To condition something means to bring this something into its proper state. This state or condition is not necessarily the optimal state for objects like hair, leather, water, etc. On the practical side, why would anyone need to condition hair? If shampoo would leave your hair in perfect condition why would there be any need for a conditioner to bring the hair into its proper state? What is this 'state' anyway?
As a matter of fact, shampoo only cleanses hair, while a conditioner provides compounds, which protect and beautify hair.
When shampoo is applied to remove sebum, residual styling products, dead cells, and dirt from hair and scalp it also leads to slight swelling of the cuticle layer. The cuticles, which normally cover the hair shafts in tight, even formation like shingles on a roof top, slightly lift away from the hair shaft. In this state, hair is more vulnerable to damaging environmental influences and heat. This is where conditioners show their benefits. They reduce the cuticle swelling, which once again form a tight layer with no gaps or raised cuticles. The hair is now ready for styling and will make it through the day without serious damage. Properly conditioned hair is supple and holds on to its moisture for dazzling shimmer.
Hair Treatment – a Regular Part of Your Hair Care Regimen
As a matter of fact, conditioners do not eliminate the need for regular hair treatments.
Conditioners protect the hair until the next shampoo but they hardly provide any long-term hair care benefits. Additional hair treatments may therefore be necessary.
Day in, day out, our hair is exposed to potentially damaging influences. Aside from hot styling without heat protectant, environmental factors like hot or cold weather, heated indoor air, wind, and UV rays take their toll. Damaged hair does not repair itself. For repair and maintenance it needs help in the form of hair treatments. These treatments are designed to repair damages to the core and cuticles of the hair. As a result your hair will feel silky and look healthy.
Tip: For better results, apply hair treatments to towel-dry rather than to wet hair.
The Light-Weight Leave-in Conditioner
If your hair and scalp tend to be greasy and even the lightest conditioner is too rich, a leave-in hair conditioner may be the light-weight solution. After shampooing the moisturizing conditioner can be targeted to the part of your hair that actually needs conditioning. The hair ends are the usual targets. Leave-in conditioners also work well for fine hair. There are, for example, collagen-containing leave-in cures, which give flat, thin hair more bounce. These leave-in cures may also be applied to the root portion of the hair where more volume and bounce is needed.
Leave-In Conditioners: Sometimes More Is More
Leave-in hair conditioners can often be the best conditioner for dry hair. If your hair is over-processed or dry, a leave-in treatment with shea butter, coconut extract or argan oil is a good choice. Some leave-in hair conditioners contain the hair building block keratin, structure-improving proteins and moisturizing glycerol. These cures are suitable for over-processed and damaged hair. You may decide to use leave-in treatments regularly in addition to conditioning shampoos and hair rinses to provide sufficient conditioning. Don't forget to add a weekly hair mask or hair cure to your hair care regimen.
Leave-in Conditioner: Extra Luster for Color-Treated Hair
Color-treated hair looks more brilliant after the application of leave-in conditioners containing enzyme-rich apricot kernel oil, panthenol for protection, and hair-regenerating keratin. These special ingredients add glow to any hair color. Special pigments in leave-in cures for blonde hair provide a golden glow. Very damaged color-treated hair may need a conditioning rinse and a leave-in treatment after shampooing. This applies in particular to hair after frequent bleaching. However, your color-treated hair may be quite healthy so that no more than a leave-in treatment is needed after shampooing.