What is Hair Conditioner?

J. Beam

Hair conditioner is a hair care product that is applied after shampooing in order to condition the hair. It is most useful for people with dry or damaged hair, as people with naturally oily hair may find conditioner weighs their hair down rather than improves the overall look and feel of it. There are a wide range of hair conditioning products, including those you rinse out, leave in, or spray on.

A bottle of conditioner.
A bottle of conditioner.

Hair conditioner that is applied after shampooing and then rinsed out is the most common type of application for people with dry or damaged hair. Its purpose is to condition the hair by restoring moisture, albeit artificially, and smoothing the cuticles of the hair follicles. Conditioner is often comprised of both artificial and natural ingredients with some of the more common natural moisturizers including jojoba, tea tree oil, shea butter, and aloe.

A hair masque may help promote shiny, healthy hair.
A hair masque may help promote shiny, healthy hair.

Leave-in conditioner is another type of hair conditioner that is either sprayed on or rubbed in to towel-dried hair and permitted to remain on the hair without rinsing. This can be a particularly useful method of conditioning hair, especially for highly active individuals. Spray on conditioner is great for swimmers and athletes to use between deeper, more intensive conditioning treatments.

Using conditioner helps keep hair healthy, soft, and shiny.
Using conditioner helps keep hair healthy, soft, and shiny.

Pack conditioners are another form of conditioner and are a thicker, heavier cream than traditional rinse out varieties. Many salons provide conditioning treatments using pack conditioners, some applying the conditioner to the hair and then placing the hair under a dryer for an extended duration before rinsing out. Similar treatments can be applied at home with commercial products such as Aussie® Moist 3 Minute Miracle or Tresemmé® Smooth & Silky Deep Smoothing Masque.

Asking friends for personal recommendations is one way to choose the best hair conditioner.
Asking friends for personal recommendations is one way to choose the best hair conditioner.

Available in a wide range of prices, hair conditioner is essential to healthy hair, though various hair types require different treatments. Dry hair or hair damaged from chemical treatments, sun, or heat styling should be conditioned with each shampoo. Fine, untreated, and oily hair can also benefit from hair conditioner, but with less frequent applications.

For specific recommendations of conditioning products that suit your individual hair type, ask your hair stylist or experiment with different brands. Lighter weight conditioners are better for maintaining already healthy hair, while heavier, more intense conditioners can help repair and restore damaged hair.

Many hair salons provide hair conditioning treatments.
Many hair salons provide hair conditioning treatments.

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Discussion Comments


When I shower, I use Tre Semme shampoo. My mom says I have to use/wash it two times. And I use my conditioner once. I see no results. But I love the smell. I am thinking of getting a new conditioner, but the other one I used to use, Grisi of Sunflower, is Mexican. Anyway, it used to make my hair beautiful and shiny. I didn't like how it smelled though. Can someone tell me what conditioner I can find at my local store like a Walmart? I really want beautiful hair. Please!


This website is informative and I found its contents more useful & understandable than others.


@carrotisland- How often you condition your hair is based on your individual hair type. Generally, if you have dry and damaged hair, it would be best to condition every time you wash. Personally, I condition every time I wash and my hair is healthy. However, if you have naturally oily or thinning hair, I would not condition every day. It would be best for you to condition every other day.

Another helpful solution is to use a deep conditioner once a week. However, if you use a deep conditioner more than once a week it may cause hair loss or other problems. You can do a deep conditioning treatment either at home or at a salon. Deep hair conditioner can be very beneficial.


How often should I condition my hair? I've got fairly normal, curly hair -- it's not too oily or anything, but I do feel that it becomes unmanageable if I don't condition it every single day. Is this OK for my hair, or should I do it less often?


Hair conditioner is a hair care product commonly used after shampooing. Hair conditioner affects the texture and appearance of hair.

Hair conditioner is used to moisturize hair and keep it feeling soft and smooth. It also helps to detangle hair, leaving less split ends. Conditioner also leaves hair with a glossy shine. Conditioners do exactly what they say: they condition your hair to bring back some of the natural oils your hair produces that shampoo dries out.

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