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How to Use Conditioner for Optimal Results

Most of us have been using conditioners for as long as we can remember, but the question of how to use conditioners properly is still unknown to many.

Although the steps are similar for everyone, it really depends on your hair type. Knowing how to properly use conditioners for your hair type will help you keep your hair as healthy as possible and make you look good.

If you follow these practices below, you’ll be able to find what works best for your hair and make the most out of your shower time.

What You’ll Need

You might think that you just need a conditioner. However, you’ll need a few things:

  • Conditioner that works for your hair type
  • A wet brush or comb
  • A hair tie

Just buying a conditioner won’t do the trick. You want a conditioner meant for your hair type and concerns.

How to Use Conditioner on Hair

Step 1: Wash

First things first, you have to wash your hair. Wash it thoroughly with shampoo and rinse it out completely.

Pro Tip: If you are having a lot of product buildup in your hair, wash it twice. Do this once every couple of weeks to make sure there is no product left in my hair before moving on to the conditioner. 

Step 2: Apply Conditioner

hair conditioner

Now you’ll want to put a small amount of conditioner in your palm. The amount will depend on your hair length, but you’ll usually need about the size of a quarter. Too much conditioner can weigh your hair down, so always start with less and work up to more if needed.

Apply this amount and evenly spread it throughout your hair. Where exactly to spread it is going to depend on your hair type and length.

If you have straight or fine hair that gets oily quickly, only apply the conditioner from the mid section to the end of the hair. If you are prone to oily hair, applying too much conditioner toward the roots will just force you to wash your hair sooner. Washing your hair more often is going to dry it out and damage it.

If you have very dry or thick hair, apply the conditioner evenly from the roots to the ends. Thick and curly hair tends not to get as oily as quickly, so you can afford to add more product at your roots where oil is produced. If you have dry hair, get every bit of it covered in conditioner to moisturize it and protect it against breakage.

Whichever hair type you have, focus on the ends of your hair as they suffer from the most breakage, dryness, and damage. Massage the conditioner into ends until they are completely covered.

Step 3: Wait

The best trick to do with conditioner is to practice patience. Tie hair back with a hair tie so you can wash the body, shave, and do whatever else need to do before rinsing out the hair conditioner.

This waiting allows the conditioner to work as almost a mini-hair mask. It can absorb in better and have a stronger effect.

Step 4: Brush it Out

women applying conditioner to his hair with comb

Next, take the wet brush or comb you have and brush out your hair, with the conditioner in.

For curly hair, it is great to only brush your hair with conditioner in it. The conditioner detangles and makes it easy to brush through without breakage so it maintains your curls.

Step 5: Rinse

Now, you can rinse. Make sure to get every bit of conditioner out so you don’t weigh down your hair. Rinse a bit into your hand until you see that the water is clear of conditioner residue.

How Often Should I Use Hair Conditioner?

  • You should never use a hair conditioner every day, just like you should not be shampooing your hair every day. A few times a week is okay.
  • Avoid applying conditioner to your scalp, especially if you have fine or oily hair. Your scalp already produces natural oils, so adding conditioner may overdo it and cause buildup.
  • Be sure to thoroughly rinse out the conditioner to prevent buildup and not cause your hair to look dull and weighed down. If you really want to add conditioner to soften your coarse hair, use a leave-in conditioner after your shower.
  • Make sure not to use too much or too little conditioner. Too much may be too difficult to rinse out and end up weighing down your hair, while too little may not be enough.
  • Rinse-out conditioners are not your only option. Try using a leave-in conditioner after your shower. You can also do a deep condition a couple of times a month for extra hydration or a hair mask to help repair dry, damaged hair.


The biggest takeaway is that everyone should be using a conditioner. Your hair is exposed to harsh elements, heat styling, breakage, and other products throughout the day; conditioning helps revert and protect against some of that damage. This is definitely a step that you do not want to miss.

For curly hair, always go with a more intense conditioner treatment. Additionally, you can possibly add a hair mask or try out co-washing. Also, make sure to apply the conditioner from the roots to the ends.

For fine or straight hair, less is always more. You want to repair and hydrate it, but you don’t want to weigh your delicate strands down.