If you think you’re just a little too manly for conditioner, think again.
Is frizzy hair manly?
Is static-y hair manly?
Is damaged hair manly?
Is dull, dry hair manly?
None of these hair problems is boosting your standing in dude-dom, so if they apply to you, it’s time to change your ways and embrace the art of conditioning.
And we’re not just talking to Fabio and Thor. Conditioner is for short hair just as much as it is for long locks. Regardless of your hair length, if you’re not conditioning regularly, you’re depriving your hair of important ingredients that keep it strong and healthy.
Conditioner: What’s in it for Me?
We’re not asking you to cheese grate your arm. All you have to do is invest in a good, natural conditioner and apply it several times per week.
But we get it, you’ll be much more likely to make it happen if you understand the “why” of conditioner. Here are our top reasons for using conditioner:
Makes hair look vibrant and shiny.
This starts with the hair cuticle. But what’s a hair cuticle? Pretend like we were to magnify a single strand of your hair so that it appeared big, like a tree trunk. Now, pretend like we cut a cross-section, so that it looks like we were staring at the rings of a tree. The outermost part of that slice o’ tree is the bark. The outermost part of your hair strand is the cuticle.
If the outer layer of your hair is healthy, it will have a healthy sheen, not a dull, flat one. The conditioner can help fortify your cuticle, making it look fresh and vibrant.
Keeps hair from drying out.
Shampoo can be hard on hair, which is why we only recommend natural products (like paraben-free, sulfate-free shampoo). But even the gentlest of shampoos are going to have a drying effect. Conditioner is the solution, with fat and oil derivatives, as well as humectants, that make hair moist, supple, and static-resistant. Conditioner can also fight back against the dreaded dandruff.
Makes hair appear thicker.
Most of us want luscious, thick hair, but some people just naturally have less hair and/or finer strands. Conditioner can help here. It can give hair a protective coating that not only allows hair to bear up in spite of heat treatment and pollution, but also gives hair the appearance of having greater volume.
Prevents breakage and loss
Men: the Grim Reaper of the hair world walks among us. You may be scared, but you’re not defenseless. Conditioner can help you hang onto the hair you have. It prevents breakage so that what’s currently on your head won’t fall off prematurely.
It also keeps hair growing. A good, nature-based conditioner can stimulate your hair follicles, which can encourage ongoing hair generation.
Can’t I use a 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner?
Can you play Super Smash Bros and finish a work project at the same time? Most efforts to do two things at once end in neither being done very well.
Shampoo is designed to remove stuff from your hair (bad oils, gunk, debris). Conditioner is designed to replenish your hair (with good oils and moisture-retaining ingredients called humectants). No matter what the label tells you, one product can’t do this at the same time.
Show your hair some love; care enough to buy and apply two different products, each designed to excel at its own game.
How Often Should I Use Conditioner?
Most people recommend shampooing hair just two to three times per week, but that doesn’t need to limit your conditioner use. If you need a volumizing or moisturizing boost, you can condition as often as daily.
How Should I Apply Conditioner?
Every head of hair is different, but start with a dollop somewhere around the size of a dime. After you’ve washed your hair and squeezed off the extra water, apply conditioner starting at the root. You can lightly massage the root if you’re prone to dryness; then, spread it out toward the tips of your hair. Allow the conditioner to sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing.
Do I Need a Certain Type of Conditioner?
If you have extra thin or limp hair, you can try a volumizing conditioner with plenty of protein. For extra dry hair or frizzy hair, you could try a deep conditioner or heavy mask with fatty acids.
What if I Have Curly Hair?
Porous hair holds moisture well, like a sponge. Due to the structure of curly hair, the curlier it is, the less porous it is, meaning it can’t retain moisture very well. Conditioner is a must for curly hair. Cream-based products work well, and even leave-in conditioners and hair masks if you have very curly hair.
So there you have it: condition often (maybe even more than you shampoo), avoid the dreaded 2-in-1 products, pick a quality natural conditioner suited to your hair type, and, above all, avoid sulfates, parabens, and other products that can damage, dry out, and coat your hair.
At Packer’s Pine, we think being a true man has a lot to do with being a wise steward of the people around you, the world—and yourself! Conditioner is a small but important part of that effort.