How to shop for hair products part 3: buying a deep conditioner.

Conditioners are basically hair products that modify the appearance and texture of the hair. They can be used before or after shampooing the hair. They can be used to soften and detangle hair, heal damaged hair, etc. There are several ways of classifying conditioners, based on

  • whether it is rinsed out or not.
  • its protein content
  • it is deep conditioning or not.
     In this article, I want to focus on deep conditioners. Based on their protein content, conditioners can either be moisturizing conditioners or protein conditioners. Protein conditioners have protein while moisturizing conditioners do not. Depending on the amount of protein in the conditioner, it can either be a light, moderate or heavy protein conditioner.
     It’s a good idea to use moisturizing conditioners once to twice weekly and light protein conditioners weekly or biweekly. This means that you should buy 2 conditioners: a moisturizing conditioner and a protein conditioner.
Read more
The difference between protein and moisturizing conditioners
When you are shopping for a good conditioner, it is important to look out for several key ingredients:
  1. Moisturizing agents or humectants. Examples include glycerin, honey, hydrolyzed wheat protein, sorbitolsilk amino acids, etc. Some of these humectants have protein in their names  I personally look out for hydrolyzed wheat protein when I shop for conditioners. My favorite conditioner, Kenra moisturizing conditioner, has this ingredient. Another conditioner that I just discovered that has this ingredient is Fantasia daily conditioner and detangler . I haven’t used it before so I don’t have much to say about it. When I do, I’ll do a review on it.
  2. Protein (in a protein conditioner). There are so many proteins that are purported to be good for hair and some people argue that hydrolyzed human hair keratin protein is the best source of protein for the hair because it has a low molecular weight and can easily penetrate the hair shaft. Some protein conditioners that contain this include Nature’s gentle choice cholesterol and Joico K-pak deep penetrating hair reconstructor. Another protein to look out for is collagen. It is argued that egg protein does not penetrate the hair shaft so it is not really useful for hair. I can’t verify this though.
  3. Oils. The 3 best oils for hair are olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil because they can penetrate the hair shaft. These oils are good because they lubricate the hair and give more moisture to the hair and make it softer and more shiny.
  4. Fatty alcohols: Examples are cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol. They condition the hair by making it soft and manageable. In addition, they help the hair cuticle to lie flat.
  5. Panthenol: It can penetrate the hair shaft and helps to thicken the hair by up to 10%. In addition, it gives hair elasticiy and shine. It also strengthens hair and helps hair to reduce breakage.
  6. ‘Glossers’/’smoothers’: These include silicones. These are chemicals that usually end with -cones although there are exceptions like cyclopentasiloxane, dimethiconol.  Examples include simethicone, cyclomethicone, amodimethicone. Some Some people don’t like silicones in their hair. When I first started growing my hair, I discovered that I was always having buildup by using silicones so I stayed away from them. I later found some products containing water-soluble silicones. Now, I think I might even like them a little and their presence in a product no longer deters me from buying a product.
  7. Acids: Citric acid, apple cider vinegar
  8. Others:  Shea butter, Botanical extracts, hydrolyzed silk, lipids, ceramides.

     Any deep conditioner that has the first 5 ingredients will probably be a good one. A good conditioner should leave your hair feeling soft and silky (except it is a protein conditioner) The only way to know if it’s really good is to try it first though. There was one particular conditioner that I bought that had all these ingredients and it didn’t make my hair soft or silky at all!.Some good conditioners include:

    • Kenra moisturizing conditioner 
    • Silk Elements Kera Minerals Deep Conditioner (moisturizing conditioner)
    • Organic root stimulator hair mayonnaise (protein conditioner)
    • Joico K-pak deep penetrating hair reconstructor (protein conditioner). I’ve used this conditioner in the past and I like it too.
    • Organic root stimulator replenishing conditioner (protein conditioner).
    • Motions oil moisturizer deep penetrating silk protein conditioner (protein conditioner)
    • Dark and Lovely cholesterol
    • Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein conditioner
    • Aubrey Organics White Cammelia conditioner
    • Pantene Pro-V Beautiful lengths replenishing mask
    For a more extensive list of deep conditioners, please read Suggestions for protein and moisturizing deep conditioners.  I hope this article helps you in choosing a good hair conditioner. Read How to shop for hair products part 2 by clicking HERE.


Dr Fomsky

About the author
Dr Fomsky

Nigerian-born Dr Fomsky is a God-lover, a wife, a mom of three and a medical doctor by day. She is very passionate about hair, skin and weight management. Since she had babies, she's been struggling to keep her weight and her tummy down!
At night, she likes to read books, write blog posts and leave comments on other blogs. She lives in Paris, France and is also the author of Solving your relaxed hair breakage book
HAIR TYPE: 'Texlaxed' hair, High porosity, Fine hair strands, low to moderate density
CURRENT LENGTH: Between shoulder and armpit length
LOVING: Argan oil for sealing, Brown Butter Beauty Love Deep conditioner, Shescentit Blueberry Co-wash conditioner and Hairveda Red Tea Satin Moisturizer
LONG-TERM PLAN: Trim off bone-straight ends (6 inches left) over time

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