Knowing what types of conditioners are needed for natural hair is just as important as knowing how to properly use them. It’s not always about brand that one needs to know but about ingredients and intent. Cleansing hair is important but Conditioner has a bigger job for natural hair and there are three kinds that we need and use weekly.
Knowing the difference between a regular (rinse out) conditioner, leave-in conditioner and a deep conditioner are crucial to keeping your hair properly conditioned, moisturized and overall healthy. Here is a breakdown of the three, when to use them and how.
Every curly girl needs to use a rinse out conditioner because it keeps our hair moisturized in the days after styling. The natural oils from our scalp don’t travel all the way down our hair shaft because of our curl pattern in order to properly moisturize our hair. So we coat our hair with a rinse out conditioner so that it will stay moisturized in order for us to retain length.
If you’re complaining of dry hair and you don’t use a rinse out conditioner – there’s why. The conditioner closes our hair cuticle and keeps the moisture locked in after the shampoo has lifted our cuticles and stripped it. The closed cuticle makes it less susceptible to breakage when detangling with your fingers or combs. As well as, the conditioner makes our hair easy to detangle because of the ‘slip’ that comes with this heavy product as the rinse out conditioner is heavier than a leave-in. Our hair will stay moisturized even though we rinse it out therefore leaving it in our hair is not good.
We should use a rinse out conditioner weekly to replace moisture lost throughout the week from the elements of the environment and our manipulation. If you want a moisturizing product to stay in your hair after wash day – use a leave in.
There are a few rinse-out conditioners that you can also leave in and my favorite is Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner. I use it as a leave-in never assume which conditioner you can rinse-out or leave-in. Consult with the product so you are using them correctly. They will tell you if they can be used both ways.
Popular Rinse out conditioner: Design Essentials Natural Rosemary & Mint Stimulataing Conditioner
So, why do we use a leave-in conditioner if we use a rinse out conditioner and deep conditioner? Because the leave-in serves a real purpose. This lightweight product acts as a protective barrier around our hair shaft for when it is being manipulated during the styling process, affected due to the environmental conditions and rubbing against our cotton clothes.
In addition, it adds a bit of moisture for the days after styling. Ladies, please don’t even consider just using leave-in conditioners (instead of the rinse out) because it’s simply isn’t moisturizing enough as they are have a higher water content, lighter than a rinse out are will not work longer than a day or so. They can be used daily because they are lighter and they make for better daily styling.
Popular Leave-in conditioner: Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner/Detangler
If you want great moisture retention and elasticity – deep condition your hair every week with heat. The heat (a thermal cap like the Hot Head or under a hooded cap like the Infiniti Pro Gold BY CONAIR® Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer) causes the cuticles to be raised and allows the emollients and moisturizing ingredients to fully penetrate and coat the hair shaft.
Everyone should deep condition their hair because it adds an extra boost of moisture and protection for the days after styling. It should be done every week but can be stretched to biweekly depending on your hair preference.
Deep conditioning also fills the holes in the hair cuticle (which is a cause of poor porosity) from the damage and manipulation that occurred in the week and the parts that the conditioner may have missed. Deep conditioning on a regular basis adds shine, prevents dryness and damage and improves the overall look, feel and health of your natural hair.
Popular Deep Conditioner: EDEN BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner
Do you have a favorite rinse-out, leave-in and deep conditioner? Share below!