Hair masks help nourish your mane by minimizing breakage and giving your hair that coveted healthy glow, all from the cozy confines of your home.

Hair masks offer a simple way to restore your mane game. You can skip the salon and pick up a hair mask from any drugstore. Or, you can get fancy and DIY your own!

Here’s how you can work a hair mask into your hair care routine.

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A hair mask is not that thing when you cover your face with your hair like the girl who climbed out of the TV in The Ring. (Trigger warning!) The hair mask we’re talking about is a hair treatment product that can help give you shinier, stronger, and softer hair.

Made with various nourishing ingredients, hair masks hydrate your hair more intensely than your average conditioner or shampoo.

Certain hair masks are tailored for specific hair needs and cover all hair types:

  • Hair masks formulated to nourish and protect dyed hair
  • Moisturizing hair masks with plant oils for curly or frizzy hair
  • Clay-based hair masks that absorb oil from a greasy scalp
  • Rich hair masks for damaged or dry hair

In general, hair masks are worked into wet hair and left for anywhere from a few minutes to overnight, depending on your specific hair goals and the particular brand of hair mask. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Wash your hair with shampoo (or not) and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Apply the hair mask evenly, paying particular attention to the damaged areas. Work the product evenly through your hair with your fingertips or a wide-toothed comb
  1. Let your hair mask rest on your hair for five minutes. While you’re waiting in the shower, you can take care of other business like shaving or exfoliating.
  1. Rinse the hair mask thoroughly with tepid water.
  1. Gently towel your hair dry and enjoy your rejuvenated hair!

The specifics of each type of hair mask can vary from brand to brand, so be sure to check the instructions on the package.

How often can you use hair mask?

If you’re aiming to rehydrate parched hair, go ahead and use your hair mask once a week. If your locks are super dry, up that to two or three times a week in lieu of conditioner.

FYI: Using a hair mask too often can lead to product build-up, resulting in limp or greasy hair.

How long do you leave hair mask on?

Most hair masks can rest on damp hair for about 5 minutes. Depending on the type of hair mask and the damage you’re trying to soothe, you can leave it in your damp hair for up to 20 minutes. To be safe, follow the directions on the product’s package.

Can you leave hair mask on too long?

In general, your hair type, length, and dryness level tell you how long you should leave the product in your hair. Clay or protein-based hair masks are designed to help tame oiliness, so be sure to rinse out these types of hair masks after 3 to 5 minutes or risk drying out your hair even more.

Hair masks replenish all hair types by using a potent combination of naturally healing ingredients such as shea butter, avocado, argan, and coconut oil. If your hair is long, dry, naturally frizzy, or damaged, you may benefit the most from using a hair mask.

Hair masks hydrate and nourish your hair with more intensity than your average conditioner or shampoo. Tailored to suit all hair types, there’s a mask just for you. Rinse, towel dry gently, and enjoy your rejuvenated hair. But beware, too much of a good thing can lead to a hair product buildup.