Tutorial On How To Deep Condition Natural Or Relaxed Black Hair

deep conditioning
Learn the process of a good deep conditioning treatment

Deep conditioning relaxed or natural black hair is the most important aspect of hair care. A good deep conditioning treatment should leave the hair feeling soft and very moisturized. Also, depending on the styling afterwards, the hair should remain like this throughout the day.

How often to deep condition your hair depends a lot on the current state of your hair and your goals. As black hair is in constant need of moisture replenishment, a deep conditioning treatment twice a week is ideal to stop the hair drying out and stop breakage. At the very minimum, you may deep condition once per week but if you notice increased breakage, then you will have to step it up.

Here’s how to deep-condition your hair:

1. Shampoo your hair thoroughly with a sulphate free shampoo. If your hair is long, then it might be easier to shampoo the hair in loose braids or twists. Two on either side of the head for long relaxed hair and 4-6 for natural hair depending on the thickness. This stops the hair from getting tangled during the wash. Rinse out the shampoo thoroughly.

2. Proceed to apply a generous amount of conditioner on each section of the hair. If the hair is relaxed, you may choose this stage to detangle with a wide tooth comb. If your hair is natural and has recently been in a style that would cause tangles (braids or twists) then don’t detangle just yet. Once the hair has been saturated with conditioner, cover with a plastic cap and sit under a hooded dryer for 15-20 minutes to allow the conditioner to penetrate. Alternatively, warm a wet facecloth in the microwave for about 30 seconds then apply this on top of your plastic cap. Let this heat and your own body heat help the conditioner penetrate for about 30 minutes.

3. If you are using a good conditioner, the hair at this stage should be very soft with a lot of slip. Detangle each section at a time with a wide tooth comb starting from the ends of the hair and working your way to the roots.

4. Rinse the conditioner out thoroughly with warm water ending with a final cold water rinse to help the hair cuticles to close and trap the moisture inside the hair.

You may opt to deep condition your hair without shampooing on one of your wash days to avoid excessive drying especially if you use a sulphate containing shampoo. This is called a ‘co-wash’. Simply wet the hair thoroughly and work conditioner in as you would a shampoo, it won’t lather though! Rinse out thoroughly then apply more conditioner to the hair as outlined above to deep condition as normal. See the article on how to clean hair without a shampoo.

About Alma

Hi! I'm Alma Ruddock, a full time blogger. I stumbled on a hair care forum in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair forever!. I started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to bring new information about hair on both this website and my personal blog.


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  • Nthabi

    hi there,

    the problem i always have when i wash my own hair is blow drying it afterwards and then it comes out frizzy. any tips on how to avoid this after deep conditioning or should i let the hair dry naturally afterwards?
    thanks! :)

  • Leslie

    I recently moved to Arizona after living in the Caribbean all my life. My hair is now shedding so terribly, Im afraid to comb it. I dont know where to start because I never had a problem with my relaxed hair breaking. Tried going back natural a few times but Im not motivated to go natural

  • transitioning babe

    My hair isn’t long and I’m transitioning but my natural hair is noticeable. Is it goo to shampoo after deep conditioning?

    • Alma

      No, conditioning should always come AFTER shampooing

  • I wash ny hair every two weeks, is it ok to dc once a month? I have dry and brittle hair, what would your suggestion be? :)