You have lathered and rinsed your hair. Now it’s time to condition your hair. You apply and massage the sweet scented and slippery conditioner onto your hair for three to five minutes. Have you ever wondered how exactly this daily hair care product transform your hair into a stockpile of silkiness and how does hair conditioner work? Keep reading on.
The purpose of a hair conditioner is, as the name implies, to condition the hair. If properly used, it leaves a gaunt coating on the hair, which provides a lasting, desirable effect. Hair conditioners are used to supply the hair extra nourishment, especially after a thorough shampooing. The primary work of a conditioner is to replace the sebum, which is lost from the hair by shampooing.
Hair is comprised of a protein called keratin, and keratin has a high percentage of amino acids that have a negative charge. Soap and shampoo contain surfactants, which are anionic, meaning that they are also negatively charged. These cleaners are very effective at removing dirt and grease from the hair, but they also remove and natural oils and positive charge from hair. The cuticle is the outer layer of hair that is made up of overlapping flat cells. With healthy, shiny hair, the cuticle is lying flat and is held together by hydrogen bonding. Shampooing tends to remove the hydrogen ions from the cuticle, so conditioner is often used as a way to correct that imbalance, to bring that all-important luster and shine back to the hair.
Conditioners have low pH and many hydrogen ions. The scales will stay down better when the hair is acidic (pH-7 or less); therefore, conditioners are usually acidic.
If conditioner isn’t used after shampooing, hair becomes frizzy, because all the negative regions of the hair repel each other; you end up looking as if you’ve been electrocuted. Cationic surfactants counteract this effect, and, instead, prevent the build-up of static electricity. Most hair conditioners contain these cationic surfactants, which are positively charged molecules. Thus, when you use conditioners after shampooing your hair, the positively charged cationic surfactants are attracted to the negative charge in your hair, and they are not completely rinsed out with water. When the hair dries, it is coated in a thin film of these cationic surfactants, making the hair sleeker, less likely to tangle, and more manageable.
Points to consider while applying conditioner
- A conditioner should be chosen based on hair type. If you have thin hair, pick a volumizing conditioner. If you have greasy or thick hair, go for the conditioner with less oil.
- A conditioner should not be massaged on the scalp but rather apply it to the tips of your hair and comb the conditioner to the mid-lengths of your hair.
- It is vital to rinse the conditioner thoroughly. If you don’t rinse properly, you run the risk of clogging hair follicles.
- The conditioner is like the moisturizer for your hair and it needs a little bit of time to work. It is necessary to leave the conditioner for a minute or two before rinsing.
- With fine hair, conditioner might reduce the hair’s body. You must use body building styling aids after conditioning to add body to your hair.
Conditioner makes the cuticle smooth and prevents hair tangling. Regain the moisture, elasticity and luster of your hair by applying conditioner in the appropriate manner.