With hundreds of hair companies now in the market, choosing the right conditioner to match your hair's needs can be like looking for that one last hair tie you thought you had -desperate and tedious! Lol!!
Here's a few tips that have helped me identify what deep conditioner works for me:
1. Disclaimers: What are deep conditioners in the first place?
First things first, there are mainly two types of deep conditioners: protein and moisturising deep conditioners. Some products might straddle the divide, but generally, most deep conditioners fall in either of these categories.
Protein deep conditioners strengthen the hair shaft. They add to the vitality of the strand by temporarily replacing protein molecules along the hair shaft. My protein conditioner of choice is Spiral Solutions deeply Decadent Repairing Protein Conditioner:
***Unfortunately the Spiral Solutions line has recently been discontinued by the manufacturer but Hair Chemist Limited's Macadamia Oil is my next best choice. It's one of those conditioners that is very moisturising but still has strengthening (protein-based) ingredients.***
Moisturising deep conditioners, on the other hand, work to add water molecules to the hair shaft. This increases our hair's flexibility. Our strands are therefore better able to withstand manipulation. I use two moisturising deep conditioners conditioners: Spiral Solutions Deeply Decadent Intensive Moisturizing Treatment and Shea Moisture's Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Mask.
I only have two of each type of deep conditioner because I'm obsessed with deep conditioners and I'm therefore just hoarding. It's perfectly okay to just have one protein deep conditioner and one moisturising deep conditioner!
2. Find out what's in the tub!
Now that we have a general understanding of what types of deep conditioners there are, lets talk about what's inside them! To see what ingredients are in your deep conditioner, simply read the ingredients list on the label.
Remember, your deep conditioners formulation is the number one factor that will determine its effectiveness.
You want to ensure that your deep conditioners first ingredient is water/aqua. Other ingredients such as aloe vera Juice or deionized water are great as well, and they may be listed first. For protein deep conditioners, you'll see ingredients such as hydrolysed wheat/oat/keratin/silk protein. For moisturising deep conditioners you'll see ingredients such as glycerin, glyceryl stearate, propylene glycol, sodium lactate, sodium PCA, acetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol.
However, if you see ingredients that are largely illegible or that contain a whole bunch of numbers like Red17 or Methoxoziedalialsiealliied (okay,I just made that up!! :-) ) you can rest assured that your particular deep conditioner of choice will do you no good!
3. Try out samples/ Do your research
If you can try out a product before you purchase it, please do so. Some manufacturers sell sample size products to allow you to test a product before you purchase an entire tub! If you can't sample a product, Google it. There might be a review online on it. It's great to hear what others think of a product before you spend your hard-earned cash on it. If you can't find a review, by all means Google the ingredients. Find out what each one actually does for your hair, so that you know what to expect.
Let me add this disclaimer for naturalistas who may not have access to frequently reviewed products because of your geographical location: there's no need to fuss about products that you can't purchase, a few DIY concoctions using basic ingredients will deep condition your hair just fine. (More on this soon on the blog!)
4. Make it work for you.
Which leads me to my third and last point: Do you boo! The natural hair community is full of lots of information. There are many different ways to style and treat your hair. One person's "holy grail" recipe/product/hair concoction might not work for you.
This means that you need to try things out for yourself. There isn't a single formula to natural hair. If you want to add extra ingredients such as honey and aloe vera juice to your hair mix, by all means do so. See this post here for details on how you can use aloe vera juice in your hair and beauty regimen.
Having natural hair is about learning what works for you boo! You may gather lots of information online, like you're doing now, but in order to have your best head of hair, you must be your own hair specialist.
How do you choose your deep conditioners? Where do you get them? Also, If you're a naturalista living outside of the US, please share any credible sources/international shipping countries from which you get your products - sharing is caring!!! :-)
As always, LOVE & SUNSHINNEE!!