The secret of luscious hair
Blow drying, straightening, perming, coloring and sun exposure can take a toll on your strands. Dry and over-processed hair needs TLC and what better way of pampering your tresses than treating them to a highly concentrated dollop of moisture and protein? Hair oiling is a great first step but shampooing washes out most of the benefits. Meanwhile hair masks (also called ‘masques’) can give you silky smooth, mollycoddled strands that last till your next shampoo.
Applying a hair mask
Just smooth on the formula after shampooing and lightly towel-drying your locks. Depending on your hair type and formula, apply a few drops to a generous handful on wet hair and work into strands. Use your fingertips, not a comb, to rub in the formula and leave on for ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing out with warm water. For deeper conditioning wrap your hair in a warm moist towel before the final wash. More intensive masks like Wella Professionals SP LuxeOil Keratin Restore Mask may require longer sit times. But the results are worth it. Healthy, happy hair that gleams and bounces! Add even more shine by finishing with a final spray of cool water.
Masking hair problems
Obviously different formulations contain specific ingredients to address diverse hair needs and concerns. For instance, protein based masks like Himalaya Herbals Protein Hair Cream improve hair texture, while oil based variants like Pantene Pro-V Oil Replacement help tame unwanted frizz.
Combination hair—oily at the roots and parched at the tips—benefits most when a product like Schwarzkopf Bonacure Repair Treatment is concentrated on the lower half of the length of the strands. You could apply a mask like Naturica Intensive Nourishing Mask For Damaged Hair generously along the hair shaft if dry damaged locks are the bane of your life. Meanwhile treat hair fall, brittle or damaged locks to a hair strengthening and nourishing formula like Juicy Chemistry Argan & Mango Butter Masque (Pre Shampoo Hair Spa)
Hair conditioner versus hair masks
Hair stylists suggest skipping conditioner if you’re using a mask; this allows the mask to penetrate the hair shaft for deeper conditioning. They recommend doubling the dose to give a more in-depth treatment to very dry or over-processed strands. Not just tresses, masks make the scalp healthier too by exfoliating and improving nutrition to the hair.
Choosing the right hair mask can get tricky if you have an oily scalp and dandruff because moisturizing hair products that treat dryness can acerbate dandruff, making your hair more lifeless and greasy than before. But panic not, Nykaa has the perfect home mask recipe to kick dandruff and breathe life into your strands. Peel and grate two apples. Add to a mixture of two tablespoon apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of corn flour. Apply to dry, unwashed hair and leave in for 20 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water and shampoo as normal.
Home-made hair masks
Home-made hair masks work well too. A honey mask is a boon for dry, colored tresses. To restore moisture, apply honey to strands. A key ingredient in traditional South African hair masks, honey is a humectant which means it literally soaks in moisture and transfers it to your tresses. Moreover, its rich, sticky consistency makes it easy to slather on strands.
Fruity hair masks
Fruits are great to eat; they also make superb hair masks. A fruit conditioner, like Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak that works on all hair types is a blend of half a banana and apple, a tablespoon of yogurt, and two tablespoon of sweet almond oil. Massage into your scalp and strands and leave on for ten minutes before shampooing. Or deep condition normal to dry hair by applying a mixture of two eggs and four tablespoon olive oil. Leave on for fifteen minutes and shampoo as usual.