1. Hair Conditioner Buying Guide
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How to choose hair conditioner

how to choose hair conditioner

A hair conditioner buying guide

Knowing how to choose hair conditioner that is right for your hair type is one way to help your hair look its best. The right hair conditioner can make your hair look healthy, shiny, supple and soft. Given the wide variety of hair conditioner brands and types available, you should consider several things before deciding which is the best hair conditioner for your individual needs. Learning how to choose hair conditioner is easy, but it requires determining which hair care products provide what benefits for your particular type of hair.

>> Consider your hair

best hair conditioners

The first thing to think about when figuring out how to choose hair conditioner is the various types of hair conditioners available for your hair type. The type of hair you have will determine which type of hair conditioner is most advantageous for you to use. If you have thin, fine or straight hair, you will want to buy hair conditioner that maximizes volume. If you have medium, thick or curly hair, a hair conditioner benefit you might seek is detangling.

>> Determine if you have special needs

The next thing to think about when figuring out how to choose hair conditioner is if your hair and scalp have special needs. Many hair conditioner brands cater to customers who use special products to handle issues such as frizz control, dry or oily hair and scalp, dandruff or color-treated, brittle or damaged hair. You want hair conditioner that is geared toward remedying your specific hair issues, but be careful to refrain from over-treating your hair or using a product that treats issues other than the ones you have.

The chart below compares hair conditioner benefits for specific hair types from different types of hair conditioners.

Hair type


Useful ingredients


Fine, thin Lightweight conditioning, volume maximizing Biotin, caffeine, nettle, Panthenol, saw palmetto To avoid weighing your hair down, use conditioner mainly at the ends of your hair and rinse thoroughly.
Normal, medium Balancing moisture, overall health Eucalyptus, soy, wheat proteins To keep your hair strong and healthy, look for mild conditioners designed for daily use.
Thick, coarse, curly Detangling, hydration, frizz control Glycerin, honey, jasmine oil, olive oil, shea butter Avoid using silicone-based shampoos, because they can prevent hair from absorbing moisture.
Damaged, dry Moisturizing, build strength, gentle detangling, split end repair Coconut, jojoba, keratin proteins In addition to daily conditioning, use a deep conditioner for softer hair.
Color treated Protection from color fading, repair damage and brittleness, gentle detangling Jasmine oil, soy proteins, wheat proteins Try a conditioner that is designed especially for your hair color to make your hair shimmer.
Oily scalp Oil control, clarifying Lemon, mint, tea tree oil Avoid adding oil to your scalp by concentrating the conditioner on the ends of your hair.
Dandruff Scalp balancing, moisturizing Ketoconazole, pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid Condition your entire head so your scalp will absorb the moisture from the conditioner, thereby preventing flakes.

Because hair conditioner uses vary, you want to buy hair conditioner that meets your combination of hair needs. Learning how to choose hair conditioners will help you get the results you want: healthy, shiny, soft and supple hair.

>> Consider the results you want

Hair conditioner advantages include softness and detangling, moisturizing, maintaining color, smoothing and protection from heat and UV rays, although different types of hair conditioners provide different benefit combinations. Even the best hair conditioners meet only one or two specific needs, so you may have to get creative to get the results you want. As you think about how to choose hair conditioner, you might consider using several types of hair conditioners, such as a mild one that rinses out on a daily basis and a more intense, oil-based, leave-in conditioner for weekly deep conditioning treatments.

>> Consider sensitivities, allergies and preferences

buy hair conditioner

When thinking about how to choose hair conditioner, take into account whether you have allergies to dyes and perfumes or are sensitive to alcohol or other ingredients, such as the plant oils used in natural hair conditioners. Like any other skincare product, hair conditioners can be tested by applying some to a small patch of skin, say, inside your elbow, and leaving it there for a few hours. If any sort of rash appears, you will want to use a different product.

>> Choose among standard, salon quality and natural conditioners

When considering how to choose hair conditioner, remember that there are three major types of hair conditioners available commercially.

Standard hair conditioners are the ones you find on the shelves in almost every drugstore or supermarket. They are great if you have healthy hair and want a bit of shine or detangling. These hair conditioners are suitable for most people, and most conditioners are gentle enough to use every day. Standard hair conditioners come in two kinds: rinse out or leave in. If you have oily hair or scalp issues, opt for the rinse-out variety.

Salon-quality hair conditioners are available at stores or from your beautician, and these beauty products are often geared toward repairing damaged hair. Your hair stylist will advise you on the best use of these products to achieve the results you want. These products are often stronger than standard or natural products and must be rinsed thoroughly from your hair.

Natural hair conditioners promise the same results as chemical hair conditioners, but contain only natural ingredients such as honey conditioners. Look for ingredients like keratin, jasmine oil and jojoba oil. Moroccan conditioners, in particular, are oil based, and work well to control frizz and smooth the hair cuticles. If you have thin or fine hair, do not use oil-based conditioners because they will be too heavy for your hair.

When deciding which is the best hair conditioner for you, remember that you'll see the best results when you know how to choose a hair conditioner that meets your hair and scalp's specific needs.

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