When learning what works best for your hair you experiment quite a bit with different products and regimens in your hair care routine. The questions that often come up is are how often should I deep condition and do I need to use a product marked deep conditioner? I too have used “regular” or daily conditioners as deep conditioners every now and then just by leaving them on a longer time. I’ve done this mostly because deep conditioners seem to cost a bit more money than normal regular day to day conditioners.  So what is the difference? Are they the same thing? And is my method effective? Let’s dive in a little further to the composition of both types of conditioners to see if they really are the same or are they different?

Regular Conditioner vs Deep Conditioner: Whats The Difference?

“Regular conditioner”: A normal or regular conditioner is also known as a daily, rinse out, or surface conditioner. We usually don’t leave a surface conditioner on our hair for more than 1-5 minutes and if you are a co washer you are usually scrubbing your scalp and rinsing it out as if it were shampoo. Rinse out conditioners can only moderately adsorb ingredients on the surface of your hair. It is safe and gentle enough to be used daily or a few times a week. The rinse out conditioner falls somewhere in the middle of your leave in and deep conditioner’s formulations. Most rinse out conditioners contain humectants, silicones, and emollients that leave behind various levels of moisture behind on the hair.

Deep Conditioners: which are often used once a week at most are usually thicker in consistency and and require you to leave them on for a longer period of time. Usually around the 10-30 minute mark. The best deep conditioners consist of ingredients that can penetrate the shaft of the hair and nourish your cuticle on a deeper level. Most consist of some sort of penetrating oil (coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil). Deep conditioner has a longer lasting effect compared to a regular rinse out conditioner because it is usually highly viscous. Adding heat to your deep conditioning process/treatment also helps with the absorption rate of moisture into the shaft of your hair.

So as you can see it does make quite a bit of difference how you use your conditioners in your hair care regimen. Both are crucial to your hair care regimen but the most important thing is to pay attention to the directions recommended by the manufacturer.

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6 Responses to Regular Conditioner Vs Deep Conditioner: Whats The Difference?

  1. Thanks for differentiating between the regular conditioner and deep conditioner. I do use my favorite deep conditioner hair mask from the GKhair brand that is a complete damage reconstructor. It truly penetrates the hair shaft and repairs from the inside out leaving a soft, smooth and healthy finish. It makes the best deep conditioner in my opinion becasue it did wonders on my hair. 🙂 <3

  2. Thank you so much for this straight forward information. I even got more than what I was looking for ! I currently wear my hair under wigs so I only wash my hair weekly because for the most part of the week it is in cornrows. Once i grow my hair out enough to wear it out i’ll implement regular conditioners but for now I’m happy with the deep conditioners. As for the oils, for some odd reason coconut oil has not been in my drawer for a minute I used to use it all the time but one day my scalp was on fire and I had realized it was the coconut oil, I knew that my hair responded well to avocado oil and olive oil i just had no idea why. My hair is realy really dry so i’m looking to building a routine that will restore and keep moisture.

    Loved this post xx

  3. So, my hair routine is to shampoo once a week and afterwards I use my wash out conditioner, leave it in for 2-3 minutes, rinse, and then use my deep conditioner for 10 minutes and rinse. Then, after getting out and scrunching out the excess water, I put in a leave in conditioner and blow dry cream and blow dry my hair. With this routine, could I just skip my wash out conditioner and just go straight to my deep conditioner after shampooing?