There’s nothing more indulgent for your hair than a hair mask. If you don’t know how to use a hair mask, you’ll be glad to know that they’re easy to use and can give you quick results for smoother, more hydrated, and healthier hair.
The first time I used a hair mask, I used one I bought on Amazon without much knowledge and slathered it on my hair for a relaxing evening. I later learned it wasn’t the right hair mask for my hair type (it was far too heavy for my fine hair), but I loved how smooth my hair felt even in just rinsing it out of my hair, and my hair was soft and shiny the whole next day.
But there are many types of hair masks for different hair types and purposes, and how to use them depends on which one you’re looking at. Here I’ll cover the different types of hair masks, how to use the different types of hair masks, and which hair masks are best for different hair types and concerns.
How to Use a Hair Mask
For most hydrating, strengthening and repairing hair masks, you will apply it in the shower to wet hair. It is a good idea to squeeze excess moisture form the hair before applying so the mask can penetrate the hair more deeply. After a few minutes (normally somewhere between 3-10 minutes), you can rinse out the hair mask. You probably won’t need to use a regular conditioner afterwards as the hair mask will have softened and detangled your hair.
Benefits of Hair Masks
The classic type of hair mask is a deeply conditioning, one that aims to bring moisture and mega hydration to your hair. These are great if you are struggling with dryness, however they might not be best for those with oily hair, damaged hair, or who are aiming to target other concerns.
Hair masks can also aim to repair, neutralize brassy tones in blonde hair, help maintain colored hair, and there are also masks for your scalp, which may also benefit the hair.
Scalp masks can soothe dry scalps and reduce flakiness or help manage oiliness.
And lastly, there are also overnight masks which may or may not need to be rinsed out in the morning and they often bring moisture to the hair.
How Often Can You Use a Hair Mask
If you have very dry or damaged hair, you can use a hair mask 2 to 3 times a week. If you have fine or healthy hair, limit using a hair mask to only once a week.
How to Use a Scalp Mask
Scalp masks are most often pre-shampoo treatments which should be applied on dry hair all over the scalp. Massage the serum in for a few minutes so it can deeply penetrate. Wait 5-20 minutes (as directed on the label of the mask) and then rinse out. If the scalp mask is a pre-shampoo treatment
How Often Can You Use a Scalp Mask?
This will depend on the type of scalp mask and the state of your scalp. For a clarifying scalp mask you can use 2 to 3 times a week unless your scalp is dry. Limit to once a week if you have a dry or healthy scalp. Stop using it if it’s causing irritation to your scalp. For a hydrating scalp serum, you can likely use daily. Look at the directions of your specific scalp mask or serum to see how often you should be using it.
Hair Mask vs. Scalp Mask
You don’t have to choose! In fact, you can use both of them at once. Since one is working on your scalp and the other on your hair, you don’t need to worry about them interfering with one another.
Best Hair Masks
Best for Big Moisture: Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask
Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair Mask is perhaps it’s most popular product and for good reason. It’s a deeply conditioning mask which also tackles frizz, dryness, damage and split ends. There’s nothing it can’t do. If you’re new to hair masks, this mask from Briogeo is a great place to start.
Kim Kardashian’s hair stylist Chris Appleton partnered with Color Wow to create this incredible hair mask which he claims gives the user ‘expensive-looking hair.” I love how smooth this makes my hair (I’ve been using it for months now) and it has an amazing fresh mediterranean scent.
Best for Fine or Oily Hair: Nutrafol Scalp Mask
Scalp masks are great to control an oily scalp and this one from Nutrafol has science-backed ingredients which help to remove product build up.
Best for Curly Hair: Rahua Hydration Hair Mask
Rahul has a number of great products aimed at those with curly hair, and this mask delivers hydration and smoothness to curls. It tames frizz and enhances shine. What more could you ask for?
Best for Color-Treated Hair: Fekkai Technician Color Treatment Masque
Color-treated masks are great for extending time between your coloring appointments. This one from Fekkai makes colored hair more vibrant and adds shine in only 2 minutes.
Best for Blonde Hair: Amika Bust Your Brass Intense Repair Mask
This hair mask from Amika conditions and strengthens hair but importantly, it counteracts yellow tones or brassiness that appear in blonde, silver or grey hair.
Best for Hair Growth: The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
I’ve been using this scalp serum for a few weeks after hearing the great results many are having. I apply on my scalp daily and so far it doesn’t leave my scalp any oilier but I’ll wait a few more weeks to report on any hair growth results!
Best Repairing Mask: K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask
K18 was one of the most innovative and popular products in the hair world in the last couple years for the amazing hair transformations it has caused. It claims to reverse hair damage in only 4 minutes so if you’re really struggling with damage, this is the new holy grail.
That’s how to use a hair mask! What hair masks are your favorite?