I am definitely in a deep conditioning rut, most of my sessions involve some kind of lazy pre poo, no heat, and a whole bunch of hours all the while using an active six month old as my excuse.
Personally even though I feel bad about not using heat as often as I should, I often tell myself that if I could just get a good mix of something moisturizing or ‘proteiny’ on my hair, then that should be enough especially since I leave it on for half the day unintentionally.
There is some debate about how effective heat is when deep conditioning* your hair, frankly if you have ever been involved in one of those debates you would think the jury is still out on the results, it is that serious!
There is a winner though, it has been proven that using heat during your deep conditioning sessions actually takes it to a whole new level by ensuring that whatever you put on your hair is better absorbed in comparison to the usual 6-hour-no-heat stints we sometimes like to do.
A Tit Bit About Hair Structure
Its hard to talk about deep conditioning* without mentioning a little bit about the structure of hair. The structure is significant because frankly hair can only take so much and no more of whatever it is we decide to put on it.
Hair is basically made up of protein and each strand consists of three layers, an innermost layer called the medulla which is only present in thick large hairs. A middle layer known as the cortex that gives the hair strength, color, and texture. The outermost layer is known as the cuticle and it protects the cortex.
The cuticle layer is unique in that it is made up of scale like structures that respond to heat by opening up and allowing substances in. It also responds to cool temperatures by closing and sealing moisture into the strand.