Tired of living with out of control frizz?
Do split ends or damage from an addiction to hot styling tools or constant hair coloring have you at your wits end?
What’s a girl to do?
For many the answer is to indulge your locks by using a potent hair mask. It can restore soft, touchablility to the craziest hair. Banishing the frizz right outta your hair. It can make a big shiny difference in your frazzled, stressed out strands.
What Do Hair Masks Do Exactly?
The primary purpose of many hair masks is hydration. Think of them as conditioner on steroids that you leave on long enough for them to work their magic before rinsing out. Such products can work wonders on hair that minutes before you wondered could be saved. It’s TLC in a bottle that gives you hair that is soft and manageable. A secret weapon many fail to use.
So that’s basically why you should use a hair mask.
But hold on. There’s more. Lots more.
Quick Section Navigation
- How To Apply Hair Mask
- Can I Use A Hair Mask Everyday?
- Can A Hair Mask Be Put On Dry Hair?
- Do You Use A Hair Mask Before Or After Shampooing?
- Does Heat Help With Hair Mask Penetration?
- Do You Use A Hair Mask Before Or After Conditioner?
- Can A Hair Mask Be Used As A Deep Conditioner?
- How Long Should You Leave A Hair Mask In For?
- Can You Leave A Hair Mask On Too Long?
- Can You Leave A Hair Mask On Overnight?
- Can A Hair Mask Be Used As A Leave In Conditioner?
- Should I Shampoo After My Hair Mask?
- Do Hair Masks Help Your Hair Grow?
How To Apply Hair Mask
The basics of applying a moisturizing hair mask in 60 words or less are…
- Wrap hair in micro fiber towel to get it to damp
- Section off and apply the product focusing from midstrand to the ends
- Comb through to insure consistent all over product application.
- OPTIONAL: Wrap in a towel to heat things up
- Give the product time to soak in – the longer the better usually
- Rinse away to avoid weighing down your hair
Let’s let Bianca Renee explain what she does.
You really really want to apply the product in a way that insures all the moisturizing goodness penetrates your strands.
It’s also smart to begin with the ends in mind.
Using a heated thermal hat like she does can help. It opens up the cuticles in your hair enabling better absorption.
I’m not sure the thermal cap she uses is anything special. So here are two options from Amazon that work in the exact the same way and do the exact same thing. Either the Cordless Deep Conditioning Heat Cap or this Deep Conditioning Thermal Heat Cap might work just as well.
Key Takeaway: Use heat to help with product uptake when applying your mask.
Can I Use A Hair Mask Everyday?
So you want to know how often should you use a hair mask?
That depends on your hair and what shape it’s in.
For one how dry is it? If it’s drier a hydrating treatment two or three times a week wouldn’t be too much.
It also depends on whether you want to follow the label instructions or not. Most recommend against everyday use.
So rule followers will diligently follow the label and smugly suggest you do too. While those with a more free adventuresome spirit will experiment to find out what works best with their hair.
Look. Everyone’s hair is different. I find it hard to believe there’s a one size fits on with a given product. But then that’s just me.
Also seems to me you’d want to use it as often as it takes to do the job. And from what I’ve seen for some it turns out that’s every day or at least every time they lather up.
Key Takeaway: Follow the label or follow your experience. Your pick.
Can A Hair Mask Be Put On Dry Hair?
Short answer: It depends. While most advocate using it on towel dried hair, it can be used on dry hair too.
Enthusiasts favoring damp hair argue the ingredients are best absorbed when applied to damp hair.
But that’s not to say those favoring application on dry hair don’t have a case.
They’ll let it air dry, untangle with a wide tooth comb. Then the product is applied section by section, usually mid shaft to the ends of the dry hair. Finally the comb is run through the mask laden hair to insure all strands are evenly coated with product.
We found where a dermatologist explained in MarieClare magazine why this might work better.
You see when you hair is wet the product is fighting with the water for space in the cuticle. This limits how much mask can be absorbed.
This also dilutes the product. Diluted product is naturally less effective.
Besides product coating the outsides of the hair shaft is not doing much hydration of the insides.
Makes sense, right?
So a small change in routine like this just might make a huge difference.
Think it’s worth a try?
Key Takeaway: While this may not be the most common way hair masks are applied it may be the smartest.
Do You Use A Hair Mask Before Or After Shampooing?
In most cases this is a definite after shampooing technique.
So no, if you’re wondering “Should I shampoo after my hair mask?” the answer would be no.
Does Heat Help With Hair Mask Penetration?
As we’ve seen heat can make a difference in product absorption. Purists call it activation. And that’s one of the big benefits of deep conditioning with heat. There are several different ways to bring on the heat.
If a thermal cap isn’t your style a damp towel heated in the mic wrapped around your head might be.
Another way to do it is to wrap your hair with cling wrap from your kitchen. Then wrap that with a towel to keep the heat in. This create a little sauna action on your head which helps with product penetration.
Key Takeaway: Even just a little heat can supercharge your results.
Do You Use A Hair Mask Before Or After Conditioner?
Neither. Most use it as nutrient rich conditioner alternative once or twice a week. While some do use it after conditioner, I feel that’s overkill.
Can A Hair Mask Be Used As A Deep Conditioner?
Tomato. Tomahto. Is there really any difference here?
Probably not. Pantene says most store bought masks are simply more concentrated thicker versions of conditioner.
Many deep conditioners and masks rely on a generous application of product that is then left for a period to time to be absorbed by your hair.
Here’s Bianca Renee again…
Think maybe it’s time to swap your conditioner for a hair mask?
Key Takeaway: Deep conditioner or hair mask? Odds are your hair will love the extra moisture regardless.
How Long Should You Leave A Hair Mask In For?
Yeah, it might be helpful to get an answer for the how long question, don’t you think? As some wonder if they will need to make a day of it or not.
What’s can make it tricky is it depends on what you’re dealing with. You want to tailor the duration to your hair’s situation. Most often it’s not, as some incorrectly assume, overnight
Garnier suggests leaving it sit on damp, healthy hair for at least three to five minutes. But in cases where the locks are particularly parched 15 to 20 minutes would be better. In extreme cases the best approach would be overnight.
So the rule of thumb might be – it depends on the shape your hair is in.
- Healthy hair in good condition – give it 5-10 minutes max to soak in.
- Somewhat stressed hair – leave it on for 20-30 minutes to allow for proper saturation.
- Badly distressed hair – use an ultra nourishing product designed to left in overnight.
Key Takeaway: Basically as you can see there seems to be “too long” here. Usually the problem is giving the product enough time to work its magic before rinsing it down the drain.
Can You Leave A Hair Mask On Too Long?
For the most part no. But again it often comes down to the specific product being used.
Plus that’s not to say some don’t suffer from mask build up.
Which is why it’s always smart to have some clarifying shampoo sitting in your bathroom to use once or twice a month to clean things up.
Key Takeaway: This is no such thing as too long with hair masks.
Can You Leave A Hair Mask On Overnight?
As we just saw, overnight treatment is okay. Especially if the product is designed to be used overnight.
Imagine … shiny, luscious, more manageable hair achieved while you sleep!
Holy Sleeping Beauty, Batman!
Transformed strands overnight!
At the risk of adding to your already disturbingly vast collection of styling products here’s a couple you might to add to your must try list:
Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector. Seems like a lot of promise suggested in the product name alone! It’s an Amazon Choice product so evidently it lives up to the name.
Pacifica Beauty Coconut Super Power Deep Conditioning Damage Control Mask would be another Amazon thinks highly of.
Key Takeaway: Go ahead. Sleep in your hair mask – no worries. Then wake up to silky, soft, seriously luxurious locks.
Going one step further
Can A Hair Mask Be Used As A Leave In Conditioner?
It all depends on your hair! The labels on most products recommend rinsing out. But some users do use it as a leave in and love the results.
The only way to find out if this works for you is to test using it as a leave in on your hair.
Should I Shampoo After My Hair Mask?
Actually a better plan is to shampoo first then rinse out the mask using cold water if you can stand it.
Here’s why. Grime, oil and product build up can prevent optimal product penetration. Think of it like a barrier sitting on your hair shaft. You can avoid that by shampooing first.
Key Takeaway: Only shampoo first the hair you want your mask to thoroughly hydrate.
Do Hair Masks Help Your Hair Grow?
It depends on what you mean by grow.
If you mean do these products stimulate hair growth, probably not.
But if you understand that the only way to grow hair longer is by having strong, healthy strands then in a way yes.
Because if your hair is brittle, dry and full of split ends extra length is going to be hard to come by.
But making little tweaks to your hair care routine that help to keep it properly hydrated. With the help of hair masks, even hair wrecked beyond recognition can be revitalized and put on the path to growth. Which is pretty much every girl’s dream.
So a weekly hair mask can make all the difference.
Key Takeaway: Hair masks might help with hair growth just not like you’d expect.
If you like more ideas like this why not head over to my Pinterest board? It shows all my content. Pin what you want for later. You’ll be glad you did.