As any beauty junkie can attest, masking is enjoying a moment in the spotlight. Between the multi-masking trend and omnipresent sheet mask selfies, it sometimes feels like you can’t open Instagram without encountering a photo of your favorite influencer rocking her face mask du jour. And while we’re all about a great self-care moment, today, we want to discuss the face mask’s more social media-shy cousin: the hair mask.
“Masking is something that everyone should take advantage of,” says Robert Ham, Vice President of Global Education for Moroccanoil. “Our hair is just as important as our face. It’s a very visible part of our bodies that really determines how people feel.” Read on for a few more reasons you might consider adding a hair mask to your weekly beauty regimen.
1. Hair masks do what conditioners can’t.
Much like a face mask, a hair mask goes a little bit deeper to handle what your everyday products might not be able to. “A hair mask has a higher concentration of nutrients and is meant to penetrate the cortex and repair the hair from deeper within,” explains stylist Shelby Connell, who is part of the Moroccanoil Artistic Team. “A conditioner provides more of a surface conditioning and is meant for everyday use.”
2. They’re full of problem-solving ingredients.
“Hair masks are packed with higher concentrations of active ingredients that deeply moisturize, hydrate and strengthen,” explains Robert. Curious about which ones to look for? It depends on what you need to accomplish. “I would look for proteins to help strengthen the hair, and an abundance of natural oils—avocado oil, argan oil coconut oil—to help nourish and hydrate,” says Robert. Tocopherols (a naturally occurring form of Vitamin E) and nourishing plant butters including argan and shea butter can also work wonders on overtired strands.
3. There’s a hair mask for everyone.
“Anyone can use a hair mask. But I think it all comes down to the issues that you’re battling,” says Robert. The key is understanding both your hair type and the results you're after.
Shelby broke it down for us: “If your hair is lacking shine, seems brittle and is not holding style, you’re more than likely lacking hydration. Look for a nutrient-packed hydrating mask." Moroccanoil offers two, Intense Hydrating Mask and Weightless Hydrating Mask. While both are full of moisturizing ingredients, they’re formulated for different hair types. Intense Hydrating Mask works best for medium to thick, dry hair. Weightless Hydrating Mask, however, is specifically formulated for fine hair—making it the perfect solution for those who are afraid a mask might weigh it down.
Are you frequently heat styling or chemically treating (that includes color!) your hair? Your hair might need some protein. “A good way to tell is to pull a strand of hair. If it doesn’t bounce back and keeps stretching, then your hair lacks protein,” says Shelby. Try the Moroccanoil Restorative Mask—it’s enriched with reconstructive proteins to help restore hair’s elasticity and rebuild strength from the inside out.
“If you need to tame down frizzy locks and add high shine,” says Shelby, “try Moroccanoil Smoothing Mask.” In addition to nourishing ingredients including argan oil, argan butter and almond glycerides, it also contains hydrolyzed vegetable protein to coat porous strands and split ends.”
Got curls? You can also try Intense Hydrating Mask. “Curly hair usually lacks moisture, so Intense Hydrating Mask is going to be ideal for someone with curly hair,” says Robert. “It’s for medium to thick hair types, which includes curls. And it will help smooth and add definition.”
4. Hair masks are easy to use.
First things first: Always follow the instructions that come with your mask. But generally speaking, you only need to use a mask once a week or so to see results. Moroccanoil masks can be used in the shower and don’t require heat. They’re also pretty foolproof to apply. Just towel-dry your hair after shampooing to remove excess moisture, then apply much like you would a conditioner.
“Your mid-lengths to ends are the most damaged and problematic areas of your hair strand. So typically speaking, work from mid-lengths and ends up,” says Robert. “Avoid applying directly to the roots—especially if you suffer from oily hair. A detangling comb is useful because it will help you disperse the product evenly throughout the hair, which helps you achieve even saturation.”
One last note: “Remember that longer does not always mean better. You don’t want to over-proteinize your hair, so follow the instructions on the packaging,” says Shelby.
5. Hair masks make you happy.
Well, the FDA hasn’t exactly evaluated that phrase. However, we’ve certainly found it to be true. “Anything you can do to improve the overall conditioner of the hair—masking being of the things that enhances that—at the end of the day, it will make you feel better,” says Robert. “You will feel more confident about your hair, because the mask is going to make it healthier and give you the results that you want.”