Deep conditioning is an essential element in which coily hair thrives. Coily hair requires enriched moisture reinforcements due to its high potential to experience dryness. Because the circumference of coily hair is smaller than that of curly hair, the sebum from your scalp takes longer to travel down the hair shaft. Since sebum takes forever to get from roots to ends, you need to take measures to avoid dryness and breakage. Deep conditioners are filled with proteins, lubricants and oils to help your hair maintain elasticity, prevent breakage and restore strength. Here are six top tips for deep conditioning and washing your coils.
1. Use All Natural Conditioner
Deep conditioning is the time to rejuvinate your hair from manipulation and weather elements. Selecting a deep conditioner that is free of non-soluble silicones, non-permeable oils and drying alcohols will allow your hair to absorb more nutrients and decrease the rate of product build-up. No one wants to wash their hair just to experience dryness two days later. Natural conditioners are the best route to prevent decreasing your strand’s absorption capacity.
2. Look for Behentrimonium Chloride
This cationic surfactant is an awesome lubricant that helps to give your hair slip as you detangle. Coily hair is bound to become interwine, especially when activated with water. The last thing you want is to be excited for wash day, hop in the shower, run water on your hair and apply a conditioner that doesn’t have any slip. That’s the formula to an extremely matted mess! Slip is a must. Behentrimonium chloride provides slip that is equally effective as silicones minus the product build-up.
3. Add Penetrating Oils
Avocado oil, coconut oil and olive oil are three oils that penetrate the hair shaft and reach the cortex. Because coily hair has a tendency to dry out, oils help to slow down the rate of moisture loss. Check out these deep conditioners rich in oils:
- Avocado oil - Giovanni 2Chic Ultra-Moist Deep Deep Moisture Mask
- Coconut oil - Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea All Natural Masque
- Olive Oil - MYHoneyChild Olive You Deep Conditioner
4. Be Sure to Look for Hydrolyzed Proteins
Hydrolyzed proteins are proteins that have been altered to seep into the cuticle and fill in the cortex. They help coily hair to regain strength from daily wear and tear by replacing proteins that are lost through manipulation. CurlyNikki’s Finding Your Perfect Deep Conditioner – The Ultimate Guide is a great reference for a list of hydrolyzed proteins and more information.
5. Use heat
Deep conditioning with a processing cap under a hooded dryer for a minimum of 15 minutes is just divine. It is possible for your hair to absorb nutrients from conditioners without confined heat, but it will take longer. Not only does using heat expand the hair shaft to give the conditioner more access to seep through, but it also helps certain ingredients bond to the cuticle.
6. Rinse with Cool water
Rinsing your hair with cool water after deep conditioning helps to close the cuticle. By rinsing with warm water, you re-open the hair shaft and possibly lose nutrients that were just put into the hair.
Whenever moisturizing and sealing don’t work and your hair keeps laughing at your co-wash conditioner, it’s probably time to deep condition. Your hair thrives when it starts with a good foundation. A great analogy is your body’s need for hydration. To some, a Coke sounds great on a hot summer day, but the body is not truly hydrated without water. Your hair is the same. Product build-up and synthetic ingredients are like that false sense of hydration. You keep drinking looking to quench that thirst until you finally drink water. Deep condition your coils with the best of the best and you will definitely see a difference.
This article was originally published on August 2012 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.