Hair conditioners are hair care products used to improve the
texture and appearance of human hair. Hair conditioners were developed
to restore the manageability, glossiness, and softness that sebum
normally provides. They were introduced after shampoos with high
detergent action, which removes sebum from the hair in excess,
were widely available. Hair conditioners are also most usually
used to improve the condition of the hair after certain chemical
processes such as waving, straightening, and coloring; and after
physical damage produced by hair drying, brushing, and styling.
Hair conditioners work by depositing material on the hair shaft,
particularly at the cuticle edges, in order to reduce grooming
force and negative change, to raise fullness, and to intensify
brightness. Conditioners make hair manageable by reducing static
electricity and friction among hair shaft. Reduction of static
electricity is reached by hair conditioners through deposition
of ions charged positively on the hair, counterbalancing negative
charges from combing or brushing. Reduction of friction is reached
through increasing cuticle scales' attachment to the shaft by
smoothing. Smooth hair cuticles provide more light reflection,
deriving in brighter and more pliable hair.
With regards to the different types of hair conditioners, instant
conditioners, deep conditioners, blow drying lotions, and hair
glaze are included.
The most common types of hair care products for conditioning
are instant conditioners. Administered shortly after shampoo and
for a little time before rinsing, instant conditioners include
water, a conditioning agent, lipids, and thickeners. Conditioning
agents can involve cationic detergents, film formers, or proteins.
Positively charged, cationic agents are attracted by the negative
charge of damaged hair. Film formers, which are also positively
charged and so reduce static electricity, are formed by polymers,
which correct hair shaft defects, resulting in smooth hair. Protein
conditioners renovate the spoilt protein structure.
Deep hair conditioners are similar to instant conditioners. However,
they differ in that deep conditioners are available as creams,
not as lotions or liquids like the instant ones; and are more
concentrated as well. They are designed to be applied on the hair
for twenty to thirty minutes. In order to improve penetration,
heat may be required. Deep hair conditioners are frequently employed
in highly dry hair and as “screens” previous to chemical treatments
such as coloring and waving. These kinds of hair care products
restore the damaged hair and are aimed at treating and affecting
the hair uniformly.
Blow drying lotions are like instant hair conditioners in that
they contain the same agents, except for oil. Consequently, they
can be left on the hair. Application should come after drying
the hair with a towel and before styling.
Hair glazes are also widely known as hair thickeners. Hair glazes
work by wrapping the hair shaft. In this way, they enlarge hair
diameter and give the illusion of thickening the hair. They are
to be administered after towel drying the hair and before styling.
Then, they are left on the hair.