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Is Your Deep Conditioner Drying Out Your Hair?

During winter months hair can feel more dry and moisture starved than at any other time of the year.  When hair is moisture challenged hair experts often suggest incorporating regular deep conditioning treatments.

(All images courtesy of Celebrity Hairdresser Barbara Lhotan - All Rights Reserved)

While straw like strands may initially respond positively to rich conditioners, some hair consumers report that regular deep conditioning treatments make their hair feel more dry then before they were deep conditioned.

Deep Conditioners With Proteins, Softening Agents And Silicones

It may sound crazy, but in some cases you can actually deep condition your tresses too much.

Why?  The majority of deep conditioners contain a high concentration of proteins, softening agents and silicones (cones).  Deep conditioners often contain dimethicone, a heavier silicon, which is popular because of its super slippery properties which can instantly make hair look and feel better.

Silicons are actually designed to leave a protective barrier on hair.  As a result, sometimes this may be experienced as a light film build-up on the strands.

Although there is no historic evidence to conclusively prove that cones damage hair, some consumers claim that repeated use of silicone conditioners seem to block the rich moisturizing agents from penetrating deeply down into their hair shaft.

Which may feel like  tresses are becoming  more moisture starved even though deep conditioners are being regularly applied.  In essence deep conditioners may, in some cases appear to dry out already moisture parched hair.

Busting Silicone Myths

Shampoos and related hair care products contain silicones because historically they have been proven to be very effective for conditioning dry tresses and acting as a protective barrier.  Hair care products infused with silicones generally consist of  amodimethicone, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, a combination or similar derivatives.

The difference between dimethicone and cyclomethicone is that dimethicone is generally heavier while cyclomethicone is much lighter.  Dimethicone is great for thick conditioners while cyclomethicone is more often found in rinse out or leave in conditioners, styling creams and shine serums.

For some hair consumers silicone rich deep conditioning products offer great advantages.  For others it may feel like the silicone infused deep conditioners are perpetuating dry, crunchy and stressed out tresses.

Breaking The Dryness Cycles

If you suspect your deep conditioners may be drying out your hair consider the following cycle busting options:

1.  Start by removing existing film build-up with an application of a clarifying formula.

2.  Consider switching to all-natural shampoo formulations designed to moisturize without cones.

3.  Prevent future cone related build-up by switching to a deep conditioner without dimethicone or similar cones.

4.  Amp up hair moisture levels by experimenting with water only (WO), diluted shampoo (DS) or conditioning only (CO) formulations which will be naturally less drying.

5.  Extend your shampoo schedule from daily to every other day or even 2x a week.  An extended shampoo schedule allows your scalp's natural oils to build-up and add moisture naturally to tresses.

6.  Shampoo daily, but use a moisture rich rinse-out conditioner before the final rinse and deep condition less often.

7.  Experiment with more frequent conditioner layering  conditioners.  Try combining a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment with a rinse-out conditioner and a leave-in conditioner to address a range of dry hair needs while minimizing the need for deep conditioners.

8.  Amp up your consumption of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) and oil rich foods which will add moisture to strands from the inside out.

9.  Minimize use of hot styling tools which dry out strands.  Consider allowing hair to air dry or experiment with wet sets dried in a hood or bonnet style dryer.

Although deep conditioners can be an incredible resource for healing moisture robbed or damaged hair, if you believe they are  part of the problem rather than the solution experiment with alternative options and enjoy newly enriched tresses.

Remember, what works for one hair consumer may not work for others.  Search for your own unique hair healing options.

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