Well today I returned to work after a 2 month break. I am a teacher and although I love what I do, I love blogging even more. Not to worry, I WILL manage some how some way to juggle both so I am not going anywhere. I may post a little later than but I will still post. I just wanted you all to know what was going on with me because even though I only see pictures of some and many I have never seen I feel a connection with each and every one of you and I hope that you feel the same.
Today I wanted to discuss a common misnomer in the natural hair community. “Overnight conditioning” Many naturals feel that the longer you condition the better it will be for your hair but this is not the case. I ran across this article by The Natural Haven:
Deep Conditioning: Effect of Time and Temperature/Heat
Increasing the time you leave conditioner on hair allows more of it to adsorb with a maximum adsorption at 20- 30 minutes.
When conditioner is heated to 35°C, at 10 minutes there is slightly more than 5% on hair and at 30 minutes there is slightly more than 10%. Therefore temperature increases adsorption. The rule however remains the same in terms of no further conditioner sticking to the surface after 30 minutes.
After reading this article I realized that leaving conditioner on beyond 30 mins wasn’t going to give me healthier hair or improve absorption. In fact it was more damaging to my hair in doing so:
- long conditioning time causes a change in the keratin that results in softening and weakening so don’t deep condition overnight or for hours on end. The obvious exception to this rule is treatments like henna, that require hours to take to the hair.
- But for your everyday run-of-the-mill deep conditioner, it should begin to work instantly, and reach maximum capacity at around the 20 or 30 minute mark. If your deep conditioner doesn’t work after 30 minutes, it’s time to ditch it for one that’s more effective.
So how should you use deep conditioner?
- Don’t use your deep conditioner to co-wash or as a leave-in conditioner. Deep conditioners are specially formulated to be effective at what they do which is to provide intense conditioning to the hair. Deep conditioners tend to contain higher concentrations of cationic surfactants (their primary function is to stick to the hair), and will likely lead to even more buildup if used as a co-wash or leave-in.
- Remember that conditioners have a shelf life so you may want to store them in the fridge.
- Don’t be fooled by the miracle conditioners that promise full bouncy curls after one application. Most deep conditioners have the same base ingredients and when looking at the label of your conditioner focus only on the first 6 ingredients because this is where the true benefits will be listed.
How long do you deep condition your hair?