Deep conditioning for Protein vs Moisture: The Big Difference 


In my previous post on deep conditioning, you would already know the basic reasons to deep condition, and a little bit on when and how to do so.

What a lot of people don’t know is that there are different types of deep conditioners and these various types perform different functions.

Firstly, its important to note that RINSE-OUT CONDITIONERS ARE NOT DEEP CONDITIONERS. These are mainly used with or immediately after shampooing to help make the hair softer, or for cowashing. Hair rinses are also used after shampoos or cleansing (more on that later).

Same goes for LEAVE-IN CONDITIONERS. These are definitely not deep conditioners, they have a totally different use from regular conditioners, in that they are majorly made to be left on the hair, and not washed off.

Its also important to note that you don’t always have to waste money on expensive products, you can easily substitute nutrients in foodstuff or your oils. Whip something up and use it!

Now, there are basically TWO major types of deep conditioners. They serve the two basic reasons to deep condition, what keeps hair growing, keeps it soft and beautiful:

strength and moisture!

These are the exact two things you want for your natural hair to be long and luscious.

So the two different types of deep conditioners to get the above are:

1. Moisturizing Deep Conditioners

Since our African hair is naturally dry due to the curl pattern, it gets hard and weak easily as it gets longer, since it’s more difficult for our natural oils and moisturizers to pass through strands and moisturize, these deep conditioners, do the work for us. They are specially formulated to penetrate strands with their moisture and also attract moisture from the atmosphere  keeping the hair soft, prevent brittleness and ultimately stronger.

2. Protein Deep Conditioners

Now, depending on your genes and general health, your body either distributes protein evenly around its system, or not. How much is even distributed also depends on how much protein you take by mouth, so yeah, this also involves a good amount of protein in your diet. Now, even though you have a good amount and your body also distributes properly to your hair, it would grow to a reasonable length, but thats just for a while after your big chop or while your hair is still relatively short. WHY? Because, the protein isn’t sufficient for the longer ends. This is the reason why you might notice, your hair seemed to be growing so fast, and suddenly, it just stopped (story of my life)!

When your hair begins to lack protein, holes are developed in the strands making them weaker, and they begin to break off , so your hair seems like its not growing. In the real sense, it is growing but its just breaking off at the ends. Protein deep conditioners work by filling up the holes with protein, like your body should be doing, to add strength to it, and allow it grow peacefully!


Too much moisture in your hair, makes it weak and limp, like a feather, its soft and nice but it’s weak! Too much protein makes it too hard, and in turn brittle, exactly what you were trying to avoid.

I found this perfect infographic that explains just what I mean.



These things don’t stay forever once you put them, your body absorbs them, and so you have to keep up a routine; when your hair is out (i.e not in a protective style), deep conditioning once a week is just perfect to keep it perfectly refreshed, without doing too much. Follow by moisturizing for best results (post coming soon)

So go ahead, and DC, DC, DEEP CONDITION!!!

Watch out for the next post on growing out your hair, where I will shed more light on deep conditioning for protein, when to and how to!

Don’t forget to like and follow me on instagram, facebook and my BBM Channel for more tips and tricks 😉








5 Comments Add yours

  1. fehintolaogunye says:

    Great article. Thank you for the information. Although I was expecting you to list products that are Moisturising Deep conditioners and Protein Deep conditioners. I sometimes can’t tell the difference.

    I currently use the Vitale Olive oil hair mayonnaise (it’s a big jar and I read somewhere it’s a protein deep conditioner. 2 things that motivated me to buy it) and then I also use Cantu Shea butter for Natural hair Deep treatment masque (I’ve used it once cause I just bought it and I bought it because a lot of people rave about Cantu products. Lemme just say that I love it)

    But I’m also a firm advocate of working with your pocket so people may also try DIY DC treatments. There are a lot of them online. I recently tried the Avocado, honey and oil hair mask on 2 friends (one insisted I add an egg to hers so I added just the yolk) and I loved the result on their hairs. I hear some people use mayonnaise or shea butter or palm oil to DC. These are things you’ll find in your kitchen. So you don’t have to break the bank.


    1. tosinfarai says:

      Thanks for bringing this to my notice. I specifically didn’t mention any product because I really don’t do promotions. However it would be necessary to mention ingredients to look out for in your products so you know which to choose at different points in time. A post on that would be coming soonest to fully address this. Thanks so much for showing me the importance of that.


  2. Tashima says:

    This is an awesome post! Definitely vital information and provided a great visual of how the hair utilizes and benefits from moisture and protein. Thank you for sharing.


    1. afropelonigeria says:

      Thanks Tashima! So great to hear this


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