By Geniece of Beautifully Made
When I began my healthy hair journey in the fall of 2009 I was Ms. Diligent. I washed and deep conditioned my hair weekly, alternated protein and moisturizing treatments, baggied during the week and wore protective styles 24/7. After a few months, I realized that my efforts had paid off. My hair retained length very well and my hair felt thicker and healthier. As time went on I began to think “Can I achieve these results while reducing steps in my regimen?”. The work I put into hair care became time intensive. I eventually stopped baggying, realizing that moisturizing my ends regularly was sufficient. I also started to wear more “out” styles, recognizing that my hair wasn’t going to fall off if I wore a braid out a week a month. Still, my wash routine was rather long and, quite frankly, I didn’t always have time to set aside 4–5 hours every week to wash my hair.
By the time I started to think about how I might remove steps from my wash regimen I had identified hair products and ingredients that helped my hair retain moisture. For example, whole leaf aloe vera gel was the supreme moisturizer and castor oil (used very lightly) was an excellent sealant. Because my weekly products were so helpful to retaining moisture I began to think I could cut back on deep conditioning after washing my hair. So I would pre-shampoo and sit with a shower cap under a dryer for 20 or so minutes. Because the products I used during the week were natural I felt that I could deep condition my hair without having to wash my hair first. After my pre-shampoo I would wash my hair, using a mild cleanser, and my hair remained soft and manageable.
Another short cut that I learned is using conditioners that can function as both a wash out conditioner and a leave in. My conditioner of choice is Oyin Handmade’s Honey and Hemp conditioner. I can simple pre-shampoo and detangle my hair, wash it, then apply the conditioner. I will keep my hair under a shower cap for several minutes then I can style my hair. I wouldn’t do this method with conditioners that have silicones, but for conditioners that are natural I find that this is a great short cut deep conditioning method. You can also substitute a conditioner and generously apply aloe vera and a light oil (i.e. jojoba) and deep condition after you finish washing your hair. You won’t have to step back into the shower or go under the sink once done to wash out the product, but rather apply your moisturizer and style your hair.
These short cuts have shaved about 1 hour off my routine because post-wash deep conditioning would require me to go under the dryer for about 30 minutes then go into the shower and wash it out. I still do a traditional deep conditioning treatment if I plan to apply heat to my hair. I use heat rarely so for the most part the short cut method has been my method of choice.
What tips and tricks do you have to cut down on deep conditioning time?