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Can You Over-Condition Your Hair? We Asked A Pro

woman with conditioner in hair

If you have dry hair, conditioner is your best friend. It may take you a whole year to get through a bottle of shampoo, but in the same amount of time you can easily finish four big bottles of conditioner. Conditioner is supposed to make your hair look and feel moisturized, but what if we told you it could be having the exact opposite effect?

Like most hair products, conditioner only works well if you use it the correct way—and it turns out too much of a good thing may not be so good after all. If you love to slather conditioner on your strands as frequently and as long as possible, you’re going to want to keep reading. We teamed up with Ashley Jackson, Mizani artist and brand ambassador, to break down everything you need to know about over-conditioning your hair. Whether you have dark brown hair or ash blonde locks, your parched mane will thank you.

black woman with textured hair

Can you over condition your hair?

Unfortunately, yes you can over condition your hair! Too much of something is never a good thing. Just like you can over-wash hair, you can over-condition it. Conditioner is supposed to make your hair look and feel moisturized, soft, and smooth. If you condition your hair too long or too often, however, your strands can become too soft making them difficult to style and susceptible to breakage.

Jackson explains what happens to your strands with an easy-to-understand metaphor.

The best visual that I can give is that of a spaghetti noodle...When it hasn’t received water, the noodle is hard and susceptible to breakage. With the right amount of moisture, the noodle is still strong but much more pliable and has better elasticity...However, when the noodle is overcooked, it can become limp and mushy.
Over the years, many internet beauty gurus have shared seemingly unreal results after conditioning their manes all day long, sometimes overnight, and sometimes without ever washing the conditioner out. While it may sound like the best way to make sure you have the softest hair ever, Jackson says leaving on your conditioner indefinitely can do more harm than good.

“Leaving your conditioner on longer than instructed can result in throwing off your hair’s pH...In doing so, your hair can lose its strength, although it may feel softer to the touch,” she explains. “One may not see a difference immediately but this practice can produce adverse results over time.”

When in doubt, look at the bottle. The easiest way to ensure you’re not over-conditioning your strands is to follow the instructions on the packaging.

woman with wet hair

How often should you condition your hair?

Now that you know it’s possible to over condition your hair, you’re probably wondering exactly how often you should condition it. While you may be looking to practice some restraint, Jackson says it’s vital to condition your strands after every wash.

“Most conditioners are formulated in conjunction with a shampoo to help bring your hair to a healthy pH level,” she explains. “This step is also super important in replenishing any essential oils or nutrients.”

deep conditioner

How often should you deep condition your hair?

If you’re concerned about over-conditioning your mane, you may be thinking about getting rid of deep conditioner all together—but not so fast! Deep conditioner is an essential step in a healthy hair care routine as long as it’s used correctly. Most manes can benefit from a weekly deep conditioning treatment, as deep conditioners typically boast different benefits than regular conditioners and can nourish more deeply.

“For normal hair conditions, once a week to bi-weekly is a great deep conditioning routine,” Jackson says. “If your hair is chemically processed or damaged, finding a deep conditioner to suit those specific needs is imperative to keeping your hair in its best shape...Masks serve their own special purpose.”

black woman with wet hair and conditioner

What if you’re conditioning properly and your hair is still dry?

A conditioner is a vital step toward achieving hair that looks and feels soft, but it’s not the only one. Instead of relying solely on conditioner, Jackson recommends incorporating other moisturizing products into your hair care routine.

“Instead of trying to pack moisture in through one step, find a leave-in conditioner like Mizani 25 Miracle Milk and additional styling products that layer your hair with moisture every step of the way,” she explains. “Through layering, your hair will experience better moisture retention and longer-lasting results.”

If you follow these simple steps, your hair will be perfectly and properly conditioned every time you wash your hair!

Looking for more personalized advice about how to properly condition your hair? Use our salon locator to book an appointment near you.

You may also like: How To Use Conditioner The Right Way: A Step-By-Step Guide

You may also like: Do You Need A Deep Conditioner? Here’s How To Tell

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