Can You Really Skip Conditioning?

I’m a New Yorker, and my time is precious. I wake up at 5 AM every morning because it’s the only time I have to workout. Then I have to jump in the shower, pick out semi-professional clothes and make my hair and face appear like I didn’t just sweat like an oversized dog playing fetch in the summer. Some days, I push the limits of the snooze button on my alarm clock, and 5AM turns into 5:45 AM. This leaves me very little time eat breakfast, watch everyone’s Snapchat stories from the night before, and get to work before my boss notices I’m still 20 minutes late. I need to cut down time somewhere, and eliminating Snapchat from my morning routine just isn’t feasible.

When I’m really running late, one way I save time is by skipping the conditioner in the shower. Shampoo should be enough, right? Well, after recently getting my hair done by a flamboyant European man named Francis, I have learned that not using conditioner in the shower is a mortal sin in the hair world, especially if you color your hair. According to Francis, shampoo cleans the hair of dirt and oil, but it also takes a toll on the outer layer of your hair by removing good things, like healthy oils and those highlights you just spent $250 on. Conditioner smooths over what shampoo roughs up, replenishes nutrients, and balances the hair’s pH levels. This will keep hair moisturized and shiny and also help to preserve hair color.

If you have thick or curly hair, not using conditioner is also going to make it harder on your hairbrush. Without conditioner, hair strands can curl up, stick together and become tangled. Eventually, these tangled hairs can break off. Conditioner keeps the hair strands lying downward, prevents tangles and breakages, and also allows tangles to be combed through effortlessly. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, conditioner can also keep your hair protected from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Aside from the healthy benefits that conditioner provides your hair, it also provides great styling benefits as well. If you have thin hair, conditioner can add volume. If you have thick hair it can maintain frizz, and if you have curly hair conditioner can define your waves.

Now that Francis enlightened me on the benefits of hair conditioner, I asked him to clarify how to use conditioner properly. After shampooing your hair, thoroughly rinse it and ring out the excess water. Next, you’re ready for conditioner, but the most common mistake is using too much. Squeeze conditioner into your palm until it is about the size of a quarter; that is all you need. Rub your hands together, and gently comb the conditioner through your head. You do not need to start at the roots. I personally start about half way down and comb my fingers through until my hair is smooth and tangle free. Thoroughly rinse the conditioner for about 30 seconds to keep hair from feeling greasy.

So thanks to Francis and his wealth of hair knowledge, my morning routine is forever changed. The next time I decide to hit snooze on my alarm clock 15 times, conditioner will no longer take a backseat. Find one that’s right for your hair type, and enjoy the benefits of silky, smooth, luxurious hair so you can watch your Snapchats in peace.

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