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10 Best Deep Conditioners For Curly Hair – Curly Girl Approved

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Whether your curls are tight and coiled, big and bouncy, or somewhere in between, you need the right deep conditioner to keep them looking their best. The right deep conditioner can help to restore moisture, add shine, strengthen hair, reduce breakage, and tame frizz.

I've rounded up 10 of the best deep conditioners for curly hair, and these are all approved if you're following the curly girl method. So if you're in need of a new curly girl approved deep conditioner to add to your rotation, look no further!

I tried my best to include high quality deep conditioners for all curl types, and included budget options.

Also looking for other curly girl approved products? Be sure to check out:

Curly Girl Method Product Matching Guide

If you need help finding the products that will work for your hair type, check out my product matching guide. There are so many things to consider when choosing products and this guide will help you narrow down what you need to look for.

This product guide will help you identify your hair type and characteristics, provide some styling tips, and list exact products that will work on your hair type. Click here for more info.

The Curly Product Handbook to help you choose the right products for your hair type.

The 10 Best Curly Girl Approved Deep Conditioners

I chose the following deep conditioners for curly hair based on a few points:

  • ingredient quality
  • concentration – how much you need to use
  • how lightweight to heavy it is
  • buildup potential
  • slip
  • also noted if it contains protein or glycerin

I have assigned a number from 1 to 5 for each category, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. Of course, they are all silicone free and drying alcohol free, which is what makes them curly girl approved.


1. Shea Moisture Strengthen & Restore – Best Budget Option

This deep conditioner is great for those with dry, damaged, or color-treated hair. It has a lot of protein and moisture so it's pretty well balanced for all curl types and not too heavy even on my fine hair. It contains a mix of oils, butters, and protein to help strengthen and restore hair.

  • ingredient quality – 3
  • concentration – 3
  • moisture level – moderate
  • buildup potential – low
  • slip – 4
  • protein

EVOLVh UltraRepair deep conditioner for curly hair

2. EVOLVh UltraRepair Treatment – Best Lightweight Protein Heavy

I LOVE this deep conditioner so much! It is my favorite because of how lightweight it is. This is the lightest option on this list so keep that in mind.

UltraRepair Treatment is a high-performance, restorative treatment that deeply hydrates and repairs damaged hair. It contains 5X the essential amino and fatty acids for ultimate repair, reconstructing, and restoral power.

I did a deep dive on this product: EVOLVh UltraRepair Reconstructing Masque – A Lightweight Protein Rich Treatment

  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 4
  • moisture level – very lightweight
  • buildup potential – very low
  • slip – 3
  • protein
curly girl approved deep conditioner

3. Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment – Best Protein & Glycerin Free

If you want a thick, rich, hydrating mask then this is the one for you! It's a little heavy for my fine hair but feels amazing.

This deep conditioning treatment is designed to intensely moisturize and condition dry, damaged, or color-treated hair. It contains no protein nor glycerin, so it's perfect for those with sensitivities to those ingredients.

  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 5
  • moisture level – heavy
  • buildup potential – very low
  • slip – 4
  • protein & glycerin free

4. Innersense Hydrating Hair Mask – Best Organic

This deep conditioner is organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan. It is a very concentrated, hydrating mask without causing buildup.

This hydrating hair mask deeply moisturizes and conditions the hair while restoring elasticity and shine. It contains flaxseed, monoi, and tamanu oils that moisturize and quinoa protein to repair.

  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 5
  • moisture level – heavy
  • buildup potential – very low
  • slip – 4
  • protein & glycerin

5. Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair – Best for Moisture & A Little Protein

This deep conditioner is perfect for those who want a little protein and a lot of moisture. It used to be my go-to at the beginning of my curly hair journey.

According to Briogeo, this deep conditioning hair mask is scientifically proven to decrease hair breakage after two uses. It's one of their best sellers and is always winning awards.

One thing to note, this product contains Isododecane which the CGM police will yell about. But the truth is that although this ingredient in pure form is not water soluble, it is soluble with most cowashes and any low poo. Therefore, this should not cause buildup or problems if you're following the curly girl method.

  • ingredient quality – 4
  • concentration – 4
  • moisture level – moderate
  • buildup potential – low
  • slip – 4
  • protein & glycerin

6. Mielle Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner – Best Dupe For Don't Despair, Repair

If the Briogeo mask is too pricey, this is a great alternative. You'll see this recommended a lot in curly hair groups and on social media because it's a great value and works on most curly hair types.

Mielle's Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner deeply conditions and moisturizes the hair while restoring elasticity and shine. It contains babassu oil, fatty acids, and amino acids to deeply moisturize and repair all hair types.

  • ingredient quality – 4
  • concentration – 3
  • moisture level – moderate
  • buildup potential – low
  • slip – 4
  • protein & glycerin

7. Garnier Fructis Smoothing Treat One Minute Hair Mask – Most Affordable Mask

If you're really on a budget, this is the cheapest deep conditioner you'll find that actually works and is curly girl approved. Specifically, the avocado extract one, as the other two in this line are not curly girl approved.

This mask works quickly so it's also great if you're lazy and don't want to spend time on a treatment. It's thick and creamy, and also protein free.

  • ingredient quality – 2
  • concentration – 3
  • moisture level – moderate
  • buildup potential – moderate
  • slip – 4
  • glycerin

8. BounceCurl Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner – Best Herbal Blend

This deep conditioner is made with a unique blend of ayurvedic herbs and is protein and glycerin free. It's very moisturizing so it's not ideal for hair that doesn't need a lot of moisture.

I haven't tried this one yet but I have heard it has great slip. This is likely too rich for my fine curls.

  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 4
  • moisture level – heavy
  • buildup potential – low
  • slip – 5
  • protein & glycerin free

9. The Mane Choice Alpha Green Tea & Carrot Deep Strengthening & Restorative Mask Treatment – Best Protein & Moisture Rich

If you're looking for a deep conditioner with a lot of protein and a lot of moisture, this is a great option. It contains a mix of moisturizing oils and butters along with a few proteins to deeply moisturize, strengthen, and repair hair.

If you have lots of damage and need moisture too, then this is your best choice for a protein boost that's still moisturizing.

  • ingredient quality – 3
  • concentration – 3
  • moisture level – moderate
  • buildup potential – low
  • slip – 3
  • protein & glycerin

10. Hairfinity Strengthening Amino Masque – Best Protein Rich

This deep conditioner is full of proteins to help rebuild and strengthen the hair. It's a good choice for those who need a lot of protein in their deep conditioners.

According to Hairfinity, this mask is proven to reduce breakage up to 90%, making it a great option for those with lots of damage or anyone experiencing breakage. If you regularly heat style or color then you might need this.

This is more moisturizing and heavier than the EVOLVh UltraRepair but still has a good amount of protein.

  • ingredient quality – 4
  • concentration – 4
  • moisture level – moderate
  • buildup potential – low
  • slip – 4
  • protein & glycerin

If you have curly hair, or if you're just starting to embrace your natural curls, a deep conditioner is a must-have in your hair care arsenal. A good deep conditioner will help keep your curls healthy and strong, while making them easier to manage. There is at least one deep conditioner for curly hair from this list that will help you keep your curls in tip-top shape.

If you're new to the curly girl method, I recommend you check out my post on affordable curly girl approved products to start off. That post contains over 60 affordable and drugstore options.

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media, as it helps me grow my audience and spread the word about our curly hair movement! And remember to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and Instagram for more curly hair tips and product recommendations. Thanks!

If you want help with embracing your naturally wavy or curly hair, you can join my FREE email course and download my FREE pdf guide, THE QUICK START GUIDE TO MASTERING YOUR CURLS, full of everything you need to know to get started and bring out your beautiful waves and curls.

Master your curls quick start guide cover with a side by side comparison of Delilah's waves in the past and her full curls now.

Once You Get The Products Figured Out, Make Sure You Master Styling!

For help with styling, check out Fabulous Curls Academy. Phase 2 of this membership will help you transform your frizzy hair into defined bouncy curls in just one day, by learning how to use the products you already have (even if they're not CG approved)!

Delilah Orpi shows budget nontoxic products to try when using curly girl method

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