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Moisturize Natural Hair With Deep Conditioning Treatments
Hydrate Hair With a Hooded Dryer
Ways To Make Hair Moist
Naturalistas the world over have pondered tirelessly over that age old question, "How do I add moisture - long lasting moisture - to my parched curls?" It is absolutely true that moisture is something that black natural hair lacks and desperately needs, but that doesn't mean that the situation is hopeless for girls with ringlets. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps that can be taken to hydrate dry black natural hair and restore its moistness and suppleness.
The Heating Cap and The Hooded Dryer
To begin with, deep conditioning with a conditioning tool such as a heating cap is ideal. It is true that some benefits can be derived from simply putting conditioner on damp hair underneath a plastic cap for a period of time. I have tried that method of conditioning, and it was, well, okay, but after using a deep conditioning heating tool, I have to say that there is simply no comparison between the two methods; heat is definitely better due to the fact that it offers deeper, more intense moisturization of the hair in a short period of time. For example, heating caps do just as their name implies; they heat up when their attached cords are plugged into electrical sockets. This is extremely important because the heat opens up the cuticle of the hair, allowing moistness to completely saturate it. Many people also prefer a heating cap to other deep conditioning tools due to the fact that the cap doesn't feel as confining to the individual as do other tools that are often used to humidify dry natural hair. At any rate, heating caps are an excellent way to raise the water content of moisture-deprived curls.
Another way to moisturize natural hair through deep conditioning is to simply use a hooded hair dryer. Again, the key is to use heat to open the cuticle of the hair so that the hair is drenched in moisture. All that is necessary is the application of the chosen conditioner and a plastic cap to cover the head. Then, the person simply sits under the hooded dryer for a set period of time, for say, 20 to 30 minutes. A towel is usually recommended to protect the neck area from the heat of the dryer, but it is also useful to wipe away any excess liquid that trickles down from the hair that becomes sopping wet from the conditioning treatment!
Conditioning Heating Cap
This heating conditioning tool is an excellent way to provide high levels of hydration to parched, dry hair. Unlike a hooded dryer, this tool is noise-free. Additionally, due to the amount of controlled heat that is applied, the cuticles are fully opened up in order to absorb moisture and conditioning agents. The result is highly moisturized hair that can stand up to the demands of all types of weather - hot, dry or cold temperatures. Including this type of deep moisturizing tool in a natural hair maintenance routine on a weekly basis will strengthen and beautify your locks, curls and coils. Most heating caps will only set you back $20 to $50. Additionally, when viewed thru a long term hair investment lens, this is actually not bad, since you should be able to use the cap for years to come.
When using the heating cap, simply wash hair with a gentle, alcohol free shampoo or cleansing conditioner; rinse thoroughly. Then place the deep conditioner of your choice on your strands, paying close attention to the ends of the hair. Then, simply gather the hair together as if you would gather it to place it into a pony tail, and then twist it into a bun. Place a plastic cap or bag onto your head, and follow this with the heating cap. Turn on the apparatus and allow the heat to penetrate for 20-45 minutes, depending upon the needs of the hair. After the conditioning treatment, allow 10-15 minutes for the cuticle of the hair to close. Then rinse thoroughly and proceed to style the hair.
Dampen Hair With Standing Hooded Steamers
Another great option for creating an environment for increased water absorption within hair is the standing hooded steamer. This tool actually looks very much like a hooded dryer, except for the fact that steam comes through the hood of the device. Of course, it goes without saying that the hair should be exposed to the steam so that humidification can occur. So no plastic caps with this one! Also, steamers should be used before shampooing, not after. These tools gently lift but do not entirely open the hair's cuticle. As a result, this means that steamers are great for allowing hair to be penetrated with conditioners before the hair makes contact with water. It's a unique and creative way of minimizing the loss of moisture from the hair that can sometimes occur during the cleansing process.
Standing Hooded Steamer
This moisture-adding device looks similar to a hooded dryer, except for the fact that it stands alone. A chair can be placed underneath it so that the person can sit comfortably and allow the cuticles of the hair to be delicately opened for maximum conditioner penetration. The most beneficial uses of this product occur prior to hair cleansing and also when restoring moisture for restyling.
Moisten Hair With Handheld Hair Steamers
Handheld steamers are much smaller in size than their standing counterparts, but they also provide a means of moisturizing natural dry hair. They serve the same purpose as the standing steamers, but their smaller sizes offer greater convenience and mobility while allowing the cuticle of the hair to be gently lifted. They are great for quickly preparing hair for penetrating conditioners when time is limited.
The Search Continues
Not long ago, I tried the original Nubian Heritage EVOO & Moringa Repair and Extend Conditioner as my deep conditioner under a plastic cap and a hooded dryer. All that I can say is that the ORIGINAL formula was so very amazing!!! My hair was extremely moisturized, supple and hydrated. In fact, I didn't even need to use a hair gel to define my curls for several days after doing the deep conditioning treatment. My usual leave-in conditioner was all that I needed to seal the deal, so to speak.The ingredient list began with deionized water, olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, sorbitol esters, mango seed butter, and so many other moisturizing oils. To top that off, though, this product was completely chemical and alcohol free! However, I ordered this conditioner from two retailers recently and received a new version of this product containing chemicals and alcohol from both online stores! This tells me that the formula has changed and that my hunt for a deep conditloner that is chemical free, alcohol free and intensely moisturizing must continue. It goes without saying that I am deeply disappointed in this new addition natural hair product Hall of Shame, compliments of Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage.
Coconut Oil For Increased Water Absorption
I should also mention that I put coconut oil on my hair first and then slathered the conditioner on top of the coconut oil. Then came the plastic cap. I sat under the hooded dryer for 30 minutes, and I have to say that, at that point which was prior to the formula change, I had found my staple products for natural hair that is drenched in moisture. However, I remain undaunted in locating the best deep conditioner for natural hair!
Feel free to let me know what works for you, too, because that's what it's all about - girls with curls helping each other figure out this natural hair thing.
Don't forget to check out my new ebook below!
Ten Hair Commandments For Girls With Curls
Written by K A Satcher, this ebook reveals the types of ingredients in natural hair products that must be avoided at all costs by women who choose to wear their hair in its natural state. It also proactively reveals the types of ingredients that should be included in any products that girls with curls purchase. Maintenance regimens and cleansing and detangling suggestions are also included.