What is a deep conditioner? Do I need to use a deep conditioner and how often? All legitimate questions and with fall coming in quickly, this is a necessary concern as winter weather is near and that’s bad for natural hair. Our hair is delicate and you need to properly protect it from the cold.
New naturals need answers and we’ve got them for you. First let’s learn what a deep conditioner is and how to properly apply them as well as how often.
What Is Deep Conditioning?
Deep conditioning is applying a penetrating conditioner to your hair shaft that adds moisture, maintains elasticity, and strengthens the hair. They penetrate the hair shaft and not all conditioners can do that. That’s the magic behind a deep conditioner.
Choosing The right Deep Conditioner
A regular conditioner is not a deep conditioner because it won’t penetrate the hair shaft. So you have to choose one with natural and fortifying ingredients. It should be free from drying alcohol, parabens, and mineral oil. It should have humectants and emollients such as oils and good fatty alcohols such as cetearyl alcohol. You can also create a DIY deep conditioner with bananas, olive and coconut oil, avocados, glycerin, or honey (if you have them at home) and mix it in a bowl.
How-To Deep Condition
Many people think they know how to deep condition their hair but there is a process for effective deep conditioning. Now that you’ve bought the right conditioner or made it, how do we apply it to our hair? You should apply it from your roots down to the ends, mainly focusing on the ends of your hair.
Remember to always protect your ends! The natural oils from our scalp don't travel to the ends of our hair so we use products to keep it moisturized and healthy. We concentrate on the ends of our hair because they are the oldest parts and most fragile or prone to damage. This is one of the ways to retain length.
How Often Should You Deep Condition
You don’t want to deep condition 2-4 times a week for 3 hours or overnight. The mixture that is on your head for long periods especially homemade deep conditioners will invite bacteria into your hair and we want to keep mold away from our tresses.
It is best to deep condition once a week for 20-60 minutes depending on your preference and what works for you but if you just deep condition on every wash day you will be fine.
GOING NATURAL - WHAT IS CO-WASHING?
Deep Condition With HEAT
HEAT is our best friend when deep conditioning. You can use a steamer, hot towel, thermal deep conditioning cap or a plastic bag. The heat allows for better penetration because the hair shaft swells open so that the nutrients from the deep conditioner bond to the hair cuticles. This keep the hair ends fully moisturized in the days after styling. Also, the heat allows for better elasticity as well.
Deep Conditioning Tips
- Alternate between moisturizer and protein deep conditioners. There is a delicate balance between moisture and protein with our hair. Having two on hand (one for moisturizing and the other for protein) will help hair with strength, nourishment, softness and length retention.
- You should deep condition on damp hair. If you apply the deep conditioner to soaking wet hair it will slide of your hair shaft. When it is applied to damp hair the product easily glides on to the hair shaft to get the best coverage.
- Rinse with cool water. The cool water helps in closing the hair cuticle and keeps the moisture in so that your hair stays moisturized in the days after styling.
- Spend a little money on a good deep conditioner. No one says break the bank but if using heat, chemicals (like color), and manipulate the hair a lot the better deep conditioners will work harder at keeping hair moisturized and strong.
Now that you know how to use them, make sure that you do. Fall is upon us and old man winter will be whipping at your strands soon enough. Keep them protected and strong all winter long with a great deep conditioner and you will finding your journey easier.
What's your favorite deep conditioner?
FAVORITE DEEP CONDITIONERS AND TOOLS