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What’s the point of using conditioner?

The missus owns 10 different types of conditioner. Here’s how you can benefit from these mysterious products 

Your conditioner requirements change depending on the length of your hair, the texture, how full it is, even the colour of it. ~Vaughn Acord

From Liam Hemsworth to Darren Criss and even Chadwick Boseman, men with lush, shiny hair were everywhere on this year’s Oscar red carpet as with the shows that went before — signalling that the top hair trend for 2018 is well, a full head of hair. But the next time you swipe enviously past the photos of your favourite Instagram icons, switch to an internet retailer instead and put some money down for a product that’s sure to liven up your dry and lanky mop.

Conditioner is what you’re looking for and it’s just what the doctor ordered. Generally applied just after you wash out a shampoo (but also on its own) and then left to do its magic for a couple of minutes, it leaves hair healthier, shinier and smoother, while allowing you to style it more easily and also treating a range of hair and scalp issues. While shampoo cleans the hair, conditioner follows its name: it conditions the hair follicle, smoothening out its cuticles, locking in nutrients and minimising split ends. Consequently, it strengthens the hair shaft and reduces breakage.

Your conditioner requirements change depending on the length of your hair, the texture, how full it is, even the colour of it. ~Vaughn Acord

“I generally recommend using a conditioner because it not only helps to restore moisture to hair lost during shampooing but it also conditions the scalp,” says Vaughn Acord, the American hairstylist who has helped the likes of Bill Clinton, Al Pacino and Bruce Springsteen tame their tendrils. 

“Your conditioner requirements change depending on the length of your hair, the texture, how full it is, even the colour of it. I recommend to always work with your specific stylist to identify the right mix of products for you and your hair needs.”

Men with long or curly hair — you in the man bun, pay attention! — will obviously need to use a conditioner frequently to manage tangles, restore moisture and keep the ladies interested. But for those with short hair, the jury isn’t quite in agreement. While Acord says guys with short and medium length hair can benefit from conditioner too, particularly to moisten your scalp, not everyone concurs.

Get the look

V76

Tonic Hair & Scalp
AED 90.00

V76

Control Balm Strong Hold
AED 90.00

V76

Energising Shampoo
AED 85.00

V76

Conditioning Gel Flexible Hold
AED 90.00

“Men with short hair don’t need conditioner, the right shampoo is enough to maintain healthy hair,” says Omar Haj Yasin, a stylist at the new Jazz Lounge Spa on the Palm Jumeirah. 

A coin-sized dollop will generally restore any oils lost by shampooing, and those with coarse hair will reap the benefits almost immediately, but anyone with very fine or thinning hair could find their mane greasy and weighed down if too much has been slathered on.

So a little bit of hirsute awareness goes a long way and both stylists we spoke to say it’s vital that everyone understands their hair type — or at least, asks their barber. “For example, if you have an oily scalp, you don’t want to use a conditioner that would make it worse,” Yasin explains.

“I generally recommend using a conditioner because it not only helps to restore moisture to hair lost during shampooing but it also conditions the scalp.”

Vaughn Acord

The most difficult cases — when your hair is too dry or has been wrecked by too many late nights and beach days — require a deep-conditioning mask. “Hair treatments are necessary to fight all kinds of hair and scalp issues. We offer hair Botox, which I would say straightens the hair up to 70 per cent, making it more manageable, deeply conditions and restores damaged hair; I call it medicine for the hair. We also use Kérastaste Fusio Dose, it’s a quick-fix treatment that’s customised to your hair type or scalp issue,” says Yasin.

Most men don’t need more than regular usage a few times a week, however. As with shampoos, there’s a woolly array of conditioning products on the supermarket shelf, containing everything from Argan oil to olive extracts. But it’s the chemicals you should really be watching for. Acord recommends avoiding anything with parabens, a kind of endocrine-disrupting preservative, and sulphates, an aggressive detergent that can dry and irritate the scalp. “When I set out to develop V76 by Vaughn I challenged our labs to make the products as ‘clean’ as possible. I really love the V76 Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner and recommend it almost universally for men (and women!). The conditioner in particular has sage leaf extract, which nourishes the scalp and strengthens the hair, along with Vitamin E, which also promises to nourish and strengthen the hair.”

Acord’s three different conditioner sets were formulated to meet the diverse yet universal needs of most guys, with each delivering different results. “Most men can benefit from added moisture so can universally use the hydrating conditioner,” he explains. 

“The Energising conditioner revitalises and moisturises the scalp and hair since it is infused with peppermint oil, which gives the scalp a really awesome ‘wake up.’ The brightening conditioner is specifically for men with gray, white or blonde hair, since these tones have different needs than darker tones, and it illuminates while it moisturises to leave hair soft and shiny.”

“Men with short hair don’t need conditioner, the right shampoo is enough to maintain healthy hair,”

Omar Haj Yasin

If that’s all too much, follow Yasin’s recommendation: “I just recommend combining the same brands of shampoo and conditioner.” 

The simple rule of thumb will put your locks on their way to red-carpet glory. 

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