Got breakage, shedding or dryness? My first recommendation for anyone wanting to repair their curly hair: always to find a deep conditioning mask.

And we are just not talking about any conditioner here. I'm speaking of the thick, nutritious mask jam-packed with vitamins and bring your hair back to life. Here's the low down on deep conditioners for curly hair:

What is a deep conditioning mask?

A mask is a hair treatment used to remoisturize and repair hair. It plays a major role in retaining moisture for your curls and growing healthy hair. Read the do's and don'ts of deep conditioning.

How can you tell the difference between a regular conditioner and a mask?

Masks have a much thicker consistency than traditional conditioners you would pair with shampoos because they are made to coat your strands entirely.

Where in my hair regimen should I include a deep conditioning mask?

You'll want to apply your deep condition mask right after you have shampooed your hair.

Are there any other special tools I need when using a deep condition mask?

You want to use something to trap in the heat once you've applied the mask. Typically, people use plastic shower caps, but I like to use the Hot Head Deep Conditioning Cap. See my review here.

How often and how long should I deep condition?

Deep conditioning for at least 30 minutes at a time is recommended. How often you deep condition depends on the status of your hair. If you notice your hair is much drier than normal or is beginning to break off - I would recommend using the mask at least every two weeks.

I try my best to deep condition after every wash, which is once a week for me.

What type of ingredients in my mask should I search for based on my hair type?

Those with wavy hair should use a mask with a medium to thick consistency. Ideally, it will contain light oils like jojoba, coconut and olive oils as they don't weigh the hair down as much.

Curly hair textures will want to find a mask with best of both worlds, as their strands can handle heavier and lighter oils like coconut and castor oils.

Those with coily hair will want heavy masks containing ingredients like shea butter, castor oil and olive oil as this texture is more prone to dryness and breakage.

How to find a deep conditioner that fits your hair type

Here are my recommendations you'll find right here on NaturallyCurly.

My personal favorite deep conditioner is WonderCurl's Restoring Hair Treatment because it's packed with shea and avocado butters that really rehydrate my hair. I can truly tell the difference when I use this product week-to-week. Check out this video of my WonderCurl mask application process here.

What's your favorite deep conditioner?

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Read my type 4 natural hair regimen for fall