Our hair takes a beating. From hair coloring and UV rays to straightening irons and hair dryers, there are plenty of reasons why we struggle with dry, damaged, and brittle hair.
Any hairdresser will tell you, women’s proclivity for torturing their locks just means more opportunities to provide a favorite salon indulgence: the deep conditioning treatment. Deep conditioning treatments are a sure bet for anybody. It is an ideal treatment for nearly every hair type and is the perfect add-on service for your salon business.
For even the most battered tresses, deep conditioning treatments have the ability to repair, nourish, moisturize, and restore hair in just one trip to the salon.
The Benefits of Deep Conditioning Treatments
Deep conditioning treatments—also often referred to as masks—usually fall into one of two categories: protein-based treatments and moisture-based treatments.
- Protein-based deep conditioners strengthen the hair, improve elasticity, and prevent breakage
- Moisturizing deep conditioners bring moisture back into the hair
Deep conditioning treatments feature many benefits. They restore the hair’s natural shine and luster. They also moisturize the scalp, which reduces itching and flaking. Many deep conditioning treatments are designed for color- or chemically-treated hair, which has a tendency to become dry and dull. For many women, deep conditioning treatments provide the ideal solution for frizzy, lifeless tresses by enhancing body and adding softness and shine.
Applying Deep Conditioners
Deep conditioning treatments usually work best when heat is involved, as heating the hair causes the hair follicles to swell for maximum penetration into the hair shaft.
Apply and work the deep conditioning treatment into freshly shampooed hair, focusing on the ends of the hair that tend to be drier and more prone to breakage and damage. Use a wide-toothed comb for longer hair to ensure more even coverage.
Apply a plastic cap over the coated hair and invite your client to relax under a salon hood dryer for between 20 to 30 minutes (according to the deep conditioner treatment instructions). Rinse thoroughly and style as desired.
How often you recommend this service for clients will vary based on the condition and type of each client’s hair and their unique hair care needs. Those with naturally curly or color- or chemical-treated hair can enjoy a deep conditioning treatment every time they visit the salon for a cut or other service.
In the event of deeply damaged hair, you may recommend a twice weekly deep conditioning treatment until the hair begins to show signs of repair.
For some clients, a deep conditioning treatment during the colder, winter months or after a week at the beach is ideal for adding moisture to dry locks.
For other clients, a deep conditioning treatment is an indulgence, enjoyed a couple times a year or before a special event.
Conditioning Products and Ingredients
Salon-quality deep conditioners usually contain ingredients such as shea butter, mineral oil, or soybean oil. Some contain advanced ingredients such as:
- Hydrolyzed keratin
- Hydrolyzed oat protein
- Hydrolyzed silk protein
- Hydrolyzed soy protein
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
There is a wide variety of salon-quality deep conditioning treatments to try, but some of our favorites include:
- Matrix Biolage Hydrasource Mask
- Redken Extreme Strength Builder Plus Fortifying Hair Mask
- Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Keratin Intensive Treatment
- Leonor Greyl Nourishing Treatment Mask
- Wella Luxe Oil Keratin Restore Mask
Special Considerations When Conditioning Curls
Wavy and curly hair calls for deep conditioning due to porous strands. However, different products are usually used, depending on the type of curl:
Wavy hair: A lightweight conditioning ingredient like coconut oil is good for curl repair that doesn’t result in weighed down locks.
Curly hair: A deep conditioner with shea butter is a good bet because it moisturizes while promoting the detangling process.
Tight curls and kinky curls: Shea butter, as a rich emollient, is ideal for very tight or kinky curls. So is cetyl alcohol, a naturally fatty alcohol. Finish with a cool rinse to seal the naturally coarse hair shaft.