioner to the ends of your hair. Then, use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to brush the conditioner through the rest of your hair and remove any remaining tangles. Let the conditioner sit for a few minutes before rinsing it out with lukewarm water.
3. Not letting it absorb properly
Washing hair can be a matter of no time to one person, while someone else may spend upwards of 20 minutes on the entire process. If you belong in that first category, you may be making the mistake of not letting your conditioner be absorbed by your hair. As mentioned on the previous page, best practice is to let the product sit for at least a few minutes before rinsing. Additionally, you’ll notice a massive difference if you occasionally use a hair mask.
4. Using too much or too little
One person may squeeze out half the contents of the bottle of conditioner, where another maybe uses a pea-sized amount. “If your hair feels heavy after washing and drying it, you’ve used too much. If it still feels dry and rough, you’ve not used enough”, Cleveland explains. “The best way of finding the amount that works for you, is to start with two coin sized amounts. Carefully comb this through your hair with your fingers. If your comb or your fingers easily passes through your hair, you’ve used the right amount of product. If you’re still running into issues, you simply add another blob. Additionally, you won’t have to use conditioner every time you wash your hair! People with thin and sleek hair may skip out on conditioner every now and then.
5. Using the wrong product
When looking for conditioners, you’ve got a plethora of options available. A conditioner for dry hair, another conditioner for curls, and yet another conditioner for colored tresses. But which one to choose? “Silicones and dimethazone’s are commonly used in cheaper conditioners, as they give the appearance of soft and healthy hair by making it seem shiny. But these ingredients are very artificial and not healthy for your hair at all”, warns Cleveland. Instead, look for products containing natural oils, such as jojoba, coconut or organ. And bear in mind: if you find your hair getting thin(ner), too many of these oils may weigh the hair down and create a dull and greasy look, so make sure you don’t use them in excess.