I’ve been dyeing my hair blonde for the greater part of a decade, which means my strands have been through the ringer. Bleach is a necessary evil—it gives me the platinum, bronde, or honey hue I’m after, but can leave my ends looking dry, dehydrated, and quite frankly, scraggly. Enter the best deep conditioners for bleached hair, which have been my literal saving grace. A 10 to 20-minute treatment just once a week has kept my hair in a happy, healthy, and hydrated state. The products I've tried run the gamut, from drugstore options that leave my hair silky and smooth to luxe masks that are surprisingly worth the splurge.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorite deep conditioners—and consulted with Matrix brand ambassador Rachel Bodt and XMONDO founder and CEO Brad Mondo for their tips and tricks. Here, you’ll find the best deep conditioners for every concern, be it brassiness, dryness, or dullness.
Do I Need to Use a Deep Conditioner?
Yes, you need to use a deep conditioner on bleached hair, Mondo tells us—especially if you want to have the best hair possible. “Deep conditioners have a high concentration of extremely beneficial ingredients that promote the healthiest hair possible," he says. "They’re an easy way to get a quick pick-me-up and noticeably softer, easier to manage hair in minutes.”
Bodt seconds that, adding that deep conditioners infuse hair with protein and moisture.
How I Use a Deep Conditioner?
Mondo recommends deep conditioning every wash if your hair needs the extra TLC, using it in place of a regular conditioner. If you’re looking for a more penetrating mask application, Mondo says, “I recommend putting a plastic bag over your hair and then wrapping a towel on top of that. This will keep your head as hot as possible which will help expand the hair fibers and get the hair mask to work on a deeper level.” Deep conditioners work best on damp hair and should sit on the head for anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight, depending on the conditioner.
However, over-conditioning is possible, especially if you have fine hair, and leaving in the conditioner can lead to excessive protein and moisture in strands. Bodt says, “If you have fine hair or are worried about losing volume, be mindful as it can weigh your hair down when it comes to styling.” To avoid this, be sure to read your deep conditioner's instructions carefully, and if you notice your hair feeling weighed down and greasy, cut back a bit until you find the most balanced conditioning routine for you.
What to Look For in Deep Conditioner for Bleached Hair
You're going to want to seek out a product with hydrating ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides to nourish and moisturize the hair shaft. You'll likely also want to see a natural oil, such as avocado oil or olive oil extract.
Certain hair masks will be formulated for specific hair types. For example, someone with coarse hair can tolerate a heavier formula than someone with uber-fine hair, who might get weighed down by the excess of hydration.
The Best Deep Conditioners for Bleached Hair
- Best Deep Conditioner for Curls: Camille Rose Algae Renew Deep Conditioning Mask
- Best Deep Conditioner for Straight Hair: Joico K-PAK Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor
- Best Deep Conditioner for Combatting Brassy Hair: Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Purple Intense Repair Hair Mask
- Best Deep Conditioner All-Around: adwoa beauty Blue Tansy Reparative Mask
- Best Deep Conditioner Single-Use: Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Multi-Tasking Hair Mask
The Best Deep Conditioning Mask for Fine Hair
If you fall into the fine hair camp, deep conditioning masks can be complicated. They'll hydrate—yes. But they can simultaneously take all the volume out of your hair and leave you with lifeless, flat-as-can-be roots. But this particular product is formulated with thin hair in mind. Its vitamin-enriched, oil-infused, and shea butter centric formula delivers lightweight hydration that can't be beat.
Pros: good for fine hair; smells nice
The Best Deep Conditioning Mask for Dandruff
Bleach is dehydrating, not just to the hair, but to the scalp. If you fine that you're getting all different kinds of flaky and itchy post color, I cannot recommend this Maria Nila hair mask enough. It's specifically formulated treat and prevent dandruff, and sooth the skin on the scalp with aloe vera. As an added bonus, it preserves your hair color so you can go longer between appointments.
Pros: has active ingredients to treat dandruff; color safe
The Tried and True Deep Conditioner
This is the hero of deep conditioning masks, especially if you have curly hair. It delivers extreme hydration in just a 10-minute session, smells unbelievably amazing (don't worry, the fragrance isn't *too* strong), and boasts a sulfate-free, color-safe formula. The hero ingredient here is algae extract, which gives the mask the ability to strengthen your strands over time. And let's be honest: Everyone should get on board with healthier hair.
Pros: vegan; planet-positive; protein-infused
Cons: not as frizz-fighting as other, oil-based masks
The Miracle Deep Conditioner
This is a favorite of Bodt's, who says, “Protein, moisture, bond repair, and a heat protectant should be included in a bleached hair routine. If you have fragile and colored hair, heat styling can really damage it, so it’s crucial to use something to create a barrier. Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator works wonders as it can help to create a barrier, protect hair from heat damage, nourish hair, and smooth the hair cuticle."
Pros: great for all hair types and textures; increases shine; affordable
Best Smoothing Deep Conditioner
When it comes to getting specialized treatment for your hair concerns, Kerastase knows the drill. They have different lines for different issues—and the Resistance range is the way to go for all-over hair restoration (think: breakage; dryness; dullness). “This is a great mask to use once a week or whenever your hair needs extra love and hydration. It has great ingredients like ceramide to smooth the hair’s surface,” says Mondo.
Pros: promotes shine; good for all hair types and textures
Cons: contains sulfates; high price point
Best Clay Mask Deep Conditioner
Bleaching hair actively strips hair of its natural oils while lightening, which results in strands that desperately need nutrients. The Moroccan lava clay not only leaves a welcome scent but also penetrates follicles to promote growth and rid hair of excessive fats from build-up. A whopping 94 percent of users on Sephora recommend it, with straight-haired users to 4C hair type users and everyone in-between saying that it made their hair look and feel softer and more moisturized
Pros: clean; silicone-free; Black-owned brand; good for all hair types and textures
Cons: high price point
Best Brass-Reducing Deep Conditioner
Bleaching your hair platinum blonde is one thing, but keeping your blonde strands bright is a whole other. When your color begins to get a little brassy—it’s inevitable—combat that with this reparative mask in a cooling purple that will infuse hair with nutrients while lightly toning. Be careful: Reviewers warn that, although the mask effectively reduces brassiness, leaving it on too long could result in a purple tint or a grey color.
Pros: combats brass; vegan; works on all hair types
Cons: should be used in moderation; high price point
Best Deep Conditioner for Scalp Dryness
It’s well-established that the enemy of bleached hair is a dry scalp—and after numerous chemical treatments, your scalp might be crying for some help. Skip the abrasive scrub that will only cause more damage; instead, use this scalp stimulating conditioner from The Doux. Reviewers love how soft and bouncy it leaves curls, and multiple people note appreciatively how quickly the mask works—a mere five minutes!
Pros: cruelty-free; Black-owned brand; great for curly hair; affordable
Cons: contains propylene glycol
Best Deep Conditioner for Dull Hair
Mondo has seen a lot of bleached and damaged hair in his day, so rest assured he formulated his namesake reparative mask with all the necessary ingredients. “This product will relink broken bonds in hair as well as add intense amounts of shine with an ingredient called luminescine," he tells us. Fast forward 20 minutes and you'll be left with the shiniest, mirror-like hair you've ever experienced.
Pros: increases shine; protein-infused
Cons: contains propylene glycol; strong scent
Best Detangling Conditioner
If your bleached hair is becoming too much to handle, this intense hair mask helps repair as well as detangle, so no unnecessary tugging on knots. Natural ingredients power this formulation, with shea butter, avocado oil, sunflower oil, and herb extracts combining to nourish and fill locks with antioxidants. Reviewers with thick hair especially love this option, saying that it made brushing their hair a breeze and minimized breakage.
Pros: great for curly hair and for bringing out curls
Cons: strong smell; thick and can be time-consuming to rinse out
Best Deep Conditioner for Natural Hair
Deep conditioners from Black-owned brands are always A+ options for curly and natural hair, and this one focuses on revitalizing locks after they've been damaged. Customers with natural hair love the product, writing that it didn't weigh down their curls and that it's perfect for penetrating low-porosity hair. It is a heavy-duty option though, so if your hair falls on the finer side of the spectrum, look elsewhere.
Pros: Black-owned brand; affordable; contains natural ingredients like shea, cocoa, and coconut oil
Cons: not well-suited for thin or straight hair
Best Deep Conditioner for Hair Regrowth
Any time mint is introduced into hair products, I’m expecting my scalp to leap with joy for some non-physical exfoliation. Your bleached hair could be damaged to a point of limited hair growth and oil production, so a good scalp treatment will repair strands while inviting growth. Reviewers with natural hair especially love the mask, but buyers warn that the product's strong mint smell, while refreshing to some (like me), is not for everyone.
Pros: affordable; good for all hair types; silicone-free
Cons: strong mint smell
The Brand Favorite
After bleaching, section the hair into four parts to ensure maximum coverage of freshly lightened hair. Between bleach treatments, take a beat to give hair time to recover and do a repairing mask-like this amino acid-based one from Wella, to keep breakage minimized. Reviewers love how bouncy and shiny it makes hair look and feel. Plus, multiple people note how effective it is at detangling.
Pros: color-safe; good for regular use
Cons: small container
Best Fast-Acting Deep Conditioner
Chock-full of proteins like keratin and primrose oil, hair will look and feel stronger with regular use. Instructions recommend leaving this mask on for 5 minutes, however, overnight use will give added moisture for extremely damaged hair that needs it. The best part: You can add this at-home keratin treatment into your routine for an every-other-week treatment. Reviewers note that the product works especially well on thin hair and straight hair. For thick hair, on the other hand, one may need to use an increased amount of the product.
Pros: great for low-porosity or dry, dull hair; good for regular use
Cons: not ideal for curly or thick hair
A Salon-Favorite Deep Conditioner
You can’t go wrong with Redken—it’s one of the most beloved salon-care brands for a reason. Cica is a known hero ingredient popularized by Korean skincare, but it can also help restore bleached hair that can’t keep the good oils in. Technically a leave-in conditioner, this light formula works well for thin hair that is prone to product buildup. Reviewers note that the product is especially adept at enhancing shine and combatting frizz.
Pros: affordable; sulfate-free
Cons: thick; strong smell
A Stylist-Approved Deep Conditioner
I cannot sing K18's praises any louder: The brand is the MVP for hair repair after bleaching and coloring sessions. Their clinical studies are based on hair that has been bleached eight times (yikes), and hair feels stronger and softer after each use. The secret? Their proprietary peptide technology which has been proven to restore strength and shine. Just a word of warning: A super, super small amount is all you need.
Pros: stylist-approved; clinically tested; clean; vegan
Cons: high price point
Other Tips to Repair Bleached Hair
If your hair is damaged beyond repair, try products that stimulate growth, like hair growth shampoos and hair growth oils.
“Emphasize on maintaining a good balance of protein and moisture, because too much moisture can make your hair heavy or too much protein can leave your hair brittle," Bodt advises. "You also want to add something to repair the bonds that have broken during lightning services."
Using products like the Matrix Total Results Unbreak My Blonde will infuse hair with citric acid that helps strengthen and soften hair. Mondo, who has seen his fair share of bleach fails, recommends:
- Staying away from hot tools;
- Deep conditioning at least every other wash;
- Sleeping with a silk pillowcase;
- Getting a haircut to remove excess damage on bleached hair.
Meet the Experts
Brad Mondo is the founder and CEO of XMONDO, a vegan and cruelty-free haircare brand. He developed his passion for haircare from his late father, who owned and operated a salon.
Rachel Bodt is a senior Colorist at Red Door in New York City and is a brand ambassador for Matrix haircare. Her work has been featured in a number of magazines and she regularly collaborates with Balenciaga during their Paarif Fashion Week Shows. Her clients have included Kate Moss, Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Tilda Swinton, Michelle Williams, Emily Blunt, and Marisa Tomei.
Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.
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