Why does my hair get weighed down by conditioner

Why does my hair get weighed down by conditioner?

If your hair feels limp, heavy, or flat, it could be because it’s weighed down by conditioner. This article will go over why does my hair get weighed down by conditioner and how to tackle the issue yourself.

If you apply conditioner at the roots, it can weigh down your hair & make it appear limp. You’re not actually applying conditioner to the part of your hair that needs the most hydration, so there is no advantage to doing that.

It might be worth knowing that the newest trend in looking healthy is focusing on root health instead of taking care of all hair strands

Some mistakes you may be making which are leading to your hair getting weighed down by conditioner include:

Applying conditioner to the roots

Your scalp produces a natural oil called sebum, so you don’t need to condition your hair after every wash. Detangle and rinse your hair well before conditioning, however, to remove any dirt or residue that may be there. The roots of your hair are the youngest and healthiest parts of the strand so they won’t have as much damage as other parts do.

Conditioner should be applied to the ends of your hair, which are often the driest and most damaged part. For fine hair, apply conditioner for about 3 inches down from the base of the hair.

Too much conditioner

If you’re using conditioner too often, you’ll notice that your hair is more weighed down and more difficult to style. In this case, it would be best if you use a dollop the size of a quarter for fine hair or about half of one for medium-length hair.

If you have a lot of hair, or very thick hair, you may need a little more than this. This product has been specially designed for those with difficult to manage or curly hair and comes with thickening and conditioning agents as well.

Using the wrong products

If your hair is color-treated, you shouldn’t use personal care products meant for non-colored hair. This could cause the conditioning to strip out and make the color appear dull.

If your hair is thin and fine, you want to avoid products that contain waxes and fillers as they can make your hair feel heavy & look greasy. Otherwise, you should be able to find a lightweight conditioner that won’t weigh it down


Leaving conditioner in your hair for too long will cause it to feel heavy and weighed down. You should rinse out the conditioner after 2-3 minutes and make sure to thoroughly rinse it out.

Switch It around

Conditioner can leave a residue on your hair from the time it takes to rinse it out. Try applying shampoo first before conditioning and rinsing afterwards for best results.

Shampooing after conditioning your hair still allows your hair to benefit from the conditioner, but with more volume without any leftover product.

Not clarifying regularly

Product build-up can weigh hair down.

Even if you use silicone-free products, build up is still a real issue, and this is why clearing the buildup often depends on a few factors. These factors can include:

  1. co-washing instead of using shampoo and conditioner separately.
  2. using products with silicones or wax
  3. if you have hard water
  4. if you typically use a lot of hair care products
  5. If any of these factors apply to you, you might need to use a clarifying shampoo once a week. Otherwise, once or twice a month should be enough.

Lacking In protein

If you use heavy conditioners often and you run out of protein in your routine, this could be why you experience the weight of your hair. A lack of protein can contribute to a lot of unwanted effects. If this is the case, doing a protein treatment should help.

What does conditioner do to your hair?

Over time, your hair can become damaged by the elements (weather, heat styling), or other external influences. You need to take good care of it with conditioners & shampoos to prevent breakage or loss of moisture.

Conditioners are blended with nutrients to help smooth and tame unruly hair on the inside. They can also restore lost volume from damage, which is an important perk.

This product smooths damaged areas of hair on the outside, while also capturing damaging radicals inside the hair. This means the hair is less susceptible to breakage and is more nourished.

The conditioner that you buy includes a buffer and silicone to provide a smoother surface. This is important because it means your hair is shinier and better reflects light (damage). It also balances the friction, which slows down the speed of flow and protects your hair (reduces damage)

Using conditioner means hair is more manageable and can be styled with less damage. This reduces the need for replying to future damage after styling.

Signs conditioner is weighing down your hair

There are signs you may notice that your hair is weighed down by conditioner. These can include:

  • Roots are often much flatter than usual, which is what you might be seeing here.
  • Roots look wet or oily
  • Roots feel sticky.
  • Hair literally feels heavy.
  • This person has less hair volume than usual.

And specifically for the curly-haired among you:

  • Waves aren’t as sturdy or strong as they could be
  • Waves can start lower on your head than they usually do.
  • Curl pattern is not what it used to be

You need to be aware of what is “normal” for your hair. This will help you follow it and adjust it, if needed. You might want to take pictures or make notes when you see something different about your hair- this will help you determine whether a product should be used or not.

How to fix

There are plenty of things you can do to keep your hair from being weighed down, and also to keep it soft and shiny. Effective way is by fighting against the build-up of conditioner, so you may want to avoid the temptation to use too much or put it on too often.

Less product

Applying conditioner can be difficult and depending on the texture of your hair, it is important to use just enough conditioner so that your hair does not feel weighed down. For thin or fine-haired individuals, one or two dip-worthy quarters is usually sufficient.

Lighter products

Silicone, oils, or butters that come in a conditioner can weigh down your hair. Make sure to choose shampoo and conditioner products that are lightweight.

These conditioners have a lot of ingredients and some that may coat the hair and weigh it down, instead of helping strengthen it.


A regular clarifying treatment is beneficial to avoid hair becoming weighed down. Once or twice a month should be enough for this, depending on your lifestyle.

A clarifying treatment will remove any build-up of conditioner or other products. It gives a deep clean, but also gives it time to absorb before moving on to the next step in the routine.

Protein treatment

While it’s good to moisturize your hair with conditioner, you should also make sure that you’re not overdoing it. Too much moisture can lead to your hair feeling soft, but flat.

In order for your hair to improve, try adding some protein to your routine with what you’re already used to. You could also start including a leave-in conditioner or gel at the shampoo & conditioner steps.


Now you know why does my hair get weighed down by conditioner and some helpful ways to combat the problem. Conditioner can build up on strands and cause tangles, while leaving your scalp dull and greasy. Adding a pick-me-up such as oat milk (or honey), aloe vera juice, or apple cider vinegar can all make a difference in your hair

This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on our website is for informational purposes only. We recommend that you follow any advice at your own discretion.


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