“Just as you must eat to survive you must feed your hair to maintain its health, shine and manageability.” —Ouidad
The essential foundation of curly hair, DEEP TREATMENT is the single most important step in restoring and maintaining your hair’s health and beauty.
Due to a curl’s tendency to lose nutrients and moisture, frequent deep conditioning is necessary to replenish strength, build body and minimize the tendency to frizz. Heat is an important part of the deep conditioning process. In order to be effective, the protein molecules must “melt” and bond together to restore the hair.
Begin with clean, damp hair; freshly shampooed.
Completely saturate damp hair with deep treatment of choice. Imagine soaking your hair in a bowl full of treatment to envision the coverage you’ll need to completely saturate your hair.
Cover hair with a shower cap and apply heat for 15 – 20 minutes minimum. Leave product for an additional 10 minutes if your hair is extremely dry or damaged [30 minutes maximum. Your hair would have absorbed all that it can in 30 minutes]. It is important to heat thoroughly to allow the absorption of key proteins to restore the hair’s inner strength and weight.
Before rinsing, apply a daily conditioner over the deep treatment to seal in the treatment. Rinse both products together; allow a little coating to remain.
Style hair as usual. Deep treatment will not over-condition hair because it does not build up or weigh hair down.
Deep Treatment Tips
- Allow the treatment to continue to work by waiting a few days before your next shampoo.
- Use deep treatment once a month to keep hair healthy or every other week if it is damaged or extremely dry.
- The key ingredients that can stick to hair (surfactants, hydrolysed protein, silicones, polyquats etc) will do so within seconds of applying the deep conditioner treatment. If left on hair for longer, the amount will in general double within 10 minutes. If left on for another 10-20 minutes, the amount will increase by another 60-100% of the mark set at 10 minutes. However after 30 minutes from initial application, there are no more increases in conditioner adsorbing to hair. The reason for this is that the hair conditioner simply has no more places on the hair where it can stick to…….all gaps which it can plug and all surfaces where it can attach are occupied. Source
Please follow link for more information on Deep Conditioning: Effect of Time and Temperature/Heat
The above article are the [slightly modified] instructions found on the Ouidad website for their deep treatment intensive conditioner. That product cost US$52.00 for 8 oz! Reading an article on the site Hairscapades, she is convinced that it is not the product that holds the key, but the technique. Hence, the technique being branded – The Cool & Seal Method which many naturals have adopted to great success.
Several years ago, my youngest sister gave me a couple little deep conditioning tips. You see, I had been ogling the Ouidad Deep Treatment, because I had been reading so many rave reviews about it. However, the joker was $50 for 8 ounces (8.5 now)!!! I just couldn’t see myself spending that much for a conditioner. $18 for 8 ounces of Carol’s Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie was already hurting my wallet!!
So, my sister says to me one day, “I don’t think it’s the conditioner per se, I think it might be the technique.” She tells me to allow my DC to cool for 15 minutes after I remove the heat source and then, put my regular daily conditioner over the DC before rinsing them both. Well, I tried this shortly thereafter and it really seemed to make a difference in how my hair felt after rinsing the DC!! You know how your hair will feel great with conditioner in it? But some conditioners, once rinsed, don’t seem to leave any of the benefits you felt while they were in your hair? Well, after rinsing using this technique with the Carol’s Daughter Tui Smoothie and some Pantene (I think) my hair felt smoother, more supple and as if the moisture from the DC was better retained.
These are the actual directions for the deep treatment from Ouidad.com:
- Completely saturate clean, damp hair with 2 oz. of treatment on shoulder length hair – a bit more on longer hair.
- Cover with a shower cap and heat with blow dryer. Allow warm product to remain for 12 minutes.
- Before rinsing out, add a conditioner to hair. Then rinse both products; allow a little coating to remain.
Under the Deep Treatment section of the Styling Guide, it indicates, ”Before rinsing, add a daily conditioner to seal in the treatment” (emphasis added).
Anywho, I’ve been employing a modified version of this technique for many years now with much success. Since the beginning of the year, my weekly DC regimen has been as follows:
- Section hair into 4.
- Apply approximately 2 ounces of DC of choice (currently, Darcy’s Botanical Pumpkin Seed Conditioner or Shea Moisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention Deep Treatment Masque) to wet, but not dripping, hair (or 0.5 ounces per section). I ensure the section is thoroughly covered with DC and then twist it until I have four DC covered twists.
- Gather four twists together and use rounded-tooth jaw clip to secure ends near top of head and don plastic cap.
- Apply heat for a minimum of one hour (usually a Winter hat).
- Remove heat source and allow hair to cool for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- While hair is cooling, dilute about a half ounce to one ounce of daily conditioner (currently, Aussie Moist) with approximately 6 ounces of filtered cool water in a dye applicator bottle (I dilute the conditioner because I thought the instructions said a “conditioning rinse.” I’ve applied the daily conditioner full strength in the past, but didn’t notice any reduced benefit when I began diluting it. So, I continue to do so, since it allows me to extend product!)
- In shower or sink, pour entire bottle of diluted conditioner over twists, fully saturating them.
- Rinse conditioner with cold or cool water (if in sink, I rinse from side to side, never upside down). Rinse well, but not “squeaky clean.”
I believe that one of the major reasons that my hair retains length and stays well-moisturized throughout the week is due to a consistent DC regimen. Though I know there is controversy out there related to deep conditioning and deep conditioning with heat, I’ve always noticed improved hair health and length retention when I deep condition at least once a month. I have achieved the longest hair I’ve ever had in my life since I began DC’ing every time I wash, which is typically once a week.