Hair strands grow from your scalp's hair follicles which are nourished by your body. To grow strong hair requires a healthy diet and generally a healthy body. However, once your hair strand grows away from your scalp it can only be topically nourished by topical products.
This is where the importance of deep conditioning comes in. Deep conditioning softens, strengthens, and enriches your hair with longer-lasting results than the everyday rinse-out conditioner.
Basics of Conditioning
Everyday conditioners work by assisting the absorption of their nutrients into your hair's outer cuticle. But, with deep conditioners, the ingredients have a low molecular weight and are designed to absorb beneath the cuticle layer.
Can Hair be Conditioned When Dry?
The theory behind deep conditioning dry hair is that the hair shaft will better absorb the conditioner because there is no water barrier. Technically this is somewhat true. But, conditioning your locks while dry means that you may encounter different barriers like product buildup of sebum on the hair shaft that come from your lifestyle or styling methods.
Can Hair be Conditioned While Wet?
The theory behind conditioning wet hair is that your hair has been previously shampooed prior to deep conditioning. Water alone can raise the outer cuticle layer of the hair, which is beneficial to the conditioning process. Shampooing the hair also releases the existing dirt, debris, or buildup on the hair shaft that might inhibit your process.
So, which is best, dry or wet deep conditioning? You will obtain the best results from deep conditioning by how it absorbs into your hair and how specific ingredients penetrate your hair. So the recommendation is to deep condition freshly shampooed, wet hair. Applying your conditioner to freshly shampooed wet hair can significantly increase softness, smoothing of the cuticle, and improve moisture retention.
Want some product recommendations? Here are my favorites for deep conditioning: