How To Deep Condition Curly & Wavy Hair


Learning how to deep condition curly hair and using a curly girl approved deep conditioner for your curly and wavy hair is a must for healthy hair. Deep conditioning is incredibly effective in restoring and maintaining healthy hair.

Deep conditioning your wavy or curly hair is extremely crucial and beneficial in the constant search for the moisture protein balance that your curls need.

Following a consistent deep treatment routine is one of the most important aspects of curly and wavy hair care, whether you’re following the curly girl method or not.

Ready for your curly or wavy hair to reach it’s full potential? Let’s take a closer look at what deep conditioning is, the many benefits your curly hair will derive from it and how to deep condition your hair.

If you’d like to get a list of recommended curly girl approved deep conditioners, read this post.

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What Is Deep Conditioning

Deep conditioning treatments or hair masks provide your curly or wavy hair with what the hair needs – most times, moisture or protein.

A deep conditioner works well because its formula gives your hair the nutrients it needs by penetrating deeply into your hair cuticles.

Read these posts to figure out if your hair needs moisture or protein.

Benefits of Deep Conditioning Curly Or Wavy Hair

As mentioned above, let’s take a look again at the many benefits we see from using a curly girl approved deep conditioner for curly or wavy hair:

  • easy detangling
  • more manageable curls
  • healthier curls and waves
  • hydrated wavy and curly hair
  • defined curls
  • tames frizz
  • repairs damaged, dry hair
  • restores hair elasticity

How Often Should You Deep Condition Curly Hair

Most curly girls get the best results when they use a deep conditioner for curly hair once a week. Deep conditioning once a week, ensures that your curls are getting the nutrients, restoration, and hydration it needs every week.

Lots of wavy girls prefer to deep condition less often. Some wavy girls wait until their hair looks and feel like it needs a deep conditioning treatement.

However, this doesn’t mean that your hair needs a deep conditioner treatment every week.

The best way to determine how often you should apply a deep conditioner to your curly hair is by examining and assessing it weekly.

The needs of your hair may change from week to week and this means that the frequency of your deep conditioning treatments will vary.

If you’re satisfied with the health of your curls when you test, then you can skip deep conditioning.

If not, then assessing the look, feel and elasticity of your curls will help you determine what nutrients (protein or moisturizing ingredients) your hair needs so you can choose the best deep conditioner for your hair at the point in time.

How To Deep Condition Curly Hair

Try this routine every time you deep condition your curly hair.

Steps To Deep Condition Curly Or Wavy Hair:

  1. Gently clarify your hair
  2. Condition and detangle (optional)
  3. Apply preferred curly girl approved deep conditioner
  4. Secure curls in plastic cap
  5. Use heat cap for deeper penetration of product
  6. Rinse the deep conditioner thoroughly
  7. Style as usual using your curly or wavy hair routine

Pro tip: Finger Coil large sections before putting on heat cap for maximum product penetration and to encourage curl definition

Clarify Your Curls

Before deep conditioning, always start by gently clarifying your wavy or curly hair.

Clarifying your hair removes build up from hair oils, dirt, and product build up.

Use a curly girl approved, sulfate free shampoo and rinse thoroughly after washing.

Apply Conditioner & Detangle

Next, you can detangle with your favorite conditioner and squish to condish to encourage maximum hydration and curl definition.

Rinse the conditioner thoroughly.

This is a good idea if you find that your hair is extra dry and needs more moisture.

Or, you can skip this step and go straight into applying your deep conditioner treatment.

Saturate Hair With Curly Girl Deep Conditioner

Apply deep conditioner to the ends of your hair first, then move up your hair shaft until just before your roots.

A few benefits of applying your deep conditioner in this way:

  • focus on the ends of your hair. The ends are the oldest and typically are the driest and most prone to breakage and split ends.
  • your roots are the newest parts of your hair and most likely will not need deep conditioning

Once you saturate your hair with the deep conditioner you can put on a plastic shower cap or squish to condish (read more in the next section) before putting your hair in a shower cap.

The shower cap helps your body heat from your scalp open your hair cuticles for the deep conditioner’s nutrients to enter more easily.

Use A Heat Cap To Allow Deeper Penetration

Secure your curls in a plastic cap. The heat from your scalp is usually enough for the deep conditioner to work. But, for additional heat, you can use a microwavable steam cap. The heat helps with opening the hair cuticles to allow for more product penetration.

Deep condition for the recommended time on the product label and not longer.

Leaving deep conditioners in your hair longer than recommended may lead to protein or moisture overload, depending on the formula you’ve used.

Rinse Deep Conditoner

After the recommended time, rinse out the deep conditioner thoroughly with cool water. Using cool water helps to close the cuticles and keep the nutrients in.

It might be tempting to leave in some deep conditioner for extra moisture but this can cause more harm than damage.

Instead, start off your curly hair styling routine with a curly girl approved leave in conditioner.

Check out these curly hair styling routines and product recommendations for type 2 (2a, 2b, 2c) wavy hair and type 3 (3a, 3b) curly hair.

Best Deep Conditioner For Curly Hair

The first thing you want to do before you reach for a deep conditioner is assess your hair.

Examine your hair to check the elasticity, feel and look of your hair strands. This will help you determine if you’re experiencing any moisture overload or protein overload.

Once you’ve identified whether your hair needs more hydration or protein, it makes choosing the best deep conditioner for your curly hair easier.

If you’re experiencing moisture overload, you’re going to want to use a deep conditioner with protein to restore the moisture protein balance to your curls or waves.

If you’re experiencing protein overload, try a protein free, moisture rich deep conditioning treatment to hydrate your curly or wavy hair, again to restore the moisture protein balance of your hair.

Another way to decide on which type of deep conditioner to reach for is by looking back on the products you used during the week. If you used a lot of protein free styling products, chances are the moisture rich deep conditioner is necessary.

Conversely, if you styled with lots of moisturizing products with little to no protein, a protein curly girl deep conditioner would be better for you.

The best curly girl method approved deep conditioners will contain no sulfate, parabens, silicones or drying alcohols. Try these curly girl approved deep conditioners.

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Before you go, check out these other curly girl posts:

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