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Hair Conditioner: Ticket to a Molecular Makeover

Your hair’s sure to feel silkier once your stylist conditions it—learn why with Groupon’s close-up look at conditioner.

Although human hair may look smooth, each strand's outer layer—the cuticle—is actually quite rough. Under dry conditions, the tiny scales that cover its surface become raised and brittle, causing hairs to tangle and lose their shine. Conditioner aims to correct this problem by bonding a particular class of molecules, called cationic surfactants, to the cuticle. This is possible because keratin, the protein that makes up most of the hair shaft, bristles with negative ions, which attract the positively charged surfactants, coating each thread in a thin film that weighs it down and reduces frizz. (The negative charge of keratin is also what causes static whenever positive ions are stripped from the hair—the static that makes it possible to stick a balloon to the wall or to power a miner's headlamp.)

The other ingredients in conditioner don't always need ions to do their jobs well. Humectants suck in water from the surrounding air, thereby moisturizing the hair, and oils simply penetrate the cuticle. Glossers coat the hair with light-reflecting polymers, increasing shine, whereas other ingredients raise the acidity level of the conditioner, which helps protect the hair's protein structure.

13037 Bustleton Ave
Philadelphia,
PA
US

It was more than 30 years ago when the first lock of hair fell to the floor of the locally owned Snip Styling Salon, floating down past the styling chair after a hairdresser expertly snipped it free. Since then, the salon’s staff of seasoned stylists have performed hundreds of haircuts, arranged countless up-dos, and flattered many faces with glimmering highlights. They have worked with hair of variety of colors and textures, from crops of bouncy curls to tangles of hissing snakes.

Today, the versatile staffers extend their expertise toward hair services as well as a variety of beauty treatments, including makeup application and waxing. They also offer an array of relaxing massages designed to soothe muscles and ease aches.

3440 Ashfield Ln
Philadelphia,
PA
US

The staff at Tommi Salon and Spa pamper clients in an airy space with third-floor views of the center city. Stylists trim tresses beneath broad windows in the salon, which also offers services from coloring and straightening to ornate wedding-day updos. The spa swathes clients in a luxurious, but minimalist aesthetic. Footbaths glow blue, purple, and green along a sleek white banquette with six pedicure stations. Other services, such as facials, massages, and waxing, take place in four private treatment rooms; aestheticians also create custom-blended treatments inside a dedicated Spa Lab.

718 Chestnut St
Philadelphia,
PA
US

The licensed stylists at A Dye'N Sensation Salon N Spa can't be shocked by a daring look. From mohawks to electric-blue hair to purple extensions, they've seen it all at their shop, and relish in creating bold statements to match their clients' personalities. In addition to their extreme-color services, they also create natural-looking highlights, colors, and cuts, which are sure to freak out those at this year's Burning Man. Particularly, they specialize in blonde colors and highlights. Their services also extend to eyebrowing waxing and prepping gals for special occasions with updos.

9 E Winona Ave
Norwood,
PA
US

Located in Blackwood, Hair Shop is a full-service salon that prettifies clients head to toe. Offering on-trend haircuts, color, waxing, and natural nail services, this intimate family-friendly salon prides itself on the personal attention each client receives from its licensed stylists and aestheticians.

218 Somerdale Rd
Blackwood,
NJ
US

Since 1992, the Images name has been synonymous with quality and value in the hair care industy! In our continuing effort to make your experience at Images an exceptional one, we offer a diverse selection of services to meet your needs. Images is the single source for all of your hair care needs!

535 N Evergreen Ave
Woodbury,
NJ
US