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4 Ways to Fix Your Conditioner

Avatar • Jan 1, 2012

honey conditioners
By Jc of The Natural Haven

It can take a long time to search and find your perfect staple conditioner and becoming a product junkie is very easy especially in the first two years of being natural. This is a trial and error process and you can end up with many products in the ‘do not work’ section. You could choose to re-purpose them as a softening cream for shaving your legs (seriously!) or you could choose to discard them. However, before you choose the discard option, you could try to fix the conditioner using products that are easily found. This would help you to use the product up instead of letting it gather dust in a corner and can reduce the pain of disappointment if the product was purchased as a splurge. Here are a few tips and tricks.

1. Not moisturizing enough: Honey or glycerin fix.

If a conditioner that you bought is not moisturising enough, humectants such as honey or glycerin may help fix this. The ideal process is to place the conditioner you want to use into a separate jar and then add 2 tablespoons of honey or 1–2 teaspoons of glycerin.  You can add both honey and glycerin but be aware that if you keep it on the hair for long it can be overly softening (some will not mind this but others will). If this does not fix the conditioner and you still have more, then attempt to add a penetrating oil (for example coconut oil or olive oil) in addition the next time. Moisture is not just about water and humectants, oils also have a key role in enabling the water to be trapped within the hair shaft.

2. Not enough slip: Coconut oil, jojoba or olive oil fix

If the conditioner  does not have enough slip (i.e hair strands do not easily separate when coated with conditioner and combed ), the ideal fix is a light oil that flows easily. Melted coconut oil, jojoba oil (which is a liquid wax) and olive oil are good options. The amount you add depends on how much slip you would like. As a general guide 1–2 teaspoons added to a portion that you intend to use should suffice. You can test the slip by applying a small amount of the mixed up conditioner to your hair and seeing how well the strands separate when finger combed. Add more oil (teaspoon wise) to the mix and test again until you get to your ideal level.

3. Not thick enough: Shea butter or castor oil fix

If your preference is for a thick consistency but the product you bought is quite light, you can fix this by adding medium to high density oils such as shea butter or castor oil.  The fact that shea butter and castor oil are more viscous (i.e do not easily spread) allows them to adjust the thickness but bear in mind that this will come with additional oiliness. If you do not wish to have additional oil in the product, you could attempt to add raw honey (which is thicker than processed honey used on bread).

4. Overly moisturizing/not strengthening enough: Hydrolysed protein fix

If the product makes hair overly soft or if your hair is in need of strengthening (heat damage/bleach damage/breaking hair), the perfect fix is adding hydrolysed protein.  This can also be a way to use up a protein treatment that you may not have liked on its own (for example what people refer to as hard protein eg Aphogee, Komaza). You can add a half a teaspoon or less to the moisturizing conditioner. Hydrolysed proteins do have a fairly strange smell but if you warm up the conditioner (i.e place the pot that you are going to use into a warm bath for a few minutes until it is warm to the touch but not hot),  the scent of the conditioner will generally over-ride that of the hydrolysed protein. Hydrolysed proteins and a few amino acids (glutamic acid) can be absorbed quite well into the hair when in a conditioner as opposed to in water alone. This is good for internally damaged hair such as bleached hair. In order to fix damage on the surface of the hair, hydrolysed proteins are preferred over amino acids.

Ladies, what are your homemade conditioner fixes and mixes?

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Meowmix
Meowmix
8 years ago

Happy New Year Everyone,

This is a great article. I add grapeseed oil to my ‘non-working’ conditioners for ceramides. Now I can’t wait to use them and its cheaper than Redken:)

Etty
Etty
8 years ago

JC, you are a lifesaver.…well, conditioner saver!
I usually put some olive oil in my conditioner and it gives me great slip.…But I need to buy coconut oil and honey…

BTW ladies, do you know if Walmart sells coconut oil??
I checked Safeway, Giant, Target… Buying online is not an option for me 🙁

Meowmix
Meowmix
8 years ago
Reply to  Etty

Hi, I’ve seen it @ Walmart near the pharmacy for $10.

Sari
Sari
8 years ago
Reply to  Etty

Etty, I saw Coconut oil in both Target and Walmart recently. It’s not with the Olive Oil but in the section which has the other oils such as Canola or Corn oil. If you have a Kroger in your area, they definitely carry it as well. Hope you find some 🙂

Jazmin
Jazmin
8 years ago
Reply to  Etty

yep they do it will probably be in the baking aisle or you may even find it where the vitamins are i saw some the other day it was a huge tub for the price i think it was at least 16 oz 🙂

TINA SMITH
TINA SMITH
8 years ago
Reply to  Etty

YES YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND EVCO AT WALMART

Etty
Etty
8 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

Thank you all Ladies! I will double-check at Target!
Thank you so much!!!!!

Jc
Jc
8 years ago
Reply to  Etty

lol thanks Etty 🙂

wanda anderson
wanda anderson
8 years ago
Reply to  Etty

Yes, in the cooking section.

Aprilracine
Aprilracine
8 years ago
Reply to  Etty

Try trader Joe’s

toya
toya
8 years ago

Etty your local organic food store like Whole Foods, Yes!Organic carries coconut oil and speciality food shops as well.

Newbie
Newbie
8 years ago

Is there an all natural conditioner that is good to use and provides these benefits or can I just mix many of the ingredients you mentioned to create my own all natural product or conditioner?

Great article!

LovelyLauz
LovelyLauz
8 years ago
Reply to  Newbie

Giovanni is an organic, natural line of products. I find it at Target and Whole Foods mostly. I really like the Smooth as Silk conditioner. I use it as a DC and it works magic for my hair.

Lele
Lele
8 years ago

Good post. I think I’ll add some honey and glycerin to my conditioner next time. But I read an article about most grocer store honey being artificial, and so now I buy mine from health food stores because I want the real thing. Here’s the article http://www.chow.com/food-news/97458/the-great-honey-swindle/

Gemlocs
Gemlocs
8 years ago
Reply to  Lele

Wow, thanks for the information.

Amy
Amy
8 years ago

Provitamin b5 aka panthenol and hydrolized silk protein for moisture, hydrolized rice protein for strength and volume.

Leo the Yardie Chick
Leo the Yardie Chick
8 years ago

Niiiiice! I’ll show this to my friend, who has spent untold amounts trying to find a conditioner that will work for her. 😀

df
df
8 years ago

so this applies to both deep conditioners and leave ins?

Jc
Jc
8 years ago
Reply to  df

Yes you can do it for both. I would say greatly reduce the amounts for a leave in because you do not intend to wash the hair (so 2 tablespoons of honey is too much but half a teaspoon or a few drops may be perfect).

oa
oa
8 years ago

Does anyone know where I could find hydrolyzed protein?

Latisha
Latisha
8 years ago

Yes I would like to find out more about the hydrolyzed proteins and where can I find it online at reasonable prices. I find that my hair is breaking at the front. Don’t know if its because of too much brushing. And if not hydrolyzed proteins then what can i use?

LaTosha Johnson
8 years ago

I always add honey and olive oil to my conditioners because I have noticed that in addition to softening my hair it seems to reduce frizz as well. I would like to learn more about the glycerin. Where can you purchase this item?

Meika
Meika
8 years ago

I add wheat germ oil to my non working conditioners. My hair usually ends up softer (but not mushy soft) and it seems like thickens my strands.

LovelyLauz
LovelyLauz
8 years ago

I’m definitely one to pour olive oil into my conditioners. It works like a charm!

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[…] more information, check out the BGLH blog! Tags Beauty tipsConditioningHair treatments Related […]

chanel
chanel
8 years ago

I strongly disliked Organix Coconut conditioner, and was ready to toss it after only using half the bottle. There was no slip and it just kind of at on my hair. Instead of throwing it away I filled the rest of the bottle with olive oil and honey, shake well. It’s now one of my favorite concoctions. I shampoo, condition and detangle, rinse then put this on for about ten minutes. Works like a charm!

Mary Smith
8 years ago

I useed the cheapiest conditioner suave shea butter and I mixed evoo and veg glycerin andd castor oil and it turned my hair from straw to a cotton ball. Thanks so much.

ariella taylor
8 years ago

Ok well, I use petals conditioner for my co-wash. But I was wondering, since its a large bottle, could I split it into two, then add honey and evoo to one part and use as a leave-in? But then, does d application come before or after my coconut oil? Or do you think I use just use it at night before I go to bed and wrap my hair with. A silk scarf?

trackback

[…] BGLH had a post about adding other ingredients to your  conditioner for an instant upgrade. Now that’s […]

Welile
Welile
8 years ago

Hi, is it possible/advisable to not use store bought shampoos and conditioners at all? I’m thinking, pre-poo with coconut oil/jojoba oil, then rinse/wash with diluted apple cider vinegar+tea tree oil and moisturise with Shea butter once a week. Next wash is a co-wash using honey/glycerine mix with olive oil or grape seed or castor oil? I just suddenly don’t trust manufactured goods anymore. What do u think? Please advise;) ta

Sheree
Sheree
8 years ago

I mix coconut oil with my conditioner and it works great. I rinse with cold water to seal in the oil and let my hair air dry. If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area you can purchase coconut oil for half the price then Walmart.

Trina
Trina
8 years ago
Reply to  Sheree

I do this too!! Lots of slip and easier to detangle. I will start adding honey for more moisture.

tara
tara
8 years ago

Yall can go to any health store and buy organic coconut oil and olive oil and xtra virgin olive oil in food aisle. I get all my oils from whole foods in their “oil” aisle lol. I never buy oil in the “hair” section

gracie
gracie
8 years ago

I made an oil mix of coconut, olive and castor oil. I add that and normal cheap honey to Yes To Carrots Conditioner and it is the best DC ever for me — slippy and moisturising. I now feel like I never need to buy a deep conditioner again.

Mary J
Mary J
8 years ago

Great post, very informative. I’ve been using Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner to tackle breakages, dryness and split ends and so far it has worked really well to protect and repair my hair. LOVE IT!!!!

kia
kia
5 years ago

How would you add the shea butter? Melt it down first? I’m thinking about adding shea butter & olive oil to tresemme naturals norishing conditioner

mangomadness
mangomadness
4 years ago

I condition my kinky, coily hair with a DIY mixture of Tresemme Botanique Nourish and Replenish Conditioner, coconut oil, aloe vera juice, vegetable glycerin, honeyquat and hydrolyzed wheat protein. I love this mixture for it’s slip, softening and (mild) strengthening properties.

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