How to deep condition black hair is a very crucial hair care technique you need to know for achieving healthy, shiny hair.
Deep conditioning your hair is simply leaving conditioner in your hair for some time to allow it to penetrate the hair shaft.
Regular deep conditioning will help:
- soften your hair
- restore the texture of your hair
- build up your hair strands
- reduce damage caused by heat, dyes, relaxers, weave-ons, braids, sulfate-containing shampoos, etc.
- your strands stay flexible therefore reducing breakage and retaining length.
* Not all conditioners are deep conditioners because ONLY CONDITIONERS WHICH PENETRATE THE HAIR SHAFT CAN BE CALLED DEEP CONDITIONERs. Many instant conditioners only coat the hair shaft externally, smoothen and soften it.
* Any conditioner whose usage instructions call for immediate rinse-off is not usually a deep conditioner. However, this is not always the case. Many times, if you leave a good quality instant conditioner containing absorbent oils on your hair for a long time, it also deep conditions your hair.
* You should also take note that some conditioners will make it easy for you to comb through your hair but will leave your hair feeling crunchy when it dries.
Ingredients to look out for in a good deep conditioner
- Panthenol to make your hair thicker
- A humectant: Humectants in hair care products help your hair retain moisture by binding to the hair shaft and attracting water from the atmosphere e.g glycerin, honey, etc. For a more complete list on humectants, read HERE.
- A fatty alcohol These alcohols are typically derived from coconut or palm fruit and are very conditioning to the hair.e.g stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol.
- Natural oils e.g olive oil, etc (This is not a must because you can add some to your conditioner before using). Avoid mineral oil as much as possible because your hair cannot absorb it and they don’t add any strength to your hair.
There are 2 basic types of deep conditioners:
- protein conditioners and
- moisturizing conditioners.
The purpose of deep conditioning is usually to replace lost moisture into the hair, thus preventing & repairing hair breakage and encouraging maintenance of hair length. Both moisturizing and protein conditioners will do this.
Protein conditioners, in addition, help to repair damaged hair shaft and infuse the hair with protein that it needs. To identify a protein conditioner, look out for amino acids, collagen, keratin, oat protein, vegetable protein, etc in the ingredient list. [One exception is Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein which is actually moisturizing].
Frequency of deep conditioning
To maintain a healthy hair of head, it is good to condition at least once a week. If you have time, twice a week is very beneficial. On the other hand, you can do once in two weeks if you don’t have much time on your hands. Anything more than that is not healthy for your hair.
Wet or dry hair?
You can condition dry hair or wet hair.
When conditioning on dry hair, you can follow up by:
- simply rinsing out the conditioner and styling your hair.
- applying an instant rinse out conditioner e.g VO5 conditioner to your hair and rinsing it out
- shampooing your hair afterwards.
How to deep condition your hair:
- You can add absorbent oils like coconut, olive and avocado oil to your deep conditioner.
- Divide your hair into 4-8 sections. If you have clips or pins, secure each section.
- Further divide each section little by little, ensuring that you apply conditioner to the hair close to the scalp all the way down to the tips.
- Leave it in for at least 20 minutes. If you are not going out, you may choose to leave it on overnight.
- To increase your hair’s absorption of the ingredients, it is advisable to use heat. I personally recommend using a steamer. If you’re using a steamer, don’t wear a shower cap: allow your hair to absorb the steam.
In the absence of a steamer, you can use a bonnet dryer or heating cap like The cordless Thermal Hair Therapy Wrap I’m wearing in my picture below. It has gel packs which you heat up in a microwave or hot water. These gel packs release heat gradually when you wear the cap. It usually stays hot for about 15 minutes.
If you’re using a bonnet, you should not forget to cover your hair with a shower cap.
If you don’t have any of these, you could simply warm up the oils you’ll be using, wear a shower cap and cover your head with a warm towel. Exercise will also release your body heat. If you can’t do any of these, don’t worry… just leave your conditioner for a little longer: it will still work.
If you must include anything in your healthy hair journey, it’s deep conditioning! Do it weekly and you will see a great difference in your hair!!
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