Is your hair dry and brittle, or maybe you struggle to detangle your locks and tame the frizz? Deep conditioners come to the rescue.
Implementing these treatments in your regular hair care routine will take it to a whole new level. All you need to do is find the right products to suit your hair type and deep condition your hair regularly. Let’s explore the variety of deep conditioners and find out which will work for you best.
Benefits of Deep Conditioning
Would you agree that a proper skincare regimen can’t consist of only a moisturizer, right? Equally, shampoo and conditioner are only the bare basics for your hair care routine, deep conditioner being an important product to add to it.
Deep conditioning masks are applied for a certain amount of time to deeply penetrate the hair shaft and nourish and moisturize your strands. Deep conditioners have a thicker and more concentrated formula that contains hydrating and nourishing ingredients to prevent breakage, make hair softer, less tangled, and easier to style.
If the hair is lightened and faces frequent heat styling, you should never skip a deep conditioner. If you do, fixing brassy hair or going lighter without going through intensive deep conditioning to restore the health of the locks first may completely ruin your hairstyle and bring you even further away from your hair color goals.
To build your winning haircare routine, you need to figure out what are your main struggles: whether it’s high porosity, dull look, or split ends – you need to face the problem to tackle it. A deep conditioner can help with all of these challenges, but hair types matter a lot here, too, as fine, frizzy, or coarse hair would require a different approach.
How to Deep Condition Your Hair
Our team has researched and picked the best ways to deep condition hair, from the top-rated salon procedures to DIY recipes you can do at home. We hope you can choose some that will work best for your locks.
1. Store-Bought Deep Conditioning Masks
If you need to deep condition your hair, a hair mask might be the easiest and the most common solution. The difference between a deep conditioner and a regular conditioner is that it has a more reach and concentrated formula. Here are some of our favorite deep conditioning masks:
Davines OI Hair Butter contains high-grade natural ingredients and provides instant smoothness and softness effect. Use it to tame frizz and to protect your hair against UV rays.
Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask is enriched with argan oil and other deeply hydrating ingredients which improves hair’s elasticity and shine. This deep conditioner is designed for medium to thick, coarse hair.
Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Treatment Masque is one of the Curly Girl Method approved deep conditioners (Curly Girl Method is a popular modern way of looking after your curly locks). It contains a high level of protein and works like magic for the curly community.
Pureology Colour Fanatic Deep Treatment Mask is the best bet for fine-colored hair. It has a lightweight formula that wouldn’t cause excessive build-up or weigh your hair down. However, it doesn’t compromise on the quality of its ingredients: this product will immediately restore and protect your strands.
Normally, you’ll need to use a deep conditioner once or twice a week. Using deep conditioning more often can cause a buildup in your hair, which consequently will cause more harm than benefit.
Here are the steps to apply your deep conditioner:
- After you wash your hair, remove the excess water and apply the product mid-lengths to the ends and comb through.
- Let the hair mask stay in your hair for at least the time recommended by the manufacturer (at least 30 minutes or longer), as it needs time to penetrate the cuticle and process. We don’t recommend leaving any deep conditioning treatments overnight, as sleeping with wet hair can result in physical damage to hair.
- If you have low porosity hair and struggle with product absorption, cover your hair with a plastic cap to let the natural heat from your head help open the cuticles or use a hooded steamer or a blow dryer to steam your locks.
- Rinse with cool water, shampoo and condition your strands as usual.
An absolute hair hero of the last few years, Olaplex, has indeed seriously changed the game for many of us. Its patented formula can noticeably repair even severely damaged hair, reduces breakage, and protects hair structure.
Most of the reputable hair salons offer professional Olaplex deep conditioning as well as Olaplex additives that can be used during any coloring process. Also, their No3 Hair Perfector is a product designed to be used at home and is one of the best intensive hair treatments to date.
Olaplex works on a molecular level and restores inner hair bonds. It works on any hair type but is an utter must-have for bleach-damaged hair. Also, it reduces damage caused by the sun, hot tools, and chemicals. It’s cruelty-free and it doesn’t contain sulfates or parabens, which means you can confidently use it to deep condition curly hair.
Here is how to deep condition with Olaplex at home:
- Apply it on damp hair from root to tips and leave for as long as possible (at least 10 minutes).
- Rinse with cool water, shampoo, and use your everyday conditioner.
- Use it once a week or more often for very dry, damaged hair.
3. Coconut Oil
We totally swear by coconut oil as the best natural ingredient for hair care. It contains fatty acids and Vitamin E – ingredients that moisturize and hydrate hair as well as reduce its damage. Eventually, it facilitates length retention, as it helps you maintain the health of your hair for a longer time and you need a haircut less often.
Here is how to use the natural oil as a DIY deep conditioner:
- Buy extra virgin coconut oil – the one that hasn’t been chemically processed and still contains its most valuable ingredients.
- Melt and apply it from the mid-length to the ends and leave for 30-60 minutes.
- You can also put on a shower cap and cover your hair with a warm towel to increase the effect. This step is essential for those with coarse, low porosity hair, as heat promotes product penetration.
- Follow with shampoo and conditioner.
Coconut oil is great for coarse, curly and frizzy hair. It’s also perfect for deeply conditioning chemically relaxed and bleached hair. However, it might feel too heavy for fine hair or those who have naturally oily scalp. In this case, you can still use it, but make sure you thoroughly rinse and shampoo your hair. It’s definitely not recommended before special occasions where you would have your hair styled professionally or even just curl your hair.
4. DIY Deep Conditioning Mask
While there’s a vast variety of ready-to-use deep conditioners from high street to luxury products, making your own product feels like a very special self-care ritual. Here is the recipe:
- ½ cup of shea butter
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of castor oil
Enriched with vitamins A and E, shea butter has excellent emollient qualities. Castor oil strengthens the hair follicles and facilitates hair growth. Both these ingredients, alongside the benefits of coconut oil, make your hair shiny and strong, prevent sun and pollution damage.
Here are the steps to prepare and apply apple natural oils deep conditioning:
- Whip shea butter, melt coconut oil, and mix all the ingredients.
- Apply on dry hair from the roots to the tips. You can also massage the treatment into your scalp.
- Leave it for 45 minutes. Ideally, wear a plastic cap and wrap your hair in a warm towel to facilitate the processing of the treatment.
- Rinse thoroughly using shampoo and follow with a conditioner.
This DIY conditioning treatment is good for any hair type, especially if your hair needs a shield to prevent losing hair’s moisture. However, if you have the oily scalp of very fine hair, it might feel too heavy for you.
Of course, there are more homemade hair mask recipes that often include ripe avocados, honey, castor and olive oil. These will be a good addition to your healthy hair journey, but they will unlikely work as a deep conditioner substitute, as many ingredients do not have fatty acids needed to penetrate the hair shaft.
We hope you found some useful information in this article. As we all know, the key to success is consistency: use a deep conditioner once a week and you will soon see a noticeable difference in your hair. Not only will it get shiny, less tangled and more manageable, but you will also be able to grow your locks longer.