Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Deep Conditioning | But are You doing it Right?

Soooo this may seem like a very silly post title especially for all of the advanced Hair Lovers who can shampoo, deep condition and even flat iron with their eyes closed! But we all get caught up in the activities of life [busy, busy, busy!], and often tend to find quick fixes/shortcuts when it comes to Haircare, which to our surprise may actually be a bigger waste of time than we actually know!

For many years I was of the school of thought that whatever you smother onto your hair, better well penetrate right through the shaft and fix any rusty nuts, bolts, perforations, heat damaged black holes that were in existence. However, truth is in most cases your average Deep Conditioner has just a few, dare I say 3 or 4 ingredients, that can actually penetrate your hair. In most cases the other 5, 10, 15 ingredients are purposed to serve another very important role during the deep conditioning process; which is to help smooth down the surface of the cuticle, keep hair moisturised and also soften the outer strands of our hair, otherwise known as adsorption.

So what does this mean and what habits may be preventing you from benefiting from adsorption and penetration???


This may just be a reminder to myself of my past time lack of knowledge [so take no offence if you've never done this!], but if you've ever been one to expect penetration from Oils which you've heard penetrate e.g Coconut Oil, and are doing this on wet hair post shampooing... waste of time! Oil repels water so there really is no hope for the Coconut Oil molecules [forgive my lack of scientific terms!] to penetrate past the barrier of H2O molecules. Hence why using penetrable Oils on dry hair is when you can enjoy their full benefits...
Secondly, if your ultimate goal is penetration, picking the cheapest DC for convenience may not be the best idea. Looking at this not so very long list of ingredients that can actually penetrate, may be a great start in your search for products to look for when "Deep Conditioner for penetration" shopping:

- Water -
- Hydrolysed Wheat Protein -
- Coconut Oil -
- Cetrimonium Bromide -
- Caffeine -
- Panthenol -
- some Amino Acids - 
- artificial Peptides -
- some Silicones or Amodimethicones
- Hydrolysed Palm Oil -
- 18MEA -

[please note this list is subject to hair typing i.e natural, relaxed etc. Will post research links at the end for Hair Nerds like myself ^_^]


1) Shampoo --> Deep Condition --> Rinse
2) Deep Condition --> Shampoo --> Rinse
Deep Condition --> Shampoo --> Condition--> Rinse
4) Pre-poo--> Shampoo --> Deep Condition --> Rinse

It would be wrong for me to say either of the wash day methods above are wrong or the only way to deep condition, however, having experimented with all I believe and find Step 4 offers the most benefits for both penetration and adsorption. Let me share the reasons why:

- You treat your hair to some Oils or beneficial Pre-Shampoo treatments e.g. [my Staples List] before shampooing which help reduce Shampoo stripping effects.

- You Restore the necessary ph balance in your hair by counteracting the negatively charged Shampoo with positively charged Conditioner.

- You then finish by rinsing this out to prevent any product build up and to commence with styling.

Looking at method 1 this would be a joint 1st place as sometimes let's be real there simply isn't enough time to pre-poo. As for method 2, not finishing with Conditioner will leave hair dry and with the wrong ph. Finally step 3 does not seem harmful, but there's a whole extra post that would need to be dedicated to the topic of hygral fatigue a.k.a causing our hair to expand too much... let's leave that for another day shall we or check out the research links below!

I could go on forever guys but I'm sure this is a long enough read as it is! I was sent the HairTherapyWrap some months ago and have used this religiously on wash days for deep conditioning, especially if I pre-poo with Coconut Oil which did you know can take up to 16 hours to penetrate?!!

So what next... should we talk favourite DC's?!

Research articles: Huge credit to Natural Haven for her extensive Hair research of which this Post refers to mainly [1] , [2], [3] , [4]

Avec amour...



  1. this was a lovely post. i love that you detailed everything so well. Great job!!!

  2. Wow
    That just answered a lot of my questions for real

    For weeks now I av been thinking if I shld stop DCing on dry hair then washing it out with a non cleansing shampoo

    Does this mean I av been washing away benefits of the DC?

    DC: joico moisture recovery
    Shampoo: creme of nature argan oil shampoo

    1. I wouldn't say you've been washing away, but it's definitely more beneficial to deep condition after shampooing. Shampoo, especially cleansing or clarifying will 'strip' your hair of oils, including your natural oils, so Dc after is better. From what I know.

    2. I definitely agree with Alicia, thank you :) Some people use methods which work for them that don't follow stereotypical suit so if your Hair has yet to complain then thats great, but as Alicia also mentioned Deep Conditioning after is recommended in order to encourage moisture, smoothness as well as easier detangling. Perhaps you can give it a try it the other way around and let us know what you think?! x

  3. Very helpful article, I have always gone with the wet method now I know why it doesn't work.

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips.

    1. thank you Dee, I did too! Its even better when dry! You'll love it x

  4. Very well said!

  5. Great knowledge packed post. I will definitely be doing step 4 from now on and step one when time is running low 1.
    I currently do 1.

  6. I started reading, and thought great another 'method'! But thankfully I completely agree with everything you've said, I've done quite a bit of research into deep conditioning and oils. And happily, I already do what you've described. So definitely two thumbs up! Great post.

    1. Yayy thanks! There's so much more that can be said and I love to read like you, will definitely have some follow up posts x thanks

  7. this was such a great post!

  8. Where can I buy the hairtherapywrap in the uk?

    1. hey hun you can buy it from I believe x

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x Fi