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While washing your hair is a task you have been doing for a long time, you may be making mistakes that you’re unaware of.
For instance, leaving a product in your hair for too long can lead to buildup and problems such as dandruff, but not letting it stay in your hair for long enough will also cause you to miss out on its benefits.
It’s good to educate yourself on proper hair care for the best results.
How Long to Leave Shampoo and Conditioner in the Hair?
It is ideal that you massage your hair roots and scalp with shampoo for around 3 minutes. You don’t have to rub it in your strands; focus more on the roots, as shampoo is specifically designed for cleansing the scalp.
If your shampoo is medicated or has special use such as anti-dandruff properties, let it stay for a little longer, such as for 5 minutes, or follow the instructions on the product label.
Unlike shampoos, do not rinse conditioner off right after applying it. Conditioner should be left in the hair for at least 2 minutes for proper moisturization. There are also deep conditioners that are meant for intense hydration and moisturization. Some are left in the hair for as long as 10–20 minutes. (1)
Conditioners Versus Shampoos
Here are the basic differences between hair conditioners and hair shampoos.
Conditioners are mixtures with high viscosity, meaning they have a thick consistency. They are applied after washing the hair with shampoo.
Conditioners are mainly designed to promote hair health and repair the hair. They make your hair shiny and smooth. They also make your hair easy to brush, style, and manage. They will moisturize your hair, preventing dryness.
Some conditioners are also designed specifically to balance the hair pH. (1)
The main role of shampooing the hair is cleansing. It removes any kind of dirt on the hair and scalp. Shampoos keep your hair healthy and moisturized.
If you want to know the science behind shampoos, you have to understand that they contain surfactants, which are like soap molecules that get rid of oil, fat, or any kind of dirt or pollutant that is not soluble in water.
When you wash your hair without shampoo, these impurities remain in your hair. This is why it is important to shampoo your hair for a thorough and deep cleansing.
The best part about shampooing your hair is how easy it is. All you have to do is massage your scalp gently with the shampoo for a few minutes, and it will clean your hair once you rinse it off.
Shampoos are usually available in creamy textures and do not irritate your scalp. They also do not cause hair damage, given that you use a shampoo that is free from harsh chemicals. (2)
How to Apply Shampoo and Conditioner to the Hair?
Most hair care regimens start with using shampoo. This is because shampoos cleanse your hair and scalp while preserving your hair color or texture. They provide strength, moisturization, and hydration to the hair for a long time.
Choosing which shampoo to use when there are thousands of them available in the market can be a tough decision. This is why you should first learn about your hair type and your hair care needs and then invest in the type of shampoo that best suits you.
It is always better to use shampoos that contain natural ingredients and do not contain aggressive chemicals that can cause harm to your hair. These chemicals can include sulfates and parabens, so try to avoid them. (2)
It is not news that conditioning is the next step after shampooing your hair. Once you have shampooed your hair thoroughly and rinsed the product off properly, it is now time for you to apply conditioner. Shampoo is applied to the scalp and hair roots, whereas conditioner is mainly designed for the hair strands.
Just like how shampoo type depends upon your hair requirements, the type of conditioner you use is also a decision you have to make based on your needs.
A ton of conditioners are available with different bases, from creamy to gel based. Gel-based conditioners can provide intense moisturization and hydration, whereas creamy conditioners, on the other hand, will prevent damage and frizz.
The best part about conditioners is that they are usually lightweight and will not weigh your hair down.
Conditioners are also available based upon your hair type. People with curly hair require more conditioning – and therefore a higher amount of conditioner per application – than those with straight hair. (1)
Most-Asked Questions About Shampoos and Conditioners
What are the benefits of using a hair conditioner?
Here are the benefits of using hair conditioners: (3)
- Conditioners are used to make the hair smooth and soft for long durations.
- They provide bounce to your hair, giving it a voluminous look.
- They tighten the cuticle scales, strengthening the hair.
- They build a protective sheath around your hair, keeping them safe from pollution, dust, and grease.
- They make the hair easy to manage and help in detangling the hair without breaking it.
- They keep the hair shiny and smooth.
Can I apply conditioner every day?
It is no surprise that a conditioner is a very important part of your hair care routine. How many times you need to condition your hair will depend upon the type of your hair and its care requirements.
If your hair is dry and frizzy, you should not shampoo a lot, so you might also condition less. However, you can condition your hair even without shampooing, such as applying a leave-in conditioner.
Twice a week is a good-enough frequency for conditioning the hair. (1)
How should I use a hair conditioner?
- Shampoo your hair and dry them partially by squeezing out any extra water. Make sure your hair is still a little damp.
- Take a little more than a pea-sized amount of conditioner, and apply it to the strands of your hair, not on the roots.
- Let the conditioner sit for 2–3 minutes.
- Rinse the conditioner off with water only.
Are there any disadvantages to using a hair conditioner?
Using too much hair conditioner can have drawbacks. Some of them are: (4)
- Using a conditioner that is not specifically suited for your hair type can be bad for your hair health.
- If you are using a conditioner that is poorly formulated, it will not smoothen and strengthen your hair or meet its care requirements, so make sure you are investing in the right product.
- It is important to note that conditioners are made for your hair strands and are not meant to be applied to the scalp, so try to avoid putting some on the scalp, or else it can cause greasiness.
- Using conditioners more than the required amount can cause your hair to break more easily.
- Some conditioners contain aggressive chemicals that can be bad for your hair or cause allergic reactions, so stay away from them.
Healthy and beautiful-looking hair is something most people want. The right shampoo and conditioner and their correct application can make a lot of difference in the health and appearance of hair.
Both shampooing and conditioning come with benefits, and their proper use can provide your hair with tons of benefits.