A natural hair journey has its ups, downs, twists, and turns. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a worthwhile journey. The natural hair care basics we learn keep us moving toward our goals in spite of the unexpected things the journey throws at us.
In Natural Hair Care Basics Shouldn’t Be Complicated – Part 1, we covered the first half of what I call Natural Hair 101. You should really check it out if you missed it.
Today’s post adds to that information and effortlessly guides you through the remaining basics, namely conditioning/deep conditioning and moisture sealing. We also will spend a little time discussing some prized final items to keep in mind when considering a basic hair regimen. With that, let’s dive right in!
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NATURAL HAIR CARE BASICS STEP 3: CONDITIONING & DEEP CONDITIONING
After cleansing, hair can often feel dry and unmanageable. Why? Shampooing, while essential to rid hair of dirt, grime, and debris, can strip hair of its moisture. It also removes natural hair oils needed to help seal the hair shaft.
Conditioning provides the solution to the dryness and unmanageability left by the cleansing process. The best conditioners add moisture, provide hair with nutrition, and balance pH. In addition, they help to seal the hair cuticle, which aids in moisture retention.
Deep conditioning goes a step further by more deeply penetrating the hair shaft for wonderful added benefits. Some deep conditioners can even fall into the “treatment” category, addressing issues such as lack of protein, breakage, and/or damage.
Every natural must have a consistent conditioning regimen as part of his/her natural hair care basics. Otherwise, you will struggle to achieve captivating hair results. Whether your goals include greater length retention, better hair health, or something in between, you can’t get there without excellent conditioning practices.
So, what is excellent? Your hair will determine “excellent” for you. I shoot for weekly conditioning/deep condition in my regimen because cleansing weekly works best for me.
Depending on your hair’s type and current condition, you may need conditioning sessions multiple times a week, once every other week, or some other frequency. Keep in mind your hair drives your journey. You go wherever it leads you. If your hair wants more water, let it drink until satisfied. If it needs more conditioner, let the hair have all the luscious conditioner it desires.
However, under no circumstances should you ever shampoo without following it with either a regular conditioner, deep conditioner, or both. You don’t want to leave your hair in a horrid, dry state, making it more prone to damage. Stripped hair with a raised cuticle is just a fail waiting to happen.
For more in-depth secrets on conditioning and deep conditioning, visit my previous post, How to Keep Your Sanity in the Face of Natural Hair Conditioning.