how to deep condition 4c hair
The key to beautiful and healthy 4c hair is a good natural hair care routine. And by now, I have touched on a few parts of that routine. But I never shared the most important component – the deep conditioning process!
Deep conditioning is a crucial step in moisture retention which in turn leads to healthy 4c hair growth. And because 4c hair is the curliest and coiliest hair type it needs all the extra moisture it can get.
So I figured, let me share my tips on how to optimize your deep conditioning routine to prevent dryness and breakage, while simultaneously nourishing your 4c hair from the inside out.
Here is how to deep condition 4c hair.
What does a deep conditioner do?
Before we get into the technicalities of using a deep conditioner on your natural 4c hair, let’s try to understand the product better. After all, we always want to know why we should use certain products.
A good deep conditioner for 4c hair helps to nourish your natural hair from the inside out, by penetrating your hair cuticle and providing it with the necessary hydration and protein to keep hair strands strong and healthy.
In contrast to a regular conditioner, most deep conditioners include different natural ingredients that give you a big boost of moisture and protein.
Natural oils and hair butters such as coconut oil, argan oil, and shea butter often graze the ingredients list of most of the best deep conditioners on the market. And that is for good reason.
Coconut oil for example is full of amino acids that promote hair strength, while argan oil is full of fatty acids which improve your scalp health.
Regardless, of your hair porosity, a deep conditioner will improve your hair health. All you need to do is determine whether you have low-porosity hair or high-porosity hair and then buy the right products.
How often should 4c hair be deep conditioned?
4c hair should be deep conditioned no less than twice a month. Many natural hair experts have agreed that including deep conditioning into your bi-weekly wash day routine works best for 4c hair.
That means that every 2 weeks when you shampoo-wash your 4c hair, you want to follow up with a deep conditioning mask.
This schedule provides your natural 4c hair with enough hydration and nourishment to prevent hair breakage, without over-conditioning your hair and risking hygral fatigue.
Of course, remember that everyone is different and your hair may require some more TLC than others. Therefore, depending on the needs of your hair and scalp, you can adjust the frequency of your deep conditioning treatments, if necessary.
How long to deep condition 4c hair?
You generally want to deep condition your 4c hair between 30-60 minutes. However, depending on the deep conditioner, the condition of your natural hair, and the tools you are using, the amount of time may differ.
For example, if your 4c hair is extremely dry or damaged, you want to leave the deep conditioner on for longer. However, if you are using a hooded dryer or hair steamer to perform the treatment then you can leave it on for a shorter amount of time.
For the best results, cover your hair with a plastic cap or a shower cap and use heat if possible. That enhances the effectiveness of the deep conditioner by opening up your hair cuticles. This allows it to penetrate the hair shaft and provide as much moisture as possible.
If you are new to deep conditioning your 4c hair at home, then you may need to experiment with different times to find what works best for you.
Do you deep condition 4c hair before or after shampoo?
Deep conditioning 4c hair is done after shampooing. While shampoo is the first step to washing your 4c hair, deep conditioning is the second.
A good shampoo removes the dirt, oil, and product build-up from your scalp and hair and prepares it for deep conditioning. Then you apply the deep conditioner to provide your hair with much-needed hydration and nourishment.
After around 30 minutes you rinse out the deep conditioner and proceed with your moisturizer and styling products.
How do I deep condition my 4c hair?
Now let’s get into the main question. How to deep condition 4c hair? The good thing is deep conditioning is not hard. Especially if you understand what your hair needs.
So, make sure you check out my post on the 10 best deep conditioners for 4c hair and then follow the below steps. Here is the best way to deep condition 4c hair:
1. Twist your hair
Step number one is to twist your hair in sections. While it’s not mandatory, it is especially helpful if you have long and thick kinky hair because it helps you work through your hair easier. Simply finger-detangle your hair and then twist it into small sections. I usually end up with about 8 sections.
2. Wash your hair
The next step is to shampoo-wash your 4c hair. As mentioned in the beginning, I like to deep condition my hair after shampoo-washing it. Simply because that’s when you have clean hair free of product build-up and dirt which makes the deep conditioner more effective. Ideally, use a sulfate-free shampoo that does not contain harsh chemicals that can strip your natural hair of its natural oils.
3. Apply the deep conditioner
Now you can apply the conditioner. Make sure you apply it evenly throughout your hair and that you focus on your hair ends. Your hair ends usually experience the most moisture loss and hair damage and are therefore in dire need of repair. To apply the deep conditioner, you don’t have to undo the twist, however, if you do remember to twist it back together afterward.
4. Let it sit for 30+minutes
Once you’re done applying your hair masque or protein treatment, it’s important to let it sit for a while. That locks in the moisture and allows the product to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft. To do that cover your hair with a shower cap or even a plastic bag. Anything that will create a vacuum. If you want to take deep conditioning to the next level, you can also steam your hair for better results. You can use DIY home steaming methods or invest in a professional hair steamer.
5. Rinse, moisturize, and detangle hair
After 30+ minutes rinse your hair thoroughly with cool water to remove the deep conditioner. Next, you want to apply a moisturizing leave-in conditioner to your 4c hair. That will infuse your hair with the moisture and protection it needs for the next few days. And finally, you can now detangle your hair as well. Again, work in sections as it simplifies the process. Make sure to use a wide-toothed comb to avoid hair breakage.
That’s it! 5 simple steps to properly deep-conditioning 4c hair. By repeating that bi-weekly you ensure deeply moisturized and healthy hair.
What to do after deep conditioning 4c hair?
Deep conditioning is definitely one of the major ways to ensure healthy and manageable hair. However, there are a few steps you take in between wash days to maintain the moisture and nutrients from the deep conditioner.
- Use the LOC method to help seal in the moisture and protect your hair from damage.
- Wear your 4c hair in a protective style whenever possible to minimize tension and manipulation.
- Avoid heat styling your hair with a blow dryer or flat iron to prevent heat damage and split ends.
- Sleep with a satin bonnet or silk scarf, to prevent friction and tangling at night.
- Use a spray bottle to mist your hair with water and a leave-in conditioner multiple days per week.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your 4C hair remains moisturized, healthy, and strong even after deep conditioning.