Every day, our hair is exposed to many things that cause it lots of damage: the weather, styling with heat, etc. Fortunately, hair masks exist, and they're here to save your hair and regenerate it. Hair masks can address several issues such as dryness, colour damage, frizziness, the list goes on!
Is your hair damaged and in need of a little TLC? Then you should read this ultimate guide, where we have rankings of the best hair masks on the market, reviews of these products, and lots of hints and tips about hair masks so you can choose the best one for you. Let's get started!
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 First things first
- 3 The best hair masks in the UK
- 3.1 Coco & Eve That’s a Wrap Bundle – Hair Mask, Tangle Tamer and Microfibre Hair Towel Wrap for All Hair Types (212ml)
- 3.2 Olaplex Number 3 Hair Protector (100ml)
- 3.3 John Frieda Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery for Dry and Damaged Hair (150ml)
- 3.4 B Uniq Purple Hair Mask for Blonde, Platinum and Silver Hair (215ml)
- 4 Buying Guide: Everything you need to know about hair masks
- 4.1 What is a hair mask?
- 4.2 Why do experts recommend to use hair masks?
- 4.3 What are hair masks made from?
- 4.4 What types of hair masks are available?
- 4.5 What is the difference between a mask and conditioner?
- 4.6 How do you use a hair mask?
- 4.7 How often should I use a hair mask?
- 4.8 What are the possible side effects of hair masks?
- 4.9 What are the pros and cons of using hair masks?
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Summary:
First things first
- Hair masks are a hair treatment that gives your hair intense nourishment and hydration.
- Hair masks are enriched with various active ingredients which have important hair care functions.
- Remember that hair masks and conditioners are not the same things.
The best hair masks in the UK
We’ve had a look at the hair masks on the market, analysed prices and customer reviews, and come up with this comprehensive list of the best in the UK. You can see each of our favourite hair masks in the selection below, alongside a little description of each product.
Buying Guide: Everything you need to know about hair masks
You’ve seen the best hair masks on the market, now it’s time for the buying part. We’ve put together this fab list of things we recommend that you think about before making your purchase. We’ve also got a list of the most frequently asked questions and we’ve answered them. Let’s dive right in.
What is a hair mask?
Hair masks are enriched with ingredients that are specially formulated to improve the quality of your hair - be it damage repair, anti-frizz, you name it. They're left on your hair for longer than you leave shampoo and condition on for, and because of this, they have lots of time to soak deep into your hair and really improve it.
Why do experts recommend to use hair masks?
Hair that is healthy on the inside will be healthy on the outside. To achieve healthy hair, it's essential to use a hair mask, since it can give your hair extra shine and strength and make it stronger.
Hair masks have lots of other benefits too. They smell nice, they can be featured as part of a relaxing beauty and self-care routine, and putting a hair mask on and relaxing can be a way in which you can de-stress and relax at the end of the week.
What are hair masks made from?
Hair masks generally contain water and solidifying agents to give it the required consistency. They also usually include non-greasy moisturiser which are designed to strengthen the hair.
The key active ingredients in hair masks are called humectants. These are a mixture of oils and fats which are designed to hydrate your hair.
|Argan Oil||Rich in minerals, vitamins and beneficial fatty acids. Deeply moisturises the hair.|
|Honey||This is a natural ingredient, filled with lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are designed to repair damaged hair.|
|Green Tea||Green tea is high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, folate and vitamin B, which are all great for repairing, nourishing and enriching your hair.|
|Coconut Oil||This contains lots of unsaturated fatty acids, which increases the vitamin, fat and mineral content of your hair.|
|Coconut Water||This has an incredible amount of beneficial components, which include vitamin C, magnesium, amino acids, omega 3s and potassium, which make it incredibly repairing, nourishing and means that it has lots and lots of antioxidants.|
|Shea Butter||Moisturising and oily, source of beneficial fatty acids like linoleic and oleic acid. It is also very rich in essential vitamins and minerals.|
|Avocado Oil||This oil brings instant shine and strength to the hair due to its high vitamin E, lecithin, potassium, unsaturated fatty acids and chlorophyll content.|
What types of hair masks are available?
|Type of mask||Features|
|For dry and damaged hair||Masks rich in nutrients and repairing agents, such as oils, fats and antioxidants.|
|For dyed hair||They contain active agents that maintain strong colour for longer.|
|For fine and fragile hair||Hair masks for this hair type deeply nourish and hydrate your hair.|
|For thick hair||They prevent waviness in thick hair while having hydrating properties which reach deep into the layers of the hair to turn thick and rebellious hair into soft and manageable locks.|
|For curly hair||Products that soften and shape curls, preventing frizz. They bring volume and vitality to the hair for well-defined curls.|
|For oily hair||Hydrates the hair without creating oiliness. They regulate excess sebum (oil) in the scalp.|
|For straight hair||Enriched with smoothing compounds. They promote smooth, soft and silky hair, which is well-nourished and hydrated.|
In terms of format, there are lots of types, have a look at this table:
|Creams (moisturising)||Different types adapted to the needs of each hair type. Deeply hydrate and nourish the hair. You apply after shampooing, and they need to be rinsed out.|
|Exfoliants||Remove accumulated dirt and excess oil from the scalp. Exfoliate the surface so they promote strong and healthy hair growth.|
|In-cap||Ingredients embedded in a shower cap.|
|Powder||Contain active agents. Applied by mixing the powder with water.|
|Sauna effect||Creamy consistency and hot sensation when applied to the scalp. This dilates the hair cuticle, allowing it to greatly absorb the active ingredients.|
What is the difference between a mask and conditioner?
Conditioner hydrates and nourishes the hair and it compensated for a lack of oil. This gives you softer and brighter hair, as well as making it easier to style. Masks, on the other hand, reconstruct the outer layers of the hair follicle and are more intensive than conditioners.
Both are applied after shampooing the hair, but they are applied in different ways. Masks need some time to be effective, while the conditioner works almost instantly. Conditioner can be used daily, unlike a hair mask which should only be used once or twice a week. The below table compares the similarities and differences between both products.
|Action||Moisturises, softens and brightens hair||Deeply nourishes and regenerates hair|
|Time of application||After shampooing||After shampooing|
|Time it takes to act on the hair||Instant||3-5 minutes, sometimes longer|
|Frequency of application||Each time you wash your hair||Once a week|
How do you use a hair mask?
Firstly, you need to wash your hair with shampoo. Then, after rinsing it thoroughly, lightly towel dry your hair and put a decent-sized amount of hair mask onto the palm of your hand. We recommend putting a little more than the amount you'd usually use of conditioner. You need it to coat all of your hair, so obviously, the amount of hair mask you use will increase if you have long hair. Next, distribute the product well throughout your hair, working from the middle of your hair to the ends.
You should avoid applying the hair mask to the roots of your hair as this can make your scalp oily. Once you have well-distributed the mask through your hair, you can use a comb to untangle it. Leave it in your hair for the required amount of time, it will say this on the box or bottle, but if it doesn't it's usually around five minutes. Then, rinse out and make sure that the product is completely rinsed out.
How often should I use a hair mask?
Experts generally recommend using a hair mask once a week. This is the frequency which will give your hair the best results. However, this can vary depending on your hair type and characteristics.
What are the possible side effects of hair masks?
All in all, the adverse side effects of hair masks are rare. Any side effects are more than likely due to the product not being used correctly. It goes without saying, but if you tend to be sensitive or have allergic reactions to skin or hair products, take care with hair masks, do a patch test on your skin before using it, and always check the ingredients.
What are the pros and cons of using hair masks?
When choosing a hair mask, it's important to consider various things. Luckily for you, we've done all the work. We've summed them up below. Take a look:
- What is my hair type?
- What format do I want?
- What ingredients do I want?
- What results do I want to achieve?
What is my hair type?
Hair masks tend to be specially formulated to different hair types and different conditions in which your hair can be (frizzy, damaged, etc). This is because the specific needs of the hair type are not always the same, as they depend on many factors. These include the level of oil in your hair, if your hair is curly or straight, and natural or coloured hair.
Curly hair will need products which offer the curls better definition. For dyed hair, it is advisable to use hair masks with sunscreen, antioxidants and moisturisers.
What format do I want?
As we've seen in the table above, there are many different formats in which hair masks are produced. It's important to know them all and decide which is best for you by thinking about the characteristics of your hair and the results you are looking for.
For rebellious or difficult hair, you may want to dry a sauna-effect mask, since these are more intensive. Exfoliating masks are great for greasy or lifeless hair, as they are revitalising.
What ingredients do I want?
The ingredients are important because they determine the function of the hair mask. Is it a hydrating, curl-boosting, colour-protecting or anti-frizz hair mask? The ingredients determine this.
Knowing the ingredients can also be useful in case you are prone to allergic reactions. You should definitely check the ingredients list and maybe even test a patch of the product on your arm and leave it for 24 hours to see if there is a reaction before putting it on your hair if you think there's a chance you may have an allergic reaction or if you have sensitive skin.
What results do I want to achieve?
Finally, the results that we are looking for will greatly influence our choice as to which hair mask to buy. If you are looking to repair very damaged and lifeless hair, you should choose a repairing mask which is rich in antioxidants.
In this case, a sauna effect mask could be a good option. You may, on the other hand, want to enhance coloured hair, and give it a soft and natural texture. For these purposes, a moisturising mask with protective components would be ideal. Essentially, look for the product which will give you your desired effect.
Do you have dull, lifeless hair? Do you want to get the most out of your hair? Hair masks are an essential part of hair care, and it's recommended that everyone uses a hair mask, even those with short hair. They're great because they penetrate to the innermost part of the hair follicle to deliver unparalleled hydration and nutrition. This results in healthy hair from the inside out, which gives radiant, strong and shiny looks on the outside.
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(Source of the featured image: Goodluz -12122052/ 123rf.com)