If you were to ask five different women about their hair care routines, we bet you’d get five wildly different answers. While specific products and techniques vary from person to person, we all know basics like shampoo and conditioner are a given.
What if we told you there is another essential step in your hair care routine you’re probably missing, but could absolutely benefit from? We’re talking about deep conditioner. Deep conditioner was once thought of as treatment only severely damaged locks could benefit from, but we’ve come to learn they’re great for all hair types and textures.
We decided to get to the bottom of the deep conditioning disparity, reaching out to Nick Stenson, Matrix artistic director and celebrity stylist. He explained why everyone should use a deep conditioner, how to pick the perfect treatment for your hair, how to incorporate it into your hair care routine, and his top picks from the L'Oréal portfolio of products.
Should everyone use deep conditioner?
The simplest answer is yes. Stenson insists almost everyone can benefit from a deep conditioner.
Even if your hair looks and feels healthy, your strands can still benefit from a deep conditioning treatment.
“A deep conditioner can serve to minimize breakage and split ends”,” the stylist says. “Deep conditioning is essential in every season to help keep hair moisturized.”
How do you pick the perfect deep conditioner?
Finding the best deep conditioner for your hair type and texture is the essential. While everyone’s hair is unique, Stenson says there are a few basic factors to keep in mind when choosing a deep conditioner.
“If your hair is coarse, thick, dry or brittle, a deep conditioner...will serve you well,” Stenson explains. “Fine hair, whether straight or curly, needs something completely different...find something with keratin proteins.”
Can a deep conditioner replace your regular conditioner?
Many people—especially those with parched locks—believe they’re taking extra care of their hair by replacing their regular conditioner with a deep conditioning treatment. However, Stenson says conditioning too much can actually harm your strands. Instead, he recommends making room for both products in your hair care routine.
“A deep conditioner should be a supplement to a regular conditioner...Too much moisture build up will cause dull, flat hair while an excess of protein coating on a hair strand can make it too heavy and cause additional breakage,” the stylist explains.
How often you deep condition your hair is also very important. Stenson says everyone should use a deep conditioner at least once a week, but that can vary depending on your hair type. When in doubt, follow the directions on the package.
“Fine hair should be deep conditioned weekly so as not to weigh it down,” Stenson says. “While coarse or dry and damaged hair may benefit from deep conditioning three or more times each week.
If you’re looking to add a deep conditioner to your weekly routine but aren’t sure which one is right for you, Stenson recommends starting with products from Matrix Biolage’s R.A.W. line.
“I love the Biolage R.A.W. products because they are 99 percent biodegradable and have no artificial colorants, silicones or parabens,” Stenson says.
If you have fine hair, the stylist recommends Matrix Biolage’s R.A.W. Re-Hab Mask. Formulated with rich honeycomb and kaolin clay. Intensely conditions stressed, sensitized hair to rebuild strength.
If you have coarse or thick hair, the stylist recommends Matrix Biolage’s R.A.W. Re-Hydrate Mask. Formulated with shea butter and Moroccan lava clay to condition and moisturize dry, dull hair to seal in nourishment.