Saturday, June 21, 2014

Healthy Hair Habits: Deep Conditioners

The use of deep conditioners should be a part of any healthy hair care regimen. You may ask: Why are they so important? It's hard to imagine that anyone would wash their hair without using a rinse out conditioner, unless the shampoo had a conditioner in it. With all the stress that we place on our hair, it's even harder to imagine not using a deep conditioner from time to time.

Before you ask yourself the following questions, you need to know why it's important to deep condition your hair. First, a good deep conditioner will hydrate dry hair by penetrating the hair shaft to restore moisture and to prevent breakage. Second, it can help to alleviate the daily damage we inflict upon our hair by the use of excessive heat and chemical treatments, etc. Third, they are treatments and usually are required to remain in the hair for 15-30 minutes.

Asking yourself the following questions about deep conditioners will guide you in the right direction.

1. How often should I deep condition my hair?

Opinions vary on how often you should deep condition your hair. A good rule of thumb to use is to determine how often you use heat, what elements your hair is exposed to on a regular basis, product use, and hair type. Some suggest once a month is sufficient even with dry, damaged hair. Others suggest at least twice a month. According to the literature that is out there, it's not really necessary to deep condition more than a couple of times a month.

(Note: For the best results,use a heating cap or sit under a hooded dryer with a plastic baggy. This helps to open the cuticle layer and penetrate the hair shaft.)

2. What type of deep conditioner is best for my hair type?

There are different types of deep conditioners for different hair types. There are those that are infused with essential oils and herbs, others with keratin proteins, silk and wheat proteins. You should determine right away if your hair needs a moisture-based conditioner or a protein-based conditioner. Different sources suggest that if your hair is dry and it snaps and breaks easily, you should use a moisturizing conditioner. If your hair is fine, and stretches then snaps, a conditioner with protein should be used.

(Note: Some people go with plant-based proteins opposed to animal-based proteins. More research is needed in order to determine which protein-based conditioners are best. It's possible that it's a matter of preference, but surely some will argue that one is better than the other and can provide justification for their claims.)

3. Can I use a regular rinse out conditioner as a deep conditioning treatment?

Some sources say that it's OK to use a regular rinse out conditioner as a deep conditioning treatment. This is the point where you will have to be investigators and read the ingredients list to distinguish which ingredients are similar and which are different in rinse outs and deep conditioners. Some say that rinse out conditioners only coat the top layer of the hair strand and doesn't contain ingredients that penetrate the hair shaft. Typically a conditioner that is for deep conditioning will let you know.

Kenya L. Holmes is the Creator/Founder of The Kink; a natural hair care and natural living website & blog. For more information, go to,
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