I've been religiously using hair masks for as long as I can remember, which is why whenever a friend or coworker tells me that they don't use one, I'm genuinely confused/shocked. Like, do you hate your hair?? Seriously, though, a good hair mask is essential—not to mention the answer to all of (well, almost all of) your hair issues.
"Hair masks are a great way to deep-condition and detangle your hair, add smoothness and shine to strands, and even protect your hair from heat damage and environmental stressors," says hairstylist Justine Marjan, whose client roster includes the Kardashians, Chrissy Teigen, and Jenna Dewan, to name a few. Ahead, Marjan walks us through her favorite hair mask ingredients, along with the best hair masks to try for each and every hair type.
For Dry Hair
"Anyone with dry hair should look for a mask that's filled with plant-based oils, which help treat your hair to the moisture that it desperately needs," says Marjan. If you've got fine hair that's dry, opt for a hair mask that's packed with lightweight oils, (like jojoba oil and sesame oil) to prevent your hair from getting too greasy. For thicker, coarser hair types, a hair mask with more nourishing oils, like coconut and shea oils, will do the trick.
Pro tip: For an extra boost of hydration, slather your hair mask on dry hair before
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For Thin or Fine Hair
Yup. Even fine and thin hair types can benefit from using a hair mask. You just need to look for a formula that won't weigh your hair down. Try something with lightweight hydrators, like hyaluronic acid and honey extract, along with ingredients that will make your hair stronger and longer (hiiii biotin) too. Oh, and don't overdo it—use your hair mask once a week if you have thin hair, says Marjan. Her favorite? "Christophe Robin’s Wheat Germ Mask is great for thin hair, because it balances the hair's pH levels without adding heavy moisturizers," she says.
For Curly Hair
"Curly hair can use thicker moisturizing hair masks since it's naturally drier than straight hair types," says Marjan. "You'll want to use a mask with oils that are heavy enough shape, strengthen, and seriously moisturize your curls." All great options: coconut oil, castor oil, and olive oil.
Marjan's is obsessed with Ouai's Treatment Masque for curls and coils. It conditions your curls with a blend of coconut water, shea butter, and artichoke leaf extract for soft, ultra-hydrated texture and super bouncy curls. Want some other options? Check out these other curly-hair favorites.
For Oily Hair
Using a thick-ass mask is def not the move for oily hair—it'll only make your hair greasier. Marjan recommends skipping anything with oils and grabbing a hair mask with clarifying ingredients, like apple cider vinegar or clay, instead.
"Apple cider vinegar is one of my favorite ingredients for balance's your hair and scalp's pH levels and preventing excess oil production," Marjan explains. "It also hydrates and adds shine to the hair without weighing it down." As for clay, it helps soak up excess oils, keeping your scalp squeaky-clean and your roots nice and voluminous.
For Color-Treated Hair
If you've got bleached or color-treated hair, I'm going to bet that your hair is probably preeeeetty dry and damaged which means....you're the perfect candidate for a hair mask. "Any hair mask with linseed extract is great for color-treated hair, because it helps preserve pigment," says Marjan. And you bleach your hair, try a hair mask with purple tones to help refresh and brighten your color. "I also suggest using something with rice protein, since it protects and repairs hair from oxidative damage—both precursors to breakage and brassiness"
Marjan loves Rita Hazan’s Weekly Remedy for color-treated hair. It's a two-step formula that combines rice protein and linseed extract with a super-moisturizing blend of jojoba, plum, olive, and moringa seed oils.
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