Restore your hair to its former glory with these super hero formulas
When it comes to dry and damaged hair, the best hair masks are like a physiotherapy session for your locks, and we’re shopping them more now than ever before.
A more concentrated version of your best conditioner, hair masks are packed with nutritive ingredients to target your biggest hair concerns, whether that’s repairing damage or adding brilliance to coloured hair. These days there are even sheet masks for hair, perfect for the beauty trend enthusiast or serial Instagrammer.
Use after your best shampoo and leave on for five minutes, or as the packaging advises. ‘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 ghd UK ambassador Zoë Irwin. ‘The secret weapon here 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 your hair type too. Your locks will be the envy of them all…
Best hair masks for damaged hair
Did you know that beer was the best way to restore damaged hair? True story. However, you aren’t required to drink it. Sorry about that. The reason is that beer contains reparative proteins that work to put right all the wrongs. They’re small enough to penetrate the hair shaft to strengthen, repair, soften and detangle. It’s also got B vitamins, magnesium and selenium that add further nourishment and protection against further damage. We suppose you could have a beer to celebrate your new healthy hair?!
Best hair masks for dry hair
Kérastase’s Elixir Ultime is pretty famous in its own right as one of the best hair oils in the world, so the bar is already set pretty high for this mask. It’s thick and rich deliciousness that dry hair will quickly soak up, revealing shiny and healthy locks that hair ads can only dream of. We love it.
Best hair masks for bleached hair
Ask any platinum blonde and they’ll tell you that maintaining their bleached locks takes a heck of a lot of work – and a lot out of their hair, too. L’Oréal’s latest range is designed specifically to add brightness and shine to blonde hair, as well as nourishing and smoothing its fibres for hair that looks and feels better.
Best hair masks for coloured hair
As well as the best shampoo for coloured hair, a good hair mask will also help to preserve your shade if you dye your hair on the regular. Pureology’s does exactly that, with the hydration mask quenching your colour’s hairs thirst and restoring it to its former glory. The superfood formula is like a green smoothie for your hair, containing avocado and coconut oils for hydration and shine. Bottoms up.
Best hair masks for curly hair
Curly hair takes a little bit more work than straight, with its structure meaning the natural oils have a trickier time making their way down the hair shaft. Give it a helping hand with Sachajuan’s specially formulated curl treatment, fixing your split ends and smoothing out the hair cuticle. You’ll get so many compliments on how much shinier and bouncier your curls are (I’m saying this from personal experience).
Whatever your biggest hair concern, rest assured that these masks will do the trick – shop a few more of our favourites below.
This is quite possibly my favourite hair mask of all time for bouncy and soft hair. If your hair is unruly, frizzy and kind of annoying, know that after using this is the closest my hair has ever got to resembling Kate Middleton's (did you know it was originally created for Audrey Hepburn, by the way?). I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't love it. If any of my family or friends are reading, I would gratefully receive the litre version for Christmas.
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. Dead easy.
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.
The clue is in the name here, as this mask delivers hydration and detangling, fast – three minutes fast, to be precise. These little sachets contain just the right amount of product for a single use, so you don't need to worry about overloading your hair, and the handy packaging makes them great for travel. As well as Quick Fix there's also Spotlight for shine, Renaissance for deep repair and Wake Up for volume and hydration, so you're spoilt for choice.
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.
When this mask first launched a couple of years ago, it was an instant success because of its 5-in-1 approach. It helps rejuvenate hair damaged by heat; it delivers a surge of moisture to prevent dryness; it makes hair super shiny and soft; treats split ends and frizz and promises a difference after one wash.