Hair conditioner is a surprisingly recent addition to the standard beauty product range, but its quality and effects have improved radically since it was introduced, and it's now an essential for most women – and many men, too. Its benefits include strengthening hair and leaving it softer, shinier and easier to manage. According to Dr Steve Shiel of Pantene, conditioner protects and repairs and, regardless of hair type, anyone with hair over 10 centimetres long can benefit from using it.
Some myths and half-truths persist, however, that make some people reluctant to use conditioner, claiming that they don't like the effect it has on their hair. Shiel suggests that many of the people who say hair conditioner leaves their hair feeling dull or lank have not given the newer products a chance, or are simply using the conditioner incorrectly. In fact, modern hair conditioners are designed specifically to increase the feeling of lightness, and their main objective is to leave hair softer, shinier and sleeker by reducing static build-up.
The way in which the conditioner is applied is absolutely key to achieving these results. Typically, the roots of the hair do not need extra conditioning, so the product should be applied from half-way down the hair shaft and extended downwards to the tips. The quantity used is important, too, with the tendency being to use too much. Exactly how much you need will depend on a number of factors – the length of your hair, how dry it is, how often you condition, and even the type of conditioner you use – but a dollop the size of a walnut should be plenty.
So, with that in mind, let's take a look at four basic myths: