Do you use a conditioner randomly picked from the store? Or the one you got as a pair with your shampoo? Have you ever thought if your conditioner is really suitable for your hair type? Well, it's never too late.
‘’Different hair types have varied requirements. Ingredients used in one conditioner may not work for every hair type and picking up a wrong conditioner may worsen your hair problems,’’ says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
Keep reading for everything you need to understand about hair conditioners, along with the most effective Ayurvedic recipes for homemade herbal conditioners.
- What Is A Hair Conditioner And How Does It Work?
- What Is The Difference Between Hair Conditioner And Shampoo?
- Why Should You Use A Hair Conditioner?
- Different Types Of Conditioners: What Is Right For Your Hair?
- How Do You Use A Conditioner?
- Is Conditioner Good For Hair?
- Hair Conditioning In Ayurvedic Way
- Benefits Of Herbal Hair Conditioners
What Is A Hair Conditioner And How Does It Work?
In simple words, a conditioner is something that conditions or moisturizes your hair. In general, conditioners are made up of ingredients like oils, emollients, silicons, cationic surfactants , etc. These ingredients commingle to replenish the moisture of your hair.
Conditioner consists of a small amount of acid, which makes the ruptured cuticle flakes adhere to inner cuticle layers. Thus, it leaves your hair smoother and softer.
What Is The Difference Between Hair Conditioner And Shampoo?
The shampoo is meant for cleansing your scalp and hair from dirt, excessive oil and grim. On the other hand, the main purpose of the conditioner is to add adequate moisture, thus imparting softness to your hair. Your hair becomes more manageable by using a conditioner.
Also, in general, conditioners have smaller pH levels than shampoos.
Why Should You Use A Hair Conditioner?
Chemical-based shampoos often contain sulfates compounds, which strip off the natural oils on your scalp and hair after every hair wash. Without natural oils and moisture, your hair becomes brittle and prone to tangles, breakage, and split ends. You need to condition your hair regularly to keep your hair well moisturized and prevent hair damage.
‘’In fact, Ayurvedic conditioning agents not only add moisture to your hair but also nourish your scalp and promote healthy hair growth,’’ says Dr. Zeel.
Some chemical-based conditioners may include sulfate compounds. Ensure you use a sulfate-free conditioner to prevent hair damage in the long run.
Different Types Of Conditioners: What Is Right For Your Hair?
1. Rinse-Out Conditioner
These are the most commonly used conditioners, which are applied immediately after shampoo and rinsed off. These conditioners have ingredients such as humectants, light oils such as jojoba or aloe, fatty acids, etc. The oils used in these conditioners form an occlusive coat on your hair surface, and aids in moisture retention in your hair shaft.
Although these conditioners are suitable for any hair type, it is best used if you have normal and thick hair. If you have fine hair, it is recommended to use a rinse-out conditioner that is silicon-free.
2. Deep Conditioner
As the name suggests, these conditioners provide deeper conditioning and repair compared to other types of conditioners. Deep conditioners control the extreme dryness of your hair and reverse the harsh damage that has been done to your hair already.
The hydrolyzed proteins and amino acids present in these conditioners penetrate through the cuticle. Thus, it can strengthen the protein-based composite inside your hair shaft. Also, these ingredients adhere to your hair surface and fill the missing gaps of the depleted protein in your hair cuticle.
Deep conditioners have ingredients such as emulsifiers, esters, oils, and waxes, which soften your hair while adding elasticity to it. They are ideal for dry hair. Avoid deep conditioners if you have oily hair as it can make your hair greasier.
The middle layer of your hair is made of long protein chains that are twisted together and it is called ‘cortex’.
3. Leave-In Conditioner
Leave-in conditioners are light in weight, have lesser viscosity and more water content compared to other types of conditioners.
Instead of heavy oils and proteins, leave-in conditioners have lighter ingredients that aid in reducing the friction between your hair fibers. They contain humectants that attract moisture and aid in its retention in the hair shaft.
Other ingredients like cationic surfactants or cationic polymers are present to neutralize the static electricity on the hair surface. Ingredients like dimethicone, fatty alcohols, amodimethicone, etc. used in these conditioners, form a smooth lubricating coat on the hair, thus, detangle it efficiently.
Silicons added in leave-in conditioners impart smooth texture and glossy look to your hair. This type is best for people who have oily hair.
How Do You Use A Conditioner?
Apply your hair conditioner by following the below steps:
1. After your hair wash, rinse out all the shampoo from your hair.
2. Strain out the water left in your hair gently using your hands.
3. Take the conditioner as per the quantity recommended on the bottle.
4. Without touching your scalp, apply the conditioner to the shaft portion  of your hair.
5. Spread the conditioner evenly throughout your hair length using your palms.
6. Run your fingers through hair tips to work in the conditioner.
7. Let it settle for a moment, typically 1-2 minutes. Deep conditioners may need more time varying from 10-30 minutes based on your product.
8. Rinse off the conditioner thoroughly from your hair.
9. If you are using a leave-in conditioner, you need to apply it on dry hair after shampooing and need not rinse it off after application.
Is Conditioner Good For Hair?
Although silicons used in conditioners detangle your hair easily and add smooth texture , it may make your hair dry and brittle over continuous usage. And, applying conditioners after shampooing may lead to unwanted chemical build-up in your hair.
Also, the grip of your hair at follicles may become weak as your hair gets weighed down upon coating it with conditioners. Some times, if the chemicals used in conditioners are not suitable for you, it may cause scalp irritation. With some products, you may observe a brief burning sensation if the product gets into your nose or eyes accidentally.>
Hence, you need to be very cautious while choosing your conditioner as well as while using it. These are also the reasons why Ayurvedic ways to condition your hair with natural ingredients are your best bet.
Hair Conditioning In Ayurvedic Way
The fundamental principle of Ayurvedic remedies deals with balancing Vata, Pitta, and Kapha energies in your body. According to Ayurveda, the scalp and hair related issues are caused when any of these energies are in an aggravated state.
If you have aggravated Vata dosha, you may have dry and frizzy hair which is more susceptible to damage and split ends.
If you have aggravated Pitta dosha, you may have fine hair with weak roots and premature greying.
If you have aggravated Kapha dosha, you may have oily scalp and hair with itchy dandruff.
Ayurveda suggests various herbs and oils which have rich nourishing, strengthening, and conditioning properties while also balancing your elevated dosha levels.
Ayurvedic Conditioning Treatments
1. Warm-Oil Massaging
Warm Ayurvedic oils with ingredients that pacify your specific elevated doshas can be used to massage your scalp and hair. "The medicinal elements in herbs are carried by the oils, which are absorbed into the deeper tissues of your scalp,’’ says Dr. Zeel. In this way, Ayurvedic oils promote healthy and lustrous hair growth from within the follicle.
Here are some of the ingredients to be used in Ayurvedic oils based on your elevated doshas:
- To control elevated Vata, check for herbal ingredients like palandu (onion), gunja (rosepea), yashtimadhu (licorice), krishna tila (black sesame), ashwagandha (withania somnifera), etc.
- To control elevated Pitta, check for herbal ingredients like yashtimadhu (licorice), japa (hibiscus), musta (nutgrass), kamala (lotus), Shatavari (wild asparagus), etc.
- To control elevated Kapha, check for the herbal ingredients like kushta (Indian costus), methika (fenugreek), carrot seed oil, grape seed oil, etc.
Also, you can use oils like coconut oil, sesame oil, bhringraj oil, etc. to massage your scalp and hair regularly for deep nourishment and conditioning. Make sure you apply oil at least 20 minutes before you wash your hair using Ayurvedic shampoo.
2. Ayurvedic Hair Conditioning Masks
According to Ayurveda, hair masks provide you the most promising and long-lasting hair conditioning. The herbal ingredients used in hair masks penetrate deeply into your scalp and hair cuticles.
Some of the recipes of homemade herbal conditioners are as below:
A. Henna (Lawsonia Inermis)
Mix henna powder and water until you get a thick paste. Add 1 or 2 tbsps of lemon juice to the paste. Apply this paste across your scalp and hair. Leave it for an hour and wash it off with an Ayurvedic shampoo.
You can add an egg yolk and 1 cup of yogurt into the mixture if you have extremely dry hair. Apply the henna mask once in a month for the best conditioning effect.
Whisk yogurt properly in a container. Add 1 tsp of lemon juice into the yogurt. Apply this mix thoroughly to your dry hair and scalp. Leave it for about half an hour and wash it off with lukewarm water. Apply this hair mask once or twice a week for excellent conditioning.
C. Aloe Vera
Extract fresh aloe vera gel from its leaf and add 1 tsp lemon juice to it. Blend it until it forms a smooth paste. Apply this paste evenly from your roots to hair tips.
Leave it for 20 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water. Apply this conditioner for every 7-10 days for the best results.
Take one or two eggs and whisk them thoroughly. Add 1 tsp of honey or olive oil into it. Blend the ingredients thoroughly to form a smooth paste.
Apply it across your scalp and hair properly. Leave it for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off with an Ayurvedic shampoo. You can use this conditioner every 7-10 days.
E. Hibiscus Rinse
Crush a few hibiscus flowers. Mix water into it to form a paste. Add little aloe vera gel into the mixture and blend it properly.
Apply this mask on your scalp and hair evenly. Leave it for 30 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water. You can use this conditioner every 7-10 days.
Benefits Of Herbal Hair Conditioners
- Herbal ingredients condition your hair from within, which lasts longer than a temporary coating of chemical conditioners.
- Apart from deep conditioning, herbal ingredients soothe your scalp from inflammation as well as microbial infections along with stimulating hair growth.
- The natural ingredients used in Ayurvedic conditioners make your hair risk free from unwanted side effects caused by chemical-based conditioners.
- Ayurvedic conditioners are also beneficial in enhancing your hair color and texture.
- They are also easily biodegradable and non-toxic to the environment.
Please consult your Ayurvedic doctor before using any of the above mentioned Ayurvedic herbs for your hair conditioning.
The Last Word
No matter what your hair type is, conditioning hair is your best defense against damage caused by several factors like heat, environment, UV radiations, etc. Also, the Ayurvedic herbs used in herbal conditioners aid in pacifying your elevated doshas, thus, keeping your scalp and hair healthy.
At Vedix, we formulate a customized hair care regimen based on your hair needs by evaluating your dosha levels.Know Your Dosha Now