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Home » How I Deep Condition My Natural Hair – Type 4

How I Deep Condition My Natural Hair – Type 4

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As a 4C naturalista, I won’t deny that managing natural hair can be a little overwhelming, especially as a beginner. However, when there is a will, there is a way. As you can see from the picture, I’ve managed to grow my hair very long and healthy over the years. First, it helps to know the behavior of your hair, as in what it hates and loves. It’s also essential to find the right natural hair growth products and tools to maintain healthy hair.

Deep conditioning natural hair improves its health and gives it a silky touch. Incorporating deep conditioning sessions into your hair regimen helps reduce breakage and split ends. Suppose you are looking for a step-by-step guide on how to deep condition your natural hair. In that case, you are in the right place: There’s more to it than wetting your hair, lathering up with shampoo, rinsing, and repeating with conditioner, especially if you want optimal results. Continue reading as I explore the best way to deep condition natural hair.

Choose A Moisturizing Deep Conditioner

A moisturizing conditioner is essential for deep conditioning natural hair, especially if the hair is dry and brittle and easily breaks when brushed. When purchasing a deep conditioner, try to look out for the ingredients list and instructions. The direction of the use of the product on the hair should be left on for at least 15–20 minutes and, in some cases, 45 minutes at most. Anything aside, this is not a deep conditioner. Another option is to create your own hair conditioning mask from the comfort of your home. This option is usually considered to be cheaper, though it takes some time.

Get  A Leave-in Conditioner

A good leave-in conditioner for natural hair is also an important product necessary to condition natural hair. A leave-in conditioner will keep your hair in good shape between washing sessions. It is formulated to lock in moisture and drench your strands in nutrients, leaving it shiny and health. It also helps treat natural hair’s heat damage, dullness, and dryness.

Wet Your Hair

To have a satisfactory wash of the hair, the first thing to do is to wet the hair thoroughly before you apply the shampoo. It would be unwise to jump straight into applying your shampoo. Depending on how thick or dense your hair is, this process may take some minutes. So, allow the water to flow over your head for a reasonable amount of time, then run your fingers through your hair to ensure that all parts of your hair including the ends, are fully wet.

It is advisable to use lukewarm water for this session, as it helps open up the hair cuticles, making it easier to absorb the shampoo and conditioner.

Apply Shampoo

It is very important to use the right kind of shampoo for your hair because some products contain ingredients that may cause damage to your hair and scalp. Shampoo ingredients such as sulfate and parabens are bad for your hair. You also need to make sure that you are applying the correct amount of shampoo for your hair length. It is advisable not to use too much shampoo since you might not get it all out. If you have short hair, aim for a dollop size of shampoo, about the size of a nickel. For shoulder-length hair, use a quarter-sized amount. For long hair, a palmful of shampoo should be enough.

Before applying the shampoo to your hair, mix it with a little water in the palm of your hand. This way, you’ll reduce the direct effect the shampoo is bound to have on your scalp. It is another way to reduce product consumption, saving you money in the long run, as you don’t need to get a new shampoo every two weeks. Then, apply the shampoo to your entire scalp and crown. You don’t need much shampoo on the tips of your hair, so do not bother applying shampoo to the strands. Focus on shampooing your scalp rather than the ends of your hair. Apply shampoo only onto the scalp, and let it clean the rest of the hair when you rinse it.

Go Easy On The Scalp

When washing your hair, try not to scrub with your nails, as it may cause serious irritation or even let infections in. Rather, take the time to massage your scalp with gentle pressure, without nails, for about 3 minutes. Avoid circular or harsh back and forth movements while you massage the shampoo into your scalp. Move your fingers and palms gently to avoid tangling and damaging the follicles.

Rinse Thoroughly

Spend about 2 minutes rinsing your hair to be sure there is no trace of shampoo left in your hair. One of the biggest mistakes people make is accidentally leaving shampoo in their hair. This eventually leads to scalp buildup, making room for infections. Try to rinse your hair with cold water, since it won’t dry out the naturally lubricated barrier that protects your hair, thus keeping hair strands strong.

Finally, while rinsing, you can use a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush to detangle your natural hair to enable easy application of the deep conditioning product.

Deep Conditioning

You don’t need to apply the deep conditioning product to your scalp. It might make your hair oily, which can be a nuisance. Instead, apply the conditioner from the mid-shaft down to the ends of your hair. Cover your hair with a plastic cap or wrap. Then, let it sit for the recommended time as stipulated in the instructions. Some conditioners need to sit for 30 to 45 minutes.

You may need to sit under a hooded steamer or use a blow dryer to warm the outside of your plastic wrap or cap. Allowing the conditioner to sit during this time to penetrate, soften and smooth your hair, making it shinier once it’s dry. Do your best not to leave your conditioner in for too long, though. Else, it might be difficult to get it out and leave residue behind, which is not good for your hair.

Rinse Again

Rinse again. Do well to remove all traces of the deep conditioning product. Else, you may have to deal with an itchy scalp or hair with product buildup. At this stage, you mustn’t use shampoo, no matter how tempting it may be.


Once you get out of the shower, you are going to have to dry your hair with either a microfiber towel or an old T-shirt. Be sure to squeeze or pat your hair dry instead of rubbing it to avoid hair breakage. Consider the texture of your microfibre towel because the rougher the material fibre, the more damage it may cause to your hair. After drying your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner and style hair as desired.

After reading this article, I believe you have learned something valuable. Keep in mind these steps the next time you deep-condition your hair. I wish you a good hair day! Do not forget to share this article with your fellow ‘naturalistas’.


How do I deep condition my natural hair?

To deep condition my 4C natural hair, I start by washing it with a moisturizing shampoo. Then, I apply a generous amount of deep conditioner, focusing on the ends and the driest areas. I use a wide-tooth comb to distribute the conditioner evenly throughout my hair. Next, I cover my hair with a plastic cap or a heated cap to trap heat and help the conditioner penetrate my strands. I leave it on for at least 30 minutes, but sometimes I go longer for a more intense treatment. After rinsing thoroughly with lukewarm water, I follow up with a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to lock in moisture. This routine leaves my hair feeling soft, hydrated, and more manageable.

What order should I deep condition my hair?

When deep conditioning my 4C natural hair, I follow a simple yet effective order. First, I shampoo my hair to cleanse it and remove any buildup. Then, I apply the deep conditioner generously, ensuring to focus on the ends and the driest areas. After that, I use a wide-tooth comb to distribute the conditioner evenly throughout my hair, detangling gently to prevent breakage. Once my hair is coated, I cover it with a plastic cap or a heated cap to create heat and help the conditioner penetrate deeply. I leave it on for at least 30 minutes, allowing the ingredients to work their magic. Finally, I rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and follow up with a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to seal in moisture. This method keeps my 4C hair hydrated, soft, and manageable.

Should I wash my hair before or after deep conditioning?

I prefer to wash my hair before deep conditioning. This way, I can start with a clean slate, removing any product buildup or impurities that may hinder the deep conditioner’s effectiveness. Washing first also allows the deep conditioner to penetrate my strands more easily, ensuring maximum hydration and nourishment. After washing, I apply the deep conditioner, focusing on the ends and the driest areas, and then proceed with the deep conditioning process as usual. This routine helps keep my 4C natural hair healthy, moisturized, and manageable.

Should you apply deep conditioner to wet or dry hair?

I find that applying deep conditioner to wet hair works best for my 4C natural hair. Wet hair is more porous and receptive to products, allowing the deep conditioner to penetrate deeply and effectively moisturize my strands. Plus, applying to wet hair helps distribute the product more evenly and ensures thorough coverage from root to tip. Before applying the deep conditioner, I make sure to gently towel-dry my hair to remove excess water, leaving it damp but not dripping. This way, the deep conditioner can work its magic, leaving my hair soft, hydrated, and manageable.

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