When it comes to self-care and beauty, face masks are all the rage. From serum-infused sheets to dry clay treatments that dry, there seems to be a face mask for every occasion.
Just like a face mask though, a hair mask can be used to treat specific needs, including dryness, breakage and dullness. Because we put our hair through so much – from UV exposure, chlorinated water and heated styling tools – it’s a good idea to add a hair mask into your hair care routine.
Despite hair masks being a great addition to your beauty routine, some women still remain hesitant. It’s best to think of a hair mask similar to a conditioner, only stronger.
A hair conditioner works to cover the hair cuticle with a defensive coating, but a hair mask will go deeper into the follicle to nourish the cuticle and target specific concerns. Hair treatments can work to reduce breakage and dryness, while making your hair look and feel shiny and healthy – all from the comfort of home.
What Is A Hair Mask?
So what exactly is a hair mask? The hair care treatment is a deep conditioner that works to heal damaged and broken hair. Most contain rich, active ingredients such as lipids and natural oils – more so than normal conditioners.
Because hair masks contain heavier concentrations of targeted ingredients, and are exposed to the hair for longer periods of time than your average conditioner, they can provide extra needed hydration and nourishment.
Even if your hair is naturally healthy, certain aggressors like UV exposure, chemicals and heated tools can create long-lasting damage if not treated appropriately. This is why it can be a good idea to include a hair mask on a weekly basis.
That being said, there are different types of hair masks on the market for all different types of hair. So whether your locks are extra oily or extra dry, the distinct ingredients and the endless available options guarantee that there will be one out there for you. There are masks targeted to coloured hair, damaged hair, dry hair and even protein-filled masks designed to aid hair growth.
How Do you Pick A Hair Mask?
For hair care beginners, before picking your hair mask it’s a good idea to know exactly what kind of hair you actually have. It can be dry, oily, coloured, dull or a multitude of other things and figuring this out first and foremost is key to finding the right mask for you.
For dry or curly hair that has a tendency to frizz, it’s recommended that you use a mask that is deeply moisturising or hydrating, making sure your hair is kept at bay while also adding to its naturally curly texture. For fine hair that goes toward the flatter side, experts suggest that you look for protein-rich masks that add strength and elasticity to the hair.
For those out there with oily hair, a conditioning treatment is not recommended (especially if you are already conditioning quite regularly). Wash in/wash-out treatments are best, as some hair masks can leave those with oily hair dealing with added oil.
If this is the case, look for targeted masks that aim to hydrate without adding oil or that are too thick. To help you break it down, the below hair masks are all for specific hair needs – which are outlined.
What Ingredients Should You Be Looking For In A Hair Mask?
There are a few key ingredients when it comes to finding the right hair mask. Look for ingredients that leave hair healthy and nourished. These include wheat proteins that prevent breakage and aid hair growth, keravis which increases strength and protects against aggressors like the sun and heat, as well as natural oils and lips that give structure and strength to hair.
How Do You Use A Hair Mask?
It can be easy to add a hair mask into your hair care routine. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use your mask best:
- Shampoo your hair, as normal. Rinse.
- Apply your desired hair mask.
- Wait specified time. It’s a great idea to use this time in the shower to wash your face or catch up on your grooming
- Rinse your hair mask out.
- Towel dry hair and style as normal.
Each hair mask will have a different recommended time. Most will be left on for between three to five minutes, but if you have extra dehydrated or damaged hair (and the time), it could be a good idea to leave it on for up to fifteen to twenty minutes.
Some hair masks for severely damaged or brittle hair can be left on overnight – and instructions will specify. Dry hair is also less porous than wet hair, meaning there is less risk of it maxing out on moisture, which is a possibility when hair masks are left on for too long.
An added bonus of some hair masks is that they can be fragranced – so for some self care, try a lavender infused mask for the ultimate relaxation.
Continue reading on for 15 of the best hair masks on the market.
#1 Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask, $40
Great for: Adding shine.
This shine-boosting and hydrating mask is best for damaged and dry hair. It’s rich texture treats hair with extra nourishment, without the added weight. The result? Soft, hydrated and lustrous locks. This mask contains a one-of-a-kind ingredient, Alpha-Keratin 60ku, which will improve your hair’s health and strength over time.
#2 Opalex No. 3 Hair Perfector, $50
Great for: Damaged hair.
A cult-favourite, this concentrated treatment will work to strengthen hair from within – leaving broken and dry hair silky smooth. Containing a unique, patented, bond-building technology, the Opalex No. 3 Hair Perfector has the ability to relink broken disulfide bonds created by environmental aggressors. This first-of-its-kind formula is great for all hair types, providing proven structural repair from within.
#3 Bumble & Bumble Bb. Curl Butter Masque, $60
Great for: Curly and thick hair.
Bumble & Bumble’s revolutionary hair treatment is formulated with Hydrasculpt Blend, a cross-linking polymer that combines moisturisation as well as styling properties to ensure curly hair is hydrated and controlled. It also adds a nourishing combination of cupuacu butter and oils including babassu oil and pracaxi oil.
These work together to hydrate and boost curl integrity. This mask is recommended for those with curly hair that has a medium to thick texture. Great for corkscrew and spiral curls! It’s also paraben, phthalates and formaldehyde free.
#4 Alterna BAMBOO Smooth Kendi Intense Moisture Masque, $40
Great for: Dry hair.
The moisture treatment penetrates deep into the hair by combining strengthening pure organic bamboo extract with organic kendi oil that encourages smoothing. Best for unruly, frizzy hair, this fortifying hair treatment is intensely nourishing and will leave hair manageable after just one use. Say hello to happy, healthy hair.
#5 Living Proof Restore Treatment Mask, $66
Great for: Dehydrated hair.
There’s a reason Living Proof’s Restore Treatment Mask is one of the best-selling in the market. The effective treatment rids dull, damaged and dry hair, leaving hydrated, shiny and strong hair in its wake. This hair treatment is best for those with dry or damaged hair, but is a great addition to any beauty arsenal.
#6 Miriam Quevedo Platinum & Diamonds Luxurious Mask, $139
Great for: Oily hair.
For those looking to splurge, the Miriam Quevedo Platinum and Diamonds Luxurious is a luxuriously indulgent anti-aging mask aimed at repairing damaged hair while restoring natural volume that has been destroyed over time. The treatment also adds a Platinum and Diamond shine and is formulated without sulfates, parabens, mineral oils, phthalates, paraffin, or petrolatum.
#7 Korres Pure Greek Olive Shine Hair Mask, $28
Great for: Those on a budget.
The Korres Pure Greek Olive Shine Hair Mask is a restorative hair mask that harnesses the power of extra virgin olive oil and antioxidant protection – ideal for brittle, dull and damaged hair – to restore hair health and elasticity. Korres was inspired by ancient Greek beauty rituals, and after using this mask, hair will feel soft and anew.
#8 Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Mask, $54
Great for: Protecting against future damage.
Known to work in minutes, Briogeo’s Deep Conditioning Mask restores hair’s essential hydration and enhances its resilience to protect against future damage. The treatment is formulated with the brands unique NOVA Complex, which delivers a flawless blend of reforming nutrients such as b-vitamins, rosehip and argan oils, collagen and algae extract.
These all work to replenish damaged hair and create a shiny and healthy result. There’s a reason 75% of customers report reduced breakage after just three uses.
#9 Arvazilla Fortifying Hair Protein Mask, $13.29
Great for: Coloured hair.
The Arvazilla hair treatment is best for those with coloured hair that has been damaged by chemical aggressors. With ingredients like argan oil, macadamia oil, aloe vera and wheat protein, this creamy mask conditions and strengthens locks while adding shine and softness. With more frequent use, hair can be expected to regain strength and elasticity, while keeping the desired colour. It is also paraben and sulfate free.
#10 Pravana The Perfect Blonde Mask, $18.08
Great for: Blondes.
Calling all blondes! The Pravana Perfect Blonde Purple Toning Masque is for you. This treatment can touch up colour and reduce brassiness, all while strengthening and mouisturising hair from within. Add this treatment into your routine once a week and keep blonde hair blonde.
It’s dual-violet dye and active brightening ingredients neutralise yellow undertones, leaving hair as vibrant as when it left the salon. Containing coconut oil and glycerin to add moisture, the treatment is also wallet friendly at just $18. The sulfate- and paraben-free formula comes in a convenient tube.
#11 Aesop Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturising Masque, $37
Great for: Fine hair.
A best-seller worldwide, Aesop’s Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturising Masque is best for fine hair. Super lightweight and creamy, this mask is enhanced with lavender stem, rose petal extract and beta-carotene – three ingredients that work together to deeply nourish. While this mask is great for those wanting to treat fine hair, it’s also formulated to treat coloured and salon-abused hair. Leave on overnight for an intensified treatment.
#12 Kristin Ess Weightless Hydration Daily Scalp And Hair Mask $24.99
Great for: Dandruff.
A haircare guru, Kristen Ess created a treatment for the scalp that wouldn’t leave hair feeling oily or like treatment had been left in it. This multi-tasking mask puts to work natural minerals and botanical oils that work together to calm and rebalance the scalp while smoothing out damaged cuticles. The Weightless Hydration formula is also incredibly lightweight, so it can be used daily!
#13 Philip Kingsley After-Sun Scalp Mask, $37.82
Great for: Sun damaged hair.
The sun can do major damage to our hair – all without us even realising. The Philip Kingsley After-Sun Scalp Mask is a soothing, rinse-off treatment designed to calm and relieve sensitive or burnt scalps. It provides long-lasting relief by combining ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile extract.
While its targeted for treatment after exposure to the sun, its hydrating properties are endless meaning its can be used all year to promote a healthy and happy scalp.
#14 DevaCurl Deep Sea Repair Seaweed Strengthening Mask, $58
Great for: Severely damaged hair.
The DevaCurl Deep Sea Repair Seaweed Strengthening Mask is a treatment made for restoring hair from chemical or heat damage. It’s blend of sea lavender and vegan proteins of rice, wheat and soy moisturise and protect hair while also strengthening it and reducing breakage. The end result is softer, smoother and naturally bouncier hair. This mask is great for curly hair!
#15 SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Masque, $29.99
Great for: Brittle and processed hair.
This mask is made for those who regularly colour, straighten, heat style or perm their hair, as well as curly, wavy, kinky or natural styles. While also reducing the appearance of breakage and shedding, the SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Masque helps promote growth by supporting hair’s elasticity. The peppermint oil leaves the scalp fresh, while also leaving hair soft, shiny and manageable.