These Hair-Reviving Masks Rival an In-Salon Treatment for a Quarter of the Price
It’s no secret that color can be really tough on hair. Hair dyes are basically a cocktail of chemicals that you put onto your head (ammonia and peroxide, for example). Not only can the chemicals be damaging to your hair, but they can also zap all of the moisture out, leaving you with dry, brittle strands.
Before going dark, I used to get highlights and balayage. The last round of highlights I got left me with straw-like strands. My hair, which is typically thick and healthy, turned fragile and rough. The only thing that got me back on track were a series of at-home hair masks that helped repair my damaged strands. My hair needed an approximate ton of moisturizing and nourishing ingredients.
With so many hair masks on the market, it’s hard to know what to look for—and the last thing that you want to do is end up shelling out $40 for a hair mask that doesn’t do anything. Stylists agree on one thing—the key to a good hair mask is tons of moisture. “When looking for a hair mask, look for something that has super moisturizing ingredients in it like shea butter,” says Jaclyn Discala, colorist at Fekkai At The Mark.
Amber Fillerup, founder of Dae, agrees. “I always look for intensely hydrating oils and butters that will strengthen my hair, but also a clean, vegan, cruelty free mask without sulfates, parabens, or synthetic fragrances,” she says. “These will help your hair retain the moisture in your hair cuticle and help your hair color last longer in between salon visits.”
Aside from shea butter, you can also look out for coconut oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, cocoa butter, and more. Moisture isn’t the only thing to look out for, though—you should also be on the lookout for ingredients that will help strengthen your hair to avoid future breakage. “If you are battling damaged hair from coloring or chemical treatments, you’ll want to look for a protein-rich mask that will help make your hair strong again,” says celebrity hairstylist and Unite Hair ambassador Graham Nation.
If you’re in the market for a new hair mask, keep scrolling. I’ve rounded up the best hair masks for color-treated hair in need of a hit of moisture and repair, with stylist recommendations as well as masks that have been crash-tested by me, so I know they work.
The 15 Best Hair Masks for Color-Processed Hair:
1. Fekkai Shea Butter Intense Mask
“I love the Fekkai Shea Butter Intense Mask for my clients with highlights because it adds hydration and smooths the cuticle,” says Discala. This is also one of my go-to hair masks—it smells absolutely dreamy and leaves my hair soft and touchable.
2. K18 Biomimetic Hairscience Leave-in Molecular Repair Hair Mask
Trust me when I say this innovative leave-in mask is worth every penny. After just one use, this mask helps revive even the most damaged, brittle hair. The brand’s patented K18Peptide works to repair damage and rebuild keratin chains deep within the hair shaft. In clinical testing, the brand found that this ingredient reversed 82% of hair damage. I’d vouch for this mask on any day of the week—I truly think it’s what helped restore my own hair when I thought it was damaged beyond repair.
3. Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care Mask
Anyone with color-processed hair knows that the more you get your hair done, the more damaged it gets—but waiting in between appointments can be pure agony. I credit this mask for helping me wait longer in between hair appointments so my hair has a chance to breathe. It makes your color look new again while imparting nourishing ingredients—and with seven shades to choose from, it can truly rescue any color.
4. Dae Monsoon Moisture Mask
“Our Monsoon Moisture Mask is so buttery and filled with so many amazing desert botanical ingredients like prickly pear seed oil, cocoa seed butter, and cactus flower extract,” says Fillerup. “All of these ingredients are filled with antioxidants, fatty acids, and help strengthen the hair shaft and the elasticity of your hair, preventing future damage. Your hair will feel so silky, look glossy, and you won’t want to stop touching it.”
5. Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, I’ll wager that you’ve heard about the magical restorative power of Olaplex products. Just one treatment with this mask and your hair will instantly be softer, smoother, and shinier, thanks to its bond-building technology.
6. Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
Briogeo is consistently one of the best brands for repairing dry, damaged hair and giving it a huge boost of moisture. The brand’s NOVA complex infuses hair with B-vitamins, rose-hip and argan oils, collagen, and silk to nourish and restore.
7. Sol de Janeiro Triple Brazilian Butter Hair Repair Treatment Mask
If the fact that this mask smells like pure heaven isn’t enough to sway you to try it, keep in mind that clinical results showed 90% of participants felt their dry and damaged hair was dramatically more moisturized after just one use. That’s thanks to hyper-moisturizing ingredients like cupuaçu butter for moisture, murumuru butter for frizz-control, and tucumã butter for protection.
8. Unite Hair 7Seconds Masque
“I love Unite’s 7Seconds Masque,” says Nation. “It’s a deep-conditioning treatment enriched with shea butter, vegetable proteins and amber extract. [It] gives the hair the exact moisture it needs without any additives. The best part is that it gives the hair long-lasting shine, softness and overall manageability.”
9. Fekkai Technician Color Treatment Masque
“I love the Fekkai Technician Mask for my single process clients because it keeps the color vibrant and keeps it from fading,” says Discala. “It also has plum seed oil in it which is non-greasy and adds shine to the hair.”
10. Amika The Kure Multi-Task Repair Treatment
This innovative treatment lies somewhere between a mask and a leave-in conditioner. You can put this on as a quick mask after you condition and rinse it out, but I like to leave it in for super hydrated hair.
11. Aveda Botanical Repair Intensive Strengthening Masque Light
If you want a mask that feels light on hair but delivers deep moisture, this is the one you should reach for. Hydrating ingredients like avocado and sunflower oil penetrate the hair shaft and give weightless moisture.
12. Adwoa Beauty Baomint Deep Conditioning Treatment
Not only does this hair mask deeply hydrate and detangle hair, but it also soothes the scalp, making it an amazing choice for anyone who is struggling with a dry, itchy scalp.
13. Leonor Greyl Paris Masque Fleurs De Jasmin Nourishing Hair Mask
The French haircare brand Leonor Greyl is every Parisian girl’s secret to insanely gorgeous hair, so it only makes sense that their hair mask would be top-notch. Jojoba oil, shea butter, coconut oil, and acacia extract all work together to give you the hydrated hair you’ve been dreaming of.
14. Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross Treatment Mask
If you have curly or coily hair, this is the mask for you. This deep treatment works to enlongate and define curls while delivering strength and softness.
15. Oribe Masque for Beautiful Color
Designed specifically with color-treated hair in mind, this frizz-taming mask helps preserve color and gives hair a dreamy sheen.
Next, I'll Only Put These 10 Shampoos and Conditioners on My Color-Processed Hair
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