[Answered] How Often Should You Condition Your Hair?

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There are many benefits to conditioning your hair. However, if you are to get the results you want, you need to know how often your hair should be conditioned.

How Often Should You Condition Your Hair

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you must condition your hair with a rinse-out conditioner each time you shampoo. However, because conditioner can weigh down your hair, you should avoid conditioning too frequently, especially if your hair is too oily or fine.

Why Should You Use Conditioner?

There are several reasons why conditioners should be your hair’s best friend.

Conditioning your hair has a lot of benefits, all of which contribute to you having healthy, shiny hair.

Here are some of the reasons why you should always use a conditioner:

Keeps Your Hair Well Hydrated

Just like your skin, your hair also needs enough moisture for it to remain healthy.

Apart from that, using a moisturizing conditioner can also help seal the cuticle and make your hair look fuller.

Protect Your Hair From Damage

Your hair is exposed to a lot of stress resulting from chemicals and styling tools.

By regularly conditioning your hair, you will also help protect it from the damage caused by blow dryers, curling irons, and other tools.

Additionally, a quality hair conditioner with UV protection will protect your strands from the sun’s damaging rays.

Reduce Tangling

Combing dry hair can be quite painful. Fortunately, conditioning your hair can take care of that as well.

When you condition your hair regularly, combing through knots and snags becomes less painful and you won’t find it too hair to detangle damp strands without damaging the cuticle. 

More Elastic and Shiny Hair 

Dry, brittle hair easily breaks off.

To prevent this from happening, you must condition your hair to nourish and strengthen it.

You should also note that conditioning the hair shaft will improve the elasticity of your hair and make it healthy and smooth.

How Often Should You Condition Your Hair?

How Often Should You Condition Your Hair

There is no set timetable for when and how frequently you should condition your hair. This is because different hair has different needs.

Therefore, how frequently you should condition your hair depends on your type of hair and the kind of conditioner you are using.

Rinse-out Conditioner

Rinse out conditioner is usually applied after shampooing your hair. However, as its name suggests, you must rinse it out after about two minutes.

Dermatologists recommend applying a rinse-out conditioner each time you wash your hair. Ideally, this should be a few times per week.

However, if your hair is a bit on the oily side, you must want to avoid conditioning it too frequently as this might weigh it down.

On the other hand, if your hair is dry and coarse, frequent conditioning will be quite beneficial. You can even do it daily.

Leave-in Conditioner

The leave-in conditioner is the exact opposite of a rinse-out conditioner.

As its name suggests, this type of conditioner should be left in your hair only to be removed the next time you wash it.

A leave-in conditioner is ideal for moisturizing mild to moderately dry hair. It’s also perfect for repairing damaged hair.

Generally, it’s recommended to apply a leave-in conditioner once a week. However, if your hair is extra dry or too curly, you can apply it two or three times a week. 

Deep Conditioner

Deep conditioner must be left in your hair for about half an hour or more.

This type of conditioner is a bit heavier than rinse-out or leave-in conditioner. However, as you might have guessed, it’s only meant for highly damaged hair or very dry hair.

Because of how heavy it is, a deep conditioner should be used only once per month. You can even skip a month and do it once every two months. 

Cleansing Conditioner

Since they double up as shampoos, cleansing conditioners can be used as often as you would your regular shampoo.

Most people use them daily or every other day if their hair is oily or fine. If you are dealing with dry, coarse, and curly hair, cleansing conditioner might not be your best option.

This type of hair shouldn’t be washed too regularly, but it must be conditioned more frequently. 

Best Way To Apply Conditioner

Hair conditioning should be the second step after washing your hair unless you are using a cleansing conditioner.

If you are using a regular conditioner, you first shampoo your hair to clean off sweat, dead skin cells, and hair products.

However, most shampoos contain chemicals that are rough on your hair follicles. Apart from that, after washing your hair, it will be dry, dull, and difficult to style.

So, once you are done with the shampoo, you should apply conditioner to make your hair soft and easier to manage.

Conditioner also protects your hair shafts from damage. Here’s how you should apply each type of conditioner.

Rinse-Out Conditioner

When using a rinse-out conditioner, the first step should be to wash your hair with shampoo and rinse out all the shampoo.

Apply the amount of conditioner recommended on the bottle and spread it evenly from chin level down.

You must take care not to apply the conditioner to your scalp. To work in the conditioner, you can run your fingers or a comb through the ends of your hair.

After about two minutes, thoroughly rinse off the conditioner and ensure that none of it remains in your hair. 

How to Apply Leave-in Conditioner

Unlike the rinse-out conditioner that you have to wash out, the leave-in conditioner must be left in your hair.

This type of conditioner is made using ingredients that make it a bit lighter than regular conditioners.

This means it won’t be heavy on your hair. Leave in conditioner is ideal for use if you are planning to blow dry your hair.

It can provide protection from heating and prevent your hair from being damaged.

If you have natural or more textured hair, you can benefit a lot from using a leave-in conditioner with its extra moisturizing properties. 

To apply leave-in conditioner:

  • After washing your hair, gently dry it with a towel to do away with excess water
  • Apply the leave-in conditioner as per the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Gently comb your hair with fingers or with a comb. 
  • Air-dry your hair and style it as you regularly do. 

How to Apply Cleansing Conditioner

Since this is essentially shampoo and conditioner combined, you can use this type of conditioner as you would your regular shampoo.

This type of conditioner is perfectly balanced to allow both the conditioner and the shampoo to do their job. 

To apply cleansing conditioner:

  • Thoroughly wet your hair
  • Apply the conditioner to your hair, from the roots to the end
  • Completely rinse out the hair.

How to Use a Deep Conditioner

Deep conditioner is recommended for hair that’s bleached regularly and styled with hot irons. Hair that is subjected to such treatment is usually quite weak and damaged.

A deep conditioner will help strengthen this hair. However, you must not overuse it. It’s advisable to only use a deep conditioner once a week, or even once a month. 

To apply deep conditioner:

  • Read the label and find out whether you need to wet your hair first before applying the conditioner. 
  • Apply the conditioner on the ends of your hair only, and avoid the roots. 
  • Leave the conditioner in your hair for the recommended amount of time which is usually between 10 and 30 minutes. 
  • Wash your hair and rinse out the conditioner.

Signs You Are Conditioning Too Much

Signs You Are Conditioning Too Much

There are several signs that can indicate you are over conditioning your hair. One of the most recognizable signs is too much greasiness.

When you use too much conditioner, or you do it too frequently, your hair and roots will become oily.

Apart from just being irritating, greasiness can also make your hair dirtier.

Another sign that you are using too much conditioner is extra radiant hair.

Ideally, hair should have a subtle shine, and it must be soft. When you start noticing your hair becoming super glossy and shiny, that’s a sign that you are overdoing the conditioning.

This will make you feel uncomfortable, and the hair will also feel quite sticky.

When you condition your hair too frequently, it becomes too soft, and this makes it quite difficult to manage.

You will find it harder to style your hair as it will not only be soft but stiff as well. When you do manage to style the hair, you will also notice that it won’t stay in place.

Signs You Aren’t Conditioning Enough

You should up your conditioning game if your hair feels dry, knotty, or brittle.

Apart from that, you might also notice split ends and hair breakage if you are not conditioning your hair enough.

If you’re not sure whether or not your hair needs more conditioning, there’s a simple test you can do.

All you have to do is take a piece of hair and place it in water. Normal hair should float, whereas dry, thirsty hair will sink.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.


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Dee is the founder of Loved By Curls and in-house Curly Girl expert. She loves natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She's always happy to recommend you her favorites.