By Choya Randolph
If you’re a seasoned natural, you’ve probably perfected your wash day routine. The basics of a wash day includes detangling, shampooing, deep conditioning, and moisturizing. Deep conditioning can sometimes feel like the easiest part because once you distribute it throughout your hair, you put on a hair cap and chill for 15-30 minutes so your deep conditioner can really condition every hair strand. Deep conditioners can be bought online or at your local beauty supply store. For some of us, we replace our deep conditioners with hair masks. Your hairstylist may have told you that deep conditioning using a hair mask is totally fine but what are the differences between hair masks and deep conditioners?
Let’s go into the basics of our familiar deep conditioners. Deep conditioners go into our hair shaft to restore our hair and give it a natural shine. If you feel like your shampoo or the cold weather is robbing you of your natural hair oils, deep conditioners are here to save the day.
Deep conditioners simply live up to its name by penetrating your hair cuticles to condition your hair. Deep conditioners soften and nourish the hair which minimizes breakage and promotes hair growth. Deep conditioners also can also play a role in making your hair more manageable. A lot of you may have already known this so what’s the tea on hair masks?
Hair masks go beyond conditioning by strengthening the hair. They do the same job as deep conditioners but work a little bit harder to hydrate and restore your hair. Consider them intense deep conditioners. For my naturals with damaged hair, this may be the option for you.
Hair masks also can be used on relaxed hair so it’s perfect for transitioning naturals who are trying to grow enough of their natural hair for their big chop. Hair masks also tend to have smaller particles which makes it easier for the hair cuticles to absorb the product. This will work well for those with low porosity hair.
I know I may have you sold on using hair masks over deep conditioners but don’t sleep on my good sis deep conditioners. Deep conditioners are great for maintaining, conditioning, and hydrating your hair. Hair masks are great for restoring. They both should not be overused as it could lead to product overload. So continue to use these solely on your wash days or when your hair is begging for some hydration.
If you’re still confused on which one to use on your hair, continue to use deep conditioners if your hair is healthy and just needs hydration and conditioning from time to time. If you’re struggling with dryness or damaged hair, especially as someone with low porosity hair, hair masks may give you the extra boost your hair needs.