Hair Love - Winter Care - Conditioning Tools - Plastic and Heat

Above: drenching stretched dry hair in a mixture of oils then covering with a plastic shower cap before using a heating cap
I spoke a bit about deep conditioners and treatments in a previous post (see it HERE)
Apart from products it is also good to amp up your hair care and conditioning game with tools or techniques to help further product penetration into the hair shaft and increase hair health.

Since my last heat damage experience, I do not advocate always using heat on hair apart from low to medium heat depending on what you want to achieve for your hair (it is noted that some people prefer diffusing to air drying). There is however, the one time heat takes your conditioning and hair condition to a whole other level and that's with deep conditioners or hair treatments or simple steaming water dampened hair.

Plastic Shower Caps/Plastic
You can get a pack of 6 disposable ones at Dischem for about R12. Otherwise they also have more durable ones varying in price. Alternatively use the roll of cling wrap or even reusing your plastic shopping bag and typing in a firm knot will also do the trick - deep conditioning/treating your hair does not have to be expensive.The plastic will help trap in heat and moisture and allow for the product to work or for the hair to take in the product or relevant ingredients better. Your own body heat works better when plastic is wrapped over your hair to trap the heat in.

Wide Tooth Comb/Clips/Grips
You don't have to comb your hair, you can finger detangle and section your hair. For those of us not about that life, you can detangle using a wide tooth comb and use the comb to help section the hair to ensure all your hair gets covered in whatever deep conditioner/masque/treatment your are using. (finger detangling is the best way to detangle with the least damage to your strands but I do understand that some people are not there yet or not too bothered as long as the hair is detangled at the end of the day). Spread and work and smooth the product into your hair (less thick/dense products will spread more easily). Sometimes the smaller the section the better, especially for scalp coverage,  you can assess based on the consistency of the product/oil you are using. All I am saying is make sure ALL of your hair is covered in whatever you are using to deep condition/treat your hair/scalp. Clips/Grips will help hold the sections apart. If you don't have these then just put each section into a loose twist.

Heated Caps/Heated Conditioning Caps/Heating Caps
If you don't have a hooded drier or want something that is quick and easy to use. Heated/Heating conditioning caps are a great alternative. There are ones which use your own body heat through your scalp to heat up (great innovation). There are some that you can heat in hot water or the microwave (you remove the gel packs and heat accordingly then place them back into the cap when hot). There are some connected to electrical wiring and you plug it into a socket and use it whilst its on your head (mostly quite safe to use - I say mostly because I have not heard of any mishaps). Some products require heat to release and penetrate the hair all the better. If you don't have specific deep conditioning or treatment products then a simple hot oil treatment will nourish and replenish your hair especially in winter. (you can heat the oil prior to smoothing it into your hair or you can use a heating mechanism to heat the oil after you smooth it into your hair or you can use a heating mechanism to keep the oil warm whilst it is on your hair for a short duration of time.

SOME Other ways to generate/maintain heat
- Once you have applied whatever product to your hair, cover your head with plastic then rinse a facecloth in hot water, ring out the excess water and place the heated facecloth to your head and cover with plastic again. Double heat conduction.
- Once you have applied whatever product to your hair, cover your head with plastic and cover your head with a warmed towel.
- Once you have applied whatever product to your hair, cover your head with plastic and heat up a damp towel in the microwave for a few minutes,(the towel must be dampe and watch the time, do not burn the towel)- be cautious. Once done place the towel over your head, cover with another plastic and another dry towel or doek.
- Once you have applied whatever product to your hair, cover your head with plastic then cover with your doek/headwrap/night cap and go to bed. Use your own body heat through your scalp.
- If at the gym - cover your head with plastic (with or without product) and headwrap or beanie or other - work out. Afterwards you can co-wash your hair, apply a styling product or sealing product and you are sorted.
Bonus - you also keep warm whilst using heated/heating tools/steps.

So, just some brief insights into additional steps that can be taken whilst deep conditioning/treating your hair - as always listen to your hair and find what works for you.

*The grey hooded drier attachment that you use with a normal hand held hair drier was bought at the last Professional Hair and Beauty Convention. I have heard of it being found Cash n Carry Wholesales in JHB e.g Jumbo Cash and Carry
*The Heat Wrap is not available in SA - it was given to me by a friend from the UK
* The Silk Helmet Lady does make and sell Heating Caps - you can contact her directly or purchase via Mzansifro - retails for about R300.
* Bounce Essentials Deep Conditioning Cap (pictured in pink above) is available via their website bebouncehair

Read this interesting post on the effects of time and temperature/heat for deep conditioning - thenaturalhavenbloom