The Best Hair Masks For Damaged Hair
Conditioners are great for keeping hair soft and tangle-free. But according to the professional hair stylists at Matrix, most people don’t realize there is something better than conditioners when hair becomes too dry or damaged to be managed by conditioners. Hair masks are the special ops of conditioners – they’re ready and able to take on the toughest cases of hair damage. “If your hair requires extra TLC,” suggests Matrix Artistic Director Michael Albor, “reach for a member of the elite conditioning forces – a hair mask.”
Regular conditioners treat the surface of the hair, helping to moisturize the cuticle layer and detangle. But when you rinse, most of the conditioner goes down the drain. Masks penetrate more deeply, and they carry healing ingredients than nourish and hydrate damaged hair. What’s more, the thicker consistency adheres more readily, and longer, to the hair. It acts as a filler for the chinks and nicks in a damaged hair strand.
Bottom line? Any kind of hair damage – from hair color, chemical straightening or texturizing, over-styling, environmental exposure or the normal wear and tear that hair endures over time – can benefit from the deep conditioning of hair masks.
How To Use Hair Masks for Damaged Hair
You can switch out your daily conditioner for a hair mask. Shampoo as normal, apply a good-sized amount of the mask (enough to coat your hair thoroughly) and comb through with a wide-tooth comb. Wait about five minutes and rinse.
Or, you could apply the mask, cover your hair with a plastic cap, and relax under a dryer or in the sun for about 20 minutes before rinsing. The extra heat opens the hair cuticle and allows the mask to penetrate more deeply.
Another strategy is to “pre-mask.” Before shampooing, mist the hair with water, apply the mask, comb it through and wait about 30 minutes. Then shampoo and condition. Or, apply the mask the night before shampooing, wind hair into a high bun and sleep on it, giving the mask ingredients a full eight hours to work their magic!
When To Use Hair Masks for Damaged Hair
Most hairstylists recommend using a hair mask once or twice a week. But really, there’s no hard and fast rule. If hair is super damaged and responds well to a hair mask, go ahead and use it after every shampoo. If hair becomes limp or greasy after a while, reduce the frequency of application.
The Best Hair Masks for Every Type of Damaged Hair
For a Quick Fix: Total Results Miracle Creator Hair Mask
Inspired by Korean skincare, the new Total Results Miracle Creator Multi-Tasking Hair Mask repairs damaged hair in 60 seconds! This revolutionary pink, single-use (and breakthrough) formula intensely nourishes, revitalizes and strengthens hair in one minute. It can be used on any and all hair types and is not color depositing.
For fine, damaged hair: Biolage R.A.W. Uplift
It’s a delicate balance when it comes to finding the right hair mask for fine, damaged hair. On the one hand, you need powerful repair. On the other hand, the formula must be light enough to avoid weighing down already-slender strands. Bonus points if it actually makes them fuller! Done and done with this unique, biodegradable and natural-origin formula. It contains ginger and kaolin clay to build body as it heals hair.
For thick, damaged hair: Biolage R.A.W. Rehydrate
A mask for thick hair should be super rich and hard-working to penetrate and correct. This formula contains shea butter – and ingredients don’t get much richer. It’s a natural-origin mask free of silicones, parabens and artificial anything, so it’s effective and healthy at the same time.
For damaged, color-treated hair: Biolage ColorLast
Hair color looks its best on shiny hair, and shiny hair happens when hair is healthy and moisturized. This hair mask knows exactly what color-treated hair needs to maintain depth, tone and shine. It wraps strands in 360 degrees of nourishment for extra conditioning.
For fragile, damaged hair: Biolage Advanced FiberStrong
Some damage calls for more moisture. Some requires strengthening. This mask restores fragile hair with the power of bamboo (one of the strongest materials found in nature.) It also contains ceramide, to nourish and moisturize hair, and a complex called Intra-Cycle™ that fortifies hair fibers.
For dry, damaged hair: Biolage HydraSource
Dry, dehydrated strands look dull and frizzy, and leave hair vulnerable to the worst sorts of chemical and mechanical damage. This mask, inspired by the moisture retention properties of the aloe plant, gives thirsty strands a big, satisfying drink! Benefits are both short-term (hair is instantly glossier, shinier and hydrated) and long-term (it helps optimize ongoing moisture balance.)
For brassy, damaged hair: Total Results Brass Off Custom Neutralization Mask
Hair isn’t the only thing vulnerable to damage. The quality of hair color can also be impacted, especially when cool or neutral-colored strands take on an unpleasant brassy tone. This mask works double duty on hair and hair color. It infuses unwanted warm tones with a customizable blue pigment, to cancel out the orange cast. At the same time, it helps repair and protect fragile hair – resulting in 10 times less breakage when used with the Brass Off system of shampoo, mask and leave-in cream.