How To Prevent And Fix Over-Conditioned Hair?

Using too much conditioner on your locks can do more damage than good. Conditioning your hair too much can make it dry, brittle, unmanageable, greasy and limp. However, you can easily solve this problem by limiting the amount of hair conditioner you use and limiting the daily use of other styling products. This article provides steps to properly condition your hair and some helpful tips to repair any damage caused by excessive conditioning. If you’re not sure if you’re overusing your conditioner, scroll down to learn more!

What is the use of hair conditioners?

Conditioner is mainly used to moisturize, smooth and detangle hair. It nourishes, reduces frizz and strengthens your hair while coating the hair shafts with a protective seal to improve their texture. This layer gives your locks the shine and texture that are characteristic of healthy hair. Conditioner also makes your hair softer and easier to comb.

Hair conditioners can add moisture and make your hair silky and soft. But how does it work on your hair? Let’s find out in the next section!

How does a conditioner work?

Conditioner is mainly used to protect your hair and give it some extra moisture. It creates a layer on the hair shafts and helps nourish and moisturize your mane. In general, conditioners retain the nutrients and keep the pollutants out. This helps in strengthening the hair shafts, preventing split ends and hair breakage.

Every time you apply conditioner after washing your hair, a film forms on the hair. As this layer continues to build up, your hair’s ability to absorb and react to other products diminishes. This, in turn, helps protect the hair shafts from damage.

But if you put too much conditioner on your hair, it can become limp, sticky and unmanageable. So, what is overconditioning? Let’s learn about this in more detail in the next section.

What is overconditioning?

If you condition your hair too much, each cuticle will be heavily coated and will add more than the required amount of moisture to your hair. This prevents other hair products – such as hair oils and serum – from penetrating your hair cuticle and working effectively. In addition, your hair becomes too soft and loses its volume.

Remember to coat the hair shafts with an extra layer of product every time you use a conditioner. Using too much conditioner and leaving it on your hair for too long, using a conditioner that is not suitable for your hair type, not washing the conditioner properly, and conditioning your hair too often are some ways of overconditioning. In addition, using styling products and moisturizing treatments alongside a conditioner is another way to overcondition your hair.

You can easily notice when you apply excess conditioner to your hair. Following are the signs that you are over conditioning your hair. Read more!

Signs You’re Overconditioning Your Hair

If you’ve used too much conditioner, you’ll soon notice signs that are easy to spot. Here are some of the most common signs that your hair is over-conditioned.

  • Your hair will feel limp if you put too much conditioner on your hair. Since excessive conditioning adds too much moisture to the strands, your hair will become very soft, look tacky and lose its natural volume. It also looks thin and feels heavy because of a lack of volume
  • If you invest a lot of time in styling your hair, excessive conditioning can be one of the reasons for this. Your hair will be difficult to manage and style because it is extremely soft and greasy. If you have curly hair and have applied too much conditioner to it, it will lose its bounce and won’t stay in place. You may notice problems styling updos due to excessive conditioning. If you do an updo, the hair will also slip under the pins.
  • Over-conditioning too makes your hair extremely stiffmaking it less manageable and difficult to style.
  • An important benefit of using a hair conditioner is that it makes your hair soft and shiny. However, if you use more of it, your hair will become super shiny† This, in turn, makes your hair sticky and uncomfortable.
  • Being oily is the most common sign of overconditioned hair. Overuse of hair styling and conditioning products can make your hair greasy, greasy and dirty.
  • Over-conditioning also makes up your hair top looks super flat and soft. The super soft roots can’t hold the volume for long. Therefore, minimize the amount of conditioner you use on your hair to make it shiny.

You need to take good care of your hair to avoid super sticky and greasy hair. So, what’s the right way to condition your hair? Find out in the next section.

How to properly condition your hair?

  • Condition your hair every time you wash it.
  • Make sure not to leave the conditioner on your hair for more than a minute or two. If you leave it on your hair for too long, it can get greasy and weigh down.
  • Distribute the conditioner evenly through your hair. Also avoid applying the conditioner to your scalp.
  • Only apply conditioner from the mid-length to the tips of your hair. Your roots don’t need any conditioner other than natural sebum.

Conditioning is an essential part of your hair care routine to maintain healthy hair. But excessive conditioning makes your hair messy. Here’s how to avoid over-conditioning your hair.

How do you avoid over-conditioning your hair?

To avoid over-conditioning your hair, it is essential to use the right amount of conditioner and rinse it thoroughly. Adding a clarifying shampoo or scalp scrub to your regular hair care routine will help stop product build-up. Conditioning your hair is a crucial step to get voluminous and healthy hair. However, you need to do it the right way to avoid greasy and flat hair.

  • Try to avoid conditioning too often and don’t leave it on your hair for too long.
  • Wash the conditioner out thoroughly with cold water. This will help remove any residue and product build-up from the hair. It also gives you shiny, healthy hair.
  • Avoid using a leave-in conditioner after using a rinse-out conditioner.

Another important thing to remember is to avoid using too many hair styling products as it will only weigh down your hair and make it even more oily.

Pro tip: Reverse washing (using conditioner first, then shampoo) can remove the excess conditioner that can weigh down your hair.

Have you already over-conditioned your hair and want to fix it? Do not worry! Here are some ways to restore overconditioned hair.

Ways to Restore Overconditioned Hair

  • Washing your hair properly to remove excess conditioner on your hair or using dry shampoo where you can find the greasy spots on your hair can solve your problem.
  • Rinse your hair once a month with a 1:2 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. (This means 1 part apple cider vinegar and two parts water.)
  • Hair with too much conditioner will look limp and using protein treatments can add volume to your hair and make your locks stronger. But make sure not to overuse these treatments.
  • Limit the use of styling and leave-in hair products to get the desired results.


Conditioning is the best part of any hair care routine to maintain healthy and soft hair. But conditioning makes your hair super soft and hard to style. You can prevent and repair overconditioned hair by minimizing the use of conditioners and styling products and reducing the number of deep conditioning treatments.

Key learning points

  • Conditioners moisturize, plump and detangle hair, reduce frizz, strengthen strands and coat strands to improve texture and shine.
  • Conditioners coat the hair, seal in the nutrients and keep the pollutants out – and this helps prevent split ends and breakage.
  • However, overconditioning of the hair leaves each hair shaft heavily coated, making it difficult for other products to penetrate the hair cuticle and work effectively.
  • You can tell you are overconditioning your hair if your hair looks greasy and limp, lies flat and is difficult to comb and style.

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dr. Nithya Raghunath is a leading dermatologist and cosmetologist at Contura Clinic in Bengaluru, India. She is specialized in various… more

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