Why Use a Hair Mask Instead of Conditioner?


“Hair mask” and “conditioner” are often used interchangeably. This is misleading, given that these two product types are different. They have different compositions, uses, benefits, and more. So, there will be times when a hair mask is better for you than conditioner. In this article, we’ll share situations when you should use a hair mask instead of conditioner.

The Difference Between a Hair Mask and Conditioner

Before we get into situations where using a hair mask is more appropriate, let’s start with some quick definitions. A conditioner is a nourishing product that provides your hair with lightweight moisture and protection after a shampooing session. On the other hand, a hair mask is a heavy-duty conditioning product that gets into the hair shaft and helps to repair the hair on a deeper level. Both conditioners and hair masks can be protein-based, though many of them are designed to moisturize the hair among other things. Read this article to learn which product is better overall.

Your Hair is Extremely or Chronically Dry 

Dry hair is extremely common - most people deal with it at one time or another. But if you’ve been dealing with dry, crispy strands for a long time or can’t seem to moisturize your hair with your normal conditioner and moisturizers, you need to do more. You’ll need a hair mask or similar treatment to achieve deeper moisture that lasts several days. 

You’ve Processed Your Hair or Damaged it With Heat

Heat-treating, relaxing, bleaching, coloring, or otherwise processing your hair can be damaging. Sometimes, your hair is just a little damaged. Other times, the damage is widespread and severe. If your hair is compromised, you’ll need more than a conditioner on your wash days. Instead of conditioner, opt for a hair mask formulated for hair repair. 

Your Hair is Weak or Breaking

Hair weakness and breakage are telltale signs of severe damage. If you want to promote hair health and help your mane bounce back, it’s time to give it some TLC. Between conditioner and hair masks, hair masks are better suited to strengthening the hair and stopping breakage. It does so in several ways: 

  • Moisturizes and hydrates hair to increase its elasticity and reduce further breakage. 

  • Smooths the hair shaft to reduce tangling and potentially damaging detangling sessions. 

  • Adds structure to the hair shaft to make it physically stronger and less likely to break (this mainly applies to protein-based hair masks). 

Your Hair Gets Tangled Often 

Dealing with tangles is part of everyone’s hair routine - hair tangles without much effort. But if your tangles just won’t quit, you may need a deep conditioning session with a hair mask. The hair mask’s slip and cuticle smoothing effects can give you an extended break from stubborn tangles. Even if your hair tangles quickly after your detangling session, getting those tangles out again will be much easier. 

Check out this article for more information on how to know if you need a hair mask.

So, there you have it - several cases when using a hair mask is better than using a regular conditioner. Regardless of the appropriate choice, use a high-quality leave-in conditioner like Daily Dose to keep your hair soft, moisturized, and beautiful between hair masks or conditioning sessions. 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.