These 13 Best Deep Conditioners Will Bring Your Hair Back From the Brink

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Best Deep Conditioner

Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

You probably know that years of coloring, bleaching, processing, and heat styling can wreak havoc on your hair. And yet, if you're anything like us, the threat of ravaged hair might not be enough to stop you from putting your hair through the wringer in the name of beauty. Luckily, there's something you can fall back on when your dry, brittle hair cries for help. Enter: deep conditioners.

"Deep conditioning treatments are essential to help repair damaged or compromised hair," says Guy Tang, hair colorist, and creator of #Mydentity. "I recommend one to all of my clients with color-treated hair. These treatments can help restore the damaged hair shaft and replace vital hair nutrients."

Conditioning treatments and hair masks aren't exactly new. However, lots of folks used to either apply gobs of regular conditioner and leave it on for several minutes or whip up a DIY treatment from eggs, oils, and other ingredients found in the kitchen. There's nothing wrong with these approaches, but sometimes it's nice to have a designated product on hand when your hair needs some TLC.

Below, the best deep conditioners for nursing your hair back to health.

Our Top Picks
A fave among stylists, the brand’s whole goal is to revive dull, color-treated hair.
A restorative treatment doesn't have to cost a fortune, so in comes this jojoba oil-infused deep conditioner.
Fix your brittle and damaged hair with this simple hair mask.
Add volume and thickness to fine hair thanks to this prickly pear oil that's infused with ceramides.
This treatment mask is a must for damaged or color-treated hair.
Repair hair with a formula that doesn't negatively affect color.
This deep conditioner smoothes out hair in a couple of minutes.
Best for Natural Hair:
Pattern Intensive Conditioner at Ulta
Define and soften your curls with a nourishing hair mask.
This formula is infused with ingredients you can pronounce, so you know it'll be good on hair.
Fine, limp hair is transformed into a more voluminous look.

Best Overall: Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner

Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner
What We Like
  • Suitable for all hair types

  • Supports colored hair

  • Reparative

  • Strengthening

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

Sliding into first place is none other than Olaplex No. 5. Once only available as a salon treatment, the cult-loved brand is coveted for its breakthrough reparative technology. While Bond Maintenance Conditioner is formulated to revive colored hair—particularly the bleached set—anyone can benefit from using it.

Work it through wet hair after shampooing, let it stew for a few minutes, then rinse. The result? Shiny, manageable hair that not only looks better but actually is.

What Our Editors Say

"Olaplex saved my hair. Full stop. In my mid-20s, my hair texture went from healthy to extremely dry and brittle. I had been on a journey to grow it out past shoulder length, and it just wasn’t happening. So after a fellow beauty editor recommended it, I decided to try out this miracle product. After the first use, I could feel an immediate difference in my hair. It felt softer, moisturized, and even healthier. And after a few months of diligent application, I finally reached my hair length goals." Madeline Hirsch, Sr. News Editor

Hair Type: Color-treated | Size: 8.5 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: Yes | Byrdie Clean?: No

Best Budget: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Hydrating

  • Suitable for daily use

What We Don't Like
  • Contains alcohol

When it comes to deep conditioners, Aussie 3 Minute Miracle is a classic. Though it very well might be "your mother's" treatment, the sustained fanfare is well-deserved, offering hydration and a silky-soft finish on all hair types.

What Our Editors Say

"This product's title doesn't lie. It works miracles. My curls require intensely hydrating conditioners, and this one always leaves them looking healthier and thoroughly moisturized." Olivia Hancock, Associate Editor

Hair Type: All | Size: 8 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: No | Byrdie Clean?: No

Best Drugstore: L’Oréal Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Heat protection

  • Multi-use formula

What We Don't Like
  • May leave a residue

L'Oreal's multi-use Elvive Total Repair 5 can be used as a co-wash, rinse-out mask, or leave-in treatment. This deep conditioner addresses split ends, brittle hair, and color damage while detangling hair and leaving it ultra-smooth and shiny. Plus, it protects against heat styling up to 450 F.

Hair Type: Dry and color-damaged | Size: 8.5 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: No | Byrdie Clean?: Yes

Best Splurge: Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Oil

Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Prickly Pear Seed Oil
What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Reparative

  • Suitable for all hair types

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

If you're willing to splurge on a high-end product that delivers salon-level results, you should definitely consider Christophe Robin's Regenerating Mask. Plus, it utilizes good-for-hair ingredients like plant ceramides and prickly pear oil.

Hair Type: Fine | Size: 8.3 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: Yes | Byrdie Clean?: Yes

Best Reparative: Kérastase Résistance Masque Therapiste Hair Mask

Kérastase Resistance Mask for Damaged Hair
What We Like
  • Contains keratin

  • Repairs visible damage

  • Smoothing

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

If your hair is visibly damaged, Kérastase Resistance has your name on it. This deep conditioning mask is chock full of ingredients that help mend breakage, smooth hair follicles, and fortify brittle hair—talk about a pick-me-up.

Hair Type: Damaged | Size: 2.6 / 6.8 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: No | Byrdie Clean?: No

Best Hydrating: Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
What We Like
  • Clean formula

  • Hydrating

  • Award-winning formula

What We Don't Like
  • May take weeks to notice a difference

Briogeo's take on deep conditioner is this transformative, ultra-hydrating mask. Once your thirsty hair has its first sip of the formula—game over—you'll be reaching for it on the regular.

Hair Type: Dry | Size: 8 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: Yes | Byrdie Clean?: No

Best Softening: Bread Hair-Mask Creamy Deep Conditioner

Bread Hair-Mask Creamy Deep Conditioner
What We Like
  • Lightweight formula

  • Softens

  • Good value

What We Don't Like
  • May leave a residue

Bread Hair-Mask was formulated with coily, curly, and wavy textures in mind, but all hair types can reap the benefits of this extra-creamy deep conditioner. The notably lightweight yet ultra-velvety emulsion pulls out all the stops to soften, strengthen, and moisturize your hair.

Hair Type: Curly | Size: 12 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: Yes | Byrdie Clean?: Yes

Best for Natural Hair: Pattern Beauty Intensive Conditioner

Pattern Beauty Intensive Conditioner
What We Like
  • Good value

  • Restores natural patterns

  • Nourishing

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

"Those with thicker and curlier hair will need a heavier formula to match their hair's porosity," says celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger. Formulated to restore natural curl patterns and tight textures, Pattern Intensive Conditioner is jam-packed with nourishing, hydrating ingredients that define, revive, and protect.

Hair Type: Curly | Size: 13 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: Yes | Byrdie Clean?: No

Best for Curly Hair: Curls Dynasty Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque

Curls Dynasty Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque
What We Like
  • Moisturizing

  • Promotes hair growth

  • Adds definition

What We Don't Like
  • May be too heavy for fine hair

Hershberger notes that deep conditioning treatments like this creamy pumpkin-infused mask are really beneficial for curly hair. "Moisturized curls hold their definition and look better when styling," she tells Byrdie.

Hair Type: Curly | Size: 8 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: Yes | Byrdie Clean?: Yes

Best for Fine Hair: Kevin Murphy Body Mass Leave-In Plumping Conditioner

Kevin Murphy Body Mass Leave-In Plumping Conditioner
What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Thickening

  • Strengthening

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

"Finer hair can look flat and oily if you use deep treatments that are too heavy," Hershberger warns. With this in mind, we recommend Kevin Murphy Body Mass for thinner hair. Not only does it not weigh your hair down, but it actually claims to make your hair thicker, fuller, stronger, and full of bounce.

Hair Type: Fine | Size: 3.4 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: Yes | Byrdie Clean?: No

Best for Bleached Hair: Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Purple Intense Repair Hair Mask

Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Purple Intense Repair Hair Mask
What We Like
  • Brightens bleached hair

  • Minimizes brassy tones

  • Suitable for all hair textures

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Calling anyone rocking highlights, ombre, balayage, or a full-on platinum hair! Bust Your Brass moisturizes chemically lightened hair and delivers noticeably brighter hair without that dreaded brassy, orange hue.

Hair Type: Color-treated | Size: 8 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: Yes | Byrdie Clean?: No

Best Mask: Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioning Mask

Camille Rose Algae Renew Deep Conditioner
What We Like
  • Stimulates hair growth

  • Moisturizing

  • Works on wet or dry hair

What We Don't Like
  • May be too heavy for fine hair

This brilliant mask from Camille Rose deeply conditions and hydrates tired hair. It's a go-to for curly and natural hair, but the softening, stimulating recipe is versatile enough to give anyone a moisture boost.

Hair Type: Curly, natural | Size: 8 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: Yes | Byrdie Clean?: Yes

Best Leave-In: CHI Keratin Leave-In Conditioner

CHI Keratin Leave-In Conditioner
What We Like
  • No rinsing needed

  • Suitable for daily use

  • Budget-friendly

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

If you want something you can use every day and don't need to rinse out, reach for CHI Keratin Leave-In Conditioner. A few spritzes of this keratin-infused blend will repair the hair cuticle, improve elasticity, and protect against future breakage.

Hair Type: All | Size: 6 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free?: Yes | Byrdie Clean?: No

Final Verdict

When it comes to deep conditioners, Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner is nearly untouchable. The breakthrough patented bonding ingredient repairs and revives even the most damaged, brittle, processed hair. That said, if you want something a little easier on your bank account, you really can't go wrong with Aussie's classic jojoba and avocado oil-infused 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner (view at Amazon).

What to Look for in a Deep Conditioner

Strengthening Properties

In addition to deeply moisturizing the hair, hairstylist and artistic director at Matrix Michelle O’Connor recommends reaching for a product that also has strengthening properties. She explains that lackluster hair in need of repair is usually experiencing some degree of breakage, so it needs to get the strength it needs from proteins and oils. Keratin and argan oil are two great examples of ingredients to keep an eye out for.

A Concentrated Formula

O’Connor also recommends looking for products with a concentrated formula since they tend to better penetrate the hair shaft. “When the penetration ability is heightened, the deep conditioner fills in the gaps and nicks that are present in the surface of hair that’s damaged,” she says. This will lead to hair that's smoother, shinier, and stronger.

A Lightweight Finish

While you'll want your deep conditioner to truly nourish the hair, you also don’t want it to leave it oily or weighed down. Look for formulas that will ramp up hydration while still providing a lightweight finish sans any heavy or sticky residue.

FAQ
  • Can you use a deep conditioner with regular conditioner?

    Does dry or damaged hair need both a regular conditioner and deep conditioner, or is that overkill? According to O’Connor, if your hair is very damaged, you can (and should) still use both. She recommends applying your traditional conditioner as you normally would followed by a deep conditioner as an extra reparative measure.

  • How long should you leave deep conditioner in your hair?

    How long you’ll need to keep your deep conditioner on will vary from product to product, so be sure to read through any directions on the packaging thoroughly. However, O’Connor mentions that leaving a deep conditioner on for longer than recommended won’t harm your hair. “In fact, many people with curls and coils love to add time and elements of steam and heat to further enhance penetration,” she says. “This is especially key when you have low porosity hair.”

Why Trust Byrdie?

Theresa Holland is a freelance commerce writer specializing in beauty. She has personally tested several products on this list including CHI, Kevin Murphy, Briogeo, Aussie, Olaplex, and Kérastase. For this story, she chatted with hairstylists and colorists, explored a wide range of formulas, researched ingredients, combed through reviews, and considered various hair types before making her selections. Check out more stories by Theresa on MyDomaine.

Meet the Expert

Michelle O’Connor is a professional hairstylist and the Artistic Director at Matrix.

Guy Tang is a hair colorist and creator of #Mydentity.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Basit A, Asghar F, Sadaf S, Akhtar MW. Health improvement of human hair and their reshaping using recombinant keratin K31Biotechnol Rep (Amst). 2018;20:e00288. doi:10.1016/j.btre.2018.e00288

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