Hair masks have soared in popularity in the last years, but for the uninitiated, they can seem a little confusing at first. What’s the difference between masks and conditioners? How do I know which one is right for my hair type? And how on earth do I use it? We hear you ask.
All valid questions to which we have the all-important answers. Fear not as we take you on a tour of how to use a hair mask and the best one for your hair type.
What is a hair mask?
A mask is essentially a more concentrated, usually thicker version of conditioner that is left on your hair for a longer period of time and delivers more intense treatment. The more powerful ingredients need a little more time to penetrate your hair and work their magic, so masking is the perfect excuse for a bath and Netflix binge while the mask sits on your hair.
How to use a hair mask: your step-by-step guide
1. Wash your hair
The first step in your masking routine is to make sure your hair is completely clean and ready to soak up the key ingredients of your mask. If your hair is in bad condition or feeling especially dry, use conditioner as usual before your mask. If not, don’t worry about it as you’ll be replenishing moisture with your mask. To ensure you’re really nailing this step, read our guides on how to choose a shampoo for your hair type and how to shampoo your hair properly.
2. Soak up the excess water with a microfibre towel or cotton T-shirt
For better results, apply you mask to damp hair, not dry or soaking wet hair. This will help the ingredients penetrate the inside of the strand. Using a microfibre towel to draw water from your hair quickly without damaging it with friction. If you don’t have one, a cotton t-shirt works just as well.
3. Section your hair
Making sure that all your lengths benefit from your mask is important, so section your hair into 3-4 layers using clips if you have them, before applying your mask to each section one by one.
4. Apply your mask
Now for the fun part, how to apply a hair mask! Focusing on the mid lengths and ends of your hair only, gently massage the product into your hair in a downwards motion for 30 seconds. This will help to the product penetrate and seal the cuticle for more smoothness and shine.
There’s no need to go overboard with your mask, as a little product goes a long way. Start by smoothing a coin sized amount through your mid lengths and ends, adding a little more if this does not stretch to cover all of your hair.
5. Wrap your hair in a hot towel or T-shirt
This one isn’t a “must-do” step, but some women find that it improves the results of your mask. Compress your mask-covered hair in a hot towel or cotton T-shirt This will help to maximise the results of your mark of choice, as the compression helps the ingredients to penetrate more deeply.
6. Leave to soak in
It doesn’t hurt to leave a mask on your hair for longer than the instructions, but for best results follow the recommended leave-on time on the pack. About 8-10 minutes is more than enough time for your hair mask to work its magic. Remember that the golden rule of never brushing your hair when wet also applies during mask wear.
7. Rinse thoroughly
Hair mask contain powerful nourishing ingredients that reset the right amount of moisture into your hair. After soaking in, you need to carefully rinse off so your hair is not weighted down or get greasy quicker.
Now you know how to use a hair mask, let’s get down to which you should stock up on.
How to choose the best hair mask for your hair type
If you find that your hair feels heavy or even greasy after properly using a mask, chances are that you’re using one that’s too rich for your hair. How often you use your mask will also depend on your hair type and what you feel your hair needs – extremely dry or coarse types may want to mask twice a week, while fine types may only need one mask session a week.
If you have this hair type, you may have found that your hair finds the heavy ingredients of masks too much to handle, and your hair can be left greasy or heavy feeling afterwards. You need a lightweight product that’ll rinse cleanly but still leave your hair soft and bouncy.
The Hair Biology Full & Vibrant Mask is your best bet here. Free from parabens, colourants and mineral oils, it’s designed with fine and thinning hair in mind. It combines lotus flower extract with Omega 9 and our Pro-V blend to help fortify and moisturise without the weight.
Dry, damaged hair
As you can imagine, dry and damaged hair needs moisture to fill the gaps in the hair structure causing this rough surface and texture. What you need is a deeply moisturising mask such as our Intense Rescue Shots. With a rich formula it gives your hair an intensely nourishing treatment that gets to work in 60 seconds. The plus about this product is that it comes in a handy format that you can carry with you while traveling or when going to the gym.
Frizziness happens when your hair absorbs easily the moisture from the atmosphere to compensate the lack of moisture in the hair. It causes it to ‘grow’ out of shape. To achieve a smooth surface, you need a mask that infused with nourishing ingredients to replenish the moisture in your hair and give you a sleek finish.
Our Smooth & Sleek Mask delivers all-day frizz control in just 2 minutes, defending against humidity for a smooth and well-defined finish that lasts. With micro-moisturizers that wrap each strand to leave your hair nourished, hydrated and touchably soft, our Smooth & Sleek Conditioner delivers Pro-V nutrients from the lengths of your hair to the tips.
Did you know that the more you colour your hair, the less able your hair is to retain colour? This is because the dyeing process changes the structure of your hair, leaving it weaker the more you colour. The solution is to ensure you’re using products that prolong the life of your colour.
The Colour Protect Masque is a two-pronged treatment for your hair. It contains antioxidants and Pro-V nutrients that not only help to protect your shade from fade, but also work to repair some of the damage and dryness that comes as a result of colouring your hair. Genius! So, how does it work? The Colour Protect Masque formula contains antioxidants that capture damaging impurities, like copper irons, to improve the hair’s ability to hold onto colour from dying. It also reduces brassiness and increases the stability of hair colour when exposed to sunlight.
Curly hair is naturally drier than other hair types. Because of the bends and curves in its structure, natural oils take longer to migrate their way down the hair, leaving it dry especially towards the ends.
If you have afro curly, coily or kinky hair, reach for our argan oil-infused Gold Series Repairing Hair Mask to flood your hair with moisture and keep it defined and soft. Otherwise, the aforementioned intensively nourishing Smooth & Sleek Mask works really well for curly hair that’s prone to frizz and lacks definition.
Feeling a little better about the world of hair masking? We hope so! Rest assured that this wonder product will help you on your way to having more great hair days.