A hair mask or conditioner? The question seems simple...

...yet it brings lots of problems. The choice between a mask and conditioner is really hard. We have no idea about the differences between both products and which one is better. It’s time you caught up with the best hair masks of the passing year. What about you? Are you going to choose a mask or conditioner?

A good hair conditioner quickly enhances hair looks, delivers smoothness and easy detangling. We usually want such effect. That is why conditioners rule in the beauty arsenal of many women. We don’t trust hair masks; their consistency and application are different. We are tempted by their intensive action but we stay faithful to tried and tested products anyway. Time has come to change it!

What are the differences between hair masks and conditioners?

Chemical composition

Most conditioners are silicone-based. A hair mask is to penetrate hair and scalp so it must be rich in a larger number of valuable ingredients. A good mask is a set of keratin, ceramides, plant extracts, oils and vitamins. The mask must also include substances that make it easier for nutrients to penetrate the hair.


Undoubtedly, silicone-based conditioners deliver superficial effects. They surround hair with a protective and smoothing layer. On the other hand, masks ensure more intensive action, penetrating hair follicles and delivering precious nutrients. A high-quality hair mask won’t just improve hair looks but also revitalize, strengthen, moisturise and nourish the hair.


While discussing how both product work, we must mention the effectiveness. A conditioner gives short-lived effects that last up to the first hair wash. A tried and tested mask rebuilds damaged hair structure for a long time (a few months).


Conditioners work for busy ones or women who wash hair every day; you apply them and rinse out after 2-3 minutes or leave in. A hair mask needs more time to sit in – from 15 to 30 minutes. You can intensify the mask’s working using various methods, which is impossible with conditioners.

How do hair masks work?

Hair products can be divided into two groups. The ones that solve or cover up the problem. Hair masks definitely belong to the first group. They aim at nourishing and reinforcing. A hair mask delivers all necessary nutrients and replenishes their deficiency. It controls the right hair growth, rebuilds the damaged structure, strengthens the natural hair protection shield and conditions the hairdo.

Types of hair masks. Which one to choose?

Buying a hair mask means going round dozens of products that work in different ways. The choice of a mask depends on your goal. You must consider your hair condition and its needs. Almost every manufacturer offers at least several products that work in a precise way and have a variety of ingredients.

We can choose between:

  • humectant and emollient hair masks that are ideal for dry hair,
  • protein hair masks e.g. with keratin that satisfy the needs of damaged hair.

Before getting a mask, we must define the condition and type of our hairdos. Fine hair requires a completely different cosmetic than thick strands. If you have fine hair, avoid repairing masks because their rich formula can weigh your hair down. Strongly rebuilding masks also fail if your hair is oily (unless you apply them from the mid-lengths). A keratin regenerating mask makes a perfect choice for the damaged and fragile hairdo.

Is there something better than a hair mask?

Among hundreds of hair care products, women like to reach for masks due to strong effects. Surprisingly, natural hair oils make a huge competition for masks. Oils have a wider range of uses, perfectly cooperate with all hair types and have safer ingredients. Fancy knowing more?

The following review of the best hair masks concerns only products that offer the best ingredients, interesting benefits and hundreds of positive opinions. Check out the best hair masks and choose the one perfect for your hair!


The keratin-rich mask from Nanoil is a best-seller. The product is designed to let you deeply treat the hair without leaving the house. It’s made for damaged, brittle, dry, splitting hair. The thing that makes Nanoil Keratin Hair Mask different is top quality and the highest effectiveness in making hair healthy and


Apart from oil treatments, Moroccanoil offers hair masks. A strengthening mask for weak and damaged hair is the most popular. This restorative treatment has a precise aim. It enriches over-processed hair with essential proteins. The mask works quickly and effectively. Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask is not just a regular


Kerastase is a luxury brand sold in many hair parlors. Its oil-based beautifying mask works for all hair types. It delivers an in-depth nourishing in hair lacking nutrients. If strands are exposed to external aggressors, Kerastase mask will provide them with protection and resilience. The cosmetic regenerates and increases


Bamboo Smooth Kendi range is best known for two styling oils. There is also a product that has a bit different formula yet similar main ingredients – an intense smoothing hair mask that prevents frizz. It aims at taming most unruly strands. Bamboo mask works for all hair types


An excellent formula of Elvive Extraordinary Oil products again on sale. This time the brand offers a nourishing mask for dry hair. The manufacturer promises an intensive care, reinforcement and regeneration. The task of L’Oreal mask is saturating hair with nutrients, restoring softness and shine. Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Mask


Kerastase has a wide range of intensive hair care products. A smoothing mask for thick, dry and unruly hair is one of them. Strands are silky smooth and manageable after just one use. Nutritive Oleo-Relax mask deeply nourishes, protects hair from dampness and tames the unwanted curl. Kerastase Nutritive


A professional, intensively moisturising hair mask with macadamia oil. It’s a deeply hydrating treatment that helps lock water in hair. The mask is cut out for thick, dry and tangling hair. It helps rebuild damage and leaves hair stronger and smoother without overburdening. Thanks to the complex of unique


John Frieda offers products aimed at blonde hair care. An intensively nourishing mask for blonde hair is one of them. It is based on the patented technology that binds with hair and repairs damage. It also protects the fragile structure of fair hair. Sheer Blonde Hair Repair is designed


Alterna Anti-Aging products are the combination of latest technologies with valuable ingredients for hair hydration and rejuvenation. Alterna Caviar Replenishing Moisture is a deeply moisturising mask for all hair types, especially damaged hair. The anti-aging action has been combined with the effective repair. Alterna Caviar Replenishing Moisture keeps hair

How to apply a hair mask?

A nutrient-rich and intensive hair mask is a hair saver. If you choose the right one, it can fix damage, keep proper hydration and replenish nutrients in hair. However, you won’t achieve it if you fail to apply it the right way. Follow the instructions.

Step by step

  1. Wash your hair with warm water to open cuticle scales and prepare hair for lots of valuable ingredients.
  2. Towel dry the hair. Gently squeeze out the excess of water. If too much water stays in hair, the mask won’t work as effectively.
  3. Apply the mask to hair from mid-lengths. Never apply masks to the scalp. Always match the amount of a mask to your hair length.
  4. Brush hair with a wide-tooth comb to evenly spread the mask. Other combs or brushes could take the mask off your hair.
  5. Protect hair with a shower cap and warm towel to create hair sauna for better absorption of the substances.
  6. After 15 minutes, wash the mask off. The time differs, depending on the type of mask, hair porosity and other things. Use tepid water for rinsing out.

Hair Masks – True/False

You must apply the mask to hair throughout its length.

FALSE! You should apply the mask from mid-lengths to ends. If you apply it to roots, it can weigh hair down. Masks should be spread on the weakest areas – hair ends.

Leave the mask in overnight for better effects.

FALSE! Every mask goes with the defined time it should sit in hair – usually 15-30 minutes. You should never make it longer. Sleeping with the mask in your hair can do more harm than good.

After applying the mask, you must comb the strands.

TRUE! Even if the mask is the best quality, you must spread it evenly on hair. Use a wide-tooth comb for best effects. Avoid thick brushes as they could remove the product from hair.

The more expensive the mask, the better the effects.

FALSE! The price has nothing to do with the effects. Pricey masks aren’t always better than cheaper products. Sometimes you will find the same or better ingredients in cheaper masks.

You can apply the mask both before and after washing.

FALSE! The mask delivers the best results if you apply it after washing. When you apply the mask and then wash your hair, you wash out all nutrients. Shampoos and warm water open cuticles so masks are better absorbed.

Fine hair dislikes thick masks.

TRUE! Fine hair needs mild and lightweight products. Rich and thick masks can weigh fine hair down, take away its volume and cause oiliness.