Do you ever have those time periods where your hair is just not acting right? Like, you do everything you normally do, and your hair still looks bad? Well, so do I. That's when you know you need a little extra TLC.
No, not that. But it wouldn't hurt to add them to your wash day playlist. What I'm really talking about is deep conditioning. No, regular conditioner is not always enough. Deep conditioner penetrates the strands, nourishing your hair from the inside.
How to Apply It?
There are several methods to this. Some like to add deep conditioner BEFORE they wash their hair. This involves wetting and detangling your hair with the deep conditioner, leaving it in for 10- 30 minutes, then washing and conditioning as usual. I usually wash my hair first, THEN apply the deep conditioner- leaving it in for 10- 30 minutes.
Heat or No Heat?
Do you have to use heat? No. Will it help? Very likely. I don't have a fancy hair steamer or a deep conditioning cap- although if you do, kudos to you! What works for me is the steam of my shower. I let the water get hot for a little while, with the bathroom fan off. This creates a little steam room for my hair. I put my hair in a shower cap and go about the rest of my shower. I either rinse off right after my shower, or get out and hangout around the house if I want to leave it in longer. *Pro tip: If you have a dryer in your house- throw a couple of t shirts in there before your shower. Once your deep conditioner is in your hair and your shower cap is on- get your hot shirt out and wrap it around your head for added heat. After the first shirt cools completely, switch it out for another one fresh out of the dryer.
Squish to Condish
I agree, this sounds really stupid. However, it's a common term in the curly hair world. I am not sure if I have it correct- but what I understand from it has made a huge difference in my hair! After your conditioner is totally distributed in your hair and detangled- scrunch (or, squish) the conditioner into your hair, so that it really gets into the strands. After you have done that- you can add a little more conditioner- if you feel you need it. Then, put on your cap. Also, right before rinsing- scrunch again! Finally, rinse with cool water.
Protein vs Moisture
This is a whole complicated topic in and of itself. Our hair needs both of these things, respectively. But, not too much of either. If your hair is over moisturized- your hair could start feeling limp and gummy. If your hair has too much protein- it can feel hard and straw-like. So, I like to alternate between a moisturizing- protein free deep conditioner, and a protein treatment deep conditioner. I'll show you which ones I love below.
If right now, deep conditioning is just a once in a blue moon thing you do if you're absolutely desperate, I would encourage you to try making it more of a routine. I try to deep condition once a week- every two weeks if I'm feeling lazy. I know it might seem like a lot, but believe me- your hair will thank you!
My favorite protein free deep conditioners:
My favorite protein treatment deep conditioner: