Fact Checked

What is Herbal Conditioner?

Mandi R. Hall
Mandi R. Hall

Herbal conditioner is a hair product similar to organic conditioner. Like organic conditioner, herb-based conditioner is made with natural ingredients, most notably herbs. Conditioner is used to improve the aesthetic and texture of one’s hair. Each herbal conditioner likely has varying ingredients that treat the hair in different ways. Known for their attractive scents, herbs are used in conditioners to eliminate otherwise bland or unwelcoming odors.

In order to be packaged and sold as 100-percent organic herbal conditioner in the United States, this hair product must be made with 100-percent organic materials. These guidelines are set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In order to be considered organic, the conditioner should not contain synthetic materials.

A bottle of herbal conditioner.
A bottle of herbal conditioner.

Most conditioners are made with synthetic ingredients and chemicals. Often, conditioners also are made with alcohol. Most alcohol dries hair out, thus contributing to a rougher texture. An herbal conditioner rarely contains alcohol. Cetyl alcohol might be included, though this alcohol actually contains moisturizing elements.

It is important to note that just because a conditioner smells of herbs, it is not necessarily an herbal conditioner. Most natural herbal conditioners list ingredients that include essential oils and herbs rather than a heavy mix of chemicals. When searching for an herbal conditioner, pay close attention to the list of ingredients instead of the marketing or the possibly misleading label. Look for herbs and all-natural ingredients. If a conditioner has ingredients such as polysorbate-60, yellow 5 and Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), it is likely not a true herbal conditioner.

Lavender may be a natural additive to herbal conditioner.
Lavender may be a natural additive to herbal conditioner.

When using herbal conditioner, only a little bit is needed. Some conditioner manufacturers encourage consumers to use excess amounts of product when conditioning hair. Some conditioner brands include ingredients such as hydroxyethylcellulose that is known to expand in hair conditioning products. When this happens, the manufactured bottles become bigger and people are known to use even more.

People who aren’t sure which conditioner to purchase often use price or scent as the deciding factor. Popularly advertised herb-scented conditioners include the essence of various herbs. Conditioners that contain real herbs, however, are often much more expensive. If consumers better understood the ingredients listed on the label, they might consider paying a few more dollars for genuine herbal conditioner.

Herbal conditioner is useful for shower aromatherapy. Popular herbs to use in these conditioners include peppermint, sage, lavender, and rosemary. Any mixture of herbs may be used to produce a scent.

Homemade herbal conditioner can easily be made with the proper ingredients. Various recipes can be found online and in specialty books. Most recipes contain organic extra virgin olive oil and herb essential oils. Dried or fresh herbs may also be added to the concoction. These conditioners may be applied in the shower or sprayed on throughout the day as a leave-in conditioner.

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    • A bottle of herbal conditioner.
      By: Irina Brinza
      A bottle of herbal conditioner.
    • Lavender may be a natural additive to herbal conditioner.
      By: Kimberly Reinick
      Lavender may be a natural additive to herbal conditioner.