Natural Hair and Conditioner
Have you ever wondered what type of hair product would you take with you on a secluded island?
Let’s say the people of the island invited us to live on the island for a year. The thing is, you can only take one hair product.
On this island’s adventure, you will learn how to work with what you have. Be receptive to exploring, adapting to a new environment. At the end of the journey, share your hair product with one of the visitors on the island.
So, what is your ultimate must-have hair product in your hair book?
There are a lot of natural hair products on the market: Shampoos, conditioners, leave-in conditioners, defining creams, hair oils, styling gels, protein treatments, and heat protectants, etc. What type of hair product will I take with me?
Let me introduce to you my all-in-one product…
Because of moisture! The moisturizing conditioner has all the wonderful benefits my natural hair needs and loves. This conditioner restores lost moisture, softens and strengthens the hair shaft.
My hair tends to be drier towards my wash day. The moisturizing conditioner is one of the most important products in my healthy hair care regimen. Although there are many products I love and need. This conditioner is everything and more.
What is Moisture?
Moisture is the main part of water! Natural hair craves moisture! Water is used in almost all hair products. It can enter and exit the hair’s cuticle. But it can be difficult for the hair to stay moisturized. And for a long time with water only. So, a quality, healthy conditioner is very important to maintain your hair’s moisture level throughout the week.
The moisturizing conditioner is a magic potion in my hair book!
This magic potion is a cleanser, conditioner, deep conditioner and a leave-in conditioner all-in-one bottle.
It is thick, creamy, and most of all. It is moisturizing. It is a refresher, a big helper for my detangling process. A good quality moisturizing conditioner will make a big difference in your detangling process.
My conditioner must be free of sulfates, parabens, minerals, silicones, etc.
Wonderful Benefits of Conditioners
- Repairs and maintains moisture
- Soften and moisturize
- Add protein and strengthen the hair shafts
- Improve elasticity
- Add shine and decrease frizz
- Promote a healthy scalp
- Improve with manageability
- Helps with the detangling process
Selecting your Conditioners
Selecting the proper and suitable conditioner for your natural hair is very important. It is essential that you spend your money on quality healthy conditioners that focus on your hair’s texture and needs.
There are various types of conditioners to choose from, which can lead to confusion. There is limited information on which type of conditioner should be used; when they should be used. And how long to leave on the hair. Some conditioners are designed for daily, weekly, or monthly use.
Types of Conditioners
Instant conditioners are lightweight and rinse out easily because of the large water content. Instant conditioners are best suited for fine, oily hair. Also, for those who work out and practice conditioner only washing.
Cream-rinse conditioners are used as a final rinse and are like instant conditioners. These conditioners are great for detangling and are left on the hair for less than five minutes. Cream-rinse conditioners work well for protecting the hair from heat damage.
Moisturizing conditioners rehydrate, soften, and strengthen the hair cuticle. These conditioners contain a large amount of cationic surfactant, which boosts the moisture content in the hair. Moisturizing conditioners smooth, soften the hair strands to make it easier to detangle and comb. Moisturizing conditioners are the perfect match for natural hair.
There are two types of protein-based conditioners. Basic protein and protein reconstructor conditioners. Protein conditioners range in protein content from light to heavier protein content concentrations. These conditioners help to add structure and strengthen the hair’s cuticle layers. Keep in mind that natural hair can be sensitive to protein-based conditioners. So, pay close attention to your hair after using protein-based products.
Basic Protein Conditioners
Basic protein conditioners are light proteins. Most conditioners include at least some protein. These conditioners are great for strengthening and maintaining healthy hair. Basic protein conditioners can be used once a week. It is also suitable for those who use hot styling tools.
Protein reconstructors have a large percentage of protein concentration. These protein treatments are intensive and have a longer-lasting effect. The main purpose of these protein treatments is to increase strength and rebuild to weak hair strands. Protein constructors treatments are suitable for damaged hair; hair that breaks easily and colour treated.
In addition, you need to follow-up with a deep conditioner treatment to restore moisture. These protein treatments can be used every five to eight months on natural hair for maintenance. It is very important to follow the product directions.
Deep conditioners are intended to treat dryness by restoring protein and moisture. These conditioners penetrate the hair shafts with longer-lasting effects.
Deep conditioners boost moisture, improve elasticity, add shine, and reduce the frizz. The texture and consistency are thick, creamy, and rich in moisture-boosting ingredients.
Deep conditioners strengthen and soften the hair. And improve with manageability. It is important to leave the product in your hair for 20-40 minutes to penetrate the hair shafts. Apply heat to make sure you are getting the best benefits. Deep conditioners should be once a week or twice a week.
Leave-In conditioners are meant to stay in the hair after the shampooing and conditioning process. The leave-in conditioner forms a thin protective layer of coating on the hair shafts by preventing dryness. These conditioners come in the form of both liquids and creams. They are creamy, suitable for thick natural hair. Liquid conditioners are suitable for those with finer hair. It is very important you do you skip this step!
Ingredients Used in Conditioners
It is fundamental to know your ingredients and their benefits. Make it a practice to read the ingredients list. What you put in your hair matters. It is also important to know what works better for your hair. Your health should be the main reason to know your ingredients than your hair! What’s good and what’s bad.
Here are the main ingredients you may find on your conditioner ingredients list.
Water plays an important role in moisturizing our hair. It forms the base of hair products. And has the highest percentage of ingredients. Moisture is the main characteristic of water! Good hair products always have water as the first ingredient.
Humectants attract moisture from the surrounding air and bring it to the hair. Some humectants like glycerin, when used in the winter months, can cause the humectant to pull moisture away from the hair.
Occlusives help to prevent moisture loss by forming a protective film layer blocking the entry and exit of moisture through the hair shaft. These agents have an oil base, giving the hair a greasy feel. Occlusives ingredient build-up on the hair shaft and can be difficult to wash out without a clarifying shampoo.
- Mineral oil
Emollients are moisturizing, lubricating ingredients that are water or oil-based. They fill in the gaps on the hair’s cuticle surface. Emollients are used in products to help soften, smooth and seal the hair strands, giving the hair its glossy finished.
- Cetyl alcohol
- Behenic acid
- Glyceryl monostearate
Emulsifiers are stabilizers to keep the ingredients from separating. They bind the ingredients together, forming the perfect blend. We can find these ingredients in shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, leave-in conditioners, etc.
- Cetyl alcohol
- Cetrimonium chloride
Sealants help to keep the hair lubricated and act as a barrier to seal moisture.
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Jojoba oil
- Olive oil
Thickeners are used to add body to the products and give a conditioning effect.
- Xanthan gum
- Castor oil
- Decyl glucoside
Preservatives are used to lengthen shelf life. We need preservatives in hair products to prevent the growth of fungus, bacteria, and yeast that can cause the products to go bad.
Parabens are commonly used preservatives known for causing allergic reactions. Studies have linked parabens to cancer.
- Benzoic acid
- Benzalkonium chloride
- Sodium benzoate
Silicones act as a lubricant and conditioner to make the product spread through the hair strands while providing slip. Giving the hair a soft, silky, and polished look. But silicones have had a bad representation for causing more harm than good. Some silicones buildup on the hair shaft and can lead to dryness and damage.
Two Types of Silicones to Understand
Non-soluble silicones have a heavier buildup. These silicones cannot be removed or penetrated with water. Non-soluble silicones seal the hair cuticle, preventing moisture from entering. It is very important to use a clarifying shampoo to remove the buildup.
- Phenyl trimethicone
Water-soluble silicones have a lighter buildup and can dissolve in water. These silicones are suitable for natural hair. And can be removed with a mild shampoo.
- Stearoxy dimethicone
- Lauryl dimethicone copolyol
- Behenoxy dimethicone
- Dimethicone copolyol
Proteins are used to strengthen and repair the hair cuticle. But using products with too much protein can be bad for natural hair. Too many protein causes (protein overload) your hair to become dry, brittle, and stiff.
Look-out for ingredients starting in hydrolyzed and ending in amino acid. Hydrolyzed proteins are commonly used in conditioners and have a higher concentrated number of proteins.
- Hydrolyzed silk protein
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Hydrolyzed keratin
- Soy protein
Different Ways to Use Your conditioners
Conditioner Washing Method
Conditioner washing is a moisture-boosting shampoo less method. We can cleanse natural hair using a lightweight conditioner that includes a gentle cleanser. The shampoo less method is a great option for those who work out regularly and require frequent cleansing.
The downside of conditioner washing is product buildup. Weekly styling products start to buildup on the hair shaft, blocking moisture from entering, which can lead to dryness and breakage. I recommend using a clarifying shampoo twice a month.
Conditioner Deep Conditioning Method
Use a moisturizing conditioner to act as a deep conditioning mask. Heat must be used to help the moisture penetrate the hair’s shaft to get its full benefits. Heat the conditioner in a bowl of hot water. Apply the conditioner and cover your head with a shower cap. Sit under a hooded dryer or use a heating cap. Leave in your hair for 30-45 minutes or overnight.
Conditioner Leave-In Conditioner Method
I can easily apply a moisturizing conditioner to act as a leave-in. Two ways to use this method. Do not rinse out all the conditioner after shampooing or apply a small amount of the conditioner to your hair. Remember to use a wide-tooth comb to disperse the product through your hair strands.
When should I Conditioner My Hair?
You should make it a practice of moisturizing your hair many times a week or when your hair feels dry.
- Use a conditioner after shampooing your hair each week.
- Apply a deep conditioning mask once a week.
- Apply a leave-in conditioner after each wash.
Helpful Conditioning Tips
- When applying your conditioner, divide your hair into four sections for easier application.
- Take the time to smooth the product — root to the ends.
- Focus on applying the conditioner at the ends of your hair.
- Use a wide-tooth comb to spread the product throughout the hair strands.
- Use a lot of conditioner when detangling to make the process easier.
- Let the conditioner sit in your hair for 5-10 minutes before detangling — shower or shave if you have too.
- Deep conditioning mask — sit under a hooded dryer or heating cap for 20-45 minutes.
- Rinse out with cold water to lock in the moisture.
- Get budget-friendly conditioners.
- Buy extra bottles of conditioners when on sale.
Natural hair needs moisture to survive! Dry hair is a problem that affects many people with natural and textured hair. Lack of moisture is one of the leading causes of hair breakage and setbacks in your healthy natural hair journey. Our natural hair needs adequate conditioning on a weekly basis to maintain the proper level of moisture.
Quality healthy conditioners are very important to add to your natural hair regimen. Do not be shy to try different conditioners. This is the only way you’ll know what your hair loves. Do your research and read your ingredients list!
Now, tell me, how can I survive on this secluded island without my magic potion?
Give a round of applause for the moisturizing conditioner…
What hair product would you take with you on the hidden island? Share them below. We all would love to know.