Dive Deep: My Homemade Deep Conditioner

           I'm a complete person.  I like my things whole, and I don't like to cut corners.  This, and this alone, explains my anal retentiveness when I came up with my deep conditioner.  I did not want a conditioner with half promises.  I did not want one that moisturized, but did not provide protein-moisture balance, or vice versa.  I did not want one with offers of great slip, but no offers of definition, or the other way around.  So I think you can see where I'm headed with this one: I'm insatiable, and I needed it all.  That's when my hands birthed this baby...my homemade deep conditioner. 

          This deep conditioner gives me and my hair life: it's moisturizing, has protein balance for strength, slip for detangling, and great ingredients for complete nutrition and definition of my curls and kinks.  Now as a disclaimer, this conditioner is great for my hair! If you try it and find that you don't like it, just know that you may have to play with the ingredients, because regardless of hair type, all of the these ingredients are good for hair in general, but your measurements might have to be adjusted for your hair type.  For example, my hair LOVES olive oil and avocado, so I stock up on it in my vat, but if your hair loves coconut oil (as I will surmise is most of you given all the recent memes of infatuation and lust for its life), you may want to add more to your vat.  Play around with it!

          The ingredients below make 2 servings.  I prefer this amount for two reasons: 1. If for some reason, I am feeling heavy handed while applying my deep conditioner, I will ALWAYS have enough for that "just in case" scenario where you run out of your concoction but still have a whole other section and a half to go.  Nothing is worse than making a homemade deep conditioner, and while applying it, finding out that you don't have enough to disperse through your hair, and having to either use a completely different conditioner on the remaining section of hair, or jump out of the shower naked and run to your kitchen to make more.  I'm not a nudist, and I don't like being a slave to a small amount of product, so I make sure to make plenty.  2. I can pop this in the fridge for up to one week, and that way, I can just grab it and apply the next week...and voila! More time has been placed into my arsenal to procrastinate and watch more natural hair videos on YouTube.

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Water
2 Tablespoons of Manuka Honey / 2 Tablespoons of Glycerin (Choose One)
I Cup of Aloe Vera Juice
1 Container of Organic Yogurt / 1 Can of Coconut Milk / 2 Eggs (Choose One)
1 Cup of Coconut Oil
1 Cup of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Jamaican Black Castor Oil
1 Whole Organic Banana
1 Whole Organic Avocado

Ok so now let's explore why I chose these ingredients.  Each one is explained in detail below!

Hydration Factor

- Water

          You definitely cannot skip this ingredient! I usually apply this conditioner to wet hair, so my hair will already have the hydration factor; however, adding water to the conditioner makes the conditioner itself more thin in consistency and facilitates in the application process.

- Manuka Honey or Glycerin

          When finding that ingredient to increase hydration to the hair, manuka honey or glycerin will definitely get the job done.  These agents help to draw more moisture into the center of the hair shaft.  I prefer organic and raw manuka honey, as it is thicker in consistency and has anti-microbial properties.   If you are going to use raw honey, note that it will have a thick, sticky consistency; however, I recommend avoiding the microwave.  This “death-to-all-things-meant-to-be-good-for-you” machine is famous for taking the machete to any vital nutritive and beneficial properties to your food stuffs!  Forget about trying to melt it, once we blend the mixture, just like the law of life, everything will fall into place. 

          Whenever I don't have $32 to donate to Whole Foods for this miracle honey, I will just find the nearest health foods store and purchase some glycerin.  This also has the capability to draw moisture into the hair.  But because I work out and co-wash often, however, I do prefer the honey because of its anti-microbial properties. 

Cuticle Conditioning

- Aloe Vera

          This is effective at not only sealing the cuticle, but sealing the deal on adding shine in the hair.  It reduces inflammation in the scalp (great for my fellow gym rats), those with psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis (fancy shmancy for “dandruff”).  

Protein Punch

- Organic Yogurt, Coconut Milk, or Eggs

          You can use either all natural yogurt, coconut milk, or eggs.  There are ups and downs to each.  Yogurt works wonders for balancing the pH of the hair, which makes sense as to why it does wonders for defining my curls.  I have never tried coconut milk, but I have heard that it is similar to using yogurt.  If your hair loves coconut oil, (once again, casting my eyes to most of you), you might want to give it a shot! I prefer the protein and added cholesterol benefit of the eggs, but then a more runny and "flinging every-which-way" consistency comes into play.   

Oil it Up

- Coconut Oil

          I think there are enough memes out there to describe how vital this ingredient is.  I use it mainly to facilitate me in detangling, for its famous blend of balanced protein and healthy fatty acids, and thickening the conditioner itself.  If the conditioner is thick, it weighs my kinks and tight curls down almost to the point that it straightens out.  This helps me apply the conditioner and detangle better.  But once again, if you are going to opt for melting this oil, avoid the aforementioned death trap known as the microwave.  Just heat up some water on the stove or in the microwave and sit the jar of coconut oil in it. 

- Olive Oil

          I have found that this oil is essential to my hair care.  It softens my hair, adds shine, and tames my frizz.  I believe that every natural out there has a special oil that speaks to their follicles and brings out the inner Nubian goddess in their mane that makes all the children go “yaaas!” as she walks by.  Olive oil is that hair whisperer for me, but I encourage all of you to experiment to find out which one that is for you.  

- Jamaican Black Castor Oil

          Now listen, I'm not saying I want, nor need thicker strands than I already have.  I mean, that's part of the reason why I had to find a recipe for a conditioner that detangles this battlefield every week.  However, I do have shedding out the wah-zoo, and whatever other bodily orifices you can think of.  This oil does wonders for decreasing shedding, thickening the hair follicles at the root, and decreasing dandruff, eczema, and psoriasis, so I like to make sure to massage a bit of this conditioner on my scalp.  You can opt to use castor oil vs. Jamaican black castor oil; however, I have experienced better results with the latter (as most others have as well) because the Jamaican black castor oil roasts the beans and contains nutritive ash full of goodies. 

Nutrition Partition

- Banana

          Banana is rich in potassium, natural oils, carbohydrates and vitamins, which help to soften the hair and protect the hair’s natural elasticity, preventing split ends and breakage.  What natural doesn't want to reduce breakage? Banana creates manageability, shine, growth, and controls dandruff.  Vitamins A and C help to repair hair loss and cure dandruff.  Its natural oils ease the detangling process, and add shine to those tresses. 

- Avocado

          The Egyptians caught a fast ball with one.  Packed with vitamins and healthy fats and oils, it's no wonder that the civilization used this fruit to till the scalp.  Vitamin B helps to prevent hair loss; vitamin E helps to replenish strength, and the natural oils and fats help to seal in all that yummy moisture and pack on the shine. 

          As for the application, I blend everything in my NutriBullet. 

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          Please know that after I apply this conditioner to my hair, I seal all the moisture by applying my second favorite deep conditioner, Shea Moisture's Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque, on top of my hair already coated in the homemade deep conditioner.  This means that I have two conditioners on my head at once.  I get my best results using these two together than using either one alone. 

 Shea Moisture's Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque with African Rock Fig and Baobab Oil.  Photo Credit: http://www.theluxeminimalist.com. 

Shea Moisture's Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque with African Rock Fig and Baobab Oil.  Photo Credit: http://www.theluxeminimalist.com. 

          Welp, that concludes this million page description of my deep conditioner! Remember to play around with the amounts of ingredients that you use and to tailor it to your hair type if this doens't play out perfectly the first time.  Every playbook needs refinining, and these ingredients are too good to deprive your hair of them!

          Now, go forth and be great my little vessels of kinks, curls, coils, and more importantly... black girl magic!

***Any images used may or may not be solely my own.  Any borrowed images have been cited as not my own, and no plagiarism was intended.***