How to apply conditioner (7 steps)

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1.) Choose the right conditioner for your hair type

A traditional conditioner is applied every time you shower, just after you rinse out your shampoo. This type of conditioner works to repair the damage done by hot tools, chemicals, and general wear-and-tear that your hair experiences on a daily basis. Choose a type of conditioner that is advertised for your specific hair needs; whether you have curly and frizzy hair, dry and damaged hair, or limp and lank hair, there is a specific conditioner that can help with each.

2.) Wash your hair

Hop in the shower, and go along with your regular washing routine. You’ll condition your hair after you wash it, so give your scalp and strands a good scrubbing with your favorite shampoo. Focus most of your washing power on the scalp, being careful not to tug at your wet hair as you wash as this can damage the ends and cause more breakage.

3.) Rinse out your shampoo

Although it may not sound like fun, turn your water temperature down as cold as you can handle it. The cold water is safer on your hair than the hot water is, and will help to close up the hair shaft and prevent breakage. Rinse out all of the shampoo in this cold water, being careful not to tug on the strands if you run your fingers through it. When your hair feels ‘squeaky’, you’ve rinsed out all the shampoo.

4.) Wring out your hair

If your hair is sopping wet, any conditioner you try to apply will run right off and won’t stick long enough to affect your hair. If your hair is very short, you probably won’t have to do much wringing. If, however, you have long hair, spend a bit of time getting as much water out of it as you can.

5.) Apply your conditioner

Pour a bit of conditioner into the palm of your hand; the amount you need will vary depending on the length of your hair, starting at a dime’s size amount for chin-length or shorter hair. If your hair is very long, you may need a whole palm-full of conditioner. Run this through the ends of your hair, trying to apply it to every strand that you’re able. Your conditioner should be applied only to the ends of your hair, as this is the part that is damaged (it’s the oldest). Putting conditioner near your scalp and roots can actually clog your follicles, and slow hair growth/increase oil production.

6.) Let the conditioner set

This step is slightly optional; the longer you wait and allow your conditioner to set, the more it will be able to do to improve the health of your hair. If you’re in a rush, you can rinse it out nearly immediately after, but it won’t make your hair as soft and shiny as it normally would. Try applying your conditioner, and then washing the rest of your body/face while it sets. Then when you’re finished (normally a minute or two later), you can rinse out your conditioner for maximum effect.

7.) Rinse out the conditioner

Assuming you’ve turned the water temperature back up for comfort’s sake, turn it back down as cold as you can handle it. As aforementioned, the cold water is healthier for your hair. Spend a few minutes rinsing out the conditioner; if your hair still feels ‘slimy’, then you haven’t gotten it all out. When your hair is smooth and no longer feels super slippery, then you’re set! Wring out your hair and you’re done conditioning.
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