We all know how important it is to keep your locs happily moisturized with the right conditioner. But several questions arise with conditioning of the locs. The main one being, “Should I choose a cream based or liquid based conditioner? As with many choices in hair care products, this is a personal decision. You'll probably find that certain characteristics work better for your hair than others.
However, how you choose to moisturize your locs will have serious consequences on the condition of your locs. Let’s dive into a few instances where using a cream based conditioner could go wrong.
WCGW #1: You Don't Understand the "Conditions" of Your Conditioner
If you’re asking yourself “What’s the point of a conditioner?”The purpose of a conditioner is to restore hydration to your locs—particularly your whole loc and the ends of them- which tend to get the most dry. Whether you have color-treated locs, frizzy locs, or find yourself heating your locs often, using a conditioner is a must for everyone. However, the conditions of the cream based conditioner is that they are often too heavy for your locs and will clog the hair shaft, making it difficult for your hair to breathe. This is one of the motivating factors behind liquid based conditioners for locs.
WCGW #2: You Use Too Much
Seriously, when are we not warning our loc community about buildup? There are several ways locs can accumulate buildup, and cream based leave-in conditioners are almost a guaranteed buildup promoting ingredient. Before you go squirting half a bottle of conditioner into your hands to slather on post-shampooing, hear us out: When it comes to cream based conditioner, less is definitely more—especially if you have locs. Your locs “lock” in every form of the word. This includes locking in buildup. When you use too much, this can potentially make your hair look weighed down and cause buildup which stays in the matrix of your locs. A good rule of thumb is to use one or two nickel-sized dots (depending on your lock length). Or as we recommend, just use a daily liquid-based moisturizer like our Jinan Leave-In Conditioner.
WCGW #3: You Use It On Your Roots
If you’re in the early phases of locs, around the first year or so, heavy creams and cream leave- in conditioners will make it more difficult for your locs to actually lock. The weight of the cream can cause the loc to unravel and will make it difficult to loc in new growth. In addition to avoiding buildup in the early phases of your locs you also want to get those locs locked without any unnecessary boundaries or interruptions. To avoid both of these dilemmas, it’s best to only apply cream based conditioner on your loc and ends. Or, like we’ve mentioned, use a liquid-based conditioner which can be applied to all of your locs.
WCGW #3: You Skip It All Together, Because It’s Not a Leave-In Conditioner
So, you don’t have a ton of time on wash day, and because your cream leave-in conditioner is an additional step that requires you to wash it out (most are), you skip it all together right? Uh-no! Just as you shouldn’t skip out on moisturizing after cleansing your skin, you shouldn’t leave wash day without conditioning your locs. Your shampoo has worked hard to cleanse your hair and help remove any buildup of oils and impurities (if it’s a good shampoo like our Yasin Shampoo) using a conditioner adds that much needed moisture. Our Jinan Leave-In Conditioner is liquid based and does not have to be rinsed out, providing that extra needed moisture to the locs on a daily basis. Don’t leave your locs neglected because you decided to skip a step.
WCGW #4: Your Cream Based Conditioner Isn’t Matching With Your Other Products
Hey! We know a product junkie when we see one. Don't let that be you. There is a thin line in mixing products that work for you and just simply trying everything because “someone” told you it was great. We often see individuals using random shampoo and conditioner instead of matching your conditioner to your shampoo. In some cases, creamy leave-ins can leave a tacky film on your hair if you follow it with a product it doesn't gel with (and in some cases, it's going to be a gel!).
The truth is, your conditioner really will work best when paired with the coordinating shampoo, or with products that play well with others.
WCGW #5: You Aren’t Using it to Match Your Needs
To figure out which products will work well for your beautiful locs, you must take the following factors into consideration: hair density, climate and season, and the type of hairstyle you’re wearing. Choosing a system of shampoo and conditioner can be tricky. But really, it’s all about finding hair care products that are right for your hair type and needs.
Takeaway - We aren't Anti Cream Based, We Just Have Our Suggestions and Experiences
While we aren’t anti-cream based, we highly recommend liquid based leave-in conditioners. No matter if you choose cream based or liquid based, It’s about finding hair care products that are right for your hair type and needs.
Not sure where to start as far as shampoo and conditioner go? Dr Locs offers a travel set with both our Yasin Shampoo and Jinan Leave-In Conditioner included. This travel set is small enough to use all of our products to get a taste of what it’s like to use the entire system.
Have you transitioned from cream based leave-in conditioners to liquid based conditioners? Tell us about that experience, we’d love to share your story with the loc tribe community!