Is Conditioner Bad for Your Hair?

To use it or not? That is the question.

What do you say to someone that tells you they don’t condition their hair? Do you question them like we do to find out just what it is about conditioner they may dislike? There are a number of women that refuse to use condition their hair, which makes many of us think: Is conditioner bad for your hair?

Below we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty about why people tend to neglect conditioner and whether or not a conditioner is bad for your hair. Read on for the lowdown and some options that are suitable for all hair types.

Is Conditioner Bad for Your Hair?

As with many things in life, one experience can ruin it for experiences to come. In other words: If someone tried a conditioner on their hair and had a horrible experience, they are conditioned to believe all conditioners are the same. However, that isn’t true. With any hair product, you should always look into finding the formula that best fits your hair type.

is conditioner bad for your hair: brunette model with wet damp hair smiling to herself
Is conditioner bad for your hair? Short answer: No. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

1. What is hair conditioner?

Don’t worry, it’s not a trick question. We’ve all used it but what actually is it? Well, conditioner is a hair care product that instantly conditions the hair follicle, providing added moisture and smoothing down the hair.

But if you’re asking yourself, “is conditioner good for your hair?”, then you may be interested to know that it’s this smoothing effect that helps keep flyaways and static under control and generally makes the hair more manageable. So if that appeals to you, then the answer is yes.

2. What are some hair conditioning rules to follow?

Everyone uses too much conditioner! Including hairdressers—everyone does it! You won’t condition your hair anymore by using more conditioner. —Unilever Creative Director & Head Stylist, Dan Lynes

If you’ve had a bad experience with conditioner in the past that’s made you ask yourself the question “is conditioner bad for hair?”, you may not be using it to its best ability. As a general rule, we recommend only applying conditioner to your mid-lengths and ends, as for the majority of people these are the driest areas. Conditioner shouldn’t be applied to your roots unless the directions of your conditioner says to do so. A conditioner like Dove DermaCare Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Anti-Dandruff Conditioner can be used on your scalp as a treatment.

If you have oily hair and you’re using a moisturizing conditioner formulated with oil, you may question why your hair feels weighed down post use. Simple answer: You’re adding more oil onto your hair instead of using something that helps eliminate your issue to begin with.

While it’s tempting to pile on the conditioner if your hair is dry or damaged, try not to overdo it, as it won’t actually provide any additional benefits. Too much moisture can also cause damage in your hair, so you want a healthy balance. In terms of how regularly you should use a conditioner, if your hair is super thick or coarse, you’ll need to condition more regularly than someone with fine or oily locks.

3. Are there different types of conditioner?

How many types of conditioner have you tried? If you’ve only ever used the classic post-shampoo conditioners, then you might not know that hair conditioning products come in a variety of different forms to suit your hair’s individual needs. Here are the three most common types of hair conditioners:

Daily conditioners: These are the basic conditioners you’ll probably be most familiar with. Light enough to be used regularly (every day if needed), they help to protect the hair between washes and can be washed off straight away.

Dove Nutritive Solutions Cool Moisture Conditioner is a great example of a good everyday conditioner, as it contains a pro-moisture complex to smooth the outside of the hair’s surface and leave it feeling touchably soft.

Best for: Everyone!

Deep conditioners: A more intensive version of your everyday conditioner, hair masks are a great way to give dry or damaged hair an extra boost of moisture. Use Nexxus Humectress Moisture Restoring Masque once a week and leave on for the instructed amount of time before rinsing.

This mask will penetrate deeper into the hair fibre than a regular conditioner, leaving your hair feeling especially soft and luscious. So close your eyes and you’ll soon be transported to the salon!

Best for: Dry and damaged hair

Leave-in conditioners: Leave-in conditioners can be either light spray or rich lotion formats like Suave Professionals Honey Infusion 10-In-1 Leave-In Conditioner and as the name suggests, they don’t need to be rinsed out after applying it your hair. You can also reuse during the week to re-hydrate your hair in-between hair washes.

Best for: All hair types

Need more help with hair conditioners? Here are some more important things about conditioners you need to know.