Hair masks are the true me-time haircare product; like a face mask, you can relax while knowing you are doing something for the short and long-term health of your hair. But can you use hair masks for oily hair?
Hair masks are generally deeply moisturizing, so it would seem a hair mask might make an oily hair situation worse! Luckily, there are ways to use moisturizing masks to your benefit even if you have an oily scalp, and there are other masks which are meant to soak up oil and can therefore stop excessive oil production.
Hair Mask vs. Deep Conditioner
Hair masks and deep conditioners are often terms used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Deep conditioners do just that but working harder than a regular conditioner to bring softness and shine to dry and dehydrated hair. Hair masks on the other hand work to strengthen hair, protect from damage, and sometimes repair the bonds of the damaged hair.
A deep conditioner is useful for those for whom a regular conditioner is not enough in terms of bringing moisture to the hair. You would really only seek to use a deep conditioner if are struggling with hair dryness. A hair mask often has moisturizing properties as well (thus the confusion), but not always! Also the level of moisture in a hair mask can vary, so you’re not necessarily weighing down your hair by choosing a moisture mask.
Some ingredients to watch out for are: argan oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil. These are great for treating dry hair, but hair masks with these ingredients are going to weigh down oily hair.
Types of Hair Masks for Oily Hair
Hair masks tend to fall into two different categories: masks for lightweight moisture (meant for those with oily scalps but dry hair), and clarifying masks (meant to deeply cleanse and/or control oil production.)
Moisture masks are pretty straightforward as they add a dose of hydration to dry locks, but clarifying masks are growing in popularity. They are often pre-shampoo treatments made with ingredients like clay which draw out impurities. Moisture masks and clarifying masks can also be used together if you’d like to deep clean the scalp while moisturizing your hair.
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5 Best Hair Masks for Oily Hair
Best Hair Mask for Weightless Moisture: Living Proof Weightless Mask
This is an excellent mask for those looking to add some moisture to the hair without overdoing it. This will turn dry hair soft without adding a lot hydration that will increase oiliness. Living Proof is known for their patented Healthy Hair Molecule which “Helps smooth and polish and keeps hair cleaner, longer.” I love Living Proof products and this mask has always made my hair feel smoother and more manageable without making my hair oilier.
Best Hair Mask to Reduce Oily Scalp: Nutrafol Scalp Mask
The Nutrafol is known for their natural ingredients and science-backed formulas and they’ve trained their sights on helping restore a healthy scalp with their line. Their Scalp Mask dissolves excess oil and gets rid of product build-up, plus it’s great for this with dry and irritated scalps as well. Head over to their website if you want to look at some before and after scalp closeups after using their mask.
Best Budget Hair Mask to Reduce Oily Scalp: Aztec Clay Mask
The Aztec Clay Mask is actually meant for your skin, but it has become an Amazon favorite for its ability to exfoliate both skin and hair. Clay is great for extracting toxins from the scalp due to buildup from styling products or excess oil.
Best Hair Mask for Textured and Curly Hair: Bread Beauty Mud Mask
The Bread Beauty Mud-Mask is a pre-shampoo clay treatment meant to revive limp curls and gently exfoliate the scalp. The mask is meant to be slathered onto the scalp after you’ve dampened your hair. Apply in sections and leave on for 20 minutes before you hop in the shower and wash out with some shampoo. Then continue with your shower hair routine. This mask leaves reviewers’ scalps clean without drying to curls and textured hair.
Best Hair Mask for Smoother Hair: Ouai Treatment Mask for Fine and Medium Hair
The Ouai mask is a great low moisture option for those with oily scalp and dry ends who are looking to get rid of frizz and get smoother hair. My experience with this mask (as well as with the Shampoo and Conditioner for Fine Hair) is that this is still a fairly hydrating product. Keep it on the ends of your hair, not your scalp, and as you rinse you’ll likely already feel how much smoother your hair is.
Best Hair Mask for More Volume: Phyto Phytodetox Pre-Shampoo Purifying Mask
This once a week pre-shampoo treatment is great for making the roots of your hair feel lightweight and deeply cleansed, resulting in lifted, more voluminous hair.
Best Hair Mask for Repair: Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector
Olaplex is a pre-shampoo hair treatment that repairs bonds for damaged hair. It takes damaged and dull hair and gives it a healthier appearance. Olaplex No. 3 does not add any moisture to the hair as some repairing masks do, so this one is great for someone with an oily scalp and damaged hair.