Tutorial On How To Deep Condition Natural Or Relaxed Black Hair

Fluffy 3b afro hairLearn 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.



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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.

  • Vanessa aka Miss V

    Is pre-pooing (i.e. with coconut oil and honey) considered deep conditioning as well? Or, if you pre-poo with oils, should you also deep condition?

    • http://www.lessfoodmorelife.com/ BHI

      Prepoo is just short for pre-shampoo and is usually done to reduce the drying effect of sulphate shampoos. So you do have to deep condition afterwards!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YPJETNEIOYJCXSRVYZORAYMX34 Charneese


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/L4U3BPJXT2PNGZYNHBTK7XGBKU Renaya Tuckson

    im only 13 and im going to start a cosmetology program next year in 9th grade so by the time i graduate high school i should have my degree but i just wanted to find different ways to do different things and this really helped. Thanks!

    • http://www.blackhairinformation.com/ BHI

      That’s what I like to hear, A new generation of cosmetologists well versed in proper black haircare!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AMMHT6WPX5R5GD6Z4RHTWIUFHI Safiyyah

    So how many times a week should i deep condition? My hair is very dry and partially damaged. I wash my hair once a week and co wash once a week.

    • Sharon

      once a week ought to be enough Safiyyah. As long as you are alternating between moisture and protein DC

  • Dc

    I am 14 years old and I needed to find a way to take better care of my hair. My hair broke off when I was in 5thgrade because I started to flat iron it. Before that my hair was half way down my back. Its growing back. Its a little pass my sholder. What i want to say is thank you for all the helpful information and tips about taking care of hair. :)

    • http://www.blackhairinformation.com/ Alma

      Glad to help!

  • Alma

    Hi my name.is pam n I have lupus,alopeicia. My.hair is damage, and I have 50%hair loss at the top. My question is that my remaining hair that I do have is very hard how do I get it to be soft ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ttaylor845 Tania Taylor

    Thank you. I am the adoptive mother of a beautiful “curly girl.” As a white woman raising a child of color, I find myself constantly looking for better information on how to care for her beautiful hair. I am relieved that as I go through your site, I am doing many things right! I have learned a lot from your site about hair care and will be using it often as a quick reference and to refresh my memory! I too am a blogger and will soon be writing a blog about learning to work with my child’s hair and would love to link to your web-site.

    • http://www.blackhairinformation.com/ Alma

      Wonderful, it would be great to get the word out to other mother’s who perhaps don’t know how to care for their curly haired children. Let us know about your blog once you are up and running!

  • AT

    hello! you mentioned that you should wash hair while in loose braids? how exactly do you this this? just by rubbing shampoo over the braids? would this cleanse the hair thoroughly?

    • AT

      another question: can you simply stay in a hot shower to deep condition your hair as an alternative to sitting under a dryer?

      • http://www.blackhairinformation.com/ Alma

        Rub the shampoo on your scalp, that’s where you mostly need it anyway.Your hair will get cleansed as you are rinsing and yes, I have been washing my hair in braids or twists every week for years and my hair gets very clean. To answer your second question, I sometimes have a bath and let the room steam up which helps DC my hair. It’ doesn’t work quite a well as with a steamer or hooded drier but when you are in a hurry, it’s ok.

  • bonitalilmama

    I have relaxed hair how do i wash and deep condition in braids when it unravels ? And do you braid loosley at tge top so you can get your hand in there at the root to shampoo?

    • http://www.blackhairinformation.com/ Alma

      When I was relaxed that is exactly what I did. I left it really loose at the roots and the rest of the hair was braided down after which I secured the end with a rubber band. My relaxed hair was very weak at the time so I found this was the only way of washing that resulted in the least amount of broken hair. If your hair is stronger/not prone to tangling as much then you can get away with washing in 4 sections just clipped with butterfly clamps then holding your hair taut while you shampoo the roots then rinse and repeat for the conditioner.

  • Debbie

    How do you shampoo after taking out Braids ??

    • http://www.blackhairinformation.com/ Alma

      If you are talking about box braids then I generally lightly finger detangle with lots of oil and a spritz of water after which I section my hair into 6-8 sections then shampoo as normal.

  • 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

  • http://www.blackhairinformation.com/wp-comments-post.php nadia

    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? :)