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 was a series of at-home hair masks that helped repair my damaged strands. My hair needed an approximate ton of moisturizing and nourishing ingredients.


(Image credit: @browngirlhands )

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.


(Image credit: @cassandra.cadwell )

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."


(Image credit: @kimseidensticker )

Aside from shea butter, you can 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.


(Image credit: @dinahansen )

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, including stylist recommendations as well as masks that have been crash-tested by me.


(Image credit: @aysha.sow )

The 15 Best Hair Masks for Color-Processed Hair

Best for Highlighted Hair: Fekkai Shea Butter Intense Mask

Best for Damaged Hair: K18 Biomimetic Hairscience Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask

Best for Dull Color: Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care Mask

Best for Dehydrated Hair: Dae Monsoon Moisture Mask

Best for Locking in Moisture: Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask

Best for Strengthening Strands: Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

Best for Frizz Control: Sol de Janeiro Triple Brazilian Butter Hair Repair Treatment Mask

Best for Overprocessed Hair: Unite Hair 7Seconds Masque

Best for Color-Fade Prevention: Fekkai Technician Color Treatment Masque

Best for Reducing Breakage: Amika The Kure Multi-Task Repair Treatment

Best for Fine-to-Medium Hair Types: Aveda Botanical Repair Intensive Strengthening Masque Light

Best for Curly and Coily Hair: Adwoa Beauty Baomint Deep Conditioning Treatment

Best for Manageability: Leonor Greyl Masque Fleurs de Jasmin Nourishing Hair Mask

Best for Medium-to-Thick Hair Types: Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross Treatment Mask

Best for Adding Shine: Oribe Masque for Beautiful Color

Associate Beauty Editor

Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.