Deep Hair Conditioner: Your Questions, Answered

We often talk about the importance of deep conditioner to keep hair in the best condition. Whether you are a regular user of deep conditioners (well done!) and have questions or you are new to the joys of deep conditioning and curious about what a deep conditioner can do for your hair, we’ve compiled a list of questions and answers to give you the heads up.

What is a Deep Conditioner?

It may seem like an obvious question but it is important to understand the difference between a conditioner and a deep conditioner. Conditioners have two jobs to do; add moisture to the hair and smooth the cuticle. A deep conditioner is more concentrated, giving hair a more intensive treatment. We often talk about shiny hair and we know that using a deep conditioner as part of a weekly routine is the best way of adding shine to hair.

Hair is shiny when the cuticle is smooth. The cuticle is the outer layer of the hair. It’s made up of tiny scales and when the scales lift the hair becomes dry, rough and prone to breakage. This texture leaves the hair looking dull. Step forward deep conditioner. By smoothing the cuticle, helping the tiny scales to lay flat, light bounces off the smooth surface of the hair leaving it shiny. We’ve previously written about the scourge of split ends. If you want to find out more, click on the link below.

How to Get Rid of Split Ends and Prevent their Return

What are Split End?What is the Best Deep Conditioner?

Choosing a deep conditioner that is best for your hair can be tricky. With over 35 years in the salon business, we’ve worked with plenty of hair products. We’ve had the best results with products that feed moisture into the hair over time. Quick fixes are not always what they promise and, in our experience, hair needs moisture on a regular basis, little and often. Look out for ingredients that will nourish the hair. We’ve listed some of our favourites below:

  • Pro-vitamin B5 targets damaged hair to reduce split ends, leaving hair smoother and shinier
  • Glycerin attracts moisture to the hair. This is important as it also prevents moisture loss and helping to prevent frizzy hair
  • Cetearyl Alcohol a natural fat that conditions hair to smooth the cuticle for maximum shine
  • Avocado, a powerhouse ingredient containing vitamins A, D and E to restore health and shine to the hair
  • Tocopherol (vitamin E), smooths and nourishes the hair.

We’ve combined these ingredients into a super-smoothing, mega-moisturising hair mask, otherwise known as a deep conditioner in Restore and Shine Hair Masque (it does what it says on the jar!). If you’ve yet to try it, your hair and your senses are in for a treat. Not only does it leave you with smooth, shiny hair but it also smells divine. Fragranced with lemon, lime and may chang essential oils, close your eyes and let it transport you to luxury spas and exotic climes from the comfort of your own bathroom.

Give hair a cuticle-smoothing boost with a deep conditioning treatment. For maximum hair shine, treat hair once a week every week.

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What can I use as a Deep Conditioner?

Thinking about raiding your kitchen store cupboard to create a deep conditioner? Think again. We absolutely believe that olive oil is good for the hair. However, a product that you use for cooking or salad dressings is not good for your hair. Basically, the molecules of the oil are too big to penetrate the hair and they simply sit on the hair. If you leave an oil like olive oil on your hair, it will simply sit on the hair, making it greasy and attracting dirt. Worse, when you wash it off your hair, you may find you have to wash it several times to get the oil out of the hair. Somewhat defeating the object of doing the treatment in the first place.

We use olive leaf extract in our deep conditioner, Restore and Shine Hair Masque. Olive leaf extract gives you all the benefits of olive oil without any of the downsides. If you want a truly effective deep treatment, use a product that is formulated and rigorously tested to do the job of a deep conditioner.

Does a Deep Conditioner really work?

Yes, deep conditioners do work but as with many hair products, not all deep conditioning treatments are equal. If your deep conditioner is not working for you, click on the link below and you’ll find our tips for using a deep conditioning treatment by hair type. All hair types can benefit from a deep conditioner; from fine to colour-treated to curly and afro hair to dry or damaged hair we share our salon know how on getting the best from your deep conditioner.

Salon Know How: Why use a Deep Conditioning Hair Mask?

Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

Do you shampoo after Deep Conditioning?

If you are using an oil-based deep conditioner, generally they are applied to dry hair and then washed out using shampoo. However,  we recommend checking the product manufacturer’s instructions. For best results, a water-based deep conditioner like Restore and Shine should be applied to clean, damp hair. So you would shampoo the hair, rinse and towel out excess water before application. Once you are ready to finish the treatment, the hair can be rinsed using warm water and dried and styled as normal. No need to shampoo the hair again.

How Long does it take to Deep Condition Hair?

The answer to this question is that it depends. It depends on your hair. We’ve written some guidelines for Restore and Shine Hair Mask which you can find below. If you are using another deep conditioner, check the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Fine, dry hair – a maximum of 2 hours
  • Coarse, dry hair – anything from 2 hours to overnight.
  • Grey, dry hair- hair tends to be finer as we age so unless your hair is very coarse so we recommend no more than 2 hours
  • Dry, curly hair – if your hair is curly and thick overnight will be fine. For fine curls, we recommend a couple of hours
  • Dry, colour treated hair -overnight if your hair is thick/coarse. Otherwise anything from 2 to 4 hours. Try a plastic cap to add heat intensity to the treatment.

How do you Deep Condition Hair?

The process for using a deep conditioner is very similar to using a conditioner. By following the steps below to get the most from your deep conditioner.

  1. Shampoo and rinse your hair. Water-based deep conditioner such as Restore and Shine Hair Masque works better on clean hair.
  2. Towel out the water. Once rinsed, it’s time to get rid of the excess water. Too wet and the product can slip off the hair, sending your deep conditioner down the drain. Hair should be damp, not dripping wet. Be gentle with wet hair. Because hair is most fragile when wet, the best way to get rid of excess water is to gently squeeze out the water. Avoid rubbing the hair.
  3. Warm up the deep conditioner in your palms. Working up the deep conditioner in your hands is a great way of warming and softening the product so that when applying to the hair it’s easier to spread. This avoids overloading one area of the hair.
  4. Concentrate on the ends and mid-lengths. The only exception to this is thick, coarse or curly hair. You know your hair and if it can take a product at the roots, by all means, work the product up to the roots.
  5. Once you’ve applied the deep conditioner, it’s up to you how long you leave it on your hair. You can follow our guidelines on timing above. Having said that, if you are using another manufacturer’s deep conditioner check their instructions first.
  6. The final step? Rinse the deep conditioner out of your hair. Style as normal and enjoy your silky, shiny locks.

How often should I Deep Condition my Damaged Hair?

For damaged hair, we recommend a treatment with Restore and Shine Hair Mask twice a week for the first two weeks. After that, use a hair mask once a week, every week. We’ve written a piece on how to fix damaged hair. Click on the link below to find out more.

Salon Know How: How to Repair Damaged Hair

How to repair or fix dry damaged hair

Does Olive Oil Deep Condition your Hair?

The molecules of the olive oil used for cooking or salad dressings are not small enough to penetrate the hair. Olive oil may give some benefit in smoothing the hair but the down-sides outweigh any benefits. Because Olive Oil cannot penetrate the hair it sits on the hair, leaving it greasy and attracting dirt from the atmosphere.

The other thing to consider is how you get the olive oil out of your hair. Washing olive oil out of the hair may take several shampoos which basically defeats the object of deep conditioning in the first place. If you don’t get all of the oil out of your hair, you can look forward to greasy roots.

So, honestly, olive oil is not the best option for a deep condition. Stick to products that are formulated to deep condition hair and remember there are products out there that have the benefits of olive oil without the downsides of oily roots. Restore and Shine Hair Masque with its olive leaf extract is a good example of this.

Can any Conditioner be used as a Deep Conditioner?

Conditioners can be used after every shampoo however, deep conditioners are generally developed to be used once a week. The thing about conditioners is that they don’t replace a deep conditioning treatment however you can get more from them if you follow the tips below.

  1. After shampooing and rinsing the hair, gently squeeze out the excess water.
  2. Applying conditioner to hair that is damp, not dripping wet, works best.
  3. Work the conditioner up in your palms, so get an even application on the ends and mid-lengths.
  4. Make rinsing your hair the last thing you do before getting out of the shower. That way it gets a bit longer to nourish the hair.

If you condition your hair every time you shampoo, you might wonder why you need to use a deep conditioner. It’s a good question and the answer lays in all the environmental factors that the hair has to contend with; from pollution in urban areas to heated styling, colour treatments, sun and wind, they all take their toll. When you factor in over-brushing (yes, some of us are guilty of that!) or just the amount of times we touch our hair during the day, all of these things can cause the cuticle to lift and the hair to become dry. That’s why a deep conditioner is so important. It gives your hair the extra moisture boost to combat those environmental factors.

What Home Remedy can I use to Deep Condition my Hair?

From eggs and lemon juice to avocado and olive oil, you’ll see plenty of suggestions for home hair remedies. Most of them are not very effective as they can’t penetrate the cuticle to get moisture right to the core of the hair. They may give a temporary fix of smoothing the cuticle. But that’s not enough. In the end, hair needs moisture. Pro vitamin b5 has been clinically proven to penetrate the cuticle, getting moisture right to the core of the hair. It’s a cornerstone ingredient in our Restore and Shine deep conditioner. If you are going to use a deep conditioner at home, choose one that has been properly formulated to deliver moisture to the hair every time you use it.

How can I Moisturise my Hair without Oil?

Yes. Choose a good water-based deep conditioner like Restore and Shine Hair Masque. This moisturising mask is packed with ingredients that will get moisture right to the core of your hair whilst smoothing the cuticle for super shine and helping the hair to retain moisture. We’ve got plenty of tips about adding moisture to hair without oil in our blog on choosing a moisturising hair mask. If you want to say, ‘No’ to dry hair, click on the link below.

Moisturising Hair Mask: Say No to Dry Hair

Moisturising Hair Mask; Say No to Dry Hair

Recommended Reading

Over the years, we’ve talked to and helped a lot of customers with curly hair concerns. We write about how all aspects of healthy hair, from tackling frizz to getting rid of split ends and share salon tips and techniques for looking after all hair types. We’ve suggested some further reading below but please take a look at our Healthy Hair Blog to find more articles.

The way we care for our hair is not the only factor in achieving healthy, shiny hair. Good nutrition is important. If you want to delve deeper into how you can improve your healthy hair diet, take a look at our blog, Healthy Hair: Choose the Best Foods for Hair Growth.

Want to find out more about deep conditioners and hair masks for dry hair? You’ll find further reading and tips in our blog, Hair Mask for Dry Hair: Your Questions, Answered.

Want to find out more about leave in conditioners and how they can help you in your quest for shiny hair? We give you the heads up in our blog on Leave in Hair Conditioners.

If your hair is excessively dry and you are looking for further tips for tackling dry hair, our blog, Salon Know How: How to Moisturise Dry Hair, is a must-read.

About Us

Ogario London is a salon developed, natural hair care range. As a niche brand, we are passionate about our products and delivering the best results is at the heart of what we do. So, if you have any questions about our products would like advice on the best products for your hair type, or have another question about how to look after your hair, please get in touch at

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