Read­er Ker­ry says;

I hope this isn’t too redun­dant, but I’m still fas­ci­nat­ed by the ‘unnec­es­sary hair prac­tices’ post. As you know deep con­di­tion­ing end­ed up being the num­ber 1 thing peo­ple had dropped from their reg­i­men. So I was won­der­ing if you could bring that par­tic­u­lar ques­tion to your read­ers; If they deep con­di­tion, could they explain why they do it, for how long, and how it helps their hair. If they don’t, could they explain how they used to do it, and what made them stop? This would help me out so much!

I think it’s a great ques­tion Ker­ry! Please weigh in ladies. I agree that this is a very fas­ci­nat­ing top­ic!

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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93 Comments on "The Great Deep Conditioning Debate"

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I always deep con­di­tion with heat for 15 min­utes. I have tried the overnight method as well as the 2 hour method. By this I mean apply­ing con­di­tion­er with or with­out some added oil and the results were not as good as with heat. My DC mix­ture is Suave con­di­tion­er, coconut oil, this is a sta­ple for me and hon­ey. I use a store bought con­di­tion­er because it helps to smooth the hair sur­face (See Jc’s post above for more). Coconut oil is known to pen­e­trate the hair and with­out it my hair does not feel as great. The coconut… Read more »

I deep con­di­tion when­ev­er I sham­poo. Its the dif­fer­ence between that sor­ta stripped feel­ing and ultra soft hair. I changed my sham­poo to a less strip­ping one and that has helped but I still like to deep con­di­tion. I like to keep it in for around 20 to 30 min­utes. It just sets my hair up for suc­cess­ful detan­gling the rest of the week.


I always deep con­di­tion. I find that when I didn’t deep con­di­tion my hair would get dry dur­ing the week, how­ev­er when I deep con­di­tion my hair doesn’t get dry and I don’t have to keep mois­tur­iz­ing through­out the week, which is vital because I don’t have the time dur­ing the week. I think that deep con­di­tion­ing has also enabled me to retain length because my hair is well mois­tur­ized.

The Natural Haven
The most pop­u­lar arti­cle on my blog is the deep con­di­tion­ing arti­cle where I dis­cussed the research in more depth  The truth is there is very lit­tle in con­di­tion­er (deep or rinse out) that can actu­al­ly pen­e­trate hair. Con­di­tion­ers are designed pri­mar­i­ly to  1. Smooth the hair strand exter­nal­ly 2. Tem­porar­i­ly patch up the hair exter­nal­ly The less dam­age your hair has, the less effect con­di­tion­er has.  Does heat and time make a dif­fer­ence? In all prob­a­bil­i­ty, there is like­ly to be some extra depo­si­tion onto the sur­face of hair but there is noth­ing to say that this is of any ben­e­fit beyond… Read more »

then what actu­al­ly pen­e­trates the hair to mois­tur­ize it? or do we just have to stick to mois­tur­iz­ing from the inside out?

The Natural Haven
Mois­tur­is­ing is less about pen­e­tra­tion and more about keep­ing water in. Water is very small and can freely enter and leave hair. If you are aim­ing to keep it in then you have to focus on form­ing a bar­ri­er on the out­side. The most effec­tive meth­ods of form­ing this bar­ri­er are 1. Oils 2. Humec­tants 3. Pro­teins Not­ing that you do not need to use just one of these but can use a com­bi­na­tion. In my opin­ion, many peo­ple think that a deep con­di­tion­er will fix the issue of hair feel­ing dry but in truth it is what you do after you con­di­tion… Read more »
I DC week­ly but I only use nat­ur­al prod­ucts that I make myself. I have done research and only use herbs and oils that com­bat the prob­lem I am hav­ing. I have dry very kinky curly hair so when I make my con­di­tion­ers I use cer­ti­fied organ­ic herbs and oils that are for dry­ness. Nat­ur­al herbs and oils works won­ders on my nat­ur­al hair. My twist last longer and are more defined. I usu­al­ly dc for about 1 hr but I think the longer you can do it the more ben­e­fi­cial the results will be. I start­ed using my own nat­ur­al… Read more »
She Who Must Not Be Named
She Who Must Not Be Named

“In my opin­ion, many peo­ple think that a deep con­di­tion­er will fix the issue of hair feel­ing dry but in truth it is what you do after you con­di­tion your hair that helps you (i.e the leave in you use, use of oils etc).”

I agree!


thank you so much!!! God bless :)

Hi Jc! You’re spot on with your last point! It’s real­ly what I do AFTER con­di­tion­ing that helps me main­tain mois­ture. Also, if you live in a city that is known for hard water, I can tell you that there is absolute­ly no deep con­di­tion­er in the world that will pre­vent your hair from feel­ing dry, lol! I had issues with this while at uni. Nei­ther my hair nor my skin agreed with the water. Any­who, I have type “4b” hair with very coarse strands. While my hair loves the tem­po­rary soft­ness of Aussie Moist, once I wash out the… Read more »
The Natural Haven
Sor­ry I don’t have a direct answer to your ques­tion Lissie. It is not some­thing that is well researched.  I do have a the­o­ry though. Hair usu­al­ly expe­ri­ences a change due to severe con­di­tions for exam­ple due to mal­nu­tri­tion. How­ev­er, even if your diet is not the best but there is suf­fi­cient pro­tein in it, hair will grow in the same way as some­one with a bet­ter diet. Hair does not require much to grow or to be of good qual­i­ty. In the same way, I would think unless you are dehy­drat­ed, I would not think that adding more water… Read more »

Thank you Jc! <3 <3 <3


How about a pro­tein conditioner/ deep con­di­tion­er, because i notice it stops the break­ing; my hair is colour treat­ed

The Natural Haven

Pro­tein of the right size (hydrolysed/hydrolyzed) is more like­ly to bind with heat and longer time. Colour treat­ed hair is like­ly to be quite dam­aged and there­fore I can see why a pro­tein heavy con­di­tion­er would be ben­e­fi­cial

Moni — It is def­i­nite­ly all about find­ing what works for your hair!

JC– Your blog post in con­juc­tion with Long Hair Don’t Care2011, from youtube is the rea­son I let go of deep con­di­tion­ing after 7 years. I’ve been deep con­di­tion­ing since my relaxed days. I recent­ly stopped becuase I real­ized the the 3 minute Aussie mosit made my hair soft whether I left it on for 3 min­utes or 30 mintues. I’m sure that the only rea­son I no longer need to DC is becuase Aussie mosit 3 min mir­a­cle works well on my hair. I nev­er had this expe­ri­ence with any oth­er con­di­tion­er. I still dc some­times with hon­ey so… Read more »

i pre­poo for 15 min with aubrey organ­ics hon­ey­suck­le rose…that pret­ty much does the job. and once a month i use ao blue green algae pro­tein mask for 15 min. I find that leav­ing it in much longer does not change much. and hon­est­ly I couldn’t stand tak­ing that much time on my hair unless I was prepar­ing for a big event

I real­ly love the ben­e­fits of deep con­di­tion­ing over night/all day. I like to think of this day(washday/sunday) as a way to relax. How­ev­er, my time does not per­mit me to do this every two weeks(summer) or every three weeks(winter). I’ve reduced this process depend­ing on time to 1–3hours. I alter­nate between to two deep con­di­tion­ers: can­tu and a cholesterol(dark&lovely w/shea but­ter). I add a base condtioner(cheapy like sauve,tresemme, or VO5). I also add olive oil & hon­ey to the conditioner(warmed). My hair gets dry very eas­i­ly and if I don’t deep con­di­tion I will have a sack of hay… Read more »

I always DC. I have since my hair was 2inch­es long. I leave it in over night and it is so much soft­er and bouncy(yes I said BOUNCY) when I wash the DC out. I usu­al­ly leave it in over night…if I don’t have the time to do that I leave it in for a hour with a heat­ing cap on. I have to DC or my hair will be so dry dur­ing the week.….this is one thing I would nev­er stop doing.

I per­son­al­ly can NOT go with­out deep con­di­tion­ing. I have 4c (if there was a such thing as 4z hair mine would be it) extreme­ly tight coily hair and I’ve noticed the quick 15 minute con­di­tion­ing does just about noth­ing for me. I deep con­di­tion about once a week with a Jasons nat­ur­al hair con­di­tion­er mixed with a lit­tle avo­ca­do and EVOO and I hen­na pro­tein con­di­tion bi month­ly. I con­di­tion with Jasons for about 1hr and hen­na deep con­di­tion for some­times up to 6hrs. It sounds exces­sive but my hair has ben­e­fit­ed because of it. I’m also a veg­e­tar­i­an… Read more »
I deep con­di­tion because it makes my hair feel soft­er, helps stop break­age, and allows mois­ture to seep into hair strands. I usu­al­ly deep con­di­tion for about and hour with heat, or for a while with heat and then overnight, or just overnight… or some­times all day with no heat. lol what­ev­ers con­ve­nient and what my hair requires. when i dont DC my hair does­nt feel as soft or as healthy so i try to DC after every wash. i’ve heard that ‘dry’ heat does­nt open up the cuti­cle ans is there­fore non ben­e­fi­cial? idk if this is true but… Read more »

I deep con­di­tion because my hair real­ly responds to it. After a good deep con­di­tion­ing, my hair is soft­er and just looks health­i­er. I keep my deep con­di­tion­er in for about an hour. I think whether or not you should deep con­di­tion depends on your hair. It works for some but not for oth­ers.

DC’ing for me means the dif­fer­ence between super soft, man­age­able hair and just ‘ok’ hair. My hair is mois­tur­ized through­out the week. So much so that I don’t have to reap­ply any mois­ture (or any prod­uct for that mat­ter) for the dura­tion of the week. The only time my hair sees any tools or prod­ucts is on Sun­day which is wash and style day.  I am of the mind­set that 75% of how your hair fairs through­out the week is depen­dent on your styling prac­tices. So I can’t say that DC’ing is the key to it all but it is def­i­nite­ly… Read more »
I have tried to go with­out DC but that is some­thing my hair real­ly responds pos­i­tive­ly to. I DC about 2–3 times a month and I don’t leave it in that long. 30 min­utes tops if I’m being lazy, and 5 to 10 min­utes if I am in a time crunch with my detach­able hood­ed dry­er. My hair is soft, pli­able, eas­i­er to man­age for at least a week after my DC. I find I don’t need to mois­tur­ize in between as often. I bare­ly co wash (only after a stren­u­ous work­out). MY DC of choice is Shea Mois­ture Deep Treat­ment… Read more »

Yes! I sec­ond the Shea Mois­ture Deep Treat Masque, my hair loves that stuff!


I just used this this week­nd and I loved it! I added some Olive Oil and Hon­ey to it for good mea­sure and loved the fact that it was not a run­ny mess. My hair is soft to the touch and feels great!


I actu­al­ly tried this stuff and it left my hair hard and dry! :( I have a real­ly hard time find­ing good deep con­di­tion­ers


I can’t seem to find the right con­di­tion­er either. So most of the time I just use a cheapy with oil added.


My hair didn’t like it either.


i deep con­di­tion. more­over, i deep con­di­tion for at least an hour. with my hair, i have noticed a dif­fer­ence between not DCing, DCing for only 20 min­utes, and DCing for at least an hour. also, the type of DC mat­ters as well. i find that natural/homemade DCs are best left on for at least an hour where­as synthetic/store bought treat­ments only need about 30 min­utes max. but, this is only the needs on my head of hair.


@Sarah, store bought con­di­tion­ers con­tain ingre­di­ents that smooth the hair sur­face, mak­ing it feel soft­er. You will need more time to achieve the same effect with some­thing home­made. If you want the best of both worlds add an oil of your choice to a store bought con­di­tion­er.

Paula Barkley

Very True! Coconut Oil or Olive Oil to any store bought Dc’er works well for my hair!

Bitty Boss

Deep con­di­tion­ing is def­i­nite­ly a must for my hair. It helps melt tan­gles and soft­en my strands. My hair does not feel like this when I leave the con­di­tion­er on only for a few min­utes. And boy have I tried a LOT of dif­fer­ent con­di­tion­ers. I have my DC sta­ples and I usu­al­ly deep con­di­tion for 45 min­utes to an hour.


I deep con­di­tion with Aubrey Organ­ics condish for a half hour or more. Basi­cal­ly I just leave it in while I do oth­er stuff. It makes my hair soft­er than use­ing a condish quick­ly in the show­er or not at all.