The Grooming Manual

Back Next article

Why Men Need to Use Hair Conditioner

Why Men Need to Use Hair Conditioner

Many men go through life without ever using hair conditioner,-- and, on one level, it makes sense. Who sat you down when you were a boy to explain why it’s important?

Uh… no one.

Plus, conditioner has long been marketed mainly towards women with feminine imagery and messaging, offering silky, soft hair. If that's not what you're going for, maybe you think the product is unnecessary.

But what does conditioner do? Is conditioner necessary for hair health? Should men use conditioner?

Yes - it turns out that using the right conditioner is critical to your hairstyle and hair health. You’re making a big mistake if you don’t incorporate a high-quality, natural hair conditioner into your routine. Here’s why. 


What Does Conditioner Do?

When you wash your hair, shampoo can strip away natural oils that help protect and moisturize your hair. Using conditioner right after your rinse off shampoo helps to replenish these oils, keeping your hair soft and hydrated. Without conditioner, your hair may be dry and brittle.

When used correctly with the right formulation, conditioner has many benefits such as repairing damaged hair as a result from the use of heat styling, coloring, and environmental factors.


Conditioner Repairs Your Hair’s Cuticle

The outer layer of each hair strand is covered in microscopic cells that look like fish scales. Over time, these cells become damaged and start to push out, causing hair to look rough and out of condition (think a tied up Christmas tree versus one that’s fully open). This can happen because of wind, sun damage, dirt, hats -- essentially just day-to-day wear-and-tear.

What does conditioner do to help? It smoothes down those scales, sealing the hair cuticle and providing a protective coating so your hair stays tame, soft, and healthy. This also prevents future damage and breakage so your hair hair can become longer, stronger, and healthier.


Conditioner Is the Ultimate Hair Moisturizer

Hair conditioner is a moisturizing agent that contains a combination of oils, emollients, and to replace moisture in the hair and counteract any stripping caused by shampoo or styling products.

This is more important than you might realize.

While shampoo is great at cleansing the hair, it can strip it of some natural oils that your body creates to protect your hair and maintain its moisture and health. This is the case for all shampoos - though it’s especially true of cheap drugstore shampoos since these are usually full of harsh detergents and chemicals.


What does conditioner do to alleviate these concerns?

Conditioner puts those moisturizers back into the hair, improving its texture, appearance, and overall quality. Without it, your hair may become more oily at the roots as your body tries to overcompensate for dryness.


Conditioner Makes Brushing Easier

If you choose a product with ingredients like organic aloe vera, borage oil, and avocado oil - which you’ll find in our Revitalizing Hair Conditioner - it will nourish your hair and make it easier to manage. Over time, this will:

  • Make hair easier to comb
  • Prevent hair breakage
  • Increase shine
  • Reduce frizz


Conditioner Repairs Your Hair's Cuticle

The outer layer of each hair strand is covered in microscopic cells that look like fish scales. Over time, these cells become damaged and start to push out, causing hair to look rough and out of condition (think a tied up Christmas tree versus one that’s fully open). This can happen because of wind, sun damage, dirt, hats -- essentially just day-to-day wear-and-tear. 

What does conditioner do to help? It smoothes down those scales, sealing the hair cuticle and providing a protective coating so your hair stays tame, soft, and healthy. This also prevents future damage and breakage so your hair can become longer, stronger, and healthier. 


Conditioner Helps Restore Your Hair's Natural Oils

Shampoo washes away dirt and excess oils from your hair. It should not, however, remove all of the oil from your hair. Why not?

Hair is made up of three primary components: protein, oil, and water. As your hair grows, it is coated by the oils produced by sebum (oil) glands within the hair follicle. That gives your hair a healthy shine and texture.

If you shampoo too often or use a shampoo with particularly harsh detergents, it’ll get rid of all of these oils. This, in turn, will lead to flat, dull hair and possibly even early onset hair loss.


What does conditioner do to help reduce these concerns?

Our Revitalizing Hair Conditioner not only moisturizes your hair, but it also replaces those natural oils and keeps your scalp from over-producing the oils that your shampoo has stripped away - with these natural ingredients:

  • Organic aloe vera, which instantly plumps and adds volume to hair strands.
  • Borage oil, which encourages hair growth while reducing flakes and inflammation.
  • Avocado oil, which moisturizes and strengthens the hair shaft for fuller hair with less breakage.


Conditioner Protects Hair Against Sun Damage and Pollution

UV rays and pollution damage your hair - particularly if you have fine or light-colored hair that lacks the thickness and pigment to protect itself. The sun winds up acting like bleach on your hair, lightening strands, compromising your cuticle, and weakening hair over time.

Pollution from particulate matter (like dirt and grime), smoke, and gaseous contaminants can irritate your hair and your scalp, drying strands and causing itching or breakage.

What does conditioner do to fight this damage? The right hair conditioner ingredients - like antioxidants and protective oils - prevent those particles from having a negative effect on your hair and scalp. That's why our Revitalizing Hair Conditioner contains several antioxidant rich ingredients - like aloe and avocado oil.


Conditioner Prevents Water Loss

The emollient and humectant ingredients in hair conditioner prevent water loss in each individual strand. Just like your skin, your hair can easily lose its water content if there isn’t any barrier keeping that moisture and hydration in.

Think of it like sunscreen acting as a barrier against harmful UV rays - if it’s not there as a barrier, your skin will be more exposed and you’ll get burned easily. It’s the same with a barrier on hair strands.

What does hair conditioner do to help with this? The emollients in conditioners - like lipids and oils - help form that barrier, thereby preventing water loss. Similarly, humectant ingredients attract water into the hair shaft. The combination leads to moisturized, healthy hair.

Keep in mind, though, that not all conditioners are created equal, and you shouldn’t let yourself be fooled into buying an ineffective product. Instead, look for a conditioner that contains moisturizing, natural oils.

Our Revitalizing Hair Conditioner is made with these emollients and humectants that stop that water loss in its tracks:

  • Jojoba oil
  • Shea butter
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil 


Types of Conditioner

There are three main types of hair conditioners, each with their own purpose.

Instant conditioners are applied after shampooing and then rinsed out. This is the most commonly used conditioner and is recommended for those with frizzy or split-end prone hair, as they smooth hair and seal in moisture.

Deep conditioners are thicker and more concentrated than instant conditioners, so they’re best used sparingly - about 2-3x per month. They’re perfect for dry, damaged hair, as they repair and restore moisture levels.

Leave-in conditioners are just what they sound like - they’re left in the hair after showering, rather than rinsed out. They work well on drier hair but if you have naturally oily hair, steer clear as they can make your hair greasier.


How to Use Conditioner

As a rule of thumb, you only need to use hair conditioner 1-3x a week depending on your hair’s length and condition. That said, you probably need to customize a little more based on your hair length and hair type.


How to Use Conditioner in Short Hair

In general, short hair only needs to be conditioned 1-2x a week. Since the hair strand is short, it can receive ample nutrients from the scalp.

If you have short, curly hair - as is the case with many men of African descent - you should condition your hair more frequently (for many men, this means after each time you use shampoo). That’s because curly hair tends to be very brittle and needs extra nutrients to keep it healthy and tame.


How to Use Condition in Long Hair

On the other hand, long hair needs to be conditioned 2-3x a week, depending on length and hair health.

Remember: the longer your hair is, the harder it is for nutrients to make it to the end of your hair tips from your scalp. So you need conditioner to keep the entire length of your hair healthy.


How to Use Conditioner If You Have Normal Hair

Use conditioner once or twice weekly after shampooing. The exact frequency depends on your personal preference and how you feel your hair looks best. Leave the conditioner on for 2-3 minutes before rinsing to allow it to work. Be sure to use the right conditioner formula depending on your hair type.


How to Use Conditioner If You Have Fine Hair

Use a lightweight conditioner containing ingredients to strengthen weak hair and smooth out tangles. Apply conditioner only to the ends of your hair avoiding the scalp once or twice weekly after shampooing. This will help to prevent breakage keeping your hair looking healthy. Make sure to choose a formula specifically designed for fine hair.


How to Use Conditioner If You Have Thick Hair

Thicker hair tends to be strong but can benefit from daily use for extra hydration. When choosing a conditioner for thick hair, look for one with the following formula: protein + moisture+shine. This combination will help tame your hair without making it greasy or limp.


How to Use Conditioner If You Have an Oily Scalp

Only condition the ends of your hair and not your whole head. That will keep your hair healthy while preventing excess oil buildup on your scalp. Make sure to use the right conditioner specially formulated for oily scalp.


How to Use Conditioner If You Have Greasy Hair

Use conditioner once or twice weekly after shampooing. This will keep your hair in great shape without making you look like Greased Lightning. Be sure to use the right conditioner formulated for greasy hair.


How to Use Conditioner If You Have Dull or Dry Hair

Use conditioner up to three times weekly. If you are having consistent problems with dryness, limit sun and wind exposure and see if you notice a change. Be sure to use the right conditioner specifically formulated for dry hair.


How to Use a Leave-in Conditioner

Leave-in conditioner can be a bit tricky to use, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a total game-changer for your hair. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Air dry or towel dry your hair after a shower. 
  2. Apply the leave-in conditioner starting with a small amount and work your way up - you don’t want to add too much product. 
  3. Comb through your hair to make sure the conditioner is evenly distributed. 
  4. Let your hair dry and you’re all set!


How to Use Conditioner and Shampoo

Some shampoos are combined with conditioner to save time resulting in a 2-in-1 shampoo. However, not all formulations are created equal so your hair may benefit from using a separate routine shampoo and conditioner. To use a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner:

  1. Wet your hair thoroughly. 
  2. Apply a small amount of the product to your entire hair working up a lather.
  3. Rinse off the product completely.
  4. Air dry or towel dry your hair. Your hair should feel clean and soft!


How to Condition Your Hair the Right Way

How to use a conditioner for men’s hair? Easy.

  • After shampooing your hair with a natural shampoo for men - like our Daily Strengthening Shampoo or Relieving Dandruff Shampoo - grab your conditioner and put a big dab of it in your hair.
  • Gently glide the conditioner over your hair, gently working it into your hair tips especially if you have longer hair).
  • There’s no need to let it sit on your hair for a few minutes once you’ve applied it. Instead, simply apply, disperse, and rinse.


A Sulfate and Silicone-Free Formula Is Best

A sulfate-free, silicone-free, hair-strengthening conditioner formula is always your best choice. 

That’s how we designed our Revitalizing Hair Conditioner - with moisturizing, scalp-soothing ingredients.

Sulfates create a luxurious lather in shampoo and conditioner -- but they also over-dry the hair, potentially causing extreme damage. That defeats the purpose of using conditioner in the first place - so make sure yours is sulfate-free.

Silicone is a major ingredient in most low-quality hair conditioners. Sure, it makes hair appear healthier at the moment. But all it really does is coat the hair shaft.

This improves the appearance in the short term, but it doesn’t deliver any of the nutrients that produce a healthy, shiny head of hair. So you’re essentially sealing your damaged hair in without providing any ingredients to heal your cuticle - not great.


Does Conditioner Have Negative Side Effects?

One of the easiest ways to achieve shiny, healthy-looking hair is by using conditioner. But can conditioner be bad for your hair? It depends.

There is such a thing as using too much conditioner, and doing so can leave your hair feeling greasy and heavy. Avoid this issue by using conditioner sparingly based on your hair type.

Some conditioners may also contain harsh chemicals that can also cause reactions such as acne and allergens. And if these chemicals get into your eyes or nose, they may cause a burning sensation. Avoid this issue by being aware of your allergens and choosing products free of harsh chemicals.


Which Conditioner Should I Use?

Finally, remember that you’re likely to experience some product build-up on your scalp no matter what kind of conditioner you use. Incorporating a gentle shampoo -like our Daily Strengthening Shampoo or Relieving Dandruff Shampoo - will help free your scalp of this build-up and encourage healthy growth over time.

For most guys, using shampoo every other day (or even a little less) is plenty for healthy, clean hair.

When it comes to hair styling, be sure your styling products aren't undoing the benefits of your conditioner. To add volume, texture, and natural waves to your hair without damaging your hair or scalp, try our Texturizing Sea Salt Spray. Its alcohol-free formula is easy on your hair and won't irritate your scalp. Learn more about the benefits of sea salt spray and consider if you should add a sea salt spray to your hair care routine.

Ready to get your hair on the right track? Find everything you’ll need in our Daily Revitalizing Hair Care Routine.


Hair Conditioner Formulations

Unlike shampoo which is formulated to strip and clean your hair, conditioners are formulated to protect your hair making it softer and manageable.

The typical hair conditioner formula is a blend of deionized water, humectants, fatty alcohols, and oil. The oil makes your hair feel smooth and soft, while the water weightlessly hydrates your hair. Some conditioners may have added proteins to repair split ends or thickening agents to create fuller hair.

Not all conditioners are created equal so it’s important to select the right conditioner for your hair type.


Hair Conditioner With Natural Ingredients

Here at Brickell, we use only the best natural and organic ingredients in all of our products. And for good reasons:

  • Free of chemicals and synthetic materials so you can rest assured what is going onto your body.
  • Gentle so they won’t strip away your hair’s natural oils, keeping it soft. 
  • Help naturally moisturize and protect your hair, keeping it healthy.


Conditioner Formula to Avoid

When it comes to conditioners, avoid products heavily formulated with chemical ingredients. They are not only ineffective, they can potentially damage your hair and skin resulting in skin irritation, inflammation, dryness or hair loss.

When selecting a conditioner, read product labels and steer clear of:

  • Silicones
  • Parabens
  • Petrochemicals
  • Phthalates
  • Synthetic fragrances or colors
  • Glycols
  • PEGs

Instead, opt for conditioners made with natural and organic ingredients for the best overall hair health.

Back Next article