Image: Kahla and her new hair are getting along just fine without conditioner, thanks.
I only lost a few inches in length, but the real difference is in how my naturally wavy hair responds to the new style. Previously it was the perfect wash ‘n wear situation; now, I have awkwardly-placed flicks and some boofiness to contend with. I’ve been using every product in my armoury to restore my relaxed waves, but to no avail.
However, a moment of mid-shower desperation last week led me to an unexpected solution: skipping conditioner. I’d actually run out of the stuff, but I recalled a recent article by Zoe Foster Blake in which she mentioned she never uses conditioner because her truly excellent short bob “can’t handle it”. So I decided to follow suit.
This behaviour mightn’t sound controversial to you, but anyone with even a slight wave to their hair knows conditioner can mean the difference between fully-formed curls and a fluffy mess. So I was a little daunted as I waited for my cut to air-dry.
Happily, those fears were unfounded because going conditioner-free had worked an absolute charm. My hair lost that marshmallowy softness and was no longer settling into a Snow White 'boof' shape (NB: I love Snow White, but hers was not the look I wanted).
It was also responding much better to styling products — a little sea salt or mousse and some "jujging" with my hands gave it just the right amount of volume and shape.
I decided to share the gospel with my fellow short-haired colleagues, but they were already all over it. "Oh yeah, you can't use conditioner on short hair," one said matter-of-factly. Seriously, why does nobody talk about this? Is this some kind of best-kept bob secret?
It's an effective trick, but at risk of sounding like Carrie Bradshaw I couldn't help but wonder if eschewing conditioner would have any negative long-term impacts on my hair.
According to Barney Martin, Pantene Hair Expert & Owner of Sydney's Barney Martin Hair Salon, that is indeed the case. (Post continues after gallery.)