I just went to the salon yesterday for a consultation to have my hair dyed blonde (eek!). The stylist asked me whether I deep condition my hair as part of my regular routine, and I was a little embarrassed to admit that I don’t do it nearly as much as I should.
You see, deep conditioners can be expensive. Some of the most popular ones cost over $30 for a regular 8 oz jar. I’m not saying those products aren’t worth the investment — they absolutely are! But I am saying that, well, I’m cheap. I have an allergy to throwing down that much money at once on a hair product. Also, when I get my hands on a great deep conditioner, I can be a little stingy with it, because I want it to last for a long time.
So, when I come across an excellent deep conditioner for under $15, my heart pings with joy. Fortunately, a variety of brands, from Eden BodyWorks to Kinky Curly, sell affordable hair masks that cost less money than your last food delivery order.
I compiled 15 luxurious hair masks under $15 so that I can never use the excuse “but it’s sooo expensive” to not deep condition my hair ever again! And neither can you.
Note: If there’s ever a really great deep conditioner that you want to try without dropping much money, look for samples! Many deep conditioners are available in sample-size packets for just a few bucks. Depending on the length of your hair, you may be able to stretch that sample for multiple uses (I’m speaking from experience here).
Curlies love that this conditioner leaves their hair feeling soft, moisturized, and manageable. Not all conditioners are formulated to be left on overnight (in fact there is such a thing as over-conditioning your hair) but this was created to be left on overnight. Simply apply the product from ends to roots and then put on a sleeping cap overnight, then rinse it out in the morning before you shampoo.
This masque was crowned as one of NaturallyCurly’s Best of the Best products in 2016, and it remains a crowd favorite. It doesn’t provide much slip, but it does provide a mega dose of moisture, making it great for dry or damaged hair. It features mineral-rich sea kelp, argan oil, and shea butter.
Another favorite, this deep conditioner from Mielle Organics offers both protein and moisture for the curlies who need to re-strengthen their hair. It features babassu, an Amazonian palm fruit, plus mint oil which leaves a refreshing tingly feel. It’s great for all textures.
Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner has been a staple in many curlies’ cabinets for years. This is a very thick, moisturizing deep conditioner that works well for both waves and curls. It hydrates, softens and smoothes your curls.
While some brands charge extra for their deep conditioners, Kinky Curly’s deep treatment is almost the same price as their leave-in conditioner and shampoo. Stellar Strands contains macadamia and argan oil for deep, intense hydration, leaving all hair types softer and more defined.
This is another double-whammy masque that contains protein as well as moisture. With sunflower, noni fruit and natural keratin, it masque rebuilds and strengthens the hair while also hydrating every strand. It’s also creamy and has plenty of slip, making it great for coily hair types.
This masque contains shea butter and honey to replenish your hair’s moisture, plus banana to repair damage and strengthen each curl. It has a rich, creamy consistency and a lovely light scent. It’s great for type 3 and 4 hair.
This is one of my favorite deep conditioners. It’s rich and creamy, easy to apply, and it instantly melts all the dryness out of my hair. Plus, it’s under $10. Featuring jojoba oil, it’s suitable for any hair type.
A hair masque that’s affordable plus environmentally-friendly? Yes, it’s possible! This masque from Sashapure features organic, wild-crafted ingredients, including the brand’s signature ingredient: certified Peruvian sacha inchi oil. It’s intensively moisturizing and has great slip, so you can also use it to detangle. Good for all hair types.
Some deep conditioners do a great job of highlighting one high-quality ingredient, like this Babassu Deep Conditioner from Obia Naturals. Babassu oil adds shine, repairs elasticity, and softens the hair. This conditioner is completely protein-free, so it’s perfect for protein-sensitive curlies.
At under $6, you really can’t go wrong with this Heat Activated Masque from African Pride. It removes impurities and product build-up while replenishing moisture, strengthening and softening the hair. It’s designed to be used with heat, so it’s great for low-porosity hair.
Another ridiculously inexpensive hair masque, this Deep Conditioning Masque contains coconut oil to moisturize, soften and protect your hair. It also provides slip, so it can be used to detangle your curls.
This ultra-rich masque contains shea butter, mango, honey, coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. It restores moisture, repairs damage, and adds softness and shine. It’s easy to apply, and it’s best for type 2 and 3 hair.
Here’s a reliable, affordable hair mask that you can likely find in any drugstore. This mask is ideal for dry or damaged hair with its blend of coconut oil, shea butter, and macadamia oils. It’s versatile, too — it can even be used as a leave-in treatment for extra thirsty curls. Other Maui Moisture deep conditioners include the Detoxifying + Volcanic Ash Scalp Care Mask and the Strength & Anti-Breakage Agave Hair Mask.
Wanna be ahead of the curve? Here’s a brand spankin’ new deep treatment from Zotos Professional that got a rave first review from NaturallyCurly. It worked wonders for influencer Crystal Callazo’s (@style_dose) color-treated type 3 curls.
Have you tried one before? Share your favorite with us in the comments!
This article was updated in 2021 to replace discontinued products.