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Which hair conditioner to soften beard?

Hello all:

I see where quite a few use hair conditioner as a kind of "pre-shave." Are any products better than others?

~Tim :cool:
I've used Suave at $1 a bottle and Aussie Conditioner, which is about $3 bucks. I can't tell any difference.

When I have multiple choices of conditioner, I choose the one that says moisturizing. I haven't noticed any difference between them. I put it on at the beginning of the shower and leave it on the whole time.


I use JASON Thin to Thick. Seems to work pretty well. (And Devin likes it)

Do any of you use hair conditioner outside of the shower (put it on while getting your shaving gear ready, then wash it off before lathering)? This would be on days you don't shower, or if you shave before showering. Bytheway, I shaved two days ago. The only difference between then and the rest of the time is that this time I applied Suave hc while in the shower. After shaving I put on some Aqua Velva, then some Proraso Liquid Creme and let that dry, then applied some Trumper Coral Skin Food. When that was dry, I spritzed on some Tabac Cologne. I am told that was the closest shave I have ever had. Talk about faceturbation!

~Tim :w00t:

I've applied it outside the shower, even lathered over it. My personal experience was the there was no difference, and it was easier to wash off in the shower.

Just a followup to this question. I've found something that, for me, with my beard, and my water, works better than most. It's the Lanza Leave In Conditioner. I've been using it for about a week and have found a noticable improvement. I've been an on and off again conditioner user not knowing for sure if it actually did anything. Well, I'm going to suggest my wife keeps buying this stuff because it's working for me. YMMV
I use Dove as it is the least scented/colored product I know of. I understand it is routinely recommended by dermatologists also, albeit not for our intended purpose. I only use it when my stubble is particularly long though. I find that my skin gets a little tacky as the conditioner dries.
Don't waste your time or money, IMO. There is no difference. You just need lots of warm water and some good lather.
Kyle has some great stuff on this:

Since there are several gents here who prescribe to the use of hair conditioner as a pre-shave treatment, I thought it would also be interesting to research what effects the conditioner may be having. The following list of ingredient types are commonly found in hair conditioners, the total makeup depends on the proposed functionality of the product:

The Good:
  • Moisturizers – These are used to hold moisture in the hair. Typically, moisturizers are humectants which serve to absorb water from the air and force it into the hair.
  • Oils (EFAs – Essentially Fatty Acids) – these help your hair to become more soft and pliable. EFA’s mimic sebum which is the oil naturally produced by your body and released through your hair follicles.
  • Surfactants – These are wetting agents that lower the surface tension of a liquid, allowing easier spreading, and they act as an emulsifier which facilitates the blending of unblendable substances (such as oil and water).
The Bad and The Ugly:
  • Reconstructors – These are used to penetrate the hair and strengthen its structure.
  • Acidifiers – They keep the pH around 2.5-3.5 which causes the somewhat scaly cuticle to tighten up.
  • Detanglers, Thermal Protectors, Glossers – These act to again contribute to the acidic environment (tightening the cuticle) and to put a coating layer on the hair.
As you can see, depending on what exactly your hair conditioner contains, it very well could be making your job (shaving) much more difficult than is necessary.

Now, let’s take a look at some of our favorite shaving soaps/creams and see exactly what their ingredients would indicate about their performance. (The following list contains ingredients found in Taylor’s and Proraso’s formulas).

Common Ingredients:
  • Water – This one is simple enough.
  • Stearic and/or Myristic Acids – these are saturated fatty acids commonly used to thicken or harden soap and also act as emulsifiers (to mix oils with water) and lubricants.
  • Potassium Hydroxide and/or Sodium Hydroxide – these are both alkalis which aid in the saponification of oils and serve as cuticle solvents.
  • Glycerin and/or Glycols – these serve as emollients, humectants, solvents, and lubricants.
  • Fragrance Oils, Essential Oils, & Parfums – these act to give us the scents that we so enjoy.
  • Other Plant Oils – these are typically included for the benefits that they supply for the skin. Common kinds include but are not limited to: coconut oil, eucalyptus leaf oil, olive oil, rose hip seed oil, etc.
  • Parabens – these cover a large group of chemicals that are used as preservatives (keep products with natural ingredients from spoiling or losing their potency).
  • Other – There exists a wide range of other ingredients whose activities vary, including but not limited to: antiseptic, anti-bacterial, cleansing, anesthetic, soothing, moisturizing, and cooling.
Don't mean to sound totally clueless but what is the advantages to using hair conditioner in this manner. Never tried this myself.
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