Ashley Kowalewski
Ashley Kowalewski

Beauty Myth Buster: Should You Condition Your Roots?

“Never put conditioner on your roots” is a beauty rule I’ve been following for as long as I can remember. I have fine hair that tends to fall flat within hours of blow-drying, so I’ve always abided by this commandment with a serious level of devoutness, never conditioning higher than my ears. Recently I visited the P&G Headquarters in Cincinnati, and one of the brand’s lead scientists for global hair care gave it to us straight: You should be applying conditioner to your whole head. Naturally, I guffawed at this statement, but the more she explained about breakage and repairing and protecting hair from the root, the more it made sense.

As fine as my hair is, it tends to get very dry and brittle if I wash it too often. It’s been a slow process training my hair to only need washing every few days, which usually means a couple of days of ponytails and top knots in between shampoos (I know I’m not the only one). And now that summer has graced us with its presence, we’re back to balancing sunglasses atop our heads and then ripping them off (along with a couple of strands) when we head outside. So our roots could probably use some love.

Since I’m up for trying almost anything beauty related, I decided to give this a shot with two different hair cocktails.


I started with the new Tresemmé Beauty-Full Volume Step 1 Pre-Wash Conditioner and Step 2 Shampoo, which actually switches the order of your hair-washing routine. The conditioner felt like a thick shampoo and worked into my hair and scalp nicely. I dried and styled it the way I do every day, and to my surprise it looked—wait for it—normal. After walking around all day in humid weather, my hair didn’t fall flat or look heavy or greasy (all of the misconceptions I’d previously had) and I actually had fewer flyaways and less frizz in the afternoon, probably thanks to the conditioning agents keeping everything in check.


Next, I tried one of Pantene’s classic combos: Sheer Volume Silicone-Free Shampoo and Weightless Conditioner. With more of a classic conditioner formula, I was a little more careful with how much product I put on my hair (though I started with the shampoo this time). My hair reached its “I need to be washed” status a little quicker with this duo, but my hair felt healthier, and fewer strands seemed to get pulled out when I tore out my top knot.


So maybe this conditioning your roots business isn’t for every day (especially in the summer), but if you’re not ready to give up your ponytails, top knots or sunglass perch, you might want to consider treating your roots to a bit of conditioner once in a while.