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Deep Conditioning 101


No matter how well you care for your hair, there are always times when it needs a little extra TLC.

Regular blow drying or styling with your curling iron may be the culprit. Or maybe you like to change your hair color with the seasons or have your hair chemically relaxed to make it more manageable. Maybe it’s just the weather that’s wreaking havoc on your locks.

There are plenty of reasons why your hair may be dry, dull and frizzy.

And there’s a simple remedy to help tresses that are in need of major hydration – deep conditioning.

If you haven’t done it before, it may seem unnecessary because most of us use a regular conditioner every time we wash our hair. But deep conditioner can deliver serious moisture than a traditional conditioner just can’t.

So if your hair’s been feeling dry and a little fried lately and you’re new to the world of deep conditioning, here are all the basics to help get your started so your hair is soft, shiny, and manageable all the time.


The most common way to deep condition your hair is with a deep conditioning treatment or hair masque from the drugstore or beauty supply store. In most cases, you apply the treatment to freshly washed hair and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes so it can fully penetrate your locks. Then you rinse it out and style your hair as you normally would. If you’re on a budget, the Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Mask is a good option at the drugstore. For hair that needs more intense hydration, try the Phyto Phytokeratine Mask, which is fortified with keratin to help strengthen the hair.

If your hair is seriously dry and damaged, though, you may want to take a trip to your salon for a deep conditioning treatment. While your stylist will likely use a product similar to one that you would at home (and charge you more for it, to boot), the benefit of having it done at the salon is that you can sit under a heat lamp to warm up the deep conditioner and really help your hair absorb it.

To get similar results at home, place a shower cap over your hair after you’ve applied the deep conditioner to generate some heat – and using a blow dryer with the cap can help the treatment penetrate even more effectively. Or you can place your deep conditioner container in a sink filled with hot water to warm the product before you even apply it.

How Often

The condition of your hair determines how often you should deep condition. Start with once a week. If you notice that your hair looks limp or greasy, back off to every other or every third week. If your hair still feels dry, coarse, and frizzy with a once a week treatment, bump it up to twice a week – or even three times if your hair is seriously damaged.


Always read the instructions on the back of your deep conditioner when you’re conditioning your hair at home. Most treatments suggest starting your application with the ends of your hair, which are more prone to damage and breakage. Massage the deep conditioner into your ends and work whatever is left on your hands up through the rest of your hair to the roots.

Go Natural

Whether you’ve run out of your usual deep conditioner or you just prefer natural products, you can also try whipping up your own hair masque with items from your kitchen. Mix one part yogurt, one part mayonnaise, and the egg white from one egg in a bowl and apply it to your hair just as you would with a store bought version. Your all-natural deep conditioner may not smell as good as those from the store, but it’s inexpensive and gets the job done without any chemicals to weigh down your hair.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing