What is a hair mask?
First off, what even is a hair mask? If you’re not familiar with hair masks—no worries. We’re sure you’ve tried—or at the very least, heard of—a face mask. Much like a face mask, a hair mask is a treatment you apply to your hair to improve its condition and health. Hair masks are also sometimes called deep conditioning treatments or intensive hair conditioners.
Basically, hair masks are highly concentrated conditioners that are left on for an extended period of time–usually somewhere between 20 minutes and overnight. Hair masks are highly moisturizing and work deep within your hair follicles to repair damage from root to end.
There are countless benefits to using hair masks, such as:
- shinier, softer hair
- less split ends
- a healthier scalp
- moisturized hair strands
- stronger-feeling hair strands
- less frizz
What is hair damage?
There’s a lot more to hair damage than just split ends. When hair becomes severely damaged, cracks form in the outermost layer—or cuticle—of the hair strand. The cuticle is made up of dead cells that wrap around the core of your hair strand to strengthen and protect it. Because your hair’s cuticle is not living tissue, it won’t simply heal on its own like your skin. Once cracks form, the cuticle lifts and opens, making your hair more susceptible to further damage.
In other words, your body isn’t able to heal hair damage on its own. You should take care of hair damage ASAP to keep it from getting out of control. When your hair’s cuticle gets damaged, you may notice that your hair may seem dull, frizzy, or dry.
The inner layer of your hair strands is called the cortex. The cortex is important for your hair’s strength and elasticity. When damage occurs to the cortex, breakage occurs. Breakage looks like unintentional choppy layers. Hair masks are a great way to prevent hair damage before it reaches that point.
What causes hair damage?
Hair damage can be caused by all sorts of things. Environmental elements, chemical treatments such as hair dye, or even the way you style your hair could be to blame.
Environmental: Whenever you go outside, you are exposing your hair to damaging elements like UV-rays and pollution. Even at home, the water in your shower could be damaging your hair if you have metal-rich water—also known as hard water. If you frequent the pool, chlorine could be the culprit of dry, straw-like hair.
Chemical Treatments: Nowadays, many people use chemicals to change their hair’s characteristics. Whether you use hair dye, bleach, smoothing treatments, or rock a perm—you might be feeling some of the effects of hair damage later on. We know there are some chemical treatments that are part of your hair routine, so you’re going to need to add some intensive damage control to your routine.
Styling: Hair styling tools that use heat, such as flat irons, curling irons, or blow dryers, are obvious hair enemies. But even combing, brushing, braiding, using hair ties, or pretty much anything you do to style your hair will also cause damage due to friction.
Most of these damaging effects are unavoidable, so don’t stress over it! It is, however, reason enough to treat your hair to some intensive care once and a while. Whether your hair is suffering because of a dry climate, has been damaged from bleaching or dyeing, overuse of heat styling tools, or you’re just simply overdue for a trim—a hair mask could be your ticket back to luscious, shiny, healthy hair.
Hair mask ingredients and your hair type
A Hair mask is a great way to repair any hair type, but when it comes to ingredients, it’s not a one size fits all situation. Everyone has a unique hair type and individual needs. So—like with any hair care product—it’s important to find the hair mask that is best tailored to your hair’s specific needs.
Let’s start with what to avoid. When choosing hair care products, it is best to opt for natural ingredients. Using a hair mask full of harmful chemicals is counterintuitive to achieving shiny, healthy hair. Here at Prose, it has always been our passion to cut out harmful ingredients and create custom hair care as unique as you. We create products that are sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, alcohol-free, GMO-free, and cruelty-free so that you don’t have to worry about toxic ingredients.
Look for a hair mask with natural ingredients such as:
- Jojoba Oil – to nourish the follicle
- Hyaluronic Acid – to repair fibers
- Silk Proteins – for cuticle nutrition
- Mango Butter – for deep nutrition
- Castor Oil – to protect against breakage
- Oat Oil – for color protection in hair that has been dyed
- Argan Oil – for overall nourishment
- Honey – to hydrate and strengthen hair
- Aloe Vera – to calm and soothe an irritated scalp
- Avocado Oil – to seal the hair cuticle and protect hair against breakage
- Coconut Oil – for moisturization deep within the hair follicle
Fortunately, the list goes on and on. There are so many amazing natural ingredients to choose from—so there’s no excuse for resorting to harsh chemicals. Go natural. You won’t be sorry.
DIY hair masks
If you want to try a hair mask, but you aren’t ready to commit to buying a product, try cooking up a hair mask at home. There are many great recipes on the internet for hair masks, and many can be made with ingredients you already have at home.
One mask for frizzy or damaged hair is simply:
- 1 tbsp of raw honey
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
Combine these two natural ingredients in a saucepan and heat them up. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool. Apply to your hair for about 40 minutes. Cleanse your hair with shampoo and conditioner.
DIY hair masks are a great way to use natural ingredients to boost your hair’s health.
Custom hair masks
If you are overwhelmed by trying to figure out which hair mask is best for you, a custom approach may be best. Getting a hair mask that is customized to your specific hair type and needs is a sure-fire way to get the best results.
Here at Prose, we pride ourselves on creating custom hair care that’s full of rich natural ingredients, selected just for you. After completing your Prose consultation, our hair care specialists will handpick the formula that is right for you and your hair’s needs.
And that’s a wrap
Hair masks are a great way to support your hair’s health, keeping it shiny, healthy, and happy. With so many daily sources of hair damage, it’s easy to suddenly find yourself with dry, cracked, frizzy hair. Luckily, hair masks are an easy way to repair damage or prevent it before it even happens.
Hopefully, you’ve learned a bit more about hair masks, how they work, and the benefits of different ingredients. Hair masks can be a lifesaver, especially when your hair is feeling dry, crunchy, and lifeless. It’s also a luxurious way to take care of yourself. So sit back, relax and let the mask do the work, and you’ll have healthier, happier hair in no time.