So, you have low porosity hair? Gorgeous, but hard to keep moisturized, are we right? The challenge with low porosity hair is that the cuticles are tightly packed supporting the integrity of your hair strands, but making it really hard to get moisture inside! So many of our low porosity sisters try all the creams, butters and oils, with little to no effect – and that’s for good reason! Most of those products ARE effective, if you can get them inside your hair shaft (unless they are meant for sealing). This is where deep conditioning comes in. It is quite possibly the single most powerful step in any hair care routine to help boost moisture absorption and retention.
What is Deep Conditioning?
Deep conditioning is the process by which you treat your hair with a moisture or protein-based conditioner to restore your hair’s integrity and health. Most low porosity ladies need more moisture to balance out their hair’s protein level. Deep conditioning is a critical step in any healthy hair care regimen. (If you don’t have a hair care routine, we’ve got you. Try the MMARA 7 (™) for an easy to implement routine to get you started).
Benefits of Deep Conditioning
- It strengthens your hair by supporting its elasticity – deep conditioners pack a punch with protein that helps strengthen your hair’s cortex, giving you stronger hair.
- It hydrates your hair – deep conditioners also deliver much needed moisture into your hair strands keeping your hair softer and more manageable.
- It improves your hair’s shine and appearance – deep conditioning boosts your hair health and thus, its natural luster and shine.
- It prevents damage – deep conditioners help prevent damage by keeping your hair strong and supple, making it less susceptible to breakage.
5 Easy Steps to Deep Condition Your Hair Effectively
Everyday your hair is exposed to various stressors that deplete your hair’s moisture. The sun, environmental toxins (i.e., pollution), heat styling, friction (from sleeping, hair styling etc) and product build up over time can all put your strands in a fragile state. Deep conditioning is your primary tool to combat these stressors and keep your hair healthy – so it should be done weekly. That’s right! Every week. And with the five simple steps below, it’s totally doable.
1. Select the right product
Just like with any other hair or skin care product, not all products work for all people. You’ll want to look for products with ingredients that work for your hair. The chart below lays out key ingredients you’ll want to look for depending on your hair state and your hair’s porosity. While you’re naturally inclined to have a certain level of porosity, your hair’s state is somewhat fluid. So we’re including key ingredients for both low and high porosity. If you don’t know your hair’s porosity, you can take a quiz and find it out or read, “Hair Porosity: What It Is And Why It Matters” and find out. With any products, trial and error is required to find exactly what your hair likes. If you already have products you know you love, use them!
2. Shampoo your hair
Duh, right? This step may seem intuitive, but with all the conversations around cowashing, we’ve seen some confusion on the point. Shampooing is important for 2 main reasons. First it helps remove all the product build-up, oils and dirt that may have amassed during the week – and can act as a barrier to the conditioner keeping it from absorbing into your hair. Secondly, across the category, shampoos have a slightly higher pH (meaning they are slightly more alkaline than your hair’s pH). This helps to gently lift your hair cuticles so all the good stuff from your conditioner can enter your hair shaft, aiding absorption.
3. Apply your conditioner
Apply your chosen conditioner to your hair by starting at the ends and working your way towards the scalp. RESIST the urge to go in the opposite direction. The conditioner is meant for your hair, not your scalp. By starting with your ends, you’re addressing the oldest (and weakest) hair on your head first, giving it the extra TLC it needs.
4. Let it sit
Now, this is where things tend to get out of control. Somehow, some way hair washing has become an extreme sport with women using countless products in a never-ending routine that literally takes hours. While we call it “wash day” it isn’t really supposed to take the entire day. You SHOULD let the product sit for 10-30 minutes to give it time to absorb into your hair. If you want to leave it on for longer (and your hair likes that) go for it, but it isn’t mandatory.
Bonus Step: Apply heat to help boost absorption. Whether you sit under a dryer or steamer, use a heat cap, use a blow dryer or a warm towel, just make sure that you first put on a plastic shower cap first to help keep the product on your hair and trap moisture.
5. Rinse it out
When you’re ready, use cool water (even lukewarm is ok here vs. hot) to rinse out your conditioner. The cooler water (along with the product’s lower pH) work together to help close the cuticles along your hair shaft locking in all the great moisture your hair just took in.
That’s it! That’s all it takes to start yielding the benefits of deep conditioning for your hair. Probably the single most important element to all of this is CONSISTENCY. So make a resolution to spend a little extra time on this incredibly effective step and watch your hair flourish. For help finding the right product check out the MMARA store.