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Review: We’ve tested the most effective hair masks

1/13/2023Iva Davies
4-minute read
The right hair mask is like an elixir. It promotes health, improves the texture of your hair and increases its strength. And the good news is, there are so many hair masks to choose from. Now that we’ve tested them, we’re happy to share the results with you.

How to use a hair mask?

Remember that a hair mask is not the same as a hair conditioner. Hair conditioners help detangle your hair and sometimes provide hydration or shine. But a hair mask is a bit of a higher calibre! It penetrates deep into your hair and has much more intense effects. So make sure to use one on a regular basis – ideally once a week, or depending on what your hair needs. It’s also a good idea to consult your hairdresser who knows your hair well and can recommend the best product. 

As always, start by washing your hair. Squeeze out the water or gently dry your hair with a towel. Take a small amount of the hair mask and apply it to the lengths and tips of your hair. Always leave the product on for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer. This typically ranges from 1 to 10 minutes. Then rinse the mask out and style your hair as normal. 

Leave-in masks require a bit of a different approach. They usually come in a spray form and, once again, should be used according to instructions on the packaging. In any case, you should never apply a nourishing hair mask to the roots – your hair would be weighed down, limp and more prone to getting oily. That is, unless you get a mask that is specially designed for the scalp.

Review: Most effective hair masks

Kérastase Chroma Absolu Masque Chroma Filler

Eve, Online Editor

What I liked the most

I’ve been using Kérastase products for many years. Their hair care has never disappointed me. That said, I’d never tried the Chroma Absolu line before, so my expectations were pretty high. Is this the best hair mask for damaged hair?

Benefits

The Kérastase Chroma Absolu hair mask is designed for porous and sensitised hair. This includes hair damaged by colouring. As someone who has been bleaching her hair for a long time, I know a thing or two about dullness, split ends and a lack of shine. Luckily, the results come pretty much immediately. This became even clearer the following week after I used the mask for a second time. My hair is now glossier and stronger with a beautiful shine. Without any pressure or persuading, this test has genuinely inspired me to buy the shampoo and conditioner from this line. With a bit of luck I might find a discount.

Downsides

I prefer hair masks that come in a tube. This is because no matter what I do, I always end up dripping some water into the product, which is not ideal. I’d also say the price is another downside. Compared to other Kérastase products, this professional hair mask is more expensive. But trust me, you won’t regret it! 

Tested hair masks

REDKEN Extreme Length

Nicole, student 

What I liked the most

One of the few hair masks that can be applied to the scalp as well as down the length and to the ends of your hair. I was really curious about the results.

Benefits

I have long, colour-treated hair. According to the brand, the REDKEN Extreme Length mask is ideal for damaged and brittle hair, plus it promotes hair growth. The product feels very nice on the skin – I even felt as if it soothed my scalp and cooled it down. It also has fantastic effects on my hair. Brushing is now really easy and I notice fewer fallen-out and broken strands in my brush than before. I can’t wait for the long-term effects. This mask simply works! And I also love that it comes in a handy tube packaging. So no chance of knocking it over and spilling it like I usually do…

Downsides

I haven’t found any. 

Shu Uemura Silk Bloom


Izzie, Makeup Artist

What I liked the most

This hair mask left my hair beautifully smooth and soft to the touch. I also love the gorgeous scent.

Benefits

To be honest, I’ve never used a lot of hair masks because I’m simply too lazy. But since I’ve recently had my bleached hair permanently curled, I needed something to restore my dried-out, damaged and coarse tresses back to their former glory without making my healthy roots oily. I washed my hair, applied a conditioner, washed it out and squeezed the water out with a towel. Then I applied the Shu Uemura Silk Bloom mask and combed it through my hair. I left it on for about 45 minutes (longer than the recommended 10) and then rinsed it out thoroughly. Finally, I blow-dried my hair with a diffuser – and the results were astonishing. 

Downsides:

Price. If I really used this mask twice a week, I’d definitely go through it within two months, tops. Which I don’t think is very long. Then again, the mask is so good I might actually go for it.

Schwarzkopf Professional: BC Bonacure Repair Rescue

Jane U., Online Editor 

What I liked the most

Apart from the fact that it works, I also appreciate the vegan formula.

Benefits 

My bleached, fine hair is quite dry and looks like the textbook definition of “damaged”, so any hair mask gets absorbed instantly. I applied this product on my towel-dried hair for 10 minutes as instructed, and then rinsed it off. It could have been a bit of wishful thinking, but I saw and felt as if it had a positive effect from this first application. My hair was significantly smoother, sleeker and stronger. The Bonacure Repair Rescue line promises to reverse up to 3 stages of hair damage in a single application and leaves your hair stronger, so I’ll definitely keep using it and testing its effects. Probably the best hair mask for dry hair I’ve ever tried.

Downsides 

The price is a bit steep unless you manage to find it at a discount. 

K18 Molecular Repair


Jenny P., Online Editor 

What I liked the most

No rinsing!

Benefits

Apart from being a leave-in product, the mask is also super quick to use with no complicated instructions. This means you’ll save a lot of time and water in the shower. The formula is high in peptides and has more active ingredients than you normally see in similar products. Not to mention this mask is vegan, which is an incredibly rare combination. I also like the fact that it doesn’t contain fragrance. 

Downsides

The K18 Molecular Repair is so powerful that the first application causes static electricity in fine hair – so the mask might be a little “too strong” of a product to start with. However, this side effect gradually disappears as you keep using it and your hair starts looking healthier every time you apply the mask.

Tested hair masks

L’Oréal Professionel Serie Expert Metal Detox

Lucy, Online Content Editor

What I liked the most: Hands down the fragrance and texture of the mask, plus the fact that it does what it promises. And it only takes one minute!

Benefits: 

I know the L'Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox line because my hairdresser uses it. We even call it “mental detox” as a little inside joke since that’s exactly what my trips to his salon usually are. Apart from these benefits, the deeply nourishing Metal Detox mask also saves time – you can wash it out after only a minute and it still makes your hair glossier, stronger and incredibly soft.

I also feel like my hair colour stays on better, doesn’t wash out as quickly and doesn’t lose its brightness. In short, at least when it comes to my hair, that claim of protection from metal particles after colouring (which might damage the hair and cause changes in colour) is a 100% true.

Downsides: 

I guess the price, but that’s often a problem. However, I used the mask every week and it lasted me for two months. I’d say the price is worth it for the fantastic results!

So – have our hair mask reviews inspired you? Have you found “the one”? If you have, enjoy your shinier, stronger hair!

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