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Soft, touchable beach waves are what we have our fingers crossed for, but to get there, the first step is healthy, hydrated hair. Pricey conditioners and hair masks may be the first images that come to mind to reach these goals, but having silky tresses doesn't mean emptying your wallet. Some of the best products for your hair are available at your local drugstore.
We gathered a batch of the best drugstore deep conditioners—each priced to perfection so you can save your wallet and pamper yourself at the same time—and consulted hair stylist Laura Rugetti for some expert shopping tips. Read all about it, below.
Best Overall: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner
Aussie's super affordable deep conditioner has racked up a cult following as one of the best deep conditioners around. The product has thousands of positive reviews, with users commenting on its ability to lessen frizz and hydrate dry ends.
Best Budget: Hask Keratin Protein Smoothing Deep Conditioner Packette
With added keratin in the formula to help strengthen brittle hair, this deep conditioner by Hask has plenty of reviews raving about its effectiveness— it’s a great affordable option for whenever your hair needs an extra boost. The mask takes 10 minutes to settle in, so use this treatment when you really have time to nourish your strands.
Best for Damaged Hair: L’Oréal Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm
Infused with almond, protein, and ceramides, this unique deep-conditioning balm helps repair hair damage. It targets the five signs of damage—split ends, weakness, roughness, dullness, and dehydration—and is lightweight enough to be used daily for silky, smooth, and revitalized hair.
Best for Fine Hair: Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner
If you need a deep conditioner you can use on the daily but have fine hair, Neutrogena has the product for you. Per Rugetti’s advice, thinner hair types require a product that won’t weigh it down, and the Triple Moisture Deep Daily Conditioner has been vetted by reviewers to smooth and strengthen sans any heaviness or greasy residue. It only needs a short time to help tame flyaways and lessen frizz, and for a price like this, our interest is definitely piqued.
Best for Thick Hair: Mixed Chicks Detangling Deep Conditioner
When it comes to thicker hair, Rugetti recommends thicker formulas that can coat all of the hair from root to tip in order to fully lock in moisture. This deep conditioner from Mixed Chicks does just that, working as a detangler and restorative treatment for dry, brittle hair. This formula specifically targets curly and coarse hair types, taming frizz and repairing damage from dyeing or bleaching.
Best for Curly Hair: Curl Theory Super Deep Conditioner
Created with curly textures in mind, this deep conditioner from Curl Theory penetrates deep into your hair. The formula includes ingredients like shea butter and jojoba oil, which helps to revive dry, brittle strands while boosting moisture and elasticity. Plus, the cruelty-free blend is free of silicones, parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
Best for Natural Textures: Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner
This strengthening deep conditioner is formulated with natural lipids and helps locks moisture into the hair shaft. The result: healthy, soft, and frizz-free hair that shines like no other. The formula is lightweight enough to be used daily by all hair types, but it’s specifically formulated to help restore moisture to dry and damaged natural textures.
Best With Keratin: It's A 10 Miracle Deep Conditioner Plus Keratin
When it comes to repairing weak and damaged hair, at-home keratin treatments deliver pretty unparalleled results. We love this deep conditioner mask which, thanks to this superstar ingredient, claims to restore the hair in ten minutes or less. The restructuring treatment smooths out the hair cuticle while lending a protective coating that resists heat, humidity, split ends, and sun damage.
Best for Chemically Treated Hair: Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask
Chemical treatments can leave the hair damaged and brittle, and this plant-based deep conditioner mask works wonders on those with color, keratin, and Brazilian-treated hair. The rich, creamy formula, made with argan oil and plant protein, helps nourish and soften while increasing the hair’s strength and elasticity. Bonus? It has the most incredible floral scent.
Best for Blondes: Garnier Nutrisse Color Reviver 5 Minute Nourishing Color Hair Mask in Cool Blonde
Blondes know that brassiness can leave the hair looking dull and bland, which is why we love this color-depositing conditioning mask from Garnier Nutrisse. Enriched with avocado oil, the formula helps restore softness, shine, and smoothness while its cooling pigments refresh your color, making brassiness a thing of the past.
Best for Dark Hair: John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Visibly Deeper Color Deepening Conditioner
A twist on the usual deep conditioner, John Frieda's Brilliant Brunette conditioner adds a depth of color to dark hair, including both color-treated and natural shades. This is a useful product to have on hand between trips to the salon to keep color rich while nourishing dry ends.
Best Sulfate-Free: L'Oréal Paris EverCreme Deep Nourish Conditioner
L'Oréal's Deep Nourish Conditioner is one of the best-reviewed drugstore deep conditioners out there. Users repeatedly comment on its ability to nourish hair without being too heavy. To top it off, this product is vegan and cruelty-free, and it doesn't contain sulfates.
All of the above will leave your hair softer and smoother, but our top pick would have to be Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner (view at Amazon). This cult-favorite conditioner checks all the boxes: It deeply hydrates the hair while fighting frizz, it only takes three minutes to work, and it’s super affordable. Next up, we’re big fans of Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner (view at Amazon) for its lightweight feel and ability to condition even the finest hair without leaving behind a heavy residue. When we want to keep things budget-friendly, we love reaching for Hask’s Keratin Protein Smoothing Deep Conditioner Packette (view at Ulta) whenever our damaged hair needs a strengthening boost. Its many reviewers agree that, for under five bucks, it totally revitalizes the hair.
What to Look for in a Deep Conditioner
Simply put, deep conditioners aren't a one-size-fits-all situation. Rugetti advises seeking out products with benefits that will address your specific hair needs. “The first thing you should do when shopping for a deep conditioner is evaluate your own hair,” she says. “You need to see how damaged your hair is, how oily it is, and if you’re color treated. Once you do that, look for deep conditioners that treat the problem your hair is having rather than buying a generic all-in-one product.”
Another important factor to keep in mind is the texture of the formula. The wrong texture has the potential to be totally ineffective or leave you an oily mess, depending on the thickness of your hair. That said, you'll want to shop smart. “Someone with thin and fine hair shouldn’t use a conditioner that will weigh down the hair or is too thick in texture, whereas someone with coarse hair should use a product that’s thick enough to coat all of the hair,” says Rugetti.
While this isn’t necessarily product specific, how you apply your deep conditioner will greatly affect the results—and how to do so varies greatly from person to person. “Application totally depends on hair texture,” says Rugetti. “For example, if your hair is oily and thin, I recommend only using it on the mid to ends of the hair, whereas if your hair is dry and coarse, I recommend applying it all over the head, from root to tip.”
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