Best Hair Mask – 5 Best-Selling Masks for Damaged Hair Repair

Last Updated: November 14, 2020

Stress, split ends, and dyes can put your tresses through the wringer. In these trying times, there’s no better way to unwind and treat your hair at the same time than by indulging in a hair mask. The best hair mask is a surefire way to take your self-care routine up a notch and your strands will thank you for it. Here are my top picks for lustrous, nourished hair.

Everything You Need to Know About Hair Masks

Hair Mask Benefits: Why You Should Use Hair Masks

Hair masks are just like your regular conditioners but packed with more intensive ingredients. Letting your locks marinate in this leads to a host of benefits. Here are some reasons why you should consider adding a mask to your haircare arsenal.

How to Choose the Best Hair Mask for Your Needs

Dry hair

For a dry or frizzy hair type, a mask with deeply moisturizing ingredients and smoothing properties is best. You should look for ingredients like plant-based oils, like coconut or shea oil, and glycerin, an effective hydrator.

Colour-treated and heat damaged hair

If you needs a break from heat styling, bleaching, or colouring, a restorative mask enriched with proteins naturally found in hair is best. This type of mask will condition strands and replace the lost proteins. There are also masks made for blond or coloured manes which prevents the hues from fading or turning brassy.

Oily hair

Rebalancing masks will eliminate greasiness and imbue a healthy shine to your mane. These often have ingredients like clay and rice which mop up excess sebum. Avoid thick and heavy masks which will only weigh down your locks.

Curly or coarse hair

Go for a mask that’s moisturizing, as curly tresses tend to be dry, too. Moisturizing masks will go deeper into the strand and inject a shot of moisture.

Thin or fine hair

Avoid masks that contain silicone because it’s too heavy for fine, thin hair. Choose a lightweight formula with strengthening ingredients.

The Best Way to Use a Hair Mask: Tips and Tricks

Frequency

To start with, use a mask once a week then scale up or down as needed. Increase your usage to two or three times a week if you have damaged or dry tresses.

Check the instructions

Read the directions on the label for guidance as not all masks are made equal. This product usually replaces your conditioner and is applied on wet strands after you rinse out your shampoo. However, some formulas can be applied on dry hair or used after conditioner.

Avoid mess and stains

It’s more convenient to apply a hair mask in the shower but if you must take it outside, be sure to wear a shirt that you don’t mind being stained.

How to use a hair mask:

Distribute the product through the lengths and massage it in, concentrating on the ends. You can also section your tresses for even application.

Brush a wide-tooth comb through your locks. Cover your head with a shower cap, followed by a hot towel. Feel free to skip this part, if your time or energy doesn’t permit it.

Then, wait for the mask to do its magic. Waiting time can vary so check the directions. You generally need to let the mask sit for three to five minutes.

How long should I leave the mask on for?

If your locks are damaged, dry, or dehydrated, you can leave the mask on for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Masks applied on dry tresses can be used overnight because it won’t absorb moisture as quickly as wet strands.

Final steps

Lastly, rinse your hair well, ideally with cold water. Let it dry or follow up with a conditioner, if indicated in the instructions.

The 6 Best Hair Masks to Revive Damaged Locks

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

This cheekily-named product is a much-raved-about treatment conditioner and one of the best hair masks for lifeless or damaged locks.

The Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask is chock-full of nourishing goodies like plant-based oils and B vitamins. It brings life back to the locks and reduces dryness and brittleness from chemical treatments.

The deep conditioner contains Briogeo’s own NOVA Complex, which is their blend of algae, almond oil, rosehip oil, argan oil, and B vitamins, including biotin. These work synergistically to repair the locks and strengthen it from further damage.

The natural oils add shine and control frizz while the algae and vitamins fortify the strands. Rosehip oil has essential fatty acids, almond oil seals down the cuticle, and argan oil conditions and softens.

This deep conditioning mask instantly makes your mane smooth and silky. It has a dense consistency that rinses off easily (no gunky residue!). It’s a formula that’s great for dry or thin hair that can get weighed down with rich masks.

Briogeo makes products with naturally-derived substances. This deep conditioner is gluten-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free, silicone-free, and sulfate-free, which is a big plus. This is best for colour-treated, thin, or dry hair. It will be too heavy for oily strands, even though it rinses well.

A drawback to the product is its size. It comes in a small container, which may make it unattractive to consumers looking for a bang-for-the-buck mask.

Pros
Cons

Davines Nounou Hair Mask

Davines is a small family-owned brand that originated in Italy. The first thing I noticed with their products is their minimalist packaging. It looks like an ordinary tub that’s clear so you see the honey-coloured product inside. This subdued container is meant to be reused and upcycled, a move that’s reflective of Davines’s commitment to sustainability, as a whole.

This mask is made for brittle and chemically-treated tresses. If you have coloured hair, highlights, a perm, or just have brutally dehydrated hair, this one will address your concerns.

It has a texture that reminds me of body butter but it washes out easily without weighing down hair so you won’t be left with tacky strands. A little goes a long way, which is great because the container is a bit teeny.

This deep conditioner has a scent that’s perfumey. It’s described as a “citrus, spicy, and aromatic note” so if you’re sensitive to fragrance, you may want to steer clear.

This has three nourishing active ingredients, namely Fiaschetto tomato extract, olive butter, and vitamins E and C. Olive butter is an effective emollient that revives parched locks. It also gently detangles strands. Tomatoes in hair products may raise some eyebrows but they contain biotin, lycopene, vitamins, and minerals that are very nourishing and invigorating. It also contains vitamin C and proteins that can repair the mane.

The Nounou mask is a bit expensive but you only need to a little to cover your entire mane. An unfortunate drawback to the plastic packaging is that it’s not as durable and you have to take care to close it properly so it doesn’t get exposed to bacteria.

Pros
Cons

Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment

This repairing treatment by Olaplex is tiny but mighty, like a deep conditioner on steroids. It’s surpassed cult fave status and is a staple of bleached hair culture, famed for reviving brittle, damaged hair. The Hair Perfector No. 3 is a bond-building treatment, which means it works by repairing the disulfide bonds in your hair and it’s made to be used before and after chemical treatments.

It’s not just a hydrator and moisturizer because it works on a deeper level to treat damage of all types, whether it’s from heat, colour, chemical treatments, mechanical factors, and pollutants. It will leave your hair noticeably softer and smoother.

The formula is light and creamy so it’s easy to spread on the hair. Olaplex No. 3 is one of the best hair masks for damaged hair but it’s suitable for every hair type, both colour-treated and all-natural. However, you shouldn’t overdo it. Follow the instructions and don’t go beyond the prescribed waiting time of 15 minutes.

Overuse may also lead to drier hair, so apply it around once a week or as needed in between chemical treatments. Also, it has to be said that this product is expensive for the amount you get in the bottle but others swear by it. If this sounds like a good deal to you, definitely check the Olaplex Hair Perfector.

Pros
Cons

Verb Hydrating Mask

This hydrating mask is great for hair care beginners who want to make every day a good hair day. With its moisturizing ingredients and lightweight feel, it’s just the thing for parched, stripped strands.

The mask contains the active ingredient babassu oil. Babassu oil is similar to coconut oil and is made from the nuts of the Babassu palm. It contains omega fatty acids and vitamin E which explains why it polishes the hair and makes it voluminous and bouncy.

This also has glycerin, a naturally derived ingredient that softens hair and locks in moisture.

This lightweight yet effective mask can be used in place of a regular conditioner. It’s colour-safe and free from harmful sulfates. It rinses out easily and can be used overnight.

The product is stored in a squeeze tube, which is quite convenient and hygienic, especially if you hate dipping your fingers in a tub of conditioner. It’s also travel-friendly and has a fresh scent.

The Verb mask is formulated with silicone so it might weigh down fine or thin hair. It’s best for coarse, oily, damaged, and dehydrated hair types. If your hair is very dry, damaged, or brittle, this leave-in mask may leave you craving more moisture as it’s really closer to a conditioner than a deep treatment.

Pros
Cons

Oribe Moisture & Control Deep Treatment Masque

Treat your curls right with this Oribe Deep Treatment Masque made especially for curly hair between type 2C and 4 (in layman’s terms, from deep waves to tightly coiled tresses). The mask feels very thick and concentrated. It contains coconut and almond oils which keeps your curls looking healthy and hydrated.

The treatment masque is formulated with Oribe’s Signature Complex, a blend of watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss flower extracts that shield your hair from pollutants, UV rays, and keratin deterioration. Murumuru and mango seed butter seals the cuticle for smooth-looking locks, coconut oil gives added moisture and polish, almond protein strengthens, and a host of butters and seed extracts condition and soften.

The Oribe Treatment Masque is dermatologist-tested so it’s safe on the skin and scalp. It’s color and keratin-treatment safe so even chemically treated hair can benefit from its moisturizing effects.

The hydrating masque feels very luxurious to use and will leave your curls looking soft, bouncy, and more manageable. It conditions without leaving hair feeling heavy. The price is steep for a hair mask but you only need to use a little at a time.

Pros
Cons

Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask

This hair mask for damage repair only needs 5 minutes to work its magic. It has antioxidant-rich argan oil which fortifies the hair with vitamin E and essential fatty acids. The shea butter makes this a creamy, thick concoction that’s very emollient and nourishing.

This also contains Caryocar brasiliense fruit oil and keratin proteins which plump up the locks, tamp down frizz and make hair shiny.

This hydrating mask is excellent for moisturizing dry strands, restoring colour-treated hair, and strengthening damaged tresses.

Since this hair mask is enriched with protein, it sloughs off dead skin cells on the scalp and adds a layer of protein to compromised hair, which has a softening effect. After the hair is exfoliated, moisture can sink in more effectively, resulting in a fuller-looking, healthy look.

The hair mask prevents damage by depositing hydrolyzed protein into the hair which toughens up the cuticle. This has a thick and creamy formula so you only need about a tablespoon for full coverage. With regular use, you will see improvements in hair texture, strength and shine.

It has its ardent fans but you have to be willing to pay the price as it doesn’t come cheap. This product needs to be followed up with a conditioner to seal in the moisture, otherwise, you will experience dryness.

Pros
Cons

Conclusion

Whether you have thick hair, natural hair, or strands so parched they feel like straw, there’s probably a hair mask out there for you. This is the best, most highly-rated masks in the beauty community, product beauty editors love and vouch for. My personal pick is Olaplex No. 3 because it lives up to the hype and is great for all hair types. It will make your hair feel as soft as a cat’s bushy tail and it works from the inside of the strands to repair any damage that has incurred. You’ll be tempted to use it every day but a weekly or monthly mask already works miracles. It’s definitely every bleached gal’s favourite hair treatment for a reason.