Although including a moisturizing conditioner in your hair care regimen is not a revolutionary idea, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good one. The internet is awash with fancy hair masks, oils, lotions and potions, some with genuine benefits, others without. However, let’s not run before we can walk. This article aims to de-mystify the arduous decision of picking the right moisturizing conditioner for your hair. Let’s get started!
What makes a good moisturizing conditioner?
The universal purpose of any moisturizing hair conditioner is to improve flexibility of the hair shaft. By keeping the hair soft and pliable, there is less risk of breakage due to brittleness. A good conditioner to smoothen the hair shaft harnesses the combined power of a water base with fatty alcohols such as cetearyl.
Anyone who has ever had a hangover may be surprised to hear that any form of alcohol can hydrate. Unlike those found in your glass of wine, fatty alcohols are heavy hydrocarbons, which help to seal in moisture. Rather than quickly evaporating, these heavier compounds stick around and provide a layer that helps to maximize moisture retention.
In addition to these base ingredients, the best moisturizing conditioners are rich in nutrients and use natural oils. Shea butter extract has been found to have natural anti-inflammatory properties. This can help to soothe irritation to the scalp and hair follicles, which can help promote a healthy hair growth cycle.
Another moisturizing conditioner ingredient that might send up a red flag is mineral oil. This can be found in many widely available cosmetics yet, if poorly refined, can carry toxicities and potentially even carcinogens. Rather than a product which uses mineral oil refined from the same benzine that you put in your car, why not choose a conditioner with hazelnut or argan oil, which are free from artificial impurities.
The best moisturizing conditioner to detangle and avoid frizz
Choosing a hair conditioner with slip for easy detangling is a must for those with rebellious or frizzy hair. This is essentially a lubricating ingredient, which helps to prevent friction between individual hairs. Combing out stubborn tangles can be a laborious affair, so an effective conditioner with added slip can help to stave off the tears. Similarly, a conditioner that traps in moisture with natural oils and fatty alcohols will help to reduce frizz.
Regular washing and combing with the right products can help to keep tangles and frizz under control, as matted clumps are not allowed to form, and hair is moisturized. If you do wish to wash hair regularly, just be sure to use a gentle shampoo that is free from SLS/SLES (sodium laureth sulfate/sodium lauryl ether sulfate) as these common ingredients can cause irritation.