The Truth About What's Really In Conditioner

There's no proof that anyone has ever really used washing their hair as an excuse to get out of something, but it's a handy fallback that will do in a pinch — it has certainly come in handy for comic writers over the last few decades.

The excuse is, more or less, one-size-fits-all. As L'Oreal Paris explains, though, different hair textures require different care and styling practices. This includes the use (or avoidance) of heated styling tools and hair creams. The argument goes that some hair textures can benefit from heated styling tools, while others will just suffer heat damage. Hair creams, on the other hand, will give extra life to some hair textures, while they may weigh others down.

Regardless of hair texture, however, there is one product people shouldn't skip: conditioner. As board-certified dermatologist Adam Friedman told Allure, conditioner protects hair follicles, protecting hair from breakage so that it can grow. How it does that all comes down to what is included in most conditioners.

Conditioners help protect hair

Wet conditioning products — the kind you use in the shower — contain a mix of cationic surfactants (soaps that wash oils from hair), as well as silicones, oils, and emollients, according to Allure. On their own, they might not sound all that helpful, but when mixed together, they add moisture back into the hair after it is stripped away by shampoo.

Dry conditioner, on the other hand, is meant to add shine back to hair without weighing it down or making it greasy between washes. It contains the same ingredients, which Cosmopolitan refers to as "small conditioning molecules" that have been aerosolized for a weightless application.

Cosmopolitan goes on to add that dry conditioners are great for people who experience dry hair a day or two after their usual wash, or who may deal with hair odor between washes. Whether you choose a wet or dry conditioner, however, your hair will thank you. The combination of oils, emollients, and other key ingredients will protect against split ends and breakage, allowing your hair to grow healthy and strong.