Taking an extra few minutes in the shower or having a full-on self-care bath with a hair mask is one of the great ways to maintain your tresses between salon visits. A mixture of the right ingredients can be a powerful tool to help you on your way to rid yourself of the frizz, lifelessness, and damage we submit our hair to on a daily basis.
Of course, not all hair masks are created equal. You have to find the right hair mask for your specific hair type to really reap the true benefits of the moisture-boosting ingredients. The same goes for application. You might think that leaving a mask on for longer would increase its effects, right? Wrong. “The hair can only absorb a limited amount of product and so won’t necessarily produce better results the longer it’s left on,” says trichologist Lisa Caddy, (via Vogue India). In other words, read those instructions, people!
Also, commit to a night in of indulgence. Light some candles, give your scalp a well-deserved massage, and let the best hair masks of 2021 do their jobs.
The best hair masks for curly hair
Lisa Caddy explains, (via Vogue India), “[Hair masks] are usually formulated to strengthen hair, moisturize hair and improve its condition and can ultimately reduce hair breakage, smooth frizz, make the hair more manageable, enhance shine and feel less dry.” Natural hydrators like almond and argan oil are the key ingredients to look out for to achieve healthy and smooth hair cuticles, due to their nourishing and moisturizing properties, (via Huffington Post).
As such, conditioning hair masks can be heaven-sent for those with curly locks. Maintaining that moisture is essential to keeping the frizz at bay, and Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil, $19.99, is a drug-store option with salon results.
Elsewhere, your curly hair will be grateful for the moisturizing creme of Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask, $39.99, without parabens, sulfates or silicone, giving you a natural, yet super shiny and bouncy waves.
The best hair masks for textured hair
If your hair is on the on the more textured side – we’re looking at you 4B to 4C curl patterns – it’s all about the moisture, says curly hair expert Pia Vivas (via Ouidad) – you always want to find the right balance for your hair type. Protein-rich treatments, for example, can actually be more damaging to the hair cuticle if you have low-porosity hair. However according to Ouidad, if you have high-porosity or heat-damaged curly hair, regular protein treatments can help your curls look and feel healthier.
The Pattern Intensive Conditioner for Tight Textures, $25, offers indulgent moisture for low-porosity hair with avocado oil, shea butter and safflower oil, whilst the clever powder of Avocurl Deep Treatment, $18.99, mixes into a creamy conditioner that is rich in slippery elm, which leaves your hair smooth, detangled and conditioned, (via HelloLidy).
If you’re looking for a vegan option, that smells just as good as any other offering, Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner, $22.10, is packed with antioxidants as well as blue green algae and added biotin to keep your hair strong and nourished when you style it.
The best hair masks for straight and fine hair
Although those with curly hair textures might find that they need to use a hair mask more often, it doesn’t mean that those fine and straight-haired girls shouldn’t give their tresses some attention, too. However, Wiley warns that using too much product that is protein-based on your fine hair, can actually have the opposite effect to what is intended.
Instead, look for lightweight hydrators like panthenol or check the ingredients for bamboo or fern extract which gives structure and strength to the hair (via Huffington Post).
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, $29.99, is a pre-shampoo mask that leaves hair with more volume and manageability, whilst Living Proof Restore Repair Mask, $38, is a paraben-free, cruelty-free opinion that ass moisture and smooths flyaways without weighing down the rest of your hair.
The best hair masks for color-treated hair
For chemically processed hair, which is often the case with any color-treated hair, a protein-rich hair mask is the best option (via Vogue India).
The Orchid and apricot seeds in Biolage ColorLast Deep Treatment Pack, $15, helps color-treated hair retain its moisture, which is key to keeping that color between salon visits. Gone for blonde? Kérastase Masque Ultra-Violet Purple Hair Mask, $62, removes any brassy tones and keeps your lighter locks looking luscious with hyaluronic acid.
Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3, $28, is the one hair treatment that all beauty editors swear by. Once only available in salons, the team have created an at-home version of the brand’s bond building formula for use between visits to your colorist. Olaplex’s patented single ingredient, bis-amino diglycol dimaleate, has the power to strengthen and repair severely damaged hair from within the follicle, and the best part is? It’s suitable for every hair type, whatever the color.
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