Regardless of whether your hair is straight or curly, fine or coarse, over-processed or never-been-touched, it probably needs a deep conditioning mask. You may not realize it, but you’re likely subjecting your strands to a lot of stress regularly. Heat styling, mineral buildup from your shower’s water, chlorine, dye, and even pollution can all strip hair of moisture, leaving it brittle, weak, and dull. A carefully-chosen, deep conditioning hair mask will help nourish your strands back to health, so they’re ultra-soft, glossy, and manageable. Below, discover our editors’ favorite, tried-and-true formulas.
Who: Lauren Levinson, Editorial Director
What: Leonor Greyl® Masque Fleurs de Jasmine ($65)
Why: There are two simple reasons I picked this mask: the first — it truly smells like gorgeous flowers (the ones you’d find in the South of France). Second, it leaves hair petal soft. And for the price, I expect ultra-silky, softening results. It absolutely delivers, but note that a little goes a long way. Unless your hair is coarse, it can leave it with too much slip if you overdo it. So I just put a bit on my mid-to-end strands and comb it through in the shower. That said, using less product also means you go through it slowly, justifying even further why it’s a worth-it splurge.
Who: Joslyn Winkfield, Senior Visuals Editor
Why: As the resident naturally curly girl in the office, my textured strands need extra moisture. This mask by SheaMoisture is my go-to for deep conditioning. While shea butter may be too heavy for some, my hair soaks it up, creating softer, springier coils. The added sea kelp is great at repairing damage and gives a nice slip while I detangle in the shower. I like to apply it on clean wet hair and let it steam inside a shower cap for about 20 minutes before rinsing.
Who: Emily Orofino, Senior Beauty Editor
What: Wella® Luminous Reboost Mask™ ($26)
Why: This product was actually my first successful experiment with a hair mask. In the past, I’d tried DIYing my own hair treatments by slathering on coconut oil, but had always been horribly disappointed with the results. My hair is pin-straight and fine, and it was very challenging to remove all the coconut oil after my experiments, so my strands were often left greasy and weighed down. Until I tried the Wella Luminous Reboost Mask, I assumed that’s what all conditioning treatments would do to my hair. Not so! The product, which feels like a slightly richer conditioner contains camellia seed oil to nourish strands. I apply it after shampooing and leave it on for five minutes about once a month — when I rinse it out, my hair is incredibly silky and shiny.
Who: Thia Laurain, Social Media Editor
Why: My hair care routine is pretty low-maintenance (especially in comparison to my skincare routine), but I do splash out for a weekly application of this luxuriously creamy hair mask. Gently massaged from mid-strand to tip, this prickly pear oil-infused formula leaves my ultra-thick strands and dry ends feeling nourished and looking lustrous. Also important to note: this sophisticated incense-scented mask is suitable for all hair types — very important for my wavy-straight-hybrid mane
Who: Madisen Theobald, Social Media Editor
What: PHILIP B.® Russian Amber Imperial Gold Masque ($225)
Why: I have tried a number of hair masks in my day, because my hair is color-processed, very stressed, and extremely fine. As soon as I applied a large dollop of this indulgently luxurious gold masque by Philip B. to my damp hair, my strands immediately felt hydrated and silky smooth. I don’t think I have ever had a hair mask that left my brittle strands that soft! This opulent masque claims to restore natural shine and luster, bounce, and body that is lost by way of chemical processing, and it absolutely lives up to those claims. PHILIP B. Russian Amber Imperial Gold Masque is 100 percent worth the splurge if you have over-processed, dry hair. I use it at least once a week (sometimes twice a week, if I am feeling extra bougie)!
Who: Sophie Wirt, Beauty Editor
Why: There’s a good reason this is one of the most acclaimed hair masks in the biz. The thick, smoothie-like texture is just the right amount of nourishing, without weighing my hair down. And, thanks to ultra-nourishing ingredients like rosehip oil, almond oil, and silk, it leaves even my dry, hay-like strands more touchable. The mask is also infused with a blend of B vitamins, which can help to protect from future damage.
Who: Cat Matta, Copy Editor & Fact-Checker
What: IGK® Prenup® Instant Spray Hair Mask ($26)
Why: In beauty, as with most things, I always want the best of both worlds — top-notch products and a quick routine. IGK Prenup Instant Spray Mask delivers on both counts. Inspired by Korean splash masks, it works in less than a minute, but packs the same punch as heavier cream masks. Alma oil and cupuaçu butter repair, strengthen, and provide intense hydration, while apple cider vinegar polishes hair to a bright shine. The fact that it works quickly in the shower post-shampoo means I don’t spend any more time getting ready than if I lathered, rinsed, and actually repeated.
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