As a sister with natural or relaxed hair, deep conditioning (D.C) is generally considered a must if you want to have healthy, moisturized hair. However, some people can swear that deep conditioning is a waste of time and really, I’m tired of going through all the arguments. I have done a D.C several times and I saw good results almost every time (although I’m not sure how much of that was due to daily moisturizing). In this post, I’ll cover the basic things you need to know about deep conditioning (assuming you know little or nothing about it):
1. Deep conditioning is intended to make sure your hair absorbs and retains moisture which is what you certainly need if you have dry hair. Dry hair breaks easily and is such a pain to manipulate.
2. Deep conditioning is generally classified as moisture or protein. Naturally Curly advises alternating between moisture and protein. The proportions and frequency of each will depend on the needs of your hair though.
3. It’s got to be regular; every week, once in two weeks, once a month. The interval really depends on you and your hair (I’ll talk about hair types in a subsequent post In Sha Allah).
4. It is generally thought that a D.C requires heat to work. This may involve using a dryer or a hot towel to apply heat after the hair has been covered up with a shower cap or heating up the conditioner before application.
5. You start at the ends of your hair and concentrate there, while trying to avoid the scalp (not because it’ll burn but to prevent product build-up).
6. You shouldn’t leave a D.C in your hair for more than 20-30 mins (or even much less depending on the product) if it is an off-the-shelf product. With a natural, homemade D.C though, you can leave it overnight, which is what I do.
7. Calm down. Deep conditioning isn’t as stressful or expensive as everybody makes it seem. As a rule, I’ve never bought a deep conditioner, I always make them myself with ingredients I find lying around the house.
8. It is common knowledge within the natural hair community that your hair should be washed with warm water before you apply your D.C to open up your cuticles and allow the product penetrate the hair shaft. Although, I read an article by Fran of HeyFranHey.com that challenges this entire idea.
9. To mix your own D.C you’ll need a base (could be mayonnaise or yoghurt), liquids (water, glycerin, aloe vera juice), oils (olive, jojoba, coconut, avocado, argan), sealants (Shea butter). Once you know the basic things that should be in a D.C and what you want the D.C to do, making yours should be a breeze.
10. I love to experiment and there’s no end to experimenting with a D.C. There’s an endless list of things you can try. In subsequent posts, I’ll elaborate on some the the above points (In Sha Allah). Until my next D.C post, keep spraying your hair with oil and water. And oh, get a leave-in conditioner to add in the mix. See ya! 🙋