By Alexa Santory
Ah, deep conditioning. My absolute favorite part of hair care. It's a chance to really spoil your hair and give it more targeted nutrients that may be missing. It's basically guaranteed that your hair will look and feel so much better than before a deep conditioner. It’s really a matter of finding the right one for you. It’s easy to get caught up in the allure of the hair changing promises most deep conditioners make. Adding a deep conditioner to your hair routine, as well a protein element, will help the hair strike a good moisture-protein balance, which is a huge part of maintaining healthy 4c hair.
What is deep conditioning and why is it so important?
So we've gone over co-washing and clarifying and why those things are so important for keeping the hair clean. Deep conditioning is there to help improve the look, feel, and manageability of the hair with a better outcome in the long run. Routinely deep conditioning the hair will produce healthier, softer, less damaged hair. In order to maintain healthy hair, there needs to be a balance between protein and moisture. Protein treatments are a vital part of keeping natural healthy, too. Our hair is mostly made up of a protein called keratin. When there's a lack of protein, it can feel and look brittle and have low elasticity. And when there's a lack of moisture, the hair looks and feels dry, dull, and lifeless, which leads to breakage. Striking this balance is going to create a healthy environment for natural hair to grow and prosper. All deep conditioners come with a different targeted goal. Some promise to repair damage, others are meant for restoration, and some say they'll make the hair easier to detangle. One common goal between all deep conditioners is that they will all provide the hair with some pretty intense moisture. Picking the right deep conditioner for you is a matter of preference and the overall state of your hair!
How to deep condition 4c hair
Picking out a deep conditioner is part of the fun, because realistically, you can pick just about any one to help revive the hair.
- Since deep conditioning is about restoring moisture, they usually work best after using a clarifying shampoo. You're hair is gonna be super clean, might as well give it some extra love, right?
- After washing, section the hair and don't be afraid of being generous with the product. Focus it on your ends, those could always use some extra attention. You can start to use your fingers to detangle and work the product through the hair.
- Wrap your hair in a plastic cap (this is my favorite part) and you can either apply heat. I like to use a blow dryer. Or if you're in the shower, just enjoy the steam.
- Leave the conditioner on for up to 30 minutes, then rinse it with first warm then cold water to seal in the moisture. You already know what I'm gonna tell you next...use a t-shirt to dry your hair!! Once it's damp, apply your products and style as usual.
- Make sure to deep condition at least once a week!
We have an amazing selection of hair masks that turn your favorite conditioner into our new favorite deep conditioner. Here are a couple of our favorite moisturizing hair masks:
Waikiki Restorative Hibiscus hair mask: this mask is like moisture steroids for your hair. Whether your hair is chemically treated or heat damaged, this mask repairs hair from the inside, restoring moisture and making the hair super soft and supple.
Custom Restoring Avocado mask: avocado, the star ingredient, is packed with healthy fats that restore split ends, repair damage, and prevent breakage. Try adding banana, coconut milk, and ginger for deeper moisture, better elasticity, smoother ends.
How to add protein to 4c hair
Protein treatments are meant to restore the health of the hair. Our hair is made of keratin, and adding protein help support growth and strength. We tend to lose protein through chemical processing, heat damage, or just not maintaining healthy hair habits. This is going to help strike that perfect balance for your hair. After just a few treatments, you'll notice a huge difference in the health and manageability of your hair. As far as application, use a protein treatment the same way you would a deep conditioner. Just make sure not to use them at the same time and alternate protein treatments with deep conditioners every week. Good protein treatments are gonna be packed with vitamins and minerals out hair needs, like our Chebe Powder Growth Hair Mask from the #DEARBLACKGIRL kit. Chebe powder is actually a homemade product created by the Basara Arab women of Chad. They're known for their have hip length 4c kinky hair, and they credit it to their Chebe powder recipe that has been passed from generation to generation in their society. This mask has cassia, amla and fengreek--all perfect for strengthening and nourishing the hair.