How Often Should You Condition Your Hair? - Public Goods

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How Often Should You Condition Your Hair?

Washing our hair with shampoo and following up with conditioner in the shower is something we usually don’t even think twice about.


woman massaging aloe vera juice into her scalp

It’s just a part of our routine, and we do it as we’re going through all of the motions. But do you really know how often you should condition your hair?

If you want to have a good hair day, you need to know how often to wash and condition it. Should you wash your hair every day? Once a week? A couple of times a week? Well, there really isn’t one straightforward answer for how often to condition hair, so Public Goods consulted a hair professional.

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Here’s what you need to know.

How Often Should You Condition Your Hair?

The general answer for how often to use hair conditioner is anywhere between every two days to once a week, according to Amanda Power, a hair colorist and the owner of Power Hair in Brooklyn and Kansas City.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how often to condition hair. There are many variables that it depends on, such as if your hair is color-treated, greasy, or if you have fine hair, for example.

But before we dive into discussing how often to condition hair and why, let’s discuss exactly what conditioner is.

What Is Conditioner, Exactly?

Conditioner is typically used after washing hair with shampoo. Power said that conditioner can add a sheen and provide a silk-like texture to the hair by softening the hair shaft. Depending on the conditioner, it may have specific properties, like the ability to reduce frizz or to keep your hair color vibrant.

There are so many types of conditioner out there on the market, and many are tailored to different hair concerns and hair types: dry hair, color-treated hair, thinning hair, curly hair, oily hair, frizzy hair. You name it, there’s a conditioner for it.

black and white photo of woman swinging her black hair back and forth

You can also find cruelty free, vegan-friendly conditioners. There truly is a conditioner for everybody.

Hair has no gender, so you don’t have to use conditioner differently regardless of your gender identity. Rather, you should choose your conditioner and determine how often to condition hair based on hair type and hair concerns.

For example, Power said that if you have color-treated hair, you should condition several times a week.

If your hair is dry or damaged, Power suggested conditioning several times a week as well, plus using a deeper treatment like a hair mask or leave-in conditioner once a week to really combat the damage and support your natural oils.

If you have natural hair, thick hair, or lots of oils on your scalp, you should avoid over-washing and over-conditioning. Power said people with oily hair can condition one or two times a week, and they can use a dry shampoo to combat oiliness.

Is It Okay To Condition Your Hair Everyday?

If you’re wondering, “Should you condition your hair every day?” well… the answer is usually no.

Power told Public Goods, “I would only guide someone with very dry or coarse hair to use conditioner daily, but this ultimately will not fix the issue to the cortex of the hair’s makeup. [But] it will absolutely help the way the hair feels to the touch.”

However, there is a downside. If you apply the conditioner to your roots and scalp, you may end up with excess oil or dry scalp.

If you’re going to be using conditioner every day, you should avoid applying it to the scalp. This can reduce the risk of an oily scalp or a skin reaction. While shampoo is primarily used on the scalp and is very effective for cleaning the scalp, conditioner is used for a different purpose.

“Shampoo is to cleanse, and conditioner is to improve the feel of the hair. Simple as that,” Power said.

Overall, the answer to how often should you condition your hair is generally not every day.

How Long Are You Supposed to Condition Your Hair?

On top of asking yourself how often you should condition your hair, you might also be wondering how long you should ideally condition your hair for.

bottle of public goods conditioner

Different hair products will likely have instructions that include how long to leave the conditioner on for, which will usually be a few minutes. Deep conditioner can take up to 15 minutes. So you can shampoo your hair, apply conditioner, then go about enjoying your shower, washing your body, shaving, whatever you’ve got to do, and then you can rinse out the conditioner after a few minutes. Be sure to rinse thoroughly so you aren’t left with any residue.

Power said that the maximum amount of time that you should leave conditioner in for is five to 10 minutes. “Nothing too bad can happen if left longer unless there is any kind of pigment in the conditioner that may alter color-treated hair,” she said.

How To Use Conditioner

Every conditioner will have its own instructions on the bottle. However, there are some general guidelines. Power walked us through the process of how to generally use conditioner.

Here’s the step by step guide:

  1. After you shampoo and rinse, apply a small amount to your hand (dime to quarter size or more depending on length and density of hair).
  2. Rub your hands together to evenly coat both hands.
  3. Apply the conditioner to the hair.
  4. Use your fingers as combs to coat the strands from the middle to ends. Avoid applying the conditioner to the scalp. You can also use a regular comb to evenly distribute the conditioner.
  5. Rinse thoroughly.

If you still aren’t sure how often to condition hair or what type of conditioner you should use, ask your hair professional next time you go get your hair cut or colored. They can help you determine what your hair type is and give you advice on how to address your specific hair concerns.

If you’re looking for conditioner that is free from animal testing and vegan friendly, Public Goods has you covered. Our conditioner is made with a blend of essential oils that will hydrate and protect your hair, as well as leave it smelling great.

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