Reader Question: Do You Need to Deep Condition Short Hair?

QUESTION: “I am thinking about doing a big chop soon. I was wondering after the cut when my hair won't be too long, do I still need to do the deep conditioner, co-washes and protein treatments or can I just do washes and conditionings?”
- Joy, a reader

A deep conditioner is a must, especially for hair that is kinky, curly or coily. Our hair textures tends to be dry by nature and deep conditioning restores moisture to our hair, which prevents shedding and breakage.

A deep conditioner is a conditioner which is left on for between 10 minutes to an hour or even can be left on overnight. What a deep conditioner does, is penetrate the inner (cortical) layer of the hair shaft which enables it improve the health and appearance of your hair. Deep conditioning promotes elasticity and strength of the hair which allows you retain length and therefore allows you to grow hair long. You should try to deep condition no more than once a week as deep conditioning more that can cause adverse affect such as oiliness and brittle ends.

Protein treatment also strengthens the hair shaft as well as temporarily fixing damaged hair. What a protein treatment basically does is strengthen the hair by filling in "the gaps" or wear and tear with protein (as hair is made up of protein). Using protein treatments can make hair smoother, softer, fuller and healthier.

How often you use a protein treatment depends on your hair – if your hair is damaged you might want to do it every 2 weeks but if you’re doing it to maintain healthy hair you might want to keep it to every 6-8 weeks. However be cautious with protein treatments and reconstructors to much use can cause brittle hair.

I would say though, co-washing is not a necessary like the two product types above but equally something worth considering. Co-washing is basically washing you hair with just conditioner. Co-washing is a great way of keeping hair clean and moisturised between shampoo washes or as an alternative to shampoo washes (because shampoos tends to be drying). I do co-washes when I wear my hair curly (or out) or when I’m detangling because it makes the process much easier. Some people dislike the idea of co-washing though, so it really depends on you.

Bottom line: You will still need to do deep conditioners and protein treatments. If you want to do co-washing that is totally up to you!

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