5 minutes to understand solid conditioners
Until recently, the general public had very little choice in terms of conditioner, it was liquid or… nothing.
But the advent of solid products provides an extremely interesting alternative and shakes up uses. And these new products arrive with serious arguments: excellent efficiency , 100% recyclable packaging or even a much longer lifespan than liquid cousins .
But how does it work ? ", " How to use it ? », “How to choose it well? », “How to preserve it? »… If you are asking yourself all these questions, you are in the right place!
What is it made of? For what effects?
Where the cleansing power of the shampoo acts mainly on the roots, the conditioner will act on the lengths. Its mode of action is strictly similar to that of a liquid conditioner: coat the hair and tighten the scales. Result: hair that reflects light better, detangled and nourished!
It is important to check that your conditioner contains detangling active ingredients; oils or butters will not be enough.
In natural solid conditioners we generally find detangling active ingredients of plant origin such as Arachidyl/Behenyl Alcohol or Arachidyl/Behenyl Betainate Esylate . The latter are natural and 100% biodegradable detangling agents made from beets and rapeseed (we will see below that other detangling agents are much less friendly...).
They act on the hair fiber like a film during the application of the treatment and will thus facilitate detangling.
These detangling agents are therefore very important if you have curly, frizzy, long hair or hair that gets tangled quickly. Successful detangling means less breakage and hair loss!
Nourish and shine
The solid conditioner also nourishes and adds shine to the hair.
How ? Mainly thanks to vegetable oils and butters (hemp, shea, etc.) and antioxidant vitamins (such as tocopherol, one of the subparts of vitamin E). These ingredients represent the ideal combo to act deeply on your hair, leaving it soft and making it shine.
Perfume is an important component for the sensoriality of a product. You will find it in a very large majority of conditioners.
Today it is very easy to find 100% natural perfumes , so it is preferable to opt for this type of ingredient!
If, however, you are prone to allergies, you will find some products without perfume or essential oil.
How to choose it?
The arrival of solid conditioners being more recent, the "forest" of products is a little less dense. But this should not prevent you from making an informed choice, harmful or polluting ingredients have not disappeared and the packaging must be a point of attention.
Ingredients to ban
As with any cosmetic, it is essential to delve into the list of ingredients before choosing your product. For solid conditioners, two families of detangling agents should be banned at all costs :
- Silicones , a sort of “cover-up” for hair often stripped by aggressive surfactants: ingredients ending in –icone, –iconol, –siloxane (dimethicone, phenyl trimethicone, cyclomethicone, etc.)
- Quaternary ammoniums , or “quats” for experts. They act like silicones and are very occlusive for hair. Here you will find an exhaustive list of the pretty little names behind which quats are hidden.
These ingredients are therefore bad for your hair but also very polluting. They are difficult to degrade in water and therefore sources of plastic microparticles which end up in the seas and oceans.
The quality of the oils
As we told you above, oils are essential for a quality solid conditioner.
In our eyes, two things are important when it comes to oils:
- Origin : we must favor local products with a lower carbon impact.
- Quality : a virgin or first cold-pressed oil is much more effective than an esterified ( coco caprylate caprate, Ethylhexyl hydroxystearate, ethylhexyl palmitate, etc.) or hydrogenated oil.
Even if, in our opinion, they could be even more restrictive, organic certifications remain an excellent reference for choosing your products. Thus, COSMOS ORGANIC certification, for example, guarantees you a much cleaner product than so-called “conventional” cosmetics.
A solid conditioner will feel very, very good in a small cardboard box. If this cardboard can come from sustainably managed forests (small FSC logo on the box), it's even better.
How to use it ? How to store it?
Don't panic, it certainly changes the liquid but it's not that complicated!
After having done your usual shampoo, wring out your lengths to remove excess water (very important step). Dampen your solid conditioner with water and apply it directly to your lengths (or rub it on your hands and then apply the material to your hair).
Be careful, however, not to apply it to the roots, especially if you have oily hair, because its high lipid content can have a re-greasing effect on your hair.
Once applied, it will act in depth because generally after washing your hair, the hot water has opened the scales and thus the softening and nourishing active ingredients present in the conditioner will act directly on the hair fiber .
Once applied, it takes 3 to 5 minutes for it to take effect (you can leave it on longer, it will be even more beneficial). Finally, all that remains is to rinse your hair well.
The little tip for having shiny hair is to rinse your lengths with cold water. This will close the scales and keep them protected .
As for conservation, let it dry in the open air ; leaving it too close to water will cause it to melt prematurely. Ideally, use a soap dish or a magnetic support, it's practical, stylish and guarantees conservation!
It's almost flawless for the solid conditioner.
Efficiency comparable to its liquid cousin, increased longevity (the equivalent of around 2 bottles), 100% recyclable packaging, a lower carbon footprint during transport thanks to its light weight, better practicality because it is lighter and smaller... The list of arguments in favor of solid conditioner is long, very long.
To date, we have not found any faults. Perhaps only the fact that its use is very different from that of a liquid conditioner, and that the consumer must therefore learn how to use this product.
The ball is in your camp !