Double Duty: Deep Conditioners as a Styling Aid

As I was getting ready for work one morning, I found myself in a crisis of epic proportions. I was almost out of coconut oil. Okay, maybe that isn't quite an epic crisis...but for those of us who love and adore the sweet smelling stuff (and especially those like me, who use it on hair and skin), running low on a staple can cause quite a stir...and a bad hair day. I found myself rummaging through my hair product drawer (it's pretty intense in there...although not as bad as it used to be), muttering think Christina, think. I need something to sit under this EcoStyler gel on my edges, and hold in the moisture I just spritzed on my hair. Enter: Deep Conditioner.

I'll admit, I'm a Conditioner Queen. I've got Aussie Moist (the big bottle), Tresemme Luxurious Moisture (the big bottle), Shea Moisture Anti-Breakage Masque, Shea Moisture African Black Soap Purification Masque, Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque, Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, and some others that escape me. I find myself rotating the decent to effective ones regularly, based upon my hair's needs. Well today, my hair needed some help... and Shea Moisture's Organic Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque was my first draft pick.

In a future Fresh Feature (soon, I promise), I will review the product in its entirety and as it relates to its intended purpose. But for now, what was important to me was the first five ingredients:
  • Deionized Water
  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)
  • Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil
  • Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter
  • Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil
There are more goodies after the first five, but if you click the link above to JC of The Natural Haven's post, you'll learn why the first five ingredients are the only ones that truly matter. The starting lineup looked pretty good, and I was pretty confident that they could handle the job. Here's my low-manipulation styling routine:

  1. Remove satin bonnet or scarf and bands. Most nights, I sleep with my hair loosely (as in the scrunchie goes around no more than twice) banded, with a scrunchie at the top and bottom of my hair.
  2. Revive hair with a wholesome water spritzing, concentrating on my edges (where my EcoStyler gel will go) and a little on my ends (don't want to over-saturate them).
  3. Apply leave-in as needed. Sometimes, a good spritzing is all my hair needs to activate the product from the previous day or two.
  4. Lightly seal hair as needed, particularly the ends. I like to help my hair a little during the week, by adding a little coconut oil, or in this case Shea Moisture Anti-Breakage Masque to the ends of my hair, a little more throughout, and concentrating again on my edges where EcoStyler gel will be applied.
  5. Apply a workable amount of EcoStyler gel to my edges, and gently brush with a soft-bristle brush. Slick gently with hands.
  6. This particular day, I decided to work in a twisty hump thingie (sorry, no fancy name for it) into the front of my hair, just to mix it up a little. It is secured with three bobby pins.
  7. Gather remaining hair at the nape of the neck, and secure vertically (not too tight! don't pull!) with a banana clip
  8. Normally, I would roll my hair up into a protective bun after this, but this particular day, I was feeling my beachy wave look. Hey, it's summertime in LA. Gotta go with the flow.

By the end of the day, I was in love with the decision I made to use my deep conditioner as a styling aid. Despite being out in the elements and a two and a half hour workout, my hair withstood the test of time. It was not dry and crackly at all -- rather soft to the touch, and my edges were the slickest they've ever been while still maintaining softness. This is a huge victory because any of you that use EcoStyler, or read my fresh feature on it know that that stuff can get crunchyyyyyyyy.

I know, there's heat damage.
Gotta transition it out........
We have a winner, folks! Have you ever used deep conditioner for hair styling? What's your preferred product?