In this tutorial, I discuss deep conditioning and review Thermal Hair Care’s Hot Head Deep Conditioning Cap along with some new products from Creme of Nature’s Argan Oil line.
Why deep condition?
Conditioning your hair helps install moisture, improve elasticity and make your hair more manageable for styling. It is also how you make sure your hair has the essential vitamins and nutrients it needs to remain balanced until your next wash day. What your hair needs as far as ingredients will vary person-to-person, but one thing is for sure for all hair types and textures…you need to deep condition. I personally deep condition with every wash, which is about every five to seven days. I find my hair is softer, less frizzy and more hydrated in the days after styling when I deep condition than when I don’t, so I made the choice years ago to do it with each wash.
So what makes a conditioner “deep?” Penetration. How the ingredients in the conditioner, store-bought or homemade, penetrate the hair shaft determines if it is going deep and staying there. Some ingredients will penetrate the hair shaft and others will remain on the outside of your strands. For me, a good conditioner contains some of both kinds of ingredients. I find that I need a combination of emollients and humectants (lubricants, sometimes silicones, that coat the hair to add slip and seal the cuticle, ultimately preventing moisture loss and frizz), natural oils, and sometimes, a snatch of protein for “sturdiness” or “pop.” I have very loose, loopy/wavy curls that are rather dense and heavy, and can frizz easily, so a little of all of these is good for me.
If you are trying to figure out if your favorite conditioner will “go deep,” here are some examples of ingredients with penetration capability (small molecular weight):
- Cocos nucifera (coconut oil)
- Olea Europaea fruit (olive oil, extra virgin, unrefined)
- Persea Americana (avocado oil)
- Ricinus communis (castor oil)
- Argania spinosa (Argan oil)
- Hydrolized proteins (protein is a building block that increases moisture retention, adds volume, and makes hair smoother; “hydrolyzed” means it’s been split into smaller units so it can penetrate the hair)
Here are some examples of sealants, emollients, and humectants, which have higher molecular weights, that will stay on top of the hair shaft and seal or draw moisture into the hair:
- Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)
- Helianthus Annuus (sunflower seed oil)
- Mangifera Indica (mango butter)
- Silicone oil (dimethicone)
- Panthenol (commonly referred to as vitamin B5)
- Glycine (soybean oil)
- Fatty alcohols (lauryl, cetyl, myristyl, stearyl, cetearyl, lanolin, isocetyl, isostearyl, and behenyl act as emollients, or softners)
- Honey or honeyquat
- Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera)
- Glycerin or glycerol
How to deep condition:
Deep conditioning requires a product with ingredients that penetrate the hair shaft. How fast that all happens is based on your hair’s natural porosity. If you have higher porosity, deep conditioning may take just 10 to 15 minutes, if you have low porosity, this time may increase to 30 minutes. If you are like me, and have medium porosity, you will likely fall somewhere in between, around 20 minutes. This is something you will have to gauge for your hair based on what you are using. Deep conditioning products and treatments have instructions for what the manufacturers believe are sufficient times for penetration, however, those times will vary based on your porosity level, the health of your hair, and how you process the product. (See how to test your hair’s porosity.)
Unless your hair is damaged from chemical processing, or lifted with ammonia-based dye, the more coily your strands, the more difficult it can be for ingredients to make it to the hair shaft. In general, if your hair is reasonably healthy, your cuticle is naturally closed. That is why heat-induced conditioning, or deep conditioning, is highly recommended for curly girls. Adding heat to your processing can increase how much of the penetrating ingredients in your conditioner actually “stick” to the hair shaft. Heat will also increase the absorption rate at which ingredients are able to pass through the cuticle layer, past the lipid barrier (lining that allows moisture through to the hair shaft), and into the hair shaft. However, you should note that all hair has a maximum absorption level. At some point, you are just sitting with conditioner-saturated hair and may not be gaining any additional benefit from hours of conditioning.
The Hot Head Deep Conditioning Cap is filled with renewable flax seed which generates heat when warmed in the microwave making it reusable and environmentally friendly. After just a couple minutes in the microwave, Hot Head will produce up to 30 minutes of gentle, moist heat. And what I love about this cap is that there’s no plugging in, which means I am free to roam around, take a nap, do some cleaning…basically whatever I need to do while deep conditioning my hair. I also found it did not leak and it was very easy to slide over my rather large head (lol).
Keeping the Hot Head clean:
This cap can be spot cleaned using warm water and a mild detergent, such as Woolite. Because you will be wearing a disposable plastic cap as a barrier between the Hot Head and your hair, spot cleaning should suffice, but do not place this in the washer or dryer! Also, you should store your cap in a cool, dry place. If your cap has lint on it, simply roll over it with a lint roller to make it smooth and clean again.
Where to buy:
You can find the Hot Head at ThermalHairCare.com. It is available in multiple colors and patterns, and each cap is reversible.
Creme of Nature Argan Oil products are infused with Argan oil, fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidants that give hair shine, nourishment and protection.
- Strength and Shine Leave-In Conditioner features proteins that help protect from heat and styling damage while adding moisture and shine.
- Pudding Perfection is a curl-enhancing creme designed to tame frizz, elongate curls and add moisture to strands.
The Creme of Nature product were a part of the May curlBOX. See how to subscribe here!
- Beauty Secrets Base Coat
- China Glaze “Passion in the Pacific“
- Out the Door top coat
- OPI Mango Citrus Scrub
- Shea Moisture Hand Cream*
Other products and tools:
- Ion Anti Frizz blow dryer
- Chi Deep Brilliance Reflect
- Agadir Argan Oil Moisturizing Shampoo
- Agadir Argan Oil Moisturizing Masque
Totals style time was an hour and forty-five minutes.
Keep and care: