Squatch Q&A: Should Men Use Conditioner?
What’s your stance on conditioner? If you’re like many men, maybe you only think about it as something for long hair. Or, maybe you think it’s an unnecessary extra step that men even need to worry about, especially if you have shorter hair. But the truth is, you’ll absolutely notice the impact conditioner will have on that manly mane of yours, no matter how long your hair is. In fact, conditioner is just as important to your overall hair’s health, look, and manageability as shampoo is. Seriously. Conditioner works hard for you and it deserves a place in your hair care routine. So to answer the question, yes, you absolutely should be using conditioners. But let’s dive in deeper and find out why.
What is conditioner?
First, let’s talk basics. In short, conditioner is sort of like lotion for your hair. Maybe that seems weird, but stick with us here. Let’s look at shampoo and conditioner like we would soap and moisturizer. Just like soap, shampoo serves the cleaning function for your hair and in the process of removing dirt and excess oil, it can strip some of the important natural elements from your hair and scalp. As a defense, hopefully you’re using natural shampoo that doesn’t contain any of the harsh chemicals that can be particularly drying and damaging to your hair. But even so, your hair requires extra moisture and revitalization after it’s been cleaned, just like your skin. That’s where conditioner comes in. It’s a rejuvenating tag team partner that helps to replace what’s lost and elevate what’s there. Sidebar Protip: You really only need to wash your hair 2-3 times a week to keep it clean without overdoing it and causing unnecessary damage. More on that over here.
What does conditioner do?
After it’s been cleansed, it’s time to put back some of that moisture that’s lost in the cleaning process, and that’s where conditioner comes in. Conditioner serves three main functions:
- Moisturizes and Hydrates – Conditioner brings important nourishing ingredients to help refortify your strands with moisture and help support stronger, more manageable hair. It also can help you avoid dry, brittle hair that can be prone to breakage. Longer or curlier hair can be even more susceptible to dryness, so a moisturizing conditioner is especially important for you guys with longer hair.
- Adds Shine and Softness – Conditioner also helps maintain that healthy shine and keep those locks soft and supple.
- Soothes Your Scalp – Your scalp needs love too, and shampooing (especially if you’re doing it too frequently) can take a toll on your skin. The soothing, hydrating ingredients in conditioner also help keep your scalp soothed, healthy, and calm.
How do you use conditioner?
To start, you should use conditioner each time you shampoo and only after. You can also use conditioner on it’s own in between shampooing if your hair needs a little extra boost of moisture or is feeling tired and dry. As we said, conditioner is primarily serving a supportive and restorative role in your hair care, versus the cleansing one that shampoo has, so you can use it more often on an as needed basis. Conditioner can also get an extra boost when used with a scalp scrubber. The scrubber can help thoroughly work conditioner through your hair, add extra soothing benefits to the skin on your scalp, and help scrub and wash away product build up on the scalp, roots, and hair. For a bit more on scalp scrubbers check this out.
Whether you use a conditioner after shampooing or on its own, here is how to use it properly: First, massage a nickel-sized amount into your hands and fingers and then into your scalp and hair. Depending on how long your hair is, spread the conditioner evenly to the ends of the hair and continue massaging the hair from the root to the tip. Let the conditioner stay on your hair for a minute or two before rinsing.
Just like that guy that comes in hot off the bench and drops 8 points and 3 assists in a matter of minutes, conditioner deserves it’s due as the supportive role player it is. So, no matter what kind of ‘do you’re working with, conditioner should be part of your shower team.