How to Find a Deep Conditioning Treatment That Works for Your Hair
Listen, we miss seeing our hairstylists as much as the next gal, but in lieu of our standing salon appointments, we have recommitted to taking better care of our strands at home during this time of quarantine. The easiest way to do this (apart from dropping the flat iron and blow dryer): using a weekly deep conditioning treatment.
How is a deep conditioning treatment different from my regular conditioner?
Great question. While conditioners are integral to your haircare regimen and are great for smoothing and detangling your hair, the buck stops there.
A deep conditioning treatment, on the other hand, does everything your regular conditioner does and then some. A treatment is packed with targeted ingredients to troubleshoot specific hair woes—like dullness, frizz or frayed ends—caused by the daily wear-and-tear of styling and shampooing, as well as environmental factors like the sun (which dulls color).
Treat a deep conditioning treatment like you would a face mask and add one in occasionally to upgrade your existing routine. Try swapping one in place of your regular conditioner once a week or whenever your strands look like they could use a little boost.
OK, now let’s get to the fun part and shop for some deep conditioning treatments together, shall we?
The 12 Best Deep Conditioning Treatments
Best for Color-Treated Hair: Oribe Masque for Beautiful Color
Beloved for good reason, this decadent mask (and stylist favorite) is a go-to for keeping your colored strands bright and shiny. Formulated with smoothing ceramides and strengthening keratin, it keeps your hair cuticles intact, so your color doesn’t leach out as quickly. Add to that protective UV filters and it’s exactly what we need to bide time between salon appointments. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you of that signature Oribe scent that makes your strands smell like a million bucks.
Best for Split Ends: IGK Antisocial Overnight Bond-Building Dry Hair Mask
The IGK Antisocial Overnight Hair Mask is unlike any others we’ve tried in the past. Rather than slathering on a creamy treatment in the shower, this mask is a fine mist that goes to work to repair dry, brittle ends while you sleep (without leaving any greasy residue on your pillow). The leave-in spray formula uses bond-building technology and vegan silk extract to strengthen and soften hair with every use so you can brush and style your strands without causing breakage. Oh, and the coconut and eucalyptus scent is absolutely dreamy before bed.
Best for Fine Hair: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Weightless Mask
For ladies who have thinner hair, the idea of slathering on a deep conditioning mask can incite a bit of fear. (After all, there is a fine, fine line between smooth and slick, y’all.) Thanks to the super stylists and biotech scientists at Living Proof, this weightless mask delivers shine and softens your hair without sacrificing body and lift at your roots. It’s no wonder Jen Aniston is a fan.
Best for Frizzy Hair: Kérastase Discipline Oleo Relax Anti-Frizz Mask
If you have the type of hair that puffs up at the first drop of rain or hint of humidity, this Kératase mask is for you. Packed with shorea butter, virgin coconut oil and rosa muscata fruit oil, the hydrating trio of ingredients tames unruly frizz and makes for a more manageable mane straight out of the shower. Comb it through damp hair, wait for up to 15 minutes (pending how much time you’ve got) and rinse out to keep fuzz at bay.
Best for Thinning Hair: Regenepure DR Hair and Scalp Treatment
For hair fall and scalp issues, we recommend this nourishing treatment from Regenepure. Niacin and wheat proteins in the formula help your strands look and feel thicker, while ketoconazole tackles inflammation of scalp and clears away any dandruff.
Best for Curls: Bumble and bumble BB Curl Butter Masque
Looking for a way to bring bounce back to your curls? Try this creamy mask (sorry, masque) by Bumble and bumble the next time you wash your hair. Rich in babassu and palm oils (among other hydrating ingredients), it quenches thirsty coils on contact. And as anyone with curls knows, moisture is key to adding definition and spring.
Best for Shine: Amika Flash Instant Shine Mask
For a quick boost of shine without having to sit (or stand) in your bathtub for 20 minutes, this flash mask from Amika is a must try. The thin, serum-like consistency makes it easy to spread over your hair and the hydrolyzed flax seed and amino acids in the formula smooth down the cuticle upon contact. Use the pointed nozzle to fully saturate your strands from mid-lengths to ends, wait a minute and rinse out thoroughly before marveling at your newfound sleekness.
Best for Very Dry Hair: Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask
For folks who have very dry or damaged hair, give this rehabilitative mask by Virtue a go. It has a proprietary ingredient called Alpha Keratin 60ku that binds to compromised areas of your hair and fills them in like spackle on a wall. Add to that brown algae, baobab seed oil and amaranthus caudatus seed extract that infuse strands with a hit of moisture, and your hair will thank you. (Tip for ladies with extra-coarse or frizzy hair: Do a partial rinse for added smoothing, leaving some of the mask in your hair like you would a leave-in conditioner.)
Best for Blonde Hair: Verb Purple Toning + Hydrating Mask
Whether you have a platinum white pixie or golden blonde highlights that fall down your back, every blonde can benefit from using this toning and hydrating mask. With a soft purple tint that neutralizes any brassy or yellow tones that tend to creep in with lighter hair, the Verb Purple Toning + Hydrating Mask brightens up your color (whether God given or courtesy of peroxide) instantly and hydrates dry ends with acai extract and vitamin B5. Plus, it has sunflower seed extract to provide UV protection against future fading caused by the sun. Use it weekly to maintain those vibrant hues.
Best Budget Treatment: Garnier Fructis 1 Minute Nourishing Hair Mask
God bless Garnier for giving us this mask. At under ten bucks a tub and with fast-acting ingredients that deliver the goods in a minute, we are singing its praises…in the shower, of course. Though there are four formulas to choose from (avocado, aloe, papaya and coconut), we’re partial to the avocado because it makes our frazzled hair silky-soft and shiny with its rich, creamy texture. Massage it onto freshly shampooed strands and rinse out after a minute to indulge your dry ends with zero hassle or guilt.
Best Natural Treatment: Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask
This natural beauty is crafted purely from potent plant-based ingredients like its namesake Rahua oil, which is a precious oil from a tree in the Amazon forests that is known for its ability to nurture and nourish hair. Added to the mix are sunflower seed oil (which is packed with vitamin E and oleic acid) for extra shine and quinoa for extra conditioning and you’ve got a professional-strength mask that leaves your strands feeling softer, stronger and shinier after every use. Leave it on for about 10 minutes after shampooing and breathe in the calming lavender and eucalyptus scent while it gets to work. It’s like a hair treatment and aromatherapy in one.
Best Splurge: Sisley Paris Regenerating Hair Care Mask
Looking to indulge your strands? It doesn’t get much more luxurious than this famed French pick. Fans of the legacy skincare brand will love the botanical ingredients and scents they’ve come to expect from their oils and moisturizers. Enriched with shea, macadamia, camellia and hazelnut oils, the Sisley Paris Regenerating Hair Care Mask coddles your hair from scalp to end. Apply a small amount to freshly washed, damp hair and use the pads of your fingertips to really massage it in before working it through the midlengths. Give it 10 minutes while you shave and lather up your limbs, then rinse to reveal super shiny, super silky strands. Though there is certainly no denying the cost, we can attest that a little goes a long way in keeping your hair healthier. (Tip: Alternate between this and the Garnier mask above to get even more mileage out of the splurge.)