Instead of using conditioners like Long Term Relationship, etc for my pre-poo, I decided to go all out and conduct a full deep conditioning (pre-shampoo) session. On dry hair, I applied a mix of my favorite high quality conditioners like Biolage, Silicon Mix Protein de Perla, Aveda Damage Repair, and other heavy hitters. I also added a little Argan oil and popped open some vitamin e capsules into the mix. Then I proceeded to part my dry hair into small sections and applied liberally.
Next I finished it off as I would any deep conditioning session, with heat. After 30 minutes or so under the dryer, I jumped in the shower and proceeded to cleanse the hair with WEN. Just before I jumped out of the tub, I reapplied some conditioner to the hair and allow it to sit on the hair for a couple of minutes before the final rinse with cold water. After that rinse, I proceeded with styling. The coolest part about this process was that I only had to jump in the shower only once which is way more efficient than my traditional way of doing things.
So the question I have to ask myself is whether or not this method is more beneficial to the hair or is the time savings the only benefit. To better answer this question one has to look at what happens when the hair becomes wet. Water is easily absorbed into our hair strands. In fact, our hair is so attracted to water that it'll readily pull water from the air. That's why we're constantly fighting against frizz in humid weather. The hair strand can expand as much as 30% when exposed to water. When I think about this swelling effect water has on the hair I ask myself, "is it possible that the absorbed water could be taking up valuable space in my strand that should be granted to my conditioner?"
If that's the case, then it would make sense to apply conditioner to dry hair, then utilize heat to open the cuticle layer, and allow the deep conditioning process to happen. I can tell you from my experience that I had less hair loss this wash then in previous sessions. Not only did I realize some great benefits during the wash, I also enjoyed great feeling hair throughout the week. Dry deep conditioning requires more product then normal deep conditioning. I found myself having to apply ample conditioner just to saturate the hair. In the long run, I'm sure it'll be a little more expensive since I use less conditioner during my normal routine. But I think the results will speak for themselves. You should also check out a post a while back sharing the details of a study that supports the importance of applying product to the hair prior to the wash for added protection to the cuticle layer.
Some might be thinking, "isn't having lots water in the strand a good thing?" Yes it can be a good thing but remember that water evaporates. If I can help it, I'd rather have the deep conditioning ingredients swelling up the strand, not just water alone. The key to making this process successful is using heat to open the up cuticle layer so the conditioner can truly penetrate. Once the cuticle is open, your hair is ready for 100% conditioner penetration. No additional water taking up any valuable cuticle space.
I'll be using this method over the next several weeks to see if the benefits are lasting. I really hope this will turn into a permanent change in my regimen. The thought of saving time on wash day and the possibility of a deeper conditioning process gets me all excited. Anyone tried this technique before?