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Just like shampoo, conditioner is a fundamental step to any good hair care routine. Whereas shampoos cleanse your hair and scalp to remove buildup and oil, conditioners rehydrate, smooth. and infuse the hair with beneficial ingredients to prepare your hair for styling. They also keep it protected in between washes. 

There are many types of conditioners for different hair types. Some are more conditioning than others, which means that they carry more moisturizing elements, and are therefore better for dry and damaged hair and scalp. The best deep conditioner for bleached hair, for instance, will be a conditioner that can repair damage and intensely hydrate since bleach is a chemical process known to damage the hair. The ideal conditioner for oily hair, on the other hand, is going to be a lighter conditioner that won’t weigh the hair down with excess oil.  

Most conditioners are applied to wet hair after shampooing, and then rinsed out. There are also some leave-in conditioners that are left in the hair like a styling aid and not rinsed out. These leave-in conditioners are lighter formulas that won't weigh down the hair and work to further protect and hydrate the hair after you’ve rinsed out your shampoo. 

FAQs on Conditioner

Can I leave conditioner in my hair after applying it?

Unless otherwise stated (as in leave-in conditioner), don’t leave conditioner in your hair. This is because conditioners have oils and emollients that can be too heavy when left in the hair. If you leave conditioner in your hair without rinsing it out, your hair may look oilier and greasier than normal. 

What is the difference between regular conditioner and leave-in conditioner?

Leave in conditioner is good for hair types that are in need of extra moisture and hydration. This can be damaged or bleached hair that needs to be hydrated; frizzy hair that requires moisture to smooth the hair shaft; and hair that is naturally dry. These conditioners are especially formulated to gently work their magic into the hair so that it isn’t overbearing with excess oils and emollients. Generally speaking, a conditioner is used every time you wash your hair, whereas a deep conditioner is only used once a week, or on an as-needed basis for extra hydration. If your hair is especially dry or damaged you may choose to use a deep conditioner, people who have regular to oily hair would want to use a normal conditioner.