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4 Signs that Your Conditioner is Effective

Avatar • Jan 29, 2014

devavsherbal

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?

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About The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

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Miss T
Miss T
6 years ago

I’m always on the lookout for a great conditioner, anyone have any suggestions for a 4b/4c fine haired kinky head like myself?

T. Saint
T. Saint
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss T

I also have type 4 hair that gets dry entirely too easily. I use Creme of Nature Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment and I absolutely love it!!!! A bottle costs about 5 bucks at my local beauty supply store and its also available in small packets that usually run about a dollar each.

mangomadness
mangomadness
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss T

I have 4b/c hair. My staple conditioners are Nature’s Gate Hemp Nourishing Conditioner and Nature’s Gate Jojoba Revitalizing Conditioner. Both conditioners are thick, creamy, super moisturizing and give great slip for pre-shampoo detangling. They’re also fab for the occasional co-wash.

Ify
Ify
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss T

Hello hydration herbal essences love that stuff !am a 4b/c chick and it does wonders to my hair great slip smells great leaves your hair extra smooth and moisturized

LBell
LBell
6 years ago
Reply to  Ify

Another vote for Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH). I’ve been using it more or less consistently on my natural mostly-4b hair for at least 12 years (I’ve lost count). It does have a cone, but honestly, I don’t care…it’s always done what I needed it to do, whether using it straight or as a base for a deep conditioner or leave-in spritz recipe.

I’ve tried lots of conditioners over the years but I always end up coming back to HE HH.

A+
A+
6 years ago
Reply to  LBell

Ditto for me. I stopped using Hello Hydration for a month and went to Suave and my hair got so dry and brittle! I have never used anything else and don’t plan to! The slip is unmatched!

Leah
Leah
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss T

Trader Joes Nourish Spa

lablooplah
lablooplah
6 years ago
Reply to  Leah

it’s heavy and affordable!!! my fave sooo far esp with the amount of conditioner i use.

ManestreamBeauty
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss T

Hi Miss T, Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose moisturising conditioner is my failsafe conditioner. I use this when my hair needs a good heavy does of moisture if I don’t have time to deep condition. My hair sucks up the moisture and retains moisture for a good length of time, I hardly have to use much after. It is a little pricey so I don’t use it weekly, but it is worth every penny. I have been using JASON Smoothing Sea Kelp pure natural conditioner and JASON Restorative Biotin pure natural conditioner (new and improved formulas) as my regular/frequent use conditioner and like them… Read more »

ManestreamBeauty
6 years ago

BTW I’m also 4b/c with fine strands.

biancarichards
biancarichards
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss T

Hi, i would dfinitely recommend Oyin Handmade Hair dew with/without The Whipped pudding or spraying lightly your hair then apply shea butter or the shea butter from Oyin. I’m a 3b-4a girl and even if i did regular prepoos my hair wasn’t keeping enough moisture so i ordered Oyin and was amazed about the sofntess of my hair. Sealing with olive oil or argan oil helped me, i want to try again using KCKT as it is the best detangler ever or even Shea moisture coconut&hibiscus milk

Steph
Steph
6 years ago

Aussie Moist and Aussie Moist 3 minute miracle fit all the examples above. I also like Suave Rosemary and Mint Conditioner. Those are the only two in my shower right now.

Meme
Meme
6 years ago
Reply to  Steph

Ditto!!! Aussie Moist is AMAZING!!!! I’ve tried several, and this one works for me! Its definitely a staple! Type 4A/4B

Rae M.
Rae M.
6 years ago

YES!!! I have finally found the best conditioner for me (it took almost two years)! What I am using right now is Tresemme Moroccan Oil. Boy oh boy that stuff works wonders on my 4a/b hair. I have so many others and this is the very first conditioner that has given me all 4 on this list! Also trying the new suave deep conditioner, which is already working wonders for me.

Kade
Kade
6 years ago
Reply to  Rae M.

OMG!! I’m totally going to try this!! I love tresemme products! Almost all their conditioners work for me, but I’m yet to try this morrocan oil one…hopefully it does wonders for me too.

Rae M.
Rae M.
6 years ago
Reply to  Kade

That conditioner is really working well for me and my regimen. It is the Moroccan and Argan oil one. I hope it works well for you too 🙂

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

Hi fellow naturalistas!

I know this is going to sound crazy but the only conditioner that gives my hair all four of the above is Herbal Essence’s Hello Hydration (I know right…). It detangles like a miracle. I have to do a product swap with my friends soon to get rid of the others I have tried and switch back to what works for me.

mlank64
mlank64
6 years ago

Well after 2.5 years of trial and error, I finally found a leave-in conditioner that works on my hair. Shea Moisture African Black Soap Balancing Conditioner is the best thing I have found that my hair loves. I saw Mahagony Curls do a review on this product as a leave-in. I had the product for a while and loved it as a detangler or co-wash, but never entertained the notion to use it as a leave-in because of the black soap extract. However, on my low porosity 3c/4a hair it has become my holy grail. Before I had to use… Read more »

HortonHearsA...
HortonHearsA...
6 years ago

I don’t feel like this applies to natural non cone based products as a lot of them don’t leave my hair feeling in the way that this article states. The ones that do are few and far between. Anyway I’m 4c and I like Hydratherma Naturals MBDC and Brown Butter Beauty DC. Both have protein in them but are not hard or heavy protein cons at all. I have found that my hair is softest after clarifying or after a light protein like Aphogee 2 Min. My hair is sensitive to certain proteins but needs and craves light protein. I… Read more »

bacalovef
bacalovef
6 years ago

Matrix Fortetherapie mask; DermOrganics & TigiBed Head maxture moist.

crystal
crystal
6 years ago

I am not certain that this applies to all natural silicone free conditioners. I think all natural conditioners need to sit on the hair a bit for your hair to feel smooth. Chemical conditioners like hello hydration can do that because of the silicone.

thenaturalhaven
6 years ago
Reply to  crystal

Crystal, silicones act like oils. They coat hair and prevent moisture loss. For hair to feel smooth, the required ingredient is a surfactant (e.g behentrimonium chloride, stearylkonium chloride etc). Many natural conditioners will contain these ingredients but some do not and therefore they are not the best choice for use after a shampoo (some very mild shampoos being an exception).

HortonHearsA...
HortonHearsA...
6 years ago

Interesting comment at the end about natural cons. I find that my hair hates silicone products, it dries like straw. I hated Aussie Moist and HEHH for this reason plus HEHH irritated my scalp. I’d say that many natural cons don’t seem to coat and therefore protect the hair.

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago

I think the trick for those of us who are sensitive to silicone is to find a conditioner that doesn’t have ‘cones, but still has “chemicals” (in quotes because everything is comprised of chemicals). I really like the conditioners made by Alaffia for this reason–they still have heavy conditioners such as behentrimonium chloride and preservatives such as potassium sorbate, but everything else is mostly “natural”, so my hair is pretty happy. Plus, where I am, you can get a 32 oz bottle for $10!

Trisha
Trisha
6 years ago

I haven’t had luck with commercial conditioners, and my hair did not retain length as a result. I started to mix banana baby food with EVOO, and it conditions like a dream. When I need protein I use Hellmans mayo and EVOO, and again, a total dream. My hair is not dry, and I’m retaining more length than I have in the past with commercial conditioners. Anyone who hasn’t found a staple conditioner should give these mixtures a try.

shayshay
shayshay
6 years ago
Reply to  Trisha

Thanks, Trisha! My scalp doesn’t like coconut, so I can’t use most commercial products. I’m going to try your recipe.

Thetruthisoutthere
Thetruthisoutthere
6 years ago

I have heard so much about the baby food strained bananas so it’s on my to-try list. I enjoy Tresemme as well as Sally Beauty’s GVP Conditioning Balm. I am trying to stay away from protein containing conditioners.

Sophie
Sophie
6 years ago

I’m really liking Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship. It goes on smooth and slippery, and it leaves my hair soft before after rinsing. It also smells really good! I thought I had to avoid proteins but this one has silk protein and my hair seems to really like it.

memarie
memarie
6 years ago

once, i a smidge of VO5 shea and vanilla left. so i thought, oh what the hell and poured my argan and olive oil in it then shook. only then did my conditiner do those things. I couldnt stop petting my strand, it was silk! 😀

shayshay
shayshay
6 years ago

Hi, JC. I’m trying to find conditioners, and especially detanglers, without coconut derivatives. My scalp doesn’t respond well to coconut. Any advice? I’m willing to try silicones and synthetics.

Jc
Jc
6 years ago
Reply to  shayshay

I will have to research this one shayshay. Almost all hair conditioners will contain coconut oil derivatives (stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol). I will really have to look to see what is there.

Jc
Jc
6 years ago
Reply to  Jc

Oh shay shay, I just remembered clays! Rhassoul, bentonite etc.

I will still research a hair conditioner for you, but it may be worth your while to try the clays.

shayshay
shayshay
6 years ago
Reply to  Jc

Thanks so much, JC! I’ve had good results with clays and coconut-free soap & shampoo bars. I get stuck finding conditioners and detanglers. I appreciate your research.

JENNID
JENNID
6 years ago

Oyin handmade honey hemp conditioner has been the only non silicone conditioner that I have tried that hits all four points on the list.I can’t wait until their stuff hits target cause I would love to have that in my regular line up. Hello hydration feels good on but doesn’t leave my hair feeling soft after rinsing it off. I have just been adding oil to my conditioners for extra slip. So far its working out pretty good.

kay
kay
6 years ago

i use carol’s daughters tui and it does all of what is mention above to my hair i remember when i first tried it i feel in love i never loved a product so much i barely have to use any a little bit is good enough and even though i was skeptical at first at how long it would last me because im heavy handed i get surprised that i only have to buy one bottle every 3 months or so.…on the other hand i have tried hello hydration and i feel its works just as well for less… Read more »

Nappy 4C Rocks
Nappy 4C Rocks
6 years ago

Karen’s Body Beautiful Hair Masque

Deb
Deb
6 years ago

Qhemet’s Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee does this for my very protein sensitive hair. It takes a little time to sink in but when it does, I feel all of this. No cones either. I seal it with the uber-lush and moisturizing emu oil and my hair is so soft and shiny. The only conditioner with cones that actually makes my hair SOFT and not just coated is OGX kukui oil conditioner. I highly recommend it for anyone who’s protein sensitive and doesn’t mind cones. I do not have a DC I can use on my hair right now so regularly using… Read more »

Mel Stevens
Mel Stevens
6 years ago

]One amazing and effective hair conditioner out there is the hair repair conditioner from pro naturals.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/foto5.jpg[/img]

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  Mel Stevens

Ummmmmm…

Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers
6 years ago
Reply to  Dananana

If you are “ummmmmm”-ing about her, your gonna go crazy over me being here,

well ladies, underneath my blonde weave, I have coily 4a hair, I’ve done 5 henna treatments so far, and honestly the results have been great I dont use conditioners anymore, the bottle I had ran out after my 4th treatment and I still havent bought anymore,..

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  Joan Rivers

I was ummm-ing because I couldn’t tell if she was a real person, or an ad bot.… BLGH sometimes has problems with those. I honestly couldn’t care less about your blonde weave or your henna treatments. Though I will say that henna did awful things to my fine strands, and that it definitely loosened my natural texture.

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  Dananana

BGLH*, sorry for the typo.

IB
IB
6 years ago

My absolute favourite is Tresemme Naturals Silicone-free conditioner. I’ve tried others that were much more expensive but I’ve found nothing that beats it and it’s such a bargain too! Detangling is a breeze and I also use it as a leave-in sometimes. I’d definitely recommend it.

NubianPrize
NubianPrize
6 years ago

Tresseme Naturals Moisturizing conditioner, Giovanni Direct leave in, Knot Today, Trader Joe’s Moisturizing conditioner. I use one of these & then while hair is very damp I SEAL WITH DAX OR BLUE MAGIC !! Best sealers ever. Hair stays soft & moisturized for days. When it gets a little drier I just spritz with a 50/50 mix of SCurl & aloe vera juicewith a few teaspoons of avocado oil. I even use it over Qhemet’s BRBC & AOHC. I know what they say about grease, but I believe in doing what WORKS, and so far the dryness,split ends & breakage… Read more »

Lanasia
Lanasia
6 years ago

Staple conditioner so far is Aussie! Also neutrogena moisture masque smells amazing and is great for a weekly treatment. Love those two.. Don’t plan on switching out products anytime soon.

latoya
latoya
6 years ago

KeraCare product line works wonders if this is the case. Using the conditions and shampoo hair butter with Argan Oil, perfect softness

Nikki
6 years ago

Any 4B/C naturals experience hair that feels “rough” after you sit with a plastic cap? I notice that after I detangle and have a head full of soft coils that are drenched with conditioner, when I put a plastic cap on and sit under a warm dryer my hair is SUPER POOFY and a little coarser after the heat.

I get the same results even if I don’t sit under the dryer and just wear a plastic cap. Doesn’t seem to matter what type of conditioner I use same results. Anyone else with 4B/C hair experience this?

Tasha
Tasha
6 years ago
Reply to  Nikki

Yes. I tried to do a greenhouse effect and it made my hair hard. I had a cute twist out that I should of left alone, but the crown of my hair had been dry and I wanted to make sure it was moisturized. Anyway, it made the top of my hair shrink (luckily my ends were still stretched) and my hair was hard and dry feeling. Never again.

Raya
Raya
6 years ago
Reply to  Nikki

I had this experience till I switched to Tresemme’s Moisture Rich conditioner for dry, damaged hair. It’s the best for 4c hair.

Blaire
6 years ago
Reply to  Nikki

I definitely experienced this until I started using moisture specific conditioners. Tresemme Moisture Rich does wonder under a cap especially when combined with LeKair.

doniece
doniece
6 years ago

I have fine 4b/c hair and I absolutely love herbal essence hello hydration. I usually mix it with a little almond, grape seed, and coconut oils and a little honey. When I say my locs are moisturized and Soooooo soft I don’t just mean for a few days but at least for two weeks. If my locs are feeling a little dry I just spritz a little water and seal it in with some oil and voila rejuvenation 🙂

Kaela
Kaela
6 years ago

Is it just me or do Shea moisture products not do amazing things for transitioning hair?

Jasmine
Jasmine
6 years ago
Reply to  Kaela

Well, I haven’t tried the Shea butter line, but I’ve been using the coconut and hibiscus curl and style milk, and I love it, it moisturizes my natural hair well, and it is not too thick for the relaxed ends.I also tried the shampoo and it seems to work well enough, it lathered up quite a bite, and my hair and scalp felt clean. The curl enhancing smoothie in that same line is a little to thick for my relaxed ends, when using this product to style my twist and curls, the relaxed ends get dry and frizzy after 2… Read more »

Kalifa
Kalifa
5 years ago
Reply to  Kaela

No it isnt just you!
When i was transitioning, I tried using their products and it was the worst! It was only when I big chopped a couple weeks ago that my ahir really took a liking to them

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[…] que o condicionador que estamos usando realmente serviu? Pensando nisso nos inspiramos num post do BGLH que aponta quatro resultados básicos, que autora chama de must-haves (algo como “tem […]

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