Our hair is constantly exposed to the elements and seasons, not to mention pollution, hair dyes and curling irons. All these external agents, like the cold winter days, or the heat from a scorching-hot summer and humidity, they all play a part in damaging the natural structure of our hair leaving you with a limp, dull and lifeless looking mane.
Luckily in North America, the beauty industry is always developing new ways to protect and nourish the hair. The most simple step you can take towards a healthier mane is introducing a hair mask into your self-care routine. These type of products can help you bring back the shine and luster of your hair.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best hair masks on the U.S. market
- 2.1 No. 1: Arvazallia: Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask (8.45 oz.)
- 2.2 No. 2: Shea Moisture — Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Hydration Treatment Masque (12 oz.)
- 2.3 No. 3: B Uniq — Purple Hair Mask for Blonde, Platinum & Silver Hair (12 fl oz.)
- 2.4 No. 4: Nature’s Potent — Argan Oil Hair Mask (8 oz.)
- 2.5 No. 5: OGX — Argan Oil of Morocco Hair Mask
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about hair masks
- 3.1 What is a hair mask exactly?
- 3.2 Why do experts recommend the use of hair masks?
- 3.3 What are hair masks made of?
- 3.4 What types of hair masks are there?
- 3.5 What is the difference between a hair mask and conditioner?
- 3.6 How do you use a hair mask?
- 3.7 How often should I use a hair mask?
- 3.8 What are the possible negative side effects of hair masks?
- 3.9 What are the advantages and disadvantages of using hair masks?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Hair masks work by providing the scalp and hair with deep nourishment and hydration. The use of these masks can help you change the appearance of your hair from the inside out.
- These products are often fortified with a wide selection of active ingredients that work to provide the ultimate hair care.
- In North America, you can find an abundant selection of hair masks with varying properties and formulas. For this reason, make sure to understand the difference between the different masks and know that conditioner is not the same thing as a hair mask.
Ranking: The best hair masks on the U.S. market
Welcome to our ranking, in this section you will find the 5 best hair masks products available in North America. We’ve also included a brief description of their most noteworthy characteristics. We hope this information will help you define which product will be the best one for you.
No. 1: Arvazallia: Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask (8.45 oz.)
This professional series hydrating argan oil mask is a deep conditioning and hydrating formula made to soften the hair for a silkier and healthier look. This professional salon treatment instantly transforms the texture of your hair leaving it rejuvenated and easier to manage. The natural argan oil present repairs, restores and strengthens weak, damaged and over-processed hair. It promotes and encourages natural hair growth for a fuller, healthier head of hair.
This mask by Arvazallia is Amazon’s top choice for hair masks and contains the highest quality cosmetic grade argan oil that is rich in essential vitamins and nutrients. It deeply conditions, detangles, hydrates and revives full and dry hair to increase its elasticity and gives it a beautiful, natural shine. This deep conditioner has a subtle and pleasant smell and is easy to apply. It comes in an 8.45-ounce container that will last weeks, even for those with thick, long hair.
No. 2: Shea Moisture — Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Hydration Treatment Masque (12 oz.)
This intense mix of natural ingredients keeps hair hydrated and moisturized throughout the day. This premium hydration formula blends together mafura oil and baobab oil for maximum hydrating and reinvigoration of the hair, down to the follicles. The essential oils within this mask are blended with raw shea butter and antioxidant-rich African rock fig that help nourish the hair and eliminate frizz.
Using this product multiple times a week will turn wild, frizzy curly hair into a manageable and desirable head of beautiful curls. Users love its ability to calm curls, but still keep them alive, voluminous and looking 100% natural. It’s great for hair damaged by frequent coloring, keeping it soft and silky without weighing it down. For the best results, leave the mask in for an hour or two; adding heat cap for maximum results. Also, with every purchase, Shea Moisture donates 10% of its earnings to the Community Commerce Fights Poverty Foundation.
No. 3: B Uniq — Purple Hair Mask for Blonde, Platinum & Silver Hair (12 fl oz.)
The B Uniq Purple Conditioning mask is a must-have item for revitalizing blonde hair. This purple hair mask contains deep violet pigment tones that remove undesirable dirty brass and yellow tones while, at the same time, conditioning and strengthening the hair. This super-hydrating formula includes all-natural oils that provide nourishment to the hair and hair follicles that are especially beneficial for color-treated hair.
Alongside the natural moisturizing oils, this mask is enriched with soy protein, vitamin B5 to help reverse the effects of color treatment and sun damage that causes the color to fade and creates dry, dull and brittle hair. The scientifically formulated UV filters within this make help absorb UV rays that cause hair damage to ensure vibrant hair that has a salon-fresh and all-natural healthy look. This product is 100% sulfate, SLS, silicone, and parabens-free. If you are not satisfied with this product, B Uniq promises a 100% money-back guarantee.
No. 4: Nature’s Potent — Argan Oil Hair Mask (8 oz.)
The clinically proven “royal formula” argan oil hair mask hydrates, moisturizes, repairs and strengthens weak, damaged and over-processed hair. It improves the manageability of frizzy and tangled hair while promoting natural hair growth and shine. This is a product that works wonders on women, men and kids. It is an argan oil product for all types of hair. It works as a natural deep conditioning hair therapy that dramatically improves hair texture, restoring it back to a healthy and full look.
This all in one hair restorer promotes new hair follicle growth and repairs and regenerates hair shafts for smoother and thicker hair. This product is 100% organic and contains the highest quality grade pure argan oil rich in essential vitamins and minerals. It works on permed, naturally curly hair. This product was made in the US and is certified cruelty-free by the FDA. It has been quality tested to ensure purity and is paraben and sulfate-free.
No. 5: OGX — Argan Oil of Morocco Hair Mask
Repair dry, damaged, brittle hair with this extra powerful blend infused with argan oil from Morocco. This special formula intensely hydrates by way of its silk-protein blend, made to lock in moisture to give hair the look and feel of silky perfection. This mask by OGX can help repair even the most severely dry and damaged strands, by engulfing each hair in
Recommended by professionals, this mask works great for those who frequently color their hair or are out in the sun, which can dry it out, causing frizz and pesky tangles. This cream will keep your hair soft and smooth without leaving a greasy, oily finish. The natural argan oil is absorbed by the hair to nourish from the inside out. Simply place a small amount of oil in the palm of your hands and gently coat the end for a minimal effort, yet highly effective hair treatment.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about hair masks
Before buying any products, you should always be well informed regarding its key characteristics and what it is that you’re looking for. To help you get a better understanding of hair masks, this next section includes all the most relevant aspects of these products. We have also answered the most frequently asked questions from buyers.
What is a hair mask exactly?
Unlike other hair care products, which work on the outer layers of the hair, hair masks are products designed to provide the deepest layers of each strand with intense nourishment and hydration. For this reason, they are the go-to products when trying to nourish and care for the mane
The formulas for these products are fortified and enriched with potent hydrating and nourishing components. Since hair masks are meant to stay on the hair follicles longer than shampoo or conditioner, they have the time to soak in and reach the core of each strand.
Why do experts recommend the use of hair masks?
Hair masks can play a big role not only on how your hair looks, but ultimately, also on how healthy it is. Keep in mind that your hair is exposed daily to an array of external agents that damage its structure. Hair masks are designed to restore, moisturize and regenerate the hair to reverse the damage caused by the elements. It is important to know that if your hair is healthy on the inside, it will show on the outside.
Because hair masks nourish the hair from the inside out, it is reflected by the extra shine and strength of your hair. Giving you a mane that is silky and smooth, full of life and body. Remember that these products don’t just work to restore the health of your hair, they also work to protect and defend your hair from external damage, such as extreme cold or sun exposure damage.
Last but not least, hair masks can also have some other minor benefits, like leaving your hair with a delicious smell. Moreover, their creamy and smooth consistency makes them really nice to use during a relaxing spa-like ritual; applying a hair mask and letting it sit can be very putting on a hair mask and letting it soak in can be very soothing.
What are hair masks made of?
By now you know that hair masks can have impressive results on the health of your hair. They deeply nourish and hydrate the hair follicles to restore shine and smoothness. However, where do all these benefits come from? The answer is in each formula, each product will have a different combination of powerful ingredients that will work to treat specific hair conditions.
Hair masks are mostly made of water and congealing agents to give it the right texture. These products can also include non-greasy moisturizers, which are meant to work on the hair after it’s been shampooed. Lastly, most products will have some sort of vegetable protein and other ingredients that work to strengthen the hair.
The key active ingredients in hair masks are components known as humectants (oils and fats) which deeply hydrate the hair from the inside out. We have included the 7 key components of the most effective hair masks in the table below. This table also shows the most relevant characteristics of these components.
|Argan Oil||High in good fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Deeply moisturizes hair while protecting it and adding shine and softness.
|Honey|| Natural ingredients with high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Repairs damaged hair, has antimicrobial power and protects the hair.
|Green Tea|| Antioxidant that provides intense repair, with high vitamin and mineral content.
It contains amino acids, folate and vitamin B that nourish and enrich the hair.
|Coconut Oil|| Very powerful moisturizing agent. Contains unsaturated fatty acid and lauric acid, which boosts vitamin, fat and mineral content in the hair.
Penetrates even the inner layers of each hair for deep nourishment.
|Coconut Water|| Large content of beneficial components, including magnesium, potassium, amino acids, vitamin C and omega 3.
Has antioxidant, repairing and nourishing properties.
|Shea Butter|| moisturizing, oily and a large source of beneficial fatty acids.
For example, linoleic and oleic acid, in addition to essential vitamins and minerals.
|Avocado Oil|| Component that brings instant shine and strength to the hair.
This is because it is rich in vitamin E, lecithin, potassium, unsaturated fatty acids, and chlorophyll.
What types of hair masks are there?
In North America today, you can find a plethora of hair masks products with all sorts of formulas and functions. The specific properties of each mask will determine which type of hair it is better suited for. However, this won’t be the only differentiating factor, there is also a large selection of different formulas and formats, which we’ll elaborate on ahead.
For starters, when it comes to the specific properties of these masks, you can find products with smoothing, anti-frizz, curl-enhancing and color protection agents, among many others.
|Type of mask||Features|
|For dry and damaged hair|| Masks rich in nutrients and repairing agents, such as oils, fats and antioxidants.
They keep hair hydrated and protected against harmful external agents.
|For colored hair|| These contain active agents that maintain rich color for longer.
In addition, they provide the “extra” hydration that colored hair needs for a soft and luscious mane.
|For fine and fragile hair|| These masks deeply nourish and hydrate the hair.
Make sure they also strengthen the hair and reduce frizziness.
|For thick hair|| They prevent frizz in thick hair, in addition to providing hydration that reaches the deepest layers of the hair.
They turn thick and rebellious hair into a soft and manageable mane.
|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 a clean, shiny (non-greasy) mane.
|For straight hair|| Enriched with soothing and nourishing compounds.
They promote smooth, soft and silky hair, which is well hydrated.
In terms of available formats, you can find creams, exfoliants, in-cap masks, and powder products. This next table outlines the most popular formats of hair masks:
|Cream|| These are conventional masks.
There are different types adapted to the needs of each hair type.
They deeply hydrate and nourish the hair.
They are applied after shampooing and need to be rinsed out.
|Exfoliants|| This type of treatment removes accumulated debris and excess sebum from the scalp.
Exfoliates the surface of the hair and scalp, increasing circulation, oxygenation and vascularization.
Thus, it promotes strong and healthy hair growth.
|In-cap||Masks whose active ingredients are embedded in a comfortable shower cap.|
|Powder|| These are powders that contain active agents to treat hair.
Mix the powder with water and apply to the hair.
|Sauna effect|| Creamy consistency, they give a hot sensation when applied to the scalp.
This dilates the hair follicle, allowing it to maximize the absorption of active ingredients.
What is the difference between a hair mask and conditioner?
People often think that hair masks and conditioner products are interchangeable. Even though they are both moisturizers, they are not the same thing – at all. They are different in a few key ways. For example, their benefits, the way they are used, and how often they should be used are all very different in both products.
|Action||Moisturizes, softens and brightens hair.||Deeply nourishes and regenerates hair.|
|Moment of application||After the shampoo||After the shampoo|
|Acting time||Instant||Give or take 3 minutes|
|Application frequency||After each wash||Once a week|
How do you use a hair mask?
Hair masks, like any other treatment, should be applied correctly in order to get the most benefits and avoid unwanted side-effects. The first thing you should do is clean the hair with shampoo. After rising the shampoo product thoroughly, towel-dry the hair.
The next step is to use the appropriate amount of product, it’s important not to use too much or too little. The amount you need will be dependant on the length and thickness of your hair. Make sure to distribute the product evenly from the middle of the hair to the tips.
In most cases, avoid applying the hair treatment to the roots and scalp, this could make your roots greasy. Once the product has been distributed evenly on all strands, you can use a wide-tooth comb to gently untangle the hair to make sure it’s all evenly coated. Now, just leave the mask in your hair for the recommended amount of time and then rinse it out fully with lots of water.
How often should I use a hair mask?
As mentioned briefly before, hair masks are not meant to be used daily as a conditioner. Although it is true that these products provide deep healing, repair, and nourishment to the hair, excessive use of hair masks can leave your hair oily and greasy — balance is the key.
For best results, experts usually advise using hair treatment once a week. Nonetheless, this timing can vary depending on your hair type and its condition.
What are the possible negative side effects of hair masks?
By now, we’ve made it clear that hair masks can have a plethora of benefits on our hair. Nonetheless, the incorrect use of these products has also had some negative side effects. The main unwanted side effect is that the overuse of these products could leave your hair looking oily and greasy.
Moreover, if the product is not removed thoroughly, you could experience caking at the roots. Last but not least, some people may also experience allergic reactions to certain products and compounds, if you know you are hypersensitive, make sure to look at the ingredients of the product you choose.
To summarize, unwanted side effects as a result of using hair masks are very rare. They are often just bad results from the improper use of the product. Moreover, it is always crucial to be careful if you know you have a particular allergy or skin condition. In short, if you are careful and use the product correctly, you should have no problems.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using hair masks?
Hair treatments are very safe products that offer a wide array of benefits to the health of your hair. Nonetheless, you may not always get the desired results, or you could even experience some unwanted results. Ahead we have summarized the main pros and cons of using these types of hair product.
Like with any personal care product, when buying a hair mask there are some key criteria you should keep in mind. Knowing these aspects as you search for the best hair treatment, will help you find the right product for you.
- Hair type
- Desired results
Once again, not all hair masks will have the same properties, these products are often designed specifically to treat certain hair types and characteristics. Some of these include the level of sebum production (dry or oily hair types), curly or straight, and natural or colored hair.
For example, curly hair will need products that offer the curls better definition and intense hydration to prevent frizz. For dyed hair, it is advisable to use hair masks with sunscreen, antioxidants, and moisturizers.
In North America you can find hair treatment products that come in many formats and presentations. In order to determine which is the right one for you, consider your hair type and what it is that you are looking to gain from the use of a hair mask. For example, if you are looking for conventional care and nourishment, go for a creamy, moisturizing mask.
Moreover, for rebellious and difficult to manage hair, you may want to try a dry-sauna mask. These provide intense penetration since heat opens up pores in the hair follicles, allowing the product to reach the deep layers of the hair. Next, exfoliating masks have a revitalizing effect which makes them great for greasy or dull-looking hair. Lastly, hair mask caps are easy and comfortable to use, these can have different properties for different hair types.
The formula of the hair treatment you choose is important for two reasons: First, it determines the properties and function of the product on your hair. This means that you should choose a formula depending on your hair type and the results you are looking for. For instance, if you have dry hair, you’ll want intense hydration, choose a product rich in oils and moisturizing nutrients.
It is important to note that certain ingredients in any given mask may also cause potential negative effects. It is important to always check the ingredients list to make sure it does not contain anything which may be harmful to your health, especially if you know you have an allergy or a skin condition.
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Last but not least, the desired results from a hair treatment will help you determine which hair mask to buy. For example, if you’re looking to reverse damage on dull and dry hair, choose an “intense repair” mask, which should be rich in moisturizers and antioxidants. For excessively damaged hair, a sauna-treatment mast may also be a great option.
You may, on the other hand, want to enhance the shine and brightness of colored hair, while also giving it a soft and natural texture. In this case, a moisturizing mask with shielding agents would be the ideal choice. When looking to find the right product, basically consider products tailored to give you your desired effects.
Hair masks are essential to the vitality and health of your hair. They penetrate to the deepest layers of every hair strand and follicle, to give your mane the best nutrition and hydration. The results are healthy-looking hair from the inside out and from root to tip. Leaving you with a radiant, strong and shiny mane.
Do you have dull, lifeless hair? Do you want to make the most out of your hair care routine? Whatever your hair type, and whatever results you are looking for, there is a mask waiting to care for your hair.
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(Source of the featured image: Legoshyn: 68257232/ 123rf.com)