May 5, 2012

Condition Dem

Welcome to my first official blog post that's dedicated to conditioning dem curls!
When I was younger, I never deep conditioned my hair. On a wash day the two items in my hair kit were shampoo and pomade (love you Mom!). My hair is very thick and also very dry and neither my Mom nor I realized the importance of deep conditioning my hair (especially because of my hair texture)
Why is it important to deep condition?
The kinky curly textured nature of my hair makes it difficult for the natural oils produced by the scalp to travel down the hair shaft. This can result in dry hair, especially at the ends as it’s the oldest part of the hair shaft and the furthest away from the scalp. Makes sense right? (This is also why it’s not necessary to wash our hair every day, in comparison to people with straight hair that gets oily more quickly).
It’s very important to deep condition curly hair to help add moisture back into the strands. Moisturized hair is happy hair and happy hair is healthy hair. Happy hair is also softer, less frizzy and easier to detangle.

JESSICURL Deep Conditioning Treatment
This is one of the natural deep conditioners
I use. It can be purchased online at:

How often should I deep condition? Some people say once a week, some say once a month. It depends on the texture of your hair, the environment and how dry your hair is. I have 4b/4c hair, and it can get extremely dry (especially during the winter) so I deep condition once a week. If your hair is extremely dry and damaged, I’d suggest once a week. On average, you should deep condition dem curls at least once a month.
Difference between a regular conditioner and deep conditioner?
Regular conditioners are for normal use  (day to day) and mainly coat the hair with moisture. A deep conditioner does more to penetrate the hair shaft: moisturizing and repairing the hair strands. Deep conditioners are normally used in combination with a heat source (i.e., hooded drier, steam cap). The heat opens up cuticle (outer layer of the hair shaft), allowing all the good stuff to get inside the hair shaft and work its magic. Deep conditioners are also left on the hair for longer than a rinse out conditioner.
Things to look for when selecting a deep conditioner
The first rule to selecting a deep conditioner is reading the ingredient list! Make sure you’re investing in a good product and not shopping blindly.
1.      Water should be the first ingredient.
Water is naturally able to penetrate the hair shaft, making it the best moisturizer, hands down. Look for products that list water as the FIRST ingredient.
2.      Natural Oils
I’m going to do a blog post on the benefits of natural oils later, but to keep it brief any of the follow oils are great must-haves in order to help seal moisture in to the hair.
Ingredients to look for:Jojoba, Coconut, Avocado, Castor, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond
Note: Coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil also have also been shown to naturally penetrate the hair shaft and help strengthen the hair. Natural oils also help make hair soft, shiny and healthier! :)
3.      The Problem with Petrolatum
Avoid products that list ingredients such as petrolatum, lanolin, or mineral oil. These oils are cheap filler ingredients used in products that only seal the moisture OUT of the hair (dry hair problems!) and clog your pores (preventing the natural oil production from your scalp and aiding in dry scalp and dandruff!)  It’s often a subject of debate in the hair community because most people swore by it growing up (My mom loved Pomade lol). Some people use petrolatum as a sealant, but if you do, make sure you use a good clarifying shampoo to remove build up. It’s important to remember that petrolatum can’t penetrate the hair shaft, so it doesn’t moisturize or help to repair hair. As I try to use mostly all natural products on my hair, I try and stay away from it.
4.      The Good P: Protein
Protein helps with the strength and structure of the hair. While it’s very important to moisturize the hair, it’s also very important to maintain a good protein balance as well. Don’t overdo it on the protein treatments though...too much protein will make hair brittle!
Ingredients to look for: Keratin, hydrolyzed proteins, wheat protein, silk protein, collagen
5.      Eat Ice Cream Cones, Stay away from Silicones
Did you like that rhyme? :P On one hand, silicones help to detangle hair and make it shiny and smooth. But don't be fooled by false advertisements! Overtime silicones can cause build up on the hair shaft and prevent moisture from getting in. If you’re using silicone based products, it’s important to use a clarifying shampoo to get rid of the buildup. There are debates around silicones as to whether they are truly “good or bad”, to “avoid them or not”. 
Ingredients to stay away from: anything ending in "cone, conol, col or xane" i.e., Cetearyl Methicone, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol
I firmly believe conditioning is the most important part of any hair care routine, especially if your hair is dry, damaged or processed. Conditioners help to infuse much needed moisture into the hair. They can get a bit pricey, however, you don’t have to break the bank!  Substitute for less expensive shampoo’s and invest in a good conditioner. Or read my next post on how to "Remix Your Conditioner!" Make sure you do the proper research and find what works best for your hair. Hope this helps!
Later ya’lls.

J! :)
Live without pretending, love without depending, listen without defending and speak without offending.

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