THE DEBATE-LONG DC's Vs SHORT DC's
Today's topic is all about deep conditioning which is an integral aspect of being on a healthy hair journey. When I first started my hair journey, I did overnight DCs very regularly, basically applied the DC mix to my dry hair, massaged it in, covered hair with a nylon bag and a silk cap and went to bed, the logic was that my natural body heat produced from wearing the nylon bag or shower cap will open my hair shaft and allow the strands absorb the products and the longer the better.
The process I described above is essentially what steam treatments do but in a much shorter time, the steamer produces steam, your hair is covered and the hair shaft swells and opens up allowing all the product you've applied sip into the hair, all this usually in twenty to thirty minutes....
As I got busier and more prone to just tiredly falling on my bed after a long day with less time or energy to sit and apply any kind of concoction to my hair, I decided to do my research, would it be less effective if I stopped overnight DCs or DCing for long hours and just stick to making out time to get a steam treatment at Savvy & Chic Hair Beauty Hub?
Well here are my findings...
Generally speaking,increased time and temperature increases the amount of product adsorbed into the hair shaft. This is because the hair has a maximum absorption time for surfactants (surfactants diffuse in water and adsorb at interfaces between air and water or at the interface between oil and water, in the case where water is mixed with oil examples include emulsifiers), hydrolyzed protein, silicones etc which are usually found in DC conditioners and their properties allow them to be absorbed into the hair shaft within seconds of applying the conditioner.
If left on the hair for longer, the amount will in general double within 10 minutes. If left on for another 10-20 minutes, the amount will increase by another 60-100% of the mark set at 10 minutes. However after 30 minutes from initial application, there are no more increases in adsorption to the hair. The reason for this is that the hair conditioner simply has no more places on the hair where it can stick to as all gaps which it can plug and all surfaces where it can attach are occupied.
Specifically speaking, absorption time is affected by the ingredients in your DC mix and their unique behaviors when applied to your hair, for example the PH level of the DC conditioner should generally be between 6-7 for the conditioner to work well to increase adsorption to hair. Below and above this range, the behavior of the conditioner can become a little more erratic and results may vary that's why some conditioners work well as DCs and you can feel an instant change to the texture and manageability of your hair after use and others leave your hair feeling BLEH!!
The different quantities of ingredients also affects absorption. For example, a conditioner which contains 0.2% hydrolysed protein will be able to leave about 20% more protein on the surface of hair compared to one which has 0.1%. The result is more dramatic for surfactants with a 0.2% conditioner able to adsorb 80% more to the surface than a conditioner with 0.1% surfactant.
The reality is, manufacturers will not tell you how much of an ingredient is contained in the jar, so you have to try the product and trust that your hair will tell you whether the product has too much or too little of the ingredient you are looking for same with adding other natural concoctions like honey, yoghurt, mayonnaise, eggs etc.
Now the aim of my research was to find out if my hair was missing anything by doing SHORT DC's and I'm glad that the general answer is an empathic NO but does that make LONG DC's wrong? I don't think so, if for any reason I've had my DC on my head all day on a Saturday because I was too busy around the house, have I somehow ruined my wash day experience, I think not...it basically means that after the stipulated time of absorption and my hair absorbed all it could, the rest of the time my hair was just sitting pretty waiting to get rinsed out, it's like taking biotin or any multi vitamins for that matter, the body absorbs what it needs and the rest is sent away to be disposed through the toilet...so don't beat yourself up if you happen to forget a treatment on your hair for more than thirty minutes and don't beat yourself up either if all the time you had to spare for your treatment was thirty minutes....hope you get my drift (don't send me emails with the subject * WAILING FOR MY HAIR DABS *Crying profusely rolling on the ground, my DC was in my hair for 1 hour Ahhhhhhhhhh* LOL).
And on that note, I'll be heading to the hub for my 30 minutes DC this evening as that's all the time I have to spare- No more guilt, Yayyy!!
Who's giving her hair a treat this weekend?? C'mon it's just 30 minutes, make out time....feel free to share your concoctions below!!
RESEARCH SOURCES- WIKIPEDIA.COM, BLACKGIRLLONGHAIR.COM