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Tips for Deep Conditioning Hair

Updated on June 26, 2015

Tips for Deep Conditioning Hair

So you wash and condition your hair every day, that’s all your hair needs, right? Wrong. While shampooing is important to keep hair clean, along with hair color, styling and environmental damage, hair is depleted of the protein and moisture it needs to maintain its health, softness, and luster. One thing that many women overlook is the importance of deep conditioning your hair on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, especially if you’re the kind of girl that A. colors your hair, or B. uses heat tools on your hair daily. So what is this deep conditioning all about and how do you do it? Deep conditioner is a simple and effective process to provide hair with the additional nourishment that it needs. Read on for an overview of what deep conditioning is all about, what type of products to use, and of course, how it’s done.

The first most important step for deep conditioning hair is selecting the right kind of deep conditioner. What I mean is the conditioner that is best for your particular hair type, lifestyle and needs. There are primarily two types of hair damage that can occur that need two different types of conditioners. While everyone’s hair is different, there are two primary types of deep conditioners that can cater to the variety of different hair types and needs.

  1. Chemically Damaged Hair: Chemical damage is created when a person colors their hair. This means color that is done at home or at the salon. Even if the chemical treatment is gentle, it is still important to pamper your hair with a conditioning treatment. The best type of deep conditioner for chemically damaged hair is a conditioner that is enriched with protein. There are several types of protein that include wheat protein, silk protein, and keratin. All are great ingredients for treating chemically damaged hair, as they bond to the hair strand to help reconstruct the damaged hair shaft.
  2. Heat and Environmentally Damaged Hair: Hair that is damaged through heated styling tools and overexposure to sun is in need of a conditioner that is rich in moisture. Heat from styling tools and sun and wind can strip the moisture from hair, leaving it limp, dry and lifeless. Silicone, panthenol, dimethicone, and essential oils (including jojoba, tea tree and Moroccan oils to name a few) are all important and useful ingredients for moisturizing conditioners

Not only do moisturizing deep conditioners infuse the hair with moisture, but they also act to prevent future loss of moisture.

It’s essential to know the difference between protein and moisturizing deep conditioners, to ensure that your hair is getting the nourishment it needs. Protein rebuilds hair that has been compromised from the ammonia found in color and bleach. Moisture replenishes hair that has been sucked dry from excessive heat that absorbs the hair’s natural oils.

Another important thing to consider is the natural texture of your hair. Texture is determined by the size of your hair shaft and can be anywhere from super fine to extremely thick. Generally hair that is more fine is in need of conditioning treatments more frequently. Also hair that is curly versus straight is in need of more moisture and more frequent conditioning.

Shiny Long Hair

Shiny Long Hair
Shiny Long Hair

Now that you’ve selected which conditioner is the best choice for your hair type, you need to make sure you know how to deep condition hair. There are strategies that can be used to ensure that the deep conditioner has maximum effectiveness. If you’re crunched for time, these steps can be skipped and your hair will still benefit from a quick deep conditioning, but these are great ways to ensure the product can really work its magic. Following are a few important steps to incorporate when deep conditioning hair.

  1. First shampoo hair: It’s essential to remove any build up or impurities from the hair before applying deep conditioner.
  2. Remove excess water from hair: Before applying conditioner, squeeze hair of extra water or towel dry to avoid diluting the conditioner and to get an even distribution of product.
  3. Leave conditioner on hair for 5 minutes: So the conditioner can fully penetrate the hair, be sure to leave it on for at least five minutes (to enable the hair to absorb the product).
  4. For extra effectiveness, use heat with the product: Heat opens up the hair cuticle to allow the conditioner to absorb into the hair shaft. If you want to ensure that the conditioner is maximally effective, use heat after distributing the conditioner through the hair. Use a bag or shampoo cap to cover your hair, then lay in the sun or use a hot blow dryer to apply heat.
  5. Rinse out conditioner with cool water: After washing out the conditioner, use cool water to close the cuticle and hold the moisture. While heat opens the cuticle and allows hair to absorb the product, cool water helps to seal it into the hair.
  6. Let the hair air dry: So you’ve given your hair the nutrition and moisture it needs, now give it a break from the heat, hairspray, and styling.

Congratulations, you have successfully deep conditioned hair, now what? Your hair should be noticeably softer, shinier and more manageable. Most people can get away with deep conditioning hair every other week or once a month, but you can determine your needs based on the feel and appearance of your hair. If hair starts looking dull, and feeling noticeably dry or brittle, then it’s time to repeat the process. It’s always best to avoid excessive damage by over-processing hair with color or bleach, or using excessive heat on a daily basis, but we can take heart, knowing that there are a variety of deep conditioners available to restore the health of your hair.

Tips for Healthy Hair


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