What is a Thickening Conditioner?

Janis Bennett

A thickening conditioner is a hair product that is used after shampooing to add volume, body and thickness to a person’s hair. This type of product usually is used by people with fine or thin hair, making the hair appear fuller than it really is. There are several types of hair conditioners available, some of which are specially formulated for various hair textures.

A bottle of thickening conditioner.
A bottle of thickening conditioner.

Most thickening conditioners are made for use on wet hair. The most popular version of thickening conditioner is a cream-like substance that is applied to wet hair immediately after it has been shampooed. A person would apply the thickening conditioner evenly throughout the wet hair, from the scalp to the ends. The conditioner usually is left on the hair for one to two minutes and then rinsed out. The person can then dry and style the hair as usual.

A thickening conditioner may help add volume and body to a person's hair.
A thickening conditioner may help add volume and body to a person's hair.

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A leave-in conditioner is a cream-like conditioner that a person applies thoroughly onto wet hair, from roots to tips, but it does not get rinsed out. After the conditioner is applied, a person can simply dry and style hair in the usual manner. This type of conditioner tends to be made for dry to normal hair, because the residue left on the hair might cause oily hair to look oilier by the end of the day. A variation of the cream based conditioner is the spray-on conditioner. This is conditioner that is sprayed onto hair like hair spray in order to produce volume and give texture to thin hair.

There are different types of conditioner available for every hair type. A thickening conditioner that is made for dry hair is formulated to provide extra moisture to the hair. A conditioner made for oily hair will be lighter and free of oil. There are conditioners that claim to work gentler on color-treated hair and others that are meant for split-ends.

Using a thickening conditioner will add body and volume to heavy long hair. It also can smooth out frizziness for people with curly hair. Conditioners are also great for detangling long and curly hair when wet. They also help to prevent hair knots and snarls when the hair is dry, and this makes combing and brushing less stressful.

Reading labels when shopping for a thickening conditioner will ensure that a person will choose the best product for their type of hair. Then, the user can choose the application method that works best. The best thickening conditioner for each person might be the cream conditioner, the leave-in conditioner or the spray-on conditioner.

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