Friday, February 11, 2011

Deep Conditioning With Heat...Benefit or Waste of Time?

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As you may or may not be aware  washing my hair is an intensive process. If you have read my hair regimen post, then you will recall that I promised to adhere to it for at least the next 6 months. Part of what makes this a huge ordeal is the deep conditioning process. Which looks a little like this:
  • ·         hair is finished washed and rinsed;
  • ·         take hair bonnet or steamer off top shelf of closet with a ladder or chair;
  • ·         apply deep conditioner to hair in sections;
  • ·         find a place to plug-in the bonnet or steamer;
  • ·         sit under the heat for at least 20-30 minutes while simultaneously trying to not let the overwhelming heat actually overwhelm me;
  • ·         rinse hair in cool water;
  • ·         replace hair bonnet or hair steamer to its rightful place.

After reading this you may think what’s the big deal? However, this all takes a lot of time from me doing other things . So recently I read  a post on (Myth Vs. Fact Deep Conditioning) that most conditioners do not say on the label to add heat or leave them in for a long period of time. Naturally, I sought independent confirmation of this in my junkie stash of deep conditioners and here’s what I found:
  • ·         Herbal Essence’s Hello Hydration Moisturizing Conditioner  Directions: massage it in, Soak it up, rinse it out.
  • ·         Giovanni Deeper Moisture Conditioner: apply daily after Smooth as Silk Deeper Moisture Shampoo. Massage through to ends before rinsing thoroughly.
  • ·         Miss Jessie’s  Super Sweetback Treatment (I don’t use this anymore but thought I would look at it as well): leave in for 30 minutes then rinse….properties are amplified when used under a steam treatment or under an overhead dryer on a heat setting.

I just felt plain confused. The post went on to explain that adding a longer duration or heat to your conditioner does not cause it to penetrate the hair more. It was always my understanding that heat lifts the hair cuticle to allow for conditioner to penetrate the shaft. As part of my investigative research, I visited Kimmaytube’s site and watched her video on the structure of hair.  
Basically, I think the post raises a good point about conditioners; however, I find it difficult to believe that adding heat does not provide some benefit to the hair shaft. A hair’s cuticle layer protects the shaft; therefore, without using heat you are only conditioning the hair’s cuticle and not the shaft…
I will continue my research on this…until then I will continue to use my hair dryer! 

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