Hair Masks: A Case for Elevating Your Hair Care Routine


Hair Masks: A Case for Elevating Your Hair Care Routine

This is your complete guide to hair masks. Here, we cover everything from how to use hair masks to which mask to use depending on your hair type.


0 minute read

Published: August 2022

Origin: Australia

We put our strands through a lot of stress.

Heat styling, chemical colouring, and exposure to the elements can cause damage and leave hair feeling dry, limp, frizzy, or brittle. 

Nothing quite compares to an in salon pampering to nurture hair back to luscious status. But if you can't make it to the salon, there is the next best thing.

Enter: The hair mask. Hair masks are designed to help repair damage and nourish your scalp and strands through deep hydration.

Read on for everything you need to know, from how to use hair masks to our top product recommendations that will leave your strands smooth and revitalised. 

What is a Hair Mask?

Just like a face mask nourishes and hydrates the skin, a hair mask works to improve the condition of your hair. 

You might see hair masks referred to as deep conditioning treatments or intensive hair conditioners. A hair mask is essentially an intense conditioner that coats the hair to infuse it with strength and hydration.

No matter whether your hair is heat damaged, dry, oily, coloured, curly, or ageing, all strands can benefit from a mask treatment.

Even if your hair is healthy, the changing seasons can be tough on your hair, and a hair mask can help to combat the damage inflicted by the natural elements. 

Hair masks differ from instant conditioners because they are more concentrated and often target specific hair concerns. They are also left on the hair for much longer, anywhere from five minutes to overnight. 

The best hair masks on the market contain rich, natural ingredients like oils and butters that will penetrate your strands and lock in moisture, or absorb excess oils if your hair is oily. 

If you’re into DIY, you can even make your own hair mask at home, using common household ingredients like bananas, honey, or egg yolk. 

Do I Need a Hair Mask? 

As mentioned, practically everyone can benefit from a hair mask, even if you consider your hair to be healthy. 

Whether you have dry, oily, or damaged hair, regular use of a hair mask can help to maintain your hair health and strength. 

For dry hair, the added moisture from a hydrating mask can help to nourish and repair dry strands. 

Chemically-treated hair that is brittle or breaks easily can benefit from a protein mask, which can help to strengthen the hair shaft and prevent further damage. 

If you have oily hair, a clay mask can help to absorb excess oils and fight against dandruff and greasiness. 

The benefits of hair masks include:

+ Moisture retention

+ Reduced damage

+ Less frizz

+ Shinier hair

+ Softer hair

+ Stronger hair

+ A healthier scalp

+ Less environmental and product damage

Hair Masks We’re Loving 

Let’s dive into the good stuff: Our favourite hair mask products! These are our top picks. 


Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask

The award-winning Molecular Repair Hair Mask by K18 is infused with K18 peptides, which heal and reverse the most extreme damage from hair bleaching, heat tools, and chemical exposure.

This lightweight mask helps to detangle dry, knotty hair and moisturises strands right to their core.


Miracle Hair Mask

Made from a blend of Aloe Vera and Mulberry Leaf, this hair mask is designed to restore lost moisture.

It also provides hair with strength and hydration to keep your strands soft and shiny rather than limp and dry.

How to Use a Hair Mask

Most hair masks work best on clean, towel-dried but damp hair.

However, if you’re using an oil-based mask, applying the mask to dry hair will be beneficial. Oil repels water, so dry hair will be better at absorbing the mask. 

Always follow the individual product instructions, but generally here is how to use a hair mask:

Clean Your Hair

Shampoo your hair as normal, then rinse. 

Apply the Mask

For shorter-stay hair masks, stay in the shower and grab your hair mask. Divide your hair into sections if it’s thick, and apply the mask using your fingers.

If your hair type is dry, begin near the scalp and work towards the ends. If you’re applying the mask to treat dandruff, start at the scalp and work your way down. If your hair is oily, start mid-shaft and work towards the ends. 

Set your timer for five minutes, and use the extra time to wash your face, shave, or exfoliate. Once the five minutes is up, rinse off the mask and condition as usual. 

For longer-stay hair masks, jump out of the shower and towel-dry your hair. Put a towel over your shoulders to protect your clothes from the mask. 

Apply the mask as directed above, as per your hair type. You can use your fingers or a paintbrush to apply it. Once the hair mask is in, use a wide-tooth comb to work the product through the hair evenly. 

Next, cover your hair with a shower cap or plastic wrap, then wrap your covered hair up into a towel. The added heat will help the ingredients penetrate the hair. 

Leave the mask on for 20 to 30 minutes. Then, rinse your hair with lukewarm or cold water. Cold water can help to seal the hair cuticle and promotes moisture retention, so if you can brave a cool rinse, it will be worth it! Condition your hair to finish. 

Lastly, ensure the product has been rinsed out completely before adding products to the hair, then air-dry or heat-style as usual. 

How Often Should You Do Hair Masks? 

The frequency of your hair mask use will depend on how damaged your hair is. 

Regardless of the state of your hair, the best way to maintain healthy, nourished hair is to implement a hair mask routine. 

Using a hair mask once a week is usually sufficient for most hair types, but if your hair is especially damaged or if you use heating tools often, consider using a mask twice or three times a week.

As a general rule of thumb, below are our frequency recommendations based on your hair type.

+ Fine hair –  Use your hair mask once a week. Overuse will cause your hair to become weighed down and limp.

+ Thick hair – You can use a mask once or twice weekly. Hair masks targeting specific concerns can be used twice a week, but if you’re using the mask just for hydration, once a week will be enough. 

+ Curly hair – If you have curly hair, use your hair mask once or twice a week. We recommend using a mask specifically designed for curly hair that will keep your coils bouncing beautifully! 

+ Straight hair – Use your hair mask once a week if you have straight hair. Frequent use may add too much weight to your hair. 

+ Dry hair – Dry hair will benefit from a twice-weekly hair mask treatment. Your strands need that extra dose of moisture, so let them soak it up! 

+ Oily or greasy hair – Pop on a hair mask once a week and make sure the mask is designed to absorb excess oils and moisture. 

+ Damaged hair – Damaged hair will benefit from frequent hair masks, so apply the mask two to three times a week. The more damaged your hair is, the more regularly you should use the mask. Once it’s back to its pre-damaged condition, you can cut back on your usage. 

How Long Should I Leave a Hair Mask On?

How long you leave your hair mask on will depend on your hair type and the type of hair mask you’re using. 

Generally, masks need to be left on for at least five minutes to make any real difference. If your hair is particularly damaged, you might need to leave it on for around 30 minutes. 

Protein masks can be left on for no longer than 10 minutes. Overuse can make the hair brittle and cause more damage. As protein masks are quite intensive, we recommend using them once a week (for very damaged hair) or once a fortnight (for all other hair types).

A hydrating hair mask can be left on the hair for around 5 to 20 minutes. You can leave it on longer, even overnight, but there’s no proven benefit for keeping the mask on past the 20-minute mark. 

If you’re using a coconut oil mask, you can keep it on for anywhere between 30 minutes and overnight. 30 minutes yields the best results, but some people prefer to keep it on overnight as you’ll need to apply it before you wash your hair. Just be sure to pop a towel on your pillow! 

So, can you leave a hair mask on too long?

The short answer is yes — but it really depends on the kind of mask you’re using. 

If you leave a mask on damp hair for too long, you risk subjecting your hair to hygral fatigue. Hygral fatigue means that the added moisture has stretched and contracted your hair to the point that it’s weak and prone to breakage. 


This is easily prevented; simply rinse off the mask as directed on the product label!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Hair Masks

Generally, if you follow the instructions on your hair mask product, you’ll reap the rewards. 

However, there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind regardless of which product you choose. 

Hair Mask Do’s 

Keep these points in mind when choosing and applying your treatment for the best results.

+ Use the Right mask for Your Hair Type.

Just like skincare products, hair care products target different needs. 

If your dry hair requires a little extra hydration, go for an intensely rich, nourishing mask. 

As mentioned, a greasy scalp will benefit from a clay-based mask that absorbs excess oils. 

To tame curly hair, opt for a moisturising mask that contains plant oils. These ingredients will help to keep the frizz at bay. 

+ Apply the Mask Properly

Slapping the product onto the ends of the hair and rinsing after 30 seconds won’t give you the results you’re looking for.

Applying a hair mask properly takes a little extra time and effort, but it’s well worth it. Remember to begin with wet hair for best results (unless you’re using an oil-based mask) and apply evenly, focusing on the damaged parts of the hair and scalp. 

Be sure to leave the mask on for the required amount of time and condition as normal after use.

+ Change Up the Mask You Use 

Don’t be afraid to try different masks! You can even alternate between sessions to target different hair concerns.

For example, if you have curly hair, you might want to use a hydrating mask once a week to target dryness, and use a curl-specific mask fortnightly to target frizz. 

You can also try using multiple hair masks at the same time. Think of it like layering your skincare. 

You’ll only need two masks for this layering technique; the first will target the end and middle sections of the hair with nourishing ingredients, and the second will be a moisturising mask to be used on the scalp. 

+ Add Heat

Heat speeds up the rate at which the chemicals work on the hair, so applying heat will help the ingredients absorb better. 

Apply a warm towel over your hair while your mask is on, or give your mask a light blow dry. 

Hair Mask Don’ts

Avoid these mistakes when applying your hair mask.  

+ Don’t Apply to Dry Hair

Unless you’re using an oil-based hair mask, avoid applying your hair mask to dry hair.

It won’t necessarily harm your hair, but applying a mask to wet hair generally yields better results, so there’s no use wasting your product on dry strands!

The lack of dirt and oils on clean, wet hair allows the nutrients to penetrate your hair better. 

+ Don’t Go Overboard

Stick to the recommended application frequencies mentioned above. 

Using a hair mask every time you wash your hair can lead to a greasy scalp and limp hair, which is not the result we’re after.  

+ Don’t Use Too Much Product

Your hair mask will state how much product you need to apply per use. 

Have another question about how to use hair masks? We’re here to help! Get in touch with us to discuss all things hair care. 



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