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There’s a lot that goes into proper hair care for long, luscious locks. From choosing the right shampoo for your hair type, to conditioning properly and using a comb that gets all the tangles out without causing damage, hair care is a delicate balance no matter what type of mane you’ve got.
Some key hair care details include washing just the right amount (not every day), getting regular haircuts and giving your hair plenty of moisture, to prevent damage and frizz from taking over. One great way to incorporate moisture into your regular hair routine is with a hair mask. Similar to the clay face masks you’re used to applying to get rid of blemishes on your skin, hair masks are formulated to spread onto hair, sink in key vitamins and minerals and then wash out, leaving hair hydrated and revitalized.
They’re great for regular use, or for infusing nourishing oils into hair before styling or treatment so your locks, from root to tip, aren’t stripped of their silky shine. We’ve picked a bunch of favorite hair masks worth trying below, with choices for a variety of budgets, hair types and commitment levels to a grooming routine.
What to Consider Before Buying a Hair Mask
First off, you’ll want to think about your budget for a grooming product like this. How much money are you hoping to spend? Given that this isn’t a product you’ll be using every day, perhaps you feel more comfortable spending more? Or, since you’re new to the hair mask game, maybe you want to purchase a budget-friendly option to try it out, and then invest later on. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve got an option that’ll suit you below.
You’ll also want to consider your hair type. Are your locks dry and brittle, and in desperate need of some deep hydration? If you’ve got oily, greasy hair, you might want to go with a lighter mask designed to even out hydration levels from root to tip. If your hair changes with the tides, choose a versatile formula that’s made for all hair types.
How We Chose the Best Hair Masks
When it comes to hair masks, the reason you’re using them is moisture. We looked for high-quality ingredients, like shea butter, jojoba oil and other rich minerals known for hydrating qualities. We also looked for reasonably priced products that are affordable for most users, or good reasons for higher priced items to be less affordable. If you’re going to splurge, it should be on a product that works, and all of our more expensive options come from brands we love.
1. Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment
This hair mask from Olaplex has a 4.5-star rating and over 92,000 reviews on Amazon. It’s made for repairing damaged hair that’s been treated with product or damaged from heat over time. It’s formulated to strengthen hair structure, restore healthy texture and appearance and reduce breakage overall. It’s a vegan formula made without sulfates, parabens and other junk, and is designed to work on a molecular level to improve hair from the inside out.
Read more: Best Olaplex Alternatives
2. Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Reparative Hair Mask
Kiehl’s is a favorite grooming brand here at SPY, and this hair mask is formulated for deep moisture with enriching olive fruit and avocado oils. If your hair has been damaged by excessive exposure to sun or heat styling, this product is great for restoring it to its former glory. It’s made to restore shine and healthy appearance, and can also prevent future damage from environmental stressors. If your hair is on the dryer end of things, or is perpetually under-nourished, pick up a jar of this and give it a try.
3. Le Labo Hair Mask
Le Labo specializes in all things grooming and fragrance, and this hair mask is a great luxurious pick if you’re willing to spend more money on a grooming product. This mask is formulated with plant-based ingredients including spirulina extract and coconut oil as well as a delicious Hinoki scent inspired by the Buddhist templates of Mount Koya in Japan (no, really). It’s a little pricey, at $40.00 for just 8.5 fl. oz., but it’s worth it.
4. Jack Black Nourishing Hair and Scalp Conditioner
Jack Black is another great hair grooming brand, and a favorite among the editors here at SPY. This rich conditioner is not exactly a hair mask, but it’s designed to be applied after shampooing, left on for a bit and then rinsed, and result in more moisture. It works great on all hair types, and is designed to reduce frizz, and leave your scalp healthy and hydrated. It’s made with tea tree oil and basil leaf, so it’s got a great smell, and contains nothing synthetic.
5. R+Co Television Perfect Hair Masque
This hair mask is designed to make your hair look camera-worthy in just 2-5 minutes, and is formulated to improve the appearance and feel of the ends of your hair. Other face masks are designed to be worn for 10-20 minutes in order to be effective, but this mask moves quickly, just like the entertainment industry. It’s made with coconut oil, murumuru butter, pequi oil and abyssinnian oil for moisture and shine that lasts. It’s also made for all hair types, so no matter what you’re starting with hair-wise it’ll work.
Read more: Best Hair Moisturizers
6. Botanic Hearth Tea Tree Hair Mask & Deep Conditioner
BEST BUDGET OPTION
This hair mask is great if you’re new to the game and want an inexpensive product to try, that’s also made with nourishing ingredients for your hair. It’s designed to restore shine, make hair more manageable, control frizz and repair dry or damaged hair. It’s made with aloe vera, coconut oil, vitamins E and B5, and contains tea tree, peppermint and rosemary oils that deeply exfoliate the scalp. All of these ingredients help remove excess oil, dead skin cells and dirt buildup so your hair gets restored to its healthiest state.