The Deep Condition
By: Geraldine The Great
Deep conditioning natural hair is important. Deep conditioning is the process of fortifying the hair with moisture or protein. From time to time, your hair might feel dry and brittle. You might also experience excessive breakage or splitting along the hair shaft. These things can be an indication that a deep conditioning treatment is needed. Usually, at this point, you can use a deep conditioning treatment to retroactively remedy those problems. Some people deep condition as part of their regular hair routine.
Personally, I deep condition as a preventative measure. I like to include it into my routine, because it allows me to reign in any damage that might be exacerbated if deep conditioning wasn’t a regular part of my regimen. I find it easier to handle a steady monthly appointment — even a slight inconvenience –than it is to deal with hair that snaps or pops from neglect that could be preventable. Deep conditioners might have key identifiers in their names. Lookout for words like: ‘treatment’, ‘masque’, ‘deep’, ‘penetrating’, ‘hydrating’, ‘strengthening’, ‘restorative’.
Moisturizing Deep Conditioners
Most deep conditioners are usually thick and creamy in consistency. They are designed to penetrate the hair follicle and deposit nutrients that promote moisture retention and hair elasticity. Increased moisture content in the hair equates to increased hair elasticity. In layman’s terms, if moisture is infused into your hair shaft, it will allow the hair strand to stretch when stressed, without snapping or breaking off. If your hair feels dry and brittle, then it needs moisture. If your water based leave-ins do not seem to remedy the problem, then your hair probably needs to be deep conditioned.
Other deep conditioners will have ingredients that increase strength. These conditioners are full of proteins, which reinforce the hair structure. Strength and elasticity are a coupled element in hair. Read more about Protein Conditioners
There needs to be a balance between the two. You don’t want your hair to be uber saturated with protein, that it causes your hair to be extremely stiff and hard. Contrarily, you also, do not want to contend with hair that is so saturated with moisture, that it becomes too soft and mushy. There is a fine balance.
Finding the Perfect Deep Conditioner
When sorting through the bevy of conditioners on the market, I do the following:
1. I check the ingredients. Always important. Water should be the first ingredient, as it is the ultimate moisturizer for hair. Other ingredients that promote hydration are panthenol, honey, and aloe vera.
Protein conditioners usually include ingredients like keratin, placenta, wheat and collagen. They usually explicitly say ‘protein’.
How often should you treat your hair? We will discuss this and more. Stay Tuned.