Beauty coaching: do I really have to choose between my conditioner and my hair mask?

With each shampoo, the same question: in what order should I apply my hair care? Should I do my mask before or after washing? What about my detangling treatment? Maybe I should even choose one or the other of these products? To put an end to these existential questions that would almost spoil our hair routine (or even push us to abandon it), we decided to expose our little hair problems to Olivier Lebrun, hairdresser and founder of the Olab Paris salon. And it’s at his side that we disentangle the true from the false for a simple and effective hair routine!

Stop the confusion!

To begin with, it’s essential to understand that the mask and the conditioner – also known as the conditioner in English and which our expert prefers to call detangler – are two very distinct products. The first as a “super treatment makes it possible to nourish and care for the hair thanks to its various actions provided by the active ingredients it contains”, indicates Olivier Lebrun, while the second has the sole and unique action of detangling – as its name suggests – the knots of our hair without having the vocation to treat it. And, with different actions, different applications. Indeed, these two products are also distinguished by their use. And this is where our questions (finally) get their answers.

The detangler

“The detangler is systematically applied after the shampoo”, explains Olivier Lebrun. The idea being, through the application of the conditioner, to close the scales of our hair and to help the hair to detangle more easily. For this, we apply it to the lengths and ends of our wet hair, taking care not to deposit it on our roots. For this, here is a little trick that the pro advises us: “form a ponytail with your hands and apply the detangler on the loose part”. It is also important to specify that the manual gesture must go from top to bottom, in the length of the hair. The hand being the first comb in the detangling process, it allows you to coat the hair correctly and to start straightening it. A coarse-toothed attachment can be used to continue detangling before rinsing. But what about frequency? “The detangler can be applied as soon as knots form,” explains the expert. After a shampoo of course, but we can also imagine detangling our hair without going through the shampoo stage by simply wetting our hair beforehand”.

The mask

For a complete haircare routine, it is advisable to use a hair mask. Especially when they are dry or damaged. “The scales are then open, broken, even missing”, specifies the pro. The mask, through its rich texture and its nourishing, restorative, moisturizing properties and much more depending on our needs, helps to treat and sublimate our hair. And for this, the expert recommends taking a small amount of product between your thumb and index finger and then applying it from the bottom up, in other words from the tips to the roots (on the mid-lengths only) unlike the detangler. The goal is to massage the hair fiber in order to make the treatment penetrate well into the hair. An action to be repeated on all the damaged areas of the hair before leaving the mask on for 10 to 20 minutes depending on our needs.

A gesture to do before the shampoo. Why ? Because, a mask, as beneficial as it is, makes it possible to close the scales. If the mask is done afterwards, the treatment will have more difficulty in penetrating and will therefore be less effective. In addition, it can have the effect of weighing down the hair, especially if it is poorly rinsed. Doing it before shampooing helps prevent residue buildup and an unsightly end result. If the mask has been applied and applied, the shampoo (which the expert advises to choose with an acid PH in order to close the scales of the hair on the care) will not remove the product in the hair but only the surplus on the surface .

Finally, and we prefer to specify it for those in a hurry among us, this care is carried out more rarely than a detangler: once a week on average is enough for a good routine.

The little extra tips for a top routine

As you will have understood, the haircare routine par excellence comes down to three main steps: “the mask before the shampoo in order to nourish the hair in depth, the shampoo in order to wash the hair of any residue then the detangler”, explains the expert. The latter also specifies the importance of rinsing the products well before applying another one. The result will be all the more radiant and we will thus avoid dull, heavy, flat hair that regreases too quickly. Finally, pay attention to drying! The goal is not to tangle the hair at the end of the routine. “A terry towel is used to mop up as its name suggests, so we avoid friction and we opt for pressure on the lengths in order to absorb the water as much as possible”, explains the expert. And for styling, we start by untangling the ends by going up very slowly. We have all the keys in hand!

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