View Full Version : Deep conditioning question: Heat or Time?

January 31st, 2010, 10:57 PM
I'm hoping folks can comment on deep conditioning in context of heat v. time? I usually oil my hair overnight but have occasionally used a heating cap over the oil before I wnt to sleep.

Is there a different effect from heating versus overnight?

February 1st, 2010, 04:52 PM
Hmm, the treatments I use with heat (commercial products) are different than those I leave on a long time (oil). :ponder:

I've only tried heat with oil once, and I didn't like it. The oil didn't seem to sink in the way it does when left on overnight. On the other hand, I have once or twice left a commercial product on for a long time (but not the one I'm using now), and the results were good, but I'm not sure they were any better than leaving it on for a short time. When left on for a long time, conditioner acts more like CO than a deep treatment.

I used to think that heat for a short time was the same as no heat for a prolonged time, no matter the product, but it appears that hasn't been my experience at all. Huh.

February 5th, 2010, 12:20 AM
I always use heat when I do a deep treatment. The heat opens the cuticle and allows the treatment to penetrate the cortex as much as it possibly can. I also leave the treatment on for as long as the instructions say to. If the directions are silent on time, I will leave it on for 20 minutes, 10 of which were under a blow dryer (with a shower cap on of course). However, I NEVER sleep with a commercial deep treatment unless the directions indicate that it is for overnight use. Some commercial treatments have too many proteins and plastics that can harm your hair if left on for too long (protein can sometimes dry out hair if it is misused). I always sleep in oil because there is nothing harmful in it. I have never seen a difference with heating the oil first in a double boiler (not the microwave which can destroy the properties of the oils) or putting the oil on at room temperature. I hope this helps. :)

February 5th, 2010, 03:03 AM
I'm not sure about using heat for treatments. I have a feeling my hair and scalp dislikes heat, so i only use heavy oilings that are left in for at least a day.

February 2nd, 2014, 04:33 PM
Reviving discussion. I've been thinking about buying a heat cap but don't really know it if is worth it. Would love to hear other peoples experiences.

February 2nd, 2014, 04:51 PM
Reviving discussion. I've been thinking about buying a heat cap but don't really know it if is worth it. Would love to hear other peoples experiences.
I don't use one, but I know many long-haired ladies who love their heat caps, but they prefer the feel of super-soft and over-moisturized hair, which could lead to breaking protein bonds in hair due to hygral fatigue.

For oils, both heat and time help. Heat makes oil runnier, so they can penetrate more. By "heat", I mean "warmth", it should not be "hot" to the touch.
The studies that showed oil penetration, used overnight treatments, so 8 to 12 hours. From my experience, I'd say the longer the better.

For water-based conditioners, you probably don't need more than 20-30 min at 35 degrees (so your own body heat is enough). I use a simple plastic cap to trap my body heat and don't think I need more. Hygral fatigue is something to consider.
Check out this quick read on the effect of time and heat on conditioner adsorption:

February 2nd, 2014, 05:01 PM
I think they said in the beauty brains postcast 08 "conditioning myths" (http://thebeautybrains.com/2013/12/10/the-beauty-brains-show-episode-08-hair-conditioning-myths/) that someone posted the other day, if you are using conditioner the length of time isn't important. It's more about how thoroughly you spread the conditioner through you hair as hair as a huge surface area. I found that quite interesting.

February 2nd, 2014, 06:32 PM
IME I haven't found a lot of benefit from heat, but a lot of benefit from time. When I do deep treatments, I don't use heat but let it sit for as long as possible.

February 2nd, 2014, 08:07 PM
As well as the series of articles on deep conditioning on the Natural Haven blog, Wendy at the Sciencey Hairblog has just posted a couple of articles on the topic.