Let’s face it, with so many options out there it can be confusing. Not to mention that not all conditioners are the same. Afro textured hair is the driest of all hair types. This means our hair needs more and regular conditioning. Check out our back to basics guide/tips on the potential conditioner for you.
- Leave-In Conditioner – As the name suggests…..you LEAVE this in your hair…without rinsing until your next wash day. This is used to help with styling as well as being applied as many times as needed to rehydrate the hair (daily mist, night routine, wash n go etc). Make sure you choose a leave-in that lists water as the first ingredient. A light spray type is ideal for fine strands and a creamier type is perfect for thick hair. Follow up with a sealant. If you need to apply too often and hour hair is dry and tangled, ditch and switch.
- Co-Wash – This simply means washing your hair solely with a Conditioner instead of a shampoo. Although rinse-out conditioner can be used as a Co-Wash, they’re usually thicker and their purpose is to moisturise the hair. Co-Washes contain ingredients that are targeted to cleanse the scalp and gently ease build up. If you are a gym bunny, have coloured hair or extra dry hair between washdays then this might be ideal for you.
- Protein Conditioner – Contrary to popular belief, these are not drying to the hair. Instead Protein Conditioners temporarily rebuild weak areas in your cuticle and has high moisturising content. If you hair is protein sensitive, then you may need to follow up with a Deep Conditioner.
- Protein Reconstructors – These are more intense and have a high protein percentage. Their purpose is to strengthen and add structure to the hair with little moisturising properties. If you choose this option ALWAYS follow up with a Deep Conditioner to restore the hair’s elasticity. Interestingly, the results with a reconstructor lasts longer as they penetrate the hair shaft. The effects can last between 4-6 weeks depending on how damaged the hair is and how often you shampoo. If your hair is extremely damaged or you have high porosity hair then this may be ideal for you.
- Deep Conditioner – These are packed full of moisturising ingredients to moisturise the hair strand deep within. Heat is often used to make sure the moisture reaches all the layers of the hair for at least 30 mins. Avoid using a Rinse-Out conditioner for a DC as the results do not last as long. Start by using weekly for a healthy hair routine or if the hair us damaged. Once the health of your hair is A1, how often you decide to use the DC is up to you (eg 1-4 weeks).
- Rinse-Out Conditioner – These have multiple uses, such as, detangling on damp pre/post shampoo’d hair, a Co-Wash or as a general quick post-wash if you’re in a rush. Always choose one that has water as a first ingredient, is high in fatty alcohols (eg Cetearyl Alcohol), humectants (eg Aloe Vera Juice) and Emollients (eg Panthenol). Side note: if you’re out of Leave-In, you can use your Rinse-Out. However, use a small amount to avoid build up on the hair and scalp.
A bonus option would be to revitalise, hydrate and moisturise your hair between wash days with a DIY spray bottle. We recommend keeping it in the fridge for an extended shelf life unless you have a preservative. Try out this example:
Your favourite Leave-In Conditiner
70% Liquid (eg Water, Aloe Vera Juice/Gel, Tea Rinse, Rosewater)
A few drops of Essential Oil (eg Rosemary/Lavender)
Your favourite oil (Ayurvedic, Castor, Grapeseed).