The best hair masks to shop, depending on your hair type

There's a mask for every situation, huns.


by Ruby Barry |
Updated on

All a gal needs in life is a glass of wine, a scalding hot bath, a great book - and a great hair mask a-top your head, for that extra bit of self-care. Sounds like a good Friday evening, right? But choosing the right mask or best hair oil for your specific hair type is trickier than one might think because there's nothing worse than trying out a product and getting no results. Life is simply too short not to get a life-changing hair mask that rejuvenates your mane.

Luckily, you've stumbled upon a guide for the best hair masks money can buy. Rated and reviewed by members of the heat team, we talk you through the top products to shop online. From Garnier to Olaplex's hair treatments. Or how about the new kids on the block such as the pre-wash viral Hair Syrup? There's a plethora of options out there that can solve your every problem - well, almost every problem. Whether you're looking to hydrate, clarify or bond-build, we've got the goods.

Credit: ESPA Skincare

heat's best hair masks to shop, at a glance:

Editor's Choice: Kérastase Resistance Masque Force Architecte, £41.40 on LookFantastic

Best hair mask for bleached hair: Olaplex No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask, £28 on LookFantastic

Best budget hair mask: Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Papaya 3-in-1 Hair Mask, £3.99 on Boots

Our hair collects a lot of baggage day to day, such as styling products, outside debris, and pollution, as well as our own build-up like dandruff. Therefore, taking one or two evenings out of your week to add a hair mask into your wash routine can refresh your scalp and ends, and give them strength and nourishment to go forward (inspiring, right?) Nothing beats that fresh scalp feeling. Fwooah. (P.S. Keep reading for our FAQs section on the best haircare tips and tricks...)

Let's get started then on our best-of guide, with products you need to know about from Look Fantastic, Boots, The Body Shop and more. People with dry hair, oil hair, damaged hair or limp hair - roll up. Have we got a mask for you...

The best hair masks for every hair type: your ultimate guide

Editor's Choice

Kérastase Resistance Masque Force Architecte 200mllook fantastic


For our number one pick, it has to be the Kérastase Resistance Masque Force Architecte hair


  • Rich formula
  • Reconstructs damaged strands
  • Improves dry and processed hair
  • Smells amazing


  • None!

Best hair mask for bleached hair

Olaplex No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Masklook fantastic


Although bleaching one's hair can mean a world of new colours to explore, in the long term, your


  • Ideal for bleached or coloured hair
  • Intensive restorative treatment
  • Powered by the brand’s patented bond-building technology
  • Works on all hair types


  • Heavy formula
  • Small bottle

Best budget hair mask

Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Papaya 3-in-1 Hair Mask Treatment for Damaged Hair 400mlboots
Price: £3.99 (was £7.99)


The goods new is, you don't have to stretch your pockets too much to get a product that truly


  • Lightweight
  • 98% natural Ingredients, vegan formula, no silicones
  • 96% biodegradable formula - as per OECD 301 or equivalent tests


  • Can cause fine hair to be greasy after use

Best award-winning hair mask

Noughty To The Rescue Treatment Masknoughty


A winner in the Health and Wellbeing Awards 2023 (basically the Oscars of haircare), Noughty's To


  • Perfect for bringing dry hair back to life
  • 97% natural formula
  • Includes sweet almond and black oat extracts, as well as other intriguing ingredients
  • Sulphate-free


  • Some describe the scent as "boring"

Best hair mask for curly and afro hair

Faith in Nature Shea & Argan Nourishing Hair Markfaith in nature


Faith in Nature is one of our team's favourite sustainable brands, and the Shea & Argan Nourishing


  • Contains ethically traded Shea Butter
  • Made with 100% natural origin aroma & essential oils
  • Curly Girl compliant
  • Vegan Society-approved and cruelty-free hair care


  • Very strong scent
  • Heavy formula

Best hair mask for intense hydration

Sol de Janeiro Triple Brazilian Butter Hair Repair Treatment 238mlspace nk


Hun, butter ain't just for spreading on your crumpets in the morning. The Sol de Janeiro Triple


  • Lightweight formula that detangles
  • Made with SOL Seal Technology™, a plant-based keratin
  • Scented with the brand's Cheirosa ’62 fragrance


  • 20 minute application time minimum

Best hair mask for oily hair

Christophe Robin Purifying Mask with Thermal Mud 250mllook fantastic


A lot of masks focus on nourishment and hydration, but what if you want to [get rid of greasy


  • Mineral-rich thermal mud helps to balance the scalp and minimise oily, greasy roots
  • Draws out the build-up of impurities
  • Spirulina supports the scalp's natural barrier function and protects it from pollution


  • Very thick formula that can be hard to distribute

Best hair mask for hair growth


If your TikTok feed is non-stop videos of rosemary water recipes, I'm guessing you're on the


  • Intensely hydrates hair for 5 days
  • Detangles, hair is 5 times easier to comb
  • Silicone-free formula has a whipped, luscious texture


  • Can cause fine hair to be greasy after use - keep away from the scalp

Best hair mask to tackle frizz

The Body Shop Banana Truly Nourishing Hair Maskthe body shop


If you have happy memories of wandering around The Body Shop as a teen, testing out everything and


  • Treats dry, frizz-prone hair
  • Vegan silk protein replicates the chemical structure of natural silk without harming spiders
  • Uses Community Fair Trade shea butter from Ghana, Brazil nut oil from Peru


  • Works better waiting 10 minutes or longer

Best 5-in-1 hair mask

Coco and Eve Like A Virgin Hair Masque 212mlcoco&eve


Need a product to do five tasks in one, because you don't have time to sit around applying


  • Cult-favourite on the internet
  • Restores dry hair damaged by styling, colouring, sun, and pollution
  • Comes with a nifty detangler brush
  • Enriched with raw virgin coconut, fig, shea butter, linseed and argan oil


  • Bristles on detangler brush not suited to coarser hair types

Best hair mask for shiny hair

ESPA Super Nourish Hair & Scalp Mask 190mlespa
Price: £20.40 (was £34)


If your hair is duller than doing your taxes, then the ESPA Super Nourish Hair and Scalp Mask will


  • Perfect saviour for broken, dry, brittle, dull, and frizzy hair
  • Creates radiant, mirror-like shine with protein-rich quinoa
  • Smells sherbety and sweet, with notes of Mandarin, Geranium, and Juniper


  • Heavy formula
  • Can leave fine hair feeling a little weighted


Where to apply your hair mask?

When applying, it is best to focus on your mid-lengths and ends only (meaning the middle and end parts of your hair, not the top of your head). If you have thicker, coarser locks, you can get away with applying it on the scalp (it may even help lift your curls) but if you have thinner locks, applying a thick treatment like this on your roots will only create weight and grease over the coming days. It'll save you product applying just on your ends, and that's where we often need the most nourishment anyway. Read our full how to use a hair mask guide for more information.

Which hair mask is good for hair growth?

Any that advertises itself as a nourishing treatment that prevents breakage is your answer to growth. After all, what's the point in trying to grow your hair if your current strands are falling out anyway? Fix the root of the problem, people (literally). Also, look out for ingredients such as Spirulina, which is an algae-based plant that promotes hair growth (this is included in products such as the Christophe Robin Purifying Mask). As well as this, if you're looking to get thicker hair, as well as longer hair, read our how to get thicker hair guide here.

Can hair masks help damaged hair?

Absolutely. Combining one alongside a targeted shampoo and conditioner can revitalise your mane in a matter of weeks. Look out for ingredients with fatty acids, such as natural butters and oils (e.g. the Sol de Janeiro Triple Brazilian Butter Hair Repair Treatment), as well as products that are created as bond-builders, such as Olaplex No.8. You can even experiment with DIY hair masks using real fruits and oils for a nourishing boost.

Is a hair mask the same as conditioners?

Eloquently described by Coco & Eve, "a hair mask is like a conditioner on steroids". The difference between a conditioner and a hair mask is actually quite stark, so you can't just leave a conditioner on to set like a mask, because they work very differently. "A mask is designed to tackle concerns from the inside out for long-lasting improvements. Conditioner, on the other hand, has larger molecules, so it works a little more superficially – at the hair cuticle layer. Conditioners provide an instant hit of hydration and improvement in the way hair looks and feels. Masks are less about a fast fix, and more about cumulative results."

Can a hair mask be used as a leave-in conditioner?

Unless you have coarse curls, or afro hair, or the product has been specifically noted as working as a leave-in (such as the Garnier Ultimate Food masks), it's best to wash out your hair mask. If you have thinner tresses, masks can leave a waxy film that attracts dirt to the surface of your scalp. However, if you have thicker hair, it can actually help keep your curls hydrated without creating grease. It's all about what works for your hair type.

Ruby Barry is a Product Writer for heat, specialising in fashion and beauty. The team has nicknamed her “dupe queen”, as there’s not a product in the world she can’t find a cheaper alternative for.

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