How is your week going? It’s the middle of the week already and I’m not sure how I feel about this.
In this post, we’ll be looking at a very important hair habit- deep conditioning!
DEEP CONDITIONING: THE WHAT AND THE WHY.
Conditioning is a necessary hair habit. I don’t think it’s possible to get by with no conditioning. I run through bottles of conditioner like crazy and I haven’t owned a bottle of shampoo since last year. Conditioners help us strengthen, moisturise and detangle our hair.
To be of any effect, the ingredients in conditioner attach themselves to the hair shaft. Our rinse-out or instant conditioners mainly lubricate and provide a quick fix. Leave-in conditioners are designed to be left in, and provide conditioning to the hair for a longer period. Deep conditioning goes the extra mile, the DC goes in, penetrates better and deeper than other forms of conditioner. Your hair does not need to be penetrated this deeply all the time- which is why this is not something to be done on the daily.
It is a really beneficial habit to adopt- natural or relaxed. I’d done a bit of this in the past (I tried two homemade DCs here) but it wasn’t really a part of my regimen, it wasn’t a habit. For my super-dry hair, I hope making Deep conditioning a habit will overtime help solve my moisture issues.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR DC
Good hair is healthy hair and healthy hair simply means striking the right moisture-protein balance. Our hair is more than 70% protein, so we need protein for strength and structure. Moisture keeps our hair flexible. If your hair isn’t getting enough moisture, it will be inelastic and this inelasticity means that your hair is very prone to breakage under the slightest pressure. For more on the basic features of hair, you can read the ‘Hair Basics’ series we did earlier in the year. 🙂
There is such a thing as over-moisturising- and I’ve learnt that except my hair is breaking off or in really bad shape, I don’t need protein treatments on the regular. Once in a while (as a protective/preventive measure) but I don’t need a lot.
So, in choosing your regular DC, ask yourself: what does your hair crave or need? Protein? Moisture? Both? What works for me may not work for you. What’s working for me right now may not be what I need in a few months, so yeah, just listen to your hair.
DEEP CONDITIONING: The HOW.
There are several different ways to deep-condition. So many Deep Conditioners you could buy, and so many you can whip up yourself in the kitchen. For the month of May, Deep Conditioning was top of the hair agenda. In this post, I’ll be sharing the three simple DCs I tried out.
- Coconut Milk DC
- Honey DC
- Hot Oil Treatment
Before I go on to the DCs in more detail, I’d like to say at this point that in my application of each, the steps were the same:
First, I put DC into hair
Second, cover with shower cap or plastic bags (Seriously, life is too short to be rinsing shower caps)
Third, wrap head with warm towel. You can microwave your towel for a minute or two (your mom may not be keen on this though) and leave on for 30 minutes- an hour.
And finally, I co-washed after.
One more constant: I pre-pooed before each DC
Some people say you should spritz water on your hair before DC but I didn’t. You might want to try that though. 🙂
To my Coconut milk and Honey DCs, I added two spoons of Olive oil. Not necessary, I just felt like adding them. For shine, and because Olive oil conditions also.
COCONUT MILK DC
What you need: Coconut milk
Coconut milk is rich in protein. I read that doing a Coconut milk DC would make my hair soft, but it did no such thing for me. I actually planned to try this hair softener for the whole of May but after the first trial, I knew it wasn’t what I needed. My hair was dry. You know when your hair is wet after a wash and you know it’s only soft to the touch because it’s wet.
You could buy coconut milk or make your own, it’s easy. I did a post about this here.
What you need: enough honey to go round your hair.
I think honey is too sweet. The smell makes my belly churn at times- maybe it’s from the too-sweet honey and garlic infused tea I was forced to drink as a child because of my horrible colds (which are still with me now) but I was really not looking forward to trying this one. But I am SO glad I did.
My hair is super dry, and super thirsty- I am yet to give it all the moisture it needs- so it’s really no surprise that my hair loved this DC. Honey is a humectant- meaning, it’s a substance that draws moisture from the atmosphere into the hair shaft.
I co-washed the honey out of my hair with surprising ease (I expected it to be gooey and sticky) and left to air dry. When my hair was damp, I moisturised and sealed. I did this DC at about 6pm and by 11, I felt my hair and was SO amazed at how soft it felt. Usually, after a co-wash, I need two days of moisturising with lotion to get my hair feeling good again.
I tried this DC twice and I don’t think it’s too soon to say my hair loves it.
HOT OIL TREATMENT
Put your oil(s) in an applicator bottle, then immerse bottle in a bowl of hot water (not boiling) to heat up.
You don’t want to burn yourself, so test the oil on your wrist to make sure it’s not too hot.
If it’s too hot for your wrist, it’s too hot for your head. Leave it to cool a little.
Not too hot? Okay, get that oil all over your hair.
In my applicator bottle is a blend of Olive oil, Sweet Almond oil, cold-pressed Castor Oil and a few drops of Tea Tree oil. I just decided to mix all the oils I had. Different oils are great for different purposes, you can read a little about this here.
WHEN TO DEEP CONDITION?
Weekly? Every two weeks? Once a month?
I think the answer to this question depends on our big aunty upstairs. What is she craving? Listen to your hair. Our featured hairspiration Naturalista, Oyinkan sometimes DCs twice a week when her hair is looking dull. I pledge to do a moisturising DC every week (when my hair is out) and mix some protein in every 4-6 weeks.
So, tell me ladies. Do you Deep Condition? How often? What’s your favourite DC- is it packaged or homemade?
Till next time,