Hair mask + bath + Netflix = winner
When it comes to dry and damaged hair, using the best hair masks are a bit like a sports massage for your locks. And we’re shopping them more now than ever before.
A bit like a very concentrated version of your best conditioner, hair masks are packed with nutritive ingredients that target your hair’s biggest concerns, whether that’s helping to repair damage, or protecting and adding brilliance to coloured hair. There are even sheet masks for hair, perfect for the beauty trend enthusiast who wants something a bit more ‘fun’.
After washing with your best shampoo, apply your mask of choice and leave on for around ten minutes, or as the packaging advises – though you’re unlikely to do any harm by leaving on for longer
‘A lot of people skip this step and just add a lot of serum at the drying stage, but then you lose the lightness and freshness of the blow dry,’ says hair expert, ghd UK ambassador and Wella UK Colour Trends Expert, Zoë Irwin. ‘The secret weapon is definitely a hair mask!
‘For very dry hair, I would even recommend “double masking” – so applying a mask, rinsing and then repeating a second time for ultimate hydration.’
Read on as we chart our favourite hair masks, as well as specific recommendations for different hair types. Your hair will be singing your praises when you’re done.
Best hair masks for damaged hair
This is technically more of a treatment than a mask, but there’s no denying that Olaplex is the best for damaged hair in many an expert’s eyes. What was once a take-home treatment for salon customers, after having their hair coloured alongside Olaplex 1 and 2, is now available for anyone and everyone to shop online. The formula works at a molecular level to repair damaged bonds within your hair, which are synonymous with long-term colouring and/or heat styling – and the brand itself has confirmed that you don’t need to have used the first two steps on your hair to reap its benefits. A little goes a long way when it comes to this miracle treatment, so don’t panic that it’s such a dinky bottle: you don’t need a lot to help repair your hair from the inside out. A limited edition supersize Olaplex 3 has just launched on Cult Beauty at 20% off, so now’s as good a time as any to invest.
Best hair masks for dry hair
Pureology masks all come with the added benefit of helping to protect coloured hair, thanks to their signature anti-fade complex. But this little pot in particular is our go-to for thirsty hair. The superfood formula is like a green smoothie for your locks, containing both avocado and coconut oils for a hydration and shine boost. That dry, haystack feeling will be pretty much gone after just the one use, leaving you with touchably silky, soft hair.
Best hair masks for bleached hair
Ask any platinum blonde and they’ll tell you that maintaining the state of their locks takes a heck of a lot of work – and a lot out of their hair, too. This entire range from L’Oréal has been designed specifically to add brightness and shine to blonde hair, as well as nourishing and smoothing the hair fibres for hair that looks and feels better. Pair with one of the best purple shampoos to really let your blonde shade shine.
Best hair masks for curly hair
Keep scrolling for more of our favourite hair masks for every budget. Run bath, slather on, load Netflix, repeat.
This is one fo the greats for bouncy and soft hair. Sure, it's a pre-shampoo mask rather than deep conditioning situation, but up at the top of this round-up it rightfully lives. It floods the hair cuticle with moisture and contains hair-loving ingredients like castor oil, olive oil and hydrolysed elastin for weightless bounce. Using it is the closest my hair gets to Kate Middleton level bouncy – did you know it was originally created FOR Audrey Hepburn? An 'Extreme' version for very thick/coarse hair types that need even more nourishment is also available. I don't think I've met anyone who doesn't love it.
This brand is one of the most popular haircare brands in the whole wide world, especially for masks. From the same line as their famous hair oil, the Elixir Ultme Masque restores brilliant shine to your hair while simultaneously conditioning for hair that's super nourished. You can't go wrong with this one.
This reconstructing mask helps to quench the thirst of dry and frizzy coloured hair, thanks to a cocktail of hyaluronic acid, omega 9 and Pro-V blends. It deeply hydrates your strands to help to repair damage caused by heat styling and colouring, for noticeably healthier looking and feeling hair.
We weren't kidding about the sheet masks for hair thing; This single use sheet mask for hair is actually a cap that you wrap around the hair and fix before leaving your locks to soak it up. Simply wash your hair, pop the cap on and leave for about 10 minutes before rinsing out. It's a Marie Claire Hair Award winner, and dead easy to use.
If it's a bargain mask you're after then you can't go wrong with good old Tresemmé. This Keratin-infused mask deeply treats hair (thanks, marula oil) and protects against future frizz and humidity, promising as much as 72-hours free from frizz. If you blow dry your hair, team with the Keratin Smooth Heat Protection Spray to avoid frizz from the heat and air combo.
If you love Moroccanoil Treatment then this hair mask will be right up your street. Restorative Argan oil improves hair's elasticity and helps to smooth things out for a silky finish. And for an even more nutritive treatment, mix a couple of drops of the original Treatment in to boost the results.