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Does Conditioner Cause Hair Loss?

Conditioner is a step within my haircare routine, which I simply cannot skip. It makes such a difference in how manageable it leaves my hair, but there’s a rumor that conditioner can lead to hair loss.

So, does conditioner cause hair loss, or is it an unfounded beauty myth? Keep on reading to discover the answer, plus some tips on how to minimize hair loss when using hair conditioner.

Woman smoothing conditioner through her wet blonde hair

What Is Hair Conditioner & What Is It Designed To Do?

Hair conditioner is a hair product that is designed to improve the appearance and feel of hair. It works by protecting the hair from the elements, locking in moisture, and providing the hair with essential nutrients.

Conditioners are available in a variety of formulations, including creams, oils, sprays, and gels. In its simplest form, conditioner is made from a combination of water, silicone, fragrances, and surfactants (soap-like cleansing agents).

Depending on the specific conditioner, additional ingredients may also be added, such as silicones for shine, proteins to seal the hair shaft, panthenol or other vitamins to nourish the hair, and nourishing oils such as jojoba or almond.

Conditioners are designed to coat the hair shaft with a protective layer that helps to keep moisture in, prevents dirt and debris from getting into the shaft, and makes the hair more manageable, according to any hair expert.

This coating also helps to add shine and luster to the hair, while also making it more pliable and easier to style. Conditioners can also help to reduce drying time by helping to seal the cuticle of the hair shaft, allowing less of the moisture in the air to escape.

In order for conditioners to be effective, they need to be applied properly. After shampooing the hair, conditioner should be applied from the mid-length of hair to the ends, to boost hair health.

It is important not to apply too much conditioner as this could cause buildup on the scalp.

Allow the conditioner to sit on the hair for several minutes before rinsing thoroughly with warm water until all product has been removed. Follow up with a cool rinse to ensure you’ve fully rinsed your hair.

What’s The Difference Between Conditioner and Leave-In Conditioner?

Conditioner and leave-in conditioner may sound like the same thing, but they are actually quite different products. Conditioner is designed to be used after shampooing when the hair has already been cleaned.

It typically consists of a thicker formula that helps to nourish, hydrate, detangle, and protect the hair shaft from further damage. Leave-in conditioners are designed to be applied on damp or dry hair before styling.

They contain lighter ingredients than traditional conditioners that help to soften and smooth out the hair without weighing it down.

They also provide extra protection against heat styling tools such as curling irons or flat irons, especially if you have fine hair.

Both types of product can help improve the manageability, shine, and overall look of your hair. However, the key to getting the best out of either product is to find one that meets your hair’s specific needs, treating hair damage.

The biggest difference between conditioner and leave-in conditioner is how often each should be applied. Traditional conditioners should only be used as needed—typically every one or two days (or after swimming).

Leave-in hair conditioners can be used every day, since they don’t contain heavy ingredients that can weigh down the hair or build up over time.

They are also great for adding a quick boost of hydration in between shampoos, making them a favorite among people with dry or damaged hair.

Woman smoothing conditioner through her wet blonde hair

Does Conditioner Cause Hair Loss?

The answer to this question is no. Conditioner itself does not cause hair loss, however over-conditioning your hair can lead to problems. Over-conditioning means using too much conditioner or leaving it on for too long.

This can weigh down the hair and block your scalp’s natural oils from nourishing it properly, leading to dry and brittle strands that are prone to breakage.

Too much conditioner may also cause a build up of product residue on the scalp, which could clog pores and make it difficult for new hairs to grow.

Therefore, if you want healthy hair, use just enough conditioner for your specific type of hair and rinse thoroughly after use.

Plus, don’t forget to massage your scalp while applying conditioner, to stimulate circulation and promote healthy hair growth.

While conditioner does not cause hair loss on its own, certain ingredients in conditioning products may be linked to increased shedding, and hair breakage.

Ingredients like sulfates, alcohols and silicones are known for creating an overly greasy scalp environment that can contribute to weak follicles and excessive shedding, so opting for sulfate-free shampoo and sulfate-free conditioner can be beneficial.

To avoid this, look for a more natural conditioner with nourishing oils and botanicals such as argan oil, shea butter or jojoba oil that will help strengthen your strands without weighing them down.

Excessive hair loss is more likely to be caused by hormonal changes, scalp irritation, an oily scalp, conditions like alopecia areata, allergic reactions or an issue with the immune system.

If you want to discover the cause of your hair loss, you could speak to your doctor.

Can Conditioner Damage Your Hair?

The answer is yes, it can. Using the wrong conditioner or using too much of it can cause damage to your hair, as well as build-up on the scalp and strands that can lead to a number of problems.

Too much conditioning can weigh down your hair, making it look limp and lifeless, while an inappropriate formula for your hair type can leave your strands dry and brittle.

Some ingredients found in popular brands of conditioner—such as parabens and sulfates—have been linked to potential health concerns.

If you’re concerned about possible damage to your hair caused by conditioners, go for natural and organic options that are free from harsh chemicals.

Always follow the instructions on the label carefully, so you know exactly how much product you should be using for your hair length, and hair type.

Woman smoothing conditioner through her wet hair

Which Conditioner Ingredients Should You Try And Avoid For Healthier Hair?

To achieve healthier hair, it is important to understand which conditioner ingredients and shampoo ingredients you should use and avoid.

Most artificial fragrances and colors are best avoided, as they can cause irritation or drying of the scalp.

Instead, opt for natural ingredients such as coconut oil or jojoba oil. These provide valuable vitamins and minerals that can help keep the hair follicles healthy and provide the moisture needed to promote healthy growth.

Common ingredient labels may also indicate a list of preservatives and artificial fragrances; these should also be avoided as much as possible.

Woman smoothing conditioner through her wet hair

Best Conditioner for Hair Loss and Regrowth

  • 1. Pantene Pro-V Hair Regrowth Treatment for Women – An affordable and easy to use option, this conditioner contains Minoxidil, which is the only FDA approved ingredient clinically proven to promote hair growth. It also helps protect existing hair from breakage and damage.
  • 2. Nioxin System 3 Cleanser Conditioner – This combination cleanses and conditions your scalp while removing follicle clogging sebum and environmental residues that can contribute to hair loss. Conditioner can help provide essential nutrients, including antioxidants, botanicals, proteins and purifying agents that nourish the scalp and help regrow hair, in just four weeks.
  • 3. Nisim Intensive Hair Strengthening Conditioner – This unique conditioner is specially formulated to help reduce hair loss and promote regrowth. It contains herbs, proteins and botanicals that nourish and strengthen the scalp, while helping to increase circulation at the follicle level.
  • 4. Phyto Phytocyane Revitalizing Serum – This effective serum works to treat thinning hair and promote regrowth. It is designed to stimulate microcirculation at the scalp level while providing essential nutrients that help nourish and oxygenate the scalp.
  • 5. Viviscal Maximum Strength Hair Growth Conditioner – This conditioner is packed with nutrients and antioxidants that help nourish your scalp and promote healthy hair growth. It helps to strengthen existing strands of hair while helping new strands grow in thicker and stronger.
  • 6. Pura d’or Hair Thinning Therapy Conditioner – This premium conditioner is free from sulfates, parabens and harsh chemicals which can strip the hair of its natural oils. It contains biotin, niacin, nettle extract, pumpkin seed oil and other powerful ingredients that help nourish the scalp while promoting healthy hair growth.

These are some of the best conditioners for hair loss and regrowth on the market today. Try one (or more) to see if you notice a difference in your hair’s health over time.


In summary, wet hair can be very susceptible to damage and breakage if not taken care of properly.

To minimize hair fall when you have wet hair, make sure to use lukewarm water when washing, reduce the amount of time spent under running water, gently scrub your scalp with minimal hair care products, avoid tight hairstyles and use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush, as your hair needs gentle handling, especially when wet.

Certain products and tools such as those containing alcohol, detergents and other harsh chemicals, permanent wave solutions, hot oil treatments, perms and dyes, heat styling tools and chemical relaxers can cause damage to the scalp and hair follicles which may lead to hair thinning or loss