Is Skipping Conditioner Bad For Your Hair?

For many people, using conditioner is an important part of their hair care routine after washing with shampoo or cleanser in the shower — but what exactly is conditioner and what does it do for your hair? According to Byrdie, conditioner is a moisturizing agent designed to hydrate and strengthen your hair. It can also help smooth out your strands while adding some shine and volume to your hair. That's because conditioner is made with nourishing proteins, vitamins, and minerals that help your hair absorb moisture and repair any damage to your ends.

"Using a conditioner prevents hair from becoming too dry and fortifies the cuticle to prevent damage and hair breakage," Dr. Corey L. Hartman, a board-certified dermatologist, told Byrdie. "Conditioner also provides a protective coating to the outer layers of the hair shaft to give the hair sheen and a thicker appearance. It is especially important to apply if after shampooing (when hair, like skin, is prone to dryness)."

Don't stop conditioning your hair

According to Allure, this can make your hair much easier to comb through, especially if you're prone to knots and frizz. By smoothing out your hair, conditioner can also help detangle your strands and reduce the amount of frizziness in it. For best results, apply some of the product to your fingers, spreading it evenly throughout the middle and ends of your hair in long, fluid motions. Leave it in for 2 minutes before rinsing it out. You can repeat this after using shampoo every time you wash your hair.

Failing to condition your hair on a regular basis can reverse this progress, making your hair feel dry and brittle again. "If you stop using conditioner, your hair will likely be more difficult to comb," cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski told Allure. "It will also be more likely to have flyaways and frizz and be prone to splitting and breaking during your styling routine."