If you have curly hair, then you know—your ringlets are always in need of a little extra TLC. The curlier the hair, the drier, more frizz-prone and tangled the tresses tend to be. That’s why it’s important to understand the benefits of conditioners designed specifically for curls.
What Does Curl Conditioner Do?
Much like other hair products, not all conditioners are created equal. Curl conditioners are specifically designed to provide targeted care for this hair type, whereas regular conditioners may not be formulated with curly hair needs in mind. Curl conditioners tend to be more oil-heavy, while also containing polymers that coat the hair shaft, helping define individual curls, while creating a more uniform curl pattern.
Saltair’s Curl Control Defining Conditioner contains linseed and chia seed polysaccharides, and quaternized panthenol and coconut water to detangle, tame frizz, add moisturize and definition, and help increase elasticity and bounce.
Other hair types may not take as well to curl conditioner, similar to how regular conditioners may not get the job done for curls. If you have flat, oily, thin, or straight hair, the ingredients commonly found in curl conditioner might be too heavy for you and can leave your hair feeling weighed down and greasy. But like with anything, moderation is key.
How Often Should I Use Curl Conditioner?
As with any product, you’ll want to read individual usage guidelines on the back of its bottle or website. But traditionally, people with thick curls don’t wash their hair as frequently as someone with finer, more oily-prone hair. Therefore, it’s typically common for users to follow-up their shampoo rinse with a several-minute conditioner application. Saltair’s Curl Control Defining Conditioner calls for a generous amount to be massaged into the hair after each shampoo session.
How Much Curl Conditioner Should I Use for My Hair Length and Thickness?
Curl conditioner isn’t one-size-fits-all.
As is the case with pretty much any conditioner, if your hair is short, you only need a little dab (think nickel-sized amount). Medium-length hair can opt for a bit more (quarter-sized amount), and if your hair is especially long or thick, apply at your own discretion. You know your hair best, so regardless of length and thickness, if you still feel a squeaky, post-shampoo cleanness (a stripped-like feeling) that calls for some added moisture, don’t be shy! Continue to apply as needed.
But be mindful of where you apply. You’ll want to avoid massaging any amount directly onto the scalp. And traditionally, you’ll want to avoid applying conditioner to the crown of your head altogether (unless there’s extreme dryness or recent chemically treated hair that calls for a little extra moisture up top).
How Long Should I Leave Curl Conditioner in My Hair Before Rinsing It Out?
A standard rule of thumb is to leave curl conditioner in your hair for 3-5 minutes before rinsing (unless the label says otherwise). Saltair’s curl conditioner, for example, suggests a general “few minutes” leave-in time. This allows the solution to really marinate into the strands, providing moisture, minerals and other nourishing elements.
Like with any conditioner that isn’t designed as an overnight or leave-in treatment, only keep curl conditioner on for the time instructed. Oversaturation can weigh your hair down or make it feel oily. That said, if you apply one round of curl conditioner and your hair doesn’t feel amply hydrated, we suggest going in for however many rinses necessary until you feel satisfied.
Is Curl Conditioner Solely For Those With Naturally Curly Hair?
If you’re showering as a guest at someone’s house and curl conditioner is all they have, there’s no need for concern. You just may not get the amplified results intended for your hair type.
If you have oily, fine, or thinning hair, limit the amount of curl conditioner you apply since it tends to be heavy. Regardless of your hair type, however, a good curl conditioner can still give you that added moisture and definition that every hair type can benefit from.