What is it?
Conditioners are normally some Fatty / oily substances, natural or synthetic.
Conditioner cannot do much for the hair. It can lubricate the skin and the hair. Many vegetable oils can do that at a lesser cost safely
Shampoo, to which many are addicted, removes all traces of oil from the hair and the scalp. So, oil is put back through conditioners. For the purposes of sales, Conditioners get a bloated outer package
Caution - Chemicals in conditioners
Quaternary Ammonium salt may be in Conditioners. This chemical can make the hair brittle and lead to hairloss after / with 2-3 months use.
Another chemical that may be used in Conditioner is 'Silicones'. Silicones are water repellent items and gives glossy effect. A water insoluble item can get into the hair / roots in traces. That is not desirable
What is the benefit of conditioner?
The oil / fat is assumed to provide a protective coating to the hair and keep it manageable. It just lubricates the hair like an oil. Most other advertised benefits could be imaginary. Just make sure that it does not damage the hair
As no one knows fully well the exact nutrients for the hair roots, applying a 'fat', which is unproven, is not the complete answer as some assume.
Never go for shampoo and conditioner in one product - one is an oil cleaner and another is oil. They have to counter act one another.
What is fat?
Fat and Oil mean the same thing chemically. What is solid at 20* C is normally called Fat
Almond Oil, Avocado, Castor, Maize, Olive, Soya, Sunflower, Sesame and Mustard are Vegetable Oils. They may be used in Cosmetic products because of their emolliency - softening and soothing properties.
The natural oils like Coconut, Sesame or Soya can be called Glycerin Fatty Acids or Glyceryl Fatty Acids because the Fatty Acids in the oils are combined with Glycerin. The Fatty Acids in each Oil / composition would be different in different oils. The normal common Fatty Acids are Lauric, Myristic, Palmitic, Stearic, Linoleic, Linolenic [soya] and Ricinoleic Acids. [castor oil]
Coconut oil is a very good hair conditioner. It is safe, natural and economical.
Coconut oil is a safe hair conditioner for Indian heads. It is a non drying, saturated Oil / comparatively, non reactive. It would provide Sun Protection / SPF to the head in Summer
Oleic Acid is the main Fatty Acid in Olive Oil. Oleic Acid is a skin irritant. So, I do not think Olive Oil is good for the hair. It is expelled by the body / is a content in Sebum. But then, Olive Oil is a big foreign Exchange earner for the European Union. So, Europe has to sing its praise.
Olive oil is imported. That is sufficient reason why many Indians use Olive Oil for hair.