Winter can be a great time for curlies, as frizz-causing humidity plummets along with the temperatures.
But the cold weather, along with indoor heating, also can wreak havoc on those curls and kinks in other ways, leaving them parched and brittle. That's why deep conditioners should be a staple for curlies in cold climates.
"Winterizing your curl regimen is key as we move into the cold months, and deep conditioners are essential to moisturizing tender fragile strands," says Titi Branch of Miss Jessie's Salon in Brooklyn, which will introduce Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery Treatment later this year. "Cold winds, overheated homes and a lack of humidity rob curls of their moisture, which in turn creates a curl's worst enemy— frizz!"
Deep conditioners are valuable, however, because they penetrate, hydrate and revitalize curls, making them smoother, softer and more manageable.
"It is like oxygen for the hair," says Christo of Christo Fifth Avenue in New York. "For example, when you plant a flower in your apartment, you must continue to give it water to keep it hydrated and growing. We must do the same for our hair. Deep conditioning treatments are a necessity, not a luxury."
Kelly Foreman, creator of the Mop Top line for curly hair, says she's had people ask her if she's cut her hair after a deep conditioning treatment.
"It's all because my curls are happy," says Foreman, who is introducing a deep conditioner to her line in March. "My spring factor and curl definition is best when my hair has more moisture."
Creme rinses (the type you put on after you shampoo and rinse out in 5 minutes or less), or detanglers, as they are also known, just coat the hair. They do not penetrate into the hair to help minimize damage. They do a good job of smoothing hair, making it shiny and helping to remove tangles, but that is all they do.
Deep conditioners tend to be thicker and more moisturizing then daily conditioners, although a good daily conditioner can be left on the hair a little longer to deep condition it. Botanical extracts, such as jojoba, or coconut and avocado oils, also can be used to deep condition the hair.