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By Audrey Siva­sothy, author of The Sci­ence of Black Hair: A Com­pre­hen­sive Guide to Tex­tured Hair Care

Deep con­di­tion­ing the hair is crit­i­cal to achiev­ing boun­cy, lux­u­ri­ous, healthy hair in any hair care reg­i­men. How often you deep con­di­tion is a mat­ter of per­son­al pref­er­ence. The need to deep con­di­tion can also be influ­enced by a num­ber of things, like whether or not your hair is col­or-treat­ed, nat­u­ral­ly porous, coarse or chem­i­cal­ly relaxed. Those con­sid­er­a­tions must be tak­en into account, along with your hair’s gen­er­al con­di­tion, when you deter­mine how often you’ll need to deep con­di­tion your hair.
My hair is chem­i­cal­ly relaxed and col­or-treat­ed, so deep con­di­tion­ing has been key to keep­ing my hair healthy and vibrant. Effec­tive deep con­di­tion­ing can tru­ly pro­vide essen­tial pro­tec­tion against hair chem­i­cal treat­ments, col­ors, heat and even just sheer neglect.

In addi­tion to know­ing how often you need to deep con­di­tion your hair, you should edu­cate your­self on deep-con­di­tion­ing prod­ucts. Deep con­di­tion­ing can take place with either a mois­tur­iz­ing deep con­di­tion­er or a pro­tein-based treat­ment. Each prod­uct will require a dif­fer­ent deep-con­di­tion­ing sched­ule. Mois­tur­iz­ing deep con­di­tion­ing should occur most often, and pro­tein deep con­di­tion­ing should occur less fre­quent­ly. Most, if not all, deep con­di­tion­ers require heat for max­i­mum cuti­cle pen­e­tra­tion. This process can last from 10 to 30 min­utes, depend­ing on the con­di­tion­er and your hair.

If your hair is:
-Chem­i­cal­ly relaxed
-Per­ma­nent­ly col­or-treat­ed
-Extreme­ly dam­aged and dry

These espe­cial­ly dam­aged cas­es ben­e­fit from deep con­di­tion­ing twice week­ly until the hair begins to recov­er. Once the hair has recov­ered, then a week­ly deep-con­di­tion­ing sched­ule can be main­tained. Cov­er the hair with a plas­tic cap and apply heat for 10 to 15 min­utes. Hair should be rinsed in cool water to help smooth and close the cuti­cle.

Pro­tein deep con­di­tion­ing, or a recon­struc­tor treat­ment, can take place the same day as mois­tur­iz­ing deep con­di­tion­ing for those with hair in need of deep repair. Sim­ply mix your pro­tein treat­ment with your mois­tur­iz­ing deep con­di­tion­er and process under heat.

Try to find deep con­di­tion­ers that are creamy and have a thick con­sis­ten­cy. I find that these tend to be the best deep con­di­tion­ers, since they real­ly leave the hair feel­ing mois­tur­ized. If your hair is fine, you’ll want to find a light, creamy con­di­tion­er with few­er heavy oils. Oth­er­wise, you’ll be con­di­tioned, but weighed down as well.

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64 Comments on "How Often Should You Deep Condition?"

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Hel­lo I was read­ing this arti­cle and I was won­der­ing how I should approach doing pro­tein treat­ments. I am com­plete­ly nat­ur­al no perms, col­or any of that. I use to use heat on my hair every­day but no longer use heat at all. (prob­a­bly due to not hav­ing a blow dry­er, but even if i did id prob­a­bly rarely use know­ing what I know now)Anyways my hair has always been rel­a­tive­ly thin and dry/itchy. Id say my hair is between mild to mod­er­ate­ly dam­aged. Should I be doing pro­tein treat­ments biweek­ly or month­ly? also how should i use these or… Read more »
It seems that nobody has tak­en the time to answer some of these ques­tion. So, let me give it a try. I did some research­ing and what seems to come up often is your hair type. Depend­ing on your hair type also depends on the amount of con­di­tion­ing you may need. For exam­ple, I am Puer­to Rican and my hair is curly. But not the soft curly more like kinky curly which frizzes eas­i­ly and is always dry. I start­ed doing the deep con­di­tion­ing every three days start­ing in May. My hair grew 6 inches.(from the tops of my shoul­ders… Read more »

I deep con­di­tion at least once a week


Does any­one know what errors we should avoid when (deep) con­di­tion­ning?
Even if I keep the con­di­tion­ner dur­ing 2 hours,the mois­ture seems to have dis­ap­peared the next morn­ing, (espe­cial­ly the ends that break eas­i­ly). The same effect when I apply the LOC method.
I’m real­ly con­fused since I dont see what I’m doing wrong.

(Eng­lish is not my moth­er tongue, thanks for your answers)


You sound like you have low poros­i­ty hair…you arent retain­ing mois­ture. Try using heat when mois­tur­is­ing. Watch youtube videos about poros­i­ty and how to deep conditioner/moisturise for your poros­i­ty type.


Biweek­ly may refer to an event that occurs twice week­ly or once every two weeks.[1]. Con­fused!!!


I deep con­di­tion every week


Is it okay to deep con­di­tion every day, or would that be over­do­ing things a bit?


I deep con­di­tion about once a week in the win­ter time. It seems to help my hair fight the cold temps.

Mel Stevens

My hair is not bleached, or dyed or dam­aged but I still use my pro nat­u­rals hair mask twice a week. I love it b/c it smells great and it leaves my hair super soft and shiny!

Miss OPM

I ve split ends and my hair is dry. I want know the hair regime I could use to make it mois­tur­iz­er, strong and healthy. How many times do I need a pro­tein treat­ment??
How often should I wash my hair??
What hair prod­ucts will I need to achieve a healthy grow­ing hair?? PLEASE CAN YOU HELP?


I use one egg and about 3 tbsp of may­on­naise in my DIY deep con­di­tion­er every week, is that okay or is that con­sid­ered a pro­tein treat­ment?


I mois­tur­ize deep con­di­tion once a week, I use a cheap mois­tur­iz­ing con­di­tion­er mixed with olive oil and coconut oil and apply to hair and then sit under dry­er for 10–15 min­utes, then rinse. 

I do a pro­tein treat­ment once a month, as if you look online, it says for nor­mal hair, do it for once a month. I use egg/mayo treat­ment when I am at home, and if I am liv­ing liv­ing at my col­lege dorm, then I will use Organ­ic root stim­u­la­tor Hair May­on­naise.


This is a great tip par­tic­u­lar­ly to those fresh to the blo­gos­phere. Brief but very pre­cise infor­ma­tion… Many thanks for shar­ing this one. A must read arti­cle!


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[…] How Often Should You DC and/or Do Pro­tein Treat­ments: […]

Hel­lo! I have a ques­tion about Pro­tein vs. Mois­tur­iz­ing Deep con­di­tion­ing. Is it pos­si­ble to do a treat­ment once a month that con­tains both a pro­tein AND a mois­tur­iz­ing com­po­nent rather than a mois­ture treat­ment every two weeks and a sep­a­rate pro­tein treat­ment every month? I’m ask­ing this because my hair fits the last cat­e­go­ry and the home­made recipe I’m think­ing of try­ing has Coconut milk, avo­ca­do, banana, and olive oil. I would like to con­sid­er this a light protein/moisturizing deep treat­ment all wrapped up into one, but I’m still not sure. I know my hair doesn’t need much pro­tein… Read more »

I deep con­di­tion once a week if pos­si­ble. I usu­al­ly make my own con­di­tion­er, link below. If I do not have time to make my own then I’ll usu­al­ly use a nat­ur­al store bought prod­uct.


The best leave in con­di­tion­er is Mane and Tail Detan­gler it is awe­some for a roller set! I like Melaleu­ca Herbal Sham­poo and for deep con­di­tion­ing any­thing with “shea but­ter” in it. I used the flat iron but when the domini­can salons do a roller set it holds for 2 weeks.


If he sells them, she will be able to eas­i­ly sue him and win and plbraboy destroy his finan­cial future in the process. If he posts them all over the web she also like­ly has a law­suit. That’s the most like­ly sce­nario. She needs to hire a lawyer for a cou­ple hours and have the attor­ney send a let­ter for her, on legal let­ter­head, with intim­i­dat­ing warn­ings of a law­suit if those pics are EVER shared pub­licly. It’s that sim­ple and hon­est­ly the ex will like­ly com­ply.

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Ummm what arti­cle are you reply­ing to? Doesn’t seem like it’s this one, but sounds juicy.




The best con­di­tion­er I have ever used is Pro Nat­u­rals Moroc­can Argan Oil Con­di­tion­er, the argan oil hydrates and strength­ens my hair mak­ing it nice and healthy. Plus the extra shine is appre­ci­at­ed! Thanks for the infor­ma­tive arti­cle :)


I was just won­der­ing if any­body knows if it would be okay to deep con­di­tion hair then apply a leave-in-con­di­tion­er that helps repairs split ends?????

Jaune Banane
Deep con­di­tion­ing is great for the hair but unfor­tu­nate­ly split ends can­not be repaired.They can only be cov­ered up tem­porar­i­ly using sil­i­cones but no last­ing repair. The only way to get rid of them is to snip them off! Split ends can only be pre­vent­ed but not erad­i­cat­ed all togeth­er. How­ev­er you DO NOT have to trim them depend­ing on how you wear your hair curly or straight and how much it is both­er­ing you. :) A great tip is the bag­gy­ing method,do a pony­tail and apply water to your ends then apply an oil or water based mosi­turis­er and cov­er your… Read more »

Thanks for the post! My hair is thick and curly and the best prod­uct I’ve used to take care of dry­ness is Pro Nat­u­rals Moroc­can Argan Oil Con­di­tion­er, my hair is hydrat­ed and healthy now, plus it’s shinier than before :)


I don’t know if this is off top­ic or not but how do i find the right prod­uct when most of the con­di­tion­ers say they do the same thing to your hair? I dont want to try a bunch of prod­ucts and m ake my hair fall out so can any­one rec­comend a good cron­di­tion­er for thick curly hai ?? Som of the com­ments give me ideas but i dont know where to start since the ladies at the salon just tell me to perm it…

Hi Alicia,The two basic types are mois­ture or pro­tein based condish. So the first thing is to decide which your hair needs most. So for exam­ple i use most­ly mois­ture but my hair does need pro­tein evry once in a while so a good start is ORS Rplen­ish­ing Pak as it is cheap u can get the sachets or bot­tle and it has a mix­ture of both. The sec­ond step is to scru­ti­nize ingredients,if they claim mmois­ture it bet­ter had a mos­tur­is­ing ingredient.-__– Here are two sites that helped me under­stand ingre­di­ents bet­ter: I hope this helps.Also if your hair… Read more »

thanks for the info. I was just ask­ing myself that same ques­tion.


I am 100% nat­ur­al


My hair is stuck at the same length. It’s been over a year any advice for a rou­tine that will cre­ate growth and length.

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I just pur­chased the Mixed Chicks Deep Con­di­tion­er and was ask­ing myself the same ques­tion.
Thanks for the guid­ance. :)


i real­ly love the tips you gave on deep con­di­tion­ing and all cos am tran­si­tion­ing and am just not so sure on how often to deep con­di­tion. but i’ll appre­ci­ate it if you could give those of us busy ladies who hard­ly have time for them­selves tips on how to main­tain healthy and beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al curls. thanks

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It’s actu­al­ly a cool and help­ful piece of info. I’m hap­py that you sim­ply shared this use­ful infor­ma­tion with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for shar­ing.

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Hey There. I dis­cov­ered your weblog using msn. That is a very neat­ly writ­ten arti­cle. I will be sure to book­mark it and return to learn extra of your help­ful infor­ma­tion. Thank you for the post. I’ll def­i­nite­ly come­back.


I deep con­di­tion once a week, some­times with my hood­ed hair dry­er and if I am lazy just body heat. I try not to do too much oth­er things with my hair. It just isn’t that seri­ous for me. My hair still nor­mal­ly breaks and sheds when it is ready. and when that hap­pens, I take care of it as usu­al­ly. There are ben­e­fits to deep con­di­tion­ing, my hair is boun­cy, shiny and eas­i­er to man­age.

Jen jin
Hi Mer­ry! I’m new to this hair-care thing, usu­al­ly just shoot­ing the breeze, nev­er peri­od­i­cal­ly wash­ing it or moister­iz­ing it or all that oth­er fan­cy stuff (because my sis­ter used to do my hair. Now she’s off to col­lege and left Lit­tle Miss Care­less in charge of her own hair.) Let’s just say I kept doing the same things that I did before: noth­ing. and my start­ed break­ing or shed­ding or what­ev­er in a mat­ter of months. now I’m down to neck length with veeeer­rrrry dry hair that refus­es to hold any water/moisture. I am cur­rent­ly tran­si­tion­ing with this month… Read more »
Stephanie Thornton
I can help you. I know how it is to want to take your weave out, but you have no idea what to do with your hair. This is what you do!! Take it out your hair doesn’t need to be in a weave longer then a month, and your hair needs to breath. Save a piece of your weave and use it for a cute bun. Buns are so in messy bun styl­ish updo, or pony­tail, until your get com­fort­able with your hair and length. A lit­tle weave piece is good also to pro­tect your ends, I some­times if I’m… Read more »
Stephanie Thornton
Mois­ture is what your hair needs, wash once per week. Deep con­di­tion every­week, so you can get the strength back in your hair. Dur­ing the week get a good leave in con­di­tion­er, wet hair apply con­di­tion­er, the use coconut oil or olive oil to seal the mois­ture in. Do that as many times dur­ing the week you feel like the hair is dry and needs it. The week­END you wash and deep con­di­tion. Put the hair in a pro­tec­tive style and your good. That’s is that’s all you need. Mois­ture, pro­tec­tive style, wash deep con­di­tion on week­end!! If you need any­more… Read more »
Sophie Ann

what would be con­sid­ered a mois­tur­iz­ing deep con­di­tion­er vs a pro­tein deep con­di­tion­er?

The Natural Haven

Pro­tein con­di­tion­ers have ingre­di­ents like hydrol­ysed pro­tein (hydrol­ysed wheat, hydrol­ysed ker­atin, hydrol­ysed silk) or amino acids (glu­tam­ic acid, L-Cys­teine). Exam­ple prod­ucts include aphogee and komaza pro­tein hair strength­en­er.

Mois­tur­is­ing con­di­tion­ers large­ly con­tain water, oils and sur­fac­tants (behent­ri­mo­ni­um, steary­lalko­ni­um). Most hair con­di­tion­ers fall into this cat­e­go­ry and will be dis­tin­guished from reg­u­lar rinse out con­di­tion­ers by name. They will usu­al­ly be labelled as deep con­di­tion­er, inten­sive con­di­tion­er, con­di­tion­ing mask or inten­sive mask. 

Some mois­tur­is­ing con­di­tion­ers do con­tain some pro­tein or amino acids as these tend to trans­fer well into hair when in a con­di­tion­er ver­sus in water alone.

Just read the label :)


I used to only deep con­di­tion once or twice per month, but now with cold weath­er and all, I NEED to deep con­di­tion twice per week.

I use Carol’s Daugh­ter Mois­tur­iz­ing (Black Vanil­la) Hair Smooth­ie, and my hair has felt great ever since!

I guess maybe once or twice a month is need­ed for a deep con­di­tion. But I will some­times just put in some con­di­tion­er either v05 peach or straw­ber­ry. The newest that I like is Blue mag­ic argan herbal leave-in condish that is real­ly good and smells deli­cious. I some­times will put in condish on my ends once or twice a week and spray some oil onto my hair n scalp. Also just brought some African Pride Mois­tur­iz­ing Growth Oil which has so many ter­rif­ic oils in it and smells deli­cious.. ************************* I saw this while brows­ing LHCF site and her… Read more »

thank you for this post. I now added her to my ‘inspiration/motivation’ fold­er.


in my per­spec­tive, every hair advice giv­en on this site is option­al (exclud­ing the fun­da­men­tals. ex: mois­tur­iz­ing, oil­ing your ends,etc). Everyone’s hair has its own indi­vid­ual char­ac­ter­is­tics. Pick and choose which meth­ods you would like to exper­i­ment with. What­ev­er way works best for you; keep it. No need to fran­ti­cal­ly wor­ry over small details aka using heat or not. If you feel too lazy to deep con­di­tion your hair with heat, do it. If you feel like a ~3o minute does the right job, do it.


I agree with you. The only rea­son why I asked the ques­tion was because the per­son who wrote that heat is not need­ed made those of us who said we would con­tin­ue to use it feel like we wrong to dis­agree with her because she was a sci­en­tist and we were not (essen­tial­ly talk­ing down to us). Need­less to say it was nice to see anoth­er sci­en­tist say that it is.
At the end of the day, it is up to the indi­vid­ual, and that is the way it should be.

I tend to pre-poo but I think it is a form of deep con­di­tion­ing. I do it so that my hair does­nt dry out. I have to wash my hair every 4 days (because of ezce­ma). So putting a light oil(jojoba/coconut oil) and con­di­tion­er on my hair for about an hour before I wash ensures that it still feels soft and mois­tur­ized after­wards. Mind you, I dont do this every­time I wash my hair. It varies. It may be once a week, or even once a month. Depend­ing on how busy (or how lazy) I am, but I do get… Read more »

OK, i’m going to say it. If i’m not mis­tak­en, a few weeks ear­li­er we had JC telling us that we don’t need heat to deep con­di­tion, she event so far as to write a fol­low-up post to counter those of us who said we believe we do and that we will con­tin­ue to use heat. Now we have this post telling us that we do need heat to deep con­di­tion. I have always used heat and will con­tin­ue to do so, but I can def­i­nite­ly see how some new­bies get con­fused. Which is it? heat or no heat?

The Natural Haven
EG- I have repeat­ed­ly said, ‘Do what works for you!’, I even wrote a post here which explic­it­ly stat­ed that.  I encour­age peo­ple to try deep con­di­tion­ing with­out heat for 5–10 min­utes and com­pare that to deep con­di­tion­ing with heat for 20–30 min­utes. It is called exper­i­men­ta­tion. April and Nee­sha clear­ly have the expe­ri­ence that no heat is nec­es­sary , you clear­ly have the expe­ri­ence that heat is nec­es­sary. The final goal is the same ‘mois­turised, soft hair’ achieved in some cas­es with no heat and no long time peri­ods and in the sec­ond case with heat and a longer time… Read more »
@jc “My ques­tion to you EG is why do you want just one rule?” because mul­ti­ple rules can be con­fus­ing. like, the light is red. do i stop or not? yes or no. equiv­o­ca­tion can be con­fus­ing. i think espe­cial­ly because you often present things from a “sci­en­tif­ic” view, it can come across as being gospel and weird when sci­ence (and real-world expe­ri­ence) con­tra­dicts itself/each oth­er. and often, peo­ple turn to sci­en­tif­ic expla­na­tions for defin­i­tive answers. for me, i don’t real­ly pay atten­tion to lots of the so-called sci­ence stuff when it comes to my hair. i do what works for me.… Read more »
Thank You!!!! I wrote essen­tial­ly the same thing, but they did not post it. Black girl long hair since you are reading/moderating these posts, why wasn’t my reply pub­lished? Any­hoo back to my reply, YES, JC absolute­ly has a ten­den­cy to post things with the ‘my word is final’ type of atti­tude. She post­ed her infor­ma­tion, some of us dis­agreed, and then she wrote a fol­low-up post to essen­tial­ly ‘scold’ those of us who dis­agreed. I under­stand that you are a sci­en­tist, but to write a fol­low-up post like you can’t be ques­tioned? dis­agreed with? That’s extra! And no, that is… Read more »
The Natural Haven

Hon­est­ly EG and Mer­ry, I do not do com­ment box fights. I give sci­en­tif­ic research as an option for those inter­est­ed in look­ing at it, but whether you take it or leave it.……I could not care less, it’s your hair, not mine. I am inter­est­ed in a gen­uine debate or dis­cus­sion on ideas/techniques and research and I can­not see one here.

My sin­cere apolo­gies to Audrey — I hope that the focus can go back to your con­tri­bu­tion :)


Accord­ing to the author of “The Sci­ence of Black Hair” whether you use heat or not depends on how dam­aged your hair is. She rec­om­mends doing heat free (like just using a show­er cap or even a warm tow­el around the show­er cap) deep treat­ments for healthy hair, 10–15 mins under the dry­er for slight­ly dam­aged hair and 20–30 for very dam­aged hair. I’m approx­i­mat­ing the num­bers but that was the gen­er­al idea.


I agree AG. When start­ed my nat­u­al jour­ney, I stayed con­fused. What to use and what not to use. I went back to the basics. As long as my hair felt mois­tur­ized and con­di­tioned, I was hap­py.
I wash and con­di­tion once a week. Put a lil oil on my scalp and twist up! All that oth­er jazz it to time con­sum­ing. Some peo­ple do way to much.


I agree with you April. As long as my hair feels mois­tur­ized and con­di­tioned, I’m hap­py. I dont use heat to deep con­di­tion my hair because I despise leav­ing the show­er and then hav­ing to hop back in. When I’m done, I’m done! Over and out!


Preach Nee­sha!

it’s weird. i had a twa for a num­ber of years before i start­ed grow­ing my hair. once i start­ed grow­ing it, it just grew like crazy — to 12 to 13 inch­es in a mat­ter of a few of years. i nev­er once deep con­di­tioned it. and i nev­er slept with a scarf, although i did braid it up every night. but, in the last year i start­ed watch­ing all these dang youtube videos are start­ed using dif­fer­ent tools/products that broke my hair off. it was always dry, but for the first time it was also crazy frizzy. after cut­ting… Read more »
Jen jin

Hi Mer­ry! I’m new to this hair-care thing, so what do you mean by you start­ed grow­ing your hair out? I mean, do you real­ly have con­trol over that?


That was just AWFUL and fun­ny and AWFUL! I just dealt with the same thing — asked for a trim along the bot­tom and she not only leyraed it all over (I have fine hair), the back is short­er than the sides so it’s weird and this woman was HIGHLY rec­om­mend­ed. I may have to cut it all off and wear wigs for awhile — but your sto­ry helped me put it in per­spec­tive… I don’t have a skunk stripe (hoho).

well, i’ve been nat­ur­al a long time.  i always kept my hair short; at times i had the amber rose look. so, by grow out, i mean just let it grow with­out cut­ting it back all the time. it grew fast but i also nev­er real­ly kept track of length. i was pret­ty obliv­i­ous to it until one day some­body (an asian girl i know) men­tioned how much my hair had grown in the short time she knew me. weird how i had scalp length hair and bare­ly noticed shoul­der-length growth. lol. i just wasn’t obsessed with my hair. i pre­fer the… Read more »

What’s your hair tex­ture like curi­ous­ly?

Jen jin

Oh, I like that “No stress No mess” method!