Its important to ensure we get the best possible benefits of deep conditioning. Why? It allows better moisture infusion and ensures healthy hair growth.
Below are my personal Do's and Don'ts for deep conditioning effectively.
Heat helps open the hair cuticles, which allows the hair strands to benefit from the deep conditioner. In addition, heat allows the deep conditioner itself to be absorbed effectively since heat will break down the molecules if it is oil/butter based.
I use two types of heat:
i) Conditioning Heating Cap like in the image below, i cover my hair with a plastic cap then wear the heating cap connected to my hair dryer and rinse after 30-45 minutes.
ii) Body Heat is the most cost effective way and involves covering ones head with a plastic cap and scarf then let your body do the work. You could also cover your head with a warm towel and then rinse out after an hour.
Whilst we are on that note, never use heat on a DIY protein conditioner with egg!!
Alternate between MOISTURE and PROTEIN
Hair is about 70% keratin by nature and so needs protein to give it strength and structure, simultaneously hair needs moisture to maintain its elasticity and ability to stretch. I use a protein deep conditioner ideally once a month.
Hair that is deep conditioned regularly is softer and more manageable. If hair is soft and manageable then its less prone to breakage as it won't tangle as much. I'l let you define consistency for yourself but for me it means once a week (unless my hair is in a protective style that does not allow).
Section the Hair
Section hair into 4-6 sections depending on your length and thickness. Sectioning allows you to work with smaller sections, so you can cover all strands.
Blow your Budget
Deep conditioner ingredients tend to be similar (to some extent there are variations here and there). There is really no point to go over your budget for a deep conditioner when you can get a cheaper brand or make your own DIY using ingredients in your kitchen!
Leave it on for TOO LONG
One way of knowing you have kept the conditioner on for too long is if your hair feels weak and mushy which causes changes in the keratin. I keep my conditioners on for maximum of 1 hour with a heating cap or 1.5 hours if i'm using the body heat method.
It's also important to learn from other ladies who are on hair journeys. There are so many YouTube videos on deep conditioning or managing Afro hair. If you have tried something and it's not working go online and check what other ladies are doing and try it out.