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Natural Hair Deep Conditioning Technique: Cool, then Seal

Avatar • Sep 1, 2011


By Shelli of Hairscapades.com

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:

1. Completely saturate clean, damp hair with 2 oz. of treatment on shoulder length hair – a bit more on longer hair.
2. Cover with a shower cap and heat with blow dryer. Allow warm product to remain for 12 minutes.
3. 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). My guess is that allowing the DC to cool is recommended based upon the same principle as using cool water to rinse conditioner. As heat will raise the cuticle layer, allowing the hair to cool after removing the heat source facilitates the relaxing/closing of that layer. Then, applying a daily conditioner over the DC somehow helps to further seal the moisturizing agents of the DC into the hair strand like using an oil or butter to seal a water-based moisturizer! That’s just my conjecture.

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 reason 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.

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Do you “cool and seal?” If so, have you noticed a difference in your hair using these techniques? If you’ve never tried these tricks, would you? Are you having great results with your current DC regimen?  Inquiring minds want to know!! 
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JJ
JJ
9 years ago

WOW! I don’t even DC. Might try this.

Sandra
Sandra
9 years ago

I was having friendly hair/skin conversation with a white girl and she told me to do this. I swear by it. Rinsing out with cold water closes up you’re hair cuticles and skin pores, keeping in moisture/reducing appearance of pore size.

MRose
MRose
9 years ago

Definitely going to try this!

Tonya Juanise
Tonya Juanise
9 years ago

I don’t do that but I do DC every week after I wash and condition my hair and my hair still says moisturized and retains length. I say if it aint broke, dont worry about it. If it were, I would definitely try it.

Kesha
Kesha
9 years ago

I do a modified heat and cool routine, but I am not sealing as indicated here. I can give it a try; however I am perplexed by something. What does the statement about rinsing mean, “if in sink, I rinse from side to side, never upside down”? This is confusing me. How does the mechanics of the way that you rinse both products out improve your outcome?

Shelli
9 years ago
Reply to  Kesha

The mechanics are just about tangling, not about the products. If I flip my hair upside down under the sink to rinse, I have to flip it back down to style and that causes tangling for me. Side to side allows my hair to hang naturally as rinsing and rinsing product down the strands with the direction of the cuticle layer, rather than against it.

Kesha
Kesha
9 years ago
Reply to  Shelli

Thank you for explaining this. Now I get it!

Shelli
9 years ago
Reply to  Kesha

No problemo!!!

Tara Melissa
9 years ago

The first person that told me to rinse my hair in cold water was a shampoo girl at a salon, and I’ve read it on various natural hair sites, but when I recently went to get my ends trimmed, that stylist basically shot it down. Her rationale was that the hot water helped the products to work and enabled your hair to get fully clean, and that cold water would just “freeze” up the hair products in your hair, putting them in a more solid state that was harder to rinse out, leaving you with gummy strands that weren’t fully clean.… Read more »

June
June
9 years ago
Reply to  Tara Melissa

Because I have low porosity strands, I was advised to rinse in warm water. A little cooler than what I washed with, but not cold water because it would close my strands and prevent my leave-in from penetrating. I don’t know what to make of all this conflicting information 🙂 The way I was told works well for me. It minimizes frizz, but I am still able to get moisturized hair for the whole day. If it ain’t broke.…..

Shelli
9 years ago
Reply to  June

Tara, I think that you have to do what works best for you. But personally, I don’t think that every stylist is well-trained or educated about natural hair health. Many naturals have hair that flourishes using regular conditioner as leave-in and if her theory that not rinsing conditioner until hair is “fully clean” makes hair gummy was true, I don’t think you would see so many having success with co-washing and the tightly curly method. However, that being said, as June said above, you have to figure out what works for you hair. Those with low porosity strands because the… Read more »

June
June
9 years ago
Reply to  Shelli

I would definitely try putting my rinse-out conditioner over my DC. I like the sounds of your results. Thanks for the information.

Princess
Princess
9 years ago

I have been doing this unintentionally for a couple of months now. I find that my rinse out conitioner is amazing at detangling my hair, so I put it on after deep conditioning. I found that my hair felt lovely afterwards — I thought it was because I use Aubrey Organics GPB — but I did the same proess only yesterday without the GPB and I still had great results — I think it is dwn to this method. I dont know about water temperature though :S I have never intentionally used cool water to rinse out my hair. Its… Read more »

Shelli
9 years ago
Reply to  Princess

Lukewarm water works too! It’s more about not using hot water or really warm water:). But, from what I understand, the colder the water, the more it shuts the cuticle layer down. I can’t stand the cold, so I’ll usually rinse in the kitchen sink with the sprayer or, if I’m in the shower, I’ll turn it to the faucet and duck under it to rinse so the cold water isn’t hitting my body!! LOL!! As someone above said though, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it:). It sounds like what you are doing is working, so go for it.… Read more »

Whitney
Whitney
9 years ago

I have used this technique somewhat since I started deep conditioning my hair, minus the cooling and adding another conditioner on top of my deep conditioner. I’ll have to try it next time I deep condition and see if I notice any changes. 🙂

ScrewyHair
9 years ago

Yep, it works for me and I have porous 4b/c hair. I also did this unintentionally one time and have stuck with it. I DC every week with honey, oils, a dab of glycerin, and an egg. (The egg is every other DC.) I usually leave in the mix a few hours with a shower cap and towel or T‑shirt to absorb the dripping. The first time, my hair felt a little crunchy from the honey (I think), so I put in some Forever Living Products Aloe-Jojoba Conditioner, which used to be my regular conditioner. I worked it in well and… Read more »

YannaBlue
YannaBlue
9 years ago

I tried this method and it worked wonderfully! My hair was soft, shiny and stayed moisturized for the whole week! Thanks girl for the tip!

Shelli
9 years ago

You’re welcome YannaBlue and Whitney, I hope it works out for you! ScrewyHair (lol, that’s a good one:), isn’t it awesome when you discover something that works for you by accident?!?! And, it’s especially awesome when you are able to figure out what it is so that you can replicate it!! LOL!! Isn’t that the worse, something goes amazing and you can’t figure out how you did it??

Charissa
9 years ago

I have a silly question. When you say “daily conditioner” do you mean a leave-in conditioner that people put in their hair daily that doesn’t require any rinsing? Or do you mean just a regular conditioner ‚like Tresemme or something, that people use after they shampoo?

Sorry, I’m from Trinidad and we call everything different names,so I’m confused. haha To us, daily conditioner is leave-in conditioner so I just wanted to make sure.

Es
Es
8 years ago
Reply to  Charissa

they mean the regular, rinse-out conditioners

Tanya
Tanya
8 years ago

Wow, thanks for this input! Gonna try in the next time I dc!

Miss J
8 years ago

Great info! I will definitely try this method. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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