Hair Reconstructor & Conditioner

Girls choosing hair care products
Photo: Lakov Filimonov/Shutterstock
Q: I'd like to know the difference between a hair reconstructor and a deep conditioner. I've been researching ways to help my hair grow, and these names come up often.
My hair used to be long, but I have had to cut split ends so often that it is now much shorter. I want to make my hair healthy. I no longer perm my hair, although I do flat-iron it with a protectant. Should I be using a deep conditioner, a reconstructor, or both?

A: Both actually. They are actually different products that serve similar but distinctly different purposes.
A reconstructor contains proteins and is designed to help restore the structural integrity of the hair. Filling in the medulla and smoothing the cuticle layer. A deep conditioner imparts moisture to the hair and penetrates deep down. However, the moisture won't do anything to help repair damage. It will simply help prevent additional damage. The repair comes from the reconstructor.
Deep conditioners should be used weekly (generally speaking) in order to help replenish the moisture levels in the hair and keep it healthy during heat styling. Reconstructors, on the other hand, can be used too often with detrimental results. They should be used about once a month to help restore the structure of the hair.
Using a reconstructor too frequently can cause the hair to become hard and brittle, resulting in hair breakage and damage.
See also:
How to deep condition hair
Hair conditioners and conditioning treatments