How To Use a Hair Mask Overnight

When your hair needs a super-sized dose of moisture, it’s prime time to pull out the big guns. Using a hair mask overnight is becoming more and more popular, as it is believed to give your hair more nourishment than you can get with a 10, 20, or 30-minute session. If you’ve been wanting to try a hair mask overnight but don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about using a hair mask overnight. 

Considerations for Using an Overnight Hair Mask

Before we get into how to use a hair mask overnight, we think it’s important for everyone to know the risks of doing so. That’s what we’ll cover in this section: 

  1. Protein overload - Protein-based hair masks are meant to be left on the hair for no longer than 5 to 30 minutes. When you leave them on your hair too long, your strands could end up absorbing too much protein. Signs of protein overload include breakage when you stretch your hair strands out, dryness, brittleness, and dullness. 
  2. Moisture overload - Leaving your hair mask on too long can also result in your hair absorbing too much moisture. You’re more likely to experience this issue if you have high porosity hair. Signs of moisture overload include hair flatness, limpness, and lack of elasticity (when you stretch your hair out, it won’t bounce back like it usually does).  

To avoid these problems, never leave a protein-based hair mask on your hair overnight, whether it contains keratin, raw eggs, or any other protein. Also, it’s best to refrain from leaving any hair mask containing apple cider vinegar or baking soda in for longer than the recommended time. These can dry out your hair. Lastly, if your hair is already properly moisturized, steer clear of overnight hair masks - you don’t want to get moisture overload. 

Instructions for Using a Hair Mask Overnight

Now that you know what to look out for when using a hair mask overnight, let’s get into the “How” of it all. To use a hair mask overnight, you need to follow very specific steps, as we will outline below: 

  1. Wash your hair using a clarifying shampoo to ensure that it is clean and free of build-up. Clean hair is better able to absorb the moisture and nutrients of your hair mask than dirty hair. 
  2. Use your fingers to separate your damp hair into two or more sections. Doing so will make your hair easier to work with. 
  3. Begin applying the mask to your hair. If you struggle with flatness at the roots, don’t apply the mask to them. Instead, focus on the mid-lengths and ends. Use a wide-toothed comb to ensure that every hair is completely coated in the treatment for the best results. 
  4. Wrap your hair around your head and use bobby pins to secure it (if needed). 
  5. Cover your head in a plastic processing cap or shower cap and go to bed!
  6. When you wake up, rinse the hair mask out thoroughly. It could take several minutes of rinsing.

There you have it - all the information you need to try your first overnight hair mask! Good luck! 

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.