Ready for the secret to obtaining long, beautiful, healthy hair? The secret to obtaining this goal has VERY LITTLE to do with the leave-in products, heat protectants, or serums. It's all in the deep conditioning. Yes ladies, deep conditioning will be the biggest factor in turning your hair around to achieve the dream hair you have always wanted.
Think of your hair as a "somewhat" blank canvass (slightly worn, dry, and cracked). You can put as much paint (in our case products) on top of the canvass that you want, but without fixing the foundation, you will still see the cracks and splits from underneath the paint. What I'm trying to say is, ladies, don't expect your hair to look the you want it to without first deep conditioning your hair to get it into a healthy state. If I styled my hair without deep conditioning or without deep conditioning in the proper way (will address this later), then my hair would be one huge frizz ball that was also damaged, unhealthy, extensively dry and brittle with tons of breakage.
How do you know if you are properly conditioning? Does your hair feel like butter (literally) after a deep conditioning session and after your deep conditioner is rinsed out? Is your hair so moisturized after deep conditioning that you don't need to add moisturizer for a few days? If so, congratulations. You've done it. You have found the proper products for your hair type and are utilizing the correct techniques (duration, environment) to apply the deep conditioner to your hair. If not, please read on.
Don't worry If your hair currently does not feel silky smooth after deep conditioning, keep reading and in no type at all, you hair will begin to turn around. All hair is unique. Just because it is common (or the directions instruct you) to deep condition for 15 -30 minutes, doesn't mean that is what your hair needs. You should deep condition until your hair tells gives you signs that it has absorbed enough moisture. Think of your hair's moisture needs in terms of hunger. There are times our bodies our hungrier than other times, depending on if we just exercised, had a meal full of fiber, or maybe we skipped a meal or two. The fact of the matter is that our hunger and how much our body needs to eat varies. The same applies with how much moisture is needed for our hair.
Did you use the blow dryer a lot this week? Was the weather insanely frizzy so you had to use the flat iron a little more than you wanted? Does your hair feel excessively brittle? Well each aforementioned scenario should be addressed differently when the time comes to deep condition.
PRODUCTS: The most crucial step in the deep conditioning process is choosing the right product for you hair type. Make sure you read the label. If the direction say to leave on for 2-5 minutes and rinse%u2026. THIS IS NOT A DEEP CONDITIONER, it is a rinse out conditioner that coats the hair shaft, not penetrate it). If the product is a true deep conditioner, the directions will state to leave on for 15 -20 minutes. The product, especially for women of color, should be extra moisturizing. I prefer natural-based products because the ingredients that penetrate the hair shaft will keep your hair healthier for a longer period of time. Natural ingredients are always better.
HEAT/NO HEAT: There are really two methods to deep condition properly.
#1) Using direct heat (with a hooded dryer/or heat cap) with either dry/wet hair, apply a plastic cap, and underneath the dryer until your hair feels moisturized OR
#2) The Non-Heat (even though you really are using heat, but it's like cheating) In order to do this, you need to apply your deep conditioner to dry hair, apply a plastic cap, apply a turbie twist (or hair wrap to secure in place) and go to bed. The next morning shampoo out. While you were sleeping, the heat from your scalp and body produced natural heat underneath the plastic cap. It's a great way to save time and not spending your precious moments of free time underneath a noisy dryer.
DURATION: I remember when I would shampoo, deep condition (for like 15 - 20 minutes) and take my hair out of the plastic, it would feel like I just put a rinse out conditioner in my hair, it felt decent, but not silky smooth and moisturized, not buttery... but I still thought that since I "deep conditioned" for the recommended time, that my hair should be moisturized. Not True. After my hair dried, it came out as a dry, frizzy mess and I would wonder why. When you take your hair out of the plastic cap/saran wrap etc, your hair should feel silky smooth even before you rinse anything out. If it does not, it still has some more "marinating" to do. As I've stressed over and over again, deep conditioning on dry hair -overnight- is my method of choice, what my hair loves, and I can finally guarantee that I will have a good hair day.