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5 tips for deep conditioning your hair using the curly girl method

If you follow the Curly Girl Method, deep conditioning is an important part of your hair routine. Maybe you used a hair mask before, and this is similar. It is a conditioner that penetrates deeper into the hair and is extra nourishing. You can see it as an extra treatment to restore dry and damaged hair. The benefits of deep conditioning are more beautiful, healthier and shinier curls that shape better. Curious how it works exactly? We help you with some useful tips!

Also read: How to start the Curly Girl Method: steps for beginners

In this article:

In this article:


Deep conditioning is a treatment method for your hair that aims to nourish your hair through the use of a good conditioner. Curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair. The oils your scalp produces, unlike with straight hair, take longer to reach your ends. That’s why deep conditioning is an essential part of your curly hair routine.

It is a way to bring nourishment, hydration and strengthening to the hair. Depending on the type of deep conditioner, it not only hydrates, strengthens and nourishes, but also has a positive effect on elasticity and moisture content. They have a good effect on the health of your hair, making it easier to comb and manageable.

Once or twice a week is more than enough to feel the benefits of deep conditioning: more beautiful, healthier and shinier curls that shape better!



A deep conditioner should feel like a thick, rich cream. It is not necessary to state a ‘deep conditioner’ on the packaging of the product. The ingredients contained in the conditioner are more important. Also check the instructions on the label before use!

When buying the product, consider your curl and hair type and whether your hair needs more protein or hydration, so that the product matches your curls well. Protein makes hair strong and healthy. It ensures growth of the hair and determines the elasticity of your hair. As a curly hair ball, it is very important that your hair has the right elasticity, because you want your curl to bounce back when you pull it. For strong and healthy hair, protein and moisture must be in balance. Have you found that your hair lacks protein and thus an overload of hydration? Then it is best to focus on adding proteins to your hair and less on hydration before your treatment.

Discover here: Our favorite masks & deep conditioners WITHOUT protein
And of course: Our favorite masks WITH protein


Fancy a DIY? You can also make deep conditioners yourself! In Lorraine Massey’s Handbook ‘Curly Girl: The Handbook’ you can find a number of recipes to get started in the kitchen. Deep conditioner recipes often include banana, Greek yogurt, egg, honey, mayonnaise, avocado, olive, and coconut oils. The choice you make depends on the needs of your hair: do your curls need protein? Then a recipe with egg and Greek yogurt is for you. Is your hair lacking in hydration? Then you better focus on deep conditioners that contain oils and honey.

Also read: 5 ways to use coconut oil for your curls


When you’ve found the right deep conditioner for your hair, co-wash first. This is short for conditioner washing, which means washing your hair with conditioner. It’s important to do that first so that you get rid of the build up– hair products that have built up in your hair. If you apply the deep conditioner like this, it will not get a good chance to absorb.

After shampooing, gently squeeze some water from your hair, but still leave it soaking wet. To ensure that your entire hair benefits from the deep conditioning , it is best to divide your hair into four sections. Or eight, if you have very thick hair. If you apply the conditioner all over your hair in one go, chances are that the treatment will not reach the middle part of your hair.

Then apply the deep conditioner to your wet hair from ends up to roots. Focus on your ends, because that’s where your curls are often the driest. You see this especially if your hair ends are dry, frizzy or damaged. Take each section of your hair separately and massage the product from root to tip. This way you cover the entire hair and it can absorb the deep conditioner to the maximum.


Leave the deep conditioner on for about 20-30 minutes. The secret to deep conditioning is in the time it takes to withdraw the product. It therefore takes a bit longer, so make sure you do this in the evening or on the weekend. Once in a while you can also choose to let the product soak in overnight.

Also read: The main techniques of the Curly Girl Method


Then put on a shower cap to make sure your deep conditioner doesn’t get all over the place. A plastic bag also works if you don’t have a shower cap. The natural heat on your scalp, which is kept well on your head by the shower cap, also helps the product to absorb better. If necessary, wrap a towel around it.

You can also give nature a helping hand by heating your scalp with a hair dryer. Actually, no heat products are used within the Curly Girl Method, but in combination with a deep conditioner it is very effective. The heat ensures that your hair cuticles open, so that the ingredients of the deep conditioner can be absorbed better. You can use a hair dryer, hair dryer, steam device or by creating steam from a hot shower.

Another idea is to use a Heat Cap. This is comparable to an electric hair dryer. The difference is that it takes up less space, is wireless and you can walk around freely with it. The cap is filled with linseed, so it’s heavier than you might expect. You only have to warm it up in the microwave before use, then you can use it immediately for deep conditioning . The linseed in the cap then retains the heat for about 30-45 minutes. The result is smooth and soft hair!


Wash the conditioner from your hair with cool water. That indeed takes some getting used to and very cold, but this ensures that your hair cuticles close again. If you used a dryer or steam hood, let your hair cool down for a while before washing out the conditioner. You don’t have to rinse it out super carefully, because it’s not a disaster if some is left behind. After all, it’s grooming!

We are curious how deep conditioning suits you. Will you let us know in the comments below! And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

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  1. Step 2 says to co wash, but then it says “after shampooing…” should I shampoo after conditioning, or was this supposed to say after conditioning?

  2. Hi Sally,

    You use a shampoo before you put in a conditioner. If your hair is not very “dirty,” you can also use a co-wash instead of a shampoo and conditioner. A co-wash does not cleanse the hair as thoroughly as a shampoo.

    Hopefully I have answered your question sufficiently. If there is anything else I can do for you, please let me know.



  3. Thanks so much for impacting us with your knowledge and time you spend to do research we appreciate.

    • Great for a newbe like me, thank you 👍

      • No problem! 🙂

  4. very knowledgeable article. I really appreciate the effort which the author has put in. Thanks for sharing. I would like to suggest Natural Infusions hair products. they are organic,harmless & really worth it. please check Natural Infusions

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