DEEP CONDITIONING!! The holy grail of natural hair (in my opinion)! When I first embarked on my hair journey, I never used to deep condition. However, I noticed my hair was breaking like crazy so my hairdresser suggested I start deep conditioning and it literally changed my life (ok not my life, but my hair).
EVERYONE should be deep conditioning, regardless of if your hair is relaxed or natural.
It’s very important to distinguish between PROTEIN deep conditioners and MOISTURISING deep conditioners because that determines how long you leave the product on for and how often you do the treatment.
Protein deep conditioners
- As I mentioned in a previous post, your hair is made of protein therefore doing a protein treatment helps to repair the damage the hair undergoes during handling, styling etc
- Protein treatments should be done approximately every 4-6 weeks, depending on the condition of your hair
- Protein treatments help to reduce breakage as they strengthen the hair, thus allowing you to retain length
- I’ve personally never used a shop-bought protein treatment but you can buy them at many beauty supply stores
- I make my own protein treatments by either putting just mayonnaise on my wet hair or I mix 2 eggs with extra virgin olive oil and apply it to my hair – focus on the ends as these are the oldest and weakest parts of your hair
- Protein treatments should be left on the hair for 20-30 minutes (doing it for too long will leave the hair way too hard)
- Protein treatments MUST be followed up or combined with a moisturising treatment – this is because protein strengthens the hair to the extent that it can feel brittle and hard therefore a moisturising treatment is needed to soften the hair and add elasticity
|Mayonnaise contains eggs therefore it contains protein|
- As the name suggests, this is simply a treatment that adds moisture to the hair
- This should be done once a week to prevent dryness – our hair is kinky and/or curly therefore the sebum (the oils the scalp produces) can’t travel down the hair strand quickly because it gets stuck in all the kinks (this is why we usually have dry ends) so we have to ADD moisture to our strands
- Moisturising treatments add elasticity and flexibility to the hair, resulting in healthy hair – this means that you are more likely to retain length because your hair isn’t breaking as much
- Moisturising treatments should be left on the hair for at least 30 minutes – as mentioned in a previous post, I leave mine on for a minimum of 1 hour (occasionally I’ll leave the treatment on overnight but that’s only when I’m pushed for time during the day or when my hair literally feels like the Sahara Desert)
- Again, focus on the ends as they’re the weakest and oldest parts of your hair
- After the treatment, I co-wash in order to detangle and I carry on with my routine
- Most of the moisturising deep conditioners I use are shop-bought ones – some are shown below (I sometimes add oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil to make these treatments even more nourishing):
|Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Deep Nourishing Intensive Mask|
|Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque|
|Shea Moisture Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque|
- I do occasionally make my own moisturising deep conditioners when I run out of the shop-bought ones – a particular favourite of mine is mixing honey (adds shine, moisturises, anti-fungal, relieves dandruff) with olive oil (penetrates the strand, softens the hair), coconut oil (contains vitamin E for healing, adds shine, softens hair, reduces frizz), Jamaican black castor oil (thickens the hair, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial) and an avocado (moisturises, adds shine, softens hair).