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Instead of buying expensive conditioners to either use as leave-ins or deep conditioners, you can purchase the Suaves, V05s, Herbal Essences and the like – that for some natural hair wearers are not very moisturizing – and tweak them to suit your needs.

Adding your own oils is also a good way to finish off containers of conditioner that you have sitting in your bathroom cabinets, that you felt were not moisturizing enough. Adding a little carrier oil such as castor oil, olive oil, jojoba oil etc. to conditioner will add more moisture. Bottles of Hot Six Oil or Wonder 8 – type oils will also do the trick.

Simply pour the oil (about 1 tablespoon per ½ cup or 4 oz) in the bottle, give it a few shakes and you have a new moisturizing conditioner. You can also add a little oil to your conditioner in your hands and mix it before putting it on your hair, if you do not want to pour it directly into the bottle. You may have to play around with the measurements, but your new and improved conditioner can also be used as a leave-in.

Adding honey to your mixture will create a great deep conditioning hair mask. You can even add honey, in combination with olive oil, or any other oil of your choice for added moisture. Melt 1 tablespoon of honey before adding it to your conditioner. Add the mixture to your hair, cover with a plastic bag or cap for 20 to 30 mins, wash, rinse and style.

You can also make scalp and body scrubs with conditioner. For a single use – mix 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to about 1/2 cup of conditioner to make a stimulating sugar scalp scrub. Massage the mixture on your scalp with the palms of your fingers in a circular motion then rinse well (remember, your final rinse should be with cool water to close the hair cuticle). This mixture can be used as a body scrub as well.

Add an avocado, or a couple of bananas (and/or oils) to your conditioner, in order to help moisturize and strengthen your hair. Be sure to use a blender to puree the avocado or bananas for easy rinsing. Adding a teaspoon of baking soda or apple cider vinegar to your conditioner, as a pre-poo treatment will also work as a clarifyer to get rid of residue and product build-up.

As you can see, it’s not hard at all to find ways to tweak conditioner to fit your hair and scalp needs. Again, you may have to play around with the measurements and ingredients to find the mixture that your hair likes, but if you are not afraid to experiment you will no longer have conditioner bottles just sitting around collecting dust – you will be able to put them all to good use.

– Laquita Thomas – Banks

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