What’s your typical work outfit? I’ll go first: black jeans, a simple solid shirt, and flats. On my face—lately I’ve been an essence-serum-sunscreen-and done person. My hair’s a different story. On an average day I’m wearing no less than two versions of some kind of curl cream, or sometimes I just wear conditioner. Not leave-in conditioner, or conditioner in a vague sense (conditioning cream, conditioning puddy, et al.), but actual conditioner. You know, the stuff that goes on after shampoo. I suggest you join me in this flagrant rejection of your conditioner’s directions.
I am certain that the best way to maximize a conditioner's ability to, well, condition, is to wear it for an unholy amount of time—an entire day—two days for extra credit. If you are A) a person with curly or dry hair, and B) unable to pencil-in a proper day-long conditioning session over the weekend like a mature, responsible adult would be able to do, then boy oh boy do is this the solution for you. It’s easy. You wake up, wash your hair, and then condition it—in my case with Briogeo’s Be Gentle Be Kind. Sometimes I'll use a conditioning mask instead, it depends on what's in my shower. Regardless, keep the conditioner amount to a conservative scoopful—too much and your hair will look streaky with white goo—and comb it through while skipping the usual rinse. You’re going to need to wrap your neck in a towel when you step out of the shower—and keep that towel there for as long as possible, until you head out the door.
Styling conditioned hair is easy. You can give yourself one or two long French braids, or alternatively, you can part your hair down the middle and tie it in a low bun. I typically go for the latter because it’s easier. I like to pair this look with a baggy white button down and jeans—it’s my mom-running-to-Target-real-quick-to-pick-up-some-things-for-the-house outfit and I just like it, OK?* Anyway, my point is you can wear this conditioner to work or wherever and it’ll be totally fine. When I did it last week, Utibe Mbagwu, Into The Gloss's Content Coordinator, gave me an “oooooh, I like your hair” when I walked in the office.
Me—“I’m wearing conditioner!”
Emily Ferber, Editorial Director—“Oh! That’s why your hair is slicked back today?”
Tom Newton, Photographer—“Let me take your photo.” [Click, click, clack.]
Another good reason to wear conditioner to work is that your hair will smell delicious and clean all day long. But the absolute best reason? After 24 to 48 hours of continuous hydration, your hair will be softer, smoother, and happy to be here for a longer period of time. Rinse the next day and style as usual. I do this about once a month when my hair needs a little more love, and I never do it during the winter. Too cold. I always keep a handful of paper towels nearby, to occasionally scrunch my bun to sop up excess conditioner. Without them my neck will get wet and shiny—and wouldn’t that be a weird sight to see in an office? How unprofessional.
Photo via ITG.
*I am not a mom and I haven’t been to Target in a year.