As I type this article, I am pretty certain there are quite a number of you who are looking for the perfect hair conditioner. To be clear, I am referring to moisturizing conditioners used after shampooing hair. Protein treatments (i.e. aphogee or komaza) or oil-based pre-wash conditioners are not included here.
There are four tangible benefits that a good moisturizing conditioner should give your hair. I would suggest that if your hair conditioner fails in any of these four areas, it is indeed possible that there is something better out there for you. Here are the four must-haves:
1. An instant smooth feel to the hair
A great hair conditioner will work instantly (and I mean in under a second) to correct the slightly raised cuticle that using shampoo can create. This means that your strands will instantly feel smooth to the touch. If your hair does not feel smoother immediately after you apply the conditioner, it is not useful in any way for use after shampooing.
2. Long lasting softness
Hair conditioners are designed to leave deposits onto hair that can make hair feel soft to the touch. A great conditioner will resist complete washing off during rinsing and therefore the feeling of softness should last for several days (around 3 days) unless of course you choose to wash earlier than that time period.
3. Elastic hair
Hair conditioners work to restore moisture loss to hair. This is achieved in part by water penetration as well as the addition of small ingredients such as hydrolysed proteins that can also hold water. Hair conditioners patch up the cuticle surface to slow down moisture loss. One of the defining results of these processes is the hair which has been conditioned and allowed to dry gains excellent elasticity. For curls that clump, this can be interpreted in terms of bounce. For non-clumping hair, you will find strands are able to stretch without breaking and without the need for excessive force, therefore making tasks like parting hair for styling easier.
4.Tangle free hair
If you are choosing to detangle your hair with conditioner, it should be really effortless. The combination of the previous three effects (namely, smoothness, softness and high elasticity) should give you friction-free, painless and low force combing. Furthermore, if your conditioner is rich in slip-giving ingredients (oils, silicones), you should remain cautious in over-combing or over-brushing your hair as the hair can be significantly weaker in strength while soaked in conditioner.
Ladies, how do you judge the effectiveness of your conditioner?