Naturals, as much as we don’t like shampooing we LOVE deep conditioning! And rightly so, deep conditioning has many benefits for all hair textures so to skip it on wash day would be a travesty.
But are you deep conditioning effectively? There are methods to deep conditioning that will ensure your hair is prepped properly and will take advantage of all the benefits and nutrients of your deep conditioner. This involves choosing the right products, method and timing!
There are thousands of deep conditioners out there on the market which claim to do have a number of attributes, try not to be overwhelmed by this. For example, a product can claim to have 15 different benefits however the first three benefits will probably be ones you notice/experience the most! A good rule to follow is to choose a product with ingredients for your specific hair concern. Generally, products with oils, butters and humectants have moisture properties. Products with hydrolysed proteins or keratin have anti breaking and strengthening properties.
It’s true that heat helps your deep conditioner work well! The heat gently opens the cuticles and allows the active ingredients of the conditioner to penetrate for better results. It doesn’t have to be high heat or a hooded dryer, a medium setting on your blow-dryer or a heated cap will do.
A lot of naturals (including myself) have been guilty of doing this at least once: deep conditioning over night or leaving a conditioner for a long time e.g. 2 to 3 hours! We like to think the longer we leave the product on the better results we will get, but this isn’t true. In fact, deep conditioning for long periods of time can have no added benefits and could potentially lead to over conditioned hair which is limp and soft/mushy. A good rule is to always follow the instructions on the product: manufacturer says 15 minutes? Then 15 minutes is all you need. 20 minutes if you have trust issues with products like me lol.
Deep condition after every wash day or once/twice a week? This generally depends on your hair type or hair needs. For 4c textures which tend to be drier and more prone to breakage, I recommend after every wash day, for looser textures once a week or as and when it is needed.
Now that you are armed with all this information, which products do you pick?! My top recommendations for deep conditioners are
Curl Harmony Intensive Repair Deep Conditioner, Crown Pride Tucuma Curl Moisture Mask
Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask , Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque , Insight Damaged Hair Restructuring Mask