When it comes to the world of beauty, few products have garnered greater popularity recently than the hair mask. Much like the skincare face mask, these products have garnered fans aplenty due to their ease of use and dramatic results in a short amount of time. But what exactly is a hair mask, and who are these products best suited for?
Allow us to give you a breakdown!
What is a Hair Mask?
Essentially, a hair mask is an incredibly concentrated conditioner which is left in the hair anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight, and then rinsed off with water. These products are typically loaded with ingredients such as humectants, which draw massive amounts of water into the hair shaft, as well as emollients and occlusives, which help to seal the outer layer of the cuticle and prevent all that water and moisture from escaping. While hair masks are far too heavy and potent to be left on during the daytime, they are perfect for short periods of application (think 20-40 minutes). When left on the hair, these products not only help to deliver moisture deep within the hair shaft, but they also leave trace amounts of oils that help impart long-lasting softness and shine. All in all, these products are incredibly hydrating, and are particularly useful for situations that call for instant hydration, such as following a long plane flight or abrupt weather changes.
Who Needs a Hair Mask?
In short, just about anyone can benefit from adding a hair mask to his or her routine! However, the key is to tailor your frequency of use to your specific hair type. For example, hair that is naturally oily likely only needs a once-weekly application of a hair mask, whereas extremely dry or damaged hair could greatly benefit from multiple applications a week. When used as a weekly treatment, a hair mask adds extra moisture, softness, and shine while maintaining healthy moisture and hydration levels in the hair. When used several times a week, a hair mask becomes an invaluable tool for dramatically improving hair health and preventing damage and further dryness. A particularly useful application of a hair mask is for hair that has just undergone an intense chemical or color treatment. Hair is particularly fragile and prone to dryness and damage following a chemical or color treatment, and a hair mask both prevents damage and dryness while also dramatically shortening the hair’s recovery period.
How to Use a Hair Mask?
Prior to applying a hair mask, make sure to shampoo and thoroughly rinse out your hair to ensure proper absorption. Once complete, apply the hair mask to damp hair, starting from the roots and working the mask down the length of the hair to the tips. For particularly thick or curly hair, a detangling brush can be a perfect accessory. To use a detangling brush, simply apply the product directly at the roots, and then brush the product down through the length of the hair. Once the product has been fully distributed, kick back and relax for about twenty minutes or so, giving the hair mask enough time to work its way into the hair shaft. Finally, rinse the product out with water and allow to air dry.