Your hair care regimen probably (hopefully) goes something like this: Shampoo every few days (please, not daily), then condition after each wash (and sometimes on the days between washes, either as a “co-wash” or for ad-hoc moisture). Then, between things like dandruff treatments and dry shampoos, we really hope you deploy a hair mask.
What does a hair mask do? Think of it like a sheet mask for your locks—and for your scalp, too. It’s a once-weekly or once-monthly treatment that overwhelms your dome with proteins, vitamins, and moisture. Different masks do different things: A single session might be a miracle for desperate, dry hair. Some target scalp health, promoting better growth from the roots. Certain masks revive dyed or bleached hair. Others help thicken and densify fine or thinning hair. For people with curly or kinky hair, a mask can help with curl definition, bounce, hydration—all of it.
In short, hair masks can improve your hair, no matter the concern—so here are the best hair masks for all hair types, concerns, and goals.
Overall Best Hair Mask
No contest: Olaplex is the universal winner here. It’s “No.3” bond builder mask is a cult favorite. Sometimes we use it as a lightweight leave-in conditioner, too, since it doesn’t leave behind a grimey film like many rinse-out masks.
Best Mask for Thinning Hair
R+CO Bleu has built product assortments around all types of hair types and needs, and it’s this thickening lineup that works miracles for fine or thinning hair. It’ll add protein and body to each hair, without weighing them down. You get fuller-looking hair almost instantly.
Best Mask for Damaged Hair
Living Proof’s twice-weekly mask will do the job in 5, preventing breakage and restoring style-readiness to the most frizzed, fried, and flat hair.
Best Leave-In Conditioner for Curls
Leave-in conditioners aren’t technically masks, but they’re often mentioned in the same breath. (You can wear them by day or tie up conditioner-doused hair by night.) Curly hair needs constant moisture, so curl creams like Pattern’s help trap moisture inside the hair without compromising the curls or adding any weight.
Best Mask for Curls
In terms of masks for curls, it’s no surprise that the #1 goal is moisture. DevaCurl’s is one of the most curl-enhancing, defining, ant-frizzing formulas, for any and all curl patterns.
Best Mask for Dry Hair
This mask can be customized for all forts of concerns, but it’s best for dry-hair revival, given the range of hydrating ingredients they can pump into your unique formula. (You can even choose your own product color and fragrance.)
Best Mask for Thick Hair
With a base of shea and illipe butter, plus oils of olive, macadamia, and almond, OUAI’s mask hydrates and softens the most stubborn, coarse hair. This helps the strands cooperate with your styling efforts rather than fighting every product you apply.
Best Mask for Dry Scalps
Prose makes terrific custom hair masks for any concern, but we get the most mileage from their excellent custom scalp mask. Apply it before you wash, so that it can nourish and calm your dome before you flush it out in the shower.
Best Mask for Oily Scalps
With the detoxifying, balancing, and calming powers of kaolin clay, this mask helps balance the scalp and prevent future buildups.
Best Mask for Summer and Swimming
Frequent swimmers and summer enthusiasts will appreciate Davines’s mask. it combats the hair-compromising effects of salt, sun, and chlorine—meaning you can have glowy summer skin and perfect hair too.
Best Hair Mask for Color-Dyed Hair
Color is hard on your follicles, but Oribe’s color-friendly (and color-boosting) mask can help with that. It builds up your defenses against UV light and other color-compromising environmental influences.
Best Mask for Bleached or Platinum Hair
Managing bleach or platinum jobs is a delicate game: the wrong product will instantly turn you brassy or yellow. Christophe Robin’s purple mask helps tone and brighten the hair, and can save you from having to rotate other purple products into your tried-and-true routine.