I love deep conditioning!!

17 Jan

So what is deep conditioning?  It is sometimes called a treatment in salons.  I remember it being called an oil treatment in the salons I used to visit a few years ago.  Whatever you choose to call it, it is when a conditioner is put on the hair for a length of time, usually with heat applied. All hair types can benefit from deep conditioning but for African hair, this is an absolute must! As our hair is dry by nature, deep conditioning can restore the moisture balance which stops breakage.

The type of deep conditioner you use will depend on the condition of your hair and what you want to address.  If you want to add moisture to the hair then a moisturising conditioner is what you will use.  If on the other hand your hair is breaking and you feel it may need a protein conditioner then that is what you would use.  Simply put, the type of deep conditioner used should depend on the condition of the hair. If your hair feel mushy when wet and stretches a lot before breaking then a protein conditioner is required to restore strength. If however, your hair feels brittle and just snaps when any tension is applied, it is in need of a moisturising conditioner.  The aim is to get your hair to a stage where it is strong and has a certain degree of elasticity. With moisture and protein deep conditioners, err on the side of moisture.  I use a light protein deep conditioner (Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing Conditioner) once every two weeks.  I use a medium protein deep conditioner (Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise) once a month.  All my other deep conditioners in between are moisturising deep conditioners.

I deep condition twice a week.  I have gone from deep conditioning once a fortnight to once a week and now twice a week.  I have a few products for deep conditioning that I rotate.  These include:

The last two I get from the UK / USA.  I have not yet come across them in South Africa.  When I do not have them I use what I do have.

This is how I deep condition:

I wash my hair with shampoo (see My Regimen page for the names of shampoo I use).  I rinse out the shampoo and dry my hair.  I then liberally apply the deep conditioner onto my hair making sure to coat the strands from the root to tip.  I also make sure I have applied the deep conditioner to my hair line and nape.  I cover my hair with a shower cap and sit under a hooded dryer for 30 minutes to an hour.  It usually depends on what I am doing while I am sitting in the dryer!  Once out of the dryer I rinse off the deep conditioner with warm water and go on to moisturise and style my hair.  Sometimes I will set my hair with rollers and let it air dry.  Other times I will tie it back and again let it dry.  The reason for heat is to ensure that the deep conditioner doesn’t just coat the hair but enters the hair as well.

I can hear you saying – but I don’t have a dryer at home!  It’s not a train smash.  Just put on a shower cap and keep it on for a few hours, even overnight if you are able to.  Your body heat will provide the heat required.  You can do it on a weekend while you are doing chores around the house.  If you choose to deep condition overnight then just tie a scarf over the shower cap and your bed mate wont even notice!

I have been mixing castor oil and honey to my deep conditioners for about a month now.  I am really seeing the benefits of this.  My growth is so much softer and this is what will get me to 12 weeks in-between retouches.  I use about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of each.  I mix the two with my deep conditioner in an old jar of hair product.  I mix just before use.  You can mix in many things into your deep conditioners to make them more “potent”.  You can also search the internet for recipes to make all natural deep conditioners.  Things that are commonly mixed into deep conditioners include oils (olive, coconut, jojoba, castor, peppermint, grapeseed etc) and honey, avocado, egg, natural yogurt, coconut milk etc.  These ingredients are commonly found in pharmacies and health food stores.

You can also mix different deep conditioners together.  I do this with Elasta QP DPR11 and Keracare Humecto.  I find Elasta QP DPR11 very thick and Keracare Humecto too thin.  I mix the two together to get the consistency I like. I then add honey and castor oil for more umph!

The deep conditioners I use I have chosen through trial and error.  I usually go onto the internet and see what fellow black ladies overseas are raving about.  If it is available here I then buy it and try it.  I assess a new conditioner after the first use to see how my hair reacts.  If I don’t like the way my hair looks and feels afterwards then I stop using it.  The deep conditioners above leave my hair nice and soft and feeling moisturised.  Mizani Moisturefuse is the most expensive.  I buy it for R170 at a salon in Hatfield, Pretoria.  I know another salon in Menlyn Park Mall, Pretoria, that’s sells it for R130 but the last three times I was there they didn’t have it in stock.  Mizani products are sold through salons and not through retail outlets.

So what deep conditioners are available to you – well compared to the women overseas we don’t have much to choose from.  We do though have enough to be able to properly take care of our hair.  I went to Menlyn Park Mall this afternoon armed with a list of popular deep conditioners I got off  I found these deep conditioners in a shop called Style Studio (Style Studios has branches at several malls throughout South Africa).

  • Biolage ultrahydrating conditioning balm
  • Biolage hydratherapie treatment
  • Joico KPak intensive hydrator conditioner
  • Joico KPak deep penetrating reconstructor
  • Nioxin scalp therapy for fine, chemically enhanced hair

The products are not cheap.  Prices for the above ranged from R180 to R330 for packaging of 150ml and 300ml. It made me realize though that there were a lot of products hiding out in “white” salons that we don’t get to know about because we never go in there!  I will try out these new finds and let you know what I think!

So in summary here is what Im saying:

  • Deep condition your hair regularly in between salon visits.  Try and deep condition it weekly.
  • When you get a deep condition / treatment at the salon, know what they are using.  Ask for a deep conditioner that you feel will address your hairs needs.
  • Try adding oils / other ingredients to your deep conditioner to reap extra benefits.  I also do this with any deep conditioners I have bought but later realize I don’t particularly like.
  • Moisture based deep conditioners work for dry, dull and breaking hair
  • Protein based conditioners work for limp, lifeless, thinning and over elastic hair
  • Always err on the side of moisture.  When you are in doubt as to whether a deep conditioner is moisture or protein – just google it!
  • There are many deep conditioners out there.  If you travel overseas, see what you can find there.  Buy some deep conditioners to try out at home.
  • If you have a deep conditioner that you like that is not available at your salon, take your own with you.  Some salons do not have much choice available.  There are many salons where all they offer is Dark and Lovely Cholesterol!  You can do this for your other hair products too.
  • I know this all sounds very time consuming but it actually isn’t – 3 minutes to wash the hair, 2 minutes to apply the deep conditioner then a couple of hours or so with a shower cap over your head while you do other things.  If pressed for time sleep with the shower cap on and rinse your hair in the morning.



12 Responses to “I love deep conditioning!!”

  1. nillionaires 15 February, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    any thoughts on Keratin / Kerastase treatments?

    and/or comments on BKT that has taken black Brazilian hair by storm?

    • Tendayi 16 February, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

      I really dont know much about Brazilian Keratin Treatments. I understand its a way to straighten hair and to make it frizz free. I also understands that it lasts 2 to 3 months. What worries me is that it apparently contains high concentrations of formaldehyde. Isnt this the stuff they use to embalm bodies!! I must admit though that all this is stuff i have come across on websites and I dont know it as fact. I haven’t yet met anyone who has had it done.

  2. Safiaduba 27 January, 2013 at 3:35 am #

    I’m desperately trying to grow out my hair at least past bra strap length and I’m definitely going to start this regime next week! I just wanted to know how long your hair is since you’ve been using this and how long it’s taken you to get to that length, thanks in advance!!!

  3. Sharlene needham 06 March, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    I have just ordered the elasta qp dlr 11 conditioner, only to find out it has petrolatum listed as its second ingreidient??? Surley this is not good for my hair?

    • Tendayi 06 March, 2013 at 11:28 am #

      They changed the formula for Elasta QP dpr11 some years ago and it now does have petrolatum.

      The petrolatum won’t harm your hair as such. Its just an ingredient thats avoided because it can block moisture from entering the hair shaft.

  4. teclartee 12 August, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Hi Thanks for that on deep conditioning. My grows long without me even trying at all. I always grow it then cut it because it grows so long that it becomes difficult to manage. Just to set it I would have to be under the dryer for over an hour! which I hate. So with me the thing is my hair grows quickly and nicely and I don’t do much to it. People always ask me what I use and I don’t have a good answer. I hardly deep condition it. I used to aim at treating it at the salon soon after relaxing (this way it came free :)) but sometimes I am in a hurry and to avoid being in the dryer for long I end up just setting the hair only after relaxing. I try to moisturize using one of the Dark & Lovely products (just a coincidence not a preference per se) and this I started not so long ago because like I said I hardly did anything. I also use Blue Magic to put on the scalp directly but normally this is when my hair is plaited. I retouch my hair after 12 weeks. In between I just set it here and there and then on the 8th week I normally put on a weave. Its normally a straight weave like a 12” but I am sensitive about my scalp and so I insist that the leave the hairline free. The thing is my hairline is sensitive, everywhere else my hair grows without even thinking about it but my hairline is the one bothering me. Its not all of it but a section above the temple both right and left side. The hair there is broken and short. I once plaited braids but that was say 2 years back. may hairline broke and I am now struggling to get it back on track. So this is my story please help and I just wanted to give you a background. I also tried to wear wigs in between relaxing but also recently I noticed the hairline is not improving so maybe the wigs irritate the hairline? i don’t know. After reading this I should probably start paying attention to my hair and not take it for granted that it just grows. That portion of my hairline…what can I do to bring it back. I am 100% African and reside near South Africa so please feel free to make reference to the products available even at Clicks except for the international ones. Thanks.

    • Tendayi 06 September, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      A thinning hairline is a common complaint among African women. Firstly I would say is your hairline not being overprocessed when relaxing. The hair on the hairline is very soft and is often overprocessed when the relaxer creme is left on too long. What I advise it to relax your hair every 12 weeks but to skip the hairline. Its not necessary to relax the hairline every time. Don’t worry, it will blend in with the rest of your hair very well. This is what I do and I havent relaxed my hairline in about 18 months! You cannot even tell!

      You can also try using castor oil on the scalp on your hairline. This grew back my hairline after I wore braids and weaves for 4 yrs back to back and my hailine was ruined. It’s now grown back and you can’t even tell. Apply the castor oil to the thinning areas at least once a week. You should see results in about 6 weeks or so.

  5. Natasha 12 October, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Speaking of which. I purchased a deep conditioner that is actually made in South Africa. It’s called ‘Black like me deep penetrating treatment’. What do you think about it concerning the moisture/protein balance?

    • Tendayi 15 October, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

      I haven’t used it before Natasha. What are the ingredients?

      • Natasha 15 October, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

        Here is a lisy of the ingredients:
        Propylene glycol
        Cetyl alcohol
        Cetearly alcohol
        Acetamide MEA
        Behentrimonium methosulfate
        Stearalkonium chloride
        Silk amino acids
        Keratin amino acids
        Hydrolyzed collagen
        Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil)
        Panthenol….. there are 4 or 5 more ingredients which im too lazy to type.
        In my opinion.. i think i made a great purchase because the amino acids and the collagen provide the protein treatment while the rest feed the hair with moisture. Just wanted your opinion.


  1. Oils and hair care « africanhairblog - 22 February, 2011

    […] before, I use castor oil on my hair.  I have been mixing about a teaspoon or so of it to my deep conditioners as well as using it sparingly on my scalp about twice a week.  I apply it to my scalp when my hair […]

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