What is a Hair Mask?

Hair masks are a godsend to women all over the world, giving them their best hair ever. Yet a lot of confusion exists regarding this hair product type. If you’d like to know more about hair masks, you’re in the right place - we’re going to give you the complete rundown. By the end of this article, you'll know what hair masks are, what they’re made of, and whether you need to use them. 

Hair Masks Defined

Hair masks, also called deep conditioners, are conditioning creams designed to deeply nourish the hair. They are especially beneficial for people whose hair is dry or damaged. You'll often see hair masks at your local beauty supply or big box department store. 

Common Hair Mask Ingredients

Hair masks contain a variety of ingredients that support the health and manageability of the hair. The following are some of the most common ingredients you'll find in hair masks sold in stores: 

  • Fatty alcohols - Most hair masks sold in stores contain fatty alcohols, such as cetyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol. Fatty alcohols are used to lubricate the hair shaft and fill in any cracks or holes in the hair cuticle. As a result, they leave your hair smoother, softer, and more supple. 
  • Oils and butters - Oils and butters are commonly found in hair masks. You won't find the same oil in every hair mask you use; some of the most popular oils used in hair masks are olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, and argan oil. Butters like shea butter and mango butter are also frequently used. These oils and butters either sit on top of the hair to protect it or penetrate the hair shaft to impart deep moisture to thirsty strands. 
  • Protein - Many hair masks are formulated with protein to help repair hair after chemical damage, heat damage, or other structural damage from styling. 
  • Humectants- Humectants draw moisture from the external environment into the hair. Humectants are used in hair masks to boost the hair's moisture levels. 
  • Silicones - Silicones act as a barrier between the hair and the outside environment, smoothing the hair and preventing it from drying out. Non-water soluble silicones are preferred over non-water-soluble silicones, which tend to build up and suffocate the hair.
  • Water - In hair masks, water is often the first ingredient. Because water is the most hydrating ingredient of all, it's a preferred ingredient.

DIY Hair Masks

DIY hair masks are homemade hair masks made with items you already have in your refrigerator or pantry. They are popular because they offer many of the same benefits as store-bought hair masks but at a fraction of the cost. Plus, you can customize the mask according to your hair’s needs. Recipes for DIY hair masks generally include yogurt, honey, bananas, eggs, oils, and butters.

Do You Need to Use A Hair Mask? 

Hair masks are essential for people with damaged hair, since they replenish moisture and rebuild the hair inside and out. But what if your hair is healthy? Do you need a hair mask then?

You don't necessarily need to use a hair mask if your hair is healthy. Still, regularly using a hair mask will help to protect your hair from future damage. 

Now you know what hair masks are, what's in them, and whether you should consider using them in your hair regimen. We hope that this article has answered your most burning questions about hair masks. We wish you the best of luck with your hair care regimen! 



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 NaturallyTextured.com, 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.