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Can I Condition My Hair Everyday Without Shampooing?

Adorable sweet black girl with 3B natural hair using the Curly Girl Method to support her hair health.

Conditioning your hair leaves it feeling soft and luxurious and even makes it easier to style. This is why so many people have been tempted to ditch the shampoo and try conditioner-only washing.

If you’re considering conditioning your hair daily, keep on reading. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the effects of conditioning your hair every day without shampooing it first.

Can I Condition My Hair Everyday Without Shampooing?

Unlike shampoo, you can use conditioner on your hair every day. While shampoo can cause dryness and strip your tresses, conditioner infuses moisture and hydrates them. Coarse, chemically treated, or curly hair is more prone to dryness and may benefit from the extra dose of moisture.

Many conditioners can even gently cleanse your hair and rinse away oil and grime. But just because you can do something doesn’t always mean that you should, and this applies to daily conditioning.

Dreamy African American female with curly dry hair wearing a red and white polka dot hair tie.

Benefits and Risks of Conditioning Every Day Without Shampooing

If you’re on the fence about daily conditioning, this section is for you. In this section, we will go over the risks and benefits of ditching the shampoo and co-washing daily. We hope that by the end, you’ll be able to determine if this is the right thing for you and your hair.

Benefits

  • Less breakage. Conditioner coats your locks with a protective layer. This layer locks in moisture and fortifies your strands against daily wear and tear. Additionally, conditioner makes your hair easier to detangle. It creates slip that allows your strands to move freely without getting snagged on each other and breaking. 
  • Smoother, shinier hair. The protective layer left behind by conditioners makes your hair look smooth, shiny, and less frizzy.In addition, shampooing less often means less of your hair’s natural oils are being stripped away. 
  • Repairs damaged hair. If you suffer from chemical or heat damage, using a conditioner daily can dramatically improve the condition of your hair. Furthermore, most conditioners have moisturizing ingredients like oils, butters, and extracts that nourish your hair from the inside out. 
  • Better length retention. Less breakage means you’ll be able to retain more length than you were before. Better moisturized hair will split less and resist damage, so you won’t need to get your hair trimmed as often. And when you do go in for a trim, you won’t need to trim much length. Using conditioner daily might be just what you need to grow your hair long and strong.
  • Improved elasticity. Elasticity determines the overall strength of your hair. Having high elasticity means each strand can be stretched pretty far without breaking. Once the tension is released, the hair will return to its natural shape. When your hair is dry and brittle, it snaps under the slightest amount of tension or stretching. If you wash or comb your hair and notice many short pieces without a root bulb attached, you likely have breakage. Conditioner improves the elasticity of your hair, so it’s able to stretch without snapping off. 
A black female with frizzy hair wearing red lipstick with freckles on her nose making a duck face.

Risks

  • The transition can be rough. When you switch to a conditioner-only daily washing routine, your hair and scalp won’t always respond well. In the first few days, you may notice your scalp getting oily. Also, any scalp or dandruff issues you have may intensify as well. Luckily, these side effects are usually temporary. After a few weeks, your scalp will adjust to the new routine, and your oil levels will balance out. 
  • Product buildup. Some ingredients in conditioner can build up on your hair over time. This is called product buildup, and it can leave your hair feeling waxy, dry, or greasy. The layer of buildup prevents water from penetrating your strands, causing them to grow dry and weak. While regular shampoo can remove some of this buildup, a lot is left behind. Occasionally you’ll need to incorporate a more potent cleanser, like a clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar rinse, to entirely eliminate the residue left behind by the conditioner.
  • Increased damage. When your hair is wet, it’s more prone to breakage. Even if you’re skipping the shampoo, the act of wetting and drying your strands daily can lead to increased damage. 
  • Greasy locks. Heavy conditioners can overwhelm thin or fine hair and leave it looking greasy. If using conditioner every day leaves your strands oily, switch to one with a lighter formula. If your hair is naturally oily, you can use a conditioner with oil-balancing ingredients like clay and essential oils to degrease your locks.
  • Limp hair. Conditioner can weigh down your strands and make them look dull and lifeless. If your hair has lost its volume, try a more lightweight conditioner instead. Avoid putting the conditioner directly onto your roots. Instead, focus your attention on the mid-lengths and ends of your hair.
A beautiful light-skinned lady with 3B natural hair with her arms crossed while wearing a red shirt.

The Conditioner You Use Matters

When it comes to using conditioner on your curly or textured hair every day, the type of conditioner you use is critical. Some conditioners are more likely to leave buildup on your hair and contribute to dryness. 

Other conditioners, like deep conditioners, are too heavy for daily use. They can throw off the moisture-protein balance your hair needs to be healthy. You should only use heavy conditioners once or twice a week or as needed. 

If your hair is sensitive to protein, you should avoid conditioners with ingredients like keratin, protein, and amino acids.

Using them too frequently will cause the protein to build up and can lead to protein overload. Having too much protein in your hair will dry it out and leave your strands dull, brittle, and stiff. 

Cute African American female with a 3B hair type wearing a red shirt and gray pants.

What Type of Conditioner is Best For Everyday Use?

When it comes to daily conditioning, not every conditioner is created equally. Choosing the right conditioner is crucial in minimizing the risk and reaping all the benefits. Here are a few conditioners that are suitable for daily use. 

Co-Wash

Co-washing conditioners are formulated to both gently cleanse and moisturize your hair. By using a co-wash, you can avoid some of the adverse effects of using a conditioner daily.

Co-washes don’t eliminate the need for shampoo, however. You should still use the shampoo once every week or so to remove buildup. Here are some great co-washes you can try. 

tgin Quench 3-in-1 Co-Wash

tgin Quench 3-in-1 Co-Wash – This 3-in-1 cleansing conditioner leaves your tresses soft, manageable, and frizz-free. Its lightweight formula can even help get rid of product buildup!

This product is packed with hair-friendly ingredients like cucumber, mallow, wheat proteins, and elderberry extract. 

Oyin Handmade Ginger Mint Co-Wash

Oyin Handmade Ginger Mint Co-Wash – This all-natural cleansing cream removes product buildup, gently cleanses, moisturizes, and strengthens all at once.

The sulfate and paraben-free formula is powered by plant-based ingredients like green tea, peppermint, and ginger. Ginger and peppermint stimulate your scalp, while green tea provides nourishing antioxidants. 

Cute black with oily hair wearing a casual red shirt and red and white bandanna with natural make-up.

Silicone-Free Conditioners

Silicone is one of the main culprits behind product buildup. While silicones can increase shine and eliminate frizz, they are notoriously difficult to remove from your hair–even with regular shampoo.

Silicone buildup can dry out your strands and lead to breakage. Feel free to try one of these excellent conditioners: 

SheaMoisture Silicone Free Conditioner

SheaMoisture Miracle Multi-Benefit Conditioner – Sugarcane, marshmallow, and meadowfoam seed hydrate your locks without weighing them down. The color-safe formula adds softness and shine to parched locks. This multi-purpose conditioner is sulfate, paraben, and phthalate-free.

Ingreendients Vegan Conditioner Made With Organic Ingredients

Ingreendients Vegan Conditioner – This organic conditioner is made entirely from plant-based ingredients. The cleansing power of ACV and tea tree and the moisturizing properties of jojoba and shea butter combine to give you a fantastic cleanse every time. The formula is also vegan and cruelty-free. 

An African American female with curly and dry hair after using the squish to condish method to wash hair.

Related Articles

Using conditioner every day without shampooing it first can help give dry, damaged hair some added moisture. Just make sure you choose the right type of conditioner and always pay attention to how your hair responds to any change in your hair care routine.

If you ever notice buildup on your strands, a shampoo is in order. We hope this article has helped you decide if you want to give conditioner washing a try!