How Often Should You Deep Condition Your Hair
Let's face it, as we get older, the once-loving relationship we had with our hair becomes strained. We put it through a lot to offset the effects of aging: frequent washing and blow-drying, repeated coloring and dying, curling and straightening, moussing and spraying.
The result of our manic styling regimen? Dry, dull hair prone to breakage and thinning.
Adding a high-quality deep conditioner to your routine helps you stop damage to put your hair on a path to recovery.
Deep conditioning is an essential step to countering the effects menopause and aging can have on your hair and scalp. It makes strands softer, more manageable, and less prone to frizz and breakage.
If you hydrate or moisturize too often, you may develop oily hair. If you condition it too little, your strands may end up tangled and dryer than it was.
To steer clear of the extremes, it is vital to hit the Goldilocks sweet spot. Keep reading to discover how often you should use deep conditioning products, plus what will likely work best for your aging hair type.
What Is a Deep Conditioner?
Deep conditioners are hair care products with ingredients to permeate the fiber shaft — nourishing and repairing it.
Like conventional conditioners, they are intended to be used and rinsed off after shampooing yet offer deeper hydration. They often have a higher concentration of plant-based oils and butters, giving them a thicker consistency.
Some are formulated to be left on longer to allow ingredients to pass through the cuticle layer into the hair’s inner layers. Other conditioners can be applied with heat, making it easier for their nutrient-rich oils to enter the fiber to fight dry hair and frizz.
How Often to Deep Condition Your Hair
Everyone has different moisturizing requirements. Figuring out how often to do it has a lot to do with the state of your hair and how porous it is. If you have highly porous hair, it indicates the outer cell layer, called the cuticle, is raised. It is generally weaker and prone to breakage.
If your hair has low porosity, your cuticle is closed and flat, making it difficult for your strands to absorb moisture; therefore, conditioners will remain on the outside of your hair strands rather than soaking in. If you have this type of hair, you may be okay with deep conditioning up to four times per month.
If your hair is severely dry, brittle, and highly porous, you may need to deep condition every three to four days. Start slowly, trying your mask or conditioner once per week.
If your strands begin feeling limp and weak, reduce your application. If your hair and scalp still feel dry, use it more often, two or three times per week.
Can You Deep Condition Too Much?
Unfortunately, too much of a good thing is not healthy. An overabundance of conditioning can hyper-moisturize your locks and interfere with your hair and scalp’s natural biome.
Over-conditioning can lead to an affliction known as hygral fatigue. This problem is brought on by continuous follicle expansion and contraction from excessive moisture retention. Overusing deep conditioners can put you at risk of developing hygral fatigue, especially if your hair is naturally porous.
Hygral fatigue symptoms can include:
- A gummy texture when wet
If your mane starts to appear mushy, limp, or lifeless, reduce how often you use these hair products.
We All Should Be Deep Conditioning, No Matter Our Hair Type
Deep conditioning ingredients are formulated to soften and hydrate hair abused by environmental stressors, chemical treatments, and aging. Other reasons many women in their 40s and beyond deep condition include:
- Dryness — Sebaceous glands stop producing the sebum oil they once did, keeping these nourishing oils from reaching your fibers and scalp.
- Grayness — When your melanocyte cells stop producing pigment, your hair goes gray. Grays are generally less manageable and coarser than pigmented locks.
- Brittleness — As we age, our strands lose elasticity, leading to brittleness. Additionally, repeated chemical treatments and application of permanent dyes can cause your tresses to become dry, stiff, and breakage-prone.
- Thinness — Hormone fluctuations interrupt your hair growth cycle, shrink your follicles, and increase scalp dryness. These changes can impact follicle health and lead to thinning hair. Deep conditioners provide nutrients and hydration that are vital for developing a robust scalp and hair biome. These are improvements that can help restore follicle function and boost hair health.
The ingredients found in deep conditioning products increase elasticity and texture. They do this by replenishing moisture that allows your hair to better resist tension and stretching. The more flexibility and hydration your hair has, the longer it can withstand extreme stress before breaking.
The crucial ingredients inside masks and deep conditioners were designed to nourish and mend your hair; therefore, these products will need to be left on your hair for longer than standard conditioners to allow them to work.
Choosing the Best Deep Conditioner for Your Aging Hair
To restore and rehydrate your hair while treating the underlying causes of age-related damage, look for these deep conditioning ingredients:
- Macadamia ternifolia seed butter — Macadamia ternifolia seed butter is replete with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and fatty acids. It contains biologically produced squalene, which nourishes follicles, strengthens hair, and reduces oxidative stress on the scalp.
- Mango butter — The butter made from the Mangifera indica (mango) seeds softens your hair while protecting it from environmental damage. It combines essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and antioxidants to foster scalp sebum oil production.
- Murumuru butter — Rich in myristic, lauric, and omega fatty acids, this seed butter is lightweight and known for its ability to control frizz, lock in moisture, and boost softness.
- Cupuaçu butter — Cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum), flush with lauric and stearic acids, enhances moisture delivery through its water absorption properties to hydrate and smooth your mane.
- Avocado butter — This creamy emollient is loaded with amino acids and vitamins. It can also fortify hair that’s undergone environmental pollution, age-related damage, and more. Avocado butter contains ingredients to nourish your strands and protect damaged hair.
Better Not Younger’s Hair Redemption Restorative Butter Masque and Silver Lining Purple Butter Masque contain these nourishing butters, plus other scalp and follicle-stimulating ingredients like sage extract, caffeine, and biotin.
Using BNY Hair Masks to Deep Condition Your Locks
Better Not Younger masks dispense sheer softness and hydration and are essential components to a holistic approach to complete hair and scalp care. To use:
- Rub a dime- or quarter-sized amount into your hands
- Massage into your hair for one to three minutes, focusing on the ends
- Rinse thoroughly