By Geniece of Beau­ti­ful­ly Made

When I began my healthy hair jour­ney in the fall of 2009 I was Ms. Dili­gent.  I washed and deep con­di­tioned my hair week­ly, alter­nat­ed pro­tein and mois­tur­iz­ing treat­ments, bag­gied dur­ing the week and wore pro­tec­tive styles 24/7. After a few months, I real­ized that my efforts had paid off. My hair retained length very well and my hair felt thick­er and health­ier.  As time went on I began to think “Can I achieve the­se results while reduc­ing steps in my reg­i­men?”.  The work I put into hair care became time inten­sive.  I even­tu­al­ly stopped bag­gy­ing, real­iz­ing that mois­tur­iz­ing my ends reg­u­lar­ly was suf­fi­cient. I also start­ed to wear more “out” styles, rec­og­niz­ing that my hair wasn’t going to fall off if I wore a braid out a week a mon­th. Still, my wash rou­tine was rather long and, quite frankly, I didn’t always have time to set aside 4–5 hours every week to wash my hair.

By the time I start­ed to think about how I might remove steps from my wash reg­i­men I had iden­ti­fied hair prod­ucts and ingre­di­ents that helped my hair retain mois­ture. For exam­ple, whole leaf aloe vera gel was the supre­me mois­tur­iz­er and cas­tor oil (used very light­ly) was an excel­lent sealant. Because my week­ly prod­ucts were so help­ful to retain­ing mois­ture I began to think I could cut back on deep con­di­tion­ing after wash­ing my hair. So I would pre-sham­poo and sit with a show­er cap under a dry­er for 20 or so min­utes. Because the prod­ucts I used dur­ing the week were nat­u­ral I felt that I could deep con­di­tion my hair with­out hav­ing to wash my hair first. After my pre-sham­poo I would wash my hair, using a mild cleanser, and my hair remained soft and man­age­able.

Anoth­er short cut that I learned is using con­di­tion­ers that can func­tion as both a wash out con­di­tion­er and a leave in.  My con­di­tion­er of choice is Oyin Handmade’s Hon­ey and Hemp con­di­tion­er.  I can sim­ple pre-sham­poo and detan­gle my hair, wash it, then apply the con­di­tion­er. I will keep my hair under a show­er cap for sev­er­al min­utes then I can style my hair. I wouldn’t do this method with con­di­tion­ers that have sil­i­cones, but for con­di­tion­ers that are nat­u­ral I find that this is a great short cut deep con­di­tion­ing method. You can also sub­sti­tute a con­di­tion­er and gen­er­ous­ly apply aloe vera and a light oil (i.e. jojoba) and deep con­di­tion after you fin­ish wash­ing your hair. You won’t have to step back into the show­er or go under the sink once done to wash out the pro­duct, but rather apply your mois­tur­iz­er and style your hair.

The­se short cuts have shaved about 1 hour off my rou­tine because post-wash deep con­di­tion­ing would require me to go under the dry­er for about 30 min­utes then go into the show­er and wash it out.  I still do a tra­di­tion­al deep con­di­tion­ing treat­ment if I plan to apply heat to my hair. I use heat rarely so for the most part the short cut method has been my method of choice.

What tips and tricks do you have to cut down on deep con­di­tion­ing time?


Island girl raised in the most roy­al of NYC’s bor­oughs. Proud nerd, social sci­en­tist, edu­ca­tor and recov­er­ing awk­ward black girl. When not lis­ten­ing to NPR, try­ing to grow spir­i­tu­al­ly, or detan­gling my fro, I’m search­ing for the best shrimp and grits in the Queen City.

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18 Comments on "How to SHORTEN Your Deep Conditioning Time"

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MAddy hendrex

i found a great thread about best way to take care of your hair just google for best10­for and u will find it in there web­site

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Emily hendrex

well i believe this is a very inter­est­ing

method there is also the­se tech­niques i found on this web­site of best 10 nat­u­ral meth­ods to take care of your hair

Redd Ravyn
Bot­tom line you find what works for you and your hair… some­times I co-wash. Once a week I sham­poo using an all nat­u­ral soap from Green Tea Soap Bar which has hon­ey, goats milk, green tea extract and oth­er essen­tial oils. I deep con­di­tion once a week using Dr. Mir­a­cle, and use my hand­made scalp treat­ment which has raw shea but­ter, tea tree oil and olive oil for hair growth. For dai­ly main­te­nance I put a lit­tle water on my hair and seal with a small amount of olive oil. My hair feels soft and fluffy and is always… Read more »

Yeah, once you get the hang of a rou­tine it becomes eas­ier to see where you can cut steps. I near­ly always pre­poo because I hate get­ting in the show­er twice. Check out this video for my deep conditioner/prepoo treat­ment.


I got the heuti­ful hair steam and now DC under there, which has cut my DC time down.


Like Geniece, I leave my deep con­di­tion­er in. Since I cow­ash 2x a week in addi­tion to my 1x a week wash day, I decid­ed to break things up over the week as opposed to hav­ing one very long wash day. While co-wash­ing 1x a week, I detan­gle and deep con­di­tion (leav­ing it) in and wash & con­di­tion on anoth­er day. I spend 15–45 mins (when deep con­di­tion­ing) on my hair at any one time. It works for me.

Regard­ing com­ments on who is the cor­rect author­i­ty on DCs I sug­gest you try a method for a mon­th to see if it works for you. I have tak­en the bits of oth­ers rou­ti­nes that work for me and can now wash, con­di­tion and replait my hair in 2 hours if I stick to my sched­ule and plan in advance. Some­times I will DC for an hour some­times for 15 min­utes depend­ing on how much time I have, whether I pre­pooed the night before etc. I find that if you look after your hair well dur­ing the week you don’t have… Read more »

Great to see that the­se tricks work for you. Will def­i­nite­ly give it a try when i get my braids out. Hope my hair likes it!! Cheers!

Grey Poupon

I cut it down by not deep con­di­tion­ing at all lol. I might just be the lazi­est nat­u­ral ever though lol. I have 4c hair and I’ve retained great length with just wash­ing, spritz­ing (h20) and seal­ing with cas­tor oil. I guess it real­ly just boils down to what works for you and your pref­er­ence. Thank­ful­ly my sim­ple rou­tine works and is very much pre­ferred.


I nor­mal­ly don’t try to take short cuts with the curls…I rather enjoy pam­per­ing my hair. As a sin­gle par­ent I don’t get much me time. How­ev­er, just recent­ly the tem­per­a­ture had dropped to the sin­gle dig­its and my hair was mad at me. I cleansed with a clay wash and then used my leave in and vir­gin avo­cado oil then sealed with cas­tor. Super soft hair and hydrat­ed like I did a deep con­di­tion­er with heat.

Oh an to add to my pre­vi­ous com­ment an this arti­cle i prefer deep condish before sham­poo because it serves as my detan­gler, deep condish and pre wash treat­ment which saves me alot of time. After rins­ing out the con­di­tion­er i pro­ceed to using a mild cleanser (mild is key here, u wouldn’t want to deep condish your hair this way if you also plan on clar­i­fy­ing your hair with a sul­fate sham­poo which cause you too lose all the ben­e­fits of the treat­ment) after that i go straight to apply­ing my mois­tur­iz­ers and seal­er before twist­ing my hair up.… Read more »

Wow! I do the same exact process for the same exact rea­sons!

In JC arti­cle she said that deep con­di­tion­ing on clean hair is the best way to go so the ben­e­fits of the con­di­tion­er can ful­ly pen­e­trate the hair. Also in this arti­cle Genenice made a point to say that since the prod­ucts used are nat­u­ral then she can get away with doing the deep con­di­tion before wash­ing. I agree with both points and have tried both ways with suc­cess. Thats why every nat­u­rals mot­to is “Do what works for you.” It stands true for this sit­u­a­tion. But i total­ly under­stand how it would be con­fus­ing espe­cial­ly if your new­ly nat­u­ral… Read more »
I hate to men­tion this because I love this site, but this has both­ered me for a while now. BGLH con­tra­dicts itself. Not too long ago, JC wrote an arti­cle about how you shouldn’t deep con­di­tion before you wash your hair and you just advo­cat­ed it in this arti­cle. I get it, you guys are dif­fer­ent writ­ers and have dif­fer­ent hair (although I have yet to see JC’s hair), but for a web­site that basi­cal­ly func­tions as an ency­clo­pe­dia for nat­u­ral hair care, a lit­tle more cohe­sive­ness would be appre­ci­at­ed. I guess I would like it if there was a… Read more »
Black Girl With Long Hair

We appre­ci­ate the feed­back! It can be hard to keep every­thing cohe­sive because nat­u­ral hair expe­ri­ences are so diver­gent. But the point you make is very valid. We will review and edit this arti­cle accord­ing­ly.


that being said, i do not regard jc as an author­i­ty.

geniece has great hair and what­ev­er she is doing works for her, may­be even oth­ers.