Today I want to single out one of the most important practices that I believe is responsible for my hair retention. This is Deep Conditioning, I know this was mentioned before on many of my post but I wanted to put more emphasis on it because a lot of people skip this step. Everyone needs to deep condition; Relaxed, Texturised, Heat Trained and even Natural hair has to be deep conditioned.
Deep conditioning is key to maintaining a proper protein/moisture balance. See my protein/moisture post if you do not know what this is.
Elements Of A Good Deep Condition:
A Good Deep Conditioner
It is important to know the difference between an instant conditioner and a deep conditioner. Read the directions on the packaging, most deep conditioners instruct you to leave the product on for minimum 10 minutes, some also instruct you to cover with a plastic cap or to use heat etc. When the directions say to 'rinse immediately' or 'leave in hair for 1 minute then rinse' in most cases this is an instant conditioner and it does not contain the essential nutrients that should be present in to give you a good deep condition.
Invest in two good deep conditioners; one for moisture the other for protein. In addition to looking at the directions, keep an eye out for the words 'mask','deep penetrating', 'intense moisture' and 'repair and reconstruct'
When you have found two deep conditioners that you like, you can also add ingredients to it to tweak it to your personal preference and give it an extra boost. I like to add coconut oil and glycerine tomine.
As stated previously on one of my older post, our hair's cuticles act like little
doors that allow substances in and out of our strands... we need to open
these doors using heat (heat raises the cuticle) to allow for deep
penetration. This can be heat from a dryer, steamer or body heat.
I've found that for deep conditioning to be really effective you should spend a minimum of 30 minutes under the dryer/heating cap or atleast 1 hour if you are using your own body heat. I have seen some youtubers deep conditioning overnight, this does not work well for me because of my sinus issues but this is another option if you can tolerate it.
Cold Rinse/ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) Rinse
After deep conditioning and getting all that good stuff into your strands, you would need to close the cuticles, this is done by rinsing in cold water or an apple cider vinegar mixture. When rinsing in cold water try to focus on the length of your hair instead of the scalp. Such drastic changes in temperature can cause a head cold, my suggestion is to rinse the conditioner out using warm water, then dipping the length of your hair in a cold water bath using a bucket or container of some kind.
If you prefer to use the ACV mixture use a ratio of 1 : 5 to dilute the ACV. Dip your hair into the solution, let it sit for about 2 minutes then rinse.
I hope this post was helpful, check out my vid below for some conditioner suggestions.