If you’re a naturalista, you must have heard that you’d be doing a great favor by deep conditioning it after washing it. But have you ever wondered what to do after deep conditioning natural hair?
The thing is, if you’ve ever felt like your hair was limp, lifeless, and in dire need of extra moisture, then you are a prime candidate for a deep conditioning session.
Also, if your hair has been immensely damaged by heat, chemicals, or over-manipulation, you may want to try out deep conditioning and see if you can restore it back to health.
You may or may not have heard of this great procedure already, but it’s an absolute necessity for people of all hair types.
But, if deep conditioning is already a part of your regular routine, you may be wondering what’s next.
And indeed, what comes after deep conditioning?
What Is Deep Conditioning?
Let’s first understand what deep conditioning is all about.
Essentially, this is a procedure where you moisturize and pamper your hair by treating it with extremely nourishing products.
This can be seen as a more intense form of regular conditioning, where you really dedicate time for your hair to absorb moisture and restore it back to health.
It’s also a way to repair your hair from damage it’s suffered in the past, and to protect it from future breakage.
Benefits Of Deep Conditioning
There are tons of benefits to derive from deep conditioning your hair.
Prevents hair damage
Dry hair is extremely prone to damage.
And you know what dry hair often results into? Split ends.
When split ends get bigger, they ultimately cause the whole hair strand to split and break off.
With deep conditioning, you get to treat this problem right away and prevent your hair from sustaining further damage in the future.
In addition, deep conditioning gives your hair the proteins and nutrients it needs to remain strong.
With your hair moisturized and filled with essential nutrients, it becomes more resistant to damage and breakage.
It improves hair elasticity
Elasticity is a sign that your hair is healthy.
Brittle hair that lacks elasticity easily snaps and breaks with tension, but deep conditioning combats that.
It gives your hair the proteins and nutrition it needs to remain strong to withstand tension!
As it keeps your hair moisturized, it also gives it added elasticity.
It nourishes the hair and makes it stronger
Hair that has been through countless chemical treatments is extremely damaged, with its structure even compromised and altered.
With deep conditioning, you’re able to restore your hair structure to normal, as it restores strength to the areas of your hair that have been damaged by excessive dyeing or bleaching.
This gives it renewed strength to withstand further damage.
It restores the hair’s natural shine
Luster and shine are all effects of moisturized hair.
But, they’re actually reflections of a clean scalp, too!
Product build-up can cause dulling of your hair.
Deep conditioning tackles these issues, and thus makes your hair shinier after every treatment.
It keeps the hair moisturized
As you’ve seen through this list, deep conditioning is essential in making your hair more moisturized.
Products used for deep conditioning are particularly hydrating for your hair.
They also help this moisture to be sealed in your hair shaft, thus promoting healthy hair growth.
What To Do After Deep Conditioning Natural Hair
Alright, so you’ve deep conditioned your hair already.
What comes after that?
Do you just go back and do what you would normally do before you incorporated deep conditioning into your wash day routine?
Or are you supposed to create a comprehensive hair care regimen just because you deep conditioned?
Let’s discuss this issue in detail.
Dos And Don’ts Immediately After Deep Conditioning
Let’s start by looking at what you should do and NOT do immediately after deep conditioning your hair:
Rinse thoroughly and carefully
Rinsing is a must after every deep conditioning treatment, and you should make sure to rinse your hair properly.
Since deep conditioning requires you to have the treatment on your hair for a long period of time, being haphazard with your rinsing might leave a lot of residue on the hair.
Remember to rinse with cold water because this helps to seal your cuticles and keep all the moisture goodness in!
Don’t shampoo after conditioning
Shampooing after deep conditioning is counter-productive!
Shampoos are meant to cleanse the hair, including the oil and sebum present there.
If you make the mistake of shampooing, you’ll essentially be scrubbing away effects of the deep conditioning treatment.
This will reverse all the gains of a deep conditioning session.
Instead, remember to shampoo before you deep condition.
Deep conditioning, after all, is best done on clean hair.
Do give your hair time to breathe
After a single deep conditioning treatment, you’ll definitely notice how your hair is softer and bouncier.
That different feeling is normal, and nothing to be worried about.
However, as you enjoy all these benefits to your hair, it’s also the best time to give your hair a break.
Keep away from styling and heat in the meantime.
Don’t overdo deep conditioning
Over-conditioning is actually a thing.
If you’ve just deep conditioned today, don’t do another treatment tomorrow.
Also, keeping the product on for hours on end can be damaging to the hair, too.
You want to avoid causing hygral fatigue to your hair at all costs.
Hygral fatigue is when the hair cuticle swells excessively after getting damaged as a result of moisture overload.
If you’re using a commercial deep conditioning treatment, follow instructions on the product label for how long you’re going to keep the product on.
Usually, 45 minutes at most should be fine.
Use the product overnight only when instructions say it’s safe to do so.
Establishing A Hair Care Routine
Deep conditioning isn’t a miracle treatment that’s going to fix all of your problems in a minute.
Instead, it should be taken as another vital step in an elaborate hair care routine.
Consistency is key to keeping your hair well nourished, so it’s imperative that you follow through when you deep condition.
Don’t stop after one treatment.
You should keep it up perhaps every week or every month, depending on your hair type and how much it needs moisture.
You should also keep your hair healthy in between treatments, by doing the following:
Switch to a water-based leave-in conditioner
Every time you do a deep conditioning treatment, you should also apply some leave-in conditioner afterwards just to make sure you seal all the moisture in.
To do this, use one that is water-based, so you don’t risk having residue on your hair or scalp.
Use hair moisturizers
Look for a good hair moisturizer to keep your hair hydrated in between your wash days, or in between treatments.
Another alternative is hair milk – this is good if you’re looking for something more lightweight for the hair, so you don’t have to worry about product build-up.
You may want to wet your hair before applying moisturizers for maximum effect!
Most moisturizers are actually water-based, so using these while your hair is wet can help retain as much moisture as possible.
Consider using oils
Oils are great in the moisturization process because they seal in moisture from water and leave-in conditioners.
And they’re all-natural, to boot!
Oils are the perfect way to seal the hair, which means you get to lock the moisture in the hair for a long period of time.
The point is really to keep the hair hydrated to keep it strong and healthy.
Always focus on your ends when moisturizing, as they are most prone to breakage.
Limit the heat!
With your hair softer, silkier, and shinier, you might be tempted to style it all you want.
After all, hairstyles look significantly better when your hair is healthier, right?
But, try as much as possible to avoid frequent heat styling.
Heat is your hair’s enemy, and we often take for granted just how damaging heat can be.
On top of the heat from blow dryers and curling or straightening irons, our hair suffers from damage from the sun’s UV rays, too!
So, if you can limit the use of heat from styling tools, that would be better.
For instance, you can air dry instead of blow-drying.
If you must use heat, don’t do it frequently, and always make sure you use heat protectants before you use heat on your hair.
Trim your hair regularly
Hair trimming, when done regularly, is a practice that does wonders for the hair.
This is one of the things you can do to minimize hair breakage.
If you have split ends – and often, we don’t know or notice that we do – trimming is the best way to get rid of them before they get bigger and cause more damage to the hair!
Uncontrolled split ends can cover the length of your hair and cause it to ultimately break off, which we want to avoid.
Be gentle on your hair
Avoid over-manipulating your hair, as that can also be damaging.
Tight hairstyles, for instance, aren’t good for the hair.
Excessive combing is another habit you should avoid!
Try using your fingers to comb through your hair, rather than brushing and combing it several times throughout the day.
Combing dry hair is damaging to the hair, no matter how gentle you think you are towards it.
If you must use a comb, then, only do so when your hair is wet (preferably with conditioner in it).
Also, make sure to only use a wide-toothed comb!
This way, you can minimize breakage.
Alternate your deep conditioning treatments
Deep conditioning treatments usually come in two forms: protein-rich ones for strengthening the hair, and nourishing ones for maximum hydration and moisture.
It’s a good practice to alternate the use of these, while still following regular intervals for your treatments.
In doing so, you are sure that you’re keeping your hair moisturized and strong!
Wear protective hairstyles
You won’t have to let go of your protective hairstyles just because you’re starting to deep condition.
In fact, they complement your deep conditioning process very well!
When you wear a hairstyle that that tucks away the ends of your hair, then you are in a protective style.
Tucking away the ends of your hair through braiding, for instance, protects these oldest strands against damage and over-manipulation from things like combing.
It also helps maintain growth retention.
By doing wearing protective styles, you get to take care of the hair you’re treating with deep conditioning.
These two done together (deep conditioning and protective styling) are sure to minimize damage to your hair.
There’s no need to worry about which style to do, either!
Watch your diet
When we think about taking care of the hair, we often forget about our lifestyle and habits as well.
But, did you know that they also have a great impact on the condition of our hair and skin?
Drinking a lot of water is always beneficial for the body, even your hair!
This is another source of moisture you should take note of.
Eating healthy food also gives us a supply of nutrients needed for cell repair and growth for both the skin and the hair.
Swap your cotton pillowcases for silk or satin ones
We don’t know just how much we damage our hair at night because we’re asleep.
But even if you try not to move much when sleeping, chances are, you’ll move your head from time to time, still!
That causes excessive friction between your hair and your pillowcase, leading to your hair drying out.
To remedy that, change to silk or satin pillowcases.
These create less friction with your hair, which means it’s more protected from damage and breakage.
Another good practice is to cover your hair with a satin bonnet to minimize its movement, and to keep it safe from friction and damage.
Deep conditioning does wonders for your hair.
That is a fact.
But it’s not a one-time miracle that you can simply do once, without following through with consistent effort and commitment.
If you’ve always wanted to know what to do after deep conditioning natural hair, I hope this post has helped you out.
The key thing is that you don’t forget to shower your hair with some love outside of your deep conditioning treatments because they won’t do you any good if you still continue with practices that damage your hair.
Indeed, you can view deep conditioning as the start of a long, yet incredibly fulfilling journey of loving your hair and learning to take care of it.
Maybe that’s really the best way to put it.