What are hair masks?
Hair masks are intensive conditioning hair treatments that moisturise, protect and restore your hair. They’re made up of a variety of potent moisturising ingredients such as oils, butters, botanicals, and wax and are designed penetrate the hair shaft over time. They’re typically applied before the shampoo stage as they contain a much heavier concentration of emollients that need to be followed by a cleanser to remove residue product.
Confusingly, hair masks and deep conditioners are often used interchangeably but there are differences between the two and they serve different functions.
How do hair masks work?
Sorry to inform you but your hair is dead. It’s been that way for some time now, I just thought you should know. But luckily for us, that’s totally normal! Whilst our hair follicle is alive, the hair we see grow out of our scalp is a non-living structure mostly made out of a hard protein called Keratin.
Healthy hair is strong and resistant to damage, but as it grows our hair starts to degrade leading to split ends, breakage, knots and tangles. Lipids or “oils” are also present in our hair strands, mainly from the natural sebum our scalp produces. These oils play a vital role in sealing in our hair’s moisture and fortunately - can be topped up by applying oil-rich hair mask. Hair masks target the outermost cuticle layer of hair that sustains the most damage.
Daily damage is a part of normal life but there are a few factors that make it worse:
- Sun or heat damage from styling tools
- Chemical processing such as relaxers, texturizers, bleach or dyes
- Environmental factors like cold or strong winds
- Combing and detangling
- Tension and tight styling
Now if our hair was like it’s soft-keratin cousin skin - it would be able to repair itself but unfortunately, we have no such luck! Other than waiting several years for a new strand to grow in its place, we have to rely on external treatments like hair masks and conditioners to ensure our strands stay as healthy and strong as possible.
Benefits of using hair masks:
The best part about learning to more about hair masks is that you can customise it to suit your specific needs and target problem areas for you.
Here are some of the benefits you can expect from using hair masks:
- Softer, healthier looking hair that has a nice shine
- Stronger hair with an added spring to your curls or a bounce in its shape
- Less frizz or more curl definition
- Reduction in breakage, split ends and general damage
What’s the difference between hair masks and deep conditioners?
Hair masks are typically anhydrous (don’t contain water), relying instead on a mixture of natural oils and emollients that coat the hair shaft. As such, they tend to be denser but also require more time to sink into your hair in order to get the full benefit. Hair masks can be left on your hair up to an hour or even used as an overnight treatment. Whilst they can penetrate the outer layers of your hair cuticle and strengthen your hair follicles for smoother, healthier hair - they do not hydrate your hair like conditioners.
Deep conditioners are another form of intensive hair conditioning treatments that can be left on your hair for several hours, but unlike hair masks, they contain water. They have a mixture of water and oil-based ingredients so that they can hydrate as well as moisturise your hair. The addition of water, allows deep conditioners to have a variety of different purposes including moisturising, strengthening and even repairing damaged hair with the inclusion of protein.
Should you use hair masks?
Yes. Absolutely yes. 1000 times yes! As mentioned hair masks and conditioners are really the only defence we have against damage, without which our precious strands might reach an untimely end! There are several benefits to using hair mask and everyone should see a visible difference after applying. But if you happen to have any of the following hair types - then hair masks are definitely for you!
Afro or Kinky Hair - I’m talking 4a, 4b, 4c and throw in the type 3s while you’re at it! You probably already know this but the price of having gravity-defying, curvaceous hair is that it tends to run dry. The coilier the hair, the harder it is for the sebum to travel down your hair shaft to provide that much-needed protection. Not to mention that each bend can also be a weak point in the hair shaft. Fortunately, hair masks were made for you and you should be able to see an immediate improvement that only gets better with regular use.
Thin or Fine Hair - depending on your unique head of hair you might find detangling and styling a breeze! But if you have problems with single-strand knots or breakage it can be due to your hair strands being slimmer or lighter in numbers. Hair mask and conditioners bulk up your resistance to damage allowing your hair to flourish
Dry, Damaged or Frizzy Hair - Some hair is just naturally dry, whilst others have the moisture manually sucked out of it! Either way, ensuring that your hair can hold onto as much moisture as possible is your highest priority. A good hair mask will restore your natural barrier - smoothing down the cuticle for soft, shiny and healthier looking hair.
How to apply hair masks
This hair mask is designed as a pre-shampoo intensive conditioning treatment to moisturise and seal your hair. You can apply this hair mask to dry or damp hair depending on your preference.
Applying to damp hair, gently work the hair mask through your strands from root to tip. This is a thick treatment, so sectioning is advised to make sure that your whole head is evenly coated. You can leave this mask on for anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight. I typically recommend 1 hour to give enough time for the mask to sink into your hair. Use as much as you need in order to coat each and every hair strand!
Try out some of our hair masks!
Peach and Honey Deep Treatment