Deep conditioning is one of the most important practices you can do for your hair especially if it is dry. Whether you are natural or relaxed it is a critical part of any regimen.
I remember reading an article years ago that argued the point that deep conditioning* was ridiculous and that it did nothing for your hair.
I was going through a lazy period and for me, that article came right on time, it was just the thing I needed to justify my attitude towards deep conditioning. It is funny how we do this sometimes, knowing deep down that we are only looking for an excuse to not give our hair the best shot at being healthy.
Prior to reading that piece, I knew that early in my hair journey when I deep conditioned regularly my hair was the most moisturized and the most healthy.
I also knew that when I stopped being diligent about it, my hair reflected the change by being dry all the time and not retaining as much moisture as it could.
With that said, in practice, I knew that deep conditioning* on my weekly or bi-weekly wash day was the best thing for me and for my hair.
The question is, how do you get the most out of your deep conditioning practice? What are you doing right? And what if anything you are doing is wrong?
1. Deep condition regularly for maximum moisture retention
Sure, you can co-wash every week and experience some moisture retention, but the truth is if you deep condition you can see more moisture retention for longer periods of time.
Make an effort to stick to a weekly or bi-weekly schedule and watch your hair flourish right before your eyes.
2. Use heat
My personal preference is steam heat for maximum absorption and you can create this in a variety of different ways.
a. Sit under a steamer* with your deep conditioner in your hair without covering your hair
b. Cover the hair with a plastic cap and add a heat source
c. Deep condition in a steam room after a great work out – I love doing this because it is like killing two birds with one stone.
3. You do not need hours, just minutes
It is proven that all you need is about 20-30 minutes for your hair to absorb your deep conditioner* so you do not have to keep your mix in for hours at a time.
I will mention however that sometimes many of us like to add our deep conditioner* to our hair and then run errands in an effort to multi-task.
This might take a couple hours depending on your schedule and if that works for you, then, by all means, carry on. Just bear in mind that the first 30 minutes are the most important.