How to| Select the Most Moisturizing Deep Conditioner

by West Parsons on March 1, 2012 · 2 comments

in hair care

New to being natural?  Or maybe you’ve tried everything and your hair is still dry as the Sahara?  Deep conditioning is the first line of defense when combating dry, thirsty hair.  Leave-ins, oils and butters should be an afterthought in your goal of moisturizing kinky, curly or afro-textured hair. Here are a  few tips which can help moisturize your situation:

When selecting deep conditioners, be sure the first ingredient is of course water (aloe vera juice is also common).  Reading the ingredient list, water should be immediately followed by a few other ingredients such as fats, humectants, conditioning agents and silicones.  Remember, the higher up on the list the ingredient appears, the more the product contains of that ingredient. {reference}

Fatty Alcohols like cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and myristyl alcohol are a few to keep and eye out for. In natural products you will often find castor oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil acting as the fat component.

Humectants are also great for drawing moisture into the hair shaft. Propylene glycol, sodium lactate, glycerin, and glyceryl stearate are a some commonly found in specialty natural products as well as those mass produced.  Honey, castor oil and molasses are natural humectants which you probably have in your kitchen cabinet. Don’t be afraid to add a tablespoon or two to your conditioner.

READ MORE: 6 Curly Girl Friendly Cone-Free Heat Protectants

Cone is like a 4 letter word in the world of healthy hair care, but if you are conscious of the types and amounts of silicones that are contained in a product, you are a step ahead of the game. Know this — not all silicones remain in the hair after the conditioner as been rinsed out. Chicoro talks about this in her latest book Products 101. No need to be afraid that a product which contains cones will be detrimental to your hair and suffocate your strands.  Where those cones appear on the list of ingredients is very important. Generally, you should look for cones to appear towards the middle of the ingredient list.  They are necessary in aiding your conditioner’s ability to help detangle and provide soft, shiny hair. Approved silicones are Amodimethiconem, Cyclomethicone, Behenoxy dimethicone, and Stearoxy dimethicone; these are all easily removed by co-washing. Note, not all silicones end in the word -cone, also keep an eye out for -xane.

Read PART 2 in this conditioning series, Conditioning Your Hair for Optimum Moisture HERE.

What conditioner do you turn to for the MOST moisture?


nettie joplin March 1, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Awesome article! I always wondered what all that stuff was in the ingredients list! most of the time it looks like a chemistry test gone wrong…

Kola March 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm

i love love love suave’s shea butter and almond conditioner in the green bottle. i also started mixing in some regular vegetable oil into it and it works wonders! my hair is soooo soft. really happy with it : )