Deep conditioning is going to be your saving grace. Over time deep conditioning improves the overall health of your hair. That is because deep conditioners are formulated to be more intensive conditioners than your everyday rinse out conditioners. Rinse out conditioners focus on the cuticle(outermost) layer, laying down the scales to deliver a frizz-free shine.
Deep conditioners are formulated with more intensive and penetrating ingredients because they are meant to be left in longer than the normal 3-5 minutes. Deep conditioners are meant to be left on between 15-30 minutes.
These penetrating ingredients like silk amino acids are meant to gently repair damage at deeper levels of the hair. Overtime repairing hair past your original state, and into a healthy one. The conditioner fills in the gaps in the scales and seals them to try and help the hair retain whatever moisture it just received.
Over time, deep conditioning will increase the moisture retention levels in your hair. This will keep moisture locked into hair for longer periods of time without you having to co-wash or refresh your hair. A consistent deep conditioning schedule will also increase the hair strand’s elasticity. Elasticity (stretch) is so important for hair, this basically means hair will be stronger. You curls will be able to be stretched out and safely return to its natural shape without snapping or breaking off. This will help retain curl length during the winter months.
Remember not to deep condition any longer than 30 minutes each session, and no more than twice a week. Otherwise, you can increase your chance of developing Hygral Fatigue (cuticle is damaged due to excessive moisture entering and exiting the hair cuticle).
Deep conditioning with heat
No, I don’t mean break out those hair straighteners! I mean a safe form of heat like a hair steamer or a microwavable cap. Once the conditioner is applied to hair, use one of these forms of safe heat. This will help lift the scales on the cuticle (which is nearly impossible for low porosity hair to do which is why it’s so helpful!) so, the product can easily penetrate the hair strand and improve the health and elasticity. I started my journey with high porosity hair and this way by far the most helpful tip for fixing my hair.
Now, this is more of a universal tip for all hair types. Steam helps raise the scales on the cuticle to allow products and moisture to deeply penetrate. This helps to solve the root of the problem (like what I did there with that little pun?) Steam helps soften the hair, moisturize it, and even helps hair grow more rapidly! I use my Q-redew every single day in a diffusing motion to add moisture back into my hair to extend the life of my wash and go. I use steam to safely dry detangle my hair. Remember you are never to detangle hair without water and conditioner because dry its easier for strands to break, adding steam helps penetrate the strand, soften it, and moisturize the hair, therefore, increasing the strength of the strand to withstand detangling the way I would in the shower. Steam also moisturizes the scalp which increases hair growth. Steam helps to unclog the hair follicles from any products or debris that can hinder hair growth. The steam moisturizes the scalp which keeps the hair strands healthy and keeps dandruff away.
Aloe Vera is a natural sealant for hair! Using it in deep conditioning treatments helps hair repair damage more quickly, properly moisturize the hair, and give it a great shine. Aloe contains amino acids, which are protein building blocks so it does help reinforce the curl structure a bit. You can even use aloe Vera gel from a leaf (you can find this in the produce section of your local supermarket) to help keep curls intact by properly SEALING the scales. Remember that Aloe Vera gel will not provide much hold, so you will need to use another for hold. DIY Aloe Vera gel deep conditioning treatments are one of the best for accelerated hair growth. One of the best hacks I discovered on this journey was using pure 100% Aloe Vera juice in a water bottle with water (1:1 ratio= half water, half Aloe Vera juice) as a refreshing spray. The water and Aloe moisturize my hair as the aloe seals the hair. This locks in shine we normally lose out on because of our porosity. The aloe also gives a nice little cast similar to a gel cast. For the Aloe Vera refreshing spray recipe including suggested additions click here.
Use oils to SOTC and seal in moisture
Everyone who follows me knows I have an obsession with oils. They make such a big difference for natural hair. Make sure when you are ready to scrunch out the gel cast(meaning your hair is completely dry, otherwise it will cause frizz), that you use a few drops of oil. As you scrunch it into your hair, the oil will work as a natural sealant to help you retain as much moisture throughout the day as possible. I also like to add a few drops of oil into my deep conditioner to help seal in that moisture as well. The key to oil is less is more. Make sure for daily scalp massages don’t exceed 3-5 drops. For scrunching out the crunch try not to exceed 2-5 drops. You want the oils to lightly coat your hands to help scrunch away the cast without causing frizz. The oil that lightly coats your hands will now coat your hair, so you want as little as possible (especially fine hair ladies). The more oil you use the more it will weigh down your hair. So remember less is more!
Looking for some oil recommendations? Try some of my favorites:
- Thatsthatmagic (Discount code:redcarpetcurls)
- Alodia Haircare Nourish & Grow Healthy Hair & Oil
- Queen’s Magic Hair
- Alodia Haircare SOOTHE Hair & Scalp Herbal Infusion
- Tailored Beauty Lustrous Hair Remedy Serum
- Righteous Roots
Incorporate ACV Rinses
ACV rinses will serve to balance the natural PH balance in the scalp aiding in hair growth by clarifying the hair of any and all build-up. It also serves as a natural conditioner for hair. This will help condition hair and seal down the scales of the cuticle to retain moisture and promote a beautiful natural shine. Since it is a natural conditioner it is perfect for combating dandruff during those winter months. Use a regular plastic water drinking bottle. Mix the 1-2 teaspoons of acv into a full 16-ounce bottle of water. This will dilute the acv enough to be safe for your delicate scalp and hair. Use the water bottle to gingerly focus the liquid on your scalp. Let the liquid make its way down your hair strands naturally. After you have poured all the liquid on your scalp you can gently massage for 2-3 minutes or even a scalp brush before rinsing out and continuing with your wash day routine. To read more on ACV rinses including suggested additive essential oils and herbs click here.
Heavier products like butter and custards
Depending on your hair type heavier products might be better to help seal in moisture. Butters will moisturize the hair and seal in that new-found moisture for longer periods of time than a typical leave-in conditioner would. Fine haired queens, please use pea-sized amounts to ensure you will not weigh down your hair. One misconception I see a lot within the curly hair Facebook groups is fine hair, high porosity ladies, thinking they cannot use butter. Butters and custards are great for us to use in small amounts. I particularly like to use custards and butter to finger coil my curls. The butter and custards lock in the moisture and the curl structure for longer periods of time than my normal leave-in and gel will provide me. So don’t fear the heavier products just always remember less is more!
One of my all-time favorite “butter” to use for fine hair is the Alodia Haircare Curl Enhancing Butter Creme. It’s very light compared to most butter, spreads like a curl cream, and delivers GORGEOUS results each and every time.
Updated January 22, 2021