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Your ultimate guide to hair masks

January 1 | 4 minute read

How To Choose a Hair Mask Hero 16x9

Words by Jordan Allomes, Francesca Hyde & Arabella Roden

Originally published on | May 23

When it comes to restoring your crowning glory, choosing the right mask is critical.

From bringing the bounce back to your curls, kinks and waves, reviving a dry and flaky scalp, building stronger strands or maximising moisture for parched hair, there’s a mask for just about every concern. Here, MECCA experts Jordan Allomes and Francesca Hyde share their hair care advice for mastering the art of the mask!

Which types of hair masks work best for curly hair?

Have coils, kinks, ringlets or waves? Moisturising masks are your best friend! “Think of curly hair like a sponge, always thirsty and looking to soak up hydration,” says Hyde. “The hair structure responsible for curly or coily texture can leave it susceptible to dehydration as water evaporates out of the hair. It’s also why humidity makes for some ‘hair-raising’ [frizz and the ‘puff ball’ look] as parched hair absorbs hydration from the environment.”

“The key to maintaining a consistent curl pattern is adding a boost of hydration from a rich hair mask. Look for masks that top up hydration with humectant ingredients and seal it all in with rich oils or butters,” she explains.

Some MECCA favourites that do just that? Briogeo’s Curl Charisma™ Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating & Defining Hair Mask for Curly Hair and the Living Proof No Frizz Intense Moisture Mask.

The addition of a mask into our skincare routine is a great way to boost hydration, and it’s the same for our scalps.
Jordan Allomes

Which hair mask to use for fine hair?

Both Allomes and Hyde agree that fine hair is “at its best when it's free flowing and not weighed down”, so make sure any mask you use has a lightweight formula. “A pre-shampoo mask, like 3MoreInches LifeSaver Pre-wash Treatment, is a great way to strengthen and nourish the hair and avoid weighing down your hair post-cleanse,” they add.

Can a hair mask help with dry scalp?

Ah, the dreaded dry scalp! If you’ve noticed tightness, itchiness or flaking, a mask may help provide some much-needed moisture, according to Allomes.

“The addition of a mask into our skincare routine is a great way to boost hydration, and it’s the same for our scalps: using a hair mask can boost the condition of your hair from the ‘ground’ up! Our scalps receive the nourishing and replenishing benefits of hair masks, leaving them looking and feeling great,” she reveals.

How To Choose a Hair Mask 11x4 1
The key to maintaining a consistent curl pattern is adding a boost of hydration from a rich hair mask.
Francesca Hyde

Which types of hair masks should you use for a dry scalp?

According to Allomes: “Dry scalps can experience itchiness and will benefit best from scalp masks that can help to calm, soothe and nourish. If your scalp needs some TLC, reach for Aveda’s Pramasana™ Nourishing Scalp Masque. Coconut oil and shea butter soothe, condition and nourish both the scalp and the hair, while lactobacillus ferment supports the scalp’s natural moisture barrier.”

Which types of hair masks should you use for an oily scalp?

“For those experiencing an oily scalp, it can be a delicate balance in removing excess oils and retaining the essential moisture needed to maintain the hair and scalp,” explains Allomes. Her recommendation? “Opt for a treatment like Briogeo’s Scalp Revival™ Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment Serum. The lightweight texture is packed with ingredients that help to draw out any excess oil build-up on the scalp, while soothing and hydrating!”

Pair it with the Scalp Revival™ Charcoal + Tea Tree Cooling Hydration Mask for Dry, Itchy Scalp for an extra boost.

Can a hair mask help with dry hair?

On the opposite end of the hair spectrum from excess oil is dryness and dehydration (gone platinum blonde recently? We’re looking at you!). The good news? Hair masks are a no-brainer solution! “Hair masks work as an intensive conditioning treatment and are formulated with nourishing ingredients like oils and butters,” explains Allomes. “They are an amazing way to intensely nourish and hydrate hair, making them the perfect addition to the haircare routine of anyone experiencing dry or damaged hair!”

Which types of hair masks should you use for dry hair?

Allomes explains, “Dry hair needs moisture to replenish and hydrate. The best masks for dry hair are those that contain moisture-rich ingredients. If your hair is in need of a moisture boost, reach for Briogeo’s Superfoods™ Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfoods Hair Mask. The fatty acids of the avocado nourish and condition the hair, while kiwi provides antioxidants!”

Meanwhile, the Gisou Honey Infused Hair Mask harnesses the power of Mirsalehi honey – a humectant, meaning it can help draw and seal in moisture – to restore shine and manageability to dry hair.

How long should you leave a hair mask on if you have dry hair?

“Hair masks work by absorbing into your hair for a longer timeframe than a traditional conditioner. The length of time you leave a hair mask on will depend on the type of mask being used, so be sure to follow the directions for the best results!” advises Allomes.

Can a hair mask make my hair thicker?

Good question! “Using a hair mask can help your hair look healthier and shinier and help to prevent hair breakage, keeping it on your head for longer and giving the appearance of thicker locks,” Hyde explains. Her pick of thickening masks? The OLAPLEX No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask, which “can help to improve the strength of the hair and adds shine and body, all while providing intense moisture.”

Can a hair mask make my hair stronger?

“Even the strongest of strands are no match for the stress of hot showers, heat styling and colour treatments, and masks can be a great way to support weakened hair,” says Hyde. “If your hair is feeling fragile, I’d also recommend reaching for the OLAPLEX No. 8 Bond Moisture Mask. Its proprietary bond-building technology aims to rebuild strand integrity broken down by damaging lifestyle factors.”

How can I support hair growth?

If only there was a way to make our hair grow faster! The rate at which your hair grows is largely determined by your genetics, but you can help it reach its potential by taking steps to prevent unnecessary breakage, thinning, snapping and shrinkage, and that’s where masks come in. Hyde and Allomes confirm, “Masking won’t necessarily help hair grow faster, but it can help to strengthen and protect hair, and that can result in less breakage and damage, helping you to maintain its length over time.”

Related topics and brand tags

Hair careHair treatmentsOily hairDry hairFine hair

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