Ever find that after you’ve washed your hair it doesn’t feel clean, or it’s overly fluffy and dry? It probably comes down to using too much or not enough conditioner. We hit up hairstylist and Pantene spokesperson, Barney Martin, to school us in how to get the conditioner thing right.
Something that lots of women don’t know is that before you apply conditioner to your hair you need to first squeeze out all the excess moisture. This gives better absorbency. The hair is like a sponge so if you put it on when your hair is soaking wet most conditioner will just slip straight off.
As a general rule, if you have short hair then about enough conditioner to cover a ten cent piece is the right amount. If you have medium length hair then double that, and if you have long hair then triple it.
Length isn’t the only factor here though – if you have thin hair (strands or overall quantity) then you should use a little bit less. If you have thick hair or curly hair then use a bit more. If you have quite porous hair, rather than opting for a bigger quantity of conditioner, you should use a more intensive conditioner.
Wait, so it’s sounding a little bit trial and error? Well, yes. Barney agrees and suggests that squeezing the moisture out of your hair before you condition it will allow you to get a better feel for how dry your hair is and how much you’ll need. Start with a small amount at first and see how it feels. If you have long, thick, curly or porous hair and it drinks conditioner straight in, then add a little bit more. You’ll quickly learn what feels right.
When applying conditioner, stay well away from the roots - especially if you have an oily scalp. If you have fine hair then it really should just go on the very ends of your hair. If you have thick, course or curly hair you can condition higher up - but always keep conditioner below your ear lobes.
Work it through your hair with your fingers, rather than a comb, because then you will get a better feel for where your hair is a bit raspy and needs extra conditioning. You should also always work it down the hair shafts, not up.
To figure out how long you should leave your conditioner in, check the instructions on the product you’re using, because it does vary quite a lot. It certainly won’t hurt it to leave conditioner in for a few minutes, especially if you’re in a hot shower because the steam will open the cuticle and allow the product to penetrate the hair.
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