Most of us only turn to hair masks when our hair is extremely damaged. It is the cure all for hair damaged by the sun, excessive use of heating elements, and from botched hair dye jobs. In truth, we should be using hair masks more often than that as a way to constantly protect and nourish our hair.
If you are wondering what exactly is a hair mask, it is a deep conditioning treatment for your hair. There are many different beauty brands that carry hair masks and there are just as many hair masks you can make at home in your kitchen. All of them have their pros and cons. Brand hair masks contain chemicals that some people want to avoid while homemade hair masks can be messy and clog drains. Both types of products do work, depending on your hair type, how often you use them, and if the brand or ingredients are right for your hair.
Hair masks are different from hair conditioners. Masks provide your hair with a deep conditioning because they are left on your hair for a longer period of time and they are made with different ingredients than regular conditioners. Over time, masks can nourish your hair, make it shinier, and can be an intrinsic part of your hair growth routine.
15 Choose a Mask for Your Hair Type
According to the Huffington Post, to get the most benefit from a hair mask we need to choose the right mask for our hair type. For those of us with super dry damaged hair, we should use a mask that is heavy on the conditioning. For women who have limp hair, they should focus on hair masks that will provide their hair with protein. Women who have oily hair should avoid using hair masks unless they have dry, damaged ends. In that case, they should focus on just using the mask on the ends of their hair.
14 Does Not Repair Split Ends
We have all gone online and searched for ways to fix our split ends for good, but the only thing that repairs split ends is a hair trim. Hair masks do not fix split ends, but they do act as a sort of bandaid, smoothing the hair shafts so that they feel and look smoother. After getting a hair cut, the continued use of a hair mask can go a long way towards preventing split ends in the future, allowing you to begin growing out a healthy mane of hair.
13 Use At Least Once a Week
To get the most benefit from using a hair mask, plan on applying the hair mask to your hair at least once a week. Make it a part of your weekly beauty routine and stick to it for the long range benefits, such as healthier looking hair and fewer split ends. If your hair is extremely damaged, use a hair mask twice a week until you get a haircut to remove the damaged hair.
12 Don't Use Too Much
Some of the best hair masks you can buy are not cheap. Also, a little goes a long way. When you are using store bought masks, follow the instructions when deciding how much of the mask you should use. More mask on your hair does not equal better results. You are just wasting the product. Instead, make sure your hair is lightly coated in the mask. Extra gobs of hair mask will not be absorbed into your hair.
11 You Can Make Your Own
If you like to use as many natural products as you can when it comes to your beauty routine, you will be happy to know that you can make your own hair masks using basic kitchen ingredients. There are hundreds of hair mask recipes online and knowing your hair type will allow you to choose the best kind of hair mask for your hair.
10 Concentrate on Hair Ends
The ends of our hair are the parts that are most commonly damaged. To reduce the appearance of split ends and to help prevent future split ends, it helps to make sure that you apply enough hair mask products to cover all of your hair ends. If you find that you are almost out of hair mask, then simply concentrate on using the last bit of the mask on your hair ends. The rest can wait until after you have bought more at the store or online.
9 Follow Recommended Times
All hair masks are different and for that reason always make sure to read the directions on the label before you begin using the product. Some masks only require you to leave them on for three to five minutes. Other masks require at least 15 to 30 minutes to work. Some will allow you to use overnight, it is your preference just be sure you know about the product you are using.
8 Shower Cap and Hot Towel
Body heat and sometimes extra heat from another source can help your hair and scalp more easily absorb the oils and nutrients from a hair mask. This is especially true with homemade hair masks. To get the most benefit out of your hair mask, pile your hair up on top of your head after applying the mask and cover your head with a shower cap. The shower cap helps to hold in the heat from your head and it keeps the mask from getting on your cloths. If you want extra heat, warm a towel up in the clothes dryer and wrap it around your head, overtop of the shower cap.
7 Wide Toothed Comp
After you have applied the mask to your hair using your hands, comb through it with a wide toothed comb. Combing the mask through your hair helps to evenly distribute the mask and makes sure that the mask reaches all of your hair. Rinse your comb out afterwards so that you don't get mask residue on your hair after it has been washed.
6 Dry Hair
You can apply hair masks onto dry hair. When you do, you can leave the mask on a little longer. Plan for an early morning and after waking up, apply the mask to your hair, comb it through, and put a shower cap on it. Go about your morning chores and have some coffee or tea. After 20 to 30 minutes, take a shower, rinse your hair, and wash and condition it. Do this once a week as part of your hair beauty treatment.
5 Sleep In It
I went through a hair disaster recently. I tried a different hair dye and ended up with severely dry and damaged hair. I was in near tears until I settled myself down and began doing daily hair treatments. One of the treatments I used was hair masks for dry, damaged hair. I combed it through my dry hair at night before going to bed. I put on a shower cap and fell asleep with the mask in. The next morning, I showered, washed, and conditioned my hair. After two nights of this treatment my hair finally settled down and I was able to get the dried frizz look out of my hair.
4 Daily Use for Long Hair
According to Allure, we can use hair masks on a daily basis, but only if we have long hair. Long hair can become easily damaged and the ends need more care. For a daily treatment, you may want to use a simple three minute hair mask so that you can apply it onto your hair while in the shower, shave your legs, and then rinse the mask out. Shampoo and condition your hair as usual.
3 Prevent Hair Dye From Fading
Dying your hair can be really harsh on your tresses, but a hair mask can help you with that while protecting your hair color from fading. Choose a hair mask that is specifically designed for color treated hair and use it once a week to keep your hair moisturized and your color strong.
2 Helps Fight Dandruff
If you have problems with dry, itchy scalp and dandruff, especially during the cold winter months, using a moisturizing hair mask can help fix your problem. Hair masks are loaded with at least one natural oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil. The natural oils will moisturize your scalp if you massage some of the mask onto your head. Natural, homemade masks are great for this purpose and there are masks that can be bought that specifically care for both your hair and your scalp.
1 Shampoo and Condition Afterwards
After you have left the hair mask on for the time required, the final step is to rinse it out and then wash and condition your hair. Hair masks, if not washed out, can leave a heavy, oily residue on your hair. Washing you hair afterwards helps remove the excess oils and ingredients from your hair. Using a regular conditioner then resmooths your hair shafts after the shampoo. The end result is gorgeous, shiny hair that looks and feels much healthier than before you used the mask.