Whether it’s the cold, dry, wintry months or the extreme heat of summertime, hair conditioning treatments are essential to the health of natural hair. Those with wavy, curly or kinky hair alike are going to need that boost at some point. However, they all need different types of conditioning and at different times.

Based on your hair type, there is a right conditioner and treatment just for you.

Some people will tell you hair is hair, but not when it comes to conditioner. Wavy, curly, and kinky hair all interact differently to weather and moisture, and conditioner is one of the factors that tame everything from frizz to fly-aways.

Wavy Hair (Type 2)

If you have wavy hair, you don’t want hair conditioning treatments that weigh down your hair. That is why the treatment you choose should be in direct correlation to helping your hair hold those waves. The best way of doing this is by avoiding deep conditioners and sticking to the light stuff. Not only will your hair be bouncy with those wonderful waves, but you’ll be avoiding the pinnacle grunge look as well.

Curly Hair (Type 3)

Type 3 hair can handle heavier stuff than type 2 hair. That being said, there’s so much more you have to keep in mind. If you have curly hair, try to hit the middle range of conditioning treatments that are considered “light” and “deep,” so it’s not completely weighed down but still pulls down the curls enough for a cleaner look. More than that, your hair needs that moisture to stick, especially during the colder winter months.

Kinky Hair (Type 4)

The kinkier you hair, the better your hair will take to a heavy conditioning and the more weight it can hold. This is because unlike wavy hair, the strands in type 4 hair extend, allowing the once shrunken hair to look voluminous with healthy, shiny curls. Deep conditioning achieves this in a couple of ways. For one thing, deep conditioners help kinkier hair absorb moisture and nutrients and hold it for longer. But due to the added weight, the once dry, frizzy kinks become softer and shinier, so in the long run there are fewer tangles, knots and split ends to worry about.

Approaching the Right Treatment

Conditioners do not necessarily include the regular crème rinse conditioners you use in the shower. Yes, technically if you have wavy hair, you can add the crème rinse to your hair for an additional couple of minutes and get the desired effect. But to truly condition, you usually need a special product such as deep conditioning treatments or a homemade hot oil treatments.

There are three kinds of hair conditioning treatments and all three work in different ways. The one people are most familiar with is conditioner or crème rinse because it is used more than anything else. However, deep conditioning and leave-in conditioners are popular as well. Depending on what you’re looking for, the answer to your conditioning treatment may be one or a combination of conditioners available.

The Breakdown

When it comes to conditioning, it’s important to have a crème rinse base before anything else. There are so many factors in choosing the best conditioning treatments. The one you should use takes into consideration everything from dryness and oily scalp to chemically and color treated hair. If you have a decent crème rinse, it’s likely that you won’t have as many split ends. Be sure to watch the ingredients lists of these and avoid any sulfates.

Your hair isn’t just a simple string, but rather a complex layering of fibers. If you don’t think your crème rinse is working, try something new. But if nothing works, it’s time for some TLC in the form of deep conditioning. Deep conditioning affects the inner parts of the hair. Although it cannot fully repair the damage done to hair over time, deep conditioning treatments can provide nutrients and moisture to the hair. This, of course, weighs down the hair, but not before leaving a healthy shine.

A leave-in conditioner tends to be lighter than a deep conditioner, but works in similar ways. Leave-in conditioners stay in your hair, providing moisture and nutrients that hydrate dry, brittle hair throughout the day. But because a leave-in can be lighter, it is often a better option for those with looser wave patterns.

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Final Thoughts & Tips

Keep in mind that deep conditioning and conditioning treatments are two different things. Deep conditioning directly affect the shaft and surface of the hair, while a conditioning treatment is the process itself.

If you happen to find a deep conditioner you like, use it once every couple of weeks and don’t wash your hair the next day. That way, the curls will keep their moisture while extending the strands into well-defined curls.