How Do I Choose the Best Hair Mask for Dry Hair?

A. Rohlandt

A hair mask for dry hair should contain intensive moisturizing ingredients because it should work on hydrating the hair first. Ingredients that repair hair should be included too, especially if your hair is damaged as well as dry. The last group of ingredients you should look for in a hair mask for dry hair are those that help smooth the hair cuticle to prevent frizz. It's also best to look for a mask that has a cream base or a thick consistency. If in doubt, you can always make your own hair mask by using a few basic ingredients such as yogurt, honey, and essential oils.

Products containing pomegranate seed oil can be good for dry hair.
Products containing pomegranate seed oil can be good for dry hair.

When you're shopping for a hair mask for dry hair, look for ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, and avocado oil. Mango butter, cashew oil, pomegranate oil, and pastel oil are less common ingredients, but all of these may give your hair a moisture boost. This is the most important ingredient because it can help to provide much-needed moisture to dry and damaged hair. If you're making a home-made mask, you can use grape seed oil, olive oil, cream, or even yogurt as a base for the mask.

Argan oil is derived from the fruit of the native Moroccan Argan tree.
Argan oil is derived from the fruit of the native Moroccan Argan tree.

Ingredients that may help repair and strengthen the hair shaft should also be included in the mask. Experts suggest looking for fatty alcohols because they not only have an emulsifying action, they are also believed to improve the hair's texture. Cetearyl alcohol is an example. The product should also contain protein, such as soy protein. If you're making a mask at home you can include bananas or egg yolks to help repair and nourish your hair.

Oil extracted from avocados is found in many products for dry hair.
Oil extracted from avocados is found in many products for dry hair.

Ingredients that smooth the hair cuticle and seal it to prevent frizz are another important group of ingredients in these hair masks. They are especially helpful if you have frizzy or coarse hair. Avocado oil serves a dual purpose as it is believed to both moisturize the hair and to help smooth the hair cuticle. Argan oil is another example of a smoothing ingredient, and both this and avocado oil contain essential fatty acids and antioxidants. You might also look for a product that contains silicone, which seals the hair cuticle, trapping moisture and preventing frizziness. Likewise, honey and coconut milk may help to nourish and smooth the hair, so if you're making a mask at home, try to include one of these ingredients if your hair is dry and frizzy.

Hair lotions that contain silicone and proteins help to seal the hair shaft and prevent frizziness.
Hair lotions that contain silicone and proteins help to seal the hair shaft and prevent frizziness.

The best hair mask for dry hair is one that is easy to apply and stays on the hair. Thicker masks are easier to work with and may help coat the hair better than thinner masks. Experts suggest leaving the mask on for a while, but if you're in a hurry you can boost any product's performance by putting on a shower cap and heating it from the outside using a hairdryer. Heat may help the ingredients act faster and speed up the repairing and moisturizing process.

Mayonnaise can be used as both a mask and a conditioner for dry hair.
Mayonnaise can be used as both a mask and a conditioner for dry hair.
Products that contain honey and coconut milk can help tame dry, frizzy hair.
Products that contain honey and coconut milk can help tame dry, frizzy hair.

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