WHEN it comes to hair care, even the least conscientious of us know the very basicsinvolve washing with shampoo and conditioner.
However, there actually is a bit more to it than that, and it's important to get it right in order to ensure our hair is growing healthily and always at its best.
Here, hairstylist at The Bohemians Martina Kralikova explains the common conditioner mistakes most people make, and how it could impact your locks…
Root of the issue
This one might seem obvious to some, but applying conditioner to the wrong areas is a frequent issue.
Martina says: "Applying conditioner on the roots is the most common mistake people make.
"Since the scalp produces natural sebum to nourish the roots, applying conditioner on the scalp will make the roots too greasy and flat.
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"Silicones are also commonly found in conditioners, and they can cause build-up on the scalp.
"The trick to using a conditioner the right way is to apply it from the mid-length to the tips of your hair, which is the oldest and driest part.
"Let it soak in for about a minute or two and rinse it with cold water to close the cuticles."
Too little, or too much
Conditioning hair is the most important step in the haircare routine and skipping it will make your hair more fragile – but you can also go the other way too.
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Martina says: "Using too much will be counterproductive too.
"Applying too much can cause product build-up and makes your hair look greasy.
"How much you need to use depends on the length and thickness of your hair.
"But a good rule of thumb is to use one or two quarter-sized dollops."
Not your type
With so many products on the shelves it can be hard to choose the right one for your hair type, but it's really important.
Martina says: "Deep conditioning masks are loaded with natural oils and can often be used on the scalp too, but a product this heavy, if used on fine hair, will weigh it down.
"Lightweight conditioners are great for fine hair and once in a while, you can deep-condition with a mask.
"This is important especially if you use heat tools and colour your hair frequently.
"Look for a mix of silicones to smoothen the strands, amino acids to strengthen the hair, provitamins or panthenol to moisturise, and mineral oil or petrolatum to protect, depending on what you're in need of."
Take your time
We're all busy people, but actually taking the time with your hair routine is crucial – as it won't be effective otherwise.
Martina says: "It is important to massage in and let the conditioner emulsify into the hair.
"So if you just dab it on and rinse it off like a shampoo, it won’t work.
"For deep conditioning masks, apply it in sections and leave it on for at least 10 to 30 minutes with a shower cap on.
"This will leave your hair hydrated and glossy."
Leaving your hair down
Conditioning your strands can get messy, especially if you have a lot of hair.
Martina says: "Having conditioner-soaked strands rest against your shoulders and back can cause irritation to skin and may even lead to breakouts.
"Instead, if you’re planning to leave your conditioner on for a couple of minutes while you’re in the shower—as you should—fasten your hair up with a clip or in a shower cap."
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Leaving residue behind
Finally, when using hair conditioner, make sure you rinse it out completely before you move on.
Martina adds: "Leaving conditioner residue behind is all too common."
The result? "It can weigh your strands down and make them appear greasy and dirty."
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