Hair Health

How to Use a Hair Mask

In this Article

When you start to feel like something is off with your hair—be it dullness, dryness, lack of luster, or something else—trust your instinct. Your hair may be craving nutrients it’s not receiving from everyday products alone. 

Rely on help from hair treatments to boost your hair to its highest, healthiest potential. 

Want to learn how to fix damaged hair? You’ve come to the right place. But before we dive into how to use hair masks, you may be asking, “What is a hair mask?” Hair masks are deep nourishing treatments that can provide your hair with gorgeous softness and shine with ease. And unlike some trips to the hair salon, this hair treatment can be done in a snap. Knowing how to use a hair mask properly can result in long-lasting, gorgeous hair that feels as good as it looks. 

How to Apply a Hair Mask 

Hair masks come in all varieties and formulas, and they couldn’t be easier to apply. For the best results, these treatments work best when applied to freshly-washed hair.

5 Steps to Applying a Hair Mask

Hair masks provide plenty of nutrients, moisture, and long-lasting benefits for dull or damaged hair. With that said, once you’ve selected the best hair mask for your hair type, it’s time to apply.

Step 1: Divide Hair Into Sections 

One of the most important things about applying a hair mask is ensuring even distribution. You can make it easier on yourself by separating your thick or fine hair into more manageable sections. 

Masks and conditioning products formulated for powerful hair care. Shop treatments!

Step 2: Apply Mask

Apply the mask to your hair one section at a time. You shouldn’t need too much product to achieve healthy hair, but you should always consult the product packaging and look for specific instructions. When in doubt, be cautious about using too much and start small to avoid weighing down your hair.

The way you apply the mask may differ depending on your hair needs:

  • For dry hair – If you’re using a hydrating mask, you can start the mask closer to your scalp and work your way down to the roots to your follicles to get plenty of moisture. Try not to use too much product on the scalp, as the hair treatment could weigh it down. 
  • For oily hair – If your healthy hair produces plenty of natural oils on its own, avoid the scalp when applying a hair mask. Instead, start at the ends of your hair and work your way up. You likely won’t need to go higher than mid-shaft. 

Once you’ve applied the mask, ensure everything is distributed evenly with a wide-tooth comb or shower brush. 

Step 3: Wrap and Wait 

Hair masks need time to nourish the hair follicle before rinsing. You can expect to let your hair sit for around 20 to 30 minutes, but you should always check your hair mask for specific instructions.1

In the meantime, feel free to wrap your hair up.

Step 4: Rinse Your Hair 

Once you’ve let the deep conditioning mask sit for an appropriate amount of time, you can begin rinsing it out. Consider using cold water to rinse out your hair as hot water may stop your cuticles from sealing properly, preventing your hair from locking in moisture.2

The result? Moisturized hair with a healthy look and feel.

Step 5: Style As Normal

Once you’ve thoroughly rinsed out your deep conditioning mask, you can start styling your hair to your heart’s content.

Woman with wet hair.

How To Apply a Hair Mask to Curly Hair 

Hair masks can be helpful for curly hair because dry curls usually result in frizz. Hydrated curls, on the other hand, bounce in all the right ways. Masks can provide much-needed moisture to tired curls to revive them. 

When applying a hair mask to curly hair, look for masks with lighter ingredients like jojoba oil that hydrates without weighing down your curls. It’s especially important to use masks without harsh silicones or sulfates, as those can also weigh your curls down. Feel free to add a curl hair oil to your routine, too.

How to Apply a Hair Mask to Straight Hair 

When applying a hair mask to straight or fine hair, steer clear of a heavy formula. Lightweight, hydrating masks will help provide nutrients and moisture without adding buildup that weighs straight hair down.

When Is the Best Time to Apply a Hair Mask? 

You should always apply hair masks after shampooing. This product latches onto freshly cleaned cuticles, so applying it after cleansing works best. You may also be wondering, “How often should I use a hair mask?” Depending on your hair type and hair concerns, you can use them up to 2-3 times a week for healthy results.

Can I Wear a Hair Mask Overnight? 

Some masks can stay in overnight. Leaving them in longer may produce excellent results for those with very dry or damaged hair, but most often, it’s not necessary. 

Three Living Proof haircare products.

Find Your Hair-Mask Hero with Living Proof

Helping your hair shouldn’t feel like a hassle. Opting for quality treatments that fit your busy schedule can make a world of difference. 

That’s why at Living Proof, our hair products online and in-store are all about making summer, spring, fall, and winter haircare simple. Between nourishing ingredients and scientific solutions, our products can provide you with quality care and peace of mind. 

Invigorate lifeless hair with our Perfect hair Day™Weightless Mask designed to hydrate fine or thick hair types without the weight. For an intensive moisture treatment, try our frizz® Intense Moisture Mask. And to start anew with fully restored hair, the Restore Repair Mask is here for you.

Looking to learn more about your hair? Take our hair quiz to help determine the best products and routines for your hair type.

  1. D’Souza, Paschal, and Sanjay K Rathi. “Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know?.”
  2. Sabhnani Vora Dhara. “Why a Cold Water Rinse is the Hair Care Tip Every Hairstylist Sweats By.”
  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Feasability and Effects of Taking Cold Water Showers: A Randomized Controlled Study
  4. Dias, Maria Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni et al. “Hair Cosmetics for the Hair Loss Patient.”

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Living Proof Review Team

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