Few products leave your hair as touchably soft and silky as a hair conditioner. If you’ve ever wondered how often you’re supposed to use it, we hear you loud and clear!
So, how often should I use conditioner on my hair in a week?
This article will help you figure out how often to use conditioner on your hair. We’ll also spend some time going over how you can make your conditioner even more effective. So, sit back, relax, and keep reading until the end.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Often Should I Use Conditioner?
- 2 How Do You Use Conditioner Correctly?
- 3 Is It Ok to Condition Your Hair Every Day?
How Often Should I Use Conditioner?
Did you know that there are a few different types of conditioner available? How often you apply and use them depends on what they’re formulated to do. We’ll explain how often you should use the various conditioner types below.
Rinse-out conditioners are the first thing people think of when they think of conditioners. Rinse-out conditioner is applied to freshly washed hair and rinsed out after just a few minutes.
You can use a rinse-out conditioner as often as you wash your hair, usually two to five times a week. Remember, the oilier your natural hair is, the less often you need to use conditioner. But if your hair is dry, you can use it more often.
As you can tell by the name, you don’t rinse leave-in conditioner out of your hair. Leave-in conditioners function more like a hydrating cream or styling aid than anything else.
Typically, you should use a leave-in conditioner once or twice a week.
You can use it more often if your hair is dry, damaged, or curly. The only downside to using leave-in conditioners very often is that they can cause buildup.
So be careful not to overdo it, particularly if your preferred leave-in coats your strands in a greasy, waxy, or filmy buildup.
Deep conditioners are a heavy-duty type of conditioner that is packed with nourishing and fortifying ingredients. However, a deep conditioning treatment is only needed occasionally.
Ideally, you should use deep conditioner no more than one or two times a week. If you use them more often, you could get moisture overload, where your strands become limp, greasy, and hard to manage.
How Do You Use Conditioner Correctly?
Although using conditioner seems straightforward, there are a few things that you need to be aware of. Below, we’ll look at some conditioner-related best practices you don’t want to miss.
Wring Out Your Hair First
Before applying conditioner, you want to make sure your hair isn’t sopping wet. The conditioner slides right off your strands when your hair is too wet.
It won’t be able to penetrate your hair and deliver all of its beneficial ingredients.
So, after you shampoo your hair, wring your hair gently to remove the excess water. Then, apply the conditioner to damp strands.
Use the Right Amount
When you read the label on your conditioner, you’ll see a specified amount of product you’re supposed to use. You may need to use more or less, depending on the length and thickness of your hair.
However, it’s almost always a good idea to stay close to the recommended amount. That will help ensure the product is able to deliver on its claims.
Focus the Product on Your Middles and Ends
The mid-lengths and ends are the oldest and most damaged parts of your hair. They need conditioner the most, whereas your roots and scalp are typically taken care of by the natural oils your scalp produces.
When you apply conditioner, try to keep it on the ends and mid-lengths of your hair only.
Distribute the Conditioner Evenly
When applying conditioner, ensure that all of your hair can benefit from the treatment (except the roots). Use either your hands or a wide-tooth comb to ensure your strands are evenly coated.
Pair Your Conditioner With Heat
Depending on your hair type, your strands may have difficulty opening up and accepting the conditioner. Luckily, the heat generated by a hooded dryer can gently nudge your hair cuticles open so the conditioner can sink in.
Don’t have a hooded dryer? Shower caps trap body heat, allowing you to reap the benefits of adding heat to your conditioning routine.
Give Your Hair Time to Absorb the Product
If you rush through the conditioning process and rinse the product away before it’s had time to penetrate your strands, you’ll flush all those hydrating and beneficial ingredients down the drain.
The amount of time you’re supposed to wait varies, depending on the product. So always follow the recommended time limits on your bottle of conditioner.
When it’s time to rinse the conditioner out of your hair, you want to ensure that you’re thorough. So, keep rinsing your hair with cool water until it feels clean and no longer slippery.
While you might be tempted to leave some behind, it can lead to potentially damaging product buildup.
Is It Ok to Condition Your Hair Every Day?
Unlike shampoo, conditioners are highly moisturizing and non-stripping. They’re safe enough to use daily and can even help make your hair feel softer, stronger, and more hydrated.
However, only certain hair types benefit from this amount of moisture. Coarse, chemically processed, and curly hair is exceptionally dry and breakage-prone.
That means they have the most to gain from daily conditioning.
On the other hand, straight, fine, and naturally oily hair probably won’t respond well to using a conditioner every day. These hair types don’t have the same increased moisture needs as curly, coarse, or damaged hair.
Daily conditioning will likely weigh them down and leave them feeling limp and greasy.
If you decide to try daily conditioning, make sure you’re using a conditioner that washes away cleanly without a greasy or sticky residue.
You should also be careful with conditioners that contain protein, as they can lead to protein buildup. An abundance of protein in your strands will have the opposite effect as a conditioner and leave your hair dry, brittle, and stiff.
Keep in mind that protein isn’t always labeled as protein on the product labels. Some other keywords and phrases to look out for include:
- Amino acids
Is It Ok to Leave Conditioner in Your Hair Overnight?
The longer you leave a conditioner on your hair, the more time the nourishing ingredients have to sink into your strands. Overnight conditioning can be an excellent way to hydrate and pamper dry, thirsty strands.
It’s deeply moisturizing, so it’s best suited for hair types with a greater need for hydration. That includes curly, coarse, damaged, and high porosity hair.
Keep in mind that this method can overwhelm your strands. So, try not to leave the conditioner in your hair overnight more than once every one or two weeks.
If you do it more often than that, there’s a chance your strands will develop hygral fatigue. Hygral fatigue occurs when your hair takes on too much moisture.
Repeated swelling and unswelling can damage your hair’s structure, leading to frizziness, brittleness, dullness, and a loss of texture.
When it comes to how often you should use conditioner, things can vary from person to person. So, the most important thing to do is pay attention to how your hair is feeling.
If your conditioning routine is leaving your strands limp and greasy, it’s a sign that you’re over-conditioning them.
But if your hair feels hydrated and strong, keep doing what you’re doing! That said, we hope that this article has answered all your questions and helped send you on the right path!
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a serial hair blogger that has been writing about hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric® and Natural Hair Box. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care. At Curl Centric, we aim to help our readers take control of their hair care journey and make good decisions about products, hairstyles, and maintenance techniques. We also have strict editorial integrity; here’s an explanation of our editorial guidelines and how we make money.