Box braids are one of my favorite protective hairstyles. They're low-maintenance, give me tremendous length, and offer a much-needed break from using heat tools on my delicate natural hair. I'd say these stylish plaits are an all-around win, except that after a couple months of carefree living, my strands are left in serious need of help in the thickness department. That's where hair masks come in to save the day.
These handy pots of nutrient-dense goodness are a catchall for any hair problem you might be experiencing that's causing your tresses to appear more thin than you'd like. My post-braid thinness is mainly perpetuated by the overuse of clarifying shampoo, which I have to use for a few days to get my hair clear of product and scalp debris. Not to mention the weeks of routine hair shedding that's finally free to fall, a shedding process I can only imagine is akin to that of a husky losing his winter coat. Yes, it’s that intense.
So you get it—hair masks are an absolute must for getting my hair back to its thick, lively self after it has been braided, but they can help also thicken up hair that's suffering from dehydration, over-styling and more. Here, you'll find 10 of the best masks out there to help you achieve the thick hair of your dreams. Happy scrolling!
1. Carol's Daughter Almond Milk Ultra-Nourishing Hair Mask
This mask makes my hair feel soft and manageable. The almond oil, aloe butter and shea oil make detangling a lot much easier, so I'm causing less stress fallout, and in turn, my hair looks thicker and healthier.
2. DP Hue Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Masque
Apple cider vinegar is one of those miracle products that seems to fix everything, so it's really no surprise it makes for an excellent hair mask ingredient too. This one by DP Hue employs a coconut oil– and keratin-infused formula, and balances your hair's PH. Don't mind the smell.
3. Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
When I need to stop breakage dead in its tracks, I reach for this mask. It's packed with good stuff like B vitamins, rose-hip oil, collagen, and more naturally derived ingredients that strengthen the hair and help it recoup that coveted thickness.
4. Moraccanoil Restorative Hair Mask
Many buzzy ingredients have come out to play recently, but argan oil is one of those OG haircare ingredients I know my hair responds well to. I love that this one is also free of harmful sulfates and parabens.
5. SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque
I can be heavy-handed when it comes to hair masks, so this is a solid option that lets me go hard without the guilt of a high price tag.
6. Kerastase Resistance Masque Extentioniste
I was #influenced to try this when I saw a few beauty pros posting about it on Instagram, and I'm actually happy about it. This mask is both moisturizing and strengthening, and it makes my hair feel super soft and also healthy.
7. Oribe Moisture & Control Deep Treatment Masque
Remember when I said I was heavy-handed? Well, I'm careful to control myself with this one. The price is up there, but this new range by Oribe works wonders on hair that needs an extra injection of moisture.
Olaplex Hair Perfector No.3
The first time I ever heard about Olaplex, my then-roommate's stylist had given it to her to maintain her bleach-blonde hair. Since then, we've learned that its restorative properties go well beyond color-treated hair, and it's been in my treatment rotation for a while now.
Borghese Fango Active Mud for Hair and Scalp
I love when a hair product also takes scalp health into account. Although I've yet to get my hands on this detoxifying mud with green tea, lactic acid, and vitamin E, it's high on my to-try list.
Creme of Nature Pure Honey Hair Mask
Here's another super-affordable option that helps my hair look like its best, thickest self. I can apply handfuls at a time without worrying about rinsing too much money down the drain.