Best Curly Girl Approved Deep Conditioners for Dry & Brittle Curls

Written by Kayla Davis

Updated on

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases.

best curly girl approved deep conditioners

Curly girl-approved deep conditioners offer a targeted solution for dryness, frizz, and tangles for people with curly hair textures.

Formulated without sulfates, silicones, mineral oils, drying alcohols, synthetic fragrances, dyes, parabens, preservatives, and heavy proteins, these deep conditioners work in harmony with the unique structure of your curls, resulting in improved manageability and enhanced curl definition.

Here are the best ones to drench your curls in.

1. Curlsmith Double Cream Deep Quencher

Product Summary


  • Buttery texture.
  • 100% Vegan.
  • Drying-alcohol free.
  • Curly Girl-friendly.
  • No sulfates.
  • No silicone.
  • Protein-free.
  • For dry and coarse hair.


  • Strong scent.
  • Expensive.

The Curlsmith Double Cream Deep Quencher is a nourishing deep conditioner for dry and coarse hair textures. It has a rich, buttery texture that instantly coats every hair strand, providing intense moisture without weighing the hair down.

I’ve found that it works exceptionally well on type 3 to type 4 curl textures. The nourishing blend of Andiroba, resurrection flower, aloe, sage, rosemary, pepper, and basil extracts leaves a delightful fragrance. The formula is easy to rinse, leaving the hair soft and manageable.

As a curly-haired girl myself, I understand the importance of deep conditioning for maintaining healthy and bouncy curls. The Curlsmith Double Cream Deep Quencher stands out as one of the best deep conditioners I’ve tried to date for curly hair.

Reason: It is Curly Girl Method approved.

This product ticks all boxes without sulfates, silicones, mineral oils, and heavy proteins. It delivers intense moisture without weighing your curls down and causing buildup.

Regarding moisture and nourishment, I’d rate the Curlsmith Double Cream Deep Quencher a 9 out of 10. It provides lasting hydration and keeps hair soft and manageable throughout the week. For fragrance and texture, I’d give it an 8 out of 10, as the scent is pleasant but might be overwhelming for some.

What sets the Curlsmith Double Cream Deep Quencher apart from other products in this category is its commitment to using natural, organic ingredients while avoiding harmful chemicals. It’s also 100% vegan and cruelty-free, making it an ethical choice for conscious consumers.

Although the Curlsmith Double Cream Deep Quencher is a standout product, other options include the DevaCurl Melt Into Moisture and the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque. Both products cater to dry hair, but the Curlsmith formula is particularly effective for extremely dry and coarse hair types. Plus, it has the Curly Girl Method seal of approval.

The only problem is its slightly higher price point, which might not suit everyone’s budget.

How to use it:

  1. Apply to wet hair after shampooing.
  2. Rake through your curls to ensure even distribution.
  3. Leave for 15 – 30 mins.
  4. Rinse.

2. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Treatment Masque

Product Summary


  • Mineral oil free.
  • Paraben free.
  • Contains fair trade shea butter.
  • Restores dry and damaged hair.
  • Leaves hair smooth and soft.


  • Limited stock availability.

The Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil treatment repairs damaged hair caused by chemical processing.

For example, if you relax your curls or do regular color treatments, this product can help restore your hair to its natural state.

After using it for several weeks, I observed a noticeable difference in the overall health of my hair. My curls appeared more defined, bouncy, and less prone to breakage. The mask also helped to reduce frizz, making my hair easier to style. Usually, my curls look like dry ramen noodles straight after washing and drying, but the Shea Moisture treatment makes a huge difference.

I apply it to my freshly washed, damp hair, focusing on the mid-shaft to the ends, and leave it on for 30 minutes while my hair air dries. Then I rinse it out and style my hair.

Jamaican black castor oil, the main ingredient, is known for promoting hair growth and strengthening hair follicles, making it an ideal ingredient for those seeking to improve hair health.

Shea Butter adds moisture and nourishment, peppermint oil invigorates the scalp, and apple cider vinegar balances the pH levels of the hair and scalp.

How to use it:

  1. Apply to freshly-washed hair.
  2. Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse.

3. Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Banana 3-in-1

Product Summary


  • 98% natural ingredients.
  • No silicone.
  • Does not weigh hair down.
  • Can be used on wet or dry hair.
  • Vegan formula – No animal derivatives.


  • Poor packaging.

Garnier is a well-known brand in the hair care market. The Ultimate Blends line, in particular, comprises almost all-natural ingredients. This curly girl approved deep conditioner contains shea butter and banana, two ingredients that are well known for their moisturizing and nourishing properties.

The product comes in a vibrant yellow 390 ml tub with a screw-top lid.

The mask has a lightweight, whipped texture reminiscent of a smoothie or yogurt, making it easy to apply and distribute evenly through the hair.

Banana is one of the key ingredients in this mask because of its high vitamin A and potassium content, both of which are essential for healthy hair growth.

Shea butter provides deep hydration and helps to reduce frizz and breakage. The product is also vegan, with 98% natural origin ingredients, and free from silicones, which is a plus for those seeking natural hair care options.

I tested the Garnier’s Hair Food Banana 3-in-1 dry hair mask in all 3 suggested ways.

As a conditioner, I applied it to the mid-shaft and ends of my hair after shampooing, leaving it on for a few minutes before rinsing.

As a rinse-out mask, I applied a more generous amount to damp hair and left it on for 10 minutes before rinsing.

Finally, as a leave-in conditioner, I applied a small amount to damp hair and styled it as usual.

In all 3 applications, I found that the product provided noticeable hydration and softness to my hair. The lightweight texture did not weigh my hair down, and it rinsed out easily without leaving any residue. While initially quite strong, the banana scent became more subtle after rinsing and left a pleasant, lingering fragrance.

After several weeks of use, my hair felt softer and more manageable. As a leave-in conditioner, it provided light, non-greasy hydration that kept my hair looking and feeling smooth throughout the day.

I would recommend this product to anyone seeking a multi-purpose curly hair routine treatment to combat dryness and enhance the overall health of their hair.

How to use it:

  1. Apply to wet hair.
  2. Leave for 3 minutes.
  3. Rinse out.
  4. Or use it as a leave-in conditioner without washing.

4. Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Mask

Product Summary


  • Reparative deep conditioning hair mask.
  • Made with certified organic ingredients.
  • Makes hair soft and easy to detangle.
  • Prevents hair breakage.
  • Improves hair growth.
  • Very cheap.


  • The smell is too strong.
  • Contains protein.

This tantalizing treat of a hair mask has curly hair mavens raving about its ability to soften, detangle, moisturize, hydrate, and condition curly hair while healing damage and boosting growth.

It is a must-have for every curly girl’s haircare arsenal.

First up, the scent. The moment you twist open the jar, you’ll be captivated by the heavenly aroma of fresh, juicy blueberries. It’s like walking through a blueberry patch on a warm summer day. And the best part? It lingers even after rinsing, blessing your locks with a fruity, uplifting fragrance that will turn heads.

Formulated without sulfates, silicones, parabens, or mineral oil, this mask aligns perfectly with the principles of the curly girl method. It’s packed with natural and organic ingredients like certified organic blueberry extract, aloe leaf juice, and chamomile extract, ensuring your curls are not compromised and you incorporate the product easily into your curly hair journey.

The Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative hair mask delivers intense hydration, deeply penetrating your thirsty curls and quenching them with moisture. This conditioning mask melts away tangles and knots, transforming the detangling process from a nightmare into a dream. Say goodbye to breakage and hello to smooth, manageable curls.

The blueberry extract is rich in vitamins and antioxidants that help repair hair follicles, reduce breakage, and stimulate hair growth. Many users have reported noticeable hair health, strength, and length improvements after consistent use.

With its divine scent, “curly girl method” compatibility, and undeniable results, it’s no wonder curly-haired beauties are singing their praises everywhere. Give your curls the love they deserve and experience the bliss of this blueberry-infused miracle.

How to use it:

  1. Apply to wet hair and massage thoroughly.
  2. Leave in for 15 – 25 minutes.
  3. Rinse.
  4. Use once a week.
  5. Avoid using it as a leave-in conditioner as it contains protein.

5. Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Deep Conditioner

Product Summary


  • No sulfates. No parabens.
  • Color-safe formula.
  • Does not cause buildup.
  • Makes curly and wavy hair softer.


  • Small packets.

If you follow the Curly Girl Routine religiously, this product is worth considering because of its lightweight yet deeply nourishing formula.

You won’t find many coconut oil-based hair masks that work on curly hair without leaving buildup.

The Hask Monoi Coconut Oil nourishing deep conditioner is a tropical oasis in a sachet, perfect for revitalizing dry curls. The powerful combination of coconut oil and Monoi de Tahiti oil transports you to an exotic paradise and provides much-needed moisture for soft, smooth, and hydrated locks.

Unlike most traditional deep conditioners that come in jar containers, the Hask Monoi deep conditioner comes in small 50g packets that deliver up to 3 uses each. The full box contains 12 of them!

How to use:

  1. Massage on clean, damp hair.
  2. Leave it on for up to 5 minutes.
  3. Rinse out with cold water.
  4. Each sachet contains enough for up to 3 uses.

6. Eden Bodyworks Strengthening Deep Conditioner

Product Summary


  • Ideal for extremely dry and brittle hair.
  • Prevents hair breakage.
  • For 3c/4a hair types.


  • Strong scent.

The Eden Bodyworks deep conditioner nurtures and revitalizes dry and brittle curls, leaving them soft and bouncy.

A carefully selected botanical blend of jojoba oil, tiare flower, and tea tree oil that work in harmony restores the integrity of hair damaged or weakened by styling, chemicals, or environmental factors.

Jasmine Lawrence founded Eden Bodyworks after experiencing hair damage from chemical burns at 11. Recognizing the need for natural hair care products, she took matters into her own hands, developing her remedies in her kitchen. Today, EDEN BodyWorks is a testament to her passion for natural remedies for curly hair textures.

The product has a strong eucalyptus scent, but I found it to be pleasant and not overwhelming.

The texture is thick, so only use it as recommended. I wouldn’t recommend using it as a leave-in conditioner as it may cause buildup.

How to use:

  1. Apply to damp hair after washing.
  2. Leave it on for up to 30 minutes.
  3. Wash.
  4. Do not use it as a leave-in conditioner, as it’s too thick.

7. Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner

Product Summary


  • Deeply hydrates with humectants.
  • Increases scalp circulation.
  • Ideal for the baggy method.
  • Can be used to relieve itchy scalp and dandruff.


  • Not cheap.

The Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage deep conditioner harness the unique combination of honey, sage, and babassu oil to deeply nourish and hydrate curly hair, leaving them soft with plenty of definition.

Honey is the super humectant and star ingredient of this product. Honey attracts and binds moisture from the air straight into your hair. It is a powerful ally in maintaining optimal hydration for your curls, ensuring they stay moisturized, healthy, and bouncy.

Sage has stimulating properties, which help to increase scalp circulation to nurture a good follicle environment for your curls to thrive.

Babassu oil is a nutrient-rich oil renowned for protecting the hair, reducing frizz, and moisturizing.

The Alikay Naturals deep conditioner is 90% organic, easy to use, and an excellent product for baggying your hair.

How to use it:

  1. Apply to wet hair.
  2. Massage it from root to tip.
  3. Cover your hair with a plastic cap (optional).
  4. Let the product sit for 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse and style your hair.

8. Mielle Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner

Product Summary


  • Reduces frizz and flyaways.
  • Contains healthy fatty acids for hair.
  • Deeply nourishing for 3A to 4C curls.
  • Color safe.
  • Good for high and low porosity hair.
  • Good for braids, weaves, and both low and high porosity level hair.
  • Can be used as a sculting gel for curl definition.


  • Contains protein.
  • Strong minty smell.

The Mielle Organics deep conditioner contains nutrient-rich oils and complex amino acids that can elevate your curly hair care routine. With this product, you can achieve longer-lasting moisture in your curls.

This versatile deep conditioner works hair types 3A to 4C, color-treated hair, braids, weaves, and hair with low and high porosity levels. It is a multi-purpose product choice for every curly hair enthusiast.

The product has strong mint extracts, which may give your scalp a soft burning sensation and a cooling feeling. Some people may find it overpowering, lasting for a day. Avoid this product if you’re not a fan of the mint smell.

Otherwise, it does a good job of replenishing moisture and softening African American hair types.

How to use it:

  1. Apply to hair after shampooing.
  2. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Wash.

9. Camille Rose Algae Renew Deep Conditioning Mask

Product Summary


  • Can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment.
  • Color safe.
  • Can be used on chemically-treated hair.
  • Reasonable price.
  • Stops breakage and strengthens hair.


  • Not for fine hair.

The Camille Rose Algae Renew deep conditioner is luxuriously creamy and thoroughly nourishing.

Packed with 65 different vitamins and minerals, it delivers potent nutrients to the hair that desperately needs moisture and restoration. This deep conditioner also contains a mix of antioxidants, unrefined mango, and cocoa butter to lock hydration and seal the hair’s cuticles.

Blue Algae helps to strengthen the hair, improving its resilience against daily styling activities like brushing, curling, and detangling. It effectively reduces the risk of breakage to help you maximize length retention and hair growth.

But I must say, I dislike the overpowering minty smell. I wish it had a more subtle scent.

How to use it:

  1. Apply to hair after shampooing.
  2. Cover your hair with a plastic cap.
  3. Sit under a hooded hair dryer for 30 – 60 minutes.
  4. Wash.
  5. It can also be used as a pre-shampoo treatment.

10. JessiCurl Deep Conditioning Treatment

Product Summary


  • Intense conditioning for curls.
  • No greasy feel.
  • Can be used as a daily conditioner for thick hair.

If you want your curls to be pampered and invigorated, JessiCurl is an excellent curly girl-approved 2-in-1 deep conditioner and leave-in treatment that is lightweight yet moisturizing. Featuring a citrus/lavender scent, an island fantasy variant, and an unscented version of the conditioner, JessiCurls truly knows what the curly girl method is all about.

It’s probably safe to say this deep conditioner for curly hair is one of the fan-favorite products on the market. Boasting a nutritious blend of super hydrating ingredients like cocoa and shea butter, and avocado oil, JessiCurl’s conditioner will pamper and replenish the moisture even in the dryest curls with a great slip.

How to use:

  1. Apply to clean wet hair.
  2. Let it settle for 30 minutes or longer.
  3. Rinse and style.
  4. It can also be used as a no-rinse leave-in conditioner.

Why Is Deep Conditioning Essential for Curly Hair?

If you have curly hair, it’s important to deep condition it regularly. This is because curly hair tends to be drier than straight hair since the natural oils from the scalp take longer to reach the ends of the hair. Deep conditioning helps keep your hair moisturized, essential for keeping frizz under control, maintaining your curls’ definition, and preventing breakage.

Here are the reasons why adding a deep conditioning treatment to your curly hair routine is essential:

  • Moisture retention: Naturally, curly hair is drier than straight hair because the natural oils from the scalp have a more difficult time reaching the lower parts of the hair shaft. Deep conditioning helps to moisturize and nourish the hair.
  • Improved elasticity: Deep conditioning treatments often contain ingredients that help improve the hair’s elasticity, allowing it to stretch and return to its original shape without breaking. This is particularly important for curly hair, as it is more prone to breakage due to its spiral structure.
  • Easy to detangle curls: Curly hair is prone to tangles and knots, which can lead to breakage and damage. Deep conditioning treatments help to smooth and soften the hair, making it easier to detangle and manage.
  • Damage repair: Curly hair is more susceptible to damage from heat styling, chemical treatments, and environmental factors. Deep conditioning treatments can help repair the damage, restore hair health, and improve resilience.
  • Enhance curl definition: Well-hydrated and moisturized curly hair will have better curl definition and less frizz. Deep conditioning helps to achieve this, giving your curls a more defined and bouncy appearance.

The Curly Girl Method (CGM) is a hair care approach that emphasizes gentle cleansing, ample hydration, and minimal heat styling to help enhance and maintain the natural curl pattern.

Deep conditioning plays a significant role in the Curly Girl Method by keeping curls hydrated, maintaining their natural elasticity, and reducing the need to use heat-styling tools to tame frizz.

Deep conditioning also helps to nurture the hair for maximum growth and length retention, which is one of the goals of the Curly Girl Method.

What to Look for When Buying a Deep Conditioner for Curly Hair

curly girl approved conditioners buying guide

A Curly Girl Method approved deep conditioner must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Silicone-free: Silicones can cause buildup on the hair and weigh down curls, so choosing a deep conditioner without silicones is essential. Avoid ingredients that end in -cone, -conol, or -xane, such as dimethicone, cyclomethicone, or amodimethicone.
  • Sulfate-free: Sulfates are harsh detergents that can strip the hair of natural oils, leading to dryness and frizz. Opt for a deep conditioner free of sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES).
  • Paraben-free: Parabens are preservatives that have been associated with potential health risks. Choosing a deep conditioner without parabens is best to align with the CGM recommendations and minimize potential risks.
  • Moisturizing ingredients: Look for deep conditioners with ingredients known for their hydrating properties. Examples include aloe vera, shea butter, coconut, avocado, jojoba, and glycerin. These ingredients help restore moisture and nourish the hair.
  • Protein: Curly hair often benefits from products containing proteins, which help strengthen and repair the hair. Look for hydrolyzed proteins like keratin, silk, wheat, or soy, which are small enough to penetrate the hair shaft. However, be cautious not to overuse protein treatments, as too much protein can make the hair brittle.
  • Emollients: These ingredients help smooth and soften the hair, making it more manageable and less prone to frizz. Examples of emollients include natural oils (like argan, almond, or olive oil), shea butter, and cetyl alcohol.
  • Humectants: Humectants attract moisture from the air and help the hair retain hydration. Look for ingredients like glycerin, honey, panthenol, or propylene glycol in your deep conditioner.
  • Natural ingredients: While not a strict requirement of the CGM, many people prefer products with natural or organic ingredients, as they tend to be gentler and may provide additional benefits.
  • Suitable for your hair type and needs: Different curly hair types (e.g., wavy, coily, or tightly coiled) and specific hair concerns (e.g., dryness, damage, or frizz) may require different deep conditioners. Read product labels and reviews to find a deep conditioner that meets your hair’s needs.
  • Low Protein: The curly girl method focuses more on moisture than protein. So look for protein-free products or products that are not too heavy on proteins.
  • Non-drying alcohols: Certain alcohols can be drying and damaging to curly hair. Examples of alcohols to avoid are Isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol, and Alcohol denat. If you see Cetearyl Alcohol on the list, don’t worry; it is non-drying and beneficial for curly hair. It helps to smooth the hair cuticle, retain moisture, and improve manageability.

By considering these factors, you can choose a deep conditioner that aligns with the Curly Girl Method principles and provides your curly hair with the hydration, nourishment, and care it needs to thrive.

How to Use Deep Conditioner with the Curly Girl Method

Using a deep conditioner with the Curly Girl Method (CGM) involves a few key steps to ensure maximum benefit for your curls. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a deep conditioner in accordance with the CGM:

  1. Choose the right deep conditioner:Opt for a curly girl-approved deep conditioner. As the CGM recommends, look for silicone-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, and paraben-free. Look for ingredients that promote hydration, such as aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil, or avocado oil.
  2. Wash your hair first:Start by gently cleansing your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo or a co-wash (conditioner-only wash) to remove dirt, oil, and product buildup. This will prepare your hair for the conditioning treatment.
  3. Apply the deep conditioner:Gently squeeze out excess water from your hair after rinsing the cleanser. Apply a generous amount of the deep conditioner to your damp hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends. Ensure that all your curls are well-coated.
  4. Detangle:Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently detangle your hair and distribute the deep conditioner evenly throughout your curls. This will help the product penetrate more effectively and make it easier to manage your hair afterward.
  5. Enhance the treatment with heat:To maximize the benefits of the deep conditioning treatment, cover your hair with a plastic cap or bag. Use a heat cap, hooded dryer, or a warm towel to apply heat to your hair for 15-30 minutes. The heat will open up the hair cuticle, allowing the deep conditioner to penetrate more deeply.
  6. Rinse with cool water:After the treatment has elapsed, carefully remove the plastic cap and rinse your hair thoroughly. The cool water will help close the hair cuticle, sealing in the moisture and nutrients from the deep conditioner.
  7. Style your hair:Proceed with your regular CGM-approved styling routine. This may include applying a leave-in conditioner, curl-defining cream, or gel and then air-drying, diffusing, or plopping your curls.
  8. Maintain a deep conditioning schedule:Integrate deep conditioning treatments into your regular hair care routine. Depending on your hair’s needs, you may want to deep condition every 1-2 weeks.

Are You Using CG-Approved Deep Conditioners?

The Curly Girl Method (CGM) helps maintain protein and moisture balance in curly hair by emphasizing gentle cleansing, hydration, and minimal heat styling. While the CGM acknowledges the importance of protein and moisture, it focuses more on moisture because curly hair is drier than straight hair.

So adding more protein to it would only make it worse, which can lead to protein overload.

If you’re looking for deep conditioners, remember to pick the ones that are low in protein and high in moisture.

About the Author

Kayla DavisKayla Davis

Kayla Davis is a self-proclaimed skincare and haircare junkie who loves testing out new products and writing about her experiences. Her bathroom shelves are always overflowing with beauty products. You name it - it's there.