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Deep Conditioner for Curly Hair Showdown: Which One is Right for You?

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Table of Contents

Choosing the best deep conditioner for curly hair

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Have you ever tried a deep conditioner on your curly hair and felt like nothing happened? Yeah, me too. We tend to jump at the newest and trendiest recommended products hoping for the best results. But that doesn’t always work. So how do you find a deep conditioner that is right for you?

Choosing a deep conditioner for curly hair requires understanding what the hair needs. Dry hair, frizz, heat damage, color-treated hair, etc., will have different requirements. Some deep conditioners also come without the protein, which works better for particular hair. Always check the ingredients.

A good deep conditioning treatment can work wonders. But not all deep conditioners are created equal, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Finding the one that helps with your curly hair issue is important. We break down the best deep conditioners for your curly hair below.

Deep Conditioner for Curly Hair: What Does Your Hair Need?

Spending time and money shopping and paying for deep conditioners that don’t work on your curls can be utterly frustrating. You end up feeling like your hair never cooperates. But most of the time, it’s simply that those deep conditioners are just not right for what your hair needs at the time.

You are not alone if you often neglect your hair because of time constraints, difficulty managing it, or just not having the right tools and products. I have been there and still go through those phases sometimes.

Curly hair can be challenging because it is typically dry, has a lot of frizz, suffers hair loss, and the overall damage can genuinely put you down. That’s where deep conditioners come in. They can literally save the day and protect your hair!

I know you’re not quite sure which one to reach for. So instead of grabbing the next one on the store shelf or adding one from the latest social media trend to your cart, consider what your hair needs. Here are some examples to think about:

  • Is your hair color treated?
  • Do you have heat damage?
  • Is your curly hair super dry?
  • Do you require a product without protein?

We discuss each concern and its solutions in the following points.

Deep Conditioners for Color-Treated Curls

If you have color-treated hair, using a deep conditioner is essential. The coloring process can be harsh on your hair, especially on curls, and can strip your hair of its natural oils and moisture.

A deep conditioner can help replenish lost moisture and keep your hair healthy and shiny. It also has other benefits, including protecting your hair from further damage and preventing color fade.

For your convenience, we’ve included ingredient lists for each product. However, please note that these lists may not be up-to-date. We advise checking the product bottle for the most accurate and current information. Additionally, be sure to verify the product size, as it may vary on different websites.

The Best Deep Conditioners for Color Treated Damage

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Treatment Masque  

This deep conditioning mask is perfect for those looking to strengthen their hair. It contains Jamaican black castor oil, which promotes healthy hair growth and restoration.

If your hair is dry, brittle, and needs some TLC, this deep conditioner may be the answer. We love that it’s made with all-natural ingredients. This product is free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and mineral oil. We also love that it infuses hair with a powerful dose of moisture and nutrients.

Ingredients: Water (Eau), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerin (Vegetable/VŽgŽtale), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter* Water (Eau), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerin (Vegetable/VŽgŽtale), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Fragrance (Parfum), Behentrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Cetrimonium Chloride, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Mauritia Flexuosa (Buriti) Fruit Oil, Yeast Extract, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Niacin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Acetic Acid (Apple Cider), Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Caramel, Propanediol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Benzoic Acid.

Davines NOUNOU Conditioner | Hydrating Deep Conditioner

This product can be used as a conditioner or deep conditioner for curly hair. I own this one and love it! It has a nourishing effect, acting to soothe and hydrate the hair. It is enriched with Vitamin E and Fiaschetto tomato extract, full of Vitamin C and antioxidants to restore hair. It is also Ideal for bleached, permed, or relaxed hair with a restorative treatment for damaged or chemically processed hair. Note that it contains silicones, so if you follow the curly girl method, this is not for you.

Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, Behenyl Alcohol, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl P-Cresol, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Creatine, Amodimethicone, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Dicaprylyl Ether, Lauryl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Octadecyl Di-T-Butyl-4-Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Benzoate, Prunus Amygdalus (Sweet Almond) Oil, Citric Acid, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Tocopherol, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Linalool, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Geraniol, Limonene, Caramel, Ci 19140/​Yellow 5, Ci 14700 /​ Red 4, Ci 61570 /​ Green 5.

Davines NOUNOU Conditioner
$38.00 ($4.31 / Fl Oz)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Target
03/24/2024 01:58 pm GMT

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

This deep conditioning treatment is perfect for color-treated hair because it helps repair, nourish, fortify, and strengthen it. It contains a blend of oils, including algae extract, B vitamins, and rosehip oil, that help restore essential moisture to dry, brittle, colored, or damaged hair.

It is vegan and gluten-free and excludes sulfates, silicones, phthalates, parabens, DEA, or artificial dyes. This is the deep conditioner for you if you have dry, brittle hair that needs some serious TLC.

Ingredients: Water/​Aqua/​Eau, Brassica Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Propanediol, Stearyl Alcohol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil*, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Panthenol, Leuconostoc/​Radish Root Ferment Filtrate*, Biotin, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein*, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Laurus Nobilis Leaf Extract*, Palmaria Palmata Extract, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride*, Cetyl Esters, Isododecane, Cetrimonium Chloride*, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Brassicyl Isoleucinate Esylate*, Citric Acid, Isopropyl Myristate*, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol.

Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
$39.00 ($4.88 / Ounce)
Buy at Amazon Buy at Target
03/18/2024 06:05 pm GMT

Deep Conditioners for Heat-Damaged Curls

Deep conditioners are excellent for repairing heat-damaged curly hair. If you frequently use heat styling tools on your curls that have caused them to become dry and brittle, giving them some extra love is a good idea.

Heating tools change the structure of your hair proteins. You might notice that your hair is tangly and feels rougher, or it may be breaking. If you use heating tools, this is how you can identify any damage caused by them.

The only way to really fix heat-damaged hair is to cut off the damage. If you’re worried about losing too much length (like I was), consult with your curly hairstylist about how much of your hair needs to be cut and how you can better manage it moving forward with more frequent cuts.

Deep conditioners are great for heat damage because they help restore lost moisture and nutrients and help repair and strengthen the hair. You can also try a protein treatment, as you’ll want to focus on restoring your hair’s natural proteins. They can also help to protect your hair from further damage.

The Best Deep Conditioners for Heat Damage

Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Masque

If you’re looking for a deep conditioning treatment that will help to repair your damaged hair, look no further. This super intense masque contains quinoa protein penetrating deep into the hair shaft to help repair and rebuild your hair.

It’s great for those with heat damage and helps repair your hair while leaving your strands soft, shiny, and healthy. Note that it contains silicones, so if you follow the curly girl method, this is not for you.

Ingredients: WaterAquaEau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Stearalkonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Fusanus Spicatus Wood Oil, Hordeum Distichon (Barley) ExtractExtrait D’Orge A Deux Rangs, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Lactic Acid, Squalane, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Dimethiconol, Behenamidopropyl Ethyldimonium Ethosulfate, Dimethiconol Meadowfoamate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Gluconate, Alcohol Denat., Fragrance (Parfum), Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol.

Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment

This deep conditioning treatment strengthens the hair and prevents breakage. With just one use, you will see and feel a difference. It comprises a complex of excellent structural proteins with different molecular weights.

It is enriched with ten amino acids, vitamins, and botanical extracts, penetrating the hair and producing a softer, smoother, and more lustrous result. Please be aware that this product contains silicone. It is not recommended if you strictly adhere to the curly girl method.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Cetyl Alcohol, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Panthenol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Silk Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Phytonadione, Pyridoxine HCL, Biotin, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Fragrance/Parfum, Methyl Gluceth-10, PEG-45M, Triethanolamine, Citric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone. PARABEN FREE.

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Yogurt Hydrate Plus Repair Protein Power 

This is formulated with certified organic shea butter, manuka honey, and yogurt and is perfect for damaged hair. It fortifies the hair with strand-supporting proteins while fighting frizz. It is ideal for hair that is prone to breaking, snapping, or splitting.

Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter* Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Glycerin (Vegetable), Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Fragrance, Honey, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil, Yogurt Powder, Yogurt Extract, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Trichilia Emetica (Mafura) Seed Butter, Allantoin, Panthenol, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Tocopherol, Sodium Hydroxide, Triethyl Citrate, Caprylyl Glycol, Inulin (Chicory Root), Benzoic Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate.

Deep Conditioners for Dry and Brittle Curls

Dry and brittle hair requires hydration and nourishment. There are a few things you can do to hydrate your hair deeply. One is to use a deep conditioner, and another is to apply a hot oil treatment. You can also use a hair steamer to aid in the deep conditioning process.

Dry hair lacks moisture from external and internal sources, such as sebum, a natural lubricant produced by the scalp. A deep conditioner with emollients and penetrating oils (think coconut, avocado, or olive oil) can deliver intense hydration, flexibility, and suppleness to your locks.

The Best Deep Conditioners for Dry and Brittle Hair

As I Am Hydration Elation

If your hair is as dry as the Sahara Desert, this rich, hydrating deep conditioner is for you. It will moisturize your hair deep within the shaft while smoothing the cuticle layer. It is also a great protein-free option.

It’s infused with pure herbal ingredients that stimulate the scalp and hair roots. This deep conditioner is an exceptional composition of extracts of coconut, sugar cane, green tea, apple, lemon, shea butter, vitamin E, and proven hair fortifiers.

Ingredients: Aqua/​Water/​Eau, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Betaine, Cetyl Esters, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Quaternium-91, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Phytosterols, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Powder, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Fruit Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Fragrance/​Parfum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternium-37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/​Dicaprate, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, Abies Balsamea (Balsam Canada) Resin, Limonene.

Carol’s Daughter Coco Creme Deep Moisture Mask

This deep conditioning treatment is perfect for curly to coily hair, and it is the extra moisture that you need to quench your thirsty mane. It contains coconut oil, almond oil, mango butter, and murumuru butter to help add long-lasting definition, shine, and touchable softness.

Ingredients: Aqua/ Water/Eau, CetearylAlcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Parfum (Fragrance), Isopropyl Palmitate, Benzyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Sclerotium Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Salicylic Acid, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Glycerin, Linalool, Coumarin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Citric Acid.

Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix

This deep conditioning treatment provides penetrating moisture without being too heavy. It contains moisturizing and hydrating properties of the antioxidant-rich hibiscus flower, Brazilian cupuacu, and murumuru butter.

It also contains aloe vera to soothe and moisturize dry hair and shea butter for its emollient properties.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Honey, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Panthenol, Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis Linn (Hibiscus) Extract, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Plantago Species (Plantain) Leaf Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Astrocaryum Murumuru Butter, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia Nut) Seed Oil, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuacu) Seed Butter, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Wax, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, PEG -7 Olivate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, (Vegetable) Glycerin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance/Parfum, *Benzyl Benzoate. *Fragrance Component.

Protein-Free Deep Conditioners for Curls

Protein is an integral part of healthy hair, and our hair is mostly protein. The right kind of proteins used at the correct levels can act as a conditioning agent that can form a protective film on the hair, according to The Beauty Brains. But it is not the only thing our hair needs.

In essence, hair does not specifically need more protein but rather something that will create a protective layer on the hair. There are other ingredients (like fatty quaternium compounds or silicones) that work even better. Always experiment until you find something that works for you.

This deep conditioner for curly hair does a great job of moisturizing hair without weighing it down.

The Best Protein-Free Deep Conditioners for Curly Hair

Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment  

This deep conditioner for curly hair does a great job of moisturizing hair without weighing it down. It includes a moisturizing blend of aloe vera, avocado oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter.

Rosemary, peppermint, and basil oils are infused in this deep conditioner to promote blood circulation and prevent hair follicles from further damage.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice Powder, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Laurus Nobilis (Bay Laurel) Leaf Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract, Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract, Althea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root Extract, Origanum Vulgare (Oregano) Leaf Extract, Cymbopogon Flexuosus (Lemongrass) Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Lecithin, Cinnamal, Citral, Eugenol, Geraniol, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol.

Obia Naturals Babassu Deep Conditioner

This vegan formula is enriched with babassu oil, avocado oil, rosemary essential oil, and panthenol, which helps to restore your hair’s natural moisture balance. It will also nourish and help with elasticity, soften, and add shine to your hair.

Ingredients: Purified Water (Aqua), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Stearyl Alcohol, Vegetable Glycerin, Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) Seed Oil, Centrimonium Chloride, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Panthenol, Gluconolactone and Sodium Benzoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Phthalate-Free Fragrance (Parfum).

Camille Rose Algae Renew Deep Conditioner

This vitamin-packed moisturizing and strengthening deep conditioning treatment infused with blue-green algae strengthens hair, preventing breakage. The coconut oil, shea, and mango butter will intensely moisturize your hair, locking and sealing in moisture.

Although any curl type can use this product, it is ideal for curly to coily hair.

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Behentrimonium Methosulfate (BTMS), Cetyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao ( Cocoa) Seed Butter, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Panthenol, (Honey) Mel, Vegetable Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Phenoxyethanol (Optiphen ND), Caprylyl Glycol, Blue Green Algae, Biotin, MSM, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Phthalate Free Fragrance.


Deep conditioners are vital for curly hair, no matter the type of damage. But once you understand what kind of treatment your hair requires from a deep conditioner, you can make an informed choice and start your journey to healthy, bouncy, luscious locks!


I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

My mission? To empower others with the tools to restore, and maintain healthy hair, and celebrate the hair they were born with!

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