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If you have thick wavy, curly, or coily hair, then you know that great hair starts with a quality wash day routine. While shampooing and regular conditioning is a good start, trust us when we tell you that subbing in a deep conditioner regularly can help natural hair reach its full potential. The best deep conditioners make it easier to manage hair, offer increased elasticity, and an improved overall look, feel, and texture.
“Natural hair is always prone to dryness and breakage, so I would suggest deep conditioning weekly if you can get into the routine of it,” suggests Kendra Watson of Natural Sisters Salon. “If that’s too much for you, then aim for a biweekly session to get your healthiest hair.”
Ready to define your curls and give your natural hair the extra TLC that it needs? Keep scrolling for our picks of the best deep conditioners for natural hair, including favorites from influencers with an array of curl patterns and textures (yes, we asked them).
Deep conditioners can be especially beneficial for hair that's been relaxed, colored, or chemically treated. Experts recommend deep conditioning a minimum of twice a month, and more often for extra dry or damaged hair.
Best Overall: Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioning Mask
The Camille Rose Algae Renew Deep Conditioner is packed with 65 vitamins to give you stronger hair to retain length. Biotin extracted from algae is paired with cocoa and mango butter to stimulate growth and promote soft, manageable hair. You’ll especially love the ingredient list full of names that you can say 10 times fast and (more importantly) trust.
Best Budget: Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner
Whether you wear your hair straight or curly, the Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner will bring your dull hair back to life in just three minutes. Year after year, this product receives praise for leaving users with shiny, moisturized hair in no time flat, and without breaking the bank.
Best for Frizzy Hair: CURLS Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Mask
The Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Mask works exceptionally well for frizzy curls. With blueberry extract, aloe leaf juice, and chamomile extract, you bet this product smells amazing and—better yet—it's clinically proven to restore and repair your curls. Your hair will feel soft and easier to detangle, resulting in curls that are more defined.
Runner-Up, Best for Frizzy Hair: Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils Fix My Hair Intensive Repair Conditioning Masque
When you have tight hair textures you learn to live with frizz and shrinkage, but if you're looking to break that cycle, reach for this hair mask. Carrier oils deliver nutrients to the hair shaft and flaxseed smoothes frizzy strands in just 10 minutes. Users boast that they notice results almost immediately. Just note that a little goes a long way.
Best for Growth: DreamGirls Revival Deep Treatment
This deep conditioning treatment helps to rejuvenate your hair and promote growth. Specifically formulated with ginseng, bamboo, and coconut oil, this unique blend targets common issues that prevent hair growth, such as elasticity, strength, and porosity. The added caffeine component also works to promote circulation and stimulate the scalp, which also promotes healthy hair.
Best for Split Ends: Coco & Eve Like A Virgin Super Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque
People of all hair textures are raving about this hair mask. The coconut and fig formula transforms hair, leaving it shiny and hydrated. Users say that this product gives them instant results, including taming frizz, treating split ends, and improving texture. Best of all, this mask comes with a complimentary detangling brush to help prevent hair breakage.
Best for Detangling: Mixed Chicks Detangling Deep Conditioner
Mixed Chicks was founded by two multicultural women who struggled to find products for their curly hair, so their entire collection is full of just what tangle-prone hair needs. The Detangling Deep Conditioner is super moisturizing with safflower seed oil that gives it a slippery texture to help you manage and style your hair with minimal breakage.
“Protective styles are often seen as a hair vacation, but if you leave your style in too long, you’re actually abandoning your hair,” explains Kendra. “Many styles prevent you from deep conditioning, so try not to leave them in too long.”
Best Drugstore: Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner
Mielle Organics is an organic hair care line that is made with ingredients you know and love. The Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner has become a fan favorite for its quick-penetrating formula and drugstore-friendly price point. Even those with low-porosity hair rave that the babassu oil helps to smooth brittle ends and reduce breakage.
“It is a protein and moisture replenisher, so it makes my hair super soft while also strengthening it during the colder months—which can dry out my hair,” influencer Caaliyah Greer says.
Babassu oil, native to South America, is rich in fatty acids similar to coconut oil, but without the greasy residue—so a little goes a long way.
Best for Color-Treated Hair: SheaMoisture Purple Rice Water Strength & Color Care Masque
Color-treated hair has its own unique set of needs to feel healthy, and this mask can be part of the solution. Use it regularly to replace dull, straw-like hair with brighter, more radiant-looking strands. The purple rice water inside helps do just that and diminish warm, brassy undertones (so your hair can look more vibrant for longer), while wild orchid and sweet violet envelop hair with moisture.
Best for Loose Curls: Naturalicious Moroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay Treatment
When they say 5-in1, they mean it. This formula promises to cleanse, condition, detangle, deep condition, and treat your hair for a simplified routine. This particular formula is made specifically for those with waves and loose curls so that you can tame frizz without being weighed down by greasy hair. The secret is ancient Rhassoul clay, which (fun fact) Cleopatra used on her own iconic hair.
Have tighter coils? No worries, the brand has a clay treatment that will work wonders for you.
Best for 3B Hair: SheaMoisture Strengthen and Restore Treatment Masque
This formula is excellent for those with brittle or chemically processed curls. The star ingredients, Jamaican black castor oil and organic shea butter, restore moisture and soften hair. The conditioner also contains peppermint and apple cider vinegar, which intensely stimulates your scalp and leaves the hair feeling refreshed.
“It's perfect for when your hair is lacking protein and needs a boost. I love using it because I instantly see results. My hair feels soft and manageable when applying styling products,” says model, influencer, and curly-haired gal Hortencia Caires.
Runner-Up, Best for 3B Hair: Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask
Made from plant-based ingredients, Rahua's Omega 9 Hair Mask adds mega moisture back into dull, damaged strands. This vegan, cruelty-free mask contains rahua, which fortifies weak follicles. Sunflower seed oil helps to soften your hair, eliminate frizz, and boost shine. Quinoa encourages healing and moisture retention. And eucalyptus instantly clarifies your scalp while the infusion of lavender scent rounds out the treatment with a calming effect.
“I love this mask because it’s a strengthening mask made with organic ingredients, and it instantly softens and hydrates my dry curls. During the winter months, I like to add jojoba oil to the mask to increase hydration,” says clean beauty expert and curly hair aficionado Alba Ramos.
Best for 3C Hair: Ouidad Curl Recovery Melt Down Extreme Repair Mask
You can count on Ouidad's Curl Recovery Melt-Down Extreme Repair Mask to drench your curls in moisture. The luxurious conditioner contains Mafura Butter and Kalahari Melon Seed Oil, which both help to deeply hydrate the hair and prevent future breakage. The mask is also made with self-heating technology, so your strands will be treated to a subtle warming sensation as the conditioner goes to work.
"During the colder seasons, I tend to manipulate and use more heat on my hair. Whether I am diffusing my curls instead of air drying or getting a blowout, my hair needs serious TLC,” says influencer and beauty-obsessed gal Jade Kendle-Godbolt. “This deep treatment helps bring my curls back to life and keeps my hair protected until my next wash day.”
Best for 4B Hair: Kinky Tresses Avocado Infusion Restorative Conditioner
Prepare for your parched coils to look super refreshed after using Kinky Tresses' Avocado Infusion Restorative Conditioner. The handmade conditioner coats your hair in a rich blend of avocado oil and silk amino acids. This product works overtime to bring hydration, strength, and nourishment back to your hair.
“I love how thick and buttery this conditioner is providing the ultimate moisture for my hair strands,” says beauty influencer Chizi Duru. “Sometimes, using certain conditioners leaves my hair feeling the exact same way, but I can always count on this to leave my hair feeling super soft and moisturized, and it's Black-owned.”
Best for 4C Hair: As I Am Hydration Elation
Beautiful kinky coils are often prone to breakage, and that’s why you’ll need a conditioner that strengthens as it moisturizes, like As I Am Hydration Elation. This deep-down treatment promotes healthy hair growth from the follicular level and repairs weak hair, leaving curls more manageable and noticeably stronger.
It's recommended to leave this creamy conditioner on for 15-30 minutes while wearing a plastic cap. Allow the product to penetrate under a hooded dryer for an even deeper treatment.
Runner-Up, Best for 4C Hair: ORS Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner
Formulated especially for chemically damaged and natural hair, the potent mix of olive oil, orange oil, and marine proteins in this formula will revitalize your curls. The hydrating ingredients in this conditioner will balance your hair’s pH levels, strengthen strands, and add undeniable shine to every coil.
“I love this conditioner because it’s very moisturizing. It leaves my hair feeling soft, and it has great slip,” notes curly-haired model Julie Oli. “It provides my hair with both protein and moisture—helping to keep the elasticity in my hair strands well balanced.”
Best for Very Dry Hair: NaturAll Fresh Avocado Deep Conditioner
With ingredients like coconut oil and avocados, you might mistake this deep conditioner for a kitchen staple. In fact, the ingredients are so fresh that the brand recommends keeping the product frozen between uses to improve shelf life. (If you don't want to freeze it, you have up to two weeks to finish it.)
“Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much product,” says Watson. “For example, oiling your scalp daily is actually not a recipe for success. Make sure that you are deep conditioning on clean hair and scalp to avoid product buildup that clogs the pores and follicles.”
We love the way this formula blends fresh fruit and powerful natural oils to repair dry hair so it feels immediately more moisturized and shiny. With consistent use, reviewers boast that their hair is more manageable and easier to style.
Runner-Up, Best for Very Dry Hair: Taliah Waajid Green Apple & Aloe Apple Cider Deep Conditioner
This deep conditioner balances the PH of your hair and scalp for moisture and hair health from root to tip. It also eliminates frizz, defines curls, and improves elasticity to reduce breakage. Reviewers rave that unlike many other deep conditioners, this formula penetrates rather quickly, leaving hair that feels soft and smooth without making your wash day even longer.
When it comes to deep conditioning your natural hair with the nourishment it deserves, we’re singing our praises for the NaturAll Club Fresh Avocado Deep Conditioner. The refrigerated formula will leave hair feeling super soft and more manageable. If hair growth is your number one priority, reach for the DreamGirls Revival Deep Treatment. It has ingredients like bamboo and ginseng to promote blood circulation in the scalp and stimulate growth. Conditioning in a time crunch? The budget-friendly Aussie 3-Minute Miracle is always a safe bet for shiny, moisturized hair.
What to Look For When Buying a Deep Conditioner
Deep conditioners usually have one of two goals in mind: to treat and strengthen or to moisturize. If your hair is color-treated, highly porous, or damaged from heat or other processing, you might need a deep conditioner with protein to strengthen your strands and bring them back to life. However, if your hair feels stiff or rigid, avoid protein and go for something that’s going to pack on the moisture.
Kendra Watson of Natural Sisters Hair Salon says, “The biggest thing you want to consider is moisture—and to do that you want to make sure the ingredients are organic, without parabens, or anything that’s unnatural. Tea Tree oil is a great ingredient to look out for. It’s ideal for hair growth because it stimulates your scalp and helps fight bad bacteria and fungus to keep your hair growing. That’s why our Tea Tree & Rosemary Deep Conditioner is my all-time favorite. It promotes a healthy scalp and strong, elastic strands, which are the keys to healthy hair”
Emollients and humectants
If you’ve ever heard a conditioner praised for having “good slip,” they’re actually referring to these two qualities. Emollients spread evenly and penetrate the hair to reduce moisture loss (think coconut, argan, avocado, and olive oils). Humectants are sealants that coat cuticles to reduce frizz and promote shine (like honey, shea butter, aloe vera, and vitamin B5). These ingredients are key for hair that is hydrated and manageable, plus they make the detangling process so much easier so you can avoid knots and breakage.