When the weather outside is frightful, our hair tends to play along resulting in frizzy, brittle strands that seem to be crying out for moisture. The easy solution is to hide this hairy problem under a hat, but we find our locks are still singing the blues upon removal—not to mention suffering from a serious case of hat head to boot! Lucky for us, a five minute session with a hair mask can take our hair from limp to luxurious giving us no real excuse to be walking around with head full of frizz. Let us direct you to the best mask for your mane.
The main point of a hair mask is to give your mop a much needed moisture boost. Some masks are creamy and lotion-like, while others are oil-based. Cream masks such as Organix Macadamia Oil Intensive Moisture Mask can add body and nutrients to flat hair while products such as Moroccanoil Dry-No-More Scalp Treatment, formulated with argan oil will yield high-shine results. No matter which you choose, you can rest assured you’ll be giving your strands a conditioning drink.
Fight the frizz. Wavy, curly, and ethnic hair is especially prone to dryness in the winter, causing shrinkage and tangling. Opt for heavier masks and products with a buttery or balmy base to penetrate deep. Try kinky hair favorite Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask to put a stop to breakage. Work through gently with your fingertips and rinse well to prevent buildup.
Color-treated hair loves moisture, and there are a wide variety of masks on the market specially formulated to beef up your dye job. Try highly rated favorites such as Oribe Masque For Beautiful Color or the Phytocitrus Restructuring Mask by Phyto to keep your vibrant dye from feeling dull.
Applying your mask from roots to tips is the go-to method, but you can also use it to zero in on especially damaged areas. If you tend to heat style the ends of your hair, try painting a mask onto the tips once a week to reduce split ends. Alternately, if you just touched up your roots, massaging a mask into your scalp might cut down on breakage and itching.
Certain masks can take up to 30 minutes to work while others need only three. Different ingredients need various time intervals to be absorbed by hair, but that doesn’t mean that a five minute treatment can’t be worn for an hour or even overnight. Try relaxing with a hair mask by wrapping treated hair in a warm towel to open the follicles. If you get caught up in a phone call or a movie, fear not—your hair knows when it’s time to stop drinking.
Some hair masks such as It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask are mild enough to be used like regular conditioner. Alternately, a heavy-duty conditioning mask might work wonders when applied liberally after your morning shampoo. Thick treatments such as the Fekkai Shea Butter Mask work well as a leave-in conditioner for thin hair. Massage a pea sized amount into ends before blow-drying to create a barrier.
If your hair is thirsty but your pockets are empty, don’t let it starve. Feed it right from your kitchen! Many cupboard staples work wonders on dry and brittle hair including olive oil, avocado, honey, milk, banana, mayo, apple cider vinegar, and eggs. Try mashing a ripe avocado with two tablespoons of olive oil and massaging into your hair for 15 minutes after you shower. An easy DIY beauty recipe for a chilly day off.
After rinsing out your mask, finish the treatment with a cold water rinse to close the hair follicles and lock the moisture into your strands. Bonus points if you let it air dry.
This article was originally published on November 11, 2012