Deep conditioning is really important for the hair, especially when referring to natural hair. It helps to replace any lost moisture in the hair while strengthening its elasticity. These things will help to prevent the hair from everyday wear and tear as well as damage caused by chemicals and the application of heat products. Choosing the right products for deep conditioning can really make a difference to the outcome. Remember to choose the product that is right for you and your hair.
Quick Take: Best Deep Conditioner for Natural Hair
- Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner
- ArtNaturals Argan Oil Hair Mask - Deep Conditioner
- SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Treatment
Why is Deep Conditioning Essential for Natural Hair?
Deep conditioning natural hair is really important to maintain its strength and health. In the first instance, we lose moisture from our hair every day through evaporation. However, the use of chemicals, heat products, and colors can also lead to the loss of moisture. Deep conditioning helps to replace the moisture lost from the hair. This leads to repairing of the hair and stops it from becoming brittle and broken, preventing split ends and a feeling of roughness.
Secondly, deep conditioning promotes elasticity in the hair. Elasticity is the element of the hair that stops it from becoming brittle and breaking off. By putting moisture back into the hair, it helps to pump the collagen in the hair, which creates the elasticity, preventing that breakage.
Deep conditioning also helps to retain your hair’s natural shine. When the hair becomes dry, you’ll find it looks dull. By moisturizing the hair, you help to bring back its shiny quality, creating healthy-looking hair.
Deep conditioning also promotes scalp health. If the scalp is dry and flaky, your hair will not grow in an even and healthy way. By deep conditioning, you help to put moisture back into the scalp, keeping it prepared for healthy hair growth.How is deep conditioner different from a daily conditioner?
Daily conditioners are the type of products that you use in a regular shower session. These tend to stay in the hair for around 1-3 minutes and are then washed out. They are used far more frequently than deep conditioners. Daily conditioners don’t have time to absorb into the hair, so instead work through adsorption.
What this means is that the ingredients in daily conditioners are attracted to the surface of the hair and therefore stay on the hair, creating that silky finish. These conditioning agents tend to be quaternized surfactants (quats), cationic polymers, silicones, emollients, and humectants. Ingredients that fall into this category include Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, and Cetrimonium Chloride.
Deep conditioners, however, are left on the hair for 30-40 minute periods. This means that the hair has time to absorb the ingredients in deep conditioners, moisturizing the hair shafts from the inside.
They tend to have a thicker consistency and are only used around once a week. Deep conditioners tend to have ingredients that permeate the hair, conditioning the cuticle, between and within it, and within the cortex. This is achieved by penetrating oils such as argan oil, avocado oil, olive oil and coconut oil.
Deep conditioning your hair is integral to keeping healthy, shiny hair that doesn’t break easily. However, don’t be fooled by products in shiny packaging with promises they can’t follow through. In reality, while most of them boast about being an all natural product, the majority of hair masks or deep conditioners contain products like sodium lauryl sulfate, that dry out the hair, or heavy silicones that coat the hair, giving the soft feel without really moisturizing it.
Try to look for products with all-natural oils and always read the ingredients. Also, bear in mind that you need to test the product on a bit of hair before smearing it all over your head. This will help you understand if it is really the right product for you.
Quick Comparison Chart of the Best Deep Conditioners for Natural Hair
Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner
ArtNaturals Argan Oil Hair Mask - Deep Conditioner
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Treatment
tgin Honey Miracle Hair Mask
SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
Best Deep Conditioners for Natural Hair
Choosing a deep conditioner that is right for you is a very personal process. Make sure you consider your hair type as well as the way your hair behaves. If you have dry and damaged hair, you’ll need a deep conditioner that can permeate further and uses oils with larger molecules than someone with fine, greasier hair. Take a look at these deep conditioners as some of the best out there today.
This product is said to work in 5 minutes and contains argan oil. It is a salon-quality product that has a strong fragrance and works to coat the hair to give a silky, smooth feel.
- Gives immediately good results, leaving the hair silky smooth.
- This product is very affordable.
- Takes only 5 minutes to work.
- Works well with thick, coarse hair.
- Contains only a small amount of argan oil.
- Has a high amount of silicone ingredients which can be heavy for the hair, leaving fine hair feeling limp.
This product is 100% natural. It contains argan oil and is fortified with jojoba oil and aloe vera for deep conditioning and sealing of the hair. This product also contains keratin protein to strengthen the hair.
- 100% natural so does not contain drying chemical agents or heavy silicon products.
- Contains argan oil and jojoba oil for moisturizing the hair.
- Aloe vera contains over 75 vitamins and minerals that help to repair the hair.
- Keratin helps to provide strength to the hair.
- Jojoba oil is not always suitable for all hair types and can sometimes leads to a little hair loss if not used properly
- It is not always as readily available as other products.
A creamy, semi-thick masque, this product has a very distinctive and pleasurable scent. It contains manuka honey and mafura oil, both products that repair and moisturize the hair.
- Manuka honey contains lots of vitamins that help to repair the hair and develop a healthy shine.
- The shea butter helps to seal the hair when moisturized and gives it a soft feel while reducing frizz.
- Mafura oil is excellent at repairing hair and moisturizing the cuticle from the inside.
- It is certified organic and does not contain any damaging chemicals.
- Some customers complained that their hair felt coated after use, rather than actually moisturized.
- The scent can be quite heavy.
This product contains raw honey to help repair the hair. It also combines olive oil as a way to moisturize the hair and jojoba oil and aloe vera to help prevent shedding and breakage. It is medium thickness and with quite a strong scent.
- Raw honey is one of the best ingredients for repairing hair and producing shine.
- This product gives immediate curl definition after first use.
- The aloe vera has incredible healing properties due to its high number of vitamins and minerals.
- It leaves the hair very soft and shiny.
- It has a smell very strong.
- Jojoba oil can be a little strong on some hair types.
- Despite boasting about being natural, it does include some synthetic ingredients.
This deep conditioner contains organic shea butter to moisturize the hair and scalp. It also contains sea kelp to repair the hair and argan oil to lock moisture into the strands.
- Sea kelp is amazing for restoring hair after color treatment. It also helps to repair damage done to the scalp.
- Argan oil is high in vitamin E which helps to moisturize and prevent against hair loss.
- Shea butter seals the hair and leaves it feeling very soft.
- It is organic and does not contain damaging chemicals.
- It strips color from colored hair.
- The shea butter smell is very overwhelming.
How to use a deep conditioner
For people with normal hair, using a deep conditioner once a week is enough. If your hair is very damaged and dry, you may consider using it more often than this. However, your body adjusts to the oils you use, so once a week is a great measure of how often to deep condition.
Firstly, a common misconception is to use the deep conditioner on wet hair. When you do this, the water and hair compete for space. Start deep conditioning your hair when it is dry. You need to section the hair off and condition it little by little, to ensure that you’re covering all the parts.
Apply deep conditioner liberally. Moisturizing your hair is not a time to be frugal. Start by applying some to the tip of the hair, as this is usually the driest part so that this can get working as you move on. Then work the conditioner into the roots and work it down the hair and back towards the tip of the hair, adding a little more on the ends.
Next, wrap your head in a plastic bag, shower cap or saran wrap. This will help to keep everything inside and will reflect the natural heat from your head back to the hair. Wrap a warm damp towel around your head as well. By applying heat, it opens up the cuticle, allowing the products to sink into the hair more deeply.
Leave this in for 30-40 minutes. The longer you leave this, the more the hair will absorb from the product.
After this period, rinse the hair with cold water, as this will close the cuticle.
Tips for using deep conditioner
- Putting a shower cap over your head will help to lock in some of the heat from your head. This will keep the cuticles of the hair open for the entire duration that the deep conditioner is on your head and the oils will permeate further.
- When you rinse the hair with cold water, it closes the cuticle. This helps to retain the moisture. When you wash deep conditioner out with hot water, the cuticle remains open and the moisture evaporates from inside the hair once dry.
- Make sure to seal the hair after you have deep conditioned it. Use a little bit of thick oil as this will block the hair, preventing the moisture from evaporating out of the strands.
- Do not deep condition too often. This can cause the hair to either become greasy or the oils to become unbalanced as the scalp won’t produce the oils it needs if you are consistently putting them in. With time, this can dry out the hair.