As my natural hair grew, it started getting drier -and it didn’t take much research to find out why. I had been skipping one important process that successful naturalistas incorporate on a weekly basis i.e. deep conditioning. If you are suffering from dry and brittle then start regular deep conditioning.
What is Deep Conditioning?
Deep conditioning is the process of applying the product on to the hair to either moisturize it or strengthen it (protein treatment).
Why deep condition?
What keeps your hair from breaking is elasticity and strong bonds. Moisture makes your hair more elastic. Protein fortifies the strand of the hair by temporarily adding building blocks. By deep conditioning regularly, my hair was now able to withstand any manipulation-no snapping or breaking off. Frizziness and poor curl definition was also as a result of dry hair.
Moisture versus Protein
There is a need to balance protein and moisture. If your hair has too much protein it will be stiff and hard. If it is over moisturized it is soft, mushy and prone to breakage. So I had to find a perfect balance. How did I do this…I pay attention to how it feels after deep conditioning. You can start by applying protein treatments every four weeks and having weekly moisturizing treatments in between.
Best Steps to Deep Condition
- Set up all the products and tools
- Put your product in a hot water bath to warm it up
- Section hair in 4 sections or more.
- Apply to each section enough conditioner to cover and saturate. Start from the ends and work towards the roots.
- Put on a plastic cap and apply heat to increase penetration of the treatment. If you don’t have a heating cap you can use a dryer, blow dryer, steam-you can stand in a hot shower.
- Wait for 30 minutes.
- Rinse with cool water.
How to find the perfect hair conditioner
There are many types of deep conditioners on the market. They vary in price range and quality. When looking for a good conditioner :
- Check ingredients. If it claims to be a moisturizing conditioner, the first ingredient should be water. Other awesome ingredients are pantothenol, honey and aloe vera. A good protein conditioner should have protein-based ingredients –keratin, placenta, wheat, collagen
- Check for consistent creaminess-If your hair is thick like mine it will love creamy moisturizing treatment. I also detangle when my hair is saturated with conditioner.
- Apply oils as a deep conditioner because they are able to penetrate the hair follicles i.e. olive, avocado, coconut and trap moisture.
However, the cheapest and the best way to give your hair important nutrients is through DIY deep conditioning. Play with oils and what’s in your kitchen to create a DIY deep conditioner.
Here are a few deep Conditioner brands that you can find locally that I have loved using. They are available at many local beauty shops in Nairobi:
Avoid over-conditioning i.e. don’t leave conditioner on your hair for too long. Some people like to leave conditioner in their hair overnight. This will leave your hair supersoft-it will be prone to breakage.
When it comes to deep conditioning what’s important is how you deep condition and the ingredients you use. It is a learning process to find out what works for you. If you aren’t happy with the results of a deep conditioning treatment, change the product but make sure you are following a regular deep conditioning process.