Are You Over Conditioning Your Hair? Turns Out, You Might Be


For as long as I can remember, I’ve been told that the key to maintaining healthy hair is moisture. Conditioning after washing has always been a must; I make sure to take time to regularly deep condition once a week and use protein treatments as well. But with all of these moisturizing tips in mind, I sometimes can’t help but ask myself if it’d ever be possible for me to somehow over condition my hair. Of course, I brought this question to a hair pro, who told me the answer to that is . . . kind of. It’s definitely possible for your hair to suffer from you going slightly overboard with a product or two, but conditioner itself isn’t always the culprit.

“It’s certainly possible to overuse cleansing and conditioning products.”

“It’s certainly possible to overuse cleansing and conditioning products,” Devin Toth, a stylist at New York City’s Salon SCK, told POPSUGAR. “Too much of a strong shampoo can strip your scalp and hair of natural oils and can cause dryness or, more importantly, it can cause your scalp to overcompensate and produce way too much oil, resulting in greasier, smoother, shinier hair.”

Additionally, if you ever find yourself worried about overloading your hair with any sort of conditioner or moisturizer, it’s good to be mindful of the marketed effects of the products you use as well as the ingredients that go in them, like protein treatments or any product with an emphasis on protein. These are good for providing your hair with a little moisture boost from time to time, but they should only be applied every few weeks if your hair is damaged.

“Protein overdose is a real thing, and if you are overusing a shampoo marketed as strengthening or repairing or protein depositing, then your hair can become extremely brittle and break,” Toth said. “Whenever you use those types of shampoos, just keep in mind that they are a means to an end. You use them to strengthen your hair, and once it is fortified enough, you stop using it.”

To combat issues like this, think about how you’re applying the product. “If you’re ever worried about over conditioning your hair, just remember to apply the majority of the product on your ends and then apply the remaining product left onto your midshaft, but almost never your roots,” Toth said. “If your hair is over-conditioned, I recommend doing one or two deep-cleansing shampoos to remove the buildup. Then use a less heavy conditioner or start applying your conditioner less frequently.”

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