View Full Version : Hair Mask Questions!

August 4th, 2014, 10:21 AM
I can't find a lot of info online about hair masks, but I've been wondering:

-how is a hair mask any different from a deep conditioning/hot oil treatment?

- how often should you apply it? (once/twice a week? twice a month? etc)

-do you use hair masks? what are your favorites? what's your experience with it?

-additional benefits, etc?

Thank you!!

August 4th, 2014, 06:54 PM
AFAIK the difference between a mask and an intensive conditioner is semantics/ marketing. Mask sort of evokes the pampering nature of a facial, conditioner seems more prosaic, treatments for problem hair. To me a product is only 'deep' if it contains ingredients proven to penetrate, and only a 'true' conditioner if it is rich in the major emollients (fatty alcohols/ cationic surfactants).

I don't personally think masks or intensive conditioners are necessary for everyone, nor is there a set frequency. I get many of the benefits of an intensive conditioner from my leave in conditioners, without having to leave my hair wet, vulnerable and swollen for long periods. I do get a clear boost in shine and softness right up to the roots when I 'touch up' my colour with a high pigment semi permanent. This is basically dye molecules in an emollient base so conditioning.

Hot oils .... The commercial ones tend to be laden with silicones and mineral oil so won't really penetrate. For DIY people use everything from non penetrating oils to deeply penetrating ones. The research on coconut oil is on dry hair overnight up to twenty four hours: IIRC even at 24 hours a modest application of heat (hair dryer) boosted penetration. I suspect oil treatments of short duration merely coat the hair reducing swelling when it is subsequently washed.