Fact Checked

What is a Cream Conditioner?

Patti Kate
Patti Kate

Generally speaking, a cream conditioner is a product that is used on the hair as an after-shampoo treatment. There are various types available that are made specifically to condition the hair. In selecting the correct product to be used, the consumer should assess whether it will be used on oily, dry or combination hair.

There are many individuals who are prone to flyaway or frizzy hair, especially after shampooing. Several cream conditioners available on the market have vital ingredients for replenishing essential moisture to the hair. These treatments also help to detangle hair, which often can become difficult to comb when wet.

A bottle of cream conditioner.
A bottle of cream conditioner.

In taking a look at the wide array of cream conditioners available at salons and beauty supply stores, it's easy to become confused. With so many choices to select from, knowing what will work best can seem like a chore. The process of selection can be made easy however, provided that the savvy shopper does some basic homework.

Leave-in conditioners generally work well for all types of hair. When humidity is high, or for heat-treated hair, this type of cream conditioner will provide an extra bit of manageability to tame unruliness. As a basic rule, the leave-in treatments blend ingredients such as cocoa butter and oils, which are specially formulated to add luster and silkiness for a healthy glow. This also should provide added protection against breakage and split ends.

Leave-in cream conditioners often contain cocoa butter.
Leave-in cream conditioners often contain cocoa butter.

As almost any woman with fine hair can attest, finding a way to maximize body can be a frustrating ordeal. With that factor in mind, professional hair salons have the solution. Much to the relief of many women with this concern, there are several types of volumizing cream conditioners targeted for fine or thin hair.

Dry hair is a common complaint, but a cream conditioner can combat this and restore the hair's natural balance of moisture with one application. Deep conditioning generally is recommended for dry hair, although it is best to limit the treatment to once or twice a week. It's a good idea to purchase conditioners that are infused with vitamins. These are formulated for dry and coarse hair, and they work well to rebuild the structure.

Leave-in conditioner is typically applied to towel-dried hair.
Leave-in conditioner is typically applied to towel-dried hair.

Oily hair types require a slightly different conditioning product. If a cream conditioner is to be used, it is best to choose one with mild ingredients and gentle cleansers. It often is recommended to avoid using a heavy, cream-based conditioner on oily hair, because this tends to weigh down the hair.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


I love using cream conditioner masks. I have super fine and dry hair and this seems to be the only thing that works for me.

I think all girls need to keep one because many of us are using a hair straightener or curler almost daily. Even just blow drying hair really dries it out and causes split ends. My hair is usually in a very bad condition because I have it dyed regularly and I straighten it pretty much everyday.

I also swim several times a week and the chlorine in the pool water dries out my hair even further. It's gotten to the point where a hair conditioner or cream leave-in conditioner is not enough. That's why I've started using a three minute hair mask. I put it on the ends of my hair after shampooing, keep it for three minutes and then rinse. I do this three times a week and my hair is doing so much better.


@burcidi-- My sister has the same problem. You should apply cream condition only to the ends of the hair and rinse very thoroughly. Try and hold your hair down when you do this so that the conditioner doesn't get on your back.

Also, you don't have to use a regular conditioner. You can just shampoo your hair and then apply leave-in cream conditioner right after towel-drying your hair. This is what my sister does now and it's working great for her. She doesn't get acne, an excessive oily scalp or hair that's weighed down this way.

I think leave-in conditioner lasts longer too because you don't end up using so much, especially with the spray ones. These are still a cream, but it's been thinned out and placed in a spray bottle so that it's easy to apply and lasts a really long time.


I always use a cream hair conditioner after shampooing to prevent hair tangles. If I don't use it, it's impossible to brush my hair after a shower. It takes hours and it's very painful.

The problem I have with hair conditioners is that it makes my hair and skin even more oily. I feel like my hair becomes oily and dirty more quickly. It causes acne on my back as well because I always have breakouts on my back after using a hair conditioner.

I don't know what to do because I need to use it but I don't want to deal with the oiliness either.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • A bottle of cream conditioner.
      By: Irina Brinza
      A bottle of cream conditioner.
    • Leave-in cream conditioners often contain cocoa butter.
      By: svl861
      Leave-in cream conditioners often contain cocoa butter.
    • Leave-in conditioner is typically applied to towel-dried hair.
      By: StockPhotosArt
      Leave-in conditioner is typically applied to towel-dried hair.
    • Leave-in conditioners can prevent breakage and split ends.
      By: Laurent Hamels
      Leave-in conditioners can prevent breakage and split ends.