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 of 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 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's been braided, but they can also help thicken up hair that's suffering from dehydration, over-styling and more. Here, you'll find 15 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.
8. 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.
9. Sol de Janeiro Triple Brazilian Butter Hair Repair Treatment
Made for medium to thick hair textures, this mask's main goal is hydration and repair. Cupuaçu butter, murumuru butter, and tucumã butter all feature in this mask for softer, shinier strands.
10. 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.
11. Miss Jessie's Super Sweetback Treatment
This sweet-smelling conditioning treatment is perfect for curly and coily hair types. It's packed with nourishing shea butter and Centella extract to help elongate every strand and minimize frizz. More manageable hair means less friction, which leads to thicker, happier hair.
12. Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask
This mask calls in Virtue's proprietary Alpha Keratin 60ku complex to help restore damaged hair. The result is super soft hair that looks healthy and full.
13. Amika Soulfood Nourishing Hair Mask
While reading through hundreds of five-star reviews of this mask, it became abundantly clear that those who use this mask are after silky, healthy hair. Folks with all hair types, from straight to coily, attest to its nourishing benefits.
14. Together Beauty Dreamer Overnight Repair Mask
This natural overnight treatment promises to deliver stronger, more moisturized, and shinier hair via baobab seed, lavender, and castor seed oil.
15. Christophe Robin Shade Variation Mask
If your color-treated blonde hair needs some extra TLC to reach its full potential, this is the mask for you. Not only does it neutralize brassiness, but it also helps to moisturize parched hair with a mixture of ultra-rich and nutrient-dense oils.
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.