Deep Conditioners and Conditioners are not the same product.
And as such, they should be used as separate steps in your natural hair regimen. They nourish the hair in two different ways that are needed to maintain the health of it. Based on the name, purpose as well as the molecular structure of each products, they are 100% different.
Rinse-Out Conditioners are the next step after shampooing your hair.
It aids in replenishing the hair with the hydration needed that was removed from the previous step.
Look & Feel:
Depending on the manufacturer, the rinse out conditioner may be thicker than the deep conditioner. As well as, some may be pink, blue, white, cream or even peach in their colour. Don't be alarmed as this isn't a sign of anything that is wrong. It usually just depends on the ingredients that are used in the creation of the either product.
Recommended Product: Tailored Beauty Coconut Creme With Mango Butter Conditioner.
Now let's go to science class. Hair conditioners contain more ingredients than deep conditioners. The key ingredients are the cationic surfactants that do most of the work. These are the alcohols, acids, glycerins and the "moniums, dioms, and cones" that make up the ingredient list. These are positively charged (as is most of our hair products) so they are able to bind to our negatively charged hair strands. The ions will sit, surround, cover or envelope the hair strand. Therefore, keeping in the h20 molecules that are sitting on the hair from rinsing out the shampoo.
As well as, conditioners contain cetearyl alcohols'. This is a fatty alcohol that softens the conditioner so it is easier to apply to your hair strands. As well as, giving the product the slip needed to detangle your hair using your favorite comb, brush or your finger nails..
All of this allows the hair cuticles to lay flat or tightly on the hair stands to keep it smooth. So the hair strands will hydrated as moisture has no way of escaping even after rinsing it out. Therefore, as we move on to the next step which is deep conditioning we needed "heat" to open up the cuticles again.
Purpose: Deep conditioners replenish the hair with the moisture loss from shampooing similar to a conditioner. However, the intensity is greater because the cuticles are opened so that the benefits can seep into the hair strands to keep it hydrated and strengthened for a long time.
Look & Feel:
The deep conditioner may be thick which may weigh down your curls. Or, it can be of a creamy consistency which will make it easier to apply to your tresses. Regardless, there is no right or wrong when it comes to the look and feel of your deep conditioner.
Recommended Product: Tailored Beauty Moisture Penetrating Deep Conditioner.
Similar to rinse out conditioners, deep conditioners are positively charged in order to be attracted to our negatively charged hair strands. The surfectants molecules will sit on the hair strand until heat is used. Indirect heat is used when deep conditioning to cause the hair cuticles to open. Remember, the cuticles are closed from rinsing out the hair conditioner. After the cuticles are open, the other ingredients which are key are able to absorb into the hair strand. These includes: alcohols (derived from plants), oils (Avocado, Castor or Coconut), herbs (Bhringraj, Fenugreek), Glycerin (Honey), butters, protein [hydrolyzed], and acids (fatty acid).. They are able to penetrate the hair strand into the cortex layer to provide it with the hydration that it needs. As well as, the protein needed to repair any broken cuticle layers for each hair strand. along the hair strands.
Now you can understand why naturals are aways preaching to deep condition your hair especially if your hair is damaged. Damage could be from bleached hair, split/dry ends, heat damaged, frizzy hair or hair that tangles easily. It maintains moisture, sheen, strength and improve the overall health of your curls.
Conditioners or Deep Conditioners should not be replacement for each other on wash days. Manufactures are not trying to make more money from you as they are both different in their look, feel as well as molecular structure.