The Conditioning Routine That Made My Hair Softer Than Ever

Every month, we’ll chronicle Telisha Bryan’s quest to grow out her natural hair while experimenting with products and styling techniques along the way. After cutting her wash time down, she’s on a mission to find a more effective conditioning regimen.

Every natural girl knows that a good hair day begins with a great conditioning regimen. We’ve all been there when, like a bad boyfriend, the wrong conditioner comes along, says all the right things—on its label, natch—makes a bunch of big promises, only to leave us high and literally dry.

I’ve gone to great lengths to get well-moisturized hair, applying conditioner post- and pre- shampoo, then sitting with gobs of deep conditioner on my hair for up to an hour. But since I’ve been reconsidering my whole washing routine, it got me wondering: Is needing to spend so much time conditioning proof that my products don’t work all that well? Maybe the fact that I have to veer so far from the time frame listed on each bottle means those formulas aren’t right for me.

So I put my regular conditioners back in the medicine cabinet and picked up a bottle of Hair Rules Quench Conditioner. With naturally hydrating ingredients like shea butter and honey, it seemed right up my alley. When I first squeezed out a palm-size amount, I was skeptical—the texture wasn’t thick and creamy, so I was worried it would be too light to tame my puff. I left it on till I was done shaving my legs, and when I rinsed it out, I was pleasantly surprised by how soft and luxe my coils felt. My new rule: Don’t judge a conditioner by its consistency.

Next, I patted my hair a few times with an old T-shirt (much less frizz-inducing than a towel), and applied a generous amount of Fekkai PrX Reparatives Intensive Fortifying Masque, an argan oil-infused treatment that repairs damaged hair while adding shine. I resolved to wash it out as close to the suggested 10-minute maximum as I felt comfortable with, covered my hair with a shower cap, then put on my Hair Therapy Wrap Thermal Turban Hair Wrap to heat things up. I was back in the shower in 25 minutes—I just couldn’t talk myself into anything shorter than that.

It was definitely the best deep conditioner I’ve ever used. Ever. My hair was soft and felt healthy immediately after. Five days later, my hair still felt light and fluffy. Plus, I cut another 35 minutes from my Saturday washing routine! Looks like my old conditioners better get cozy in the medicine cabinet.

Photo: Ellen Von Unwerth/GIANT

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