Written by Grove Collaborative

How to use deep conditioner — plus its top 5 benefits.

Last Updated: July 13, 2021

Tired of dealing with dry, damaged hair or split ends? Learn how to keep your mane healthy and hydrated with these deep conditioner tips from Grove.

Whether you have curly, straight, or wavy hair, chances are that you put your mane through a lot on a regular basis. Daily styling, frequent washes, constant straightening, sun exposure, color treatment, and harsh chemicals can wreak havoc on your hair -- leaving you with dull, dry, and damaged locks.


When your hair starts acting fussy, show it who’s boss with the right deep hair conditioner. With so many options on the market, finding the best one can seem difficult.


Read on to learn everything you need to know about deep conditioning your hair from the experts at Grove.

So, what exactly is deep conditioning?

Your hair goes through a lot on a daily basis. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, simply using a blow dryer or curling iron can cause damage to your hair.


Deep conditioning for your hair can come in several different forms in a combination of several different ingredients. Typically it increases the normal hydration level you’d get from a regular conditioner with help from its naturally derived ingredients.


Ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, tea tree oil, and others help hydrate your hair and leave it ultra-moisturized. Other beneficial ingredients like vitamin E or aloe help repair damaged hair and strengthen it. You typically will need to leave deep conditioner on your hair for longer than you would a regular one for the best benefits.


Here’s a little pro secret: even if you don’t use harsh chemicals on your hair, you could always benefit from a deep conditioning treatment. When used in combination with your natural shampoo, deep conditioners keep your hair looking shiny, healthy, and vibrant.


Even if you already have healthy looking hair, your strands will thank you for giving them the royal treatment!

Conditioners

  • Are made to moisturize, strengthen, or volumize the surface of your hair
  • Only need to stay on 3–5 minutes for the best benefits
  • Have a thinner consistency, like shampoo
  • Effects last a couple of days
  • Leave-in conditioners are the thinnest consistency and are used for styling

Deep Conditioners

  • Are made to moisturize, strengthen, or volumize the cuticles inside your hair
  • Need to stay on 10–30 minutes for full benefits
  • Have a thicker consistency
  • Effects last up to 1 week

Can you use a regular conditioner as a deep conditioner?

If you’ve run out of deep conditioner and your hair needs some serious love, can you use your regular surface one to deep condition?


Yes! Just make sure it has these moisturizing ingredients needed to penetrate your hair, like …


  • Coconut oil
  • Shea butter
  • Vitamin E
  • Aloe
  • Soybean oil

    If you buy a natural, ultra-moisturizing conditioner, like this Peach Moisturizing Conditioner Bar, then it most likely has a lot of the ingredients above. Just leave it on for the 10–30 minutes, instead of the normal 3–5 and your set for some DIY deep conditioning.


    Fun fact: You can also add in ingredients to your surface conditioner if it doesn’t have any of those listed above. Ingredients from your kitchen that you can add include:


    • Olive oil
    • Greek yogurt
    • Avocado
    • Egg

    How often should you deep condition your hair?

    Now that you’re more aware about what deep conditioners are, you’re probably wondering how often you should do it to your hair. Most people see good results if they put it on their hair two to four times a month.


    If you have really damaged or dry hair, though, you could avoid a serious hair crisis by deep conditioning at least once a week!

    What are the benefits of deep conditioning?

    Every ingredient in natural deep conditioners hydrates and softens your hair. Think of them as a simple way to give your hair a warm hug and thank it for always making you look so amazing!


    Whether your goal is to volumize, moisturize, strengthen, or correct dry and dull hair, there’s usually a deep conditioner for that. No matter what kind of hair you have, the benefits help to:


    1. 1. Hydrate and soften hair damaged by chemical processing and exposure to heat
    2. Improve hair elasticity
    3. Prevent and combat hair breakage
    4. Repair hair damaged by certain medications
    5. Restore moisture that allows hair to resist stretching

    How to apply deep conditioner

    Applying a deep conditioner is easy, as long as you follow a few basic tips:


    • Always shampoo your hair first.
    • Start working in the conditioner at the ends, then massage it up to your scalp.
    • Don’t put on too much on because it could weigh your hair down and leave it greasy.
    • Leave it on for as long as possible to allow the nutrients to fully absorb, typically 10–30 minutes.
    • If possible, try sleeping with it in your hair and rinse it out the next morning (you can sleep with a hair wrap to protect your pillowcase).

    What's a hair mask?

    A hair mask is similar to a deep conditioner, in that you leave it on your hair longer and it is thicker in consistency.


    But hair masks are generally geared toward repairing hair that has been colored or damaged by heat, rather than adding moisture to hair.


    If you have dry, damaged hair, you may need to use a deep conditioner and a hair mask to fully repair it.

    Shop Grove for more naturally hydrating conditioners

    What is Grove Collaborative?

    Did you know U.S. companies make 76 million pounds of plastic every day, but only 9% of plastic is recycled. At Grove, we think it's time to stop making plastic. Today, we're plastic neutral. By 2025, we'll be 100% plastic-free! Plus, everything sold at Grove is nontoxic, sustainabile, and cruelty-free.


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