Deep conditioning* is vital to the health of natural hair which is prone to drying and breakage. The kinks, coils and turns in our strands require a little extra attention in order to make it softer and more manageable, not to mention adding additional shine and luster.
The power a good deep conditioner* holds is often the reason why some are compelled to deep condition for extended periods of time. One may think if it can do wonders in 30min to an hour what could it do for my hair overnight?!
The truth is more harm than good in most cases. Have you ever heard of the phrase too much of a good thing is bad? It’s true!
I’ve heard countless stories about natural women deep conditioning* over night or all day under a bonnet and it makes me cringe.
The suggested range by most manufactures is 30 minutes to an hour. The product has been tested in laboratories and determined that this was the most optimal range.
Now you may ask how can deep conditioning my hair harm it?!
Our hair is made up of protein. Keratin to be exact. These building blocks are stacked and grows outward from our scalps.
Typically due to the texture or porosity of our hair, it can affect the amount of moisture we retain. Deep conditioning penetrates the cuticles of our hair and assists in moisture acceptance and retention. It is through this that our strands began to soften with more absorption.
However, the longer you deep condition the softer the keratin and ultimately it makes it weaker. It can then counter act and leave our hair looking dull, limp and lifeless.
Do note that if you encounter this you can try to combat it with a good protein treatment which adds protein back to the hair, filling in gaps and helping strengthen the strands.
Overall listen to your hair. Shoot for deep conditioning once a week and not to exceed an hour. No need to over do it!