GEMs Of Beauty:
Hair Health 101 – Deep Conditioning

The summer before I went to college, my hair was so long I could practically sit on it. It was thick and wavy and weighed a ton. I was so sick of it that I went to my mom’s salon to get it cut—new college, new experiences, new me. Right? Wrong. The hairdresser fanned my hair out as I sat in the chair, all eager, and looked at it for a moment.

“I can’t cut this,” she said, putting down her scissors. “You’re crazy if you cut this hair.”

I was so shocked I just got up and left.

It took me years to finally cut my hair, and it’s been even more years that I’ve seen its natural color; I can barely remember what it once looked like (LOL). Long-gone, too is my hair being as thick and shiny and lustrous as it once was. It needs help. A lot of help.

That’s because, unless your hair is super-oily, adding moisture is a must.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about hydrating your hair,” says Jane Carter, CEO/Founder of Jane Carter Solution. “Hydrating your hair properly prevents unnecessary breakage, dryness, dullness, and frizz. Just as water is necessary to hydrate your skin, it is also just as important for your hair.  Hydrated hair is more porous and has a greater ability to absorb nutrients.”

Ideally, according to Jane, you should first hydrate with a water-based product, and then seal in the moisture with a natural butter or natural-based oil. Luckily, there are so many fantastic products that I’ve become addicted to deep conditioning treatments. When my hair feels like straw, I leave a hair mask or conditioner on all night, and there’s loads more volume in the morning. A quick shampoo and you’re good to go.

Don’t forget to cut down on the blow-drying, too, because heat is terrible for tresses. Then try one of these products and your hair will thank you: 



When I used to visit friends who had a house on the Mediterranean island of Majorca, the air was always perfumed with the delicious scent of orange blossom. This Moisture Mist smells the same way, and is loaded with goodies to hydrate your hair. Use this first, then add any other conditioners. That it can also be used on skin doesn’t hurt, either!

Buy it for $15 at

Read more: Want Your Hair To Grow Like THIS? Here’s The Secret!



When your hair is in distress but you’re pressed for time, Pravana’s Nevo :60 works in just a minute. This rich formula has a micro-emulsified system so your hair gets all the nutrients super-quick, and is loaded with quinoa and soy proteins as well as their Drops of the Amazon complex derived from mulateiro extract, babassu oil and Brazil nut oil to hydrate and soften. Use it once a week or more often if you went out in a blizzard without your hat.

Buy it for $15.50 here

Read more: Guest Posting: Got Crunchy Curls? Three Tips To Avoid Hard Hair




Another fabulous hair mask is by Neuma. Full of botanical extracts and essential oils, it leaves hair shiny and thick, and has UVA/UVB protection so the sun won’t fry your tresses. Leave it on for 2-3 minutes in the shower, or longer for extra conditioning.

Buy it for $35 at

Read more: Hey, BACK OFF! Good Enough Mother Takes On The Natural Hair Nazi’s



“Obviously, when it comes to conditioning hair, the most important thing is moisture, both providing it and locking it in. Natural ingredients such as calendula extract and broccoli seed extract work wonders,” says John Masters, Founder of John Masters Organics. I’m crazy about this heavenly orange-scented conditioner. It’s very lightweight, so it’s ideal as a leave-in conditioner, or for those who have very thin hair that can get weighted down by a too-rich product. Its grapefruit and neroli extracts soothe your scalp; soy and wheat proteins strengthen and add shine to your hair; and coconut oil helps add moisture and shine.

Buy it for $16 at

Read more: Beauty From The Inside Out: Straight From The Kitchen! 3 Edible Items That Work Wonders On Your Hair



When you need a whiff of the tropics to take you away from the frigid temperatures and grey slush outside, head for the shower with one of Alba Botanica’s Deep Conditioning masks. So Smooth Gardenia mask is loaded with mango, papaya and other nourishing tropical extracts, and Real Repair Cocoa Butter Minute mask helps prevent splits and breakage with keratin, argan oil, capuaçu, and cocoa butter. They both smell divine.

Buy each for $8.99 at

Read more: Beauty From The Inside Out: Eating And Exercising Your Way To Healthy Hair


What about you? Do you deep condition your hair? If so, which product do you use?


karen moline

Karen Moline is the author of two novels, the recently reissued Lunch and Belladonna; coauthor of the bestseller, Sh*tty Mom; coauthor/ghostwriter of over two dozen nonfiction books, including the ever-fabulous Good Enough Mother; and a journalist whose work has appeared in publications around the world. See more at She lives with her son in NYC.