The Con­di­tion of Con­di­tion­ing

We talk with Maya Smith about con­di­tion­ers and why they are im­por­tant to our rou­tine

Athleisure - - Table Of Contents -

Con­di­tion­ers can im­pact how our hair holds a style as well as its over­all health and ap­pear­ance. With so many feel­ing con­fused by the op­tions of this prod­uct, do you leave it in or rinse it out, and which kinds are best to use? We con­nected again with Maya Smith to an­wer these ques­tions. She is an International Mas­ter of Nat­u­ral Curls and founder of The Doux®, a hair­care line cre­ated specif­i­cally for nat­u­rally curly hair which in­cludes The Fresh Rinse® con­di­tioner.

ATH­LEISURE MAG: What are the ben­e­fits of a con­di­tioner?

MAYA SMITH: Con­di­tion­ers help pro­tect the hair from dry­ness and break­age by coat­ing the hair shaft to help it re­tain mois­ture and soft­ness. Peo­ple tend to use it mainly for the added ben­e­fit of de­tan­gling hair how­ever, it’s im­por­tant to choose a con­di­tioner that won’t weigh your hair down.

AM: What are the ben­e­fits of a rinse? MS: A rinse, un­like a con­di­tioner, does not coat the cu­ti­cle of the hair. A rinse has a much thin­ner con­sis­tency and is in ac­tu­al­ity a de­tan­gler.

AM: Do I use a leave in con­di­tioner or a con­di­tion­ing rinse?

MS: You can use both if your hair is dry, course, or color treated, how­ever, fine hair or hair that tends to be por­ous should stick to con­di­tioner only.

AM: Should ev­ery­one with curly or kinky hair use a con­di­tioner?

MS: Yes. Con­di­tion­ers help main­tain the hair’s elas­tic­ity, or its abil­ity to stretch and ex­pand with­out break­ing, which is es­sen­tial for curly hair.

AM: Do I use a leave in con­di­tioner or a con­di­tion­ing rinse?

MS: You can use both if your hair is dry, course, or color treated, how­ever, fine hair or hair that tends to be por­ous

should stick to con­di­tioner only.

AM: How long do I leave in a con­di­tion­ing rinse?

MS: Fol­low the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions. Ev­ery for­mula is dif­fer­ent, so you want to be sure to use the prod­uct as di­rected to avoid un­der or over-con­di­tion­ing. You can al­ways leave it in a bit longer or switch to an­other con­di­tioner specif­i­cally for the re­sult you want to achieve.

AM: What’s the best wa­ter tem­per­a­ture to use when rins­ing it?

MS: I pre­fer luke-warm to cool wa­ter, be­cause it helps the cu­ti­cle of the hair close dur­ing the rinse, which makes the hair shiny and sleek.

AM: How much con­di­tioner should be used for ev­ery inch of hair?

MS: It de­pends on the den­sity, or thick­ness of the hair. Again, fol­low the man­u­fac­turer’s di­rec­tions on how much to ap­ply. Many sug­gest the amount of a quar­ter how­ever if hair is thin­ner or re­ally thick you may need more or less.

AM: What are some ingredients that can weigh hair down?

MS: Oils and cer­tain types of sil­i­cones can weigh hair down. How­ever, some for­mu­las in­clude these ingredients in­ten­tion­ally, be­cause of the smooth­ing ef­fect that they cre­ate on the hair. This is why it’s im­por­tant not to leave it in too long and to make sure to get it all out un­less it’s a leave in con­di­tioner.

AM: What ingredients should be avoided?

MS: I’m not a fan of pe­tro­leum jelly, or min­eral oil. There’s a lot of con­tro­versy sur­round­ing sil­i­cone, but what most peo­ple don’t know is that sil­i­cones get a re­ally bad rap be­cause they’re com­monly as­so­ci­ated with sil­i­cones found in prod­ucts that aren’t made for your hair. Cos­metic-grade sil­i­cones like dime­thicone ac­tu­ally cre­ates slip, pro­tects the hair from break­age, and helps the hair shaft re­tain mois­ture dur­ing the styling process.

AM: What about con­di­tion­ers for color-treated hair?

MS: Some ingredients can break down ar­ti­fi­cial pig­ment in the hair, caus­ing it to fade, look dull, or turn brassy. Make sure that the la­bel says that the prod­uct is color-safe. You cer­tainly want to switch to prod­ucts for­mu­lated for color treated hair.

AM: Can I di­lute a reg­u­lar con­di­tioner with wa­ter and use it as a de­tan­gler?

MS: You can, how­ever, I rec­om­mend opt­ing for a prod­uct that was in­tended to be a leave-in con­di­tioner. This will help you avoid un­nec­es­sary buildup. Some peo­ple like to put a leave in con­di­tioner mixed with wa­ter in a spray bot­tle and add it to their beach bag. Af­ter swim­ming they spray it in to make hair eas­ier to comb through.

AM: What are some mis­takes peo­ple make when us­ing a leave in or a rise out con­di­tioner?

MS: It's worth not­ing that over-con­di­tion­ing is the most com­mon mis­take, be­cause too much coat­ing on the hair can cause dry­ness, brit­tle­ness, and ul­ti­mately break­age. Make sure you’re not leav­ing a con­di­tioner in longer than 3 min­utes un­less the man­u­fac­turer in­structs you to do so.

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