Posts filed under: ‘Deep Conditioning‘

Hair Growth Tips Series Part IV (oh wow!): Deep Conditioning

Hi all. This is a continuation of the hair growth series.  This post is about deep conditioning.  Hair experts in the natural-hair community as well as the general hair-enthusiast community have different methods, different perspectives on relaxing and straightening, different preferences for ingredients in their hair products, different preferred detangling methods, and different preferred styles.  Some use shampoo.  Some never use shampoo. Some shampoo every two months. Some always shampoo their scalp only and never the scalp. Some do shampoo their hair.  Some henna their hair. Some advise against henna. I could go on for days. But there is one thing that all the hair experts seem to share—and I would say that I measure their hair expertise based on the length of their hair.  What they all have in common is deep conditioning often.  Often be every week or every other week.  Some, like The Anti Hair Slave  even deep condition three times per week sometimes. Again you will have to figure out your own hair needs.  Most people, I have noticed deep condition their hair every time they wash (whether they wash with a cheap conditioner, a moisturizing shampoo, a no poo, or a clarifying shampoo).

Here are some tips on how to choose a deep conditioner:

Protein versus Moisture

So one difference among hair experts is the kind of deep conditioner they use.  Some women need protein in their hair, whereas other women have hair that is protein sensitive and can break if there is too much protein.  Instead, they need moisture.

From what I have noticed, the women who need protein are usually those who relax, straighten often, dye,  or apply heat often to the hair.  The relaxing, dying, and heat processes can distort the protein structures in the hair and therefore women with these processes need protein.

The women who have protein sensitive hair and need moisture are usually women with natural hair.  However, I will say that some natural women such as kimmaytube and haircrush use conditioners with protein and have had great results.  Those with naturally kinky hair especially need moisture because kinky hair often is and/or looks dry.

I personally try to stick with a low protein conditioner and add an egg when the ends are looking damaged but may stop that because it does not seem to help.  Sometimes if the ends are broken, I will put jojoba oil on the ends.

These are the conditioners I have tried and like:

  • Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose (Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods)—this one smells much better that the White Camellia)
  • Aubrey Organics White Camellia (Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods)
  • Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol (Sally’s) – but be careful with this one, it has parabens which can be cancerous.
  • Herbal Essence Hello Hydration
  • Suave Naturals Conditioner Tropical Coconut

Right now I use Herbal Essense Hello Hydration or Suave Naturals Conditioner Tropical Coconut.  I use them because they are less expensive than the others, but I mix HH or TC with Olive Oil and honey.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the slip (detangling) and the honey because it is a humectant (attracts moisture).

Slight digression (as always) 

The funny thing is that when I was younger I thought that I had to buy black products, but they were not really working for my hair and I now am finding out that a lot of black and mixed hair experts do not use so called “black” products.  My best friend’s cousin is a chemical engineer and she said that so-called “black” hair products have higher amounts of cancerous chemicals such as parabens.  What are they trying to do? Kill us?  And they meanwhile have our hair looking sub par.  Pathetic. (Check out the hair hazards of your own hair products:  This is not really related to hair growth but I thought you should know).

What’s more is the products are not even always made by black people.  Many are made by Jewish, Korean, and Vietnamese people.  I am not saying that this is wrong, but if your reasoning for using black hair products is that you are supporting black businesses, the chances are you are really not. They just slap a black woman’s face on the box, who by the way may not even use the product.  My mom met a Motion’s hair model who says she never uses Motions.  She said she uses Pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil. How she does, I don’t know, but I also use olive oil so I can imagine.

Well enough of outing people and hair care companies.  My point is that you do not have to find your conditioner in the “black” section.  I will admit that Lustrasilk is in the black section.  But do not be afraid to venture out.  If you do get a “white people’s conditioner”, as my cousin T says, get one for dry hair, because kinky/curly hair tends to be dry.  Tresemmé and Pantene ProV are also quite popular. Pantene is especially good for the relaxed and heat treated hair because of the protein.  (On the flip side Teen Magazine and Cosmo Girl never gave any real hair tips for women with kinky or even curly hair and Black Hair Magazines only recommended those poisonous black hair care products. Also pathetic.)  Okay. Let me calm down and continue. I’m okay, ladies. I promise.

Deep condition? How?

I am glad you asked.  It is quite simple.  You apply the deep conditioner, yes.  However, you also want to use some kind of heat.  But you don’t have to go out and by a dryer or a hair dryer hood. I have neither of those things.  You can use your own body heat. Fo’ free!!

After applying the deep conditioner, don a plastic heating cap or even a plastic grocery bag.  I have done both, but be careful not to suffocate yourself with the latter.  Tie it on your head.  To trap your body heat, you can do one of two things:

  1. Wrap a towel around your head.
  2. But on a satin cap and then a stocking cap (actually made out of stockings).

I can explain the logic of these two methods easily easily.  When it is winter or when it is cold, people wear skull caps. Right? And why do they do that?  Because most of our body heat escapes from the head (and the hands but that is not important), but when you wear skull cap the heat is trapped.  The same thing is happening when you put the plastic cap and either the towel or bonnet and stocking cap.  Free heat from God.  How awesome is that?  Hehe.  I explain this process in more detail in my washing regimen.


1 comment July 26, 2011

My Washing Regimen

I promised a few days ago that I would post my regimen and I have been working on that since, but I was trying to figure out a way to show my regimen that is less daunting to beginners. Now I am finally finished.  There are several regimens. Here is a quick outline:

  1. Wash or co-wash once per week.
    • Pre-poo and detangle
    • Wash/co-wash
    • Deep condition and detangle
    • Style
  2. Moisturize and seal every night.
  3. Preserve style if necessary every night.

Oh. That was not so complicated.  However, here I am only going to post my washing regimen right now, which is sort of complicated. So…let’s get it started. HA!

Wash/Co-wash regimen

  1. Prepooing:
    1. Pour a nickel size amount of oil on hands and rub hands together. (I use olive oil, cocoa nut oil, or Vatika oil, although other people recommend avocado oil and grape seed oil. Olive Oil, found in the grocery store, and Vatika Oil, found in the Indian Grocery store, might be the most economical.)
    2. With oily hands, divide the hair into four sections (oil provides slip and prevents breakage).
    3. On each section, rub the oil  from root to tip, focusing on the tip.
    4. Put a plastic heating or shower cap over head
    5. Put on something that can lock in the body head from your head such as a hair bonnet and then a stocking cap or alternatively you can use a towel.
    6. Allow to sit on hair anywhere from a 20 minutes to an hour, several hours or over night.
    7. Take off the stocking cap, bonnet, and plastic cap (or towel and plastic cap).
    8. Finger detangle the hair:
  •    Separate hair in smaller sections
  •    Pull apart the hair carefully starting from the bottom to take out the tangles
  •      I do this when the hair is dry in order to insure less tangles when the hair is wet (I will create a post amount dry vs. wet detangling later).
  1. Washing:
    1. Put water and a nickel amount of shampoo (or conditioner if you are co-washing) into spray bottle.
    2. Shake up the bottle
    3. Wet hair with warm (not hot) water
    4. Spray shampoo/water mix on the scalp (not the hair because shampooing is really for the scalp and can dry out the hair).
    5. Massage the scalp with finger tips for (not finger nails!!) for 60 seconds
    6. Rinse with warm water.

Note: I would recommend a shampoo, but I have not found one I like yet.  Most hair experts recommend a sulfate free shampoo.

Alternatively (Co-wash):

  1. Put a nickel size amount of a cheap conditioner in the palm of the hand. I use the Suave Tropical conditioner.
  2. Massage the conditioner into the scalp.
  3. Rinse.

Deep Conditioning*:

    1. Divide the hair into four sections
    2. Ring out excess water.
    3. Put the conditioner on each section. Focus on the ends of the hair.
    4. Put the plastic cap, bonnet, and stocking cap on the hair and allow it to sit for however long the instructions on the bottle tell you to.  You can also leave it on for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, and hour, several hours, or overnight. I personally have not been consistent about how long.
    5. After the conditioner has set in, take of the hair equipment, run hair under water for two seconds, not allowing the conditioner be washed out completely.
    6. Finger detangle the hair by pulling it a part carefully in small sections.  If a piece of hair is stubborn spray it with water and work with it with your fingers.  I got this idea from: beadsbraidsandbeyond  Ignore the muffin and cupcakes comments.
    7. After detangling one piece of hair, put that piece of hair in a two strand twist.
    8. After all hair is detangled and twisted, rinse hair with cold water (as cold as bearable). This closes the cuticle which prevents unnecessary breakage.
    9. Style the hair. I will be making videos for the styles. Sometimes I apply a leave-in conditioner at this point to keep the hair healthy and style at the same time.  I like Giovanni Direct Leave-in. Sometimes I do not apply a leave-in and I may spray aloe vera juice instead to close the cuticle which prevents breakage.  This depends on the style. Giovanni Direct Leave-in has aloe vera gel so the aloe is always there.  No matter what, after washing I always put a humectant (Castor Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, or Jojoba Oil) in dry months or an anti-humectant (Shea Butter, Cocoa-nut oil, etc.) in the humid months.

*Here I would use an organic conditioner.  Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose is very good but it is also very expensive. Cheaper alternatives I use are Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and Suave Tropical Conditioner with Cocoa nut oil.  However, when using these, mix them with honey and olive oil.

This is my washing regimen.  Although this seems like a long process, and it definitely can be when first starting out, do not be discouraged.  Making this easy is really a matter of making a habit doing the regimen.  However, I will say that not every regimen works for everyone, so you may have to do more researching and experimenting. I will post a series of hair tips which can help you to develop your own regimen, although not all at one time, so stayed tuned. Most of these tips are on preventing breakage, because preventing breakage is what promotes hair growth.

I am not sure if I was so clear in my explanation of my regimen, so I may make videos to supplement this once I find my camera. Please stay tuned for my nightly regimen, which is quite simple.    If you have any questions please comment or send me an email at .


  • I do not towel dry my hair.  If it’s wet, I squeeze out the moisture with my hands or use an old T-shirt.

2 comments June 14, 2011






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