Five Ways To Condition Natural Hairs
By Rita Chioma
Conditioning is an important step in a natural hair care routine because it helps minimize damage and breakage. Conditioning natural hair works to keep the older parts of your hair healthy and strong as you continue to grow out your hair to reach your goal length. Without conditioning, you will find that your natural hair breaks more easily and is difficult to manage.
There are various types of conditioners designed to do different things for hair. Not all conditioners are made equal! Some are designed for daily use, others for weekly use and yet others, for less than weekly use.
Types of Conditioners for Natural Hair
Instant/ Rinse-Out Conditioners: This is designed for regular/daily use and should be left on for a short amount of time, usually no more than 5 minutes, to smooth and coat the hair. Don’t deep condition well, they are very much surface acting . If you use an instant conditioner, you also need a deep conditioner for weekly use.
Cream-rinse conditioners: Great for detangling and heat protection after applying your regular conditioning and shampoo. Cream-rinse conditioners, generally, do not contain all the moisturizers, oils and ingredients that are strongly attracted to hair as found in a deep conditioner, a moisturizing conditioner or a protein conditioner. On the average, they are also thinner in consistency.
Deep conditioners: This boosts moisture and protein content while strengthening the hair strands. Deep conditioners are made to penetrate deeper into the cuticle layers. They are typically heavier and have more lasting results than instant conditioners. Leaving on an instant conditioner for a longer time is NOT deep conditioning. The conditioner must be designed to penetrate the hair, some conditioners can double as both an instant and deep. To improve product take-in when deep conditioning, apply a plastic cap and use either a towel, hooded dryer, or steamer for added penetration.
Moisturising conditioners: Boost moisture, hair elasticity and reduces frizz. Moisturizing conditioners do just what the name says; help the hair retain moisture. Many women with natural hair, will find that their hair tends to be dry. Moisturizing conditioners for natural hair will generally leave the hair looking and feeling better and more hydrated.
Some are a great combination that moisturize the hair while also strengthening with protein. Choose the right conditioner based on your needs: brittle/hard, dry, frizzy, poor elasticity (hair breaks when stretched)- moisturizing conditioner overly elastic (hair does not bounce back when stretched), limp feel to hair, breaks easily even when handled gently, hair overall seems weak- protein conditioner.
Leave-in Conditioners: This is not rinsed out of the hair and usually help balance the hair and smoothen the cuticle. A leave-in can be used in conjunction with a deep or rinse out conditioner. A typical leave-in conditioning formulation was created to fortify the hair with strength and/or moisture, aid in detailing, and provide ease of styling without weighing down the hair or creating a build-up. These concoctions were made to allow the freedom of frequent, daily usage without unwanted side effects. This is usually a third step after cleansing and conditioning, but it can also be used as a daily refresher. The leave-in concoction is the lightest form of conditioning compared to the rinse out or deep conditioner and serves best as a quick, light means for elasticity, hydration, and manageability.