Today we talk about conditioning… which is the first step in reinstating moisture into your hair after cleansing. Conditioners contain moisturizing ingredients that help impart moisture back into your strands.
According to functionality there are three types of conditioners:
The rinse out conditioner… Which is basically rinsed out after two to three minutes. It is designed to impart moisture lightly to the hair and may aid in detangling your hair
The deep conditioner…. This is either to impart more moisture to the hair or to strengthen the hair (protein deep conditioners). The main aim is to thoroughly nourish your hair, to enhance moisture levels and prevent breakage.
The leave in conditioner…. Which as the name suggests is left in the hair as some continuous nourishment or protection to the hair… Think about it like maintenance product.
If we use the analogy of a building the rinse out conditioner would be doing the building skeleton or frame, the deep conditioner would be doing the detailed works (doors, windows, furnishings etc) and the leave in conditioner would be the maintenance works (repairs etc) I hope this makes sense.
With that in mind, let’s talk about a few pointers on each as pertaining to hair care. As a general rule of thumb it is recommended that you deep condition your hair at least twice a month just to make sure that your hair gets the Tender Loving Care it requires.
The rinse out conditioner
Depending on what you want from your hair journey, you may opt for silicone or silicone free conditioners.
Silicones (ingredients that end with -cone -xane – conol) are great sealants. They seal moisture into your hair or out of your hair depending on whether you had moisture or not. Think about it like an umbrella or gloves. If your hands are dry and you wear gloves then go wash dishes…your hands will not get wet. If your hands were wet before you wore the gloves…then your hands will not be dry. I hope it makes sense. That is why silicones are used when you are planning to heat your hair.Some naturals prefer to omit silicones from their regular regimens.
TIP: GOOD news is that you can get rid of silicones in your hair with a sulfate shampoo. If you don’t mind sulfates then you can use a silicone conditioner.
The Deep Conditioner
These serve for intense moisture infusion and strengthening of the hair. Are of two types:
Protein deep conditioners
These contain some protein in them. A good indicator on your ingredients will be anything hydrolized. So hydrolized wheat protein, hydrolized collagen etc. These temporarily fill in the gaps in your hair shaft and thus strengthen your hair. It is recommended that these treatments be used once in a month unless you are dealing with very severe damage. Look out for hydrolysed proteins, examples include:
Hydrolyzed Keratin (from wool)
Hydrolyzed Oat Protein
Hydrolyzed Silk Protein
Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Moisturizing deep conditioners
These impart moisture to your hair strands. Useful ingredients to look out for would be ingredients that make your hair easier to comb like :
Amodimethicone (this particular silicone you can wash out of your hair with water)
Also as crucial is that you look out for sealing ingredients.
Examples of Sealing Ingredients:
Some conditioners contain mineral oil or petroleum but if you are not a fan of these ingredients you can avoid them.
Tips on deep conditioning your hair
Use after cleansing your hair.
Apply from the ends to the roots of your hair. You may want to avoid your scalp
Use it with heat. You may want to use it under a hooded dryer or a steamer or just a plastic bag/cap with body heat
Afterwards rinse with cool water to seal your hair’s cuticles.
How do you deep condition your hair? I would love to know.
Ps: we will talk about leave in conditioners in my next post in the series.
Love and love,