6 tips to deep condition

6 Tips For Deep Conditioning 3a Curls

Today I want to show you how to apply a deep conditioning treatment to 3a hair. When I say 3a hair I mean 2b-3b. 

Becuase what I am about to share with you will work on waves and curls alike. 

But first….

If you are having a hard time finding the right products for your specific hair type, I have a special gift for you. 

After working with hundreds of people to help them transform their hair, I have found that there are 3 mistakes that prevent 90% of people with textured hair from getting the results they want. 

You can take my FREE quiz to help you determine which mistake you are making AND give you an action plan to combat this mistake.

mistake finder

Click here to take the quiz

Let me share a little story about how I used a deep conditioning treatment for the first time….mmmk?

It’s a pretty funny story that I think you may be able to relate to. 

Let’s rewind back to 2019 when I began to get serious about taking care of my curls. 

BTW…..this is what my hair looked like back then….it was pretty rough.

how to deep condition

I had spent hours online trying to understand what this “curl journey” was all about and how to get started.

Yes, I was that girl who purchased a ton of products before I even understood what my hair needed (#wasteoftimeandmoney).

Jumping in the shower with shae moisture replenish and restore masque in my hand, I was ready to do this deep conditioning thing. 

I slopped some shampoo in my hair and quickly rinsed it out (mistake #1: not cleansing properly), scooped out a big gob of deep conditioner (mistake #2 not detangling) and lathered my hair in it.

To my dismay, my hair just became a little gunky. It looked like a tangly rats nest with conditioner slopped on top of which is exactly what it was. 

I finished rinsing my hair, jumped out of the shower and styled as usual. 

And to my surprise my hair seemed to be a bit more hydrated than usual but I really didn’t notice this “life changing event” that the curly world made deep conditoienrs out to be. 

And here’s why….

While I was able to add moisture, it wasn’t anywhere close to the level that it could have been and here’s why…..

Make Sure It Is Soaking Wet

I cannot say enough that water is liquid gold for curly or wavy hair. 

If your hair is not thoroughly drenched, you won’t be able to get a good cleansing, and you won’t be able to get good deep conditioning. 

Water helps to smooth the hair shaft & helps the products distribute evenly throughout your head.

Not to mention that water hydrates your hair in a way that no products can. 

Water hydrates, and products moisturize. They are two different processes.

When in doubt add more water. 


Once your hair is soaking wet, use a curl-friendly brush or your fingers to detangle it. 

If it is excessively tangley, you can add a bit of conditioner to give it some slip. 

As a rule of thumb, I recommend detangling before you shampoo your hair because allows your shampoo to do its job. 

Use The Right Cleanser

Before you can even think about deep conditioning or repairing your hair, you need to make sure your hair is thoroughly cleansed. 

This will look different for everyone depending on the current condition of your hair. 

You may need a clarifying shampoo, co-wash, regular shampoo, or chelating treatment. It totally varies on your hair and the current condition of your hair. 

But if your hair is not thoroughly cleansed (like mine wasn’t) your deep conditioner results will be subpar at best. 

Apply Deep Conditioning Treatment

There are a few different ways to apply your deep conditioning treatment. 

One isn’t necessarily better than the other so you will have to do some experimenting to see what works best for you. 

Always start at the roots and work your way up. 

If you have lightweight, wavy, or low-density hair, you may only be able to apply halfway up the strand to avoid weighing it down. 

Here are a few different ways you can apply any treatment:

  • Sections: Divide your hair into sections and apply treatment
  • Twists or braids: Apply product and then twist or braid to help establish curl clumping
  • Squish To Condish: Squish your products toward your head until you hear a squishing sound

Rinse With Cold Water

Always rinse with cold water. 

Heat opens your hair shaft and cold closes it. 

So when you first wet your hair, you should use warm water to encourage the follicle to open. 

Then when you apply your products it will be able to fully penetrate your hair shaft. 

Finish by rinsing with cold water to snap your hair shaft shut and seal in all that moisture. 

As always, you will need to test and experiment with different products to see what works best for your hair. 

And if you haven’t already taken the mistake finder quiz, you can do that here: https://curlquiz.colleencharney.com/sf/ad409248

Until next time,


Curly Colleen 

P.S. Are you confused about which products to purchase? Click here to take the mistake finder quiz and get clarity on exactly what to use for your hair type.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *