Healthcare Essentials

Pros and Cons of Using Hair Conditioners

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By Apollo 24/7, Published on- 15 February 2022, Updated on - 09 December 2022

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While many people are blessed with naturally lustrous hair, others may need to work hard to achieve the desired texture. Experts believe that maintaining a proper hair routine involving the use of a shampoo and conditioner can help manage frizzy and dull hair. This article will explore the pros and cons of using a hair conditioner

What do conditioners do?

After one uses shampoo to wash off dead skin cells, sweat, and other products from the scalp, a conditioner is applied to the hair to make it softer and smoother. Conditioners are also known to protect hair shafts from damage.

How do conditioners work?

When seen under a microscope, the hair strands look like flakes of dead skin cells that overlap each other to form a cuticle. A cuticle strengthens and protects the inner layers of the hair strand. The hair appears lustrous when light passes through the cuticles. When the layer of cuticles wears down, the hair appears frizzy and tends to break off. 

Hair conditioners contain cationic surfactants (detergents) with a positive charge. When the conditioner is applied to the hair, this positive charge binds to the negative charge of a hair strand, enclosing the loose cuticles. The tightly enclosed cuticles keep the hair smooth even after the conditioner is rinsed.

How to use a hair conditioner?

To reap the benefits of conditioner, one must know the correct way of applying it. The steps include:

  • After rinsing off the shampoo thoroughly, gently squeeze excess water out of the hair as conditioners work best on damp hair. 
  • Now take a coin size amount of hair conditioner and apply it through the lengths of the hair. Do not apply the conditioner to the hair roots.
  • Let the conditioner soak in for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Rinse the conditioner thoroughly till the hair stops feeling slippery. Do not scrub the scalp while washing the hair.

Pros of using a hair conditioner

  • Moisturizes the hair, especially during dry winter months. 
  • Prevents knot formation and tangling of the hair, thereby limiting breakage after a wash.  
  • Helps prevent several hair problems such as breakage and split ends.
  • Helps reducehair loss by replenishing and strengthening the hair strands. 
  • Leave-in conditioners (that do not require rinsing) prevent damage to the hair from styling sprays and tools such as dryers and straighteners.

Cons of using a hair conditioner

  • Using a conditioner that does not match the hair type can do more harm than good. While people with curly hair require a strong conditioner, those with thin hair should use a gentle conditioner for nourishment and hydration. 
  • Some studies have shown that all conditioners do not bond with the hair. Without the bonding, the conditioners fail to provide moisture and strength to the hair.
  • Application of the conditioner on the scalp can make the roots oilier and cause the hair to flatten.
  • Over conditioning or improper rinsing can make the hair dull, lifeless, and prone to breakage. 
  • Some conditioners contain silicones, parabens, sodium Laureth sulfate, benzophenone, cetrimonium chloride, Diazolidinyl urea, and isopropanol, which can damage hair and cause allergic skin reactions. Do not use a conditioner if it irritates the skin; instead, look for sulfate-free products.


Experts believe conditioners should be a part of a regular hair routine. While conditioners may help keep the hair healthy, overuse and improper rinsing can cause the hair to break. Conditioners can also harm the hair if they don’t match one’s hair type. One can consult a skin expert to identify their hair type and choose the right hair conditioner accordingly.

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