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How To Use a Hair Mask and Actually See Results!

No matter what your hair type is or how great your shampoo and conditioner is, a hair mask is a must-have as part of a healthy hair care routine. A good hair mask is essential, and the answer to all (well, almost all) of your hair concerns. Whether you’re battling breakage due to sun, hot tools, or chemical treatments, a hair mask can help by improving hydration, texture, and more. Even if your hair is normally healthy, your everyday habits can sneakily be causing damage to your strands. Whether your curls are dry, your color is dull, or you just need a healthy hair boost, a hair mask is your solution. Read ahead for all of your hair masking questions answered!

What is a hair mask?

A hair mask is a deep conditioning treatment that aids in healing damaged hair. They are packed full of rich ingredients like natural oils and lipids and are typically heavier than normal conditioners. Hair masks also differ from conditioners in that they need to be left on for an extended period depending on the mask, and sometimes overnight. Also, unlike a typical conditioner that rests on the surface of a strand, a hair mask works its way inside the hair cuticle. Think of a hair mask in terms of skincare products. If your daily conditioner is like your lighter-weight body lotion, a hair mask would be like a body butter.

What does a hair mask do?

According to Tyler Cochran, owner of the Davines concept salon, Hair House, a hair mask goes above and beyond what conditioner can do for your strands. “A regular conditioner sits on the outside of the hair, repairing from the outside in, where a hair mask repairs from the inside out,” says Tyler. “Hair masks strengthen the core of each hair shaft with a mega-dose of protein while adding gloss,” he adds. Another tip for repairing damaged strands (to use in tandem with your new hair masking obsession!) is to wash less often and use dry shampoo on your off days. For more information on how to use dry shampoo see our previous post.

How to use hair mask Davines Circle Chronicles

Photo by @karlibobarley

How to choose the right hair mask based on your hair concerns

To get the best results from your hair mask, it’s important to use the right one for your specific needs. Whether you color your hair, have damage, or just have dry or fragile strands, these are the best hair masks to repair and nourish your hair from roots to ends.

Color-treated hair

Hair that’s been color-treated needs deep conditioning to keep it looking vibrant for as long as possible. Use a hair mask for colored hair so that your color fades as little and as gently as possible. For hair that’s been chemically treated, using a hair mask for dry hair will also be effective.

Dry, frizzy, and curly hair

If you’re a dry, frizzy, or curly-haired girl, your locks require intense hydration. A hair mask for damaged hair works wonders on thirsty strands. Add one to your hair care routine immediately.

Oily hair

If your hair tends to get greasy quickly, a natural hair mask will be the best option to nourish your hair, without causing greasy strands. But, if it’s just your roots that tend to get oily, you can use any hair mask as long as you don’t apply it to your roots. Look for a mask designed to be used specifically on mid-shaft to ends.

Fine hair

Because of the deep conditioning, hair masks can leave your hair heavy, weighing already flat strands down. But if your fine hair is dry or frizzy, you might need a hydrating treatment. Use a multi-tasking hair mask to boost overall shine and manageability.

Lindsay Del Colletti Davines hair masks

Photo by Lindsay Del Colletti

How to apply a hair mask

Not sure how to use a hair mask? We have you covered. Check out our step-by-step tutorial below.

Not sure how to use a hair mask? We have you covered. Check out our step-by-step tutorial below.

  1. Start with clean, towel-dried hair.
  2. Spread the formula evenly throughout your hair.
  3. Massage the hair mask in from your roots to your ends.
  4. Comb the formula through your strands gently with your fingers.
  5. Leave the mask on for anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight, depending on your hair’s condition.
  6. Lather with cool water before rinsing your hair mask out gently.
  7. Aim to use a mask about one to two times a week (in place of your usual conditioner).

*For an extra boost out of your hair mask, cover your head with a hot towel for at least 10 minutes. This keeps the mask in direct contact with your scalp so it’s absorbed more easily.

How to use a hair mask Davines Karli Moceri

Photo by @karlibobarley

Six ways to use a hair mask

Between your in-shower products, leave-in treatments, serums, and heat protectors, hair masking can easily fall to the bottom of your beauty to-do list. Here are six ways to wear a hair mask while multitasking.

1. Wear a hair mask while you work out

Not only is masking while you work out a great way to self-care multitask but working up a sweat also helps the mask penetrate your strands better. Apply a hair mask and pull your hair into your favorite workout “do and go.” By the time you're finished working out, you’ll be left with soft hair and a post-exercise glow.

2. Wear a hair mask running errands

Need to walk the dog? Throw on a hair mask. A quick trip to the grocery store? Throw on a hair mask. Need to mail a letter? THROW. ON. A. HAIR MASK. If you answered yes to any of these questions and have brittle strands, running errands is the perfect time to use a hair mask. Run your hair mask through your locks and pull your hair back into a simple low ponytail. By the time you get home, your hair will be soft, shiny, and strong.

3. Wear a hair mask to a zoom brunch

Mask over zoom and cocktails with your girls and rock a killer hair trend at the same time with a headscarf. This is also a subtle trick to hide those roots coming in while most of us are still under quarantine. Use a hair mask and lather up before throwing on a scarf and catching up with your friends.

4. Wear a hair mask while you sleep

If your hair is especially dry, consider masking overnight. Apply your hair mask before bed as a deep conditioning treatment. Wash your hair out in the morning and get ready for a good hair day.

5. Wear a hair mask in the sun

No matter the season, slathering on a hair mask while you’re in the sun will amplify its conditioning benefits, so anytime you plan to spend some time outdoors is the perfect time to use a hair mask. And don’t forget hair products with SPF!

6. Wear a hair mask while you clean

Need to get stuff done? Throw on a hair mask and get to work. Your mask will work, while you do, and afterward, your house will sparkle and so will you!

Wrapping up

From using blow dryers and flat irons to chemical treatments, styling, and environmental stressors, your strands are in constant need of TLC. And while conditioner is great and totally necessary, it’s not enough to keep up the overall healthy appearance of your hair. If your curls are feeling dry, your highlights are looking dull, or your otherwise healthy hair just needs a pick me up, take it from us, using a hair mask is the solution.

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor

cover photo by Lindsay Del Colletti

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