Deep conditioning. One of the most important steps in a healthy hair regimen.
Even if you don’t intentionally do things to damage your hair, there are elements in the environment that do things that harm your hair. The rays of the sun, harshness from the wind, all of these things (combined with direct damage from daily manipulation and using tools like flat irons and blow dryers) rob our hair of much needed moisture.
Making sure you do what is needed to re-infuse the moisture that is lost naturally is a very important step in your healthy hair regimen. Deep conditioning does just that. There are several benefits to deep conditioning.
More Moisture – Your hair needs all the moisture it can get in the winter months. So much so that you may benefit from two deep conditioning sessions a week. Not only does your hair retain more moisture, your scalp benefits as well. Deep conditioning helps to moisturize your scalp so you can rest assured that you won’t have to deal with a dry, itchy scalp.
Improved Manageability – Regular deep conditioning makes it easier to detangle your hair. If you use tools, like combs, on your hair, you’ll notice that they glide through the strands of your hair more easily. The tangles will just seem to melt away.
Improved Elasticity – The more flexible your hair is, the better your hair is able to handle the stresses of tension before breakage occurs. You can help your hair remain more elastic by ensuring that it stays well hydrated.
Better Retention – By now, you should know that with all of the aforementioned benefits, it’s no wonder that deep conditioning helps you retain the length of your hair. Our hair is always growing. However, when our hair is breaking and damaged, it’s hard to see that growth. Hair that is properly moisturized and strong will be able to resist breakage, which in turn aids in more evident length retention.
You can deep condition on dry or wet hair. Some of the Aubrey conditioners specifically state that for deep conditioning, the product can be applied to dry hair. (Note: This is only seen on some of the older Aubrey bottles. The newer bottles don’t contain “language” suggesting how to use the conditioner as a deep conditioner.)
Using heat when deep conditioning will allow the cuticles of your hair to open up, helping the conditioner you use better penetrate the hair strands. If you don’t have time to sit under a dryer/steamer, you can always cover your head with a plastic cap (after applying the conditioner) and let it go to work over night while sleeping. Whether you use heat from a steamer or hooded dryer, or opt to just slap on a plastic cap and not use heat, letting the product penetrate your hair for at least 20-30 minutes will do wonders for your hair.
Now, too much conditioning can have a negative effect on your hair. I would stick to deep conditioning one to two times a week, depending on the amount of damage your hair has endured. Experiment with alternating between moisture-rich deep conditioning and protein-focused deep conditioning.
Even if you have healthy hair, regularly deep conditioning ensures that it stays that way. Remember, it’s better to be proactive versus being reactive.
At the moment, some of my favorite products to use for deep conditioning are Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose (both in its original form and tweaked in my recipe remix), Aubrey GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner, and the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque.
How has incorporating deep conditioning into your regimen worked for you? What’s your favorite product (either DIY or pre-packaged) to use?
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