Hello guys!! I am keen to share with you the benefits of deep conditioning your hair. When I started my natural hair journey, I had limited knowledge of deep conditioning the hair. I did what my mom basically told me to do- apply some conditioner in your hair for 10 -15 mins then wash it out and you are good to go. I am guessing that many of you can relate to this. Unbeknownst to me that there is so much to this process and a wide range of products to select from.
So, I am guessing that many of you have lots of questions, what is deep conditioning, who should be deep conditioning, and how do I know which one works for me. I had so many questions just like you. I remember looking online and not sure which products to choose from either. Not sure which products will make my hair soft and manageable. Sounds like a familiar experience!! Well, let’s get to some facts.
What are Deep Conditioners?
Deep conditioners are more concentrated and are left on the hair for 20 to 30 minutes. They can be used for extremely dry, damaged, breaking hair and also before chemical treatment such as coloring and waving. If they are used prior to chemical hair processing, they are known as “Fillers.” (Rathi & Dermatol,2015).
How do they Work?
The need for conditioners arose due to technological advancement in shampoos which strip the hair of its sebum along with other undesirable residues on the hair and scalp. This meant that sebum needed to be replenished because it is used to condition the hair. Therefore, they needed something to mimic the static electricity, increase shine, and hair manageability (Drazelos Z.D,1999). Conditioners help your hair through a process called adsorption; which refers to ingredients attaching to the surface of the hair. However, some conditioners contain low molecular weight ingredients and will adsorb beneath the cuticle layer as well. The ability to absorb within or onto the hair requires the attraction of a positive and negative charge. Think of the old adage- opposite attracts. Rathi & Dermatol (2015) states that because conditioners contain cationic surfactants that give off a positive charge, it becomes attracted to the hair which is negatively charged thus allowing absorption to occur and the reduction of static electricity. The net result is improved shine, manageability, softness, and temporarily seal split ends.
Who Should Deep Conditioned?
Every woman with kinky, curly, coily hair should deep condition because it is vital to your hair growth and will help you to maintain healthy hair. Remember that good hair is healthy hair.
How to Deep Conditioned?
There is a widely held assumption that deep conditioning on dry hair is better due to the absence of a water barrier thus allowing for better absorption. Theoretically, this may hold some truth as the negatively charged hair will be attracted to the positively charged conditioner. However, the build-up of products, sebum, and debris will act as a barrier to allow for effective deep conditioning.
However, research has shown that conditioning on wet hair that has been previously shampooed is beneficial because of the way it will absorb into the hair and allowing specific ingredients to penetrate the hair. This is important to note for those who have low porosity hair (have a difficult time receiving moisture).
It is recommended that you deep conditioned for no more than 30mins and the frequency depends on your hair type. I normally deep-conditioned every 2 weeks or once a month depending on my hair strength. Over conditioning, your hair may cause a protein-moisture imbalance and make it prone to breakage and appearing lifeless.
You can use a steam cap because a deep conditioner warmed up will penetrate the hair shaft better. You can use the Lovemeafrohair microwaveable heat cap and apply for 20mins. Since adopting this routine, my hair has become shiny, less prone to breakage, bouncy, and more importantly, the length is retained.
How to Choose the Right Deep Conditioner
This is an important step to get right because not all conditioners are deep conditioners. Deep conditioners have ingredients that will penetrate your shaft than the usual rinse-out conditioner.
So when choosing one:
1. ensure it states deep conditioner
2. contain instructions to be left on for 15-30mins.
3. suitable to address your hair type, that is, fine, chemically treated, dry, damaged ect.
My favorites deep conditioners are the Mielle Babassu Deep Conditioner & the Shea Moisture Deep Conditioning Hair Masque.
Share in the comments how often you deep condition your hair and your fav deep conditioner.