The 10 Best Hair Masks for Ultimate Hydration

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Written by Annie Walton-Doyle

Updated: March 15, 2024

Let’s face it—our hair goes through a lot. Whether it’s dye, product overload, or heat styling, it’s no wonder that from time to time, locks can start to feel dried out and stressed. Luckily, there are tons of treatments out there that can help give your hair some much-needed TLC.

A good hair mask can offer a hefty dose of hydration, restoring your mane to its healthiest iteration. Let’s take a look at our favorite hair masks on the market.

#1. Best Overall Mask

Davines Nounou Nourishing Repair Mask

04/07/2024 10:36 pm GMT

The first thing you’ll notice about the Davines Nounou Nourishing Repair Mask is that it’s extremely thick. It comes in a shallow plastic tub and has an unctuous, almost buttery texture. This is fabulous for two reasons.

One is that you don’t need to use much product per treatment, so one purchase will last you for months. The second is that the mask really melts into the hair, gripping every strand and coating them with a nourishing dose of hydration. 

Nounou 2
Annie Walton-Doyle / Timeless Hairstyles

Once you wash it out, you’ll notice your hair immediately feels sleeker and softer. But these benefits also build up over time. The more you use the Davines Nounou Mask, the better condition you’ll find your hair in. It’s the ultimate two-in-one, providing hydration right now, and helping your hair stay in better condition for the future, too. 

Read our full Nounou Hair Mask review.

#2 Best Lightweight Mask

Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask

04/07/2024 10:11 pm GMT

Amika’s retro, ‘70s packaging makes this mask a joy to have displayed in your shower – but don’t feel concerned that the product is style over substance. Housed within this joyful orange tub is some of the most moisturising hair product out there. As the name suggests, the Soulfood mask is all about providing your hair with the nourishment it needs to thrive. It even smells good enough to eat, with a sweet and comforting fruity aroma that lingers on the hair long after the product is rinsed away.

While the mask feels thick in the tub, once you apply it, it really gets absorbed by your hair’s individual strands. The product seriously delivers on moisture, leaving your hair feeling softer and more manageable, with a stunning shine. But it also rinses out easily, leaving hair feeling uber-hydrated, yet not at all weighed down, making it a wonderful option for those with finer locks.

#3. Best Multitasking Mask

Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Banana 3-in-1 Dry Hair Mask

For a more affordable hair treat, the Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Masks are absolutely incredible. All of the iterations are worth trying, but my personal favourite is the Banana option. Not only does it instantly transform hair from dry and scratchy to bouncy and soft, but it also has the most perfect banana candy scent that’s both nostalgic and delicious.

The Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Banana is also a real product workhorse because it can be used in a variety of different ways. You can use it as a mask, by allowing it a few minutes to soak into your hair before rinsing, but it can also be used as a regular hydrating conditioner for days when you’re washing your hair in a hurry. Even more impressively, you can use just a tiny bit of the product as a leave-in, applying it to towel-dried hair before styling. With this mask in your arsenal, you really don’t need much else!

4. Best Mask For Extreme Dryness

Bleach London Reincarnation Mask

04/07/2024 10:21 pm GMT

Bleach London is a brand that knows a thing or two about repairing damaged hair. Known primarily for its range of fun at-home dyes, Bleach also provides customers with the perfect treatment to reintroduce moisture to overprocessed hair in their iconic Reincarnation Mask. Designed to literally bring hair back from the dead, this is the mask to reach for when your hair has just about had enough.

The Reincarnation mask is thick and buttery in texture, which feels luxurious and reassuringly effective on dried out and damaged hair. This is the mask you want to reach for when your hair is in crisis and only the most extreme moisturizing treatment will do. It uses sunflower seed extract and wheat proteins to add moisture to the outside of the hair strands while also repairing the elasticity of the hair structure. The result is hair that not only looks healthier but is actually in better condition on a strand-by-strand level, too.

#5. Best Mask For Damaged Hair

Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector

04/07/2024 10:26 pm GMT

Unlike other offerings on our list, the Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector doesn’t really seem like a conventional mask. It isn’t a tub full of thick and rich conditioner, and instead comes in a small and unimposing bottle. The product itself also feels deceptively thin and lightweight, which could have you questioning if it’ll actually do anything at all.

But have no fear. Rather than a conditioner stand-in, the Olaplex No. 3 is a pre-shampoo hair treatment that’s designed to repair dry and damaged hair from the inside out. You use it before your usual hair wash routine to transform damaged, dry, and brittle hair into the kind of swooshy, silky locks usually reserved for hair commercials. Don’t let the understated bottle and no-frills formula fool you – this is a hair treatment that really works.

#6. Best Budget Hair Mask

Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner

Sometimes, the oldies really are the goldies. The Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner has been a stalwart on the shelves of our drugstores for years, and there’s a reason it’s still going strong. Legions of loyal fans still rely on this extremely affordable option to bring hair back from the brink. That cheering purple squeezy bottle allows for easier product dispensing and less mess, and the sugary sweet smell will transport you back to the simpler times of your teenage years. 

The mask uses avocado and jojoba oils to nourish your locks, giving smoothness, softness, and shine in just three minutes of treatment. For many of us, the Aussie 3-Minute Miracle almost feels like an old friend. It’s reliable, unpretentious, and comforting. You know what they say – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

#7. Best Mask For Curly Hair

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Hair Mask is the perfect solution for hair that’s in a crisis. It’s not just hydrating, but also deeply reparative, utilising corn, wheat, and soy protein to help build hair strands back up to their healthiest and best. It’s suitable for all hair types and textures, meaning whether your hair is brittle and breaking or just in need of some extra love, this mask can help.

Briogeo Long
Annie Walton Doyle / Timeless Hairstyles

Alongside the strengthening plant proteins, the Briogeo Deep Conditioning Hair Mask also helps out with surface-level moisture. B Vitamins add essential hydration, while rosehip oil is rich in fatty acids that help to minimise frizz and boost shine. This mask is a great all-rounder for when you just want your hair to look … well, better.

Read our full Brigeo Hair Mask Review.

#8. Best Intensive Treatment

Aveda Botanical Repair Intensive Strengthening Masque Rich

04/07/2024 10:51 pm GMT

Aveda’s whole hair range harnesses the power of natural ingredients to bring out the best in your hair, and the Botanical Repair Intensive Strengthening Masque Rich does just that. This mask is there for hair that’s dried out seemingly beyond repair, and amazingly, it doesn’t just add hydration now, but it helps protect locks against drying out again in the future!

The product does feel a little thick and waxy, but if used correctly, it doesn’t leave a residue or weigh hair down. A little goes a long way, and it pays off to take extra time making sure it’s properly distributed through your locks before soaking and rinsing out. For those who want a deep dose of hydration that also helps to mend hair damage over time, this product proves that it pays to ask for help from mother nature.

#9. Best Mask For All Hair Types

Gisou Moisturizing Honey Infused Hair Mask

Gisou’s entire brand is based on the healing powers of honey, and this mask is no exception. It’s infused with the exotic sounding Mirsalehi honey, which helps smooth the surface of the hair’s strands which also penetrating deeper to boost elasticity and strength. Plus, it smells absolutely incredible.

The unique selling point of this mask lies in its versatility. You can use it before your shampoo as an intense treatment, between your shampoo and conditioner as a hydration-boosting mask, or leave it to soak in overnight to get the most impressive moisturizing benefits. It’s also suitable for all hair types, delivering weightless moisture and fighting frizz across the board.

#10. Best Natural Option

Lush Moisturizing H’suan Wen Hua Hair Treatment

The Lush Moisturising H’suan Wen Hua Hair Treatment is a hair treatment that borrows from the divine, with a name that actually  means ‘the god of hair’ in Cantonese. Like all Lush products, this treatment uses all natural and cruelty free ingredients to deliver a hydrating mask that really works. 

Avocado oil moisturizes while soy proteins work to repair each individual strand. The mask also contains cinnamon and rosemary, which gives the mask an invigorating and aromatic feel. The herbaceous scent of the treatment feels reminiscent of relaxing in a spa, making it an effective treatment both for the outside and the inside of your head.

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