Deep Conditioning Tricks … Cool & Seal

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Tips & Tricks: Number Two

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 reasons 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.

***************

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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99 responses »

  1. Absolutely!! I shared it on your FB page because I’ve been doing it for years, but have never read of anyone else doing it. So, thought it might be something others would be interested in trying. So happy that you like the post and want to share it with your readers. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for sharing the full technique Shelli. I actually do the first half which is the cooling before rinsing. Now, i’ll add the 2nd half to see if it helps lol. Plus, i am not real impressed with the SM deep conditioner. Maybe adding the rinse out conditioner will make a difference. I had such high hopes for this product but it leaves my hair feeling dry so I hope this makes a diff.

    i’m still experiencing some breakage. I do my hair over the sink to check and had 5 little broken hairs. I’m not sure if that’s a normal amount to have but I still don’t like it. I’m using the protective styles every day or 6/7 days too.

    I haven’t noticed my length shortening. On the contrary. It appears to be getting longer even with this breakage. Any suggests?

    • Seriously, I know some hairs are broken when I de-shed and detangle. But, I don’t worry about it too much. I just accept that the ends are the oldest and some are going to break, split and knot. I just try to ensure that I’m doing all I can to minimize it and keep it moving. My hair is growing, it looks and feels healthy, the ends don’t look thin when pulled together (though they are not even by any stretch of the imagination), so the few pieces that do break aren’t causing a significant issue and there is nothing else that I feel that I can do to prevent it. So, I just accept that a little breakage is unavoidable for me older ends and work to ensure that I keep them moisturized and handle them gently. LIke, they were feeling a little rugged on Friday after using that Giovanni Vitapro. After I finished applying the Vatika oil and twisting, I took the SM deep conditioner and covered the last 2-3 inches of my twists in it. I just keep trying to listen to my hair and if I feel like it’s feeling dry or brittle, pay extra care to what I put on it and how I handle it.

  3. Hi Shelli! How are you liking the Aussie Moist conditioner? I’ve been thinking about trying it but I wasn’t sure it if was good for my hair. At least it doesn’t have laurel sulfates in it. BTW, your hair is gorgeous! What hair type are you? In the 3 range?

    • Hi Monz!! You know, I’ve only used the Aussie Moist in this way. But I was just thinking this morning, I need to try it for co-washing and detangling because I’ve read a few reviews that indicate it’s comparable to HE HH or a little better! I thought they both had Behentrimonium Chloride, which provides the great slip in HE HH. But Aussie Moist doesn’t! I think it’s key “slip” ingredient is Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine in addition to Bis-Aminopropyl Dimethicone, which both conditioners have. So, I thought that cone was water soluble based on an old post about cones on Nikki’s site. But, I was recently enlightened that it isn’t. However, my hair seems to thrive on this cone and amodimethicone. These cones aren’t build up prone, though they are not water soluble. I do use a No-Poo weekly and clarify with a diluted sulfated shampoo when I feel like I need extra cleansing (probably once every 6-8 weeks), and haven’t experienced any problems. In fact, again, my hair does well with these. However, because there is a potential risk if you follow the no-poo/co-wash only method, you really have to pay attention to hair your hair feels to see if the cones cause a problem with dryness for you.

      • So, the other day, I was looking at my bottle of DevaCare No Poo and must have been blind because I couldn’t find the ingredient I was seeking which removes cone build up. Well, I looked again yesterday and my eyes were open;-). Deva No Poos have coco-betaine, which removes non-water soluble cones like bis-aminopropyl dimethicone and amodimethicone. Just wanted to provide you with that information so you know what ingredient will eliminate cone build up. Hope that helps!

  4. Michelle, I just purchased the SM raw shea butter deep mask treatment. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m hoping it doesn’t disappoint me. Tell me about your experience with it.

    • Hey Monz03b-

      For me, it just felt very drying. I know that deep conditioners can make the hair feel hard due to the protein and so we have to soften it up with a good moisturizing rinse out conditioner, followed by a leave in.

      I’ve just found that even after using other DCs, my hair never felt dry. With the SM it did. I was going to give it away at the hair meet up but I am going to try it again with this new technique to see if it makes a diff. Have you used the mask yet?

        • I like the SM deep mask treatment, Michelle. I tried it with vatika oil mixed in and it worked wonders on my hair. Try it that way and shee if there a difference.

          • SM Masque doesn’t have any protein Michelle (at least not from what I know). My hair tends not to like proteins, so I steer clear of conditioners with them. I think of henna as my “protein” strengthening treatment. As to the suggestions I’ve seen through here, I co-sign!!! Adding oils and honey to DCs seem to do wonders! I like to add about a tbsp of honey and then a tsp of olive oil, coconut or Vatika oil and JBCO. Then, I’ll heat it a little in the microwave too. But, only a little! Don’t want it scalding, just a little warm so you can blend the ingredients well and apply it to the hair warm.

            • I’m wondering if your hair can like protein one min. then dislike it the next? When I was relaxed I always did protein treatments and had little to no hair breakage. Now, natural I wonder if that’s changed. This breakage is hurting my feelings lol (lightly laughing to keep from crying).

              I was thinking maybe I should cut a few inches off but then I don’t want to lose my length. Also, I have no $$ right now to see a stylist to cut it. I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place *sigh.

              I’m going home early tonight and going to try to do the SM Masque with honey, olive and a little JBCO heating like you suggested. I don’t have any Vatika and have no clue where to get it.

              If I don’t see an improvement, I’m cutting it all off myself. I can’t deal with this. I think breaking hair is more stressful for me than short hair.

            • As to protein treatments, absolutely your hair could like them relaxed and not natural. But, if you had too much protein/henna, your hair would feel brittle, dry and snap easily. Take a shed hair and pull it a little. Does it snap quickly? Does it stretch and retract? Does it stretch and stay stretched? If the first, you probably have too much protein and need to do moisturizing DCs. If the second, good protein/moisture balance. If the last, over-conditioned and needs protein. Try this on a few dry strands and see what happens.

  5. Great Idea Shelli; Im using henna from Mehandi this weekend for my first henna treatment in my series of henna treatments for the next 6 months and I intend to deep condition with my Miss Key 10en1 and then I will apply my Tres Flawless curls (diluted over top for my deep condtion) I will def send you some update pictures for the GOC series. I have a few things under my sleeve for my henna treatment and I cant wait to test it out. (check out my post on my page about the new king that Mehandi has after some issues with Jamila)

    • Hey matoya, I went to read your post but the link is not working in your name???

      Which one did u get from Mehandi? I have been using their Henna for African Hair but I saw on CN that there’s a new one out called Rajasthani Twilight. It has a 2.9% lawsone content vs. the 2.2% in the Henna for AH. I am def. buying that to see the diff.

      • Michelle,
        I saw this article about Jamila and I am so unhappy. I still have 2 boxes. I am going to try the African Hair one after our conversation last weekend.

        • Miche’al did you see that new post on CN? I’m going to try the Rajasthani Twilight in a few weeks.

          If you try the African Hair henna, let the mixture sit overnight to release the dye first, then apply. It comes out really nice but it takes the dye about 8 hours to release.

          Oh and thanks for the tip adding the Vatika Oil to the Mask. I’ll try that as soon as I find it! Where do you get it?

          • Yes I did see the CN post I guess I will have to add that to my stash as well. Amazon, butters-n-bars and ayurnaturalbeauty.com is where you can buy the Vatika Oil but I found a local India Store in Edison to buy mine. Thanks for the tip with the African Henna.

      • I had the same problem Matoya. But, if you’re talking about the Rajasthani Twilight, I saw Nikki’s post on it and how the last Jamila crop was suspect. I was getting low on Jamila (maybe one or two boxes left), so I ordered 500g of RT earlier today!! LOL!!

        • I tried to order RT henna yesterday and my order wouldn’t go through! I’m thinking maybe God prevented me from ordering it since I was using credit and said I wouldn’t for a while LOL

  6. I will let you know! I wonder if you could add an oil and honey to make it better? I’ve heard of people adding different things to their DC.

  7. Thank you for this post! I really needed this. Step by step directions are very helpful. When I added conditioner, Aussie Moist, to my DC I didn’t dilute it but I am going to try this method my next time around. I will share my results.

  8. Thank you for the post Shelli. I usually just DC w/ heat and then rinse right away, but I am going to give your method a try to see if there is any difference. Also I DC like twice a month do you think that I am over conditioning? At times my hair feels mushy (if that make sense).

    • Definitely come back and let us know how it worked out for you!! I’d like to know if it works as well for others and I’m sure everyone else would too!! Thank you for commenting!!

  9. I’ve been doing this technique since I read your previous post and it does work! I use Aussie 3 Minute Miracle deeep conditioner mixed with honey, my oil mix of jbco, evoo, and sunflower oil, leave on for a minimum of an hour and add HE LTR when it’s time to rinse. My hair is softer, shinier, and stays moisturized until the next wash day (a week later). Thanks for the tip!

    • AWESOME!!!! I am always so excited to find out what I think works and makes a difference works for others too!!! It would suck if it didn’t or if I found out that I was just delusional;-)! LOL!!

  10. I love this!! Thanks so much Shelli. I have been looking to try a regimen to DC on girls’ hair. An added plus? I have ALL of these items sitting under the sink! Would it be ok to re-post this on my blog for readers (www.wisecurls.com)?

    • Hi Angela, I’m so glad you found this helpful! It’s being re-posted by a few now, so would you mind, rather than re-posting the whole thing, quoting a section and then linking back to the whole post here? Let me know if that will work for you. And thank you again! Please let me know how the technique works out for you!!

        • Great, thanks! It’s getting re-posted so much and I remember something another blogger told me about re-posts causing a site or post to go down on the Google rankings (or something like that). I don’t know much about it, but after it being on my blog once and now three others within a week, I thought I’d ask anyone else who wants to repost to link it. Thanks again.

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    • Hi Stephanie! Thank you so much!! I’m so happy that this technique is working for you!! I did check out your post and I thank you for the “shout-out:)!” It’s been a little busy the last few days with the holidays, but I’ll definitely be back to read more:)!

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  23. This is such a great idea. One question… how long do you leave the regular conditioner on before rinsing out? I have been using Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque mixed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and it works better for us than without the oils. Looking forward to trying this method this weekend.
    - http://discoveringnatural.com

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  30. Found your article on CN and will definitely be trying this the next time I dc. I even told my friends ab it. I have a question though ab the steps. I have low porous hair and it was suggested that I do warm water rinses since my hair cuticles are already closed. Will it make a difference if I rinse with warm or cool water as your article suggest.

    • Hi Charmaine! So, this is what my logic tells me. The problem with low porosity hair is that you can’t get the moisture in your hair, so, when you wash and apply your conditioner, you want the water to be warm to try to raise the cuticle as much as possible and DC with heat too (heat turban, bonnet dryer or steamer [if you don’t have a steamer, you can try this cheap way to do it: http://www.curlynikki.com/2012/08/how-to-steam-natural-hair-without.html%5D). Now, the point of this is to get the moisture into the hair strand and keep it there. So, now you want the cuticle to lay back down. However, maybe not as much as it normally is b/c your hair is low porosity. So, try lukewarm water so it’s not so cold to close it all the way, but not so warm that keeps it open and lets all that good moisture escape. Does that make sense? And, what you can do, is try the water at different temps and evaluate over the following days and see what temp works best for you. Only you will know that. But, I’d start with lukewarm, not hot or cold! Please let me know how the technique works out for you if you remember!! It may help others:). Thank you!!

      • Thank you so much. Will definitely let you know how it works. Will be subscribing to your blog as well. Very informative articles. My hair loves coconut oil and will be trying the pre-poo as well.

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  35. i am trying this as i type lol sitting under the hooded dryer right now I cant decide which rinse out conditioner i want to add though lol, I am thinking tresemme naturals or yes to carrots, either way i will be letting you know how it goes.

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  40. I’m hispanic with wild 3c (3b)? curls. I have soo much trouble retaining moisture! Sometime on my blog I have to tell you about the products I use, they’re not too bad on my wallet and were suggested by a good friend cosmetologist and my own personal experience. Thanks for sharing!

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  44. I came across this article by chance and really thought about! It makes sense so I tried it. I’ve done it religiously for the last 3 wks and it works! I used different rinse out conditioners but the results are the same. Smooth, silky, strong andoisturised hair which improves after each wash. I’ve used Mane n Tail and Tresemme Nourishing Moisture as the rinse out conditioner switching up with a Protein & Moisturising DC, in effect maintaining the moisture and protein balance! My hair is thanking me and thriving. Last weekend I tried D & L Cholestrol Plus with the Tresemme and my hair feels great! Try it it works and maybe the kickstart your regime needs.

  45. can you use a conditioner as a deep conditioner that is what does the deep conditioner means.for example can you use herbal essence uplifting volume conditioner to deep condition.

    • Hi Anon. A deep conditioner is different from a regular daily conditioner. Deep conditioners are formulated with smaller molecules to penetrate into the hair strand. Daily conditioners work on the surface of the hair strand to just “close” the cuticle that is raised after shampooing. What you can do is add a penetrating oil (like virgin coconut or extra virgin olive oil) and/or honey to a daily conditioner to provide ingredients that will penetrate the strands. HTH!!

  46. can you use a conditioner as a deep conditioner that is what does the deep conditioner means.for example can you use herbal essence uplifting volume conditioner to deep condition.

  47. So happy to have found your site. I am pre-pooing right now (per your post on CurlyNiki) and will be following all the steps you suggested including the Cool & Seal. Hope it works as well on my hair as it has for the other ladies on here!

    • Awwww, thank you!! Hope that it worked for you too and that you’ll come back and let us know if it did!! Thank you for visiting and commenting!!! Comments make my day (even though I’m sometimes delayed in replying, because I’m trying to keep up with them in different places!!). Thanks again!!

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