Deep Conditioning 101

It’s time to get real about the one product that can solve like 90% of your curly hair problems.

This is the real MVP step that totally changes the game. Want healthier hair? Longer hair? Stronger hair? More moisture? More definition?

The answer is all the same: deep conditioning.

And while yes, there are some problems a deep conditioner won’t fix (sorry heat damage is one of ‘em) it’s pretty much a staple problem solver.

Want to know how to make the most of your deep conditioner? You’ve come to the right place.

Which deep conditioner is right for me:

Focus on what your curls need most. Are they dry? Look for one that’s intensely hydrating – like Heaven in Hair or Melt into Moisture.

Are they lacking in definition or strength? Look for one that packs in the protein – like Deep Sea Repair.

Here’s an awesome breakdown from Bianca Renee (all around curl queen, known as @mzbiancarenee on IG and Bianca Renee Today on YT)  on how to choose between the Deva masks:

What if your hair needs all of the above? Your go-to strategy? Multi-tasking by multi-masking. We break down how to multi-mask here.

 

How to apply deep conditioner:

Step 1.
Decide if you’re going to use your deep conditioner as a pre-poo or just as a deep conditioner. What’s the difference? Curlies tend to turn to pre-poos if they’re trying to get a jump start on the detangling process, or if they’re trying to avoid dryness from harsh cleansers (but if you use Deva cleansers, this probably isn’t a problem 😉 ).

If you’re using it as a pre-poo, apply to dry hair. If you’re using it as a traditional deep conditioner, cleanse your hair first, and then apply the mask to wet hair.

Pro Tip: Cleanse your hair with warm water to help open the cuticle before you apply the conditioner.

Step 2.
Start by applying a generous amount of conditioner all over your hair to help you separate it into sections easily.

Step 3.
Then, section it – this ensures you apply deep conditioner to every curl! It’s usually best to opt for between 4 and 8 sections, depending how much hair you have.  Apply deep conditioner into each section, finger combing the product through to avoid breakage. If your ends are super damaged, you can apply even more to your ends.

Step 4.
Let it sit. In order to be super effective most deep conditioners need to be left on for a bit. 30 minutes tends to be the golden rule for most. To really pump it up, you can add a shower cap to help lock in the moisture. Or you can add heat.

Don’t panic. This is the good kind of heat. Using heat to deep condition can actually help open your cuticle even more, allowing the product to penetrate deeper and really moisturize your hair. This is especially great if you’re someone with low porosity hair. (Not sure of your hair porosity? Check out this post!)

Some options for applying heat? A heat cap (we’re fans of the one’s from Hot Head). Wrapping a towel around a shower cap is another awesome alternative.

And if you really want to invest you can sit under a hooded dryer.

Step 5.
Rinsing out your deep conditioner. 99.9999% of deep conditioners are too potent to be left in the hair – so make sure you rinse them out.

This is especially true if you’re using a protein mask, as you don’t want to overload your hair with protein.

Pro Tip: to help seal the cuticle and lock in all that deep conditioning goodness, rinse your hair with cool water.

Want to watch an entire routine, start to finish?

You’re in luck, Bianca made one of those too. Yes, we love her mucho:

So how often should you deep condition?

 

How to grow healthy curly hair by deep conditioning:

If you really want healthy curly hair, one of the easiest ways to get there is to commit to deep conditioning your hair once a week. Yep, once every week.

Which is why curl queen, Bianca Renee challenged her community to do just this in 2018.

Check that video out here:

We’re a big fan of the personal pledge – and of the fact that Bianca is leading her community through mask Mondays, literally every Monday with tips and tricks about deep conditioning.

If you’re ready to commit and start that deep conditioning journey – you should probably start following her. Especially because, you know, she’s got a few DevaCurl surprises coming up 😉

But until those start, tell us: What’s your go-to deep conditioner? Do you have any tips and tricks? Share them with us in the comments below!