REGIMEN BREAKDOWN: DEEP CONDITIONING
In 2018 (and 2017 to be honest), I didn’t deep condition as well or as often as I did when I was a new natural. I couldn’t find time between classes, homework and my social life. I mean why would I add an extra 30 mins onto my already too long wash day?
But, by cutting this key part of my wash day routine, I began to notice real changes in my hair health. It was prone to dryness, I had more split ends and breakage when detangling, and it grew at a slower rate. I decided to cut my then mid-back length coils to a tapered short afro, give my hair a fresh start. Now that I’m about that Natural Hair Transition 2.0 life, I want to rediscover healthy natural hair and grow my strands back longer, stronger and shinier than before. In short -- I do NOT want to make that mistake again, so the DC is one of the key steps in my wash day.
What is DC? Deep conditioning is the process of applying conditioner to the hair after cleansing and using heat to open the cuticle and infuse moisture and nutrients that penetrate the hair shaft. Deep Conditioning can either be a moisture treatment or protein treatment. A healthy regimen alternates these two depending on what your hair needs. Balancing the two ensures your hair isn’t too dry and rigid or too moist and weakened. Interested in a post on protein v. moisture? Shoot us a note in the comments.
Why DC? It’s a critical part of a good hair care regimen. It helps to strengthen your ends and curb breakage, which ultimately leads to length retention. With the right ingredients, deep conditioning can seal in all of the water you’ve added from your wash day to continue to condition for up to a week afterward.
More seriously though y’all --- if we want longer and healthier hair, we have got to cut out these willy nilly conditioning efforts. 5 mins in the shower isn’t enough (especially if you have low porosity hair like mine), to actually treat the follicle.
When to DC? EVERY WASH DAY. Which should be weekly… Why go through the effort of washing your hair and taking the time to style it and do all the things, and then skimp on the treatment aspect? Just take the time to do it -- we promise the DC doesn’t disappoint.
How? Check this out, the only requirement is heat to be honest. Oh, and time -- keep it to 20-30 mins.
After shampooing, apply your deep conditioner of choice focusing on the hair strands. If you’re into that tea rinse life for growth and scalp health go ahead and apply that first (focusing on the scalp mostly) and apply the DC on top. Get out of the shower (we know...it’s painful to leave that warm heavenly environment), and sit under a heat cap, dryer, or just put on a plastic cap and towel, moving around to generate heat.
For the times I don’t want to use a heating tool, I just do a face mask and straighten my room or fold some laundry. Before rinsing out I detangle and then I’m done!
Have any favorite DC recipes or tips? We’d love to hear them!