Texture Talk: 4 At-Home Deep Conditioning Treatments to Revive Curly Hair

Runway images courtesy of Imaxtree. Design by Danielle Campbell.

Pro-recommended products to give your curls and coils some TLC while in lockdown.

Welcome to Texture Talk, a new weekly column that celebrates and deep dives into the dynamic world of curls, from springy S-patterns to densely-packed coils — because curly hair is far from one big category. This week is all about the best at-home deep conditioning treatments that work on all curls, plus are easily accessible during this self-isolation period.

In mid-March, I was all set and scheduled to visit my hairstylist for a much-needed trim and salon treatment to finally rid me of my split ends. Then the outside world began to shut down and quarantine life began. Now, more than two months into stay-at-home orders, and my type 4 curls have found themselves under major strain, becoming increasingly dry, brittle and lifeless — and so has my energy to really do anything about it.

But this past Sunday I was forced to light a self-care fire under my butt as I traded in my once-fantasized — and planned — big white wedding nuptials for a small, virtual wedding ceremony. It ended being a marvellous affair, and my coils were equally as excellent. That’s because as I was DIYing my own wash-and-go curl routine Sunday morning, I decided to try the keratin protein and black rice-spiked Nexxus Keraphix Masque ($6) that I had picked up at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Deep Conditioning Treatments curls
Courtesy of Nexxus Canada

I applied it thoroughly throughout my hair after I shampooed, and left it in for about 15 to 20 minutes while I did a body scrub, shaved and combed to detangle my curls with the product still in my hair. Once I rinsed it out, I was shocked and amazed at how soft my strands were, and how easy it was to run my fingers through my abundance of coils. The Nexxus deep conditioner was game changing for my hair that day, and had me wondering what other holy grail treatments are out there that I should pick up and try next.

Now, as I’m sure my fellow curly friends out there know well, finding the right products that won’t wreak havoc on your glorious and natural ringlets, spirals and waves can take lots of trial and error. So to help me narrow down the hundreds of deep conditioning treatments on the market, I asked three Toronto-based textured hair experts for their top haircare aisle picks for curls. Read on for what they shared:

The pro: Adrian Carew, owner and stylist at Hair91

The product pick: As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner

Deep Conditioning Treatments curls
Courtesy of Ragga Hair Studio & Beauty Store

Infused with extracts of coconut, sugar cane, green tea, apple and lemon, shea butter, and vitamin E, this curl-fortifying treatment is “high in emollients and moisture content and sulfate free,” says Adrian, adding that he likes to apply conditioning treatments to towel-blotted hair. “This allows the product to be absorbed into the hair fully with out being diluted by excess water.” And try this before your rinse: “Leave it on for 20 minutes under a warm, damp towel. You can then comb through gently from ends to roots,” says Adrian.

Price: $31
Where to get it: raggahairandbeautysupply.com

The pro: Janet Jackson, celebrity hairstylist and owner of JouJou Hair Salon

The product pick: Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Hair Mask

Deep Conditioning Treatments curls
Courtesy of Shoppers Drug Mart

“This treatment is for very dry hair and can be used on curl types 2 to 4c. I like it because aloe vera juice and coconut water are the first couple of ingredients, which promote healthy hair growth,” says Janet. When it comes to application, she recommends massaging in this deep treatment focusing on roots to ends to target the scalp. Plus, hot tip: “You can also use it overnight,” she adds.

Price: $12
Where to get it: beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca

The pro: Caroline Muir and Betty Di Salvo, co-founders of The Curl Ambassadors Hair Salon

The product pick: Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner

Deep Conditioning Treatments curls
Courtesy of Shoppers Drug Mart

“Our customers have shared that they have loved deep treatments, like Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner which softens and nourishes,” Caroline and Betty tell me. As for recos on how often one should deep condition:  “listen to your curls,” they say. “Some curls will need to be deep conditioned once a month based on the natural state of the hair, or some just need a deep condition until the strands are feeling healthy and bouncy again. Chlorine, salt water, hair colour products or over-processing can all be temporary problems that a short-term deep conditioning regimen can help with to nourish curls back to life.”

FYI: If you’re on a tight budget, your regular curl-friendly conditioner can double duty as a deep conditioning treatment. All you have to do is get creative, the pair reveals. “In the evening, section your hair and apply your conditioner from ends to roots. Wrap [your hair] then leave it on over night. You want the heat from your head to help open the hair shaft and allow the conditioner to enter and, this way, the product won’t be diluted by any water. The next day, rinse it out with cool water to lock in this moisture, then follow your regular cleansing routine as normal.”

Price: $19
Where to get it: beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca

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