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Curly Nikki

Myth vs. Fact: Deep Conditioning

By January 27th, 202182 Comments

Myth vs. Fact: Deep Conditioning

by Nicole of Hair Liberty

If you are like most African American women, you’ve been told that “deep conditioning” is one of the keys to healthy hair. Usually, that means applying a deep conditioner, putting on a plastic cap, and sitting under a bonnet dryer. Some women sit for 20 minutes…or 30 minutes…or even 40 minutes and longer. But if sitting under the dryer to “deep condition” is so important, why isn’t that step listed in the directions? Take a look at the directions on these popular conditioners from Sally Beauty Supply…

Mane N Tail Deep Moisturizing Conditioner
For best results begin with deep moisturizing shampoo. After rinsing remove excess water. The amount of product to use will vary with hair volume and length. Massage Mane ‘n Tail Deep Moisturizing Conditioner into scalp and hair, leave on for 1 to 2 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Style as usual.

Lustrasilk Olive Oil Mayonnaise Deep Conditioning Treatment
Rub a small amount in palms and apply evenly from scalp to ends. Give extra attention to overly damaged areas. Leave in for 3-5 mintues, rinse with warm water and style as usual.

Silk Elements Megasilk Moisture Treatment
Apply to wet hair. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes then rinse. Style as usual.

Biotera Color Care Intensive Reconstructor
Apply to wet hair. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes then rinse. Style as usual.

A few products tell you to apply heat, but not for long…

Motions CPR Critical Protection and Repair Treatment Conditioner
Saturate hair from root to end; for extreme conditioning, cover hair with plastic cap and place client under warm dryer for 5 minutes. This is a professional product for use by cosmetologists only. This product should be used by every professional stylist for the treatment of breakage or when breakage is anticipated.

L’Oreal Nature’s Therapy Mega Moisture Nurturing Creme
Apply to shampooed, towel dried hair. For deeper conditioning, leave on for 2 to 5 minutes. For even more intense conditioning, apply moderate dryer heat for 5 minutes. Rinse.

Here’s the truth: Most conditioners, even those labeled as “deep conditioners”, only condition the outside of your hair. They coat your hair so it will feel soft. Using heat for extended periods of time does not help the conditioner coat your hair, nor does it help the conditioner penetrate into your hair. That’s why sitting under the dryer isn’t usually in the instructions – because it won’t help!

When the instructions do say to apply heat, that means there’s no benefit in sitting under the bonnet dryer for more than the time listed. Hair products are tested by scientists and hair stylists multiple times. The instructions on the bottle tell you exactly what to do for the maximum benefit. Follow the directions as written, making sure to saturate your hair with conditioner from root to tip. If you’re not happy with the way your hair feels after following the package directions, then it’s time to find a better conditioner. Shop the Hair Liberty Boutique to find hand-picked conditioners that are truly effective for African American hair.

So, the next question is, why does your hairdresser deep condition with heat when you go to the salon? Only she can answer that, but here are some possible reasons:

    She is using a conditioner with instructions that say “apply heat”.
    She charges for deep conditioning.
    She uses the time that you are under the dryer to work on other clients.
    She uses the time that you are under the dryer to rest or eat.

As you read the wealth of information available from Hair Liberty, you will find other things that seem directly opposite of what your hairdresser says and does. It’s time to base your hair decisions on facts and not old habits. That time wasted under the bonnet dryer is better spent during the styling process, which, as you know, is where the real work comes in! If your hair is not as healthy as you want it to be, it’s time to change your routine.

So, in summary, arbitrarily applying heat to your conditioner is probably not damaging to your hair, but it does not provide any real benefit. To give your hair extra softness, do a pre-wash oil treatment each week before you shampoo.


  • Viviask says:

    Thanks for clearing that up! My hair is thick and curly and the best product I've used to take care of dryness is Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner, my hair is hydrated and healthy now πŸ™‚

  • Nikoi Roberts says:

    The point is this: Commercial deep conditioners are laden with silicones and coat the hair shaft almost immediately, relatively providing the intended result immediately or soon thereafter. However, more "natural" or silicone-free deep conditioners often require and encourage heat and prolonged leave-on time prior to rinsing in order to achieve the requisite results. Its safe to say that the difference in required treatment times lie in the use of either silicones and similar structures as opposed to natural ingredients…

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't agree with article, I am a 17 year old African American and I have always keep conditioner in my hair at least 45 mins. The conditioners needs time to penetrate in your hair, as with any product. The results I get when I leave the conditioner in longer for an hour or more are more impressing, my hair is super soft and much more easier to manage.

  • Anonymous says:

    The heat actually opens the hair shaft and and allows deeper penetration for the conditioner. Thus comes the term deep conditioner. So all stylist are not milking you for your money or time.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am just now finding this article. There are some deep conditioners which state that you should leave on for 10-15 minutes and apply heat. Regular conditioners will not say this, and don't have the same benefits, though some people use them this way (I used to be one of them, keeping it on overnight, or even using heat.) Once I used an actual "deep conditioner" (one on which the label stated it should be used for 10-15 minutes with heat), I noticed a remarkable difference in my hair.

  • Jasmine says:

    this article is neither here nor there for me. what works for one may not work for all. with that being said, i enjoy dc'ing, and it has been very beneficial for my hair. when i first started, i thought it was a myth, but over time i realized that results are not immediate, and with some consistency, it would yield great results. my hair is more moisturized, stronger, and i have minimal breakage. i also enjoy the time that i get to just sit under the dryer and relax. its like my 'me' time. i'll do my nails, surf the net, read, and sometimes even take a nap. its not like my life stops just because i'm under the dryer lol.

  • Elle says:

    I figured this out…after I bought my steamer, lol. But now I have it, so I might as well use it! I think it does "open" my hair up though.

  • Anonymous says:

    The research was probably not tested on all hair textures, when companies do case studies they will have a black woman with relaxed hair to test the product on more than likely, so that can alter the true outcome for curly-kinked hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I speak from experience, not to say this article is wrong or right, I deep condition for 15 minutes or longer (with the use of heat, and about once a week) and the deep conditioners I use have more natural botanical ingredients than regular drug store conditioners. I also use Aruyvedic deep conditioners, in fact these are really the main ones I use. My hair has become so beautiful and thick just because of Aruyvedic products. I do use some store bought conditioners like Yes to Carrots and KC Knot-today but for deep conditioning I go with mostly Aruyvedic. I noticed positive effects within one treatment of Aruyvedic conditioners.

  • Naturalcentric Hair Salon says:

    I couldn't disagree more. As a licensed hair stylist & loctician, I instruct my clients to deep condition at home (overnight!)as well as in the salon, as it is the most important thing for textured hair! They can feel the difference for themselves, this is no hairstylist ploy! Regardless of the instructions listed you can (& absolutely should) apply heat for at least 15 minutes to deep conditioners (you can also just use real mayo) & it absolutely helps the conditioner penetrate the hair shaft, I don't know where you're getting your information.

  • Anonymous says:

    I completely disagree. I absolutely benefit from sitting under the dryer for an extended period of time (usually 20-30 mins). I guess everybody's hair is different.

  • Anonymous says:

    Well I just listen to my hair…whether it be in regards to deep conditioning , protein , cowashing or whatver. When I do DC , I do use heat… but only for 15 mins.

  • Hair Liberty - Nicole says:

    Hello ladies – Along with the many references that are listed under the articles on, I just published the first of a series of Expert Q&As….

    Camille, a licensed cosmetologist that's been in practice for over a decade, shared her thoughts about deep conditioning in the interview.

    I have nothing but love for you all.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the "Clearification" Anon 1:06. Have a nice day honey, and take a deep breath while your at it, seems like you need one! Whosah! πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't see a lot of drama in the comments, however people are stating what works for them. The number of responses stating the DCing works as compared to those stating it doesn't work is higher. In my mind, this, at best, leads to a question about the personal commentary and "research" of the author of this article.
    Perhaps her research pool should be broadened? Not being dramatic, but supporting the idea that if you claim research and science as the basis of your beliefs, have believable and concrete scientific facts to back it up. Otherwise, it is JUST YOUR OPINION.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't see why so many people are all up and arms about this article? For those who choose to do other things with there times than to condition their hair for 30 + for minutes then great! This article maybe helpful, I'm one of those people. And for other's who choose to take the time to DC for longer periods of time, then more powerer to you if you feel like its beneficial! There is no reason to be so Dramatic about an article that brought forth a personal conclusion based on research. At least she did research her information before she brought it to the table. However at the end of the day…Do You! Take it Easy Ladies!

  • D Alexandra says:

    Not sure. I'm on the fence. I believe it depends on the conditioner that you use.

  • Annie L. says:

    I stopped DCing, my hair is great w/my various leave-in rinses. I've read articles from Derms challenging the effects of DC treatments after 5 mins as well and I believe them. I just can't buy that you're getting anything other than the effects of external saturation. Though if DCing for longer or at all does it for you then, okay.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have tried 3 methods to condition my hair:

    a) Leaving conditioner (Suave Naturals Almond and shea butter) on for the 3 minutes made the hair soft but not as soft as I'd like
    b) My usual routine is Suave Naturals Almond and shea butter + coconut oil + honey, works best. I sit with a plastic cap on under a dryer, time: 15 minutes
    c) Leaving the conditioner on overnight works slightly better than the 3 minute.

    The heat definitely has an effect not sure what it is yet. For the science of deep conditioning check out this The Natural haven blog:

  • Anonymous says:

    I actually disagree with this one Nikki. I can't leave condish on my hair for 1-3 minutes…my hair will look at me like WTHebejebes πŸ™ So I respectfully disagree. πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    I remember when my mom used to do my hair when i was completely natural( before i had a relaxer). I remember that she washed my hair once per month, and she NEVER EVER used any conditioner after shampooing, but my hair was just fine. She just creased it up afterwards and did some medium sized braids. So i dont know, maybe not everybody needs deep treatments

  • Loretta says:

    I'm in the camp for shorter deep treats per the bottle's instructions. Over night treatments are silly and pointless.

  • Anonymous says:

    Great article, I agree whole heartedly.

  • Anonymous says:

    Well the "deep conditioners" with 1-5 minute leave in time is NOT a deep conditioner. Deep conditioners should state a leave in time for at the least 15 minutes or more.

  • GJ says:

    Disagree with the idea that all hair is going to benefit from conditioners in the same time frame. My hair takes time to even soak up water, so it's definitely going to need more time to interact with conditioner. I know the difference in my hair from conditioning over night vs conditioning for a few minutes…night and day! One size just does not fit all.

  • Anonymous says:

    While I understand and respect the opinion the author of this article is sharing, I have to say that there is a lot of faulty reasoning going on here. As has been stated many times previously on this thread, people have to determine what is best for the health of their own hair. That being said, I do take issue with the fact that the author of the article (also the owner of the Hairliberty website highlighted in said article) makes assumptions that we are merely doing things to our hair out of "old habits" and that she has somehow "cracked the code" for all of our diverse hair types. The "fact" is that each of us lives with our own hair, so we know what works for us and what does not. Click on the link within the article itself and you are conveniently sent to her website to peruse all of the conditioners that she has to offer. Now, I am the last to knock anyone's hustle, but if you are going to present yourself as a haircare expert, I would expect a different level of discourse on the subject. This was presented as if it was factual information when it was actually one person's conclusion drawn from many sources. Actually, I feel it was a glorified commercial disguised as an article:

    "If you're not happy with the way your hair feels after following the package directions, then it's time to find a better conditioner. Shop the Hair Liberty Boutique to find hand-picked conditioners that are truly effective for African American hair."

    Can you present some definitive research to back-up that claim?

    The point is, that when it comes to the hair on your head (and life in general) you'd better learn to read and think for yourself!

  • Samantha says:

    I am very wary of this article.

    While it does bring up a very interesting point, it hardly presents any qualifying evidence. If the beautician who is using said time to do other things is the same (or was trained the same as the) ultra qualified beautician on this board along with scientists making the decisions about how long to condition then her opinion is moot.

    As well many hair care companies don't have their products tested by a third party objective, therefore these scientist working on the product can say whatever they want about it as long as its in company favor. Most times deep conditioners and regular conditioners have the EXACT same directions labels printed on them. (I read a lot of labels. Nothing gets put in my hair without me giving the label the once over. And I often find myself sitting in target or sally's comparing products based on their labels.)

    I feel that it is more about what is in a product that makes it work a specific way. Why is pre-pooing more effective when it takes just as long if not longer than deep conditioning? I feel this should be addressed as well.

    As to the current subject I feel that people who do spend time under a dryer are getting a noticeable result as opposed to following the 3-5 minute instructions listed. I can say this as a person who has tried both methods and found a noticeable difference between the two.

    I feel that people's deep conditioning habits are both a matter of personal preference and a direct relation to the type of hair a person has. I don't feel people's stylists or they themselves are doing anything completely unnecessary if sitting under a dryer for 15-45 minutes works out in their favor.

    If your hair comes about softer and more manageable after spending 30 minutes under a dryer, than if you simply left the conditioner on for 5 minutes how can that not be viewed as a real benefit?

  • Anonymous says:

    Exhale1913 your link was right on point!

  • Jennifer S. says:

    I LOVE this post…very insightful!


  • Anonymous says:

    This makes a lot of sense. I have a 8ox ketchup bottle of Organic EV coconut oil, pure avocado oil and evoo (all oils that penetrate the hair shaft) and I do a pre poo treatment. It saves me money too with not having to spend on premade products. I've finally noticed that my hair is growing and healthy.Also, no itchy scalp towards the end of the week from product buildup.


  • Breanna says:

    FYI ladies "BeadsBraidsBeyond" is giving away 2 Tangle Teezer Magic Flowerpots on the blog for the kids.

  • Anonymous says:

    I believe that if you're using completely natural ingredients to deep-condition — I'm talking about homemade mixes of shea butter, yogurt, olive oil, honey, molasses, amino acids, etc. in some kind of combination — then leaving it on for longer is a good idea.

    I also believe that the vast majority of deep conditioners on the market are NOT designed for thick curly/coily/kinky natural hair. Just as the amount of product should be taken into account (a quarter-size amount? for MY head? really??), so should the amount of time to leave it on.

    Now, all of that said: I recently tried Joico K-Pak Reconstructor. I used more product, of course, but I also left it on for about 5 minutes before rinsing it out. It made a MAJOR difference in the strength of my hair. So I do think the manufacturers/lab techs may have a point…

  • Anonymous says:

    Also, to the point of Dr. Oz whom you seem to want to take as an expert on your hair… I see a bit of a conundrum here. He suggests/mentions co-washing and yet NO BOTTLE of conditioner that I have ever read does. Again, trying to have your cake and eat it too. You can't argue that the company reveals EVERYTHING, be for co-washing and then say adhere to the directions because the companies know best. Does anyone not get that????????? Either you follow the directions or you don't, and again you do what works for you. I'm sure you don't co-wash anon 7:53. πŸ™‚

  • Honeysmoke says:

    This post reminded me about Here is a similar post.

    They don't mention heat but pretty much say there's no point to leaving conditioner on the hair for a long time.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much, Anonymous @7:53 PM!

  • Anonymous says:

    Anon 7:53 you are on another boat. Your comment is stating this and that fact/science and yet, not addressing what the main point of the article is. The article states that using a conditioner longer than the stated time provides no real benefit. Did you not read that?

    And furthermore, you speak as if those of us who disagree and challenge the OPINION are idiots. Seriously, you need to check your facts because the cuticle of the hair can be OPENED by warm water, and citric products. Niether of them are a chemical. So, who's your guru?

    Your argument saying that the article says deep conditioing can only work to a point instead of not at all is MOOT. No one suggested that this is what the article implied. What people are stating is that they notice the difference on their hair and thus, do not agree.

    I can't believe that you would write a post saying science this and that, calling people silly and etc… and then seem to have missed the point that is being made by those who disagree as well as the point of the article.
    And the little hair anatomy lesson excluded the fact that some people with fine hair do not have a medulla. LOL And also, no one is saying that the conditioner is penetrating beyond their shaft.

  • Anonymous says:

    Um, the article just says that the deep conditioners are most likely to work in the manner in which they are tested. Those things are tested, and they go with what the "majority" of tests indicate. I don't think anyone is arguing that.

    The fact that your hair responds well to deep conditioning (and yes, it should respond differently than it does to a leave-in or more watery mixture, since those can't coat the shaft as well), does not disprove the basic science of the hair. The structure and science of your hair shaft are well proven facts.

    Nothing anyone has sad can disprove the science that a conditioner coats your hair shaft. You cuticle layer can only be opened by a)chemicals or b)mechanical damage to the hair shaft. So if conditioner is really entered the inner layer of your hair shaft (cortex and medulla), you might want to figure out what that is.

    I think it's interesting that you all believe self-proclaimed "gurus" on You Tube but think that a doctor who has gone to medical school, or who has a PhD in chemistry is a liar. So much junk science and bad science is being passed around on the internet. Someone who has 100 steps to doing her hair is not scientific proof that those 100 steps are necessary.

    An article saying that deep conditioning can only work to a point is NOT the same as saying that deep conditioning doesn't work at all. It means that it stops works in as much as it cannot ENTER your hair shaft, but you can coat it up rather well.

    Did you not read that the article said "MOST" but not "ALL."

    I can't believe that people would even try to suggest that companies have some sinister motive for telling you that deep conditiong doesn't work. Yeah, they actually want you to pay twice the price for the deep conditioner. So silly.

    I can say that regulations for things classified as "pharmaceuticals" means that the labels can ONLY have the uses listed that the product has been tested for. I'm not sure if that applies to cosmetic products, however all of those items fall under the purview of the FDA.

  • Naturally Zee says:

    Ya know I think it depends on hair texture. Maybe the hair these products were tested on and marketed for did not benefit from DCs. From the list, and I am not familiar with EVERY product listed, it looks like they are for relaxed hair but can be used on natural hair. I remember doing the CPR when relaxed because it was a protein. Most of the list look to be a protein anyway, which i don't think are meant to be left on th ehair long.

    But again I'm no expert

  • Anonymous says:

    Nicole, thanks for your response. I'm anon 6:13 and 5:47. Firstly, I appreciate and respect anyone who wants to be informative and helpful but at the same time when you make statements like fact vs. fiction then you really need to provide more than the companies being forthright with information as your fact.

    Pharmaceutical companies are notorious for not being forthright. Yes, I do think that if a company found something to be beneficial that they would want you to know it AS LONG AS it makes financial sense to reveal it. My point is this, many women will attest to the difference between a 2-3 min. wash vs. a 15 min or more deep conditioning barring directions which suggest it. Knowing this, how can you really state that there is no benefit when the proof is in the pudding?

    Also, Dr. Oz is a cardio surgeon, who speaks about general health care. I'm not sure why his advice would be relevant to me on my African American hair. I already know the reasons why I do not need to wash and strip oils from my hair as often as someone else and etc… but nevertheless, Dr. Oz mentioned it not the company, right?

    So, you think that pharmaceutical companies are not aware that people co-wash? I bet they are and yet they do not list it on the bottles. Want to guess why? Maybe because if they did, then they would basically be admitting that the first step/product ie. shampoo is not necessary as often as the latter, conditioner. You stated that Dr. Oz suggests to do it and the companies do not. So which is it? Are the companies being forthright or is Dr. Oz revealing something that they have no idea of?

    I do not know the folks at Bee Mine, never used their product and have not even googled them, I'm in Europe. What I do know is that a company will reveal what they are force to share, think will benefit them and their product. If it can hurt the bottom line then no, they are not going to share it.

    All I'm saying is that you cannot really say that if the bottle does not say it then that means it ain't so nor can you make a blanket statement that letting the product sit on one's hair longer really does nothing because you really do not know that.

    Olive Oil is suggested and used a lot on sites like this and I have never once read on a bottle of Olive Oil "Good for your hair too". People figure out what works even when the bottle omits it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I disagree with this article. I rarely use heat with my DC however ALL of the DC's I use say to leave on 20-30 minutes or more or even overnight. My hair feels superb after a DC. Also, when you go to the link provided in the article for recommended deep conditioners I didn't see anything for deep conditioners, unless I missed it. There is nothing like your own research, as many have already mentioned. If we'd follow what the mass market and most of what their products say, our hair would probably not fair so well.

  • Anonymous says:

    Although Dr. Oz is a medical doctor, He is NOT a Dermatologist. He is a jack of all "medical trades" and a master of Cardiothoracic surgery. So, I would not quote him as being a thoroughly reputable source, especially in regards to black hair.Just my opinion.

  • Anonymous says:

    BY- JB

    Well yall, i gotta disagree with this, I DC using a steamer and regular conditioner (a masque once a week tho) and i actually couldnt be happier with my results! I DC for like 30+ minutes….
    1) detangle with hair SOPPING in condish
    2) apply steam for like 20 mins
    3) cover with a plastic cap for like 20-30mins
    4) rinse out with cool water

    Yall, after all this, my hair is soooo silky, bouncy and my ringlets are so defined i get so happy! It gives me motivation to get ready for the BC and what my hair has to offer in the future! β™₯β™₯β™₯

  • Hair Liberty - Nicole says:

    Hello ladies,

    It's always interesting to read your comments. There are similar comments posted under the original article at

    The reality is that all conditioners are not created equal…and you can't make them equal by applying heat. Hair companies want you to love their products and become lifetime customers. They have no reason to hide useful information from you.

    This is one example of a deep treatment from CurlMart…

    Don't you think the folks from Bee Mine would tell you if using a dryer or heat cap would improve your results? The maker of the product is the authority on how the product should be used for the intended results.

    @Anyonymous 6:13PM: Dr. Oz (a medical doctor) does recommend co-washing in one of his books, even though he doesn't use that term. The reference info is on I did not, however, find a reference for strictly co-washing. Every credible resource that I found insisted on shampoo at least once a week and that is what I recommend as well.

  • Jeannette says:

    What I have noticed about my hair is that is loves when I deep condition it. I put a plastic cap and a very large thick towel on my hair for about an hour and allow my body temperature to do the rest. Because I follow an Ayurvedic hair regimen, I do oil my hair prior to washing and deep conditioning. Interesting article. Not sure if I agree with everything that was stated, but I do see the point of view. I also like a previous comment to "Find Your Own Truth." Now that's the truth! πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    Follow the directions… I guess co-washing is a no no then. Ever read a bottle of conditioner that said "Can be used in place of shampoo"? No. That's because people figure out what works best for them and I have never co-washed and never will. Not because of what is and is not suggested but because I know what benefits my hair gets from washing.

  • Naijaprincess says:

    Ummm… I'm gonna have to disagree with this post/article. I can only speak from personal experience, but my hair laughs at me when I only leave conditioner in for the stated period of time. Even protein conditioners- I leave them in for much longer than stated- hours instead of minutes and my hair LOVES this. The directions on conditioners also say to use a dime/quarter sized amount- we all know that amount ain't enuff for our hair!!!

    To each her own..

  • Nono says:

    It's true though. And there is practically no difference between a regular conditioner and a deepconditioner and the time it should be on your hair. Because they both do the same thing: cover the hair to make it feel smoother and softer. I think why most people can feel a difference if they leave it a long time is that because of the heat the distributes to catch every hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    "arbitrarily applying heat to your conditioner is probably not damaging to your hair, but it does not provide any real benefit" – Wow. Care to back that up with proven clinical studies? I'm not going to say it does for certain because I can only attest to what I know to be true for myself.

    I think products on hair can be analogous to the foods you eat. A lot of people are lactose intolerant and therefore are unable drink milk and/or eat dairy products and yet this does not stop the health & dietary industry from recommending drinking plenty of milk. That's because it does not mean milk is bad for everyone since only some cannot benefit from it. Not all digestive systems/enzymes process the same and therefore when you buy a gallon og milk you want read on the label "safe to drink for everyone".

    I would agree that when it comes to chemistry ie. harsh chemicals, that one should always air on the side of caution by following suggested guidelines; having said that, the chemical components of conditioners for the most part are pretty harmless to one's dead hair. We all know what may work for you may not work for another. I think the main reason why companies do not say sit under a dryer is due to that one potential person who's hair would be harmed and you certainly do not want to add heat to anything that could have flammable properties. Secondly, sitting under a dryer requires time out from a person's day. Busy people do not really want to read sit under dryer for 10-15 mins for best results. The goal for the products purpose and marketing purpose is to get the best results in the least amount of time for the general populous who wants to wash, condition and go.

    Anyway, I wrote this to the ladies who DEEP CONDITION with heat and KNOW IT WORKS FOR YOU: don't stop doing what you are doing.

    I guess as long as it makes sense to some it is factual for the site. What a shame. And this article is called MYTH VS. FACT when the only fact is that sitting under a dryer is not recommended on the products. The products list what benefits them commerically. How many times do you read to shampoo your hair several times and then condition? A lot. But guess what… it benefits the company to have you use more of the product faster and then go out and buy another bottle sooner than you would if you only washed onced. Think about it… you deep condition and use less because the results last longer means you buy the product less. So yea, they want you to leave it in 3 mins. wash it out and need to condition again sooner than you would other wise. I think fact would be studies showing that 1-3 mins. rinsed out in the shower leaves hair feeling and looking exactly the same as 10-15 mins. under a dryer.

  • Anonymous says:

    I dont know about anyone else but for me the prepoo with cocconut oil or olive oil really helps with softening my hair before i cowash or shampoo. I rarely sit under the dryer for a dc anymore.

  • westNDNbeauty says:

    I think to each his own. Every hair texture and type is quite different. Even though the directions of a product says one thing, you should do what seems to work best on my hair.

    I've noticed overnight deep conditioning makes a huge difference as compared to leaving a conditioner on for a few hours and definitely a few minutes like the directions suggest.

    I evidence the truth of my beliefs by how well and easy my hair straightens depending on the length of time I leave on the conditioner.

    My hair always looks 100% better/straighter when I leave my conditioner on overnight.

    YOUTUBE TUTORIAL: Flat Ironing / Straightening Tutorial

    My Point: Directions are only suggestions. You have to do what works for your hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I would love to hear what stylists have to say about this. What exactly were you ladies taught in cosmetology school about the benefits of DC with/without heat??


  • Anonymous says:

    Perhaps, ladies with finer and/or more porous hair do better with deep treatment. I would imagine that if your hair is porous (meaning if moisture gets in easily and it swells very easy in humid weather), moisture would escape more easliy as well. This could mean that your hair may thrive with some deep treatments. Ladies who have less porous hair may require less help in this regard, because their hair naturally holds moisture with greater ease.
    Just something to think about, but I totally agree with finding your own truth.

  • Breanna says:

    Oh my goodness CurlyNikki and ladies on here, you have got to see this gorgeous hairstyle that I just saw of "BeautifulBrwnBabyDol" for her photoshoot of Americas Next Natural Model. You have got to see if you can get an tutorial on how this is done. πŸ™‚


  • Anonymous says:

    Great article! Thanks Nicole and Nikki!

  • Unknown says:

    I dont DC either. I condition for 5 min max. I used to do all that heated conditioning what seemed like forever under a dryer but my hair feels the same after 5 mins just like it did 30 mins. I do focus on a pre-poo ( either Coconut Oil or Kalpi Tone) and a leave-in and sealing and moisturizing everyday. I've got some the tightest hair, 4b, 4c, whatever you want to type it. Someone else with my type might need a longer DC, that's why what I do personally works for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    Interesting post. And as stated before, everyone's hair is different. I personally DC twice weekly and have noticed a stark difference in the health of my hair. But to be honest I started incorporating other healthy hair practices during this time so in all fairness I can not say it was the DC alone, but it definitely helps in my opinion.

  • Anonymous says:

    Science conflicts with a lot of things I do, lol.

    Leaving conditioner on my hair for an hour or so (my hair like no heat better) DEFINITELY makes a difference in moisturization and elasticity for me. My fine coils love protein and so I'm always making an effort to keep that balance…. I have left condish's on too long and get too spongy hair. So SOMETHING is going on. IT may not be scientifically provable but… it is what it is. SIDENOTE: I have found that simple washing my hair (since water afterall is the BEST deep conditioner) more often makes my hair much more moisturized… πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    My own truth is that I found that I did not need deep conditioning for long periods of time (more than 20-30 minutes) with heat. I must admit there was a psychological aspect, as in feeling as if my hair felt and looked better with the more involved treatments. Anything quicker and easier couldn't possibly yield the same results. It seemed counter intuitive. I got over that type of thinking, just like I got over thinking that anything expensive was always better than something less expensive. And this little chestnut. If a little is good then more must be great. Not. Again, this is my personal truth when it comes to deep conditioning my own hair. I'm more prone to go by the instructions as far as adding heat goes.

  • Anonymous says:

    I just dont understand how can ur hair benfit from just using a conditioner 4 only 1-3 mins even 5 mins i dont understand how ur hair can improve from the short amount time

  • Anonymous says:

    I disagree with article ,the reason why those conditiones says that is because they are instant conditioner they are not deep conditioner, and i sit under the hooded dryer r i use my heating cap with my deep conditioner which says 2 do so and my hair has benifited from that

  • Allie says:

    My 4a hair thrives with heated conditioning. I usually DC on the weekends when I have homework. That way I am sitting w/ the conditioning cap on my head for hours. This no heat theory could be true for the poster b/c I have friends who don't have to use heat but my hair does better w/ it.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    @Exhale, yes ma'am! Doing your own research is the best advice of all!

  • Exhale1913 says:

    Re: "finding your own truth" Very true, which is why I was sure to include in my original comment "Draw your own conclusions…do your own research" IMO, any healthy debate/discussion "should" include facts/information from all angles.

  • Exhale1913 says:

    @mangomadness Actually, he does say that you can't deep condition with the Keracare Humecto which is more of an instant conditioner…check out the comment section….

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    I agree with NaturallyNay! We must find our own truth! Love that!

  • NaturallyNay says:

    I think it's funny that both the author and commenters on this article are stating "facts". We all have to find our own truth and what works for our curls. As you all know you can find research to back whatever argument you make-that's the nature of research! I for one am lazy as heck and have not deep conditioned my hair once in 16 months since letting it grow out of my bald fade hair cut so I'm inclinded to find research that supports my position and lets me continue with my laziness πŸ™‚ After all, I have about six inches of healthy hair…but then again I just had to get 2 1/2 inches cut off of damaged ends…

  • mangomadness says:

    impoertant = important πŸ™

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    From personal experience, my hair thrived with frequent, lengthy (30 minutes or so), heated (with a hard or soft bonnet or micro heat cap)deep treatments. My hair is doing fine now too… I haven't done a real dt in a long time, but I still feel that it was healthier back when I was doing them all the time.

  • mangomadness says:

    I agree with this article 110%. I stopped DCing a couple months ago and my hair is just fine. It's nice to save on product and haircare/hairstyling time as well. I focus on moisturizing and sealing my ends–that's the impoertant part, IMO.

    @Chai: I agree with the whole "rinse out conditioner as a leave-in conditioner/ styler" thing. I've never used a leave-in conditioner. I just use rinse out or deep conditioners to moisturize/style. It works well for me. Most leave-in conditioner have similar ingredients to rinse outs anyways.

    @Exhale1913: Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. With that said, Dr. Syed is biased. As a chemist for as haircare company, Would he really say deep conditioning made no difference…?

  • Hair Liberty - Nicole says:

    Hello ladies,

    There are similar comments already posted under this article on the Hair Liberty website. Please check them out because some interesting points came up there.

    Exhale1913 referenced the same article I did. Dr. Syed's work and Keracare products perfectly illustrate the point of the article. *Follow* the instructions.

    Keracare Humecto Creme Conditioner says to leave on for 20 minutes with just a plastic cap, while Keracare Conditioner for Color Treated Hair says leave on for 20 minutes under a warm dryer.

    All conditioners are not created equal and you can't make them equal by arbitrarily applying heat. That's just the truth, but obviously you will do what you wish.

  • Exhale1913 says:

    Oh yeah, and be sure to read the comments from Part 1. There is more beneficial information there….

  • Anonymous says:

    You need more people, lol. I disagree with your findings 100% and for those who don't deep condition with heat, do your research before you throw the process away altogether. Deep conditioning with heat opens the hair folicle which allows the conditioner to penetrate the hair shaft. And rinsing with cold water closes it back. By the way, ORS says to sit under a heated dryer for 20 to 30 minutes. My hair has thrived from heated deep conditionings and hot oil treatments. But do what works for you.

  • Exhale1913 says:

    I have to disagree with the bulk of the information in this post, not only from my own personal experience but also from the research that I've done on my own. One of the BEST resources I've found re: conditioning the hair is at this website. Specifically, the 4-part series at the bottom of the page starting with "The Right Way to Condition Hair (Part 1)" Dr. Syed is the chemist for Avalon/Keracare products. Take a look and draw your own conclusions… DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I tend to agree and disagree with this article. I deep condition once per week. I never used heat but I saw how other ladies were saying it was so great so I tried it. My hair came out HOT and exactly the same as when I just pop on a plastic cap for a while. So I stopped using heat again. In that regard I agree with the article but on the other hand I bought an expensive leave in conditioner that left my hair yucky, heavy, and very tangled. Now I use a cheaper conditioner as a leave in styler that says wash out and I love the way it makes my hair feel and it makes it easier to manage when I use it. So I think it really comes down to what works for your hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yaayy! I don't feel bad anymore for what I've recently done. I've saved money by not buying an extra deep conditioner/cholesterol/masque. I just use my regular bottle of conditioner, work it through my hair nicely, let it sit for about 5 mins, and rinse. My hair feels the same way it does when I used to deep condition for 45 mins. with a bonnet or whatever. I think the key is when I do a pre-poo(?) with EVOO before I shampoo.

  • Breanna says:

    I find that the longer you keep the conditioner in the hair the better it is for me. If I do it for just 3 to 5 minutes, it's like huh thats it lol. My hair soaks up products so I want to make sure that I get it all in there, and I think that it really benefited while going into the salon. Though my only cripe with being under the dryer is that I was left under to long at times, my hair dries really quick. Except for when I had my MBL locs and then it took 2hours for my hair to dry, can you say my arse felt like pancakes after all of that sitting down on…lol….

  • Chez Cerise says:

    People also seem to forget about the scalp. Deep conditioning is VERY necessary for my scalp.

  • Chai says:

    wow, well…I couldn't disagree more. Am I to do EVERYTHING the bottle/jar suggests as far as styling? no. Most conditioners suggest we apply, and rinse out immediately for 'best results'. Well, I know many a curly/natural haired gal who smile at that 'suggestion', and rather use the conditioner to style their hair as desired. Some of my favorite 'stylers' are conditioners where the bottle advises me to rinse out.
    Most companies aren't even testing their products on my hair texture, and from my own personal experience…I've clearly noticed a difference when deep conditioning for 5 minutes as opposed to 1 hr or with heat/steam.
    I may not have 'science' on my side, but the Lawd giveith me common sense and I use it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't agree with this article at all, I have 4b/4c hair and its always needing some moisture my hair benefits greatly when i apply heat to a deep treatment, i usually mix in an oil like coconut or olive oil and it makes it even better.

  • Anonymous says:

    My hair has benefited tremendously from AT-HOME deep conditioning treatments weekly. My hair has become like a whole different head of hair- soft, easy to comb through on a daily basis and very well-moisturized with no breakage and better tensile strength.

    I stopped going to salons years ago and noticed an increase in hair health, the longer I stayed away. LOL!

    DC I find most effective:
    1) Kerastase
    2) Palmer's Coconut Deep Treatment
    3) Macadamia Nut Deep Treatment mask
    4) I may enhance one of the above with a combination of oils added (macadamia,apricot kernel, argan, sweet almond oil, coconut oil,kukui nut)

    I put it on, wrap my head with plastic and a turby towel and leave on overnight. In a hurry, I use a 30 min heat treatment.

    It definitely works for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    I always wondered about spending so much time under the drying to get a "deep" conditioning? I agree with the article. I hate being under the dryer anyways so I'm happy to take this out of the equation! πŸ™‚

  • Carla says:

    Actually, MY hair benefits from deep conditioning. I don't notice a benefit after 30 minutes, but when I did the quick 1-3 minute conditioning only, my hair did suffer – especially during the dry, winter months.

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