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20 Best Hair Masks for Damaged Hair

If you've over-styled, colored, or otherwise processed your mane, you’re in the right place. These simple, nourishing treatments will cure what ails your hair—fast.

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Four face masks with colored outlinesvia (4)

A quick fix with lasting results

It’s easy to damage your hair. We’ve all been there at some point, whether we’ve overprocessed it, used too many hot tools, or simply neglected it for a while. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think to repair that damage with these nourishing hair masks. Using one won’t just help your tresses, either—it will also elevate your whole appearance, since having gorgeous, healthy hair is one of the style secrets of women who always look put together.

“Damaged hair tends to be dry and frizzy,” explains Felicia Dosso, a hair colorist at New York City’s Nunzio Saviano Salon. “Hair masks are extremely moisturizing and will counteract that dryness, but only if you are diligent about using them. I recommend using these at least once a week and really focusing on the most damaged areas.” Commit to five to 10 minutes a week of deep hydration and even the most blowout-abused hair will look and feel softer, shinier, and healthier.

The best part? These at-home treatments can only make hair better, and they’re simple enough for anyone to use correctly. Seriously, you can’t mess this up. That said, you may also want to check out our list of the best shampoos for every hair type because a mask is only as good as the rest of your hair routine.

Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.

It's a 10 Miracle Hair Maskvia

Best hair mask for overprocessed hair: It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask


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When an excess of chemical treatments leaves your hair dry and brittle, this lightweight “miracle” product will be your salvation. “This drugstore mask is my favorite, and a little goes a long way,” says Dosso. With its generous dose of fats and vitamins, it beautifully conditions hair, leaving it soft, smooth, and frizz-free. It can be rinsed out or left in, depending on your hair’s texture and level of required repair, and perhaps best of all, it helps to seal and preserve hair color. For more drugstore favorites, check out these under-$15 shampoos stylists use on their own hair.

Flawless by Gabrielle Union Repairing Deep Conditioning Hair Masquevia

Best hair mask for curls: Flawless by Gabrielle Union Repairing Deep Conditioning Hair Masque


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Brimming with biotin, coconut oil creatine, and rice oil, this affordable formula strengthens hair while repairing damage. It’s a curly girl’s best friend, and budget-friendly enough to really slather on without feeling guilty. Use it regularly with these curly hair styling tips and every day will be a good hair day.

Leonor Greyl Masque à l'Orchidée Softening Hair Maskvia

Best hair mask for thick hair: Leonor Greyl Masque à l’Orchidée Softening Hair Mask


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“For routine maintenance to keep hair moisturized and manageable, I recommend using a mask at least once a week,” Dosso says. “For more severe damage, I recommend using a mask two or three times a week.” The key, she explains, is letting the mask sit on the hair for several minutes before rinsing. Thick hair can stand up to denser oils and emollients, which is why this Leonor Greyl wonder is ideal for thick, frizzy hair that’s often unruly. The formula boasts natural oils and real flower extracts to seal moisture into every strand. You can also try these genius ways to tame frizzy hair and these top frizzy hair products.

Bold Uniq Purple Hair Maskvia

Best hair mask for bleached blondes: Bold Uniq Purple Hair Mask


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“Purple- and violet-toned conditioners are good to use on blond hair to maintain a pale blond color and eliminate unwanted yellow tones between coloring appointments,” shares Felicia Dosso of this confusing hair-mask hue. “Make sure not to use these too often, but once a week or even slightly diluted is enough to keep brassiness out of the picture.” This Bold Uniq mask is not only super hydrating—it also contains UV filters to help protect hair and make sure color doesn’t fade. FYI, it works equally well on blond, platinum, and silver hair. Here’s how to find the best hair color for your skin tone.

Faith in Nature Coconut & Shea Hydrating Hair Maskvia

Best hair mask for broken hair: Faith in Nature Coconut & Shea Hydrating Hair Mask


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Award-winning hair colorist Sherry Ratay says the best way to make the most of your mask is by adding some heat. “After you shampoo the hair, towel dry, and then apply enough of your favorite hair mask to saturate the mid-lengths and ends,” she advises. “Take a heated towel and wrap the hair for 10 minutes. Your hair will thank you!” Try this Faith in Nature Coconut and Shea Hydrating Mask for a breakage-busting treatment that’s a cinch to use for even hair novices. Also, make sure to avoid these everyday mistakes that are aging your hair.

Not Your Mother's Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Butter Masquevia

Best hair mask for oily scalps: Not Your Mother’s Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Butter Masque


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When you have an oily scalp, it can feel like a no-win situation: You need to wash your hair frequently to keep grease at bay, but that can lead to overwashing, overstyling, and, ultimately, damaged hair. The solution? This delicious-sounding detoxifying treatment will give you both a clean, oil-free scalp and hydrated strands. The easy-to-rinse formula is ideal for hair that’s typically weighed down by more buttery masks, and it’s affordable enough to keep in regular rotation. Use it with one of the best shampoos for oily hair and you’ll be so smitten with the results, you’ll want to wear your hair down for a change.

Roux Weightless Precious Oils Strengthening Masquevia

Best hair mask for wavy hair: Roux Weightless Precious Oils Strengthening Masque


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This oil-rich, incredibly lightweight hair mask is ideal for wavy, lightly textured hair that drinks up moisture but still craves serious volume. It helps restore moisture and prevent breakage with eight well-loved hair oils—including jojoba, sweet almond, sunflower, and argan—but it’s totally free of potentially troublesome mineral oil and color-stripping sulfates. It’s a cult-favorite product stylists swear by, thanks to proven ingredients.

Hers Rapid Repair Hair Maskvia

Best hair mask for busy people: Hers Rapid Repair Hair Mask


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This luxurious treatment from Hers is one of the best hair masks for people prone to taking fast showers because they never have enough time in their days. It takes just five minutes to penetrate strands with deep-conditioning cupuacu butter, murumuru seed butter, jojoba and coconut oils, and real shea butter. It’s also packed with keratin to offer cuticle-smoothing goodness that leaves hair shiny, even if it’s overworked, damaged, or weak. Pro tip: Make sure you concentrate the majority of your treatment on the ends and driest portions. Don’t miss these other 12 commandments for using conditioner.

Drybar Mudslide Nourishing Hair Maskvia

Best hair mask for heat-styling fanatics: Drybar Mudslide Nourishing Hair Mask


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This hair mask hails from the famous blow-dry bar’s product line, which was designed specifically for heat-damaged hair. Argan oil offers lightweight hydration, real yuzo oil creates gorgeous shine, and golden root extract helps seal in moisture and prevent future breakage. Reviewers say it’s great on its own in the shower or absolutely “life-changing” when applied to dry hair and wrapped in a hot towel for an hour. Cut down on potential heat damage with these tricks to make your blowout last for days.

Jupiter Purifying Maskvia merchant

Best hair mask for flaky scalps and dandruff: Jupiter Purifying Mask


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Tell flakes and dry, scaly scalp issues to take a hike with this unexpected take on traditional hair masks. Jupiter’s purifying foam formula clears excess buildup, removes old skin and flakes, and feels like a home spa day treatment for your scalp. Designed for weekly use, it uses real volcanic ash to pull out impurities (like dandruff-causing bacteria) while leaving a cool, fresh feeling behind.

John Frieda Full Repair Deep Conditionervia

Best hair mask for uncontrollable hair: John Frieda Full Repair Deep Conditioner


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If your strands have a mind of their own and never seem to stay put or cooperate with styling, Dosso says they may be suffering from extreme damage. Use this oil-rich conditioner from John Frieda and you’ll see a big difference—fast. While you’ll see some results after just a few minutes, it truly works like a dream when left on towel-dried damp hair for 30 minutes or more before rinsing. Before you check out, you might also want to take a look at this other John Frieda frizzy hair product that has near-perfect reviews on Amazon.

Bomba Curls Dominican Forbidden Hair Maskvia

Best hair mask for textured and tightly curled hair: Bomba Curls Dominican Forbidden Hair Mask


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This elasticity-promoting botanical recipe provides intense nourishment from root to tip using Dominican beauty secrets passed down through generations of family wisdom. It was specifically formulated for type 3 and 4 hair textures, but it works like a gem on all types of curls and textured tresses. Cupuacu butter, banana extract, cinnamon, and pistachio oil are some of the trophy ingredients of this golden-hued treatment that takes just a few minutes to offer incredible results.

Natural Formula Keratin Intense ProStraight Hair Maskvia

Best hair mask for chemically straightened hair: Natural Formula Keratin Intense ProStraight Hair Mask


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This keratin-boosting mask is good for all hair types, but it’s specifically formulated to protect and prolong keratin treatments. It restores, nourishes, and strengthens hair with real keratin and not so much as a drop of damaging sodium chloride salt. If you’re wondering what that even is, it’s a popular ingredient in many shampoo and conditioner formulas that actually strips hair of natural moisture-binding keratin and all but destroys expensive hair treatments. This jar of in-shower goodness only takes a few minutes to use and leaves hair silky smooth and easier than ever to straighten with your favorite hot tools.

SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masquevia

Best hair mask for color-treated hair: SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque


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If you have color-treated hair, you need to steer clear of silicone-based products. “This ingredient expels hair color right off the cuticle layer, which results in diminished color vibrancy and poor longevity,” Ratay says. Silicones are commonly found in hair-care products of all types, so be sure to read the label before you buy. One that is proudly silicone-free: SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque, an ultra-rich buttery formula with certified organic shea butter, sea kelp, argan oil, and aloe. It’s a deeply nourishing mask for even the weakest color-treated hair.

No Nothing Vegan Repair Conditionervia

Best hair mask for sensitive scalps: No Nothing Vegan Repair Conditioner


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This allergen-free conditioning formula is loaded with hydrating ingredients and can be used as a regular conditioner or a hair mask. Just leave it on for 20 minutes or more and wrap it in a warm towel. Plus, it’s not just paraben-free, gluten-free, and fragrance-free—it’s also cruelty-free and vegan, so you can feel extra good about using it. Parabens rank among the most toxic everyday beauty ingredients you might not realize are in many of your products.

Davines The Renaissance Circlevia

Best hair mask to use on the go: Davines The Renaissance Circle


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It’s hard to find great hair masks in travel-friendly sizes, but that’s not the only reason we love Davines’ The Renaissance Circle. This single-portion mask for brittle and overworked hair leaves hair silky smooth, shiny, and smelling the way you’d expect the air in a fantasy novel to be scented. Bonus: The packaging is pretty gorgeous, too.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Pre-Shampoo Treatmentvia

Best hair mask for dull hair: Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Pre-Shampoo Treatment


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Heap on this Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Pre-Shampoo Treatment before you wash your hair and you won’t regret it. Just 10 to 20 minutes will strengthen hair and make it more manageable, but you can leave it on overnight for an even bigger impact. After applying to damp hair, put on a shower cap or wrap hair with a towel; the resulting heat helps hair to fully absorb the nutrients. Consider it your weekly pre-shower routine for intensive hair rehab. Did you know that using a pre-shampoo treatment is one of the best ways to hydrate thin hair without weighing it down?

Eufora Beautifying Elixirs Moisture Masquevia

Best hair mask for aging hair: Eufora Beautifying Elixirs Moisture Masque


Yogurt made this list of anti-aging foods, and now it’s on our list of the best hair masks, too. Eufora Beautifying Elixirs Moisture Masque is just what the hair doc ordered, thanks to its carefully blended hydrating plant extracts and natural oils that protect hair against environmental stresses, breakage, and that brittle feeling grays are often prone to. It rinses clean and weightless so you can style with all the volume and texture your heart desires.

CHI Rejuvenating Masquevia

Best hair mask for coarse hair: CHI Rejuvenating Masque


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“For coarse hair, you can go for something a little on the heavier side,” shares Stephanie Angelone, lead stylist at RPZL. “Coarse hair tends to be on the drier side and will soak in any nutrients you put in it. Ingredients you should look for in a good hair mask for coarse hair are coconut oil, argan oil, and avocado oil. These ingredients will create shine, strength, and moisture.” The CHI Rejuvenating Masque is perfect for even brittle hair, offering a bright, healthy dose of argan and moringa oils.

Bosley Professional Strength Healthy Hair Moisture Masquevia

Best hair mask for building shine: Bosley Professional Strength Healthy Hair Moisture Masque


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Fine and thinning hair will drink up this Bosley formula, and you’ll love the shiny, voluminous results. How does it work its magic? With an amazing blend of mango seed, shea butter, avocado oil, Brazilian palm tree oil, red wine extract, and more. All it takes is five minutes to fully treat your hair, but Angelone suggests adding heat to really penetrate the hair’s cuticle. To maintain gorgeous hair, make sure you don’t fall for these common hair myths that are ruining your hair.


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Bryce Gruber
As Home Editor, Bryce Gruber is an expert in gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce at Reader's Digest. You've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting outlets and on TV shows. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.