Do You Need Both a Conditioner and a Hair Mask?

Conditioners and hair masks both have the potential to transform your hair for the better. They can increase your hair’s moisture levels, smooth frizz, promote length retention, and more. All of this begs the question - do you need both of them? That’s what we’ll address in this article. By the end, you’ll know exactly how both products may fit into your regimen. 

You May Need Both a Conditioner and a Hair Mask

Though hair masks and conditioners offer similar benefits, there are a few distinctions that make it beneficial to use both. Hair masks are better at providing deep hydration to thirsty strands and repairing damage from heat styling, chemical treatments, and neglect. Conditioners can be used as a light hydrator post-shampooing and a sealant after a hair treatment, depending on the specific ingredients in the product. 

If you have reasonably healthy hair, you can get away with washing your hair, applying your hair mask, and then proceeding with your hair styling routine. But if your hair is on the damaged side or if you want to maximize the benefits of your hair mask, you can follow up with a conditioner to seal in the nutrients and hydration from the mask. This is going to be especially important for high-porosity hair. 

When to Use a Hair Mask Versus a Conditioner 

Though conditioners are designed to be used on a frequent basis, hair masks are not. You’ll use your hair mask once or twice a week at most, and if your hair doesn’t need such frequent treatments, you can stretch your hair mask conditioning sessions out to once or twice a month. Here are a few signs that you could use a hair mask treatment: 

  • Chronic hair dryness. 

  • Excessive frizziness or worsening split ends.

  • Hair brittleness and breakage. 

*If your hair is color-treated, you could benefit from using a hair mask; it’ll not only protect your hair against premature fading, but it’ll also work to repair damage from the coloring process. 

Conditioning with a rinse-out conditioner can be done on a much more predictable schedule - whenever you wash your hair. It should be your first defense against hair dryness, frizz, and split ends. Slather it on right after shampooing your hair to top up on hair moisture, smoothness, and shine. 

Can You Use a Hair Mask and Conditioner Together? 

You can 100% use a hair mask and conditioner together if you deem it necessary. And taking this route is straightforward. The main thing to concern yourself with is the order in which you apply the products.

You should, of course, shampoo your hair first to prep it to receive the nourishment from the hair mask. After that, you’ll apply the hair mask and leave it on your hair for the amount of time indicated on the packaging. Right after rinsing the hair mask out, apply your conditioner, leave it on for a couple of minutes, and do a final rinse. You’re ready to move on to the rest of your hair care and styling routine. 

So, there you have it - you just might need a conditioner and a hair mask. And if you do, be sure to reference the tips in this article to get the most out of both products. We hope you found all the information you were looking for, and we wish you the best with your hair. 




Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.