Stop being Heavy Handed & Start Smoothing the Cuticle for Deeper Deep Conditioning

Last week, I experienced one of the worst wash days of my life.  The whole ordeal was mostly my fault.  I initiated my wash day routine as normal. After shampooing, I stepped out of the shower to start the deep conditioning process.  Once my hair was saturated with conditioner, I placed a plastic bag and proceeded to do a few chores.  


Time flew by and I realized that I didn't have time to finish up the rest of my wash day routine so I made the worst decision of my entire life....I went to bed.  The next morning, I thought I'd awaken, rinse away the conditioner, then easily pick up where I left off.  


Instead, I found myself having to deal with tangled, unhappy hair.  It was a disaster.  I thought saturating my hair with ample amounts of conditioner would shield me from this horrible outcome but I was sadly mistaken.  Days later, I was reminded that putting a ton of product on your hair isn't the key to proper conditioning.  In order to achieve smooth, well-conditioned hair, I had to do exactly the opposite.

I'm pretty sure this seems counterintuitive.  Instead of slathering the strands with tons of conditioner, I took the advice of a hairstylist who boldly called on women with natural hair to stop over saturating the hair.  

I have to admit, I typically use a ton of conditioner on wash day.  Most of my conditioners are in 32 oz size or larger.  If my conditioner doesn't come in a huge tub, I don't buy it.  So when I saw Jennifer's post, it stopped me dead in my tracks.  


"More Conditioner Does Not Mean More Conditioning."

I took Jennifer's words to heart this past weekend and took a completely different approach.  Instead of scooping a ton of conditioner into a mixing bowl, I filled it with about 1/2 the amount that I'd typically use.   In all honestly, I was nervous. Doubt began to flood my mind. My hair was already in bad shape from the previous wash day. How on earth would I correct the issue using less product?


Then I thought about the Strand Ceremony article I wrote ages ago.  A Strand Ceremony is just a fancy name of a detailed orientated deep conditioning ritual.  It involves sectioning the hair in tiny sections in order to deep condition "every individual strand."  


My mission this past weekend was to deep condition by focusing on smoothing the conditioner into the strands instead of simply over saturating it.  


SMOOTHING OVER SATURATION. 

It's important to always remember that our hair is comprised of a permeable cuticle layer.  Washing raises the cuticle layer in 2 ways:

- The absorption of water into the strands.

-The ingredients in cleansing shampoos lift the cuticle layer to promote a deeper cleansing. 


By the time you've rinsed your hair, your cuticles are no longer smooth and happy.  This is where the deep conditioning process steps in.  But simply piling deep conditioner on the stands isn't the answer.  Instead, let's focusing on smoothing conditioner into the hair (in an attempt to "flatten" the cuticle).  


Years ago, my mom happened to walk in while I was relaxing my hair.  After silently observing me for a few minutes, said "if you want the relaxer to really straighten the hair, you need to smooth it."  Working your product into the hair makes a difference.  


So I made a concerted effort to smooth each section as I applied a small amount of conditioner.  When the process was complete, I realized that I used half the amount as normal.   This simple tweak in my deep conditioning will save a ton of money in the long run.  Since my deep conditioner budget will be cut in half, I might use the savings to get myself something nice. 


Today my hair feels amazing compared to the week before. It's moisturized, strong, and smooth.  The difference? I focused solely on keeping my cuticle layer smooth and happy.  I'm certain this adjustment in my routine will lead to length retention and less breakage overall.  





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  1. Yay, Im so glad you're back with frequent posts! I've heard of this conditioning method before but I never really understood it until now. The way you explained it is wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to be back too! Thanks for sticking with me. :)

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  2. I've been following Jennifer Rose and some other kinky hair stylists on Twitter and I've learned so much! 2021 is the year I'll finally get my hair together lol

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  3. Jennifer-Rose is really out here changing lives lol. Her advice has my hair feeling and looking amazing!

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