There has been quite a debate on the effectiveness of deep conditioning* for a variety of reasons. Some believe that the penetration that is supposed to happen from leaving conditioner on your hair for hours is quite frankly impossible due to the molecular structures of some of the ingredients in the conditioner.
Others think ‘well my hair grows regardless!’ so why bother with the extra step. If you haven’t made up your mind yet on what side of the fence you fall, my suggestion would be to challenge yourself to see what the hoopla is about. When you have decided to take better care of your hair natural or relaxed you have to have a simple plan that is easy for you to stick to, one of the key ingredients to better hair care is definitely consistency, so we don’t want something that will fail like every New Year’s resolution ever made! (Are people still doing that?).
Here is a simple guide to taking on a deep conditioning* challenge.
1. Pick the right conditioner
Whether you decided to make your own concoction or buy a deep conditioner*, the ingredients should have some form of protein, hydrolyzed protein is ideal, some form of sealant, and something that conditions and adds moisture.
For a home made conditioner you can use: Honey* which is great for moisture, castor oil* or olive oil* which are great for sealing and eggs which are a decent protein, although they are not hydrolysed. For a hydrolysed protein, gelatin is a better option.
For a store bought conditioner one of the first few ingredients should indicate hydrolyzed protein, this important because protein is what your hair is made of. Whether you believe it or not, we are in the business of wreaking havoc on the protein bonds that make up our hair shaft just from pure manipulation. Because we do this often, it is only right that we fix what we have broken. Hydrolyzed proteins do just that, they patch the hair strand from the inside out restoring areas to the hair that we have essentially stripped away using, combs, brushes, color, heat and water!
Examples of hydrolysed proteins that you would find in store bought conditioners include oat protein, silk protein, soy protein, hydrolysed keratin, and wheat protein.