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Best Methods to Deep Condition Black Hair

I know what you're thinking.  Deep conditioning your hair seems simple enough, right? You slap on some conditioner, wait a few minutes, rinse out in the shower, and voila!  Done.

Right? ....uh Wrong.  It is so more complex than that.                 

Deep conditioning is SOOO important.  I believe it's the single most important step in my regimen that has helped me achieve length and health.  No matter what damage or abuse I have caused to my hair (color, heat appliances, shedding, breakage)... I have religiously used high quality deep conditioners consistently (without fail every week for years).

When it comes to restoring moisture to our strands, but many of us have been doing it half-heartedly. Not by any fault of your own. Don’t expect your hair to look the you want it to without first deep conditioning your hair to get it into a healthy state.

If I styled my hair without deep conditioning or without deep conditioning in the proper way (will address this later), then my hair would be one huge frizz ball that was also damaged, unhealthy, extensively dry and brittle with tons of breakage.





Here are two rules to follow when thinking about deep conditioning:

Assess How Much Damage You Did To Your Hair This Week?

 Did you use the blow dryer a lot this week? Was the weather insanely frizzy so you had to use the flat iron a little more than you wanted? Does your hair feel excessively brittle? Well each aforementioned scenario should be addressed differently when the time comes to deep condition.

After you deep condition, does your hair feel silky smooth?

 If your hair is currently not silky smooth after deep conditioning, no need to worry, with the proper deep conditioning methods you will begin to turn your hair around no type flat. All hair is unique. Just because it is common (or the directions instruct you) to deep condition for 15 -30 minutes, doesn’t mean that is what your hair needs.

You should deep condition until your hair tells gives you signs that it has absorbed enough moisture. Think of your hair’s moisture needs in terms of hunger. There are times our bodies our hungrier than other times, depending on if we just exercised, had a meal full of fiber, or maybe we skipped a meal or two. The fact of the matter is that our hunger and how much our body needs to eat varies. 

Wait.... you are not done yet!!  There are three more things to consider......

Assess Your Product Stash

Go ahead.  I'll wait here for you to finish looking at all of the labels of your old deep conditioners.  The most crucial step in the deep conditioning process is choosing the right products for your hair type.  If the directions say to leave on for 2-5 minutes and rinse…. THIS IS NOT A DEEP CON
DITIONER, it is a rinse out conditioner that coats the hair shaft, not penetrate it).

If the product is a true deep conditioner, the directions will state to leave the product on for 15 -20 minutes. The product, especially for women of color, should be extra moisturizing. I prefer natural-based products because the ingredients that penetrate the hair shaft will keep your hair healthier for a longer period of time. Natural ingredients are always better.

Determine Length of Your Session

I remember when I would shampoo, deep condition (for like 15 – 20 minutes) and take my hair out of the plastic, it would feel like I just put a rinse out conditioner in my hair, it felt decent, but not silky smooth and moisturized, not buttery.. but I still thought that since I “deep conditioned” for the recommended time, that my hair should be moisturized.

Not True. After
my hair dried, it came out as a dry, frizzy mess and I would wonder why. When you take your hair out of the plastic cap/saran wrap etc, your hair should feel silky smooth even before you rinse anything out. If it does not, it still has some more “marinating” to do.

To Heat or Not to Heat (that is the question)

You can use various methods regarding heat or not using heat receive a proper and effective deep conditioning session.

  • #1) Deep conditioning with heat means to use a hooded dryer or some type of heat cap) with either dry/wet hair, apply a plastic cap, and underneath the dryer until your hair feels moisturized OR

  • #2) The Non-Heat method (even though you really are using heat, but it’s like cheating) In order to do this, you need to apply your deep conditioner (Ultra Moisturizing Deep Conditioner) to dry hair, apply a plastic cap, apply a Turbie Twist (or hair wrap to secure in-place) and go to bed. The next morning shampoo out. While you were sleeping, the heat from your scalp and body produced natural heat underneath the plastic cap. It’s a great way to save time and not spending your precious moments of free time underneath a noisy dryer.

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This article has an abundance of tips regarding the best methods to deep condition black hair (including relaxed, natural, curly, transitioning, mixed, or bi-racial hair). 
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