Is It Better to Use a Hair Mask or Conditioner?

Hair masks and conditioners are often mentioned alongside each other for their ability to protect and repair hair. Though it’s clear that both of them are beneficial, it can be difficult to determine which one is better for you to use. In this article, we’ll school you on the benefits and uses of hair masks and conditioners and share which one is better. 

Hair Masks are More Nutrient-Dense Than Conditioners 

If you’re looking for a hair product that can repair damaged hair and visibly transform its outward appearance, a hair mask is going to be a better bet for you than a conditioner. Hair masks often contain a heavy dose of nutrients, oils, and reparative ingredients that nourish the hair from within. The same cannot be said for conditioners. While they are ideal for replenishing moisture and protecting the hair from outside elements between washes, they aren’t going to be as beneficial for your hair’s overall health as hair masks are. Still, there are times when you should choose a conditioner over a hair mask. 

When to Use a Hair Mask vs. a Conditioner

When it comes to hair masks and conditioners, we urge you not to place one above the other. Each product type has a place in most people’s hair regimen, and neither is always going to be better for you. Here, we’ll get into when to use a hair mask vs. a conditioner. 

When a Conditioner is Best

Conditioners are best for routine use, where you’ll condition your hair after shampooing. The lightweight moisture and protection they provide is good as a baseline, but it doesn’t give you a heavy-duty conditioning treatment, as some may need. 

When a Hair Mask is Best

Hair masks, on the other hand, are to be used more like bona fide hair treatments when the hair shows signs of dryness, damage, breakage, etc. If your hair is already supple, moisturized, and behaving like a dream, you simply don’t need a hair mask. 

But if your hair has seen better days or looks/feels like it’s on its last leg, you should definitely reach for a hair mask. Most people use their hair mask once or twice a week as needed. But be careful not to use it too often. If you notice that your hair looks or feels gummy or overmoisturized, cut back on the hair masks.

Do I Still Need to Use Conditioner If I Use a Hair Mask?

If you’re wondering whether you need to use a conditioner after your hair mask, know that it depends. If your hair is super damaged and you want to seal in the goodness from the hair mask, using a conditioner afterward can do just that. But you don’t necessarily have to. If your hair is in good condition and you want to switch out your regular conditioner for a hair mask now and again, you can do your hair mask and skip the conditioner altogether. 

So, there you have it - hair masks and conditioners have very different functions and strengths. Using them according to those strengths will ensure that you’re giving your hair what it needs when it needs it. We hope that 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.