The primary function of a conditioner is to replace the sebum, which is lost from the hair after shampooing. Conditioners are fortified with vitamins, proteins and fruit extracts that give shine, thickness and nourishment to the hair. However a balanced and healthy diet always help in treating problematic hair conditions.
It is important to take care while choosing a hair conditioner, which suits your particular hair type and condition. Different kinds of conditioners are available in the market today, which serve different purposes and it depends on your need to select a particular conditioner. On the basis of function, conditioners can be categorized into four main types -
Conditioners are generally acidic, as low pH protonates the amino acids, which in turn provide positive charge to hair and as a result more hydrogen bonds between the keratin scales thereby giving the hair a more compact structure. Conditioners are generally formulated using organic acids like citric acid to maintain acidity.
There are various types of hair conditioner ingredients, which differ in composition and functionality. Some of the most common ingredients that are used in making conditioners are - Moisturizers, Acidifiers, Detanglers, Thermal protectors, Glossers, Oils (EFAs - essential fatty acids), Surfactants, Lubricants, Sequestrants, Anti-static agents and preservatives.
For decades, natural oils have been used to condition human hair. These oils are used still in use today and include essential oils like tea tree oil and carrier oils such as jojoba. Macassar oil was a popular conditioner in the late Victorian era, however it was quite greasy and required pinning a small cloth, called as antimacassar, to chairs and sofas to protect the upholstery from being damaged by the greasy macassar oil. Modern hair conditioner was formulated and developed at the turn of century, when a renowned perfumer Ed. Pinaud presented a product that he called brilliantine at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. The product was formulated to soften men's hair. Since that invention, much advancement has been made in the modern hair conditioner industry, which include conditioners made with silicone, fatty alcohol, and quaternary ammonium compounds. These conditioners provide the benefits of hair conditioning without feeling greasy or heavy.
To get maximum benefit from your hair conditioner, carefully follow the given tips -
- Select a rich, moisturizing conditioner, in the case your hair tends to get dry and frizzy
- Use a volumizing conditioner, in the case your hair is limp and fine
- Get a normal hair conditioner if your hair is healthy and shiny
- Change the brand of conditioner you use every month, as the hair may become immune to a specific formula's effect, and buildup may occur
- Purchase a separate deep or leave-in conditioner to use it once a week
Tips to Choose a Right Hair Conditioner
While buying a hair conditioner, it is important to know the type and condition of your hair, so that you can buy a right hair conditioner. Knowing your hair means, knowing the behavior of your hair, how it is affected by what you eat, how it reacts when you are ill and an understanding of how it behaves in different climatic conditions and periods. Knowing your hair increases your ability to select the type of product, which you want for your hair. Carefully read the ingredients and make sure that your conditioner does not contain any harmful ingredients or toxins.