Thursday, 18 October 2012

How to : Heat up your conditioner for deep conditioning

My conditioner being heated up in the sink
To accompany the deep conditioning time and temperature post here is how to heat your conditioner to 35°C without using a hair dryer. The Natural Haven method is to heat up your conditioner with a water bath and using your own body to gauge how warm the conditioner is. It takes about 5-10 minutes to do.

You will need

-Small glass or heat resistant plastic container
-Hot water/hot tap water
-Sink or larger bowl to place the small container in to
-Your conditioner

Method

1. Put the conditioner you are going to use in to the glass or a heat resistant plastic container.
2. Fill up the sink or larger bowl with hot water either from the tap or boiled
3. Place the small container with conditioner into the water and cover the sink or bowl with a towel
4. Wait 5-10 minutes and then stir the conditioner and check to see how warm it is. It should be warm to the touch- not hot. If you cannot comfortably touch it then you should not place it on your scalp, let it cool. If it is not warm enough, give it more time and/or increase the temperature of the water bath by adding in some more/hotter water.
5. Apply the warm conditioner to your hair and then cover with a plastic cap and follow with a towel to keep in the heat. 35°C is approximately skin surface temperature so maintaining the heat from the conditioner is easily done using your own body.

Things not to do
1.  Never heat up the whole conditioner bottle since you will affect the preservatives that prevent bacterial and fungal growth.
2. Don't overfill the sink/larger bowl, leave enough space to be able to use your fingers to remove the conditioner container bowl and don't let water get into the conditioner. 

You can thank blog reader Mrs.T for predicting this post was necessary :)



27 comments:

  1. I usually heat mine in the microwave for 30 seconds. Yay or nay?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol I just consulted my husband the real chemist and we are not sure if microwaving is ok or not. When you microwave an oil, you will degrade it somewhat and using a water bath, it is a more gentle heating method so although we have no figures to back it up, we think it is possibly less damaging to the conditioner.

      However, if it has been working for you all this time, there is no reason to stop :)

      Delete
    2. Heating in the microwave is fast but you also run the risk of overheating something or degrading it(as Jc notes above). Or having "hot spots" in the conditioner or oil you are applying to your hair (can be dangerous). I have tried both and a water bath is safer IMO, ensures more uniform heating.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the reply. I think I will now begin heating mine the Natural Haven way, since I almost always add oils into the mix :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can someone explain if there is a difference and benefit of doing this versus putting the conditioner in your hair first and then getting the heat wearing a heat cap?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you do not need a heat cap

      Delete
    2. Hello Jc! I'm a long time reader. I love the science approach to hair.

      I need clarification on this point. I wanted to know if the same amount of adsorption is achieved by heating the conditioner prior to applying it to the hair as when heating the condition after its been applied via a hooded dryer?

      Delete
    3. Yes Theresa, the aim is to get to 35°C. A hooded dryer can sometimes overheat so just be careful with that.

      Delete
    4. What happens when the conditioner is overheated?

      Delete
  4. Thanks for this! Is this a good method to use on conditioners containing protein? Or do we have to worry about denaturation of the proteins?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hydrolysed proteins in a commercial conditioner are already broken up into pieces and would work better with heat. If your protein is something like real egg or mayonnaise, stay away from heat which will cook it up and make it difficult to rinse off or use.

      Delete
  5. YAY! :) Can't wait to try this during my next DC!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Jc,

    I wasn't sure where to ask this: if coconut oil is to left in overnight for the best results for absorption for deep conditioning or swimming , should the same be said for olive oil?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is true for all oils

      Delete
    2. Let me correct that - all natural oils

      Delete
  7. Is there any science to the "cool and seal method"? (allowing deep conditioner to cool and sealing with another conditioner before rinsing both conditioners.) Some believe that allowing the conditioner to cool allows the cuticle to close and the additional layer of conditioner seals in the first conditioner.
    what do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my view conditioner contains ingredients such as surfactants that do the actual 'closing' of the cuticle. They work based on pH and charge and tend to adsorb more to hair when the temperature is slightly raised. There is no need in my view to 'seal' a conditioner. Conditioners are largely designed to stay and work on the outside of hair (filling up cracks and flaws, correcting the cuticle charge). I don't really understand the need to seal the conditioner given it is meant to be on the oustside and will tend to stay there until washed or rubbed off.

      All that said, if the method works for someone, they should keep on using it :)

      Delete
    2. I've also seen where people seal with oil before rinsing to help seal in the moisture from the deep conditioning session. What's your thoughts on that type of cool and seal method?

      Delete
  8. Dear JC,

    Bit of a random science question, but do you know anything about the huetiful hair smoothing treatment. I would like to try it, but I'm not sure if all the science claims (e.g. that its more safe than keratin based straigthening systems) are true. I would love you to do a blog entry about these types of treatment for all us lay persons and the potential permament damage these types of treatments can do.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The company says: It is different, Lynnaisha. Most Brazilian blow outs use harsh chemicals like formaldehyde or a substitute for it. They need these harsh ingredients to create cracks that allow for the keratin to get inside the hair shaft. Huetiful nanoSMOOTHING uses cysteine, a molecule smaller than keratin. It penetrates the hair shaft without harsh ingredients and then smoothens and elongates the curl pattern. This is not a relaxer or a straightener; it will not permanently straighten to pencil-straight hair. It'll elongate and loosen your curl pattern so that you can easily straighten your hair without damage. We are not trying to give you pin straight hair (first) and healthy hair (second). We are strengthening your hair with our amino acid (first) so that you can get the desired look (second).

    Could this be true?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am going to call this particular product's claims highly highly dubious. There is no ingredient list for the actual product which for me is a red flag. Secondly cysteine is an amino acid, you can buy some and add it to your conditioner if you wish. Cysteine is actually the target of hair relaxers and is broken down to straighten hair. This is the reason why people who relax their hair tend to get a better result if they follow up immediately with a protein treatment.

      In my view this product is mitigating/covering up damage done by straightening through the use of a protein product

      Secondly, to say that you are going to apply heat to hair without damaging it yet intend to loosen the curl pattern is a complete lie. Curl loosening does not happen in a thermal treatment without damage.

      Argh some manufacturers frustate me.

      Delete
    2. Thanks JC - these companies use all these science terms to confuse us lay people and thanks for getting back. I know I posted something quite long.

      Delete
  10. Sorry, just read note at the bottom about links and unrelated points - Sorry!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I tried the organix keratin straightener and though I loved the results it was time consuming! I found I had to wet or put jel to get the curls because I was too lazy to be constantly flat ironing. I ended up cutting it off because it seemed my hair never reverted to its natural kinkiness! I had somewhat straight hair with kinky roots (perfect recipe for breakage) so I decided I didn't want to do this indefinitely. I did it twice and stopped! Just a question though! If I wanted to buy hydrolyzed keratin/collagen/elastin/wheat protein/amino acids how much would be needed in conditioner if doing a homemade blend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess and add about quarter of a teaspoon. The general amount needed scientifically is in the milligram region (so using a few drops is already much more than your hair can take up)

      Delete
  12. how long does it take for egg conditioner to penetrate w/o heat?

    can i use ur method with avocados dc?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not think that egg on its own can penetrate into hair - see the section in the Natural Haven Academy on the top bar for protein penetration.

      I would not consider heating up egg either because that will cook the protein. Mayonnaise might work. Avocados may work too

      Delete

I love comments! All comments are moderated so they will only appear on the blog once I approve them.