Deep conditioning with Heat vs Steam. Which do you chose?

Deep Conditioning
Last weekend, just after I finished applying deep conditioner to my damp hair, I asked myself "should I deep condition with heat or with steam?"  Normally, I just go for the steam because steam conditioning is the ultimate in healthy hair....right?  Any other day, I wouldn't have given it a second thought but this time I felt it made sense to deep condition with heat.

Part of the reason was because I didn't feel like wheeling out the MicroMist steamer from it's resting place but, more importantly, I felt like my hair might actually benefit more if I sat under a hooded dryer. Why did I say that?  Well because things  had gotten pretty hectic with my travel schedule which meant that I was not able to pamper my hair, in the previous weeks, like I should have.  I felt like my hair need a deep conditioning treatment, not just a boost a moisture.  I wanted my strands to be saturated with the product alone without the added water particles to potentially take up valuable cuticle space.

I figured that direct heat would open up the cuticle layer and help the conditioner and protein blend better address my strands.  Then I considered that without the steam, perhaps there would be less swelling of the hair strand from the absorption of water. My hair was already feeling a little weak so I wanted to keep things from potentially getting worse.  Not to say that steaming is a bad thing. On the contrary, steaming the hair has a ton of amazing benefits. But it's our job to know what's best for our hair at what time.

Perhaps whenever we are doing an intensive strengthening deep conditioning treatment, we should allow the heat to do it's thing.  But when our hair is in dire need of a moisture boost, we reach for the steamer.   Or, in the case of next weekend, I might experiment with doing both.  Maybe I start off under the hooded dryer for 15-20 minutes then head over to seal in the conditioner with a layer of intense moisture.  The end result could be interesting.

So if you're wondering whether you should steam or use direct heat at your next deep conditioning session, consider what your hair truly needs.  Perhaps the first couple of weeks after a relaxer you might want to go for heat focused deep conditioning, then towards the middle/end of your stretch, it can benefit from the added moisture.  I know that some of us have completely moved away from conditioning with heat ever since we got our steamer. But consider that you now have two wonderful options to better treat your hair. Why not utilize both?

Which is your favorite way to deep condition?

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