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Why Have I Had Such a Hard Time Finding an Awesome Deep Conditioner?
Anyone else have this same deep conditioner problem as me?: So, normally, no matter WHAT deep conditioning techniques I employ or WHICH deep conditioner (DC) I use, the DC feels GREAT while in my hair but as soon as I rinse it out, it’s almost like I never deep conditioned. Please tell me it’s not just me, LOL. 😀
This issue has caused me to purchase and trial DOZENS of deep conditioners over the past 4-5 years, searching for that deep conditioner that would leave my hair feeling not just SOFT post-rinse, but MOISTURIZED post-rinse. By moisturized, I mean ever-so-lightly lubricated. By lubricated hair, I mean hair that feels like there is still something a little bit . . . feel-able . . . after rinse-out of the deep conditioner. Like there’s a slight yet very THERE, slippery feeling to the surface of every strand. I hope that’s making some sense.
Well, with just about every DC I’ve tried, using the DC has left me with hair that felt regular-degular to the touch — just like I imagine my hair would if I had “deep conditioned” with plain ol’ WATER. 😛 (I know some of you KNOW what I’m talking about!) Every time this has happened, I’ve been concerned that my hair wasn’t really being internally well conditioned (very important for natural hair), and I’ve felt truly concerned about how much money I was spending in search of a (very) good DC.
The Moderate Success I’ve Had with Finding a Deep Conditioner That Works
The closest I get to obtaining that amazing MOISTURIZED feeling — the feeling I imagine that especially the YouTuber naturalistas get when THEY use a DC that works great on THEIR hair — happens when I use the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque.
AND I’ve made a very important discovery: The two ingredients that MUST be in a deep conditioner for it to perform better than not on my hair are: (1) behentrimonium sulfate, aka BMS, and (2) HONEY. If those two ingredients are HIGH up enough on the ingredient list (the higher an ingredient is listed, the higher is its proportion of the ingredients), then it is EXTREMELY likely that the deep conditioner will perform better than other DCs do on my hair.
Below are the ingredients of the SM Manuka Honey masque as copied and as snipped (“screen-shotted”) from Shea Moisture’s website on April 27, 2019:
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Glycerin (Vegetable), Stearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Trichilia Emetica (Mafura) Seed Oil, Honey, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Cetrimonium Chloride, Persea Gratissma (Avocado) Oil, Ficus (Fig) Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter *, Tocopherol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol Butter *
BMS is the 4th ingredient listed, and honey is the 11th. I’ve noticed that sometimes when honey is very high on the list, the product is sticky. Such is the case with the Bekura Y.A.M. Nectar Hydrating Hair Nourisher, which lists honey as its FIRST (and thus most abundant!) ingredient. And such is the case with Henna Sooq’s Sweet Honey Enriching Hair Nourisher, which also lists honey as its first ingredient.
I’ve trialed both of these pricey-to-me treatments, and the results were pretty nice on my hair. However, for those price-points and for the sticky hassle, I would need those treatments to have me responding in kind with the memes below in order for me to be willing to make them staples. If a product is a staple, then the product by definition is consistently used/purchased. So to have an expensive staple, i.e., something that is expensive and bought again and again? It needs to be AH-MAZING, right?
What Hair Stylists Have Advised Me about My Deep Conditioner Woes
Now, when I explain to hair stylists about my “can’t-find-an-amazing-deep-conditioner” woes, many of them say “THE SECRET is to STEAM the deep conditioner into your hair and then RINSE OUT the deep conditioner with AS-COLD-AS-YOU-CAN-STAND water. That causes your hair strands’ cuticles to close during rinse-out, and that traps some of the moisture from the DC inside of your hair strands.” Well, I’m here to report that I TRIED IT . . . many times . . . and yeah, well . . . maybe it did something for the INSIDE of my hair’s strands, but I couldn’t FEEL IT on the outside.
I know what you might be thinking, and YES:
- I have indeed considered that maybe internal hydration is what’s REALLY important about deep conditioning, and thus it really isn’t critical that a DC make my strands feel lubricated on the strands’ outsides, post-rinse. I can consider that.
- Or, the issue could be 4-5 straight years of user error, meaning, maybe I’m not great at deep conditioning. Here’s my typical method: detangle hair with prepoo, cleanse hair (I’ve used clarifiers, chelators, cleansing cowashes, etc.), apply the deep conditioner like a relaxer (coating EVERY strand), chunky twist my hair and pin the twists atop my head, steam the deep conditioner in or sit under heat for 30-60 minutes, and then rinse the deep conditioner out with anywhere from warm to super cool water. 🤷♀️ That method should be fine, right?
The TACTIC That Boosted the Performance of the SM Manuka Honey Masque on My Hair
The last time I used my favorite deep conditioner (the Shea Moisture Manuka honey masque), I applied it the same way I always do — like a relaxer, coating every strand. However, then for each section of hair I did something I normally don’t do: I applied an ample amount of oil (I used Soultanicals Knot Dressing Oil Rinse, which smells DIVINE) over the top of the deep conditioner. I did this section by section for 6 total sections, twisting up my hair into 6 chunky twists as I went. Next I pinned each DC-and-oil-saturated twist to the top of my head and sat under my standing steamer for 30 minutes. Lastly, I rinsed the DC out of my hair in the shower with super cool (almost cold) water.
So WOW!!! The effect of this was COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than usual. Even when I increased the shower water temperature to warm and rinsed my hair AGAIN, my hair still felt moisturized TO THE TOUCH, POST-RINSE. LUBRICATED POST-RINSE, YOU GUYS! ❤ ❤ ❤ And even after my hair began drying, it still felt MOISTURIZED and JUICY beyond feeling soft (internally hydrated), or “un-dry.”
Here are the ingredients in the oil:
This YouTuber Used This Same Method!
At time stamp 1:29 in the video below, the YouTuber demonstrates this method of sealing in her deep conditioner with an oil blend. (NOTE: I set the video to start a little before she applies the oil.) I viewed this video today “by accident” because someone randomly shared it. Imagine my surprise to see the YouTuber bust out an oil blend and apply it over her DC. She got shiny hair from this method of deep conditioning, and she loved the results.
So Now the Investigation and Trialing Begins
So you know that I am in jaw-on-the-floor awe, right? 😀 I am PRETTY GOSH-DARN elated at the thought that I might have discovered the everlasting solution to achieving an amazing deep conditioning result. I am so excited about what this could mean for my hair’s condition, for styling, for retention, and for the possibility of newly reached hair lengths!
And so now the investigation begins: What was it about this process that is NECESSARY in order to achieve that desired result? Do I have to use THAT oil blend, or can I use any, one oil? Is steaming a critical step? In other words, would it work were I to use the exact same two hair products (the masque and the oil), but only apply heat (under a dryer) but not steam? Did the cool/cold rinse do some type of cuticle-closing sealing move that is absolutely critical? Or, could I have started out rinsing my hair with warm water and gotten the same results?
So many variables. So many questions.
But I won’t complain. No-no! *solemnly shakes head back-and-forth vigorously*
This girl is simply GRATEFUL and looking forward to the many, pending, wonderful, high-leverage deep conditioning experiences that SURELY must be in my future, right? 😛
I do still plan to trial other deep conditioners I find which contain BMS very high on the ingredient list and honey not too far behind. One reason for this is that it’s simply not wise for me to rely so heavily upon the continued availability of ONE, PARTICULAR product (the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey masque). And it’s REALLY unwise for me to rely upon the current formulation of this product. Companies discontinue products and change product formulations ALL. THE. TIME. I need to find alternative DCs that perform comparably, or even better.
The next deep conditioner I am purchasing for trial is the Miche Beauty INDULGE Deep Conditioner, which is on sale at the time this blog post is being published.
While there are MANY demos/reviews that have drawn my attention to the Miche DC, it’s problably YouTuber QuinnRae’s demos/reviews of it that pushed me over the edge to decide to purchase. Here’s one of her videos that mentions both the Miche INDULGE and the Miche STRENGTHEN DCs.
What Do You Think? And What Are Your Best Deep Conditioner(s) and Deep Conditioning Method(s)?
Do you have a favorite deep conditioner (or two or three)? What is it / are they? What makes it/them work so well on your hair, do you think?
Have you discovered a great METHOD of deep conditioning? Have you found a way to boost your DCs’ performance? Is there something you add to or on top of your DC that takes it to the next level?
Do you think sealing deep conditioner with an oil blend makes sense? Do you have thoughts about why it might work? Do you have thoughts about which oils might work best, and why?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts/experiences.
As always, thank you so much for visiting the blog. I hope this post was enjoyable or informative or inspirational . . . or some combo! 🙂
Until next time!