3 Easy-To-Make Homemade Deep Conditioners for Natural Hair

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By Chinwe of Hair and Health

For some of us, going natural did not stop with our hair.  It continued with a move towards mixing our own “natural” products.  While numerous recipes exist on the internet, few are actually both simple AND effective in meeting the needs of our natural hair.  If you are new to making your own products or are a current mixtress searching for an easy-to-make recipe that actually works, you can start with these homemade conditioners, which are my three favorites:

1. For Manageability – Bananas, olive oil, glycerin, and honey

This homemade conditioner improves the manageability of my hair for post-rinse styling. The secret is in the banana, which has a way of minimizing shrinkage and softening the hair when mixed with the other ingredients.  Meanwhile, glycerin and honey, which are both humectants, and olive oil, which is known to penetrate the hair, all contribute moisturizing benefits.  Do not be alarmed if you notice a loosening of your coils or curls with this conditioner; the effect is temporary until your next wash day. This recipe is ideal for naturals who want to achieve easier blow-outs or better stretched styles.

1 large overripe banana (sliced) OR 7 oz banana baby food
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp pure vegetable glycerin
2 tbsp pure honey

Place the sliced banana, extra virgin olive oil, glycerin, and honey all in a blender. Blend the ingredients thoroughly making sure no lumps or banana bits remain. (Depending on your blender quality, you may or may not have to then sieve the mixture.  Another option is to use banana baby food, though the conditioner may not be as effective.) Apply to hair and let sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap. Detangle, rinse thoroughly, and style as usual.

2. For Detangling – Avocados, olive oil, shea butter, and apple cider vinegar

This homemade conditioner is lubricating, thick, and heavy, all of which give my kinks slip, moisture, and hang for detangling. The avocado’s meatiness and fatty acid content contribute to the effectiveness of this mixture.  Additionally, the fatty acids in the olive oil combined with the emollient properties of shea butter add even more lubrication and moisturizing benefits.  Lastly, the acidic pH of the apple cider vinegar helps to flatten the cuticles for easier detangling.  This conditioner is ideal for those with thick, dense hair and major shrinkage.

1 overripe avocado (sliced)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup unrefined shea butter
2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Place the sliced avocado, unrefined shea butter, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), and apple cider vinegar (ACV) into a blender. (There is no need to melt the shea butter ahead of time.)  Blend all the ingredients thoroughly and add more EVOO, if necessary, until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. When done, apply to the hair and let sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap. Detangle, rinse thoroughly, and style as usual.

3. For Strengthening – Coconut oil and honey

This conditioner is ideal for naturals whose hair dislikes protein conditioners but needs a bit of strengthening.  The key is the coconut oil, which binds to the hair thus reducing keratin loss. Honey, a humectant, is also added to the mix to impart moisture retention.  I get the best of both worlds – moisture and strength – with this conditioner.  I personally use two servings of the recipe because my hair is really thick, dense, and naturally dry.

4 tbs of extra virgin coconut oil
2 tbs of pure honey
(depending on hair density or length, you may use two servings of this recipe)

Place the coconut oil and honey in a small cup and place the cup in a large bowl of hot water.  Allow the cup to sit in the water for a few minutes until the mixture is warm.  Pour the mixture onto freshly washed but towel blotted hair.  Put on a shower cap, and wrap with a towel to prevent mixture from dripping onto face. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse out 80-90% of the conditioner, and style as usual.

Do you have any homemade conditioner recipes? Share below!

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Hails from a great city in the Midwest and will forever be a Bears fan.

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  • Mel Stevens

    All of these tips are amazing! I personally recommend the pro naturals argan oil hair repair mask =)

  • healthyhair

    Mine is not all natural but who i mixed for said it works perfect and i don’t have a special measurement.

    over ripe avocado
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Nature’s Advantage Honey & Almond Conditioner

  • A Bald

    you can also use 1 banana, 2 2tbs of honey, and 1/4 or 1/2 cup of coconut milk. It did wonders to my 3b hair.
    check it out on my instagram @aisshaliezle

  • Michelle Luna

    Oh my gosh I tried the coco oil and honey combo yesterday and it went terribly! I don’t know if starting off with dry hair was the problem but… First of all the two ingredients just do not want to mix, no matter how warm I got them. So I started just pouring carefully down the length of my hair, starting at chin length (my hair goes just past my butt) and basically only oil came out til I got near the ends of my hair bc the honey kept congealing at the bottom of the cup and the MOMENT the honey touched my hair it became like a hard gluey mess! It instantly snarled into a knot so sticky and hard I had to comb it out under the faucet running hot water, and not all the honey came off. Yuck! The hell went wrong??
    (Then I tried the oil added to conditioner trick after I shampooed bc my hair is super porous and fragile, and while my hair FEELS nice and extra heavily oiled, it LOOKS terrible, and took like over 12 hours to dry.)

    • knight

      Hi Michelle,

      It could be a couple of things,
      #1 you want to make sure your hair is wet and has already been washed
      #2 you want to make sure the honey is RAW not just organic but pure raw homey (which costs a bit more)
      #3 make sure the coconut oil is VIRGIN and unrefined as well, you want it to be in it’s purest state.
      #4 lastly…even though your hair is long, by the looks of your icon picture, it probably absorbs oil much faster than someone with curly hair, you might need less oil as most would…and start with your ends (since that’s the oldest part of your hair…working your way up…make sure the coconut oil is already a little melted and the honey should have no trouble blending.

      Hope everything works out for you!

      xo knight

    • Lauren

      I hope what I do helps you which is to heat up the mixture for a few seconds either in the microwave or by stove top to get the ingredients to mix together. Careful it can be hot! Doing this has helped soo much, but warning once it begins to cool it hardens and becomes sticky! LOL

    • Nangamso

      I’m doing this mix for the first time and I wish I’d seen your comment before I put the honey + coconut oil mix in my hair but oh well I’ve done it and I’m now sitting with a sticky gooey head of hair. I hope it will wash out well. I’ve previously used honey in my conditioner and it never gave me any problems. Maybe you should try it like this as well.

    • http://dajemorris.com Daje Morris

      I know that I’m a year late haha! But for anyone else reading this post, I used the coconut and honey mixture–only I didn’t melt the coconut butter. Coconut butter melts so easily so if its room temperature, its very easy to whip in honey with a small whisk or fork. This is now my go-to deep conditioner. My 4a/4b/4c hair loves it. I also add 10 drops of lavender, 3 drops of ylang ylang I, 1 drop of peppermint and 1 drop of tea tree for a little bit of an extra scent and nutrient boost (not that coconut oil doesn’t already smell amazing!!!).

  • Rosa Harris

    My fav homemade mix that I use as a bit of everything – I use it after wash to seal in moisture and also use it as a pre-wash conditioning soak. I also rub small amounts into the scalp daily on the tips of my fingers working it up under the back of my hair. I created it for the problem of extra dry hair and itchy scalp and it works quite well. It makes a very thick oil that stays in place.

    2ounces tea tree oil.
    3ounces coconut butter
    3ounces shea butter

    all should be 100 percent pure product.

    Just put in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for one minute. Mix and smush butters to even them out then microwave for another minute and mix again till fully melted. I pour mine into a glass jelly jar that I kept for this and then shake occasionally till it cools to keep it from separating. Then its good to go.

    I also use this one my alligator dry ashy skin! It has caused my skin to even out in tone and look much more healthy and it holds in so that it does not ash back up in a couple hours.. I did not expect that.

    My hubby loves the full-body earthy ethnic scent this has.

    • http://Www.instagram.com/John_neemay Joneitra

      I extra dry skin n hair so im going to try this thank u!

    • Earllisha Sanders

      where do you get the shea butter from, I leave in Japan so it might have to be order online

  • Shanti

    These look great! I just tried to coconut/honey one, my hair is very damaged. I can’t wait to try the other ones too – how often should you do these? I’m thinking I will probably do all three intermittently – I just wasn’t sure how often they should be done? Thanks so much for posting this!

  • Anny

    Hi Chinwe,
    still trying to comprehend that this is your hair. I started keeping my natural hair about 10months ago but it seem to be really hard. How long have you kept yours and how did you manage to get it to this length? I really do not know what to do right now. I do weave my hair and thread it at times. can you lend an advice?
    Thank you.

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  • Maggie

    I tried the coconut oil and honey deep conditioner. It worked, but my hair is still a drippy mess even though I washed it out several hours ago. Not sure where I went wrong because I followed the instructions to a T.

  • Alexis

    Never posted on here before, but I had to share my experience. I made a version of the banana deep conditioner making small substitutions based on the ingredients I had on hand. I used a banana, olive oil, coconut oil, honey, and aloe vera gel. I coated the stuff on after co-washing and left it on with a shower cap for about 30 minutes. It rinsed out easily and left my hair unbelievably soft, shiny and silky- and detangling has never been easier! I have thick, tightly coiled hair. Never had it typed, but I’m sure it’s in the 4abc family and this worked wonders for my hair. This was my first time trying a homemade hair remedy, and I will definitely be keeping it in my regimen.

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  • http://feelingfresh.net Elizabeth Bowers

    I’ve tried a few of these treatments with good results, but for some reason I’ve never tried the Avocado deep conditioner! Can’t wait to try it, thankyou.

  • Louisha

    Hi! My hair doesn’t really like olive oil can i replace it with another oil like jojoba or coconut oil? Thankx

    • Nikki

      @Louisha, yes you can substitute with whatever oil you like. Personally my hair doesn’t like olive oil its too heavy and coaty. I’d use jojoba oil in place of it hope that helps :)

  • Krystal

    These all sound wonderful! My best friend has natural hair and LOVES how it feels when she gets back from a treatment at a salon. I hope to make her some as a gift so she can pamper herself at home. Thanks for the recipes and the tips!

  • Lex

    If you do the banana deep conditioner BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL TO USE BABY FOOD. I puréed my mix very well yet it still resulted in a NIGHTMARE. Banana bits were stuck in my hair and there WAS NO WAY OF GETTING IT OUT. Personally I just say STAY AWAY FROM THE BANANA!!!!

  • JouJou

    Can I leave the coconut and honey on for a few hours rather than 20 minutes?

  • http://www.thebeautybooks.com Sonja Larsen

    #2 is absolutely amazing. I put it in, and then I went to start combing my hair so that it would coat better. Well…my hair was already detangled after just having it in 1-2 minutes. Thanks for sharing Chinwe.

  • Earllisha Sanders

    For number 3 can you add tea tree oil to the mix, as a little something for the scalp?