Have you ever thought about ending your wash day early and sleeping in your deep conditioner? Maybe you’re thinking that it’ll give your hair extra moisture the longer you leave it in. Not a big deal, right?
Wrong! It is a big deal— and leaving a conditioner in your hair longer than the recommended time can do more harm than good to the health of your curls.
Whether you’re leaving in your conditioner out of laziness or because you believe it’ll help you achieve your goals faster; we’re going to discuss in this post why you shouldn’t and how to properly deep condition your hair.
How Long to Deep Condition
A deep conditioner is used to restore moisture, improve elasticity, add strength, and reduce breakage/shedding. It’s an important step to have in your regimen if you want to maintain healthier natural hair.
Most deep conditioners should be left on your hair between 20-30 minutes. Anything above this timeframe isn’t providing any additional benefits. By 30 minutes, your hair should have absorbed as much as possible and be moisturized enough to continue with your wash day.
What Happens When You Over-Condition
How often you deep condition your hair will depend on what your personal needs are, however, leaving it in for hours or overnight can lead to hygral fatigue.
Hygral fatigue is damage to your hair follicles caused by swelling from excessive moisture. When you leave a deep conditioner in your hair longer than you should, too much moisture can be absorbed which will lead to less elasticity and breakage.
Here are some signs of hygral fatigue:
- Your hair feels gummy or mushy
- Excessive hair breakage
- Dull, limp curls
- No “bounce back” or low elasticity
- Excessive frizzing
How to Properly Deep Condition
If you want to prevent hygral fatigue and not cause more damage to your hair over time, it’s important to follow the directions stated on your deep conditioner. Allow the product to penetrate your hair between 20-30 minutes and then rinse it out.
It’s also important to maintain a good moisture-protein balance by alternating the type of deep conditioners, you use. Our hair thrives from a healthy balance of moisture and protein, therefore, you want to pay attention to what your hair needs and choose your products wisely.
Some people use moisturizing deep conditioners one week and then a protein treatment the next. Or they may use protein once a month and moisture the other weeks. You have to figure out what works best for your hair!
Best Practices for our Deep Conditioners
The Rose Hydrating Conditioner is perfect for providing moisture, melting tangles, and leaving your curls soft + manageable. Since it doesn’t have protein, this is great to use when your hair requires hydration. This can be left on your hair with heat for 20 minutes. It can also be used as a rinse-out conditioner!
Our Coconut Milk Strengthening Deep Conditioner provides a balance of moisture and protein, restores strength, and helps to minimize shedding. This nutrient-rich formula will offer maximum moisture while strengthening your curls. With heat, this can be left on for 20-25 minutes.
Deep conditioning regularly will not only help you manage your curls better, but it also provides the moisture and strength your hair needs to flourish.
Make sure you’re following the right practices in your natural hair regimen and you’ll reach your hair goals in no time!
Blog Post Contributor: @naturally_madisen