Why Is Deep Conditioning Important For Natural And Relaxed Hair?

Contents:

Find Out Why This Process Is The Key To The Health And Length Of Your Hair

Conditioning takes up a great deal of our regimen when you stop to consider all that goes into keeping black hair on fleek, but the foundation for the real magic lies in deep conditioning.

It’s no wonder we spend so much on commercial products that promise to condition our crown for a picture-perfect finish. Some of us have even become masters at whipping up our own products in our kitchens, the bottom line is we always try to ensure that our strands are properly nourished and looking at their best.

All hair is made up of the same material; Keratin the protein found in nails and hair. Sebaceous glands below the scalp secrete an oily substance called sebum which travels down the shaft of straight hair making it shiny and locking the moisture in. With curly hair the sebaceous oil does not make it very far, this along with the shape of the hair is why curly and kinky hair tends to be dry, frizzy and prone to breakage.

Because of its dry state, curly hair will be brittle and quite fragile so its clear that curly and kinky hair requires extra care and attention. Deep conditioning is easily one of the most important aspects of the curly and kinky hair care regimen.

Why Does Your Hair Need A Deep Conditioner?

So what is a deep conditioner and why does your hair need it? Strictly speaking, a deep conditioner is any type of product with the capacity to impact the appearance and manageability of your hair.

In this context, such a product is not meant to permanently alter or affect the bonds of the hair, but rather to strengthen or smooth the cuticle so that it says flat and allows moisture to remain in the strand and increase sheen or shine while making the hair easier to manipulate.


 

In other words, it facilitates the bounce back factor by making the hair able to maintain elasticity and keeps dryness at bay to limit breakage.

Deep conditioners are usually left on the hair for 20-30 minutes (sometimes overnight). For the deep conditioner to be truly effective, it is important that heat is used along with it.

Heat allows the hair shaft to swell and the cuticles to open and allow the conditioner inside by promoting elasticity. The prime purpose of deep conditioning is to improve the strength of the hair and make it more resilient which helps in length retention in the long term.

All hair types can benefit from deep conditioning but for black hair, this is an absolute must! As curly hair is dry by nature, deep conditioning restores the moisture balance in the hair which stops breakage.

Deep conditioning should be done straight after a shampoo especially if a shampoo with a sulfate is used as these will tend to strip the hair leaving it dry.

Choosing Your Deep Conditioner

The type of deep conditioner used should depend on the condition of your hair. If the hair feels mushy when wet and stretches a lot before breaking then a protein conditioner is required to restore the hair’s strength.

If however, the hair feels brittle and just snaps when any tension is applied; the hair is in need of a moisturizing conditioner. The aim is to get the hair to a stage where the hair is both strong but has a certain degree of elasticity too. Too much protein will make the hair go hard and too much moisture will make the hair mushy.

Moisturizing deep conditioners should be used in conjunction with protein deep conditioners in your hair care regimen to maintain a healthy balance. You may find that to begin with you may just want to alternate between light protein and moisturizing conditioners with every wash (assuming you are washing your hair once or twice a week) then adjusting your regimen according to how your hair feels.

It is better to err on the side of moisture with natural black hair. It is already pretty strong as none of the bonds have been broken by chemical treatments but it is still likely to be dry. Some naturals also report being protein sensitive which is to say that protein tends to make their hair go hard. In this instance, a light protein should only be required once per month.

With relaxed black hair, some bonds have been broken during the chemical service so needless to say, relaxed hair needs deep conditioning with protein treatments regularly since the bonds have been compromised.

Relaxed hair is also quite likely to require hard protein to strengthen the hair but moisture will also be required as chemicals only aggravate the dry condition of the hair.

A Low Budget Solution To Deep Conditioning

There are loads of conditioning products on the market, some do cost a pretty penny, but thankfully granny passed down some tips and tricks. The thing about it is that deep conditioning doesn’t need to be an expensive process.

Here are some low budget things that work for making your own DIY deep conditioner:

  • Plastic bags/shower caps
  • Ingredients from your kitchen eg. eggs, okras, honey, avocado, ripe bananas, yogurt, oils etc. You can invent your own concoction or use one of the recipes used in our “further reading” section below
  • Wet towels and a microwave for a low budget ‘steamer’

Once you have mixed your deep conditioning treatment, apply to your damp clean hair and leave for 15-30 minutes ( an hour or overnight works for some but it is not a hard and fast rule). You can cover your head with your low budget steamer or a shower cap for the duration. Rinse thoroughly.

Note the condition and texture of your hair after each deep conditioning session and adjust your recipe the next time adding more of the ingredients that give you the best results.

Final Considerations

Perhaps some of you have gotten to a place where you figure you no longer need deep conditioning; we encourage you to perish that thought. Whether you have natural or relaxed hair, it would benefit you greatly to be consistent with your deep conditioning treatments because, over time, the wear and tear on your hair will start to take a toll.

It is that extra step of deep conditioning that will serve as your defense against breakage and excess shedding. Some people see it as an unnecessary step in the regimen, but at the end of the day, many of us can attest to the fact that it is effective at keeping our crowns looking healthy.

Further Reading

Deep conditioning is a huge topic so a single post won’t cover every aspect of the process. You are in luck however because the following articles and videos will help you gain a more exhaustive understanding on the topic of deep conditioning and why it is important to the health of your hair.

Beginners:

Intermediate & Advanced:

DIY:

Videos:

Updated by Marsha Buchannan

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About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

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Juliette

This is such a cool post, thanks for the great info. and I am so excited to read more

Nanouche Usai

I use olive oil, honey and eggs to deep condition my hair.