HEY PEOPLE! THANKS FOR COMING BACK! WELCOME TO OUR 4TH BLOG POST!
So we’re still tackling wash day. We’re putting in the work towards healthy hair, and healthy hair promotes inevitable growth. Now that we infused some good ‘ol moisture and nutrients in our strands and let it marinate for some time using our 10 Easy Prepoo Steps we applied in our 1st blog post, and cleansed it with a non-sulfate shampoo with our 5 Easy Shampoo Steps, now we can move forward to conditioning! These 10 Easy Conditioning Steps are very similar to our 10 Easy Prepoo Steps. Let’s learn a little about conditioners before we get to work!
There are other conditioning agents such as spray-on thermal protectors for when we blow dry or use any other heating/straightening tool, scalp conditioners to soften and improve dry scalp, medicated scalp lotions to promote healing of the scalp, and scalp astringent lotions which remove oil accumulations from the scalp which are used after a scalp treatment and before styling. We will focus on the main rinse-out, leave-in and deep/protein conditioners on this blog.
Conditioners are special chemical agents applied to the hair to deposit protein or moisture, to help restore whatever strength and moisture that is already there. Conditioners can give body (movement), or can protect our hair against possible breakage. Conditioners are TEMPORARY fixes for dry or damaged hair. They only repair to a certain extent. Conditioners do not HEAL damaged hair nor improve the quality of new hair growth. Conditioners can sometimes give the false impression that the hair has been restored to its original healthy condition, but heredity, health and diet are what controls the texture and structure of our hair.
However, conditioners are valuable in that they minimize the damage to hair during a hair service. It can restore luster, shine, manageability and strength while the damaged hair grows long enough to be cut off and replaced by new hair. Habitual use of conditioners can lead to build up, which is why when we co-wash in replacement of shampooing constantly, we eventually revert to a cleansing shampoo of some sort to wash away the oily and heavy build up on our hair and scalp.
A creamy conditioner is typically a detangling conditioner. Sometimes creamy conditioners are used as conditioning treatments that truly repairs damaged hair because of the substance’s molecular structure that enables the product to penetrate through our hair strands into the cortex of our hair. These conditioners are also called deep conditioners and improvesthe appearance of dry brittle hair.
Deep conditioners or hair masks or reconstructors or moisturizers, that restore protein and moisture in our hair, are highly recommended as a normal practice within our hair regimen. They are similar to the instant and leave-in conditioners but penetrates more and has longer staying power in our hair. Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (quats) are included in the chemical formulation of moisturizers for their ability to attach themselves steadfastly to hair fibers and to provide longer lasting protection that the instant conditioners. For better deep conditioning application, use a heating cap/dryer:
Deep Conditioners also improve the appearance of dry brittle hair. They are chemical mixtures of concentrated protein in the heavy cream base of a moisturizer. They penetrate several cuticle layers and are the chosen therapy when an equal degree of moisturizing and protein treatment is required. Deep conditioning every week or every other week is recommended.
Protein Conditioners are designed to slightly increase the diameter of the hair with a coating action, thereby adding body (more movement) to the hair. They are available in different strengths, choose a mild strength first before a strong strength to test how your hair reacts to it to detect any sensitivity on your scalp. Protein conditioners tend to be a brownish color. They improve the strength of the hair and to TEMPORARILY close split ends. Protein conditioners pass through the cuticle and penetrate the cortex, and replace the keratin that has been lost from the hair. Keratin is the fibrous protein forming the main structural constituent of hair. Be sure to read the ingredients in the back of your protein conditioners to be sure there are protein ingredients such as keratin, placenta, wheat and collagen. Sometimes it can just say “protein” as an ingredient. Protein conditioners also improve appearance, equalizes porosity, and increases elasticity. Most deep/protein conditioners are not used after a chemical service such as hair coloring or hair relaxing/perming/texturizing, which are chemical services we do not promote here at the naturalwoolly community. Be sure to rinse out the excess deep or protein conditioner from your hair before moisturizing or styling. Here are some examples of our personal favorite deep and protein conditioners:
Shea Moisture Community Commerce Hydration Intensive Conditioner 13 oz. (Pack of 2)
Quality You Can Trust from Shea Moisture
Value Pack of 2
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque, 12 Ounce
Infuses hair with intense moisture and shine-enhancing nutrients
Protects distressed hair from environmental influences
Rinse our Conditioners or Instant Conditioners are normally creamy and are used for detangling and improving the appearance of dry brittle hair. The more slip (the more the conditioner can slip through our tangles) the better for tangle prone hair. Here’s a rinse out conditioner example:
Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Balanced Moisturizing Conditioner (Pack of 2)
Balanced, moisturizing conditioner.
Enriched with organic botanicals.
Leave-in Conditioners or Instant Conditioners are great for added moisture because it is not to be rinsed out of the hair once applied. Here is an example of a leave-in:
KNOT TODAY LEAVE IN DETANGLER By KINKY CURLY Detangler
Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner/Detangler - 8 oz TRG
Most conditioners contain silicones. Some naturalwoolly people stay away from this ingredient because most silicones are not water-soluble and they can cause build-up that weigh your curls down, thus straightening the curl. Silicones end in “cone,” “col,” “conol” or “zane.” in the ingredients section of your product. They are normally the longest ingredient word. Read more about it in this article: ___
Just remember all in all, moderation is key. Most conditioners also contain moisture binding humectants! Which are awesome for naturalwoolly hair. Humectants draw moisture to our hair from the air and promotes the retention of moisture. Humectants improves the appearance of dry brittle hair as well. Humid days are staples here at the naturalwoolly community, especially when we have humectants in our hair from conditioning or in our leave-in conditioners. The more moisture, the better. Other ingredients in certain conditioners reduce frizz and bulks up the hair. Most treatments and leave-ins contain proteins, which penetrate the cortex and reinforce the hair shaft from within.
Here’s how conditioners help our hair:
- The cuticle, or outermost layer of our hair, is made up of overlapping scales. A healthy cuticle lies down smoothly and reflects light, giving the appearance of shiny hair. Conditioners smooth the cuticle and coat the hair shaft to achieve the same effect. So do detangling rinses or cream rinses, although they are not as heavy.
2. The cortext makes up 90% of the hair strand. It can be penetrated with protein conditioners to reconstruct the hair. Moisturizing conditioners also contain humectants that attract moisture from the air and are absorbed into the cortex.
Always read the ingredients on the back of the products. Some brands may say one thing on the front of their product but really may not be delivering the ingredients needed. Google the ingredients if you do not know what they mean. Use a dictionary. Reading is fundamental. There’s an old saying…”want to hide something from the negro, put it in a book”….Also, concerning your protein treatment’s strength for your hair, if your hair ends up feeling hard and brittle after your protein conditioner of choice, that was too strong for your hair. Try a milder one.
TOOLS NEEDED TO CONDITION
The pads of your fingers [to massage product to hair].
Wide Tooth Comb (optional) [for detangling]
Conditioner (Moisturizing or Deep [Protein] Conditioner) [a non-sulfate conditioner if possible]
Conditioning Bowl (or one of your bowls/tupperware in your kitchen)
Plastic Cap (to retain moisture while conditioning)
Heating Cap (optional for optimal penetration)
Towel [because this process gets a little messy].
Clips (to secure sections)
LACKING TOOLS? HERE’S OUR ONLINE BEAUTY SUPPLY STORE: http://naturalwoolly.com/beauty-supply-store/
The conditioning process has to be the longest process of our regimen. Take your time. Feel free to replay our hair tutorials: NaturalWoolly Hait Tutorials or watch your favorite movie or TV show. You can even call up a friend to catch up on life. Make sure you are not hungry or tired as to not rush and be rough with your delicate wet strands of hair. Feel free to visit the 10 Easy Prepoo Steps blog, for the steps below are similar. Now, let’s take some baby steps!
Grab your preferred conditioner (moisturizing/protein..etc) and pour some in your bowl.
For added nutrients, you can add your favorite PENETRATIVE OIL in your conditioner bowl and mix it in with a mixing utensil of choice or your finger.
Grab two of your preferred sections, and unbraid the two sections.
If you have been following our previous 5 Easy Shampoo Steps, your hair should already be in braided or twisted sections from shampooing. The sections will help better manage your hair. Braiding or twisting the hair while shampooing lessens tangles, which lessens hair loss and breakage. Clip the rest of the hair away and place a plastic cap over the sections you are not dealing with for now to retain moisture, as with most naturalwoolly hair, moisture tends to escape quickly.
Make two sections with clean parts all around, clip one section away under your plastic cap, and grab the uncovered section, to start applying the conditioner. The clean parts will lessen breakage and snagging during the detangling process. You may have to unbraid/untwist sections nearest the section you are about to condition. Be sure your parts are clean to lessen painful snagging while finger-detangling and or comb detangling. Now that you have cleaned up the section, start to condition by applying and smoothing the conditioner near your scalp, the shaft/body of your hair, and the ends, generously. Especially if you have dense hair, make sub sections to really make sure every strand has conditioner applied to it. Please watch our video for a visual explanation: (LINK COMING SOON). Smoothing the conditioner in your hair strands also help with detangling.
Massage that section of hair with conditioner and finger-detangle thoroughly.
Smooth your product in to ensure every strand is being conditioned, thus helping your detangling process. If needed use a COMB or DENMIN BRUSH to detangle more thoroughly. The shed hair you see when you are all done with the conditioning steps will decrease after it penetrates for some time and rinsed out. It is normal to lose an average of 35-40 hairs per day. Breakage is another story. Breakage indicates negative working of our hair and/or scalp, which also can indicate inner bodily issues. We will speak more of this in a later blog.
Add more conditioner (depending on your Hair Texture), then twist that detangled and conditioned section.
You will notice, the more conditioner we add, the more slip we gain, or in other words, the more our tangles melt away. Twisting our hair will help with maintaining the hard work of detangling in tact while we deal with the remaining sections of hair. When our naturalwoolly hair is free and untwisted, it has a tendency to shrink up and tangle.
Grab the small section you put away and repeat steps 4-6.
Repetition, repetition, repetition!
Apply steps 2-6 for the rest of your hair.
Routine, routine, routine!
Once your all done with steps 2-7, place a heating cap, plastic cap or grocery plastic bag over your head. The natural heat that will accumulate from your scalp with the plastic material will help your conditioner of choice penetrate through your hair shaft. This heat will help your conditioner penetrate towards your hair cortex, where everything happens.
*You can even use a sit down hair steamer or a heating system, if you own one, to speed up the process. This is optional, but if you have a busy schedule, and are always on the go, run your errands with a plastic cap and head wrap all while your hair is marinating in some good conditioner.
This is optional, but highly recommended: place a pretty head wrap/scarf that you don’t mind getting oily or wet on top of the plastic material on your head. Tie your pretty head wrap up before running errands, and no one will ever know you’re conditioning in the supermarket or wherever! You can even workout and really get your hair all penetrated! If you’re leaving it overnight, the scarf will help prevent annoying conditioner/water drippings while you sleep. And if you are married, your husband will DEFINITELY appreciate a pretty head wrap to bed!
Go on about your day to let it marinate for as long as the conditioner bottle says to leave it on before rinsing, or sleep with it over night.
To rinse out your conditioner, simply start with a section from the top of your hair, unravel the twist and rinse the conditioner out with warm water to open your hair cuticles to prep for our moisturizing process. Starting at the top will also help rinse out the bottom parts of the hair so that you will not spend as much time as you will with the top sections. Be sure to massage and scrub away the conditioner from your scalp with the pads of your fingers, while holding the end of that section of hair taut. Massage your stands in a downward motion to keep your hair detangled at all times. Then twist it back up and repeat the same process with the rest of your twists.
HERE’S THE LINK TO THE VIDEO SHOWING HOW TO CONDITION OUR HAIR & RINSE IT OUT:
HERE’S A DEMO & REVIEW ON ONE OF SHEA MOISTURE’S DEEP CONDITIONING MASQUE’S:
GREAT WORK! Until next time take good care of yourself, people.
Peace & Blessings,
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