Blowing your budget on hair products is a personal choice, and one that I too frequently partake in. But it’s not at all a necessity, because just like their more expensive counterparts, the best drugstore deep conditioners provide virtually everything your hair needs all in one go — like hydration, protection, softness, and strength— for under $20 a pop.
Most deep conditioners can be used a few times a week; if you have thick, coarse, or curly hair, you can probably get away with using yours every time you wash your hair, in place of regular conditioner. The exception is if your deep conditioner of choice contains proteins, in which case you should limit your usage to once a week. Either way, the longer your deep conditioner (or hair mask, same thing) stays on, the better it works. Aim for three minutes if you’re antsy, or up to 30 if you’ve been blessed with saint-like patience.
Decadent, restorative, and deeply nourishing, the best deep conditioners featured below are some of the best products you can put on your hair — and they're equally as good for your budget.
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1. The Best-Seller
Over 2,500 Amazon reviewers gave this Neutrogena deep conditioning mask a five-star rating, and several of those reviewers have bestowed it with “miracle product” status. As its name implies, this mask helps restore moisture to dehydrated, damaged hair follicles using three key ingredients: olive, meadowfoam, and sweet almond extracts. All hair types can (and will) benefit from this deep-conditioning treatment, which is conveniently sold in a two-pack — so you'll be set for a while.
2. The Best Value
Aussie makes a few types of deep conditioners, but this one is especially beneficial for hair that’s feeling a little dry and crispy. It’s infused with avocado, aloe, and Australian jojoba oil, which are some of the most effective ingredients for hydrating and nourishing dry, thirsty hair. And if you’re getting one, you might as well get three full-sized bottles for less than the price of one non-drugstore product, as is the case with this $15 order.
3. The Salon-Brand Favorite
Redken's Extreme Conditioner is, well, extreme, thanks to a blend of powerful proteins that work to actively rebuild weakened hair. Also extreme: The salon-caliber size, which clocks in at almost 34 ounces. For visual learners’ reference, that’s a full five times larger than that Neutrogena conditioner. It’s a good choice if your hair is in need of some prolonged rehabilitation — if it’s bleached, dyed, or fried from heat styling tools, for instance.
4. The Best Deep Conditioner Under $10
This deep conditioner from L’Oreal Paris has officially reached cult-favorite status, firstly for its wildly low price point, and secondly for its ultra rich strengthening formula. In here, a blend of almonds, proteins, and ceramides aim to reverse all five signs of damage (including dullness, split ends, and breakage), leaving your hair smoother and more manageable after each wash. Lots of Amazon reviewers use this as a post-bleach treatment, but it works equally well as a once-weekly deep conditioner to boost your hair’s shine, softness, and strength.
5. The Best Leave-In Deep Conditioner
Curly hair types should reach for this amped-up leave-in conditioner from curl experts Aunt Jackie's, which helps restore moisture and hydration to dried-out curls using a blend of shea butter, olive oil, and marshmallow root. It'll also give your curls slip and keep them feeling soft — not greasy, crunchy, or stiff. A number-one best-seller on Amazon, this leave-in conditioner has been given over 4,000 five-star ratings from shoppers, who rave about everything from its smell to its just-right consistency.