View Full Version : Am I the only one whose hair hates conditioner?

February 18th, 2009, 09:11 AM
A coconut oil treatment now and again -- works well, as the moisture gets absorbed, and the rest gets washed out.

A conditioner/honey treatment now and again -- fine. A few washes, and my hair's nice.

But a tiny dallop of conditioner (any brand...some worse than others) in my waist length hair can be enough to reduce my ponytail circumference by INCHES, and make it feel...unclean. It feels somewhat coated, and limp. While it's nice for it to be so soft, I prefer it to be thick and huge and clean-feeling.

I don't even have fine hair; I don't understand it.

I'd stop using conditioner, unless it felt dry a particular day, but I worry that the quality of my hair will suffer. I feel obligated to, despite liking my hair much better the other way.

Does anyone else feel this way?

February 18th, 2009, 10:13 AM
I no longer use conditioner. Instead my shampoo is now so dilute (deliberately) that conditioner is unnecessary. I have little trouble combing out after washing and little trouble with static cling, and those were what I used conditioner for. My hair feels clean and soft and smooth and light.

Conditioner made my hair soft and static free too, but *very* limp. So IMHO, no, one does not have to use conditioner. Check out the NW/SO and WO threads! :) I tried both those routines and they worked, but I like my extra-dilute shampoo better.

February 18th, 2009, 10:13 AM
Can you put the conditioner in a spray bottle with water to dilute? Many times I wash my hair with shampoo when I feel it needs a really good cleaning, then just spray the lower half with my conditioner mix. It doesn't get too greasy, but gives it enough slip so I can comb through.

February 18th, 2009, 10:28 AM
my hair doesn't really like conditioner too... I have fine, thin hair and it seems like conditioner just makes it flat and limp.

I am seriously considering giving it up for a while to see how my hair will react. maybe it will be better without it!

February 18th, 2009, 10:33 AM
Two questions, has the conditioner in question got 'cones? Or is it any conditioner has this effect, 'cones or no 'cones?
This may also be a case of what works for one hair type doesn't for another, it looks like most respondants are fairly straight haired.
(I couldn't live without my conditioners, but I'm very curly.)

February 19th, 2009, 03:10 AM
since i have been using diluted natural shampoo i don't need any conditioner otherwise my hair would go soo limp. but when i used full strength sulphate shampoo i needed soo much conditioner and i would be constantly worrying i'd get it on my roots (my hair gets unreasonably greasy if it even smells conditioner at the roots!)

February 19th, 2009, 03:22 AM
I was never happy with conditioner either. My hair is a mix. It is fine/medium and wavy but it is thin. Conditioners left it looking thinner although lighter ones did not leave it lookig too bad.

I did not think that I could give it up until I was able to get catnip tea to replace it.

I tried 2 other herbal teas prior to catnip, chamomile and linden flower.

Only catnip tea has everything I originally wanted it to do, colour and condition my hair.

Using less shampoo helps too.

February 19th, 2009, 03:40 AM
I used to think my (mixed F and M, thin/tapered) hair hated conditioner because it was so oily and would look stringy fast. I was also used to my hair being "...thick and huge and clean-feeling..." as well as lighter in color - unconditioned hair is blonde, conditioned hair is brown - and I always yearn to be blonde. :)

However, softer hair IS better moisturized hair, so if this is your problem maybe you can stretch washes more, or use a lighter, 'cone-free conditioner?

If your hair is already waist length and isn't damaged, and you don't have splits or breakage, then maybe your hair is OK with oils? For me, without moisturizing, my hair never got longer than about APL before looking terrible and ratty. Since coming to LHC, it is in better shape than it has ever been and actually looks OK on "greasy" days (see avatar pic) even though I still have to "condition" myself to stop thinking that it looks its best when it is big, wavy, and lighter in color.

Personally I really like Goth Rosary conditioner - it softens and smooths but is light and works very well as a leave-in.



February 19th, 2009, 05:26 AM
I also hate conditioner. Cones or not, it always weighs my hair down and makes it lank and limp. And like you said, it feels kind of greasy and unclean too!

February 19th, 2009, 05:43 AM
Of course one can live without conditioner! Isn't conditioner a fairly new invention? Like the 60s or so.

But of course some will need it and some be fine without.

February 19th, 2009, 06:56 AM
It's entirely possible that you don't need conditioner. It's also possible that you're not used to the feel of hair that has been conditioned. It always feels slick and maybe a little slimy, but it's also moisturized and it hangs more together in a dense shiny chunky instead of being dry and fluffy. Conditioned hair is floppier.

I would tend to say that if you don't use conditioner, you might want to give it a try for a couple weeks, and just see if the feeling and the look of it grows on you. So many longhairs swear by using some sort of conditioner (which can include catnip tea, indian herbs, and coconut milk) to keep their hair in good condition that it might be worth a second look.

February 19th, 2009, 07:24 AM
I never liked the slippery-slick-slimy feeling of conditioner and I have the reasonable suspicion that my skin did not like it. After a few tries not even using up one bottle, I decided that I donīt need it. There are other ways to keep my hair moisturized and conditioned. Donīt even need it for easy detangling.
Acidic rinses, gentle cleaning routine, a yogurt treatment every now and then, preoiling before washing and oil leave-ins work absolutely perfect. No need for conditioner in my hair. :D

February 19th, 2009, 07:59 AM
My hair has been limp too. I've been thinking of not using conditioner to see if that helps.

February 19th, 2009, 08:40 AM
I like conditioners and conditioned hair, but lately have been feeling that my hair might be actually overconditioned. (Funny how you see threads of the subject you are interested in and have been thinking about popping here and there all the time!)

I came here (LHC) about 1,5 years ago with straight hair that was sleek and silky. I started to CO (scalp didn't like it) and CWC and to leave some (rinse out) conditioner into the length after wash, using multiple times more conditioner than shampoo, etc. My hair type changed, I suddenly had wavy hair :)

I continued this regimen, and also my hair started to change otherwise, it was thicker, coarser, harder to comb, prone to build-up pretty quickly, tangled easily....

Just lately I have started to count one plus one together. The waves I have learned to like but I hate the coarse feel many of my hairs had, I missed the silky and soft, fine hair, that didn't tangle much.

I'm still very much in experiment mode, since it's so recently I started to think about this, but it looks like that leaving the (rinse out) conditioner into my hair and in general using so much conditioner made it overconditioned and builduppy. And since I exclusively CWCed it only added the problem.

I recognized I had buildup symptoms (sticky hair that's hard to comb, velcroing together) and clarifyed regularly, but since I always left some conditioner into the hair the symptoms never went complitely away. Some days were better than others, but this has been a problem for me for a long time now that think back.

Now lately I have been useng good old shampoo+conditioner routine, washing the scalp and letting the suds rinse through the lengths. Using much less conditioner than before and rinsing all of it out carefully. (I do use a special leave in after the wash but that doesn't seem to cause problems.) Magiccally I have got back my silky, easy to comb hair that actually feels like fine hair again and not coarse and rought to the touch. I still have waves, I'm interested what happens to them if/when I keep up this new routine :) I wouldn't mind getting my straight hair back but I have learned to like the waves too, so either way will be good :)

Oh, and all the products I have used have been conefree ones.
On a side note, it has been very difficult to find information about overconditioning. But like I said earlier, it's interesting that now that I have been thinking about this a lot, I have seen on quite many threads and posts and journal entries people mention about how they have started to use lee or no conditioner, and that even some stylists have recommend using conditioner less often etc etc.

February 20th, 2009, 09:27 AM
i do better without conditioner, even if i use a clarifying shampoo! conditioner makes my hair really straight and sleek, but i don't like that. i also get more flyaways/frizz when i use conditioner (w/ or w/o cones).

my hair feels much better to me when it has some body from shampoo bars or herbs. i've taken to using a version of fox's shea treatment overnight when i know i will wash in the morning, and that seems to be plenty of moisture for me.

February 20th, 2009, 10:01 AM
I stopped using it with my last 3 washes. I shampoo, acv rinse, and light oiling. My hair is soft but I haven't noticed incresed thickness.

February 20th, 2009, 10:23 AM
Thank you for bringing this up... i feel the same way too. I have thick curly hair that is dry and needs moisture, which is what a conditioner perfectly provides. however the volume of my hair gets reduced, and my curls become sof that they don't look neat for long. Sometimes i alternate between conditioner and no conditioner. I think when i reach the length i want i will reduce the use of it to get my real texture back.

February 20th, 2009, 11:10 AM
You could try shampoo bars. Most people find they don't need to use conditioner afterward and just do a vinegar rinse.

February 20th, 2009, 06:29 PM
You could try shampoo bars. Most people find they don't need to use conditioner afterward and just do a vinegar rinse.

yes, this has been my experience with shampoo bars. I do use a small amount of conditioner as a leave-in, but it is far less than I used with conventional shampoos. About the only time I need a rinse out conditioner now is on very cold days or after dyeing with henna.