In my previous post on deep conditioning, you would already know the basic reasons to deep condition, and a little bit on when and how to do so.
What a lot of people don’t know is that there are different types of deep conditioners and these various types perform different functions.
Firstly, its important to note that RINSE-OUT CONDITIONERS ARE NOT DEEP CONDITIONERS. These are mainly used with or immediately after shampooing to help make the hair softer, or for cowashing. Hair rinses are also used after shampoos or cleansing (more on that later).
Same goes for LEAVE-IN CONDITIONERS. These are definitely not deep conditioners, they have a totally different use from regular conditioners, in that they are majorly made to be left on the hair, and not washed off.
Its also important to note that you don’t always have to waste money on expensive products, you can easily substitute nutrients in foodstuff or your oils. Whip something up and use it!
Now, there are basically TWO major types of deep conditioners. They serve the two basic reasons to deep condition, what keeps hair growing, keeps it soft and beautiful:
strength and moisture!
These are the exact two things you want for your natural hair to be long and luscious.
So the two different types of deep conditioners to get the above are:
1. Moisturizing Deep Conditioners
Since our African hair is naturally dry due to the curl pattern, it gets hard and weak easily as it gets longer, since it’s more difficult for our natural oils and moisturizers to pass through strands and moisturize, these deep conditioners, do the work for us. They are specially formulated to penetrate strands with their moisture and also attract moisture from the atmosphere keeping the hair soft, prevent brittleness and ultimately stronger.
2. Protein Deep Conditioners
Now, depending on your genes and general health, your body either distributes protein evenly around its system, or not. How much is even distributed also depends on how much protein you take by mouth, so yeah, this also involves a good amount of protein in your diet. Now, even though you have a good amount and your body also distributes properly to your hair, it would grow to a reasonable length, but thats just for a while after your big chop or while your hair is still relatively short. WHY? Because, the protein isn’t sufficient for the longer ends. This is the reason why you might notice, your hair seemed to be growing so fast, and suddenly, it just stopped (story of my life)!
When your hair begins to lack protein, holes are developed in the strands making them weaker, and they begin to break off , so your hair seems like its not growing. In the real sense, it is growing but its just breaking off at the ends. Protein deep conditioners work by filling up the holes with protein, like your body should be doing, to add strength to it, and allow it grow peacefully!
THERE IS HOWEVER, SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH!
Too much moisture in your hair, makes it weak and limp, like a feather, its soft and nice but it’s weak! Too much protein makes it too hard, and in turn brittle, exactly what you were trying to avoid.
I found this perfect infographic that explains just what I mean.
These things don’t stay forever once you put them, your body absorbs them, and so you have to keep up a routine; when your hair is out (i.e not in a protective style), deep conditioning once a week is just perfect to keep it perfectly refreshed, without doing too much. Follow by moisturizing for best results (post coming soon)
So go ahead, and DC, DC, DEEP CONDITION!!!
Watch out for the next post on growing out your hair, where I will shed more light on deep conditioning for protein, when to and how to!
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