Which is Better: Hair Mask or Hair Conditioner?


When determining what products to include in your natural hair regimen, you’ve got many options to wade through. Most of us use shampoo regularly, but what should you follow it up with: a hair mask or hair conditioner? That’s what we’ll focus on in this article. By the end, you’ll know the differences between hair masks and conditioners, their primary functions, and which one is better. Let’s get right into it!

What is a Hair Conditioner?

Though most will know what a hair conditioner is, we’ll cover it here briefly to ensure we’re on the same page. A hair conditioner is a hair moisturizing or conditioning product designed to be used after shampooing to combat dryness and improve your hair’s manageability, softness, and appearance. It often contains ingredients like silicones to protect your strands, moisturizing fatty alcohols, shine-boosting oils, and more.

After leaving the conditioner on for the amount of time indicated on the packaging, you’ll rinse it out and move on with the rest of your hair routine.

What is a Hair Mask?

Hair masks are similar to hair conditioners, but there are a few essential things to know about them. A hair mask is a nutrient-packed super conditioner and hair repairer you use to give your hair a substantial pick-me-up. Hair masks often contain ingredients like natural oils, butters, proteins, and more. You can buy yours at a store or make it at home.

Hair masks are to be applied to clean, damp hair (though oil-based ones can be used on dry hair). Once applied, you’ll wait up to 30 minutes or longer while the mask’s nutrients penetrate your hair strands. After that time, you’ll rinse the mask out. Depending on the type of mask you’re using, you may need to wash your hair afterward.

Which is Better: Hair Mask or Hair Conditioner?

Neither hair masks nor hair conditioners is better than the other. The right product for you at any given time could be either of these products (or both). If you want to find out which one is best for you right now, you’ll want to consider your specific hair care scenario.

  • For hair damage – When your hair is damaged, regardless of the source of the damage, you’ll want to have a hair mask on hand. It has the reparative power to get your hair back to a healthier state.

  • For dry hair types – Use a hair mask in place of your regular conditioner now and again. Typical hair conditioners have light formulas that only provide surface moisture and benefits.

  • For healthy hair and light moisture – If your hair is already in really good condition and you don’t need deep hair repair, your regular hair conditioner will be just what you need. You can skip the hair mask in this instance.

So, there you have it – everything you need to know about hair masks vs. hair conditioners and which is better. It all comes down to the state of your hair and what you’re looking to achieve. 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 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.