I've heard of conditioners being put on dry hair, and even tried it. I find that the conditioner just "sits" on top of the hair strands without any benefit of moisture. I find that putting the conditioning moisture on top of the "real" moisture (WATER) is the best bet. Natural hair has a tight cuticle (outside) layer, and seems to block out products that are applied to dry hair. The water opens the cuticle and lets it get moisture more readily. This process may even make your styles last longer!