deep conditioning: what's the big fuss?
Posted on September 19 2018
there tends to be a few key things some of us often seek to attain when it comes to caring for our natural hair. moisture, or maybe stretch, definition, volume, or shine. and the joy of the natural hair journey is definitely figuring out new ways that work for us to attain what we're looking for in all of our looks. always trying to find the perfect wash n go method, perhaps which leave-in gives us the best results, or whether or not to finger-coil vs shingle. if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that caring for natural hair, though incredibly rewarding, can be a lot of work. that being said, an often overlooked piece of any natural hair care routine is deep conditioning. or for those of us that do surely know that it is an important step, we may not know WHY exactly it's so important or how exactly to do it. though it isn't just a necessary step, it is unequivocally the heart and soul of a hair care regimen. so here's some pointers you can incorporate as well as a few reasons why deep conditioning is so crucial to healthy hair!
deep conditioning is great when done once every week, but it really just depends on how often you wash your hair, we understand that not everyone's natural hair is the same! but before the deep condition, a nice optional step is the "pre-poo". while not an entirely necessary step, the pre-poo acts as an extra measure that prevents any potential damage that can befall your hair cuticles when they suddenly swell from absorbing water. pre-poo's can usually just be a simple oil (coconut, castor, argan, etc.) coated onto your hair shafts 1-3 hours before the wash, or sometimes even overnight. once the washing is through and it's time to start the deep condition its always best to do it while your hair is still soaking wet, as to ensure the sealing of moisture, this goes double for applying oil on top. deep conditioner should be applied liberally from scalp to tip, but the most important area to consider are the ends, as these are the part of your hair that usually sustain the most damage.
after this, usually the most contentious aspect is how long you should leave the deep conditioner on. some naturals see benefits from 20 minutes to only a few hours while others prefer to do it overnight. though the most important factor is really only how you choose to apply heat. a hooded drier should get you all set within 20 minutes or so, using a blow dryer could take a bit longer, but in the absence of both, an hour or 2 could still get you the benefits you need as long as you seal in the heat with a cap. there's also steaming, which is a rare but hugely beneficial for low porosity hair types for an awesome way of really opening up your shafts and soaking up all those good nutrients. once you've done this, it's only a matter of rinsing the conditioner out.
the importance of regularly deep conditioning cannot be understated. if you're looking for that "it" factor to restore long lasting suppleness + moisture to your kinks, then this (along with a healthy diet of course!) is surely going to be a huge factor. if applied to scalp it can act to stimulate your hair follicles and encourage new growth! moreover, a consistent routine can strengthen and moisturize the shaft over time, limiting unhealthy breakage and promoting elasticity. and since deep conditioning smoothes the cuticle of the hair shaft over time, this is what allows your hair to gain more shine. a more smooth and even surface allows light to reflect off the shaft in a more uniform manner, giving us that brilliant shine to top off a nice hairstyle and show a healthy head of hair. just a few things to consider, next you have your wash day. a deep conditioned shaft is a healthy shaft!
until next time, james