As soon as temps start to drop, it’s time to kick your deep-conditioning sessions into high gear so your hair can stay properly moisturized during the colder months of the year.
“Deep conditioning in the cooler months is super vital to maintaining moisture,” says Al Campbell, a Mizani artist and hairstylist based in Chicago. “When it’s cooler it tends to be dryer, there is no moisture in the air. Also, we tend to wear heavier clothes—scarves and hats—which are usually made of fabrics that absorb moisture from the hair strand. This is why it’s super important to be intentional about retaining moisture and regular deep conditioning is a sure way.”
Letting the conditioner sit in your strands while you putter around the house can sometimes do the trick, but if you’ve got super-dry hair that needs extra hydration, you’re going to want to add some heat into the mix for even more moisture.
“Heat helps to open the cuticle, allowing the strand to be more receptive to the conditioning benefits,” says Campbell. “Steam is a dual benefit that most of us know and love. You have heat to aid in opening the cuticle for deeper penetration and you have hydration flowing at the same time. Not to mention, the water molecules are extremely small when it comes to steam which ensures easy penetration for all hair types. Basically, we are filling the strand with hydration and moisture at the same time.”
You can crank up the heat at home either with a dryer or a steam hood. Add a conditioning cap into the mix, which traps heat and moisture to keep your treatment from drying out, and you’ll be primed and ready to experience salon-level results at home. Below, shop the tools you need to make it happen.
Auban Deep Conditioning Caps 100 Pieces — $9.00
Before we get into the big tools, you need one basic must-have to add heat to your deep conditioning treatment—conditioning caps. “While steam has water molecules that keep the hair wet, dry heat for deep conditioning needs a barrier to keep the hair wet and to retain moisture,” says Campbell.
Conair 1875 Watt Pro Style Bonnet Ionic Hair Dryer — $68.00
“Having a hooded dryer at home is a for sure must,” says Campbell. “Growing up in a home filled with all different types of textures we never went without a hooded dryer. It’s great for not only drying molds and sets but was the first aid in deep conditioning. It’s also a less aggressive form of heat and is the key ingredient for natural styling like twist outs, Mizani lacer sets, rods, etc.”
Eleganty Soft Bonnet Hood Hairdryer Attachment — $16.00
If you want something that’s more affordable and easier to store, try a hood hair dryer attachment. “Having a bag dryer attachment is highly recommended. It’s usually pretty universal so very easy for travel and it also makes it easy to move around and multitask while drying your hair.”
Super Deal Hair Steamer Pro — $63.00
If you want to get really fancy, try an at-home steamer. “Steaming at home is great if you have the tools,” says Campbell. “However I feel like if you have a hooded or bag dryer you should be fine. I like to let the professionals suggest when steaming is necessary and it’s also a great treat to yourself if you ever visit the salon. The experience is amazing.”
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