If you’re reading this, you’re likely aware of deep conditioner’s many virtues. You’re also probably aware that these potent treatments can feel extremely gloopy, for lack of a more eloquent term, on fine hair — especially fine hair that’s also fragile or damaged in any way (ostensibly why you’re in the market for a deep conditioner in the first place). So when you’re looking for the best deep conditioners for fine hair, you really have two options: First, you can try a more heavy-duty hair mask made with lightweight strengthening ingredients, which won’t make fine hair feel heavy or greasy. Otherwise, a daily-use deep conditioner — aka, a conditioner with more concentrated fortifying and moisturizing ingredients than usual — is guaranteed to deliver the intensive nourishment you need, minus the gloop.
Both deep conditioning hair masks and deep conditioners can be used in place of your usual conditioner, though the longer you let them sit on your hair, the more effective they will be (around 10 minutes should to the trick). That said, if you have fine hair, you don’t need to use a mask every single time you shampoo; once a week is perfectly sufficient. Unless it’s a protein mask, which should be used more sparingly as an intensive treatment.
Maybe you’re bogged down with the details now, but I promise your hair won’t be bogged down at all! All these deep conditioners for fine hair work hard to restore moisture and reverse damage, but they’re not so extra that they’ll compromise volume, movement, and texture. Scroll on to start shopping.
1. The Best Premium Deep Conditioner
This daily-use conditioner from Living Proof is formulated to replenish and strengthen dry, damaged hair, thanks to hydrolyzed wheat protein and the brand’s signature Healthy Hair Molecule, which helps shield hair from frizz, dirt, and other things that can cause weakness over time. This power-packed but lightweight formula is free of oils and silicones, which tend to contribute to that heavy, greasy feeling associated with a lot of conditioners — crucial for people with fine hair.
2. The Best Drugstore Deep Conditioner
As its name implies, this Neutrogena Triple Moisture deep conditioner uses three ingredients to replenish seriously dry hair from the inside out: Olive extract penetrates the hair shaft to rehydrate the core, meadowfoam seed gets at the middle, and sweet almond wraps the surface of each strand in a moisturizing, protective barrier. The consistency is pretty thick, but Amazon reviewers with fine, damaged hair stand by it for its softening, detangling, and strengthening effects, noting that it doesn't irritate sensitive scalps or leave behind a greasy residue. And a little goes a long way, so this three-pack (which costs about $15 on Amazon) could very well hold you over for a year.
3. The Best Deep Conditioner For Color-Treated Hair
Both the Living Proof and Neutrogena deep conditioners are safe for color-treated hair, meaning they won’t strip your hair of its dye. If you’re looking to actively boost your color, though, go for this Pureology deep conditioning mask. This deep treatment is designed specifically to protect dyed hair from the things that threaten to dull it, like the sun, smog, hot styling tools, and Marcia Brady-style brushing and combing (i.e., excessive amounts of it). That’s right alongside its standard-fare deep conditioner benefits, which include moisturizing, fortifying, and smoothing, et cetera, all of which people who dye their hair often really need. This works for people with fine hair of any texture, including curly and relaxed. But if it’s too thick for your liking on its own, try mixing a dollop with your regular conditioner.
4. The Best Hair Mask For Very Damaged Hair
Since hair is made of keratin, a mask that's infused with keratin is the ideal remedy for severely damaged hair (like, breaking off-levels of damage). This Rene Furterer mask is intense, as all keratin masks are, but it’s not so intense that it weighs down fine hair. In the formula, lightweight but potent plant extracts work to replenish and restore over-processed hair, while a vegan keratin extract works to rebuild broken hair at a cellular level. Use this concentrated treatment just once a week for a couple of weeks at a time, since overusing keratin masks can make your hair more prone to damage in the long run.