Hair 101: How To Use A Hair Mask
by BRENDA L. / JUN 23, 2022
Reading Time: 6 Minutes
“My hair is not that damaged, it doesn’t need a hair mask.”
“I have fine hair, a hair mask is too thick for my hair type.”
If this is you, allow me to be blunt: you couldn’t be more wrong. Chances are, you’ve probably used the wrong product for you - or you used a hair mask the wrong way. If you’re willing to give this amazing product a go and are now wondering how to use a hair mask properly, then this is your lucky day! Welcome to our Thursday Hair 101: How To Use A Hair Mask blog!
1. What Is A Hair Mask?
First of all, a hair mask is a deep conditioning treatment that soaks your hair in nutrients. Think of it like the more powerful, intense cousin of your regular conditioner. Usually hair masks are designed to also target a specific need or issue in your hair - such as heat damage, dryness, greasiness, color fading and more.
Hair masks can also be used on clip-in hair extensions and permanent hair extensions, making sure the product doesn’t go on the clips or beads. If you want to know more about how to revive your hair extensions, check out our blog.
Think of it like a miracle cream packed with oils, butters and other nutritive and restoring agents to bring your hair back to life. Whether your hair is relatively healthy or not, a hair mask is a powerful ally to incorporate in your hair care routine regardless.
2. How To Use A Hair Mask:
Each hair mask is different and they usually come with a useful leaflet included in the box, or have the instructions bullet points printed on their packaging. Either way, there’s some common factors to every hair mask routine. Let’s see them together:
- Wash your hair with your regular shampoo, then rinse thoroughly.
- Apply your hair mask along the shaft and on the ends of your hair. Avoid the roots as this may weigh down on your strands.
- Leave the product to work its magic for around 5 minutes. You can use this time to apply body scrub, shave, or wash your face and body.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- Follow up with your conditioner.
- Get rid of the water in excess with a microfibre towel.
- Proceed with your air-drying routine or styling, as you prefer!
Some hair masks require a longer waiting time, such as 7 or even 10 minutes. Nowadays, the majority of the existing products are designed to work within 3 to 5 minutes - as we don’t have that much time to spend in the shower before getting on with our days, not to mention how damaging it is for the planet to waste precious water!
3. Can You Use A Hair Mask After Conditioner?
It’s not recommended, no. Shampooing your hair opens up your cuticles (just a tiny bit, but it’s still important that you know!), so this is your opportunity to make the most out of it and slather a hair mask on your strands so that they can drink up all the good stuff.
4. Do You Use Conditioner After A Hair Mask?
Yes, applying conditioner after a hair mask works perfectly. It will help sealing the cuticles and leave your strands soft and silky.
5. How Often Should You Use A Hair Mask?
Generically speaking, experts advise to go through a deep conditioning treatment once a week. Obviously, that applies to the average hair type. The truth is, only you know how your hair feels and looks, therefore as much as I can try and guide you - you are the master of your own world.
If your mane feels dry and brittle after two or three days from your hair mask day, feel free to give it a second go. There are multiple reasons why your hair might not be reacting to a product in the expected way; always check the ingredients list and be prepared to experiment a little before finding your perfect match.
Majority of the products out there work best when combined together (meaning you should stay loyal to one brand for both shampoo & conditioner, plus hair mask), and you should always follow up with a hair oil to help your strands retain moisture. Interested in knowing more about hair oils? Then check out our Hair Oil Guide blog.
6. How Long Should You Leave A Hair Mask On Your Hair?
Always stick to the instructions of the specific product that you’ve bought. Don’t overdo things, and your hair will do just fine. Always be mindful of the fact that although you’re likely to see a noticeable change since the first use, hair products take some time to make significant alterations to the current state of your hair. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see any major changes immediately, and don’t think that leaving the product in for longer times will help in speeding up the healing process of your strands. Quite the opposite, actually.
7. Can You Leave A Hair Mask On Too Long?
Weirdly enough, yes you can. Since drinking water, staying hydrated and being glowing and moisturised all the time is praised by experts and internet gurus altogether, it’s pretty easy to fall into the misconception that the more moisture you give to your hair = the more your hair will benefit from it. This is far from being true. In fact, an excess in moisture in your strands can lead to a phenomenon called “hygral fatigue”.
8. What Is Hygral Fatigue?
Hygral fatigue is damage to your hair follicles. It occurs when excessive moisture penetrates the outer layer of your hair, reaching the inner cortex. Over time, the repeated swelling from hygral fatigue can lead to frizziness, brittleness, and dullness. This type of damage cannot be reversed and the only way to get rid of the damaged part of your hair is to chop it off. Be careful!
9. What Hair Mask Is Good For Me?
Depending on the conditions of your hair, there are a lot of hair masks that you could try. Whether your hair is curly, straight, wavy, dry, dull, treated, colored, damaged, fine, thick… Salon experts and trichologists around the world are working constantly to design products to help everyone get the hair of their dreams. Check out our blog 10 Best Hair Masks Of 2022 For Healthy, Shiny Hair to know more and find your perfect hair mask match.
Are you a fan of DIY? Alternatively, you can try and make your own hair mask at home. There are countless recipes that you can play around and experiment with. Some common ingredients are avocado, coconut oil, Aloe Vera, oat, honey… Your perfectly healthy breakfast can also be a miracle recipe for your mane! Find out more about DIY Hair Mask Recipes For All Hair Types.